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Are you wondering how to find the best hostels in Australia? Or maybe you want to find cheap travel accommodation but aren’t sure what Australian hostels are like, or if they’re really the right choice for you.

I’ve travelled almost the whole coastline of Australia on multiple trips! Some trips were in my early twenties, when I wanted to party, and others were in my mid-thirties, when I wanted to stay somewhere quieter.

While I was a bit sceptical about hostels in Australia at first, I actually found that most hostels are clean, safe and ideal for making friends. Some hostels are even child friendly and have family rooms as well as dorms and private doubles.

Whether you want a party hostel or somewhere more homely, this blog post will help you find the right Australian hostel for you. I’ve also answered 10 FAQs at the bottom, so you know the protocol and what to expect. Read on to find out more!

Best Hostels in Australia By City

To find hostels in a specific city, just click on the links below. If you want to find out what Australian hostels are like and typical protocol, skip down to my hostels FAQ section at the bottom.

Price Legend

Prices in AUD per person per night for the cheapest dorm available. Star ratings (where given) are from

  • $ = under $30
  • $$ = $30-$40
  • $$$ = over $40

Best Hostels in Sydney & New South Wales

New South Wales has a huge choice of backpacker accommodation, especially as much of east coast Australia is fairly developed. If you’re planning a road trip through NSW, my Sydney to Brisbane drive itinerary will help plan your trip. If you’re just visiting Sydney, here are my top 15 things to do in Sydney.

Here are my top recommendations for hostels in Sydney, as well as across the New South Wales coastline.

1. Wake Up! Sydney Central (Sydney CBD – 5*)

If you want to stay right in the city, Wake Up! Sydney Central is a popular 5* hostel in Sydney CBD.

Wake Up hostel is situated opposite Central Station in Sydney city centre, so it’s really convenient. You can catch a train to the airport or Circular Quay to see the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. A quick walk up Pitt St takes you to the main shops, bars and restaurants.

I spent Christmas and New year here in my early twenties during my working holiday and loved it. Wake Up is a very modern and sleek-looking hostel and has a bar and nightclub downstairs, so it’s great if you want to party.

Modern reception area at Wake Up hostel in Sydney CBD.
Reception at Wake Up! Sydney Central

Wake Up! Sydney Central Overview

  • $$
  • Best for social 20-somethings;
  • City centre location opposite Central Station;
  • On-site bar/nightclub, secure lockers, airport shuttle, bedside lamps and power points;
  • Dorms, private rooms and larger private rooms available.

*Book your stay at Wake Up Sydney Central

2. Sydney Harbour YHA (The Rocks, Sydney – 5*)

If you prefer to be closer to the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, Sydney Harbour YHA is less than a 20-minute walk away. It’s the only hostel in The Rocks, Sydney’s historic harbourside area.

There’s not only a rooftop terrace with amazing views across the water, but colourful communal areas too. I’m a big fan of YHAs in General, as the standards are usually great. You can also walk to Wynyard Station from this hostel in ten minutes.

Sydney Harbour and Opera House viewed from the rooftop terrace at Sydney Harbour YHA.
The rooftop terrace at Sydney Harbour YHA

Sydney Harbour YHA Overview

  • $$
  • Best for families, singles and couples of all ages;
  • City location at The Rocks, close to heritage buildings, cafes, bars and boutique shops;
  • On-site cafe & mini-mart, kids’ games, roof terrace with harbour views, private lockers, power points near beds, organised activities;
  • Dorms, private rooms and family rooms available.

*Book your stay at Sydney Harbour YHA

3. Sydney Pittwater Eco YHA (Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park – 3*)

Yes, another YHA has made it onto my list of best hostels in Australia! This one is in a remote location rather than being in the city, and it’s an area that I really love.

For a rural retreat without leaving Sydney, try the Eco YHA at Pittwater, up in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. Situated in the hills of Morning Bay, this amazing hostel is only accessible by ferry from Church Point so really off the beaten track.

You can head out on bush walks, hire kayaks or just chill out and enjoy the beautiful views at the hostel, which was built back in the 1920s. You can even hire the whole hostel out for a private function! Pittwater is one of the most beautiful locations in Sydney, in my opinion!

Gorgeous Pittwater views near Sydney Pittwater YHA.
Looking across Pittwater from Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park

Sydney Pittwater Eco YHA Overview

  • $$$
  • Best for nature lovers;
  • Rural, isolated setting reached by ferry only;
  • Kayaks, board games and musical instruments available (no internet);
  • Dorms, private rooms and family rooms available.

*Book your stay at Sydney Pittwater Eco YHA

4. Newcastle Beach YHA (Newcastle CBD – 4*)

With wood panelling and grand fireplaces, Newcastle Beach YHA has retained its heritage charm whilst offering a games room, large shared kitchen and barbecue facilities.

The hostel’s location is ideal, with Newcastle Beach across the road, easy access to shops and cafes, and Hamilton Train Station and the Greyhound bus station just a short walk away. This is a top pick based on location and style.

Communal lounge room at Newcastle Beach YHA in Australia, featuring wooden-panelled walls and leather sofas.
Large communal area at Newcastle Beach YHA

Newcastle Beach YHA Overview

  • $$
  • Best for singles, couples and families looking for a convenient location;
  • Located in Newcastle CBD opposite Newcastle Beach;
  • Dorms, private rooms and family rooms available.

*Book your stay at Newcastle Beach YHA

5. Samurai Beach Bungalows YHA (Port Stephens – 3*)

I stayed at these Balinese-style bungalows set in the rainforest in Port Stephens in 2019 and loved how unique they are. There’s free Wi-Fi, a movie room and even a swimming pool.

You’ll need to be a nature lover, as the hostel kitchen and bathroom cubicles are outdoors, but the setting is so beautiful it makes for a really relaxing stay.

Beautiful garden at Balinese-style YHA in Port Stephens - one of the best hostels in Australia.
Bungalow tucked behind the trees at Samurai Beach Bungalows

Samurai Beach Bungalows YHA Overview

  • $$
  • Best for: singles & couples who love nature;
  • Rainforest setting a short drive from town;
  • Dorms, doubles and family bungalows available.

*Book your stay at Samurai Beach Bungalows YHA

6. Arts Factory Lodge (Byron Bay – 3.5*)

The Arts Factory Lodge is a really unique style of accommodation in Australia. The huge, 5-acre resort, surrounded by lush rainforest, offers dorms, tee-pees, cabins and a campsite known as The Jungle!

The Arts Factory Lodge has an onsite pool, volleyball court, cafe, cinema and regular entertainment and classes to join. If you like meeting new people and you’re a hippy at heart, it might be the place for you!

It was even featured in The Inbetweeners 2 movie. To learn more, read my review of Arts Factory Lodge.

Swimming pool and dorm rooms at Arts Factory Lodge, a backpacker resort in Byron Bay.
Pool & dorms at Arts Factory Lodge, Byron Bay

Arts Factory Lodge Overview

  • $
  • Best for hippy-types and nature lovers who want to socialise somewhere chilled;
  • Rural setting a 10-minute walk from town;
  • On-site cafe, cinema, spa, volleyball court, outdoor pool and organised activities and classes;
  • Dorms, teepees, camping sites and private rooms available.

*Book your stay at Arts Factory Lodge

Best Hostels in Melbourne & Victoria

If you’re planning a trip to Victoria, here are my top things to do in Melbourne. For a road trip across Victoria’s stunning coastline, use my Melbourne to Sydney drive itinerary to plan your trip. Here’s my pick of the best hostels in Melbourne and Victoria.

7. The Nunnery Accommodation (Fitzroy, Melbourne)

I stayed at this charming refurbished nunnery in funky Fitzroy a few years ago and thought it was one of the most unique hostels I’ve ever seen!

The location is amazing, with street art, quirky bars and cafes nearby, and the hostel itself has free bikes and Wi-Fi, a terrace and a paid airport shuttle service.

Shared lounge room at The Nunnery Accommodation, Melbourne.
Communal area at The Nunnery in Melbourne

The Nunnery Accommodation Overview

  • $$
  • Best for art-loving singles & couples;
  • Located in funky Fitzroy close to cafes, bars and restaurants;
  • Dorms and private rooms (including budget singles) available.

*Book your stay at The Nunnery

8. Space Hotel (Melbourne CBD – 3.5*)

This sleek, modern hostel right in the centre of Melbourne city has amazing facilities, including a fitness centre, rooftop terrace with a hot tub, cinema room and bar!

There’s also free Wi-Fi, air-con, heating, lockers and that all important plug socket near the bed. Ratings and reviews are amazing too.

City skyline viewed at night from the terrace at Space Hotel, Melbourne.
City views from the rooftop terrace at Space Hotel

Space Hotel Overview

  • $$
  • Best for singles and couples looking to explore the city;
  • CBD location close to shops, bars, restaurants & Central Station;
  • Dorms, private rooms and family rooms available.

*Book your stay at Space Hotel

9. The Island Accommodation (Phillip Island – 3*)

The Island Accommodation is by far one of the most modern and stylish hostels in Australia that I’ve stayed at. The beautiful kitchen was pristine, and the dorms were clean and tidy.

On top of that, The Island Accommodation is eco-friendly with a rooftop terrace, communal barbecue, free parking and near to a beach, bus stop, cafes and shops. I found the location to be perfect for my visit.

Modern communal kitchen at The Island Accommodation, a hostel on Phillip Island, Australia.
Beautiful kitchen at The Island Accommodation, Phillip Island

The Island Accommodation Overview

  • $$$
  • Best for nature-loving singles, couples and families;
  • Located in Newhaven, the gateway to Phillip Island;
  • Dorms, private rooms and family rooms with up to 12 beds available.

*Book your stay at The Island Accommodation

Best Hostels in Brisbane & Queensland

If you’re heading up to Queensland, here are my top 15 things to do in Brisbane and my recommended hostels in Brisbane and Queensland.

10. Bunk Brisbane (Fortitude Valley, Brisbane – 4.5*)

Located in lively Fortitude Valley, with onsite bars, beer garden and live entertainment, Bunk Brisbane is a great pick if you’re looking to party. I remember heading here for a night out when I was on my working holiday, and it was absolutely buzzing!

The decor is modern and sleek, there’s free Wi-Fi and the reviews are excellent. The prices are pretty low too.

Reception area full of backpackers at a hostel in Brisbane.
Reception area at Bunk Brisbane

Bunk Brisbane Overview

  • $
  • Best for party-loving singles & couples (children are not allowed);
  • Located in Fortitude Valley close to shops, cafes and nightlife;
  • Dorms and a choice of private rooms and apartments available.

*Book your stay at Bunk Brisbane

11. Bunk Surfers Paradise (Gold Coast – 2*)

If you want to be in the heart of the action at the Gold Coast, Bunk Surfers Paradise is only a two-minute walk from the shops, bars and cafes on Cavill Avenue. It’s also just a short walk from the beach and has its own pool and hot tub.

It’s an adult only hostel with air-con, lockers and a private bathroom with every room. A great choice for a fun weekend away. Find out more about the Gold Coast with my 3-day Gold Coast itinerary.

Pool area at a backpacker hostel in Australia.
Pool area at Bunk Surfers Paradise

Bunk Surfers Paradise Overview

  • $$$
  • Best for party-loving singles & couples (children are not allowed);
  • Located in the heart of backpacker mecca, Surfers Paradise;
  • Dorms only.

*Book your stay at Bunk Surfer’s Paradise

12. Halse Lodge (Noosa Heads, Sunshine Coast)

Just a short walk to Noosa Main Beach, shops and restaurants on Hastings Street and Noosa Heads bus interchange, Halse Lodge is a great pick if you’re planning a trip to Noosa. To find out what to do there, here’s my 3-day itinerary for Noosa.

This small, quaint hostel features a garden, balconies, shared kitchen and table tennis facilities. It would be a great choice for those looking for a cosy, leafy environment.

Lovely dorm room in an Australian backpacker hostel.
Cosy interiors at Halse Lodge

Halse Lodge Overview

  • $$
  • Best for nature-loving singles, couples or families;
  • Leafy setting close to Noosa Heads attractions;
  • Dorms, private rooms and family rooms available.

*Book your stay at Halse Lodge

13. Magnums Accommodation Airlie Beach (Airlie Beach – 5*)

This budget holiday resort for over 18s is centrally located in Airlie Beach, close to restaurants, nightlife and the lagoon. The resort has lovely, leafy surroundings as well as a volleyball court, garden with barbecues and outdoor dining area.

Only private rooms are now offered at Magnums, so it would better suit couples or groups than solo backpackers. The resort still has the facilities of a hostel though, with a large kitchen and onsite laundry, and prices still match that of a hostel if two or more of you are sharing.

Cabin in the forest at Magnums Airlie Beach hostel.
Cabins in the forest at Magnums Airlie Beach

Magnum’s Accommodation Airlie Beach Overview

  • $$
  • Best for singles, groups and couples (children are not allowed);
  • Located in Airlie Beach, gateway to the Whitsunday Islands;
  • Doubles, twins and cabins available.

*Book your stay at Magnum’s Accommodation Airlie Beach

14. Civic Guesthouse (Townsville CBD – 2*)

This small, quiet hostel in Townsville is close to both shops and beach and offers free Wi-Fi and a regular shuttle service to bus terminals and the Magnetic Island ferry.

There’s also a leafy courtyard, well-equipped kitchen and shared lounge area. This looks like a cute place to stay before heading to Maggie Island.

Casual lounge area in a backpacker hostel in Townsville.
Pleasant communal area at Civic Guesthouse

Civic Guesthouse Overview

  • $
  • Best for singles, couples and families who prefer somewhere quiet;
  • Located close to the shopping area and beach in Townsville;
  • Dorms and budget private rooms available.

*Book your stay at Civic Guesthouse

15. Bungalow Bay Koala Village (Magnetic Island)

I stayed at these cool beach-style bungalows on Magnetic Island during a holiday when I lived in the UK. The peaceful, rural setting is beautiful, and Horseshoe Bay Beach is only a few minutes’ walk away. It had such a tropical, holiday vibe!

The site has a kitchen, swimming pool, outdoor bar with free Wi-Fi and daily wildlife tours and free bird feeding. It’s a beautiful spot for nature lovers.

Wooden hut accommodation at Bungalow Bay Koala Villlage Hostel on Magnetic Island.
My bungalow at Bungalow Bay Koala Village Hostel

Bungalow Bay Koala Village Overview

  • $
  • Best for nature-loving singles, couples and families;
  • Located in Horseshoe Bay on Magnetic Island;
  • Dorms, private rooms and private bungalows with ensuites available.

*Book your stay at Bungalow Bay Koala Village

16. Gilligan’s Backpackers Hotel & Resort (Cairns CBD – 4*)

Gilligan’s is a large resort-style accommodation for backpackers in the heart of Cairns. With a large lagoon-style swimming pool and outdoor bar, it’s definitely got tropical holiday vibes!

There’s also a lounge area and kitchen on every floor as well as free Wi-Fi, air-con and ensuite bathrooms for every private room and dorm. Gilligan’s is know as an adult-only party hostel, so not for those looking for a peaceful retreat. The reviews are excellent though.

Swimming pool and outdoor bar at Gilligan's Backpacker Hotel and Resort in Cairns, Australia.
Pool and bar at Gilligan’s Resort

Gilligan’s Overview

  • $
  • Best for party-loving singles & couples (children are not allowed);
  • Located in Cairns CBD close to shops, cafes, nightlife and walking distance to Kuranda Railway Station;
  • Dorms, twins, doubles and king-sized private rooms available.

*Book your stay at Gilligan’s Backpackers Hotel & Resort

Best Hostels in Perth & Western Australia

Perth is where I began my amazing road trip from Perth to Adelaide back in 2015. Here are the best things to do in Perth, and here are my recommended backpacker hostels in Western Australia.

17. Spinners Hostel (Northbridge, Perth)

I stayed in three different hostels during my time in Perth, and Spinners topped it as my absolute favourite.

Located in Northbridge, Perth’s popular entertainment district, Spinners is an easy walk to cafes, bars, boutique shops and nightclubs. However, it’s set a few streets back from the action, meaning it’s generally quiet and pretty laidback.

The hostel has been refurbished since I stayed there, and now has charging stations by each bed, a lovely garden courtyard and free high-speed Wi-Fi.

All rooms have air-con, the bathrooms have built-in hairdryers and there’s a pool table as well as Netflix and a shared kitchen. There’s a small free carpark, although it wasn’t quite big enough for everyone when I stayed, so I had to move my car a lot and try and grab a spot when possible!

Spinners Hostel is a great option for those who want to explore city life but retreat somewhere chilled.

Backpackers in the garden courtyard at Spinners Hostel, Perth, Australia.
Garden courtyard at Spinners Hostel

Spinners Hostel Overview

  • $
  • Best for singles & couples (no children allowed);
  • Located in Northbridge close to cafes, bars & restaurants;
  • Dorms only.

*Book your stay at Spinners Hostel

18. RAC Margaret River Nature Retreat (Margaret River – 3*)

I camped at this eco-friendly holiday park on my Perth to Adelaide road trip and would highly recommend a stay. Along with camping spots there’s also dorms, safari tents, cabins and lodges sleeping up to 12 people.

The site is set in wooded surroundings in beautiful Wooditjup National Park (formerly Bramley) and has immediate access to walking tracks. There are two camp kitchens, a children’s playground, BBQs and free Wi-Fi. If you fancy a forest stay instead of the town, this holiday park is the ideal spot.

To find out more, read my review of RAC Margaret River Nature Park (formerly Wharncliffe Mill Bush Retreat).

Forest view at RAC Margaret River Nature Park accommodation.
Stunning surroundings at RAC Margaret River Nature Park

RAC Margaret River Nature Park Overview

  • $$$
  • Best for nature-loving singles, couples and families;
  • Located in Wooditjup National Park, 2km from Margaret River town centre;
  • Dorms, safari tents, private cabins & lodges available.

*Book your stay at Margaret River Nature Park

19. Beaches of Broome (Broome – 5*)

If you’re heading on a Western Australia road trip, Broome is probably high on your itinerary. This top-rated hostel in Cable Beach looks more like a luxury hotel than a backpacker resort! There’s a lovely outdoor pool, free breakfast, bar with a pool table and a DVD room.

All room have air-con and there’s even motorbike and cycle hire available. This looks like the ideal stay for those wanting stylish surroundings on a budget.

Beautiful pool area at an upmarket backpacker accommodation in Broome.
Pool area at Beaches of Broome

Beaches of Broome Overview

  • $$
  • Best for singles, couples & families;
  • Located 250m from Cable Beach, 4km from Broome Airport and a 15-minute bus ride from Chinatown;
  • Dorms, private rooms and family rooms available.

*Book your stay at Beaches of Broome

Best Hostels in Adelaide & South Australia

If you’re planning an Adelaide to Melbourne road trip like I did, check out some of these great hostels in South Australia. Choose which Adelaide attractions to see with my list of top things to do in Adelaide.

20. Adelaide Central YHA (Adelaide CBD – 4*)

This modern YHA in the heart of Adelaide city has fantastic facilities, including air-con, lockers, bedside lights and a communal lounge and kitchen.

You can easily walk to shops, restaurants and nightlife from the hostel, as well as catch a bus to the airport or railway station.

Reception area with colourful sofas at an Adelaide hostel.
Adelaide Central YHA

Adelaide Central YHA Overview

  • $$
  • Best for singles, couples and families looking for great facilities and location;
  • Centrally located in Adelaide CBD overlooking Light Square;
  • Dorms, private rooms and family rooms available.

*Book your stay at Adelaide Central YHA

21. The Old Mount Gambier Gaol (Mount Gambier – 4*)

I loved my stay at this quirky converted prison! It’s definitely one of the most unique places I’ve stayed in Australia. I was an exchange student on my first ever backpacking adventure at the time, ad staying at the old gaol was such a novelty.

The historic former gaol is walking distance or a three-minute drive from the famous Blue Lake and Mount Gambier city centre. You can choose to stay in a cell, warden’s office or self-contained cottage.

The accommodation does seem to only have private rooms now (starting from $84 for a twin), so would be better suited to backpackers travelling as a couple or group of friends than a solo traveller.

There are shared lounge areas and kitchens, so you still get the facilities of a hostel.

Old Mount Gambier Gaol accommodation viewed from outside.
Historic architecture at The Old Mount Gambier Gaol

The Old Mount Gambier Gaol Overview

  • $$$
  • Best for history-loving couples, groups or families;
  • Located walking distance from Mount Gambier city centre ;
  • Twins, double rooms and family rooms available.

*Book your stay at The Old Mount Gambier Gaol

Best Hostels in Canberra, ACT

You’ll find plenty of things to do in Canberra, Australia’s capital city, including art galleries, museums and hikes. Here’s my top accommodation choice for budget travellers in Canberra, ACT.

22. Canberra City YHA, Canberra

I was very surprised to find an indoor pool, sauna and spa when I stayed at this modern YHA in Canberra. I also seemed to be the only person using it!

The dorm rooms are modern with desks, air-con and large lockers, the kitchen is cleaned regularly and well equipped, and there’s also free Wi-Fi.

The hostel is right in the centre of Canberra, just a ten-minute walk to Lake Burley Griffin. You can also catch the bus to the train station or walk to the coach terminal in five minutes.

Canberra City YHA is a great option for convenience and top facilities at a budget price.

Communal indoor pool and spa at Canberra YHA.
Pool & spa at Canberra City YHA

Canberra City YHA Overview

  • $$$
  • Best for singles, couples & families keen to explore the city;
  • Located in Canberra CBD close to shops, restaurants and cultural attractions;
  • Dorms, private rooms and family rooms available.

*Book your stay at Canberra City YHA

Best Hostels in Hobart & Tasmania

I chose to camp on my 3-week road trip in Tasmania, but if you prefer a roof over your head at budget prices, here are some of your best choices.

23. Pod Inn (Launceston, Tasmania)

The futuristic, self-contained sleeping pods at this hostel in Launceston not only look like they could be on a spaceship, but offer privacy and social distancing at dorm-bed prices. Each pod has a privacy blind or door, as well as a reading light, mirror, USB charging points, fan ventilation and a locker.

The accommodation features a kitchenette and shared lounge area as well as laundry facilities. It’s also less than a five-minute walk to restaurants, take aways, a cinema and shopping mall.

Private pod accommodation at the Pod Inn, Tasmania.

Pod Inn Overview

  • $$$
  • Best for singles, couples or groups (children under 16 are not allowed);
  • Located in Launceston CBD;
  • Dorms, private rooms and family rooms available.

*Book your stay at Pod Inn

24. Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse (Battery Point, Hobart, Tasmania)

This cute-as-a-button hostel inside a renovated 19th Century mansion has stylish rooms at very reasonable prices. The accommodation offers a kitchen, lounge, balcony and garden and is only a five-minute walk to waterfront cafes, bars and galleries in Salamanca.

If you’re looking to stay somewhere beautiful with easy access to city attractions, Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse is a great option.

Gorgeous light and airy dorm room in Tasmania.

Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse Overview

  • $$
  • Best for singles & couples (no children allowed);
  • Located in Battery Point close to Salamanca cafes, restaurants and markets;
  • Dorms and private rooms available.

*Book your stay at Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse

Best Hostels in Darwin & Northern Territory

If you’re heading up to the Northern Territory, check out my post on things to do in Darwin.

Here are some of the best hostels in popular spots, Darwin and Alice Springs.

25. Darwin Hostel (Darwin CBD – 4*)

Conveniently located in Darwin CBD, Darwin Hostel features an outdoor swimming pool (perfect for the hot and steamy climate), free private parking, a garden, barbecues and free Wi-Fi.

Every room has air-con and a terrace overlooking the pool, and there’s a shared kitchen plus evening entertainment such as pizza nights and barbecues. Darwin Hostel is an adult-only hostel that looks ideal for those wanting to socialise.

Travellers having fun in a pool at an Australian hostel.
Pool fun at Darwin Hostel!

Darwin Hostel Overview

  • $$
  • Best for sociable singles & couples (no children allowed);
  • Located in the heart of Darwin city centre;
  • Dorms and private rooms available.

*Book your stay at Darwin Hostel

26. Alice’s Secret Traveller Inn (Alice Springs – 2*)

This small, quiet hostel is a five-minute walk to the town centre and has a lovely garden, free barbecues and an outdoor swimming pool. The colourful, unique design makes it a great spot for arty types who want to retreat back to nature after a day of exploring.

Leafy tropical garden in backpacker accommodation, Alice Springs.
Pool and beautiful garden at Alice’s Secret Traveller Inn

Alice’s Secret Traveller Inn Overview

  • $
  • Best for arty singles, couples & families;
  • Located a five-minute walk from Alice Springs town centre;
  • Dorms and a choice of private rooms available.

*Book your stay at Alice’s Secret Traveller Inn

Hostels in Australia Guide & FAQs

Q1. Are there many hostels in Australia?

There are absolutely loads of backpacker hostels in Australia, since so many people travel the country every year.

As well as foreigner backpackers on working holiday visas, lots of retired Australians tour the country too. Some Australian locals stay in hostels on their holidays as well, to keep the cost down.

North Lodge hostel in Perth, Australia.
North Lodge hostel in Perth

Q2. How do I book hostels in Australia?

There are many accommodation booking sites in Australia. Use the search box below to browse accommodation on HotelsCombined, which compares prices across multiple booking agents for hostels, hotels and all kinds of other accommodation types.

I’d advise booking hostels in Australia at least a week in advance if possible, particularly if it’s peak season, the weekend or school holidays.

Q3. How much do hostels cost in Australia?

Hostels in Australia usually cost between $20 and $40 for a bunk bed in a shared dorm room. You can often book a private double room too, for between $80 and $120 per night.

Prices do vary depending on the location, season, number of people in the room and how nice the hostel is. Dorms tend to sleep 4-12 people, and you can choose either a mixed-sex or single-sex dorm.

Australian money.

If you want a private room and aren’t bothered about meeting lots of new people, it’s well worth looking on Airbnb in Australia instead of hostels. It actually worked out cheaper for two of us to share a local person’s spare room (around $60 between us) than to stay in hostel dorms.

Q4. What are dorm rooms like in Australian hostels?

Shared dorm rooms in Australian hostels nearly always have bunk beds. You either keep your backpack or suitcase on the floor, or you’ll have big lockers in the room.

If you have lockers, you can keep your valuables in there. You should have a key to your room too, so only your room mates can enter. You often need a key or code to get into the hostel at night, so strangers can’t just wander in.

A modern Australian hostel dorm at Phillip Island.
A modern Australian hostel dorm at Phillip Island

When you’re shown to your room, available beds are usually stripped down with fresh, folded sheets and a quilt on top. You just pick a bed and put the sheets on yourself. Sleeping bags are usually banned, because of the risk of spreading bedbugs.

When you check out you have to strip the bed yourself and put the sheets into a laundry basket in reception. There will be signs on the walls telling you the procedure.

It’s courteous to leave the lights off once the first person has gone to bed. I’d recommend getting your pyjamas and toothbrush etc out ready in advance so you don’t have to scramble around in your bag in the dark! And have a torch handy if you want to read.

Q5. Can you cook in hostels in Australia?

The great thing about hostels in Australia is that you can save money by preparing your own meals in the hostel kitchen.

Hostel kitchens are usually fully equipped with plates, cutlery, pots and pans etc, and always have hobs to cook on. Ovens are less common, but you do sometimes get them.

Smaller hostels usually have a couple of standard fridge-freezers like you’d have in your own home, but larger hostels have rows of huge fridges with glass doors.

The kitchen at Canberra City YHA.
The kitchen at Canberra City YHA

The fridges can get very full, so it’s best to keep your food inside bags and label them with your name, check-out date and room number so that the cleaners don’t throw anything away. There should also be shelves for your dry food, which you should also label.

There’ll be tables and chairs to eat at, and it’s a great place to meet other travellers and get chatting. Oh, you’ll also need to wash, dry and put away what you’ve used afterwards! Washing up liquid, cloths and tea towels are provided.

Q6. What are hostel bathrooms like?

Bathrooms vary greatly from hostel to hostel. En suites are rare but you do occasionally get them. More usual are separate communal male and female bathrooms. with a row of toilets and shower cubicles.

In smaller backpacker hostels you may have individual bathrooms containing a toilet and shower, like you’d get in a house. You always need to bring your own towel and toiletries.

Communal bathroom at an Australian hostel.

Q7. Do Australian hostels have communal areas to socialise in?

Hostels in Australia nearly always have communal areas, so you can make friends easily and hang out somewhere other than your room.

TV rooms in hostels are common, and there’s always a dining area too. If you’re up in Queensland you may even have a swimming pool!

Communal area at Katoomba Mountain Lodge hostel in the Blue Mountains, Australia.
Communal area at Katoomba Mountain Lodge in the Blue Mountains

Q8. How do I make friends in a hostel?

To make friends in a hostel, firstly remember that everyone is in the same situation as you. The majority of backpackers are travelling alone and eager to meet new people. Even if it looks like people are in a big group and know each other well, they’ve probably only just met each other.

Start by saying hi to the people in your dorm, and ask their name and where they come from. Kitchens and TV rooms are also a great place to get chatting to people.

A group of backpackers smiling at a camping ground in Byron Bay, Australia.
Making friends at the Arts Factory Lodge hostel and campground, Byron Bay

I would highly recommend hostels as a way to make friends if you’re travelling alone; it can be quite difficult otherwise. You’ll meet people from all over the world and some of them you’ll stay friends with for life. They’re also great places to find buddies for road trips you want to go on.

Q9. Can I stay in hostels in Australia if I’m over 30?

There are usually no age restrictions in Australian hostels (although some don’t allow children). It’s surprisingly common to see older couples, families and even pensioners staying in hostels in Australia.

I’m in my thirties, and at some hostels I’ve been one of the youngest! You’ll generally get younger people staying in party hostels that are near nightlife or above bars. But smaller, quieter hostels, especially those in small towns, have a wider range of ages.

Peaceful Aussieway Backpackers, Brisbane, in an old heritage house.
Peaceful Aussieway Backpackers, Brisbane

Q10. What other cheap accommodation options does Australia have?

Hostels aren’t your only cheap accommodation option in Australia. For example, Airbnb can be a great budget choice for singles or couples; I often book someone’s spare room if I’m travelling solo and want a private room.

Learn about your accommodation options in my list of 10 types of cheap accommodation in Australia.

House Sitting/Pet Sitting

My other top choice for cheap travel accommodation in Australia is house sitting, which is when you stay in someone’s home for free while they’re on holiday in return for looking after their pets.

I’ve saved over $70k in rent so far by house sitting in Australia, and get paid to live in some beautiful properties!

Learn more about house sitting and how to get started in my very thorough house sitting guide.

To get started with house sitting, click through to my recommended house-sitting websites below.

Beautiful view across Pittwater from a luxury house sit in Clareville, Sydney.
One of my luxury house sits in Sydney!

Hopefully that has answered all your questions about staying in backpacker hostels and helped you to find some of the best backpackers in Australia for your trip.

I’d recommend hostels for both saving money and making friends. If you’re nervous about travelling alone, read my inspiring blog post on why you should travel solo.

Happy travels!

Lisa Bull
Written by Lisa Bull

Lisa Bull, founder of Dreaming of Down Under, has been living in Australia as a British expat since 2015. After travelling to every state and territory in Australia and living in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, Lisa knows from first-hand experience the best destinations to visit in Australia and the best budget travel tips. Her guides on this blog have been read by over 700k readers and helped thousands of people achieve their dream of living in or travelling Australia.