From the Great Barrier Reef to the Outback, Australia’s vast and diverse landscape has made the country a classic backpacker’s destination. But these days, the array of hostels Down Under caters for all travellers and comfort levels.
Like a hostelling wizard of Oz, we’ve magicked up this list of Australia’s best hostels to help you decide where to stay.
Alice's Secret Travellers Inn, Alice Springs
Rooms at Alice's Secret Travellers Inn are imaginatively themed and located
If you’re looking to visit Uluru/Ayers Rock, Alice's Secret Travellers Inn arranges trips from their own Outback oasis in Alice Springs. The hostel’s tree-lined garden lures you in with a small outdoor pool and hammocks, while barbecue get-togethers take place on the LED-lit terrace at night. Inside, you can make snacks, watch DVDs or borrow books before retiring to your kitsch abode: funkily painted dorms, alpine-style huts or a retro bus. Mbantua Aboriginal Art Gallery is only 15 minutes away on foot.
Breeze Lodge, Brisbane
Breeze Lodge’s bold facade matches the hostel’s dayglo interiors
This trendy design hostel is just 400 metres from the Kangaroo Point Cliffs that overlook Brisbane’s skyline. With an eye-popping pink mural out front, Breeze Lodge keeps things vibrant inside too, whether it’s the strawberry-red kitchen, lime-green terrace or orange-tinged Netflix lounge. You can pick private rooms with their own slate-grey showers or dorms with built-in reading lights and shared en suites. What’s more, key-card access makes the hostel a safe and welcoming place for all.
Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse, Hobart
Homely 19th-century verandas adorn Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse
Montacute Boutique Bunkhouse is set in a 19th-century red-brick mansion in Hobart’s upmarket Battery Point district. Decked out with wooden floors, the hostel’s pristine private rooms and dorms come with well-kept shared bathrooms. If you like mingling with other guests, there’s a plush drawing room and large upper and lower verandas that look out over the garden. You can cook your own meals in the communal kitchen, or borrow a bike and explore the restaurant scene around nearby Salamanca Place.
Fremantle Prison YHA, Fremantle
The old exercise yard at Fremantle Prison YHA has games to keep you active
Fremantle Prison YHA is housed in a former jail that dates back to the 1850s. You can choose from dorms with in-room lockers, family rooms with en suite bathrooms, and twin rooms that were once prison cells. Throughout the hostel’s halls, kitchen, cafe and TV room, there’s a mini exhibition that details the jail’s history. Outside, there’s no limit on yard time – loosen up with a game of frisbee, chess or table tennis. If you need supplies, bustling Fremantle Markets is just down the street.
Dreamtime Travellers Rest, Cairns
The tropical garden at Dreamtime Travellers Rest is irresistibly laid-back
Dreamtime Travellers Rest is a fun base for experiencing nature. You can set yourself up for the day with free cereal, toast and juice, then visit the hostel’s tour desk to fix excursions to the Great Barrier Reef or Kuranda Rainforest. A peaceful jungle-like garden and plunge pool await your return before things kick into gear again with a barbecue, pizza or film night. Afterwards, chill out in the camper-van lounge or check out Cairns Esplanade, just ten minutes’ walk away.
Jackaroo Treehouse Mission Beach, Mission Beach
Jackaroo Treehouse’s rainforest setting creates a sense of being cast away
Jackaroo Treehouse Mission Beach is found amid lush rainforest just ten minutes’ drive from Mission Beach. The hostel provides simple rooms and dorms centred around a courtyard pool and tropical garden, where you can enjoy a drink and watch cassowary birds roam the grounds. Borrow surfboards and ride the free shuttle bus to Bingil Bay beach, or Clump Point Jetty if you’re catching a Great Barrier Reef tour. Staff can also drop you at local shops to stock up before making dinner in the spacious kitchen.