Our hours are now open 9am – 5pm. We still welcome everyone to stay but if you are not feeling good please contact us on +64 3 319 5959 before you arrive and we can help isolate you and get a doctor to check you out. Please do not enter the hostel or go to the hospital or doctors clinic if you are feeling sick. We are happy to assist you but need to take the right precautions.

Dusky Lodge & Backpackers is situated on Beach road, Kaikoura. The name Kaikoura means “to eat crayfish”. It is said that the full name is Te Ahi-kai-koura-a-Tamatea-pokai-whenua meaning “the fire which Tamatea-pokai-whenua made to cook crayfish”. The legendary traveller stayed at Kaikoura Peninsula to cook crayfish during a journey.

We are the largest hostel in Kaikoura with our main complex at 67 Beach Road and 2 smaller blocks across the road at 74 Beach Road.  We offer a clean homely environment with bunk rooms, doubles, twins, ensuite rooms and heating in all rooms catering for groups and budget travellers. All bed linen and pillows are provided. There are 3 large kitchen’s and 2 smaller kitchens fully equipped as well as BBQ’s on the decks free to use.  Free unlimited wifi available throughout the hostel to enjoy.

We have a large heated salt water pool (summer only) and spa to enjoy while staying with us and don’t forget to eat at Sicarios open 10am-9pm our cafe located in the pool complex. Guest computers are available and the wifi can be used throughout the building.

Our facilities are available for non-guests ie shower, kitchens only $5 per person, we are open between 9.00am – 5.00pm, sign in at reception.  Please keep an eye on our hours open they may change due to the coronavirus. 

The hostel is only 5 minute walk to the town centre, and across the road from Whale Watch. The best bakery in town is situated right beside us and grocery stores only minutes away.

The intercity bus can drop you off outside the hostel if you are coming from Picton, ask the driver when you start your journey. We have plenty of parking space and it’s free to use. Luggage storage short term is available, if needed ask at reception.

Dusky Lodge & Backpackers is a great place to relax, unwind and take in the great views and spectacular sunsets from our extensive decks. Our friendly team can help book tours or give you advice on what to do while you are with us. We hope to see you soon.


Kaikoura is a small seaside community 183km north of Christchurch. As one of the rare places where giant whales, dusky and Hector’s dolphins, NZ fur seals, albatross, penguins and various pelagic birds can all be viewed year-round, the area is a mecca for wildlife enthusiasts. However there’s more to Kaikoura than its marine population. Its great surf, beautiful Wilderness Walkway, nearby ski fields, excellent local seafood (especially crayfish) and wineries all help to attract the regions many visitors.

Although the peninsula is backed by the dazzlingly snow-capped 2600m Seaward Kaikouras, the town’s climate is tempered by the sea. Situated in New Zealand’s “sun belt”, the region averages over 2000 hours of sunshine annually.

Maori legend describes how the Kaikoura peninsula, Taumanu o te Waka o Maui, served as the seat of the demigod Maui while he fished up the north island from the depths of the sea, and the area was already inhabited before European settlement.  Later, Kaikoura was an important whaling station until 1922, when the end of whale-hunting made the town dependent on its agriculture and fishing resources. Since the late 1980s marine life has once again taken economic precedence in the form of eco-tourism activities which have firmly established Kaikoura on the tourist map.