Backpacker hostels in Australia
If you’re visiting Oz, you’re going to need somewhere to stay. For many backpackers, that means a backpacking hostel. Essentially, a hostel is a budget hotel which offers cheap, shared accommodation. Most hostels sleep eight or so to a room and include a communal kitchen and bathroom facilities. Most will have Wi-Fi, some serve meals while others have additional facilities such as a small shop or laundry facilities. Hostels vary in size, price and facilities, depending on location and demand. Here we consider the various types of hostels on offer.
Hostels in locations such as Sydney, Melbourne and Perth can provide an exceptional living experience, but that comes at a price. Sydney Harbour YHA, for example, benefits from stunning rooftop views across the harbour, as well as comfortable, clean accommodation. Prices start at around £35 per person. 790 George, a privately owned backpacker hostel, which is conveniently located within walking distance of most of Sydney’s major attractions, costs around £30 per person. Similar hostels are available in Australia’s other cities.
It’s possible to find hostels in more remote areas, but obviously, there needs to be a certain employment and population base in the location in order to make a hostel viable. In very remote locations, you will probably need to consider other options. These may include staying where you’re working (for example on a ranch or farm), renting a room for the night in a private residence, an Airbnb booking (which can work out quite economically if you share with one or more friends) or bush camping (there are numerous bush camping sites). Hostel prices in remote areas are often comparable with city prices and include similar facilities.
Why not stay at an eco-hostel?
If you’re passionate about the environment, it’s possible to extend this concern to the type of accommodation you select. Australia is home to several “eco-hostels” which are constructed and organised in such a way that they minimise environmental impact and keep carbon footprints as small as possible. Employing technologies such as solar power, compost toilets and recycled materials, they offer all the benefits of a conventional hostel, but with added eco-friendliness. For example, take a look at the Grampians Eco YHA. Located on the outskirts of the Grampian National Park, it offers excellent accommodation at the same time as incorporating eco-technologies such as wastewater management, reverse cycle fans, rainwater collection, sustainable wood burners and solar hot water.
Outback hostels do exist but are often linked to employment opportunities. This means that in some cases they may lack some of the party atmosphere and leisure facilities which are found in the coastal hostels. Working hostels typically offer basic accommodation and meals. They are usually found near areas of agricultural employment, for example, vineyards or fruit-picking areas. Although perhaps lacking the complementary pamper packages and other freebies which characterise more sophisticated accommodation, an outback hostel will still have everything needed for a comfortable stay.
For great beachside accommodation, choices such as Wake Up! in Byron Bay or Magnetic Island can provide the perfect backpacking experience. Wake Up! offers facilities which include the use of free surfboards and paddleboards to take advantage of the waves on nearby Belongil Beach. Other attractions include free yoga classes, free live music and the opportunity to take advantage of the services of a personal trainer. The Magnetic Island hostel (Basepackers), located at Nelly Bay, consists of a series of cabins, set in idyllic surroundings. Sun terraces and a pool have stunning views out across the Bay. Pamper packs are available to visitors on arrival, adding to the dreamy ambience of this gem of a hostel.
Although backpacking hostels in Australia still aren’t dirt cheap, they are still one of the cheapest forms of accommodation you will find in the country. Backpacker Tours Australia can help you find plenty of hostel booking sites to reserve your accommodation. Easily booked online, backpacking hostels are usually clean, safe and comfortable. In addition, they are an excellent place to meet fellow travellers and act as an excellent information exchange: if you want to know about local employment opportunities or where the cheapest places are to eat or party in the local area, someone at your backpackers’ hostel is likely to know the answer!