We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
All 11 Oamaru accommodations

Chillawhile Backpackers Art Gallery

1 Frome St, Oamaru 9400, New Zealand
Hotel amenities
Save Saved
You added Chillawhile Backpackers Art Gallery to your Saves list
Chillawhile Backpackers Art Gallery
Best prices for your stay
Enter dates for best prices
Check In Check Out
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 3 more sites!
Ranked #7 of 11 Specialty lodging in Oamaru
A recent review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2014
maddieimogenp Stafford, United Kingdom
  • Overview
  • Reviews (26)
  • Photos (32)
  • Similar Hotels
  • Amenities
  • Q&A
  • Room tips (2)
  • Location
  • More
Write a Review

26 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
See reviews for
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
  • All months
  • Mar-May only
  • Jun-Aug only
  • Sep-Nov only
  • Dec-Feb only
All months
Stafford, United Kingdom
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2014

We only stayed a night but this hostel left a good impression. It is homely and set in an impressive house. They encourage backpackers to leave their mark by painting pictures for the walls of their gallery/reception area. Stay here for a comfortable and relaxed travel experience.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Alexandra, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

Great fun stay. We had a good sized double room just off the reception/art studio area. There was a wonderful outdoor area with ample seating around the grounds. The three kitchens were nicely set up, up stairs and down, and had lovely lounge rooms filled with games and musical instruments. All in all a fun place to stay and highly... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Westport, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2014

There was a lot of art around, you could paint and a lot of instruments were laying around. But the kitchens were small and poorly equipped. There was one toilet, a shower and a bathroom with both so that waiting became normal. The beds are uncomfortable and the staff not really service orientated. All in all I was happy to... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

The Chillawhile was our introduction to backpackers' accommodation in NZ. It's a friendly spot filled with travellers from all around the world. My youngest son had a great time painting in the front reception area and listening to the visiting musicians play everything from didgeridoos to accordions. The room we shared had four bed of differing quality, and a good... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
33 hotel reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2013

The only real negative is that without car it is a 40 minute walk to the town centre. The hostel has many kitchens and bathrooms to cater for the amount of guests but the problem is that the areas, especially the kitchens, lack space. The hostel itself was clean and the rooms were nothing special but did the job. The... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

Had a private room next to reception. It smelled wAter damaged and was extremely cold. The bed was uncomfortable. There were very loud and rough looking drunks being noisy all day and late in to the evening. The staff were friendly and the common room was cool with lots of artsy and fun stuff as promised but I'm a bit... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Chillawhile, Owner at Chillawhile Backpackers Art Gallery, responded to this review

I consider Chillawhile Backpackers Art Gallery a quiet hostel - out of town, our guests that come to Chillawhile are fantastic, on occasions there are some organised and spontanious communal nights where our guests enjoy each others company, this is encouraged. There are plenty of communal spaces indoors and outdoors, with 3 different communal kitchens and bbq patio area, amongst... More

Redmond, Washington
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2013

This was one of my top hostels during my trip in NZ. Maybe the bedrooms were far from the best, and the number of showers is very limited, but the hostel has a very good vibe. The walls are full of paints done by mainly everybody. Their lounge room is full of musical instruments, there is a piano, guitars and... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013 via mobile

I stayed in a 4 bed dorm for 1 night. This was one of the better hostels I stayed in in New Zealand. It had a cool and relaxed feeling, fun artwork on the walls and a reasonably friendly atmosphere. Noise and cleanliness levels fine in comparison with other youth hostels. This is a basic hostel with a bit of... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Krasnoyarsk, Russia
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

Very nice atmosphere, good music and with piano. With a touch of Tuscany. The house is a art gallery as well and has a lot of small things to explore. Love it. - the only bad point maybe, you have to walk about half an hour on the main road to the "center".

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
25 hotel reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

Yes I like this warm hostel and the receptionist too. She is very friendly, show us around the hostel and offer herself to help us on our big luggages as we stayed upstair. A homely style kitchens, bathroom and toilet. There're only 1 toilet and 1 shower upstair and 2 small kitchens. It was freezing cold in the bathroom as... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Owners: What's your side of the story?
If you own or manage Chillawhile Backpackers Art Gallery, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.
Manage your listing

Been to Chillawhile Backpackers Art Gallery? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Chillawhile Backpackers Art Gallery

Address: 1 Frome St, Oamaru 9400, New Zealand
Location: New Zealand > South Island > Otago Region > Oamaru
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Agoda, Booking.com, HostelWorld, Priceline, BookingOdigeoWL and HostelBookers so you can book your Chillawhile Backpackers Art Gallery reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.

32 photos of this hotel

Traveler photos: See what travelers like you saw

All traveler photos (6)
Dining (2)
Other (4)

Management photos: Courtesy of the property manager

All management photos (27)
Hotel & grounds (11)
Family/play areas (1)
Room/suite (5)
Dining (3)
Other (7)
Hotels you might also like...
Check In Check Out
Price Your Stay
Select tags to find the hotel that's right for you.
hotels in Oamaru with
any amenities


Free Parking
Official Description (provided by the hotel)
Chill-A-While featured on Getaway Australia as Oamaru's creative destination for artists and musicians and is highly recommended by Lonely Planet.Lonely Planet reviewUnleash your creative spirit at this funky and colourful hostel in a restored two-story Victorian residence. Guests are encouraged to draw and paint, or create sweet soul music on the hostel's guitars, pianos, didgeridoo and African drums. With all that creative energy, there's definitely a laid back social vibe, and Chillawhile is one of NZ's best and most unique hostels.Off street parking, secured bike shelter and bike hire, ZENBU WiFi. Age Restricted Dorms, Heated Rooms, Atomic Shuttle Bus Service drop off and pick up at Chillawhile.Official Check in 4pm-9pm, Late check out 11.30am - late self check ins are possible for our private rooms advance payment is required, free luggage storage for guests arriving early by bus.Age restricted dormitory rooms 18 years to 38 yearsHostel age restricted 50 years and underNo age restrictions for families staying in our family room ... more   less 
Number of rooms

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Chillawhile Backpackers Art Gallery staff and past guests.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Can tickets for local attractions be purchased at the front desk?
  • Do you have to pay extra for a mini-fridge?
  • At what time does the pool open each day?

See which rooms travelers prefer