4 hostels you won't believe exist
Fantastic places to stay don't have to cost you an arm and a leg.
What would your friends and family back home say if you told them you stayed a night in an old prison, slept in a wildlife park, or relaxed on a hostel balcony with (cheap-as-heck) spectacular views of the Opera House?
Well you can find out by choosing one of these four incredible and unique hostels here Down Under.
Bondi Beach House YHA
Bondi Beachouse YHA Hostel is located at Australia's famous Bondi Beach and is a backpacker favourite.
If you only had one vision of Australia, Bondi Beach might be it. (Okay, that’s a total lie, the Sydney Opera House in all its fancy glory would be it, but for the sake of a punchy point, let’s ignore that.) The sweeping, bustling strip of beach is lined with accommodation, cafes, restaurants and clubs. In fact, that’s pretty much the order in which you make your way through the day in Bondi.
This hostel has the kind of big, panoramic views of Tamarama Beach from the rooftop that’ll make you grab someone by the shirt and go, “What do you MEAN this is a hostel?!”
Plus, it’s walking distance to all the juicy spots along the main strip of Campbell Parade, with idiot-proof public transport links around Sydney, free Wi-Fi, free snorkeling gear and body boards, a movie room where you can kick back and tend to your hangover, a self-catering kitchen, secure bike locks, parking (mind you, a little limited) and weekly backpacker activities to keep you safely outside the bored zone.
If you’re a beachy guy or gal, who doesn’t hate sunshine, and won’t be off-put by ocean views at pretty much every local venue you visit, this is the winner. Book it now.
Bungalow Bay Koala Village, Magnetic Island
Okay, try not to freak out when we break this news: Bungalow Bay is the only hostel in the country that has its very own wildlife park on-freakin-SITE.
Yes, that means you can bro down with a small python, a lizard, a tiny saltwater croc and a koala every single day. Three times a day, to be precise, if you can’t get enough furry friend action: they have presentations at 10am, midday and 2.30pm. Plus, they throw a ‘Breakfast With The Koalas’ event which is, deliciously, exactly what it sounds like: you eat, the koalas chill. Sure, this will cost you a little dough each time, but that’s a small price to pay for unconditional love. Suss the prices here.
Located on Magnetic Island, a World-Heritage listed island on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, which is all granite boulders and turquoise water and rugged green landscape, this place is about as Aussie as it gets. As for the accom itself, well, you can camp, share a room or be a baller and get your own room with a double bed AND an ensuite.
Sydney Harbour YHA
No need to be a tightarse here, because this award-winning hostel dishes out champagne views on a beer budget, with a terrace overlooking the famous Sydney Harbour, Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Crack open that cold one and take a few pics for Instagram and, let’s face it, for Mum.
Located at The Rocks, which is Sydney’s historic harbour-side heaven, this hostel is about as central as they come, so you won’t need to walk far to explore any part of the city centre. And facilities-wise, they’ve taken care of all your basic needs: eating, sleeping and texting. There’s free Wi-Fi hotspot, premium Wi-Fi Plus, a keen-to-please kitchen and rooftop dining and BBQ area.
Boredom won’t be an issue, because this is the cultural cortex of the whole city. There are a bunch of galleries to check out, restaurants to eat in and activities to splurge on at Sydney Opera House, Sydney Theatre Company, Dendy Cinemas, or The Basement for live music.
If you’re a firm try-before-you-buy kinda babe, then you can watch a 360 degree virtual tour of the hostel here, before you book.
Fremantle Prison YHA, Perth
If you say you don’t have a sick, morbid fascination with prisons and the twisted history they house, then you’re either a liar or a very sensible person. For the vast majority who share our fascination, Western Australia has a real treat for you.
You can stay in this somewhat beautiful historic building in Fremantle (a quick 30 minute drive south of Perth) and you’ve got two choices: a converted prison cell or, if you’re feeling extra luxe, one of the Victorian-style guard’s cottages. Having actually operated as a prison from 1855 to 1991, there is plenty to learn about the history of this place.
Good news is, Freo is a hoot. This beachside, hippy district is full of small bars, cute restaurants and a thriving, inspiring live music scene. Check out Mojos Bar in North Fremantle, for starters. This dirty, dark, glorious dive is an institution amongst the Perth live music scene.