Somehow, terrible hostels manage to stay in business charging the same rates as the best operations, often in locations right next to them. Perhaps they manage to stay in business because inexperienced travelers often optimistically make reservations online without ever bothering to ask around or read up reviews. It isn’t until they arrive at these terrible hostels that they realize they’ve made a mistake. You mustn’t let this happen to you – Australia has a great supply of excellent hostels that are great value and also fun.
1. Base hostels
Base is the chain of hostels with about two dozen properties across Australia and New Zealand. They are in all the important cities and a number of smaller destinations. If base has a property where you’re going, you owe it to yourself to check it out. These are useful, happening hostels where you’re guaranteed to find fun fellow travelers and lots to do.
2. The Wake-up! hostel in Sydney
Wake-up! isn’t unlike Base hostels, except for the fact that it is trendier and larger. With eight floors of rooms and dorms, it can be easy to feel cut off from the action in this hostel, though. You may see no one unless you go down to one of the common areas. Once you get to the ever active bar or other common areas, you’ll have no trouble having fun and meeting people. The rooms and other facilities are excellent too – quality beds and great showers are a given here.
3. Surf ‘n’ Sun in Gold Coast
Surf ‘n’ Sun is an excellent hostel right on the beach in Gold Coast. The property used to be a motel. The owners, old backpackers themselves, converted it into a large, clean and well-equipped hostel. The staff is friendly and the hostel often holds barbecues and other well-planned group events to get everyone together. These can help guests make friends all around.
4. The Witch’s Hat in Perth
The Witch’s Hat is a party hostel that occupies an old Dutch style wooden construction. The curious name comes from a tall spire in one part of the property that resembles a witch’s hat. The hostel’s partying credentials come from its location – in Northbridge, Perth’s party neighborhood. The hostel has a great kitchen, helpful and knowledgeable staff, congenial communal areas and comfortable rooms.
5. The Kimberly Klub in Broome
The Kimberly Klub has enough amenities that it could easily compete and win an award as an excellent hotel. The fact that it’s a hostel with a friendly crowd makes it even better. The hostel has a large but cozy pool, a great communal kitchen and hammocks everywhere outside. You even get a shuttle bus right outside the hostel to go to Cable Beach. Since the hostel is large, it never feels crowded, even in peak season.
6. Backpack Oz in Adelaide
Backpack Oz is cheap ($27 to $90 a night with free breakfast included) and easily among the best hostels in Adelaide. The location is unbeatable, too – it’s close to Victoria Square. If you don’t feel like cooking yourself in the common kitchen, the bar and restaurant offer cheap meals. Finally, the hostel offers an amenity that many higher-category hotels don’t – free Wi-Fi.
7. Banana Benders in Brisbane
Brisbane’s Banana Benders is famous for its character and its great party atmosphere. It’s better than backpack Oz in at least one way – not only do you get free Wi-Fi, you get free computer access too. The hostel has a great location near the bus station and is affordable – just $22 for a bed in a dorm with four beds.
8. Scotty’s Beach House in Mission Beach
Scotty’s Beach House is a family-run hostel that’s on a clean, wide-open beach with a bar and restaurant right on the sands. The dorms have four beds each and come with excellent air conditioning. You get free Wi-Fi and hairdryers, too.
9. Cool Bananas, Agnes Water
Cool Bananas has something most other hostels don’t – while it is licensed to sell alcohol, the management looks the other way when you bring your own from outside. If you’re interested in drinking a lot on your holiday for as little money as possible, you should consider Cool Bananas.
10. PK’s Jungle Village in Cape Tribulation
At many hostels and hotels, you only get the opportunity to mingle with fellow travelers. At PK’s Jungle Village, though, the locals consider the place a great hang out. You get to have fun this way. PK’s Jungle Village is set in the beautiful rainforest. Even the bathrooms are set out in the forest for a true Jungle Book-like experience. The hostel offers excellent camping facilities too.
Australia’s has plenty of other excellent hostels too. If you find yourself in Cairns, the Calypso has great food and helpful staff. Magnetic Island has an excellent Base hostel with a spectacular pool. If you’re heading to Australia, you should try one of these hostels even if you can afford a proper hotel. A proper hotel wouldn’t give you a chance to meet crowds of young, energetic people from all over the world.