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Best Hostels In Australia Sydney byron bay cairns

10 Of The Best Hostels In Australia You HAVE To Stay At! (2022)

Looking for the best hostels in Australia to stay at? Well here are 10 of my absolute favourites – including Sydney, Byron Bay and Cairns!

Looking for the best hostels in Australia? Well I’ve spent literally years travelling all over this incredible country, bouncing around dorm rooms, meeting some incredible people from all over the globe and also learning the hard way which hostels to avoid!

Hostel life is one of the best parts of travelling (and I’m talking about the whole globe, not just Australia here!) so embrace it in all it’s mismatched glory – the good, the bad and the dorm room snorers!

So to help you make the most of your time in Australia here a rundown of my 10 favourite hostels in Australia – the East Coast addition!


The Best Hostels In Australia – The East Coast

1. Wake Up Sydney

I actually spent New Years here on my first big trip to Australia and it was heaps of fun! The hostel always put on heaps of activities year round – from meet and greets to the Bondi to Coogee beach walk so it’s a really good spot to meet lots of fellow travellers, which is what travelling is all about.

In fact I ended up road tripping up the coast with some backpackers I met here!

Location wise it’s ideal – right opposite Sydney Central Station – meaning its a super easy train journey to/from the airport. Basically a great spot to start or finish your East Coast trip at!

Great For;

  • Solo travellers
  • Daily events
  • Airport transfers
  • Xmas and New Years


2. Sydney Harbour YHA, Sydney

Alongside Wake Up this is the other Sydney Hostel I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend and in true YHA style it’s clean, comfortable and chilled out.

The huge draw here though is the location – the roof terrace (complete with outdoor BBQ) boasts views across Sydney Harbour, including both the Bridge and iconic Sydney Opera House…in fact I could even see it from my room!

Another great spot for NYE in Sydney, but be aware it books out well in advance so secure your spot ASAP and enjoy the world famous fireworks.

Great For;

  • Solo travellers
  • Chilled vibes
  • Epic views
  • Xmas and New Years


3. The Surf House, Byron Bay

review byron bay beach hostel australia backpackerThere are a few Byron entries on my top Australia hostels guide and The Surf House is one of the newest.

Situated right in the centre of town and only 1 block back from Main Beach it’s one of the best locations for anyone looking to be in the heart of the action in Byron Bay.

With a full range of rooms from dorms to private rooms it’s going to be suitable for most travellers and certainly oozes those flash packer vibes!

Clean, comfortable, modern nd with all the facilities you expect from a freshly renovated hostel – The Surf House is a solid choice!

Great For;

  • Flashpackers
  • Solo or Couples
  • Chilled vibes
  • Surfers


4. Aquarius Backpackers, Byron Bay

backpackers guide to byron bay australia hostels aquarius
AQ – my top Byron hostel!

Aquarius – aka AQ – is a hostel that is at the core of my travelling experience. On my first trip to Australia back in 2009 I ended up working for accommodation here for over nearly 7 months!

Just a 500m walk from the golden sands and pumping surf of Byron Bay main beach this bustling backpacker hostel has an in-house bar and cafe, pool and even provide free backpacker meals each night.

Not only that but it has some of the most spacious dorm room sI’ve ever encountered (and not just in Australia!) with plenty of space for surfboards, chilling with your new buddies and even balconies to soak up the sun on.

Great For;

  • Solo travellers
  • Beach lovers
  • Big dorms
  • Party vibes


5. Byron Bay YHA

Having recently undergone a multi million dollar refurbishment I’m stoked to say Byron YHA have spent their money well!

Which a huge semi outdoor communal area, sun drenched swimming pool and well kitted out kitchen this is the ideal spot in Byron Bay if you want to meet some like minded travellers but dont want a party hostel.

My top tip here is spend the extra money for the 4 bed, en suite dorm – which are some of the best beds I’ve slept in, complete with personal light, power socket, privacy curtains and lock box. It’s the small things that make life a lot more comfortable on the road!

Great For;

  • Solo travellers
  • Couples
  • Chilled vibes
  • A bit of luxury 


6. Flashpackers Noosa

Another great flashpacking hostel – Flashpackers Noosa makes up for its slightly out of town location with good vibes, comfortable rooms and a courtesy bus service to get you into town and by the beach.

Ladies will love the added touches to the girls only dorms – including hair dryers, full length mirrors and even straighteners!

Grab even more added value with the free wifi (something of a luxury when travelling around Australia!), free breakfast and even free surfboard hire! There’s also daily events (including $10 all you can eat pizza on Tuesday!) and an epic pool to relax at.


Great For;

  • Solo travellers
  • Chilled vibes
  • A bit of luxury 
  • Great value


7. Nomads Airlie Beach

If you’re heading up the Eats Coast then Airlie Beach must be on your list of stops – it’s the gateway to the incredible Whitsunday Islands after all! And I can think of no better place to crash before an dafter your sailing trip than Nomads Airlie Beach.

Complete with bar, swimming pool and super comfortable, en suite dorms nestled amongst the tropical palms – there’s no doubt you’ll meet some interesting faces. It’s super central to the rest of Airlie Beach too so you’ll be walking distance to everything.

Great For;

  • Pre and post Whitsundays tours
  • Solo travellers
  • Central location


8. Bungalow Bay YHA, Magnetic Island

magnetic island australia east coast backpacker top destinations
Parakeet Feeding at Bungalow Bay YHA

The final YHA hostel on my list! Not only is Bungalow Bay situated on the beautiful Magnetic Island (which should definitely be part of your Australia itinerary), but it’s packed full of charm, friendly faces and koalas!

Grab the Bungalow Bay Koala Cuddle package and you’ll also get a guided tour around their in house wildlife sanctuary, meet lots of Aussie locals and even get to cuddle a koala at the end! 

It’s great value too, also bundling in a welcome drink, breakfast and your return ferry to the mainland too.

Great For;

  • Island vibes
  • Solo travellers
  • Aussie wildlife


9. Absolute Backpackers, Mission Beach

One of my favourite flash packer hostels, Absolute Backpackers offers a great night sleep with A/C dorms (a must in the tropical Queensland heat) and massive outdoor communal area where I’ve no doubt you’ll enjoy a couple of epic BBQs!

And of course you’ll be in the adrenaline packed Mission Beach – famous for skydiving (you get to land on the golden sands) and White Water Rafting.

If you’re keen to head out to the Barrier Reef you can also do it from here too – it’s actually closer to the mainland than in Cairns (ideal if you get sea sick!) and less people means more pristine coral reefs to explore.

Great For;

  • Solo travellers
  • Adrenaline junkies


10. Gilligans, Cairns

explore tropical north queensland australia cairns mission beach
Exploring Waterfalls In Cairns

Oh Gilligans – the big hostel with an equally big reputation!

If you want to immerse yourself in some glorious backpacking chaos this is the hostel to head to!

Boasting A/C, en suite rooms, a huge lagoon pool and even a full on nightclub this is the social hub for travellers in Cairns.

The perfect place to start or finish your East Coast adventure you’ll certainly leave Gilligans with more than a few stories…and probably a hangover too!

Greta For;

  • Solo travellers
  • Party animals
  • Hangovers!


Where Will You Be Staying?

As you can imagine in a country the size of Australia (which you can fit the WHOLE of Europe inside!) there are literally thousands of hostels in Australia to choose from. And yes these are 10 of my absolutely favourites, but they’re by no means the only ones, and they certainly don’t cover every place you’ll be visiting.

So if you’re on the hunt for some more ideas or locations check out Hostelworld. With live availability, and un matched amount of choice and most importantly heaps of reviews from real travellers it’s the easiest way to plan your next place to crash out in Oz!



Any hostels in Australia you’d add to the list?

Let me know in the comments!


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