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On Top Backpackers

Traveller (17)
Sun Deck
Room & Suite (14)
The Kitchen and Dining area
Dining (1)

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Fully refundable before Fri, 26 Apr
Breakfast included
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$68
Prices are provided by our partners for one room, with variable occupancy rules as provided by the property, and reflect total costs of the stay, including all taxes and fees known to our partners. Please see our partners for more details.

About

4.0
#4 of 12 hostels in Dunedin
4.6 of 5 bubbles
Location
3.6 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
3.5 of 5 bubbles
Service
3.5 of 5 bubbles
Value
OnTop is a purpose built backpackers, built upstairs from a cosy cafe & bar located in the heart of Dunedin. We specialize in quality budget accommodation with everything you need and nothing you don't! We have rooms to suit everyone, from bunk bed dormitories to private rooms with or without an ensuite. You can enjoy the Dunedin sun on our spacious sun deck or come downstairs and try our range of magnificent craft beers over a friendly game of pool. We are only a minute's walk to the city's best bars, cafes, restaurants and shopping. Our friendly staff will share inside knowledge of local attractions, tours and the treasures Dunedin has to offer. Our great central location and excellent facilities make OnTop an ideal place to stay, relax and enjoy the Deep South! So come join us and soak up Dunedin's atmosphere!
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Property amenities
Parking
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Wifi
Free breakfast
Bar / lounge
Non-smoking hotel
Shared bathroom
Self-serve laundry
Shared kitchen
Shared lounge / TV area
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Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Centrally Located
Budget
Languages Spoken
English
205Reviews2Q+A22Room tips

Reviews
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Detailed Reviews
OhhHeyy-ItsMel wrote a review Feb 2020
Melbourne, Australia37 contributions26 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
When looking for a place to stay in Dunedin I found on top to have the best reviews, price, and location for what I wanted.

The hostel is situated above a bar/poolhouse but you don’t hear any noise from it when upstairs.

The room I had (6 share female) was cosy and the bed was comfy. And the duvet was brilliant and warm as it does get a bit cold at night!

The show and toilets were always clean I found.

The kitchen area is well stocked with utensils and cutlery etc. and plenty of room to store food on shelves or in the fridge. And the free breakfast every morning is a treat. It’s simple toast and cereal but it does the job and is a nice touch to have as I’ve not encountered any hostels in New Zealand that do a free breakfast.

The staff were lovely when I had to speak to any.

The location is brilliant. A short walk from the countdown supermarket. And the new world is a little further down the road, but still quite close. And the hostel is also right near all the cafes and restaurants too.

Overall I truly enjoyed my stay at on top and when I can get back to Dunedin I wouldn’t hesitate to book there again.
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from ontopbackpackers, Manager at On Top Backpackers
Responded 27 May 2020
Hi Mel, Thank you for the awesome feedback, we appreciate it! You were a pleasure to host! We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed the ideal central location, comfort / cleanliness of bedroom and bathroom facilities, and enjoyed chatting with our friendly staff. Take care! We do hope to host you again in the future. Cheers, OnTop
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Xiao-Huiii wrote a review Feb 2021
Christchurch, New Zealand65 contributions8 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Within 5-10 minutes walk, can reach the main street of Dunedin.
The room is a second floor without elevator but I'm carry a light luggage.
The room was clean that I stay in female dorm and free cereal with milk for the breakfast.
The car park just beside the building where no need to pay any parking fees from 6pm onwards to 9am the next day as of Feb 2021.
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Date of stay: February 2021Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Leash wrote a review Apr 2023
Dunedin, New Zealand2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
A Dunedin local, stayed here a few times in the dorms over the past few months during a separation. Great location friendly staff, so friendly. Good kitchen facilities, clean bathrooms. Love the pool house and bar downstairs to relax and chill out in. Every stay has been super comfortable and I’ve met some great travellers and have enjoyed pointing them towards Dunedin’s best attractions.
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Date of stay: April 2023Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
YorkshireKiwi316 wrote a review May 2022
Wellington, New Zealand25 contributions12 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Having made an online booking & arriving on an evening flight, I arrived at On Top Backpackers with no idea what I was about to experience. Having got to the accommodation around 10.30pm, I discovered it was all closed & no-one around & a sign with a number & a rather grumpy request not to call it unless urgent. Since I had a booking & no way of getting to my room, I called it.
I immediately apologised to the person on the phone, saying I had come in on a late flight & had caught the first shuttle to the CBD & was sorry I was late arriving. I was met with a grumpy tirade telling me I should have called them. Despite apologising that I hadn't done this, I still said that I think it was reasonable to expect a courtesy call to ask if I was still coming. I was told "This is a backpackers, not a hotel." Clearly, they had no record of my booking, as they had to ask me to provide the info about the room I had booked & had no information about it & after receiving a fair bit of abuse for being late, I was told they would charge me a call out fee to come to give me access to my room. At this point, as they were essentially refusing my service, I declined & said I would find somewhere else...which I did (Motel on Carroll - see separate review) & experienced a totally opposite & excellent customer service approach.
There is nothing to commend On Top Backpackers at all -they charge not hotel prices,not backpackers & don't cater for late night arrivals,which you'd expect with backpackers.
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Date of stay: May 2022
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Matthew Easton, General Manager at On Top Backpackers
Responded 20 Jun 2022
Hi The Backpackers clearly advisers in the booking information that the Reception is open from 7.30 am to 10 pm If a traveler is going to be late we expect a courtesy call either by email or phone to advise ., you did neither and turned up close to 11pm . If a Traveler doesn't advise us and turns up when all Staff have gone home . We then advise that there is a charge of $20 for the Staff member to drive into work to allow you entry . You had booked a private room for $79 and when you advised that there was no way you would pay $20 for a call out fee You went to another provider and paid them almost double the $79 fee. You will note that we didn't charge you for failing to turn up within the hours and we wore the charge from the Booking Agency . We run a very safe clean Hostel and would welcome you should you arrive within our Reception hours . Regards Matt
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Linn N wrote a review Mar 2024
12 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
It's an Okey hostel. The kitchen is very small and there isn't room to cook food during peak times. The hostel is pretty clean.
The main part is that this hostel is a party hostel. Even though you aren't allowed to drink at the hostel after 8pm a lot of people go out and party, come home late and make noise, be mindful of that.
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Date of stay: March 2024Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Matthew Easton, General Manager at On Top Backpackers
Responded 4 weeks ago
Hi Thanks for your comment . Most are surprised at how large the Kitchen is When it is really busy as it has been for February , we usually try to have a Staff member up there doing the dishes that have been left ,so that is how we try to make it more pleasant for Backpackers looking for Bench space to cook . This Hostel is not usually a Party Hostel but 2 or 3 times a year because of events such as St Patricks day, as a good few Students from Christchurch Universities visit Dunedin to join with the many Otago University Students celebrating at their flats . These few times the Hostel may seem like a party Hostel as they leave the Hostel wired ready for a good time Thanks Enjoy the rest off your trip Regards Matt
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megsnz wrote a review Oct 2022
33 contributions21 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Really clean and lovely room. We stayed in an ensuite room. Nice linen, clean and tidy room that opened onto a deck.
Shared kitchen/lounge was always tidy and welcoming. Didn’t utilise the free pool tables or $1 off drinks but will next time! we stayed 2 nights then returned for a third night as it was so easy and walking distance to everywhere. Plus parking was easy !
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Date of stay: October 2022Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jeroen-Melissa v wrote a review Feb 2024
Napier, New Zealand9 contributions1 helpful vote
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Has everything you need. We had an ensuite room. Clean modern bathroom. The bed was only a double and the mattress could do with upgrading, soft and a lot of partner disturbance. All carpets need replacing. Breakfast is simple continental first in first served. We missed out our second morning.
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Date of stay: January 2024
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Room Tip: Just one washing machine so plan ahead. Powder is free. Machine is 2 x $2 coins. Free luggage...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Matthew Easton, General Manager at On Top Backpackers
Responded 4 weeks ago
Hi Thanks for your comments . We have new Fire Safe 100% wool Carpet in all rooms in the Hostel except for Rm 21 ,22 and 23 These will be done this winter . We give a complimentary breakfast 7.30 till 9 am , Thanks Regards Matt
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sarahhart482 wrote a review Jun 2015
Los Angeles, California2 contributions4 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Place was terrible! I've never had accommodation like this- It's like Hell!! Room was cold, and smelt like booze and body odour. The staff were rude too, my friends and i didn't feel very welcome and were quite disappointed.

The place is right on top of a bar, so it was extremely noisy, messy and quite dirty. Felt really unsafe cause there were some dodgy looking people outside their place drinking alcohol and laughing loudly. I couldn't sleep a wink and neither could my friends- it was that noisy! we wanted to use the internet using their wifi- they say they have wifi but none of us could even connect to it! there was no wifi in the room!

The kitchen was dirty, smelly and the bins were overflowing. When i got up in the morning, there was no food! And yet they say they have ''free breakfast''! The floor was sticky too. So gross! i even saw a cockroach inside-they have some serious hygiene issues to deal with.

The toilets smelt like urine and there was some faeces OUTSIDE the toilet bowl. It was seriously pungent! The ceilings were mouldy and the floor was wet so i slipped!!

Honestly, my friends and i agree that we've never been to a backpackers as terrible as this one. This experience has really opened our eyes to how disgusting a place providing accommodation could be.

Never again! What a rip-off! Don't stay here unless you want to have a taste of hell!
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Date of stay: April 2015
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from ontopbackpackers, General Manager at On Top Backpackers
Responded 27 Jun 2015
You say you stayed with us in April but we have no record of this and have contacted yourself and TripAdvisor to get dates with no avail. We find your review unwarranted and simply untrue. We have a high standard of cleanliness due to the hostel being cleaned thoroughly several times daily and having our hostel manager living on site. Our rooms are aired out daily as part of the cleaning routine. We have heaters in all rooms and spare duvets available so all you needed to do was come to reception and ask, staff would have been happy to help. Our hostel is very safe as you would know with card access required for both entry doors and your own room. The bar closes around 11pm during the week and 1am on weekends. Usually noise is not a problem from the bar downstairs as levels are kept to a minimum as per local council legal requirements. Our free breakfast is available 7.30 - 9am, occasionally supplies may run out but we are always happy to supply more during this time. Wifi is available all through the hostel - again if you were having problems all you needed to do was pop down to the staff who may have been able to help. We want all of our guests to have the best possible experience here at On Top and will do what we can to ensure this. If we don't know there is a problem we can't fix it.
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Alistair C wrote a review Mar 2008
Porlock, United Kingdom282 contributions142 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
84 NZ$ for a double ensuite room, and the room was fine. The hostel is also in a very good, central location.

So why terrible? Well, it sleep about 75 and it has facilities for about a third of that. For example, the "outdoor seating" and "large sun deck" actually seats 12 - you can see the entire deck on their home page, right hand photo. The dining room seats 12 more and there are three sofas in the lounge - again you can see the entire lounge in the photo on their home page. The kitchen, dining room and lounge is, in fact, one room. The kitchen has just 2 cookers, 2 sinks & 2 fridges which made it very crowded. There is a picture on their home page that shows pretty much the entire kitchen and most of the dining room. And there was a shortage of everything - very few pots and pans, just 12 mugs and no glasses.

I had the audacity to ask for glasses at reception - which is also the bar of the snooker hall downstairs so you would have thought they would have glasses. I was told that "real backpackers can just use mugs or the bottle". True, but hardly the point.

There is NO car parking, even though they advertise it. There is limited on street car parking a few streets away or you can pay to park next to "on top" - about 12NZ$ a day.

I have to agree with their statement that it is "Close to nightlife". In fact, a nightclub shares the building, so don't think about going to bed early at the weekend.
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Date of stay: February 2008
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
2.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesCheck-in / front desk
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from ontopbackpackers, Manager at On Top Backpackers
Responded 25 Aug 2010
Hi, It was unfortunate this person was not comfortable at OnTop . The Hostel does indeed have a Very Large SunDeck.The measurements of this are 52 metres by 3.2 metres = 166 square metres so too big to be all in one photo. The kitchen has 5 tables and 25 chairs with a further big table outside with seating around that for a further 12 people . The Kitchen also has 8 very hot efficient Gas Hobs. Car Parking is Free outside the Building from 6pm to 9 am If the Backpackers is staying longer he or she is advised to park their car one street back for free, at all times . The Hostel has been purpose built and great efforts have been made to reduce noiseand we have very few noise complaints .
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mrlukenik wrote a review Mar 2019
Southampton, United Kingdom258 contributions79 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
I recently stayed at this hostel and it was a very good experience. The hostel is located a couple of minutes walk from the Octagon- the heart of the city. Free parking is available in York Place, a 5 minute walk from the hostel. Metered parking is a feature throughout the city.

As the name suggests, On Top is above a bar but not a noisy one. Security is good with an electronic key card. The reception is located in the bar and open 8am-10pm. The kitchen and common area is a reasonable size and was clean and tidy. There was plenty of storage space, both refrigerated and ambient. Like many hostels, the cooking space got busy around meal times. A free breakfast was provided 7:30am-9:00am. Just basic cereals, toast, spreads etc.

The dorm room was clean and spacious enough. Keeping the top windows stops the room from getting stuffy. The plug sockets are timed to one hour, with 24hr charge USB ports. My bed was comfortable and sturdy, though I only slept on the bottom bunk.

The bathroom was clean and well maintained, with a shower usually free at any time. The water was hot and showers worked well.

Overall, a good reasonably-priced stay in Dunedin. Would recommend.
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Date of stay: March 2019Trip type: Travelled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Answer from ontopbackpackers
3 contributions
Hi Claire There is a car park beside the building which is free from 6 pm until 9 am You have to pay $2 per hour during the day . If you stay more than one night staff will tell you where to park for free Regards Matt
Jeroen-Melissa v wrote a tip Feb 2024
Napier, New Zealand9 contributions1 helpful vote
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"Just one washing machine so plan ahead. Powder is free. Machine is 2 x $2 coins. Free luggage storage"
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Phun88 wrote a tip Jul 2019
Brisbane, Australia64 contributions33 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Rooms facing east (especially in winter) when the sun warms the room."
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Margaret G wrote a tip Feb 2019
Auckland Central, New Zealand67 contributions18 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Get a room with ensuite, depends what you want to pay ,"
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MoolooSwampy wrote a tip May 2018
Auckland, New Zealand230 contributions64 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"If by yourself or a couple, choose rooms 22 or 23 - ensuite rooms right at the back, very quiet, with a gate onto the carpark"
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KETAN A wrote a tip Feb 2018
Mumbai, India177 contributions79 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Check for room which has good air vent."
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Dunedin area.
PRICE RANGE
$68 - $100 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
New ZealandSouth IslandOtago RegionDunedin
NUMBER OF ROOMS
43
Prices are provided by our partners for one room, with variable occupancy rules as provided by the property, and reflect total costs of the stay, including all taxes and fees known to our partners. Please see our partners for more details.
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ON TOP BACKPACKERS - Now $67 (Was $̶1̶0̶1̶) - UPDATED 2024 Hostel Reviews & Price Comparison (Dunedin, New Zealand) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about On Top Backpackers
Which popular attractions are close to On Top Backpackers?
Nearby attractions include First Church of Otago (0.4 km), St. Paul's Cathedral (0.1 km), and The Octagon (0.2 km).
What are some of the property amenities at On Top Backpackers?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and a lounge.
What food & drink options are available at On Top Backpackers?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at On Top Backpackers?
Yes, parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to On Top Backpackers?
Conveniently located restaurants include Etrusco at the Savoy, Prohibition Smokehouse, and The Perc Cafe.
Is On Top Backpackers located near the city centre?
Yes, it is 0.2 km away from the centre of Dunedin.
Are there any historical sites close to On Top Backpackers?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Olveston Historic Home (0.7 km), Northern Cemetery (2.0 km), and Dunedin High And District Court (0.5 km).
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