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The Twelve Best YHA hostels in Australia

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With 85 YHA hostels across Australia, it is easy to miss the very best ones. If you’re planning a trip around Oz, you might want to bookmark the hostels below for your trip – we guarantee that you’ll have unforgettable travel experiences there! Read on for our top twelve picks for the best YHA hostels in Australia:

1 YHA Sydney Harbour

The YHA Sydney Harbor is the only hostel in the Rocks, Sydney’s historic harborside precinct. The views over Sydney Harbour and the Opera House from here are unbeatable, and best enjoyed from one of the hostel’s large rooftop terrace. The hostel combines the historic charm of the area with modern facilities and comfortable rooms. You can walk to all major sights or get some ideas for what to do at the tour desk, where you can book all kinds of activities and tours.

sydney opera house view from yha terrace
sydney opera house view from yha terrace by Hannah via Flickr.com

2 Apollo Bay Eco YHA

The Apollo Bay Eco YHA is the best stop along the Great Ocean Road. The rooftop deck offers fantastic views, and the BBQ is free to use for guests – plus: there are fresh herbs for guests to use from the hostel garden! The hostel is eco-certified and puts an effort into water and energy saving measures to reduce its carbon footprint. Rather than just passing through, you should use your stop in Apollo Bay to explore the area, kayak, swim or surf, or hike the Great Ocean Walk.

3 YHA Halls Gap – Grampians

The Grampians eco hostel is located right in the heart of the Grampians National Park and a short walk from town. The hostel itself prides itself for its environmentally-friendly initiatives, such as solar water, recycled greywater and rainwater collection, while offering stylish and modern accommodation. The managers Beck and Stu can tell you everything there is to do in the area, like rock climb, hike or abseil in Grampians National Park, and the best times to spot kangaroos out on the back deck. This hostel is also well suited for families with kids, offering special family rooms.

The Awesome YHA Eco-Hostel In Halls Gap
The Awesome YHA Eco-Hostel In Halls Gap by Pat Scullion on Flickr.com

4 Bungalow Bay Magnetic Island

The Bungalow Bay hostel has won several awards for a reason: assembled in the style of an island resort, the hostel has an exotic flair with hammocks surrounding the pool, and the bungalows that house the guests are right next to a wildlife sanctuary. This place is every wildlife lover’s dream and a stay basically comes with koala cuddles! But not only that: you’re very close to a beach at Horseshoe Bay, right in the National Park (if you’re lucky you can spot koalas in the wild!) and can take snorkeling trips to one of 23 secluded bays. The hostel itself has a bar and a restaurant and guests can spread out on seven acres of grounds.

Yha Koala Beach resort @ Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia
Yha Koala Beach resort @ Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia by leGulk on Flickr.com

5 Baralaba, Myella Farmstay

This is quite a different experience from your ordinary hostel stay: here you can try out the life of an outback cattle farm and ride horses, feed the hens, and milk cows. Lyn, the owner, and her family, are always up for a chat and share tales of their live on the farm and have regularly camp fires at night. With this personal touch, the family-run hostel almost feels like a homestay and you will connect with other travelers quickly.

6 Byron Bay, Cape Byron YHA

The Cape Byron hostel is one of the most popular hostels in all of Australia, located right in the center of town and only 200 meters from the beach. There is a large heated pool, a BBQ area, a café onsite, a TV and reading room, plus a dive center. The hostel also rents bikes and boogie boards free of charge, and the tour desk will be able to arrange activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving, rainforest trekking, or parachuting for you. The bustling beach town itself with its stunning beach will make it hard for you to move on from here!

Dusk From Cape Byron YHA
Dusk From Cape Byron YHA by Pat Scallion via Flickr.com

7 Cairns Central YHA

The Cairns Central Hostel is the winner of the Best Hostel award 2013 by Queensland Tourism, which shows how exceptional this hostel is! It is located right in the center of the town, a short walk away from the Cairns Esplanade with all its cafes, shops and pubs. Trinity Wharf, where Great Barrier Reef cruises depart, is also in walking distance. There is a swimming pool for sunny days, a games room for rainy days, and the tour desk can book you on any tour you’d like to experience while you’re in Cairns.

8 Port Douglas (Port O’Call) YHA Eco Lodge

The hostel is a resort hostel with a tropical lagoon style swimming pool that focuses on eco-friendly practices (solar heat, lighting efficiency, solar water) and sustainability. The hostel is only a five minute walk from the marina and Four Mile Beach, and a fifteen minute walk from Port Douglas Village. A plus at this hostel: free tablet hire for its guests, in addition to the usual free tea and coffee!

Port Douglas Beach
Port Douglas Beach by Bas Van Uyen via Flickr.com

9 Ozzie Pozzie Port Macquarie

The Ozzie Pozzie hostel is located halfway between Port Macquarie and Sydney feels almost like a holiday resort with its swimming pool, hammocks under palm trees and poolside cabana. The courtyard invites to stay in and have a BBQ, there is a TV room for greyer days and you are only five minutes away from the town with riverside cafes, shops and bars.

10 Adelaide Central

The Adelaide Central is, like most of the YHA hostels, located right in the city center, and is among the most loved hostels in Australia. The hostel has lots of group activities – like a city walk, ping pong or making pancakes – and there is also a spacious reading area if you’d just like to relax for a bit. All the rooms come with AC and desk, even the dorm rooms.

Table de noel au YHA @ Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Table de noel au YHA @ Adelaide, South Australia, Australia by leGulk on Flickr.com

11 Port Elliot Beach House YHA

The Port Elliot Beach House is located in the old Arcadia Hotel which was built in 1910. From the hostel, you have stunning views over the coastline and you are only a few minutes’ walk from the beach. The charming historic building in itself makes a stay at the Port Elliot Beach House an unforgettable experience, but the hostel also has bicycles, a barbeque, a lounge, a tour desk and there are lots of activities to keep you busy here, such as windsurfing, whale watching or bird watching. The hostel is not only for the average backpacker – there are also family rooms available.

12 Lancelin Lodge YHA

Lancelin Lodge, about 1.5 hours north of Perth, is a cozy hostel with a 15 meter swimming pool, free use of bikes and other equipment, and is close to the surf beaches that make this area worth visiting. All of the town’s attractions are only a short walk away.

Lancelin Dunes
Lancelin Dunes by Dave Buckton on Flickr.com

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