Having stayed in hostels all across Australia, I’ve encountered some exceptional accommodation options. If you’re traveling around down under and aren’t sure where to stay, this list will give you some direction. Here are ten of the best hostels in Australia!
10) Southern Cross Backpackers, Town of 1770/Agnes Water, QLD
Though a bit far out of the way, Southern Cross is a funky hostel with cabins instead of rooms. It’s large, licensed and there’s plenty of space to hang by the pool or in the open-air lounge. More info –>
9) The Ritz for Backpackers, St Kilda, VIC
Don’t let the name throw you as this backpackers is nothing close to luxury. It’s comfortable, though, and it feels like home. Many of the rooms are split, so the eight-bed dorms felt more like four-bed dorms and there’s a comfy TV room tucked away in the corner with plenty of movies available on their hard drive. It’s a very social hostel and there’s always an easy way to meet people, whether it’s in the kitchen, the courtyard or on wine-and-cheese night. The Ritz staff organize events and activities on most nights so there’s always something to do. It’s a gateway into all the glory that is St. Kilda. More info –>
8) Melaleuca on Mitchell, Darwin, NT
There are hostels everywhere in Darwin, many sitting next to or across the street from each other. Darwin is a happening town and Melaleuca fits right in. The rooms aren’t huge but you won’t be spending much time in them. The common area sits outside next to the pool and bar where most people will be playing and relaxing on sunny days (there are lots of those in Darwin!). Darwin, as a whole, is a bit dodgy at times so their night-time security guards are a nice relief. If you’re passing through Darwin, this is where all the cool kids go! More info –>
7) Brisbane City YHA, Brisbane, QLD
I’ve heard that Cool Bananas and Tin Billy’s are better, but the YHA still managed to make the list of best hostels in Australia. This hostel, inside the mansion-esque security gates, operates like a resort. The rooms weren’t anything fancy and they were laid out more like a hotel than a hostel, but the common areas and facilities were very retro, well-maintained and absolutely top-shelf. This hostel boasts a sundeck on the roof with an adjacent swimming pool as well as tables galore to enjoy a book or a few beers with a few new mates that you met making noodles with in the massive, stainless steel kitchen. The TV room is more reminiscent of a cinema and there is a fantastic bar downstairs with indoor and outdoor seating. Definitely a cool place to be. More info –>
6) Islander Backpackers Resort, Surfer’s Paradise, QLD
I can’t remember exactly how I found this place, but I’m glad I did; it’s a hotel with backpacker accommodation! The lounge area is comfortable and sits adjacent to the kitchen and huge balcony/BBQ area. Surfer’s Paradise is another one of Australia’s party towns and the other hostels certainly cater to it. The Islander was quieter, but it surely wasn’t quiet (that’s a good thing!). All the hotel’s facilities are available to the backpackers as well (i.e. the pool) and it’s only a few minutes walk from the beach. More info –>
5) Gilligans, Cairns, QLD
Ah, Gilligans. The infamous Gilligans. Cairns, the party capital of Australia, would not be the party capital without good ol’ Gilly’s. It’s not incredibly cheap and, if you’re looking to get to sleep before 5am, I wouldn’t recommend staying here. But, if you’re after a good time in the sun or an even better time in the evening/night/early morning, this is where you’ll want to be. The rooms are in excellent shape (good work, housekeeping) and the rest of the facilities are on par as well. The lagoon is a nice addition, especially considering it’s location–directly attached to the bar. It’s not just a hostel bar, either. Locals and backpackers alike frequent this bar on a regular basis for a glimpse of well-known artists, jelly wrestling or some wet t-shirt contests. If you’re in Cairns for a few days, this is where you’ll want to be. If you’re staying a little longer, you’ll probably want to move. More info –>
4) Airlie Waterfront, Airlie Beach, QLD
Many people visiting Airlie Beach choose to stay at Magnums for the almost unbelievably low price and its reputation as the party hostel in town. As far as I can tell, Airlie is only good for two things: providing a jump-off point for trips to the Whitsunday Islands and partying your ass off. Many people are only in town for a night or two before or after their trip to the Whitsundays so, when there’s nothing else to do, go party. Magnums is cheap, but remember: you get what you pay for. At only a dollar or two above the average rate, Airlie Waterfront is well worth it. Almost a year and a half and probably a hundred hostels later, I can still safely say have never seen a backpackers with rooms as clean as these. It’s definitely one of the best hostels in Australia. The rooms open onto a common balcony looking over the treetops, set directly against the ocean. A beautiful room with a gorgeous view. More info –>
3) Base, Magnetic Island, QLD
OK, I’ve never been a fan of the Base hostels, but this is the exception. It’s unlike any of the others you’ll encounter (and it’s one of only two backpackers located on the magnificent Magnetic Island). This Base reminded me of a summer camp I once visited–cabins scattered throughout the trees fringing the beach. The beachfront deck, engulfed by the sun, is connected directly to the onsite bar/restaurant where, on any given night, there is always a party. And once a month this place packs the house for their notorious full-moon party. This Base was host to one of my best stays in Australia. More info –>
2) Scotty’s Beach House, Mission Beach, QLD
A great place to do nothing! Scotty’s Beach House is a hostel that makes you feel like you’re at home. It’s chilled out, laid back and right across from the beach (where the skydivers land)! The staff here were some of the friendliest and most accommodating I’ve ever met. Though I was only there for a few days, I was made to feel like a part of the family. The pool is the centerpiece of the common area surrounded by chairs and picnic tables. You’ll find people playing hackey-sack on the lawn or fire-twirling next to the pool. Ask anybody who’s stayed at Scotty’s and they’ll tell you–it rocks! More info –>
1) Yamba YHA, Yamba, NSW
Yamba is a small beach town that you probably haven’t heard of. It is along the east coast backpacker route and most people don’t think to stop here. I was only meant to stay here for two nights but I ended up staying for more than a week! The hostel is clean, sizable and run by the friendliest family I’ve ever met. Within two minutes of walking into the reception area/bar and restaurant, I was having a casual chat with the owner and then dinner and beers with the whole family! It simply would not be the same if it weren’t for the Henwoods. There’s an 8am surfing trip every morning and make sure you go on Shane’s Ten-Buck Tour. I have one piece of advice for your trip along the east coast of Australia: stop in Yamba, and stay here! I not only rate this as one of the best hostels in Australia, but one of the best I’ve ever stayed in! More info –>
Want to read more about traveling in Australia? You should check out these other articles!
- Two Weeks in Awe-Inspiring Tasmania
- Way Outback in Kakadu National Park!
- The Best Places to Go Scuba Diving on the Great Barrier Reef
- How to Eat on a Budget
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