The Best Backpacker Hostels on Australia’s East Coast
Australia is one of the best places to backpack in the world and backpacking East Coast Australia is undoubtedly the most popular route. Backpacking Australia can be expensive but thankfully, there are many ways to save money while traveling in Australia. One of the best is to stay in backpacker hostels and there are heaps of fun, modern, backpacker hostels on Australia’s East Coast that are affordable places to stay and great places to meet other backpackers.
Many of the best backpacker hostels in East Coast Australia have facilities like swimming pools, bars, cafes, lounges, cinemas, games and sports facilities that make them feel more like a sociable resort than a hostel.
Expect to pay between AUD $25 – $40 per person per night for a bed in a dorm in the backpacker hostels on Australia’s East Coast.
To save even more money most backpacker hostels in Australia also have a kitchen so you can cook your own food. Also, many hostels can help you with things like looking for work and with onward travel plans. Many offer camping spots as well for tents and campervans.
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The Best Backpacker Hostels on Australia’s East Coast
Some hostels are better than others and choosing the right backpacker hostel for you is really important – it will affect the type of people you meet and the experience that you have in that destination.
There are a few chains of backpacker hostels on Australia’s East Coast. YHA are my personal favourite as they have modern, clean and well run hostels with heaps of facilities. They are usually sociable, but you can still get a decent night’s sleep. Some hostels, like Nomads and Base, are more party hostels, which is great if you want to party, but not so great if you want to sleep and get up early for sightseeing or a tour.
I travelled Australia for a year and did the East Coast Trip 3 times. (See here for my perfect East Coast Australia backpacking itinerary and all my top tips) so here is my pick of the best backpacker hostels on Australia’s East Coast.
Best Backpacker Hostels in Sydney
Sydney Harbour YHA, Sydney
The award-winning Sydney Harbour YHA is located in a heritage building right in the historic The Rocks district, offering easy access to all of the city’s sites. There’s dorms and private rooms, all of which are all clean and air conditioned. They also all have private bathrooms. The hostel also has a café, bar, cinema, sauna and heated pool onsite, as well as lots of free activities. The best thing about this backpacker hostel are the magnificent rooftop views of the Sydney Harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Also, don’t miss they’re fantastic pub crawls or $1 meal deals. Click here for prices, more details and to book.
Wake Up!, Sydney
Wake Up! is a popular hostel that is located just opposite the Central Railway Station, making it convenient for accessing the airport and the city centre. It’s also just a 5-minute walk to Chinatown and a 15-minute walk to Darling Harbour. There’s private rooms, mixed dorms and all-female dorms, all of which have big windows to let in natural light. The hostel has an onsite bar that is great for meeting like-minded backpackers, as well as a café and a lounge that shows a movie every night. They also have a communal kitchen. This is one of the best backpacker hostels on East Coast Australia to make heaps of new friends. Click here for prices, more details and to book.
Bondi Beach House YHA, Sydney
Bondi Beach House YHA is a 4 minute walk to the beach! If you want to be close to the famous Bondi Beach, than this hostel is the perfect choice. They even offer surfboards for hire! Also, they have free gear like snorkelling equipment, body boards and equipment for beach cricket, volleyball and football so you can have a fun day on the beach. There are dorms and private rooms, and a kitchen where you cook your own food. There is also a movie room, table tennis and an amazing rooftop terrace with fantastic views over the sea. Click here for prices, more details and to book.
Best Backpacker Hostels in Melbourne
Home at the Mansion, Melbourne
Home at the Mansion is the poshest hostel in Melbourne, set in a converted majestic heritage building in the city’s Victoria Region. It’s an award-winning hostel with only 16 rooms, all of which have flat screen TVs! There’s also plenty of natural light in each dorm room and in common areas. The hostel also has activities on offer, making it a great choice for solo travellers. Plus, the free city circle tram passes by the hostel so it’s easy to access the city centre. Click here for prices, more details and to book
Melbourne Central YHA, Melbourne
Melbourne Central YHA is a large, popular hostel that is located right in the city centre. This modern hostel is within walking distance of nearly all of Melbourne’s attractions and is only a 6 minute walk to both the Skybus Terminal and Southern Cross Station. There’s a sports bar and a rooftop terrace with BBQ facilities and great views of the city. It is a busy hostel that is great for meeting other travellers. Click here for prices, more details and to book.
Base St Kilda, Melbourne
Base Backpackers – St Kilda is the best hostel if you prefer to be close to the beach. It’s just a 6-minute walk away from St Kilda beach and the unusual old fashioned Luna theme park. Base Backpacker is a modern, funky hostel that is great for partiers. In fact, guests get a free drink voucher on arrival to use at its onsite bar, which hosts an event every night. There’s also a free barbecue every Tuesday night. Click here for prices, more details and to book
Best Backpacker Hostels in Bryon Bay
Arts Factory Lodge, Bryon Bay
The Arts Factory Lodge is a unique, unusual, colourful, trendy hippie complex that I just loved. It is set in a private subtropical forest with its very own pond, around a 10-minute walk away from the town centre. The atmosphere at this hostel is excellent, as are the facilities, which include a swimming pool and hot tub, a spa, a restaurant and a beer garden. They even offer Didgeridoo-making workshops and yoga classes. There’s also a recording studio onsite! After an evening of drumming, fire twirling and jamming you can sleep in a dorm or a tepee. The only downside here is that WiFi is not free. Click here for prices, more details and to book.
Cape Byron YHA, Byron Bay
Like all other YHA hostels, Cape Byron YHA is a clean, modern hostel with plenty of extras. Like a large heated swimming pool, a café and a BBQ area. They also offer free boogie boards and bicycles, and hire out surfboards. Plus, it’s just a 3-minute walk to the beach! Click here for prices, more details and to book.
Nimbin Rox YHA, Nimbin
Nimbin Rox YHA is set in the countryside just outside of Bryon Bay and has a fairy-tale setting in tropical nature. There’s tepees, yurts and dorms, as well as private rooms with shared bathrooms. It’s a 15-minute walk away from the village, but the hostel has free shuttle buses twice a day. Click here for prices, more details and to book.
Best Backpacker Hostels in Brisbane
Brisbane City YHA, Brisbane
Brisbane City YHA is right on Upper Roma Street, where there’s plenty of other satisfactory hostels. Still, this is by far the best of the bunch as it is large, modern and clean. The hostel also has a communal kitchen, a bar, a café, a TV lounge and a games room. There’s also a small rooftop pool and terrace that offers pleasant views of the river. Click here for prices, more details and to book.
Bunk Brisbane, Brisbane
Bunk Brisbane is an award-winning, modern hostel with a funky décor and great atmosphere. It’s a party hostel located in the trendy Fortitude Valley close to the city’s best nightlife. The hostel also has its very own bar, as well as a hot tub and a swimming pool. It’s one of the best backpacker hostels on Australia’s East Coast. Click here for prices, more details and to book
The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast
Bunk Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast
Bunk Surfers Paradise is the best hostel on the Gold Coast. Not only is it just 5-minutes from the beach on foot, but there’s also plenty of social activities offered, like bar crawls. There’s a large communal kitchen, a lounge, a swimming pool and a hot tub, and rooms and dorms have AC and free WiFi. Dorms are extremely modern with bunk pods for extra privacy. Plus, they all have their own bathroom. Click here for prices, more details and to book.
Nomads Noosa Backpackers, Sunshine Coast
Nomads Noosa Backpackers is great if you like to party. It’s a lively hostel with a great bar that serves up pub food, and has nightly happy hours and weekly events. There’s a communal kitchen, a swimming pool and a volleyball court onsite. Click here for prices and to book
Noosa Flashpackers, Sunshine Coast
Noosa Flashpackers is the nicest hostel on the Sunshine Coast and well worth the extra bit of money. It’s a trendy hostel that is extremely relaxing, complete with a pool and outdoor lounge area. It’s only 5-minutes from the beach, though free shuttles buses are offers that are great for lugging the free surfboards and boogie boards that they offer. Click here to check prices and book.
Hervey Bay and Rainbow Beach (for Fraser Island)
Colonial Village YHA, Hervey Bay
Colonial Village YHA is always my first choice on Hervey Bay thanks to its resort-style atmosphere and loads of facilities. It’s also just 2-minutes away from the beach and has dorms, private rooms and cabins. Click here for prices, more details and to book.
Town of 1770 and Agnes Water
[email protected], Agnes Water
[email protected] is a friendly, relaxing hostel that will make you feel right at home. It’s only a 2-minute walk to the beach and surfboard hire is available. There’s private rooms and dorms, and a communal kitchen. One of the great things about this hostel is that they’ll pick you up from the from the Greyhound bus stop for free! Click here for prices, details and bookings.
Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays
Nomads, Airlie Beach
Nomads is my favourite of the many hostels in Airlie Beach, as it’s more like a resort than a hostel. There’s cosy chalets to stay in, and the hostel has as a nice swimming pool surrounded by tropical gardens. There’s also a communal kitchen and lively bar with plenty of activities that just adds to the liveliness of this friendly place. Click here for prices, more details and to book.
Townsville and Magnetic Island
Adventurers Backpackers, Townsville
Adventurers Backpackers is my top choice is Townsville because it is a motel-style hostel that is very sociable. It’s also in a great central location, within walking distance to the beach and the Townsville Transit Centre. There’s a rooftop pool and terrace with lovely panoramic views and breakfast is offered for free. Click here for prices, more details and to book.
Bungalow Bay Koala Village YHA, Magnetic Island
Bungalow Bay KoAdventurers Backpackersala Village YHA is fantastic for animal lovers, as it has its very own wildlife park. It’s located in Magnetic Islands National Park and just a 5-minute walk from Horseshoe Bay Beach. You can camp or stay in the cute A frame bungalows and there’s also a bar, cafe, social activities and swimming pool. Click here to book.
Base Backpackers Magnetic Island, Magnetic Island
Base Backpackers Magnetic Island is a party hostel located right on Nelly Bay. There’s dorms and private rooms, and a bar with nightly activities. The doors at this hostel are always open to accommodate late night partiers. Click here to book.
Jackaroo Treehouse, Mission Beach
Jackaroo Treehouse is a totally relaxing, rustic hostel located right in the rainforest at Bingil Bay. It’s a 12-minute walk to the beach and offers free surfboards and bicycles. There’s a kitchen, a BBQ area, a bar and a swimming pool. The hostel will pick you up from the bus stop free of charge! Click here for prices, more details and to book.
Best Backpacker Hostels in Cairns
Tropic Days Backpackers, Cairns
Tropic Days Backpackers offers a peaceful place to stay with a home away from home feeling. It’s a relaxing place, surrounded by beautiful gardens. It’s a small, quiet hostel with a nice pool and hammocks hanging throughout the gardens. There’s also a lounge, a kitchen and a BBQ area. Click here for more details and to book.
The Northern Greenhouse, Cairns
The Northern Greenhouse is a modern and clean hostel that is run by friendly staff. It’s centrally located and has mixed ensuite dorm rooms, as well as spacious male-only or female-only dorms. There’s a swimming pool, pool tables and a shared kitchen, and the hostel offers a free BBQ every Sunday night. Click here for prices, more details and to book.
Gilligan’s Backpacker Hotel & Resort, Cairns
Gilligan’s Backpacker Hotel & Resort is a hotspot for partiers. It’s a massive hostel with a lagoon-style swimming pool, a nightclub and a bar, and has large screen TVs showing all of the current sporting events. There’s dorms and private air-conditioned rooms, and a kitchen on each of the hostel’s 4 floors. Click here for prices, more details and to book.