In 2010/ 2011 I was in Australia for 4 months on a solo adventure. I travelled from Sydney all the way up to Cape Tribulation. After that I visited beautiful Melbourne, The Great Ocean Road, Adelaide and from there I went into the Outback to Alice Springs. I searched the internet for weeks to find the cleanest, cosiest & safest hostels. We all know the horror stories about bed bugs, drunk roommates having sex in the bunk bed below or above you & disgusting bathrooms… My first hostel experience was exactly that…I arrived in Sydney after a 24-hour flight and G’day Hostel forgot I was coming, so I had to sleep at Boomerang. This was the worst experience EVER! They put me in a room with 5 drunk Irish guys. One of them started having sex with his ‘girlfriend for a night’ and didn’t care to switch of the light. How lovely… The next day I packed my bags and booked a different hostel. It has been a while, but these are my favorite hostels on the East Coast & in the South of Australia!
1. Eva’s Backpackers, Sydney
After my horrible experience at Boomerang I arrived at Eva’s and booked a bed in a girls-only dorm room. I couldn’t handle anymore testosterone.. The rooms were clean, the cleaning lady Maria called me her ‘porcelain’ and I met so many friends here. There is a nice rooftop terrace where you can bbq and the kitchen area is spacious. Eva’s is located in Kings Kross. I felt very safe here. Go for a cocktail in a teapot at the Worldbar & try the garlic bread at Doughboy around the corner!
Accommodation from $31 a night (Australian dollar).
2. The Arts Factory Lodge, Byron Bay
This beautiful hostel is an oasis. Byron Bay was by far my favorite place in Australia. The vibe is laid back & creative. It’s all about yoga, surfing & healthy café’s here. The Arts Factory has open mic nights and has a beautiful campground. I met so many great friends. I even flew back from Melbourne to celebrate New Year’s Eve here. I missed them too much.
Accomodation from $35 a night.
3. The Nunnery, Melbourne
The old building used to be a convent and lookes absolutely beautiful! I stayed in a girls-only dorm, that was clean and cosy. I prefered the girls-only dorms after being slightly traumatised by the Irish guys the first night in Sydney… There is a small garden & the bathrooms are spotless!
Accomodation from $32 a night.
4. Dolphins Beach House, Noosa
Noosa is definitely worth a visit! It is a beautiful small town. Go for a surf or a scenic coastal walk. Bring enough water though! This hostel is a ‘surf shack’. You can use the surf boards any time. There is a pool table, a table tennis table and the dorms are like small apartments, with a couch, tv & dvd player. Dolphins is not located in the city centre, so you need to go for a little walk.
Accomodation from $32 a night.
5. YHA, Brisbane
I usually like to stay in cosy, unique hostels, but this YHA was a breath of fresh air. The YHA’s are known for their high standards and this one has won a lot of awards. The rooms are clean & spacious. The kitchen is huge and has everything you could wish for. It feels like you’re staying at a hotel. I stayed in a girls-only dorm, once again. I didn’t feel safe in Brisbane at night. Others may have different experiences, but to me this city felt different than Sydney & Melbourne.
Accommodation from $32 a night.
6. Traveller’s Oasis, Cairns
What a FANTASTIC hostel this is!! Cairns is not all that, but is a perfect place to stay for daytrips. Traveller’s Oasis felt like home. There is a pool, a living room with lots of books, a tv & a dvd player. The rooms are cosy and clean. The hostel has won many awards. Loved it here!
Accommodation from $27 a night.
7. On the Wallaby, Atherton Tablelands
In Cairns I booked a tour with On the Wallaby to go see the Atherton Tablelands. Here you find waterfalls & huge trees that James Cameron used as his inspiration for the movie Avatar. The hostel is also called On the Wallaby. There were just a few people staying there when I checked in, so it felt very cosy & personal. We went canoeing, did a bike tour and spotted a rare platypus! After a swim in a beautiful lake, we saw a giant 3 meter long python on the side of the road…AAH!!! Thank God I was in a car! After I said goodbye and drove back to Cairns in 3 hours, I got a call from Cindy, who worked at On the Wallaby. She asked me if I would like to come join their staff party at the owner’s house. The picked me up in Cairns and drove me all the way back to the Atherton Tablelands. We had a real Ozzy bbq in the owner’s beautiful garden. I felt like I was part of the Wallaby family. So special!!
Accomodation from $24 a night or in combination with a tour!
8. Dougies, Port Douglas
Port Douglas is a cute little town in the North of Australia. I booked a diving trip with the Silversonic to visit the Great Barrier Reef, which I would highly recommend!! The Silversonic was fast, comfortable & the food was amazing. You can also visit The Great Barrier Reef from Cairns, but I prefered Port Douglas. Dougies was excellent. Once again I stayed in a girls-only dorm that was clean & cosy. There is a nice bar on the property, a swimming pool and a campsite. Visit the beautiful small church by the beach!
Accomodation from $27 a night.
One more tip: If you are planning to go into the Outback, check out Heading Bush tours! This was one of the most impressive experiences in my travel history and well worth the money! We slept in swags under the stars, woke up in the company of kangaroos and made our coffee above a fire. So special! I booked the 10-day tour. We visited The Olga’s, Uluru and many more unique spots without the crowds. What an experience!