Saltwater Lodge Backpackers, Paihia

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Saltwater Lodge Backpackers Reviews

Saltwater Lodge Backpackers in Paihia is a medium-sized hostel in the beachside town of Pahia. It is the closest hostel to the waterfront, only a few meters away from the beach. The hostel offers travel advice as well as tour bookings, sometimes even special deals, for the area.

The Location

The hostel has a really good location in what seems to be the backpacker street of the town. It is very close to the beach -- almost beachfront -- and about a five-minute walk from the town centre. There is a small convenience store and next door, plus cafés and bars around. Guests should be aware that the bars play music until approximately 1a.m. Parking is available and the bus station is about five minutes' walking distance (town centre).

Rooms and Bathrooms

All the rooms face the big balcony/common area outside and are spread on two stories. The doors act as big window fronts with curtains for privacy. There are six-bed dorms as well as four-bed deluxe dorms, which are more spacious as well as more comfortable. When booking the deluxe room, free towels are also provided. All rooms have very big lockers that even fit smaller backpacks or other personal items. There are also enough power sockets to keep everyone happy, but space for bags and backpacks might be a bit of an issue in the six-bed dorms as they are smaller.

All rooms feature en suite bathrooms, which are spacious and modern. There are enough hooks and space for toiletries available. Unfortunately, the shower does not come in a separate cubicle, which may result in a wet bathroom floor after the shower.

Common Spaces

The hostel has common spaces outside and inside. The outside common space is spread over two huge balconies with lots of tables where you can eat or just hang out. Inside is a big lounge area with a TV, a book exchange, and even a small fireplace! The hostel's kitchen is rather small, but offers two fridges, three sinks, and two stoves. The Wi-Fi is decent, but changes throughout the day depending how many people are using it at the time.


It is a nice place to stay and enjoy the beautiful area of Bay of Islands. The hostel is rather quiet but there is definitely a welcoming atmosphere, and for those looking to go out, there are bars just a few meters away.
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
outside of the hostel
common area
common area outside
Alina Staff Reviewer
Published on 2018-03-19

Woke up covered in bites

We just stayed there for one night a few days ago. The location was great, staff was friendly, and main area was nice. But i woke up covered in bites! Head to toe, small lumps everywhere. Now I didn't find them in the seams or sheets, but I am pretty sure it was bedbugs. I read that they had them a while back, but figured they had it taken care of. Guess not! Also, the place is within visual distance of Mouse Trap and a lot more expensive. Overall, I would considered another place. (despite the bites, the place was well run with a great location.)

Age 26 | USA

Really enjoyed our stay at Pahia

We are a family of 4, and spent our last 3 days in New Zealand at Pahia, at Saltwater Lodge. Loved the mix of people, and all the facilities. Would recommend to others. Awesome! As you New Zealanders are always saying.



the only thing u can say about this hostel is awesome =)


You'll love everything about this hostel. Brand new, clean as can be, friendly owners, great location... the list goes on! Saltwater Lodge is located at the beach-end of the main backpacker street in Paihia, within easy walk of everything. On the ground level of the property you will find the reception office, and further in, a large free carpark. Luggage storage is also available by the reception.

Following the stairs up, you will find a long wide balcony lined with sliding glass doors that lead into each of the dorm rooms. Rooms are ensuite with toilet, sink, and shower. The beds are comfortable and clean, with sheets, blankets and pillows included, reading lights above each bed, and locking cupboards to store your valuables and useful counter space.

The kitchen/lounge area is located on the first floor, and is a main gathering area where you'll want to spend some time. The kitchen is superb, with everything you could need to cook with and in perfect condition, and you'll even find spices. Adjacent to the kitchen is the lounge area with many comfortable couches and in one corner, the television. This hostel has one of the largest assortments of videos you're likely to find anywhere during your travels, and if you are in the mood for a movie, you'll probably end up relaxing here for a little while!

Another unexpected bonus of this hostel is the gym available for your use. Bikes are also provided free of charge. Internet facilities are available as well. The owners will happily provide travel advice and bookings and will often go out of their way to help you when they can. If you're planning a visit to Paihia, don't miss this hostel!

Sarah Sells

I stayed here for four nights and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. The atmosphere was very friendly, with a large social kitchen/dining/lounge area inside, and a deck and barbecue as well for those who prefer the outside. The rooms were extremely clean and modern and lockers are provided. Bathrooms are also very clean and modern. Front desk is very helpful and the location is just across from the beach.


This is the best hostel I stayed at in New Zealand (I have traveled both islands!). It is very central, clean, the staff are friendly, and the rooms are great! All rooms have their own bathroom and shower and a fridge. It is not only a very good hostel the price is great, too! It's $23 BBH [Budget Backpacker Hostels price] for a four-bed dorm with shower, fridge and TV!!! It's just the best value for the money!


This is a great hostel, very new and very clean. And half an hour away is Kerikeri! Go here and you'll have the time of your life!


Saltwater Lodge Backpackers Reviews from the Web

The only negative thing is that it gets very loud as the deck is located straight outside the rooms. I know you should not be expecting much peace/privacy in a hostel but just something to think about, especially if you prefer to go to bed early.


Saltwater Lodge is in an excellent central location, feels very clean and all rooms have private bathrooms. My roommates were really friendly and quiet but as our room was by the dining area it was very noisy outside, other people were up partying and drinking right outside our room until very late at night (1 or 2am) which didn't enable the early night I hoped for!


Liked: Walking distance to the pier for taking ships to ride around Bay of Islands Didn't like: Some drunk travelers loud at night and because the office closes so early, no staff were around to contact and ask to intervene.


Liked: Nice and clean rooms. Didn't like: Bar was really loud.


Liked: The friendly staff Didn't like: Nothing






One of the best hostel i have been in nz


Liked: I liked the atmosphere and the cleanliness. Didn't like: Nothing.


Liked: Secure spacious room with large locker and en suite. Facilities regularly cleaned. Nobody else there for the majority of my stay so dull. Didn't like: No atmosphere as no entertainment and cap of 100mb a day wifi.


Liked: Friendliness and Cleanliness Didn't like: Nothing


Its excellent rooms very clean



Saltwater Lodge has set a new standard of accommodation in New Zealand, offering the country's first Qualmark five star rating for back-packer lodges. Year-round comfort, affordability and luxury make us the accommodation choice of travellers, families and groups from all over the world.

Saltwater Lodge is situated 50 metres from the beach and is still the closest backpackers to the waterfront. It is surrounded by trendy café's & bars and is only 5 minutes walk to the wharf, town centre, shops and bus terminal.

All rooms have their own en-suite bathroom, are heated and situated off a large balcony.
Large fully equipped kitchen with free tea and coffee, herbs and spices.
Spacious lounge and dining area with Internet facilities and
Free videos.
Guest gymnasium.
Guest laundry.
Disabled facilities.
Booking agent for all tours.
Bag storage is provided free of charge.
Free bikes, tennis & use of barbeque.
Free car parking available.

Location and Contact


• Getting Here Paihia is the principle waterfront town of the Bay of Islands, it is situated approximately 3½ hrs drive North of Auckland and about 1 hr north of Whangarei.
• By Air: There are several flights daily from Auckland’s Domestic airport to the Bay of Islands airport near the town of Kerikeri. For flight reservations check out Air New Zealand on Each flight is met by taxi companies who will take you on the 25 min shuttle to the Saltwater Lodge front door, for around $25-30pp.
• By Bus: Intercity, Nakedbus and Northliner Express are the main coach services and all have departures twice daily from Auckland. Northliner Express offer 25% discounts on fares for BBH, VIP, YHA and ISIC card holders and have excellent deals for Auckland-Paihia return. Links are:
• Hop-on, Hop-off backpacker bus companies like Kiwi Experience, Magic and Stray also depart daily from Auckland and can drop you at our door.



Address: 14 Kings Road (off Marsden Road), Paihia, New Zealand

Saltwater Lodge Backpackers is listed on the following booking sites:

Hostelworld Not listed at Not listed at HostelsClub


Website Saltwater Lodge Backpackers Paihia (if you know the URL of their website, let us know and we'll add it)
Phone Number: +64 (0)9 402 7075
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Family-Friendly Hostel

Solo Traveller


Luggage Storage


Bike Rental

City Tours

Lockers in Lobby


Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

BBQ Grill

Board Games

Book Collection/Exchange

Clothes Dryer

Concierge/Info Desk

Credit Card Payments



Entirely Non-Smoking


Hair Dryers

Hot Showers



Lounge Area

Movie Library/Rental


Table Tennis

Wheelchair Accessible

Service Animals

Checkout: 10:00 (10 AM)

Curfew: No Curfew

Lockout: No

Maximum Stay: Unlimited

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 7:30 to 19:30

Size: Large (60-100 beds)


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