If you’re planning on backpacking Australia, then chances are that you’re going to end up staying in a few hostels.
I stayed in a lot of hostels in Australia, while I was working and travelling around. Some were among the best that I’ve ever stayed in, while others left a lot to be desired.
It’s not too difficult to quantify what makes a good hostel. Great facilities, friendly staff and spacious rooms are a good start.
Other hostels go a bit further and have extra facilities such as a gym or steam room to give them that extra selling factor!
Without further ado, here’s my list of the best hostels in Australia, you should absolutely stay at during your time in the country!
Let’s get into it!
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Table of Contents
Best Hostels in Australia
Best Hostels in Australia by State
ACT – Canberra City YHA
New South Wales – Bondi Backpackers
Northern Territory – Melaleuca on Mitchell Darwin
Queensland – Dreamtime Travellers Rest Cairns
South Australia – Adelaide Central YHA
Tasmania – The Pickled Frog Hobart
Victoria – Grampians Eco YHA
Western Australia – Perth City YHA
What to consider when booking a hostel in Australia
Choosing the best hostels in Australia was not an easy job. There are a lot of hotels in the country, and it can be difficult to decide between certain ones at times.
However, there were a few other factors that were taken into consideration when compiling this list. These not only apply to Australian hostels but any hostel you stay at!
- Check out time – The standard time for check out in hostels is 10:00 am. This is almost universally true in Australia. Sometimes, you can negotiate with the hostel if you would like to check out later, but it’s best to check before you book.
- Free breakfast – This is always a factor when I book a hostel. Getting a free breakfast makes a massive difference, especially if you’re a penny-pinching backpacker. Staying at hostels that offer a free breakfast will save you a lot of money during your time in Australia. It’s always worth checking if the hostel offers this before you book.
- Free wifi – A lot of hostels in Australia charge you to use their wifi. Finding a hostel that offers free wifi can be tricky, but it will also save you a lot of money! Double-check what the deal with wifi is before you book, otherwise, you could be lumped with a large bill just to get online!
- Laundry services – It’s rare to find a hostel that offers free laundry, I’m yet to come across one. However, going to a hostel that does have laundry facilities is a huge plus and will save you trying to find somewhere to wash your clothes!
- Kitchen – A kitchen is simply a must when you are staying at a hostel. Without one, you will be paying a shedload of money to feed yourself. Virtually every hostel in Australia has a kitchen, but some are better than others.
Australia’s capital region may be an under-visited part of the country, but there are some good hostels in Canberra should you decide to visit!
Canberra City YHA
Prices: Dorms from $33.50; Privates from $112.00. | Where: Canberra
If you’re looking for a hostel in the heart of Canberra, then the Canberra City YHA is as good a place as any. It’s smack bang in the middle of the city, not far from the city’s bus terminal.
The hostel might be a bit on the expensive side, but it’s worth it considering the facilities that it has. For starters, there is an indoor pool, spa and sauna! Not to mention a rooftop BBQ area and underground bar!
As well as that you have a big kitchen and rooms that have more than enough space in them.
New South Wales
As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Australia, there is no shortage of hostels in New South Wales. If you’re going to Sydney, then you’re spoilt for choice in regard to hostels!
This can make the choice daunting. It’s hard to know where to stay in Sydney when there are over 30 hostels! Below are some of my recommendations for hostels that you should stay at in New South Wales!
Prices: Dorms from $30; Privates from $74. | Where: Sydney
Visiting Bondi Beach is a dream for most people when they visit Australia. It certainly was for me! Well, if you want to explore Bondi 24/7 then what better way than by saying at Bondi Backpackers!
You’re seconds from the beach, which you can see from the rooftop terrace. The hostel has all the facilities you’d expect, from spacious rooms to a good-sized common room.
You can rent surfboards for free from reception should you wish to check the surf at Bondi!
If you want to stay in Bondi while you’re in Sydney, then Bondi Backpackers is the place! It’s one of Australia’s best hostels!
Nomads Byron Bay
Prices: Dorms from $24; Privates from $75. | Where: Byron Bay
Byron Bay is a popular place on the Australian backpacking trail. It’s no surprise there are a number of hostels in Byron Bay to choose from.
Nomads is a great place to stay in Byron Bay as you are only two minutes away from the beach! Its location in the centre of town is great as well!
The hostel itself has great facilities, air-conditioned rooms, private rooms with en-suite bathrooms and a big sized kitchen.
The hostel also has a number of daily activities that you can take part in and get to know fellow travellers!
Sydney Central YHA
Prices: Dorms from $35; Privates from $117. | Where: Sydney
If you’re looking for a hostel in Sydney that has a great location, then Sydney Central YHA is the one for you! I stayed here for a few nights and thought it was a great hostel.
It’s close to Central Station and a stone’s throw from the centre of the city.
The facilities here are top-notch! The room I stayed in was spacious and had a big locker for my backpack. The showers and toilets were fine and the kitchen was of a decent size to cater for all the guests!
If you’re spending 3 days in Sydney, this is the ideal hostel to stay at!
Sydney Harbour YHA – The Rocks
Prices: Dorms from $39; Privates from $168. | Where: Sydney
Sydney Harbour YHA is one of the most expensive hostels in Australia, but it’s also one of the best.
Darling Harbour is a beautiful place and waking up and seeing the Harbour Bridge is something that would live long in the memory!
The facilities here are fantastic. You have a well-equipped kitchen and once your food is ready, you can take it to the rooftop dining area! You also have decent-sized rooms and helpful staff too!
It may be one of the more expensive hostels in the country, but it’s definitely one of the best!
Visiting the Northern Territory was one of the highlights of my trip to Australia. The state is full of amazing destinations such as Darwin, the Devil’s Marbles and Uluru.
There are some great hostels in the Northern Territory. I stayed in a number of places during my time here and enjoyed my stay in each of them.
Prices: Dorms from $28; Privates from $95. | Where: Alice Springs
Haven Backpackers in Alice Springs was a nice hostel that I was pleasantly surprised by. It’s not too far from the centre of town, although Alice Springs is a small place anyway so that doesn’t really matter.
One of the best features is the swimming pool, which is a necessity! Temperatures exceed 30 degrees here even in winter! It’s nice to cool in the pool on a hot day!
Inside, the hostel has all the facilities you’d expect. A great kitchen, spacious rooms which have their own toilet.
The staff were very helpful, I had a few problems with my room card, but they were always happy to help!
Melaleuca on Mitchell YHA
Prices: Dorms from $26; Privates from $89. | Where: Darwin
Melaleuca is definitely one of the best hostels in Darwin. It’s located on Mitchell Street, which is backpacker central in Darwin.
Although it’s a bit of a way down the street and away from the more rowdy areas further up the road!
I like the vibe in this place. It was a lot quieter than Youth Shack, where I had stayed for a few nights. It was more chilled which suited me perfectly.
The facilities here were great and the staff were very friendly and helpful!
One of the biggest states in Australia, you wouldn’t really be seeing Australia, if you didn’t visit Queensland!
The state was one of the best I visited, with lots of places to see. This means you can travel a bit slower along the coast if you wish.
With a lot of places to visit, means there are a lot of places to stay in Queensland. You have a wide choice of hostels in the state. Below are a few of my recommendations!
Brisbane City YHA
Prices: Dorms from $26; Privates from $76. | Where: Brisbane
This hostel in Brisbane was one of my favourites in Australia! I stayed at Brisbane City YHA for about six weeks and loved the place. It’s a very modern hostel with lots of great facilities and activities.
Primary among them is the rooftop pool, which is a great place to hang out on the numerous sunny days in Brisbane!
There is also a giant TV room and games room to relax in. The kitchen is huge and although it can get crowded, you can normally find space to cook at any time!
The Brisbane YHA isn’t far from the Southbank and although it costs a bit more than other backpackers in Brisbane, it’s worth it in my opinion!
Dreamtime Travellers Rest
Prices: Dorms from $24; Privates from $50. | Where: Cairns
Dreamtime Travellers Rest is another of my favourite backpackers in Australia that I stayed at. The rooms here were great and didn’t feel like hostel rooms at all!
They were well decorated and there were a few single beds, not just bunks, which surprised me!
The staff here were very helpful. Any query I had, they were more than happy to answer it. The reception does shut early at 8 pm and it closes for two hours during the afternoon, which is a bit annoying.
This is as bad as it gets though. The facilities here were fantastic and I would highly recommend staying here if you’re travelling to Cairns!
Flashpackers Hervey Bay
Prices: Dorms from $26; Privates from $80. | Where: Hervey Bay
Flashpackers Hervey Bay was one of my favourite hostels that I stayed at in Australia. It’s really close to the beach at Hervey Bay, which is a two-minute walk away.
The hostel has great facilities and one of the best kitchen/lounge areas I’ve seen in any hostel!
It’s spacious with lots of rooms to cook and a few sofas to relax on! You also have a pool outside should it get too hot.
Hervey Bay might not be the most popular spot on the East Coast, but this hostel is great regardless!
Surfers Paradise YHA
Prices: Dorms from $25; Privates from $68. | Where: Gold Coast
Surfers Paradise YHA was the first hostel I stayed at during my Australian working holiday and it was a nice introduction to hostel life.
Although the hostel takes its name from the famous beach on the Gold Coast, it’s actually located about a mile down the coast in the suburb of Southport.
The hostel had good rooms with enough space and lockers to store your backpack. The kitchen was a decent size and was never really crowded.
A TV room is located near the kitchen and there are a number of events during the week!
If you want a quiet place to stay on the Gold Coast, away from the hustle and bustle of Surfers, this is the place!
There’s no doubt in my mind that South Australia is the most underrated state in Australia. Visiting South Australia is something that most people don’t consider which baffles me.
There are lots of great places to go in the state, such as Adelaide, Coober Pedy and Port Elliot.
These places also have some great hostels for you to stay at. Some of the best hostels in Australia that I stayed at were in South Australia.
Below are a few hostels in South Australia that you should definitely stay at during your travels there!
Adelaide Central YHA
Prices: Dorms from $22; Privates from $85. | Where: Adelaide
This is without a doubt one of the best hostels that I’ve ever stayed in! From the spacious rooms to the great social area, there’s a lot to love about the Adelaide Central YHA.
I met a lot of my good friends during my year in Australia here!
The hostel has great facilities with a big kitchen, two TV rooms and bike rental. The rooms have giant lockers, which you can easily fit your backpack into.
The social area is the best part for me. The pool and table tennis make it easy to meet fellow travellers! It’s easily one of the best hostels in Australia for solo travellers, because it’s so easy to make friends!
Port Eliot YHA
Prices: Dorms from $27; Privates from $90. | Where: Port Eliot
Port Eliot YHA was another of my favourite hostels in Australia. This massive beachside house was absolutely incredible.
We had the great fortune of being virtually the only people there when we visited during winter. This made it feel like we had the place to ourselves! It’s a lot busier during the summer months.
The facilities here are great. You have a decent-sized kitchen and a spacious living area. The rooms were really comfy and there was a lot of space in them.
Perhaps, the best thing about Port Eliot YHA was the views from the balcony. You can look straight across the beach and soak in the beautiful atmosphere of the place!
Port Lincoln YHA
Prices: Dorms from $30; Privates from $72. | Where: Port Lincoln
If you want to go shark cage diving, then Port Lincoln is the place to go and if you want a hostel, then Port Lincoln YHA is your best bet! It’s a modern hostel with great facilities and spacious rooms.
The kitchen here is massive and has lots of space for everyone. There is also a TV room, games room, bar and a barbecue!
With such great facilities, it’s a must-stay if you find yourself on the Shark Coast in South Australia!
Tasmania may be small in comparison to the other states in Australia, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in beauty and scenery!
Going to Tasmania has a lot in common with backpacking New Zealand, as the landscape is quite similar. Another way that it’s similar is that there are some great hostels in Tasmania!
Another way that it’s similar is that there are some great hostels in Tasmania! Below are some of my recommendations!
The Pickled Frog
Prices: Dorms $26; Privates from $69. | Where: Hobart
There aren’t many hostels in Hobart, but The Pickled Frog is one of the best!
The hostel is in a great location in the centre of Tasmania and has free tea and coffee as well as free wifi. The hostel also organises trips three days a week, heading to the nearby mountains and other nearby attractions.
The rooms are spacious and you have a bar, games room and pool table downstairs. If that’s not enough, then there are also two huskies at the hostel as well!
Not many hostels have live-in dogs!
Prices: Dorms $24; Privates from $57. | Where: Launceston
Arthouse Hostel is located in a renovated building in the Arts District of Launceston. Due to it being an older building, it feels like you’re staying in someone’s house at times rather than a hostel.
A lot of the rooms have single beds instead of bunks, which is a novelty in a hostel! The Arthouse hostel also has free tea and coffee, a free BBQ and two lounges as well as a decent-sized kitchen!
Old buildings always make a great setting for a backpackers and this is one of the better hostels in Australia because of it!
Despite being the smallest state in mainland Australia, there are plenty of hostels in Victoria. This is due to the number of beachside towns and great destinations such as the Great Ocean Road.
A lot of the hostels are dotted along the coastal route, which makes them ideal stop-off points during a road trip.
Below are a few hostels that I enjoyed staying at while travelling in Victoria!
Apollo Bay Eco YHA
Prices: Dorms from $30; Privates from $90. | Where: Apollo Bay
If you’re driving from Adelaide to Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road and you don’t have a campervan, then you’ll need to stay in hostels.
Apollo Bay is a popular stop-off point on the route and the Apollo Bay YHA is one of the best places to stay!
The hostel includes on-site parking, which is handy if you’re road-tripping. There are also two communal lounges and kitchens, which for a hostel is great! You also have several rooftop balconies and spacious rooms!
Apollo Bay Eco YHA is somewhere you must stay along the Great Ocean Road!
Grampians Eco YHA
Prices: Dorms from $27.50; Privates from $85.50. | Where: Hall’s Gap, Grampians
The Grampians is one of the best places to visit in Victoria and indeed, the whole of Australia! If you’re travelling by car, then your best bet for budget accommodation is the Grampians Eco YHA.
The hostel offers free parking, two communal lounges and large kitchens. Plus, you’re safe in the knowledge that staying here is good for the surrounding environment, as the hostel has been built with that in mind!
With some rooms offering private balconies with great views of the Grampians National Park, this is one hostel you must stay at in Australia!
Melbourne Central YHA
Prices: Dorms from $27.50; Privates from $114. | Where: Melbourne
Melbourne Central YHA is one of the nicest hostels in Melbourne, and one of the best I’ve stayed in anywhere in the world!
Located close to Southern Cross station in Melbourne, this hostel has decent-sized rooms and kitchens and an amazing rooftop area.
You can have a barbecue while admiring the Melbourne skyline!
Perhaps the only downside is the lack of a common area. The layout of the hostel doesn’t lend itself to this and apart from the rooftop, there isn’t anywhere to mingle.
You can in the kitchens, but they are not big enough for this! Still, it’s a really nice hostel and one I recommend staying at!
Prices: Dorms from $30; Privates from $80. | Where: Melbourne
Urban Central was another great hostel that I stayed at during my time in Melbourne. It’s not as central as the name suggests, but it’s close to the Southbank and only a 15-minute walk to the centre.
The hostel has some great facilities, most of all the giant bar area downstairs. This includes a big screen to watch sports from across the globe, particularly football! The kitchen is of a decent size and there’s free breakfast!
The rooms are big and have excellent lockers for you to store your backpack!
If you want a sociable hostel in Melbourne, Urban Central is the place for you!
Despite being the biggest state in Australia, Western Australia is sparsely populated. Perth is by far the biggest city in the state and the main hub.
However, there are a number of great resort towns, none more so than Broome. A place that is one of the best reasons to visit Australia, for its incredible beaches and scenery!
Below are a few of my recommendations for accommodation in Western Australia!
Beaches of Broome
Prices: Dorms from $32; Privates from $145. | Where: Broome
Beaches of Broome located close to the famous Cable Beach is a must-stay if you’re visiting Broome. It’s essentially a flashpacker hostel, as it offers luxury accommodation at a cheap price.
The rooms are spacious and you even get a free breakfast included in your price! There is a beachside bar, common and games room should you get bored of the beach!
Beaches of Broome is one of the nicest hostels in Australia, and would make a great place to stay if you visit that part of the country!
Perth City YHA
Prices: Dorms from $26; Privates from $79. | Where: Perth
Perth City YHA has some of the best facilities of any hostel that I’ve seen. For starters, there is a gym! I can’t recall many hostels that I’ve heard of having a gym!
The hostel is in the heart of Perth, making it a convenient place to stay in the city. You’re within walking distance of numerous bars, cafes and museums.
The rooms are spacious, you have a big kitchen. Plus, there are other great facilities such as a games room, swimming pool and balcony to relax and enjoy the views of Perth!
Perth City YHA is one of the best choices for accommodation in Australia, you’ll be missing if you don’t stay during a trip to Perth!
Wickham Retreat Backpackers
Prices: Dorms from $30. | Where: Perth
Wickham Retreat Backpackers is a great place to stay in Perth. The hostel is modern, spacious and has all the facilities that you need and more!
There is free breakfast during the morning, which is great for the budget-conscious backpacker! An oddity in this backpackers is that there is a steam room! Not usual for a hostel, but great nonetheless!
You have also a games room, complete with cable TV and a PlayStation. Perhaps, the only downside is that the hostel is on the small side.
Other than that, if you’re wondering where to stay in Perth, this could be the place for you!
Simply put, there are a lot of hostels in Australia. Narrowing them down to a select few is difficult, but based on my own experiences and the recommendation of other travellers I’ve met, it’s not that hard.
There are also a lot of bad hostels in Australia. For the new traveller, this can be daunting, as it’s hard to know whether hostel reviews can be trusted. However, I’ve found that they normally are and my choices here reflect what I feel.
The majority of these backpackers have great reviews on Hostelworld, and are definitely among the best hostels in Australia as far as I’m concerned!
Do you agree or disagree with my list? Are there any hostels that you stayed should be included here? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
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Tom is a travel addict who first left England to spend a year Down Under. Not satisfied with this, he then went to New Zealand, about as far away from home as he could get. He is now planning his next adventures in Europe and Canada while maintaining this blog. Check out the about me page to learn more!
Monday 4th of September 2017
What a fabulous article - I truly wish I'd read this before going to Australia - I stayed in a few awful ones! Haha. I'll definitely be referring to this if I go again!
Monday 4th of September 2017
Thanks Louise. Yes, I stayed in a few bad ones myself, hence why I thought I'd put this list together. I hope your experiences are better next time around!