Surf 'N' Snow Backpackers



The Review

Surf 'N' Snow Backpackers is the cheapest hostel available in Auckland, but with low prices come low standards. There is no free Wi-Fi, the staff are unfriendly, the place is not well maintained, and there is litter all over the place. There are so many things lacking with this hostel that guests are better off paying a couple extra bucks to get a decent place.

The Location

The only merit to the hostel will probably be its location. Surf 'N' Snow is located right in the middle of town, within walking distance from main tourist landmarks and amenities like the harbour, grocery stores, eateries, sky tower, and the bus station. However, the hostel is facing the main road, so the rooms are is noisy throughout the day.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Bedrooms have giant pipes running through the ceiling where you can hear the water running through. There is absolutely no ventilation in the room unless you open the windows, but there are no curtains or grills, so there is no privacy at all. There are footlockers provided, but most of the lockers are filled with junk or goop from the previous user; obviously the staff have not been clearing out the lockers. The bed mattress is extremely thin, and you can fill the springs pressing against your back. The pillows are so thin that it feels like you're sleeping without a pillow; it provides no cushioning whatsoever. There is also a huge number of long-term stayers with no sense of hygiene or tidiness, as all their belongings are sprawled all over the floor.

The bathroom is surprisingly clean and modern, but the water pressure from the shower head is weak, and the hot water does not seem to work all the time.

Common Spaces

There are no common spaces at all, aside from a sofa lounge by the reception. Since there is no free Wi-Fi or any other entertainment available in this area, the lounge is usually empty, so guests never get the chance to mingle around. The kitchen is infested with cockroaches and there is expired food left all over the place. There are cooking utensils and stoves provided, but these equipment are extremely worn out and rusty. The fact that the kitchen is located in the basement does not help either. The stoves and basin are located right along the basement windows, so there is grime and dirt flying from the back alley into the cooking area.


It is not worth staying at Surf 'N' Snow Backpackers to save a few bucks. There are better hostels to be had located right along the same street as Surf 'N' Snow. Guests are highly recommended to choose another hostel, even if it costs them.
by onemanbrigade Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Surf 'N' Snow Backpackers" at 102 Albert Street, Level 1.)


102 Albert Street, Level 1, Auckland Central, Auckland, New Zealand
-36.848318, 174.763821 (accuracy not guaranteed)
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54% Guest Reviews

Theft in secure storage
Stayed in this hostel for one week. Then due to work, have to travel to somewhere else. Left my backpack in secure storage and paid for it too. The place is only accessible by staff. When i got back the bag went missing. None of the staff took responsibility for it, and ask me to just deal with it. Management exhibit the same behavior, expect me to just accept the lost and walk off as if nothing happen.
Age 24, Australia
Surf 'n' Snow Backpackers is in a great location. It is clean and the dorms are spacious but the common spaces are not. The Location Surf 'n' Snow Backpacker is in the city center, really closed to the Skytower, in the corner of Victoria Street and Albert Street, just next to Queen Street. The free city link will drop you on Durham Street and you will just have to walk up Victoria Street. Rooms and Bathrooms The rooms are clean and spacious -- even in the ten-bed dorm, you still have space to put your bags. The windows are quite big and bring good light, but the curtains are big enough for the nights and early mornings. There are big boxes under each bed, in which you can put your important stuff and lock them, but with your own lock. You will have to press a different code on each door to enter in the different spaces (rooms, bathrooms, kitchen). Some rooms are in basement, which is not as pleasant as upstairs with the big windows. The bathrooms are clean with some hand soap and hand dryers sometimes. The showers are big, with space to change and the door will let your clothes dry (it is not always the case in some hostels or with curtains!). Common Spaces There is no real lounge, except the space next to reception with two couches, an book exchange shelf, internet access, and a pool. But it is quite small for a lounge. The kitchen is quite small when it is busy. It is in the basement which is not really pleasant, the windows give a view on a corridor outside in a court. But there is everything for cooking with a lot of utensils. You will get a lot of good information at the reception and can get a certificate for a postal address. Summary Overall, Surf 'n' Snow Backpacker is good for a short stay -- the location is great, in the center of everything, and with good bus links. It is all clean. But a long-term stay would be less pleasant because of the kitchen in the basement and the really small lounge, and especially if your room is in the basement.
On all of my travels this was by far the worst hostel i stayed in -- we were given a room with no windows, the room was dirty, the kitchen facilities were overcrowded with no room in the fridges to put anything, bathrooms were disgusting, very limited laundry facilities with only one dryer working, and on speaking to people who had been there for about a month it was broken when they arrived. we also saw one morning on the cleaning rota that there had been an outbreak of bedbugs down the corridor from us. i would say do not stay here!
So So
We also came here after hearing good reviews. The staff were all really helpful and gave great advice. The room was very basic and not very clean. We had a double room with no window, no ventilation, and just a fan on the side of the bed.
Great location -- but that´s it
I canceled my bookings after two nights in a 6bed-dorm without a window. Totally dark, without air-conditioning. Creepy.
  Arrived here with good reviews of the place only to be disappointed! The rooms themselves are ok, the four dorm we stayed in was small and no powerpoints but we have had worse. We upgraded to a double but the room was very basic and not overly clean. The only major upset we had was the kitchen. there is a thievery notice and well needed, as we lost lots of our food to thieves as well as the fridges (only two) being left open so thus spoiling all our remaining chilled food. plus point -- great location!
  It's very convenient, just next to the bus station in Sky Tower. The twin room we stayed was spacious and bright. The staff was very helpful. The toilets were clean. This place must be very popular in Japan, as there are lots of Japanese backpackers there and most notices are written in English and Japanese. It seems that the place has been refurbished not long ago, very modern. Yes, the lift is really a plus! No walking the stairs with heavy baggage!
teddy bear
(Hong Kong, China)
Directly opposite Sky Tower, Surf ‘n' Snow is in a great location, just a one-minute walk from the bus station and another minute walk from the busy Queen's Street -- the main shopping area, where restaurants and shops are plentiful. Surf ‘n' Snow is in a small, old building surrounded by skyscrapers. It's the type of building with high ceilings and big windows, and the place is white and bright. The reception is on the first floor, but there's a lift, so don't worry if you're carrying heavy luggage. The rooms are big and bright, but the noise of the traffic may be a bother to some, as it faces the main street. You can also hear the screaming of the people who "sit" the bungy jump just opposite the street. The toilets and showers are clean and modern -- there are toilets for the disabled, too. Also there's a TV room and laundry rooms. The common area has lots of travel information, and hairdryers can be borrowed from the reception. The kitchen/dining room is in the basement. It's large and bright, and it's really busy in the evenings. Next to it is a very small outdoor area with a few tables and chairs. We find only one downside. When we go down there for breakfast at 8:30 a.m., we see dirty dishes still piled up in the sink and the two rubbish bins overflowing with flies buzzing happily around. Then there is an old woman -- who doesn't look like a backpacker -- hurrying out of the kitchen. Perhaps that's why there's a notice on one of the fridges that there are thieves who steal food at night? But when we come back again a few hours later, the kitchen is nice and sparkling again. We notice there are surveillance cameras on the doorway and kitchen, though.
veronica fung
(hong kong)

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