Tombstone Backpackers



The Review

Tombstone Backpackers is perfect for a stop before or after the ferry crossing to Wellington.

The Location

Tombstone Backpackers claims to be the closest hostel to the ferry terminal. Still, they offer a free pickup/dropoff service for the ferry or bus connections. The hostel is set on a small hill next to the graveyard -- therefore the name. It is a nice, ten-minute walk to the supermarkets (there is a Fresh Choice and a small supermarket). The town center with its shops is also a ten-minute walk. From the rooms, you will have a nice view over the waterfront and the ferry landing.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The hostel offers a variety of single, twin, double, share, and dorm rooms. The rooms are very clean. The beds are probably the most comfortable ones in New Zealand, with nice new mattresses, thick duvets, and two fluffy pillows each. The dorm rooms can get a bit small; when they are fully booked there is not a lot of storage space available. The bathrooms are brand new, the showers are nice and warm, and there are enough showers and toilets available. In front of the bathrooms there are also two more hand sinks, mirrors, and hair dryers so it doesn't get too crowded.

Common Spaces

You enter the hostel through the coffin-shaped door -- and the hostel continues in this vein. Your rooms keys have little skulls on them, the walls are painted grey -- still, the atmosphere is very friendly and inviting. The hostel has a nice kitchen area that is cleaned daily. In the mornings you will get a free breakfast with homemade scones, toast and cereals along with tea and coffee, a perfect start for your day. You can either sit outside in the covered patio and look at the birds, or you can opt to sit inside where you will find some smaller dining tables and chairs. Next to this room you have a TV room, a room with a couple couches, and an internet room with some desks and enough plug sockets for you laptops -- free Wi-Fi is included. Outside on another covered patio is the smoking area and you will also find two gym fitness machines. In the garden area you have a spa pool that you can use for free.


The hostel has a quite unique atmosphere. At night it might sometimes be a bit noisy as the port operates twenty-four/seven. The owners will help with tour bookings. From Picton, you can explore the Queen Charlotte Track either as a one- or multi-day hike. When you book the water taxi transport through the hostel, you will get a discount.
by Teddylein Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Tombstone Backpackers" at 16, Gravesend Place.)


16, Gravesend Place, Picton (Marlborough Sounds), New Zealand
-41.290308, 173.999075 (accuracy not guaranteed)
03 573 7116
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How is Tombstone Backpackers rated on other websites?

  Cleanliness Location Atmosphere Overall
(341 ratings)
Not listed on HostelBookers.
Not listed on HostelsClub.
(3 ratings)
(185 ratings)
92% Guest Reviews

DEAD good
Fabulous!!! homey. fantastic owners and welcome! felt wanted there and secure. amazing facilities. every type of social room and facility. free internet and wifi. close to ferry. Close to everything else. BRILLIANT.
Age 29, ireland
Awesome place!!!
We stayed in an ensuite room, it was like a hotel room for the price of a backpackers double ($75). Also the facilities were great -- spa, pool table, internet, and several lounges with great chill out spaces. The BEST bit though was the breakfast, yummy hot cheese scones, just out of the oven! also cereal, toast ... all you could want! the host are really friendly and helpful too. highly recommend!
We did three weeks backpacking through NZ and stayed in some hideous hostels. this one was our favorite. It was very clean, modern, and comfortable. The owners were very friendly and helpful and the price was very reasonable (it also included breakfast). After staying in a stinking hell-hole in wellington the night before, it was a breath of fresh air. We would definitely recommend this hostel.
Charlotte Ogborne and Jonathan Stone
(Canadian, Scottish)
The aptly named Tombstone Backpackers, situated next to Picton Cemetery on Gravesend Road, is the perfect home for your first or last resting place in South Island. It's away from the hustle and bustle of the town centre but only five minutes' walk to the shops and ten to fifteen minutes' walk from the Inter Islander ferry terminal and the nearest hostel to the Blue Bridge Ferry. The hostel has a free courtesy pick up from the Ferry terminals. The accommodation ranges from a couple of eight-bed of dorm rooms to the luxury ensuite doubles. The dorm rooms, although quite small, have hangers, fluffy warm duvets, two pillows, and extra luxurious mattresses. The bunks are a far ghostly howl from those wobbly metal bunks seen far too often in hostels. The only real downside to the hostel is the size of the dorm rooms -- there is very little storage space and no lockers but being away from the main drag security isn't a problem. There were no sightings of ghosts during our stay either. The bathrooms are immaculate and spacious, with three toilets and showers per block -- an ample amount to cater for everyone. Small hand towels and soap are provided in the bathrooms. To ensure the guests are not dead bored in the evenings, there is a pool table and exercise bike as well a comfortable lounge to book swap or read the latest trash magazine. In addition, a quaint TV room supports a big plasma screen with SKY channels, a great area for relaxing after a hard days' tramp. Tombstone also offers an outside BBQ area complete with the owner's chirpy little birds. It also offers coin-operated internet access. The dinning area is spacious with a small TV for those that want to watch whilst eating. The kitchen is extremely well equipped, with two fridges and free tea and coffee throughout the day. A free, help-yourself breakfast of cereal and toast is provided in the mornings. Party animals may find the hostel a little lifeless, but it is not aimed for the tour bus crowds. For the more mature traveler this place is dead good, winning first prize for the most imaginative entrance -- a coffin door.
Helen Pickford

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