3 Best Hostels in Airlie Beach – Whitsunday White-Sand Beaches and Chilled Hostels for Solo Travelers

3 Best Hostels in Airlie Beach, Australia
Photo by Toa Heftiba

So, you’re planning a road trip up the East Coast of Australia and are looking for the best hostels in Airlie Beach?

Great choice! This destination is your gateway to the outstanding natural beauty of Whitsundays.

Yet you don’t have to settle for a rubbish hostel whilst you await a white sand beach day.

This guide is your answer to the best Airlie Beach accommodation!

Your shortcut:

  1. Airlie Beach Magnums – great for groups
  2. Nomads Airlie Beach – top pick for solo travellers
  3. Backpackers by the Bay – perfect for backpackers

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Outdoor pools for those social vibes, and cosy options for older travellers and couples – we’ve got it all.

Looking for that perfect backpacker hostel Airlie Beach has? Keep scrolling.

This guide is perfect for YOU, when …

  • tired of bad and crappy hostels
  • want to avoid the “young party kids”
  • happy to spend 1-2€ for a better experience

Check out our ultimate guide to the 34 best hostels in Australia here.

What we cover in this article?

You can find all 5 Star Hostels here with Hostelgeeks and all guides to “Best Hostels In” here.

Quick Introduction to Airlie Beach

Average price for a bed: Hostels in Airlie Beach cost 15€ – 18€ per night for a bed in a dorm. A private room starts from 37€ up to 75€ per night. This is a rough average just to give you an idea.

Prices always depend on season and holidays. Please always check exact rates on Hostelworld.com or Booking.com.

Check-In and Check Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3pm), while the Check Out time is before 11:00 (11am). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.

Airlie Beach Location: Situated just 40-minutes from the nearest airport, Airlie Beach is also easily accessed by car. It’s a really small town, so wandering by foot is recommended. All of the hostels in this guide are either on or very close to the main strip.

Airlie Beach Festival of Music: Every year a jam session kicks off on the beach and in 15 venues in the area. There are usually around 75 artists over a long weekend in November. If you’re in the area during this time, it’s definitely worth going. One and three day passes are available.

🎁 New to Hostels? Read our guide to staying in a Hostel for the First Time here. We especially recommend reading:

The 3 Best Hostels in Airlie Beach

Let’s jump right into the boutique hostels in Airlie Beach.

  1. Airlie Beach Magnums
  2. Nomads Airlie Beach
  3. Backpackers by the Bay

We put all three accommodation on the map, you will find the map at the end of the article.

Overview: Best Hostels by Traveler Type

🦸 Solo Traveler: Airlie Beach Nomads
🙎‍♀️ best for Female Solo Traveler: Backpackers by the Bay
🥳 Party Hostel:Base Airlie Beach
👩‍❤️‍👨Couple Hostel: Airlie Beach Magnums
🎒 For Backpackers: Backpackers by the Bay
👩‍💻 For Digital Nomads: Airlie Beach Magnums
🧘 Cosy Hostel: Bush Village Budget Cabins

1. Airlie Beach Magnums

Let’s kick start with an award winning unique accommodation that offers epic tours and relaxed vibes.

Welcome to Airlie Beach Magnums – the best place to stay Airlie Beach!

Think of it as your very own tropical oasis on the beach.

Wander around the lush on-site gardens, or take a wander to the nearby famous Airlie Beach lagoon. You can’t beat a central location, after all!

If your main reason for visiting the area is for tours and trips, we can’t recommend Magnums enough.

They specialise in and offer unbeatable prices for:

  • Great Barrier Reef trips
  • Full day Whitsundays tour
  • Overnight sailing trips
  • Adventure packages (skydiving, rafting, 4WD)

Yet perhaps you’re also looking to relax and unwind. That’s also possible!

Test your volleyball skills in the sun-drenched court, get out of the sun in the TV room or be real Aussie and enjoy a BBQ.

There is also two communal kitchens and that all important free Wifi which follows you throughout the resort.

To top it off there is secure car parking at the back of the property – a real win if you’re exploring the country by car.

Good to know: Sadly Airlie Beach Magnums no longer offer shared dorms, only private rooms.

Yet, we decided to keep this hostel as #1 because of the wonderful shared spaces that encourage people to mingle.

This is an opportunity to treat yourself to a private room instead. The options are:

  • Twin room w/ shared bathroom
  • Double room w/ shared bathroom
  • Triple room w/ ensuite
  • NEW: Queen cabin w/ ensuite

Each room includes air-conditioning, a small fridge, kettle, linen and towels – pretty good huh?

Even though the rooms are modern and super comfortable, don’t forget to make time to go outside and enjoy the surroundings!

Location: Situated on the Main Street of Airlie Beach surrounded by popular cafes, bars and restaurants. Port Airlie is a 15-minute stroll. This is also the closest hostel to Shute Harbour Road.

This is one of the best hostels in Airlie Beach for

  • Groups
  • Couples
Book Airlie Beach Magnums here

Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com | Hostelworld

Airlie Beach Magnums is one of the best hostels in Airlie Beach, Australia Airlie Beach Magnums is one of the best hostels in Airlie Beach, Australia Airlie Beach Magnums is one of the best hostels in Airlie Beach, Australia

2. Nomads Airlie Beach Resort

Calling all travellers that like to have everything under one roof. Choose your stay with Airlie Beach Nomads – simple.

And by everything we mean…

  • A swimming pool
  • Hostel bar
  • Communal kitchen
  • Free Wifi
  • Onsite parking

Not only that, but there are tropical gardens, a volleyball court and a BBQ area.

Essentially, you need never leave the hostel once you’ve arrived.

The social vibes are always flowing thanks to the great shared spaces. Another great way of meeting people is to join local live music and $3 tacos on Tuesdays!

Looking to spice it up a little? Ask staff about their fun boat parties.

There is something happening every day of the week. It’s a top choice for solo travellers.

What we really like is the small dorm rooms of 4, 6 and 8-beds.

They all have air conditioning, lockers and secure key card access. Unfortunately, there are no privacy curtains.

Once again, this hostel has hired staff that know their stuff. They can help you with planning your Whitsundays adventure(s).

Make sure you ask about the range of day tours and overnight trips at affordable prices.

There is also a handy Nomads Airlie Beach airport shuttle on offer.

FYI: Combined with Nomads is Base Airlie Beach (skip to discover this fun party hostel).

Location: Directly opposite the swimming lagoon and 50 metres from Airlie’s strip of bars and boho shops. It’s just a 10-minute walk to the bus station.

This is one of the best hostels in Airlie Beach for

  • Solo travellers
  • Couples
Book Nomads Airlie Beach here

Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com | Hostelworld

Nomads Airlie Beach is one of the best hostels in Airlie Beach, Australia

Nomads Airlie Beach is one of the best hostels in Airlie Beach, Australia Nomads Airlie Beach is one of the best hostels in Airlie Beach, Australia

3. Backpackers by the Bay

Backpackers by the Bay is a small, clean and purpose-built Airlie Beach backpackers hostel. Feel free to call it BBB for short.

With a total of 70 guests at one time, it’s still possible to meet new friends and enjoy some peace at the same time.

The room choices include 4 and 8-bed mixed dorms as well as double and twin rooms.

We vote BBB as having the best dorms in this guide. That’s because they offer sturdy wooden bunks so there’ll be no rattling in the night!

Fun fact: this was the first backpackers in Airlie Beach, built in 1986.

This cosy, International, environmentally friendly house is equipped with a…

  • Covered outdoor pool
  • Hammocks
  • Outdoor exercise area
  • BBQ
  • Library and
  • Communal kitchen

The staff love to get their guests in to their rooms ASAP. So if you arrive early and it’s ready, you can dump your bags, get showered and head off to explore.

Daily freebies include tea, coffee, Wifi and a courtesy drop to the marina each morning (8am).

To promote new friendships, there is a nightly trivia competition and the small hostel bar offers the cheapest drinks in the Whitsundays.

Though we personally think the coolest thing to join is an outdoor movie.

Location: It’s a 5-minute walk to the Main Street and is located directly opposite the coach transit. There is a wonderful view of the Port of Airlie Marina from here.

This is one of the best hostels in Airlie Beach for

  • Backpackers
Book Backpackers by the Bay here

Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com | Hostelworld

Backpackers by the Bay is one of the best hostels in Airlie Beach, Australia Backpackers by the Bay is one of the best hostels in Airlie Beach, Australia Backpackers by the Bay is one of the best hostels in Airlie Beach, Australia

What about cheapest hostels in Airlie Beach?

Of course, there are always cheap hostels. Forget looking for an Airlie Beach hotel!

We think, it’s not worth it to go with the cheapest hostel out there.


The difference is usually 1-2€ ($1-2) per night, and a lot of amenities are not included. This can be breakfast or linen.

However, if you are traveling on a shoe-string budget and you wanna save every penny, there are ways to find the cheapest places in Airlie Beach.

  1. Open Hostelworld with full list of budget places to stay in Airlie Beach
  2. Order the listing by price

Simple as that.

Check out Airlie Beach YHA for a more affordable option right in the centre of town.

Read: 15 hacks for booking hostels

Make sure you use then the other filters and rank per price.

Also keep a close eye on the ratings, especially the “extreme ratings”. Meaning, the best and worst. These ratings can give great insight on what to expect.

Best Hostels in Airlie Beach for Solo Travellers?

What is seriously the best hostel in Airlie Beach for solo-travellers?

Well, there’s no doubt that Airlie Beach is a wonderful destination for sociable solo travellers that love organised events, tours and communal areas.

That’s why we highly recommend staying at Airlie Beach Magnums.

This hostel specialises in affordable Whitsundays tours and offers fun activities everyday of the week.

With an on-site bar and luxurious private cabins, what more do you need?

Important: We recommend this for solo travellers that want to enjoy their own private room. There are no shared rooms here anymore, yet the hostel still offers plenty of shared spaces for social times.

Book Airlie Beach Magnums here

Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com | Hostelworld

Airlie Beach Magnums is one of the best hostels in Airlie Beach, Australia

Party Hostels in Airlie Beach

Right then party people, we’ve got a treat in store for you.

Book your stay with Base Airlie Beach and you’re guaranteed a good time.

It would be hard not to enjoy yourself when there is all of this on-site:

  • Boat House Bar w/ $16 meal deal
  • 20% off drinks
  • Outdoor swimming pool & 2 volleyball courts
  • Shed Bar (outdoor nightclub)

Treat yourself to a private room and you’ll get your very own spa-bath, fridge and air conditioning. Yes please!

To top it off, the staff can help book your 1-3 day sailing adventure to the Whitsundays.

Location: Set amongst 6 acres of tropical gardens, 50 metres from the swimming lagoon and beach.

Book Base Airlie Beach here

Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com | Hostelworld

Base Airlie Beach is one of the best party hostels in Airlie Beach, Australia

Best Hostel for Older Travellers & Adults

For more of a relaxed and quiet setting, we suggest staying at the Bush Village Budget Cabins in Cannonvale.

Sit in the gardens amongst the birds, grab a beer from the bar and enjoy the free Wifi.

The staff team is only too pleased to help you book overnight sailing tours.

It’s still an easy walk to town, but here you’ll enjoy ultimate quiet away from the more lively scene of Airlie.

Cute detached cabins are perfect for couples or solo travellers looking to escape from socialising and enjoy some downtime.

The focus is on deluxe, queen and king cabins though there is also a 5-bed mixed dorm (adults only).

Of course, you can also relax in a hammock and take a dip in the pool. You’re sure to meet other travellers there.

Book Bush Village Budget Cabins here

Compare prices and read reviews at: Booking.com | Hostelworld

Bush Village Budget Cabins is one of the best hostels for adults in Airlie Beach, Australia

Before you go! There is one other option for older travellers and adults.

Have a look at Kipara Tropical Rainforest Resort for more cute cabin options set in the rainforest just 2km from Airlie Beach centre. It’s located on Shute Harbour Road. Note: there are only private rooms available here.

How to book?

We recommend using Booking.com or Hostelworld for your reservations.

Hostelworld is the most popular website when it comes to hostel bookings.

Read: step-by-step guide on how to book with Hostelworld

On both platforms your credit card is 100% protected and the booking 100% confirmed.

We included the handy links to each of the recommended hostel. Just click on the hostel name. The link will lead you to check prices and availability.

Here is the overview:

  1. Airlie Beach Magnums: Booking.com | Hostelworld
  2. Nomads Base Backpackers Airlie Beach: Booking.com | Hostelworld
  3. Airlie Beach Backpackers by the Bay: Booking.com | Hostelworld

We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible!

All of Airlie Beach best hostels are popular; especially in high-season. To make sure you end up in those stylish hostels, secure your room or bed as soon as you have your travel dates fix.

Any Discounts?

Currently, we have no special hostel discounts in Airlie Beach. I know, it’s a pity. You can subscribe to our newsletter to receive our newest hostel discounts always to your inbox.

You can find all our hostel discounts worldwide here.

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Our Favorite Hostels in Airlie Beach put on a map + sights

Let us have a look on the map. Below we list all three best Airlie Beach hostels on a map.

Personally, we love to plan our trips with a map having all sights and potential hostels on it. We thought this map will help you with planning your trip too.

We also included the main tourist attractions you’ve to know in this list:

  • Airlie Beach Lagoon
  • Whitsunday Islands
  • Coral Sea Marina
  • Whitehaven Beach
  • Boathaven Beach
  • Whitsunday Saturday Markets
  • Honeyeater Lookout Trail

Any questions about hostels in Airlie Beach? 🤔

Join our Facebook Group!

Ask all your questions and connect with like-minded wanderers 🔥

Flights to Airlie Beach?

We use Skyscanner and Omio.com to find cheap flights and good connections all over the globe.

Skyscanner has a bunch of cool features like Multi-City Trip. Instead of doing this research step-by-step, Skyscanner offers this flight planning tool.

Our Step-by-Step Guide to Skyscanner

review of Skyscanner flight searches


Alright, you should have found your accommodation already. Below we list all the frequently asked questions. Have a look.

More Guides

Alright, this is your answer to where to stay in Airlie Beach Australia accommodation.

Here are some more awesome guides in Australia:

Party hostels:

Backpacker hostels:

Heading over to Fiji? check out our guide to the best hostels in Fiji.

You can find all our new and updates articles for Best Hostels in here.

We also created a huge guide to hostels. Here we cover how to build lifetime friendships in hostels, the perfect packing list and more.

Over to you

Do you have any questions left, maybe doubts? Then please leave it in the comment below. We are very keen to help you - and actually you would even do us a favor!

Your question will help us to improve this Airlie Beach guide.

Last note: Our commitment

This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter, and find the best place on a budget! We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We are constantly updating all our guides to keep them as fresh and accurate as possible.

Safe travels,
The Hostelgeeks

Have fun!

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A complete guide and overview of the best hostels in Airlie Beach, Australia for backpackers and solo travelers

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