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Are you looking for the best backpacker 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 Australia multiple times, both in my early twenties, when I wanted to party, and in my mid-thirties, when I wanted to stay somewhere quieter. And while I was a bit sceptical about hostels in Australia at first, I’ve always found that most are clean, safe and ideal for making friends. Some of them are even child friendly and have family rooms as well as dorms and private doubles.

So, whether you want a party hostel or somewhere more homely, this blog post will help you find the right Australian hostel for you. As well as my list of best hostels in Australia, I’ve 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 the best hostels in Australia for a specific city, just click on the links below. If you want to find out what Australian hostels are like and typical protocol, skip to my hostels FAQ section at the bottom.

Sydney, NSW

Newcastle, NSW

Port Stephens, NSW

Byron Bay, NSW

Melbourne, VIC

Phillip Island VIC

Brisbane, QLD

Gold Coast, QLD

Noosa, QLD

Airlie Beach, QLD

Townsville, QLD

Magnetic Island, QLD

Cairns, QLD

Perth, WA

Margaret River, WA

Broome, WA

Adelaide, SA

Mount Gambier, SA

Canberra, ACT

Launceston, TAS

Hobart, TAS

Darwin, NT

Alice Springs, NT



Price Legend

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

$ = 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. It’s right opposite Central Station, where you can catch a train to the airport or up to Circular Quay to see the Opera House and 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 not only a very modern and sleek-looking hostel, but there’s 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! 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.

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 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 certainly a 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.

There’s 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 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.

A guide to staying in hostels in Australia. Includes typical prices and facilities, how to book Australian hostels and alternative cheap accommodation in Australia for backpackers and older travellers.
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 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 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.

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.

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.

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 on a holiday years ago. The peaceful, rural setting is beautiful, and Horseshoe Bay Beach is only a few minutes’ walk away.

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.

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 en suites 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 en suite 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 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. 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).

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.

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 & SA

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.

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 stayed at this converted prison many years ago, when I was a exchange student on my first backpacking adventure, and it’s definitely one of the most unique places I’ve stayed in Australia. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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, I’ve picked out 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.

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.

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

If you haven’t stayed in hostels in Australia before and want to know what they’re like, I’ve covered everything you need to know below. Just click on a question to jump straight to the answer.

Q1. Are there many hostels in Australia?

Q2. How do I book hostels?

Q3. How much do hostels cost in Australia?

Q4. What are hostel dorms like?

Q5. Can you cook in hostels?

Q6. What are hostel bathrooms like?

Q7. Do Australian hostels have communal areas?

Q8. How do I make friends in a hostel?

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

Q10. What other cheap accommodation options does Australia have?

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.

A guide to staying in hostels in Australia. Includes typical prices and facilities, how to book Australian hostels and alternative cheap accommodation in Australia for backpackers and older travellers.
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 both hostels and hotels. Alternatively, Hostelworld has a wide choice of hostels too.

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.

A guide to staying in hostels in Australia. Includes typical prices and facilities, how to book Australian hostels and alternative cheap accommodation in Australia for backpackers and older travellers.

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 guide to staying in hostels in Australia. Includes typical prices and facilities, how to book Australian hostels and alternative cheap accommodation in Australia for backpackers and older travellers.
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 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.

A guide to staying in hostels in Australia. Includes typical prices and facilities, how to book Australian hostels and alternative cheap accommodation in Australia for backpackers and older travellers.

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!

A guide to staying in hostels in Australia. Includes typical prices and facilities, how to book Australian hostels and alternative cheap accommodation in Australia for backpackers and older travellers.
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 guide to staying in hostels in Australia. Includes typical prices and facilities, how to book Australian hostels and alternative cheap accommodation in Australia for backpackers and older travellers.
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’s 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.

A guide to staying in hostels in Australia. Includes typical prices and facilities, how to book Australian hostels and alternative cheap accommodation in Australia for backpackers and older travellers.
Peaceful Aussieway Backpackers, Brisbane

Q10. What other cheap accommodation options does Australia have?

Hostels aren’t your only cheap accommodation option in Australia. I’ve written the following blog post covering your alternatives:

10 Types of Cheap Accommodation in Australia

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.

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

A guide to staying in hostels in Australia. Includes typical prices and facilities, how to book Australian hostels and alternative cheap accommodation in Australia for backpackers and older travellers.
One of my luxury house sits in Sydney!

I house sat in lots of lovely homes for free during my Australian road trips. House sitters are so in demand in Australia that I continued doing it in Sydney for over three years after I moved here, saving over $50k in rent! Here are my recommended house-sitting websites:

Join Aussie House Sitters, Australia’s biggest house-sitting website.

Join Trusted House Sitters, one of the top websites for worldwide house sitting.


Hopefully that has answered all your questions about staying in backpacker hostels and helped you to find some of the best hostels in Australia for your trip. I’d thoroughly recommend hostels for both saving money and making friends. If you’re nervous about travelling alone, have a read of the blog post below.

The Benefits of Solo Travel

Happy travels everyone!