Updated: 3/27/21 | March 27th, 2021
I love Australia. It’s one of my favorite countries in the world. I’ve been going there for over a decade and have crossed the country more times than I’ve crisscrossed my own country. I’ve stayed in countless hostels throughout Australia. Some of them were great, some of them were terrible, some of them were just OK.
I’ve been visiting Australia for a decade and have stayed in dozens upon dozens of hostels around the country. There are a lot of things to consider when selecting a hostel. The top four when picking the best hostel in Australia are:
- Location – Cities here are big and they can take some time to get around. Pick a place that is central to the sites and nightlife you want to see. All the hostels listed here are in central locations.
- Price – In Australia, you really get what you pay for, so if you go with a really cheap one, you’re probably going to get a hostel that is small, cramped, and doesn’t offer great service.
- Amenities – Pretty much every hostel in the country offers free Wi-Fi, and most have a free breakfast, but if you want more than that, be sure to do your research to find the hostel that best meets your needs!
- Staff – All the hostels listed here have amazing staff! They are super friendly and knowledgeable. Even if you don’t end up staying at one of the places listed below, be sure to look up reviews to ensure you end up somewhere where the staff is helpful and friendly! They can make or break a hostel!
To help you plan your trip, here is my list of the hostels in Australia that I like the most. If you don’t want to read the longer list below, the following hostels are the best in each category:
Best Hostels in Australia
Best Hostel for Budget Travelers: Gilligan’s
Best Hostel for Solo Female Travelers: Wake Up!
Best Hostel for Digital Nomads: Kimberly Travelers Lodge
Best Hostel for Partying: Gilligan’s
Best Overall Hostel: Base St. Kilda
Want the specifics of each hostel? Here’s my comprehensive list of the best hostels in Australia:
Price Legend (per night)
- $ = Under $20 USD
- $$ = $20-30 USD
- $$$ = Over $30 USD
1. Base St. Kilda (Melbourne)
Base is like the McDonald’s of hostels. You get full but you’re not really satisfied. Yet they outdid themselves with their Melbourne hostel. It’s my favorite hostel in Australia. The bar is lively every night, and there are BBQs and events during the week. Moreover, the rooms and bathrooms look really nice and are clean. The bar is open 7 nights a week and they offer free breakfast from 8am-10am.
They also have a travel desk, recruitment and jobs desk, and free daily activities. Since people come here to party, everyone is very social and looking to interact. Within moments of my arrival, I had a group of friends to spend time with. I went there during my first trip to Australia and went back this year to see if it was still good. It did my memories justice.
Base St. Kilda at a glance:
- Lively bar for hanging out and mingling
- Organizes lots of events and activities
- Great place for meeting people
Beds from 40 AUD ($29 USD), privates from 150 AUD ($111 USD).
2. Wake Up! (Sydney)
Wake Up! is, in many ways like a backpacker hotel. With its eight floors, hyper-trendy and clean look, and small common areas, you might think it would be hard to meet people. The large size does make it sort of hard to meet people outside the common areas or your room, but the big bar downstairs (biggest night is Monday) lets you meet all the people you see coming and going. I really liked my time there and I especially enjoyed the high water pressure in the showers and uncreaky beds.
The hostel is located just next to the Central Station so it’s easy to get to and from the airport. The only downside is that it’s more expensive than the cheaper options in King’s Cross so you might want to “splash” out for this one because it’s not cheap!
Wake Up! at a glance:
- Great bar for socializing and meeting people
- Convenient location near central station
- Discounts for booking direct
Beds from 35 AUD ($26 USD), privates from 118 AUD ($87 USD).
3. Surf N Sun Hostel (Surfer’s Paradise, Gold Coast)
Located in the Gold Coast, you’ll get both surf and sun at this place. A converted motel, this hostel has really friendly staff, a pool, a central location, and is right across from the beach. All good things. Plus they offer a free pick up from the bus station. The owners are these old backpackers who hang out in the hostel once in a while and are really friendly.
Another plus: at the time I was there, it was the only hostel in Surfer’s Paradise that didn’t have bed bugs. They often have free drinks and BBQs for guests too. I ended up staying an extra week there simply because I was having such a good time.
Surf N Sun at a glance:
- Awesome location right near the beach
- Great place to meet people
- Free shuttle service from the bus station
Beds from 28 AUD ($21 USD), privates from 70 AUD ($52 USD).
4. Bunk Brisbane (Brisbane, Queensland)
Bunk has awesome facilities. They have a pool, hot tub, late-night bar, and an awesome travel desk. They can also help you find work too. Their kitchen is spacious, their beds are comfy, and the dorm rooms are cleaned daily and have electronic key access. It’s the best place in Brisbane (especially since Base took over Tinbillys!)
Bunk Brisbane at a glance:
- Pool, hot tub, and bar on-site
- Organizes tours and events
- Great place to meet other travelers
Beds from 24 AUD ($18 USD), privates from 77 AUD ($57 USD).
5. Kimberley Travellers Lodge (Broome)
This hostel is amazing. They have an enormous pool, a huge outdoor area, a gigantic kitchen, a great location close to Town Beach (which has all kinds of events and markets), and a chill bar where you can hang out. Moreover, when the heat of Broome really gets to you, there are hammocks to lie on. They offer shuttle service to famous Cable Beach for free (available when extra staff is on hand) and the hostel is a close walk to town.
What I really love is the huge kitchen. Even during peak time cooking time, you have plenty of room to move around. I hate cooking dinner in hostels because there’s never space and you’re always bumping into other people cooking. Not here. I wish all hostel kitchens were this big. Rates include a continental breakfast daily and they will even arrange complimentary airport transfers!
Kimberley Travellers Lodge at a glance:
- Huge pool and outdoor common area for relaxing
- Bar on-site makes it easy to meet people
- Free shuttle service to the beach
Beds from 25 AUD ($19 USD), privates from 99 AUD ($73 USD).
6. Aquarius Backpackers (Byron Bay)
I stayed at this place over Christmas and fell in love with it. They do such a good job at getting people to talk to each and create a really friendly atmosphere. There’s a free meal every night (small meal) and they organize a huge BBQ lunch on Sundays. It’s close to the beach and the center of town, and there’s free Wi-Fi by the pool. The dorms are cleaned often but the beds won’t win any major awards.
Aquarius Backpackers at a glance:
- Fun, social atmosphere
- Organizes of activities (communal meals, BBQs)
- Pool for hanging out and relaxing
Beds from 30 AUD ($22 USD), privates from 65 AUD ($48 USD).
7. Gilligan’s Backpacker Hostel and Resort (Cairns)
This giant hotel/hostel is where you go if you want to party. The rooms are OK. They have aircon and the beds are comfy but I was less than impressed. But what I did love was the many state-of-the-art kitchens, free airport pick-up, Wi-Fi, and swimming pool with an open deck bar and massive outdoor pub screens!
I had a lot of fun here. Maybe too much. Hard to remember! This probably the best party hostel in Australia.
Gilligan’s Backpacker Hostel and Resort at a glance:
- Party vibe makes it easy to have fun and meet people
- Free airport pickup
- Pool and huge outdoor terrace for hanging out
Beds from 15 AUD ($11 USD), privates from 89 AUD ($66 USD).
8. Nomads Noosa (Noosa)
A cool little hostel that is only 900 meters from the beach. All rooms are spacious and come with their own bathroom. There’s a nice tropical garden, communal kitchen, bar, swimming pool, and even a volleyball court! It’s one of the most chill, laid-back places I stayed in and the staff was very helpful and friendly!
Nomads Noosa at a glance:
- Amazing location right near the beach
- Bar, pool, and volleyball court on-site
- Laid-back atmosphere so it’s easy to relax and meet people
Beds from 36 AUD ($27 USD), privates from 85 AUD ($63 USD).
When you visit Australia, I highly recommend you stay at these incredible hostels. For me, a good hostel has all about the amenities, staff, environment, and comfortable beds. These hostels meet all those requirements (which is why they are usually all full so book in advance!) so consider booking one on your next trip to the land down under!
Book Your Trip to Australia: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner or Momondo to find a cheap flight. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned. Start with Skyscanner first though because they have the biggest reach!
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- World Nomads (for everyone below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional repatriation coverage)
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Want More Information on Australia?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Australia for even more planning tips!
Photo credits: 1 – Witch’s Hat Hostel, 2 – Base Melbourne, 3 – Wake Up! Sydney, 4 – Surf N Sun Backpackers, 5 – Bunk Brisbane, 6 – Kimberley Travellers Lodge, 7 – Aquarius Backpackers, 8 – Gilligan’s Backpacker Hostel and Resort, 9 – Nomads Noosa