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9 Great Backpacker Bars in New Zealand


Backpacker-friendly bars in New Zealand.

Got some spare time to fill in an evening? Backpacker bars are a great way to meet like-minded people from all over the world. They are a good place to start when arriving in a new town or city. Obviously, these bars know that people travelling around New Zealand appreciate having fun without spending too much, so there are daily specials and discounts on food and drink. So what are the backpacker bars in New Zealand?

We’ve compiled this list of bars in New Zealand’s most popular cities! However, remember that New Zealand is very strict with only serving alcohol to those with a valid ID. Find out more in What ID is Valid for Buying Alcohol in New Zealand?

Usually, a backpacker bar has a partnership with a hostel meaning those staying in the hostel will get extra discounts. This is even truer with the Base and Nomads hostel network that brings the Australian backpacker party vibe to New Zealand, so it comes at no surprise that their bars designed for backpackers are literally taking over this list.

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1. Loco Cantina

Due to the discounts for those staying in the Nomads and Base hostels, Loco Cantina is a go-to bar for backpackers in Queenstown. With nightly entertainment and reasonably-priced Mexican treats, you’ll struggle to get bored in Loco. Find some more awesome Queenstown bars on our list.

Location: Queenstown, South Island
Loco Cantina

2. Monsoon Bar

Have a drink by the fire after an icy day of glacier exploring. Don’t miss the all-you-can-eat pizza nights. Monsoon Bar is part of the Rainforest Retreat backpackers and holiday park.

Location: Franz Josef, South Island

3. Element

Next door to Base Taupo, Element bar has late-night party nights, fancy dress and quiz nights. You’ll not want to miss this on your itinerary of backpacker bars in New Zealand. Plus, they have some of the cheapest eats in Taupo.

Location: Taupo, North Island

4. The Camel

The Camel Bar, by the Fat Camel Hostel, has discounted drinks and food. It is also the start of the Frenzi Bar Crawl, which you can find out more about in Guide to Auckland Nightlife.

Location: Auckland, North Island

5. Habana Joe’s

Despite what the image suggests, Habana Joe’s is usually the last destination for late-night partying – open until 4am. Find it right next door to the Base Hostel on Darby Street.

Location: Auckland, North Island

6. Basement Bar

In the basement of Base Wellington is a bar for backpackers – complete with pool table, drinks specials and the starting bar on weekly bar crawls. Find out more in our Guide to Wellington Nightlife.

Location: Wellington, North Island

7. Lava Bar

Food and drink specials every night of the week! Located next to Base Rotorua there is always something happening at Lava Bar. Make sure you try the Lava Jars!

Location: Rotorua, North Island

8. Cassette 9

The bar on Vulcan Lane, Auckland hosts its own backpacker night every Tuesday. Win awesome travelling prizes with the Riff Raffle! Find out more in Guide to Auckland Nightlife.

Location: Auckland, North Island


9. Hello Sunshine

Whether you are staying in Base Auckland or not, we recommend scouting out this small backpacker bar situated on a balcony with a view of the Sky Tower. It’s where the pre-party action happens, open from 4pm to 10pm.

Location: Auckland, North Island

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