The Ultimate Guide to Backpacking Accommodation in New Zealand

Find out the best ways to secure a living space in New Zealand.

06 Nov 15:38
How very accommodating…

Arriving in the land of the long white cloud can be a little daunting, especially when you don’t know where you’re going to be living. Once your first week is up at the Nomad’s hostel then it’s time to find your new home.

No fear - this blog is here to help, guide and whisper sweet nothings in your ear. Well, maybe not the whispering - but it’s the guide you need to get your living space sorted.

Long term accommodation.

Once you have your new job, then it’s time to get moving, literally.

Don’t waste time when looking at New Zealand accommodation to rent - the seasonal towns you’ll be working in can get very busy. Fast. Beat the surge and go for it.

What types of accommodation are there in NZ?

House share or ‘flatting’.

The best and most affordable way to rent in NZ is through a house share or as it’s more commonly known ‘flatting’. Renting a room with like-minded season workers is a fantastic way to meet cool new people and also save mega dollar.

Rooms and houses are rented either furnished or unfurnished - so unless you plan to buy a bed, be savvy and read the fine print.

This is a popular choice for young and trendy folk - just like you - and a good way to negotiate your own contract length rather than being set.

Rental property.

If you would rather lone wolf it and ride solo - then renting an apartment through a letting agent may be the one for you.

You can find some great places online through real estate websites or even by contacting landlords directly. These places are always in high demand, so it pays to be on the ball.

Lodges and backpacker accommodation.

If you are keen for a more backpacker feel - then you can sort a longer term rental at a hostel. Bed sorted. Towels sorted. Living arrangements… consider it sorted.

Not to be confused with sharing a dorm - although this is another option if you are into that bunk bed life.

Renting a whole house.

Alright big spender.

The option to rent a whole house is a good one but with a side of risk. Knowing people to fill the other rooms may save a fair whack in the future - but as the resident new kid on the block, this is not something we would recommend.

How can I find a place to stay in New Zealand?

The world wide web.

There’s heaps of websites which are there just for housing or hostel accommodation. - is a great way to find rooms available all over the country. They mainly cater for shared housing, with fully furnished rooms - even down to the linen and towels. Make sure you read the contracts though as you may sign up for longer than you bargained for. - is another good one to look at. More on the line of craigslist or gumtree - people regularly advertise what’s going and it’s a good starting point for independent landlords. They have a specific section just for finding ‘flatties’ - you can find it under their ‘flatmates wanted’ section.


There are a number of different groups to help you out when arriving in NZ. Social platforms like Facebook, are great for finding roomies and scouting fresh rooms. Have a scout and if you can’t find one to join then just let us know.

Weekly bulletins/Newspapers

Newspapers are a great source of advertised housing, especially room shares.

In Queenstown, this is currently the best source to find your new pad. Each week the advertising is refreshed, revamped and kept up to date.

Even better - you can pick up a printed version anywhere and everywhere in Queenstown. So no fear of your wifi connection not working.

How much should I be paying for accommodation in New Zealand?

Renting in New Zealand is very city dependent.

New Zealand accommodation prices will jump around based on city, location and the view out your window. The average rent in Queenstown is around $170NZD p/w in a shared house. Whereas in cities, like Auckland, it is a little more pricey. Auckland rentals can even go up by 50% if you’ve decided on a coastal view or oceanside setting - so just be aware of the location.

When looking at housing, it is usually advertised as per week, not per month - so make sure that super deal isn’t too good to be true!

Most landlords will also ask for a deposit. This is usually in the region of 2-4 weeks rent - but you’ll get it back at the end when you move out. Essentially a savings plan eh?

So what have we learnt?
  • Move fast - those rooms go faster than Usain Bolt setting a world record.
  • Decide who you want to live with - (lone wolf or wolf pack)
  • Look at your budget - prices are per week - and some options (like flatting) are definitely cheaper.
  • You can use the internet, newspapers or social media - all the methods of finding that dream pad.
  • Make sure you know if it’s furnished or you may be sleeping on the floor.

Other than that, you should be set - if you want any more advice on rooming, flatties or location which hasn’t featured in our New Zealand accommodation guide - then the team are always here to chat. I think they are the absolute bee’s knees when it comes to being in the know but don’t tell them that - it would only go to their heads.

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