Vagabond Backpackers, Christchurch

Vagabond Backpackers, Christchurch

City Center
10 Reviews
Solo Traveller
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Vagabond Backpackers Reviews

Drunken guests in shared kitchen and lounge

I do not recommend this hostel for single travelers or families with children or anyone who prefers not to share facilities with drunk guests. Having been accosted by one drunk man while I washed my dishes in the kitchen in the evening, I felt unsafe moving between my room and the shared bathroom later on, while drunk young men argued in the lounge. The night manager seemed just as uncomfortable as I was, but he opted to take no action, leaving the drunk guests in the living room, where I came across them in the morning: asleep on the couch, beer bottles still in their hands. I hope management will implement a policy of immediate eviction of intoxicated guests, for the safety of staff and other guests. The rooms and facilities were clean.


There are better places in town.

If you are coming to this hostel, expect just the bare minimum. Rooms are pretty cold and damp, and have practically no ventilation, so expect them to be smelly. on the positive, rooms are reasonable clean, and you get clean towels any time you request. The kitchen was quite ok, if you don't mind dirty pans and dishes, and don't care other people stealing your food from the fridge. The worst point was the rude guy in charge of this place. If you dislike unsavoury comments, don't come to this hostel!

Disgruntled traveller
New Zealand

Vagabond Backpackers is an old town house which looks like a large family house, and is small and friendly. It's definitely not a party hostel -- more a relaxing and a social hostel.


The hostel is about ten minutes' flat walk from the main Cathedral Square in Christchurch and is an easy walk from the Inter City bus stop. The hostel is inside the four avenues so lots of the backpacker buses will pick up from here. A big plus of this hostel is that it has off-street parking, which for an inner city location is a bonus. Although there are a few rundown houses on the walk to the hostel, the hostel itself is great and is very safe. Despite being near the inner city, the hostel is quiet and does not seem to have any problem with traffic noise.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The hostel is a combination of the main building and some outbuildings at the back. Also behind the main building is a small pleasant courtyard area with some picnic tables and shade -- a great place to sit outside and eat. There is a choice of dorm rooms, with the dorm rooms in the main building having only single beds (no bunks) at a slightly higher price, or conventional bunk beds in the rooms behind the main house. There are keys to each room, and also keys to the front and rear doors.

The bathrooms are modern, with two showers upstairs in the main building, and one combined shower/toilet downstairs, as well as three other toilets. These are clean and are well maintained, and during several visits, we noted that they were often checked and provided with fresh towels and new liquid soap. The bathroom/toilet layout works well, as there does not seem to be much waiting for showers. There are hooks in the showers for clothes.

The dorm rooms in the main building (slightly higher price) are spacious with plenty of luggage space. There are no lockers, but they do store valuables in the office safe if asked. The dorm rooms have four beds with good mattresses. Pillows and duvets are supplied as well (sleeping bags are not allowed). The rooms do not have long lists of rules and regulations, just a few attractive photos. Perhaps due to the small size of this hostel, it is quiet at night, and it is easy to get a good night's sleep here. There is a lot of space in the dorms, so plenty of room for backpacks and for packing/unpacking. The hostel also has an apartment in the next building.

The dorm rooms in the buildings at the rear have bunk beds, so are slightly more crowded but still spacious. Heaters were provided in all rooms, including the dorms. Some dorm rooms also have a table and chairs. The dorms are mixed sex.

Common Spaces

The common spaces at this hostel are very pleasant and social. There is a well equipped kitchen (including a dishwasher and microwave), and plenty of fridge space in new fridges. The rubbish bins are often checked/emptied and the kitchen frequently tidied up. There is also a small laundry as well with a washing machine and dryer (they charge a small fee).

Next to the kitchen is the lounge area, which was very comfortable with new sofas and chairs. The hostel has a large video collection (free) as well as books. Due to the layout of the lounge, it is easy to talk to other hostelers but it is a quiet hostel, not a party hostel. Also in the lounge are two computers with internet (you'll pay by the hour). The guest comment book is full of very complimentary comments, and many guests return to this hostel, which is always a good sign.

Luggage can be stored without problem in a luggage room that is kept locked by the staff. The staff are very helpful and friendly and add a lot to this hostel. They are a great source of local info too and seem to enjoy helping travelers. The hostel has a lot of tourist information with racks of leaflets in the main lounge and also in the hall.


This is an ideal hostel to begin/end your trip in New Zealand. Its location so near the city centre means that it is great even if you do not have a car, and as it has off-street parking, is also a good choice for backpackers with cars. It is good as a base for relaxing, planning, or chilling out. It does not feel like a hostel, more like a travelers home. The choice of rooms here is good as well, and together with the helpful staff, makes it a great choice for Christchurch.

New Zealand

Lovely place, very friendly, well run

Vagabond is run by a team of extremely friendly owners/managers. The duty manager was different nearly every day we were there (five nights), which felt a little weird, but all of them were very friendly. The kitchen was reasonably well stocked and there was even a dishwasher! What luxury. We stayed in a cabin out in the courtyard -- this was very quiet, but a little bit of a pain to visit the toilet in the middle of the night. (There is an outside toilet so you don't have to go all the way into the house). Internet access is very cheap (only $3 per hour) but the computers were rather old -- I couldn't get them to recognise my USB camera card reader. There is also a TV in the lounge and free movies including some really good ones, like Lord of the Rings. Fully booked, this place sleeps twenty-eight which is a nice number, not too big and not too small. The downstairs shower had good pressure but was badly affected by the laundry machines in the next room. All of a sudden you get hot, hot water and there is no way to reduce the temperature while the machine is taking in water. Just be ready to move out of the shower flow quickly! I don't know what the upstairs showers are like. All in all we were very happy at Vagabond and I'd happily go back.

New Zealand

I was the first person to stay at this hostel with my girlfriend, back in about November 1995. It was fantastic -- the owners were really helpful and provided fresh bread daily. good times.

Johnny Boy

I stayed here for a few nights and found the hostel to be adequate. I find there are too many guests for the facilities provided, which gives it a bit of a crowded feel. It could be better heated during the winter.


I liked this place. I only stayed a night but I found the rooms to be spacious, bright and airy (no bunks) and the bathroom and kitchen to be clean. There is a nice library in the common room and a small garden outside where you can sit and eat the free fresh-baked bread they give out every morning. Yum!


It was all right, but staff could have been more helpful.


More reviews...


Location and Contact



Address: 232 Worcester Street, City Center, Christchurch, New Zealand

Vagabond Backpackers is listed on the following booking sites:

Not listed at Hostelworld Not listed at HostelsClub


Website Vagabond Backpackers Christchurch
Phone Number: (03) 379-9677
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Solo Traveller


Luggage Storage


Safe Deposit Box


Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons ($2 for stay)

Wi-Fi in Rooms ($2 for stay)

BBQ Grill

Book Collection/Exchange

Clothes Dryer

Concierge/Info Desk

Credit Card Payments

Entirely Non-Smoking

Hair Dryers

Hot Showers



Lounge Area

Movie Library/Rental

Outdoor Seating

Power Point/Sockets in Rooms


Wheelchair Accessible

Airport Pickup


Lockers in Rooms

Service Animals


Genders: Males & Females

Max. Age: All Ages

Min. Age with Parent (private room): All Ages

Min. Age without Parent: 16

Note: Wi-Fi is free in winter & just $2 for complete stay in summer.

Checkout: 10:00 (10 AM)

Curfew: No Curfew

Lockout: No

Maximum Stay: 14 nights in summer to unlimited in winter

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 7am - 10pm

Size: Small (less than 30 beds)

How to book...

Vagabond Backpackers is listed at the following booking sites:

It is the only way to book Vagabond Backpackers

So get the best deal, save money and travel longer.


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