Hostelling International Australia

By Hostelling International

The Best Down-Under Adventures

There’s plenty that Hostelling International likes about Australia, so we’ve put together some of our favourite experiences to get you started on your own down-under adventure.

Canadian winter in Australia

With young Australians leaving the country in droves every November for the Canadian ski hills, there are plenty of spots left on the beach for you this winter. Celebrate the festive season between the flags at Bondi Beachouse YHA or go wherever the wind takes you with a kitesurfing or windsurfing trip to Lancelin Lodge YHA on the West Australian coast.

Peanuts for a million-dollar view

For the price of a couple cocktails at a five-star hotel, you can grab a bed at the new Sydney Harbour YHA. The only hostel located in Sydney’s historic Rocks precinct, the hostel’s rooftop terrace has pinch-yourself views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Book far enough ahead and you might score your own room with a view on New Year’s Eve.

Sleeping among koalas

Australians are quick to remind you that a koala is not a bear, but who cares about the specifics when you can spend the night with one? A short ferry ride from the north Queensland coast is Magnetic Island, or Maggie as the locals prefer to call it. Stunning beaches, a national park and plenty of wildlife make Maggie the ultimate backpacker’s playground. Bungalow Bay YHA has an onsite wildlife sanctuary where guests can hand-feed rainbow lorikeets, cuddle a koala, hold a crocodile or get wrapped up by a python.

A train for a bed

Though trains no longer operate out of it, there are still daily comings and goings from platform zero at Sydney’s Central Station—it’s now a hostel! Train-spotters take note: at Railway Square YHA, you can spend the night in a converted train carriage. Literally minutes from public transport, the hostel is ideally located for experiencing the best Sydney has to offer.

Boutique on a budget

The historic township of Port Elliot, only a 90-minute drive through wine country from the South Australian city of Adelaide, is the best place for cheap luxuries.

Recharge in one of the town’s many cafés along the Strand, or keep an eye out for whales at Crow’s Nest Lookout. Or if that’s too much work, stretch out on the sand at Horseshoe Bay, only a handful of steps from the newest addition to the YHA fold, Port Elliot Beach House YHA. Its funky prints and furniture and glossy hardwood floors make guests feel right at home. Get boutique-style accommodation on a budget in this stunning historic building with 270-degree views of the coastline.

Lost in Melbourne’s laneways

Melbourne is a city you’ll want to explore. With the smell of roasting coffee beans drifting down cobbled lanes and independent storefronts tucked into alleyways, it rivals the best Europe has to offer. Quirky bars, Parisian-style cafés and offbeat boutiques line Melbourne’s hidden narrow streets. Getting off the beaten track has never been so rewarding.

Three YHA hostels in Melbourne let you explore the city from all angles. The newly opened Melbourne Central YHA is within walking distance of Melbourne’s main attractions, including Federation Square and Eureka Skydeck. Melbourne Metro YHA is on the city fringe, and moments from Queen Victoria Market. Melbourne Oasis YHA is only 10 minutes by tram from the centre of town next to beautiful Royal Park.

Sustainable adventure

How big is your footprint? Whether you’re planning to get to Australia by plane, boat, or pedal power, reduce your carbon footprint at one of YHA’s eco-hostels.

In Victoria, Apollo Bay YHA on the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians YHA located in the Grampians National Park were designed to be environmentally sustainable.

With initiatives including solar water heaters, the use of rainwater for plumbing and heating, a passive solar design, herb gardens and even chooks (Aussie for “chickens”), you can be sure that your stay is helping YHA reduce its impact on the environment and raise awareness about the benefits of low-impact travel.

For information on other green hostels around Australia, visit

Saving money on your bed so you can spend more on your trip

Hostelling International members receive at least 10 percent off the standard rate of accommodation at all YHA hostels in Australia. For information on Hostelling International hostels around the country and to book your next bargain backpacking adventure, visit Hostelling International's Youth Hostel Association.

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