G’day and welcome to the best hostels in Australia. This diverse list covers all of the major traveller destinations in this vast country. From big cities like Sydney and Melbourne to smaller hubs like Broome and Alice Springs.
Are these really the top hostels in Australia?
100% YES! No worries there, mate!
The quality of hostels can vary depending on your chosen destination. There are actually a lot of small, family run Australian hostels.
We’ve covered all bases, from party hostels to 5 star hostels. And of course the all important backpacker places! All offer something great, just find the one that suits your style.
We are Hostelgeeks and we discover the worlds greatest hostels, including the best hostels in Australia.
We’ve travelled extensively in Australia, from the East Coast, the Top End and to the Central Australian desert.
At the end of this article you’ll spot a big hostel and itinerary map which is really helpful for your planning.
Not only that, but we share with you our ultimate hostel packing list, and how to get around Australia.
Enough of the nitty gritty. Let’s jump right on in to the great hostels.
Here are all the destinations we cover in this guide:
Sydney is certainly one of the top destinations to visit in Australia.
This city by the sea has great food, beaches, architecture, night life – what more do you need?
Oh yeah, great hostels! Actually, you only need ONE top hostel in Sydney.
If you’re visiting the land down under, Sydney is an absolute must and a great destination to start. Why?
It tends to be the cheapest city to fly in to and you’ll meet many travellers that have done the East Coast from Cairns to Sydney.
The 3 coolest hostels in Sydney are:
Find our detailed guide to hostels in Sydney here.
Our #1 choice in this beautiful city is Sydney Harbour YHA.
Here views over Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Sydney Harbour can be enjoyed from the rooftop!
We love the combined heritage and state of the art facilities under one roof. Not forgetting the super social vibes that are great for any solo traveller looking to mingle.
If you want to in the heart of the city next to pubs, restaurants and live music; stay here.
Next up is another central, minimalist hostel with spacious rooms and even more social vibes.
Wake Up! Sydney Central is a great choice for those that crave a bit of ease. Easily accomplished when you have a cafe and bar on the premises.
It’s THE choice for travellers that just love planned events and activities in/around the hostel including pub crawls, yoga classes and free pizza evenings.
This is surely a top hostel for those staying in the city for a few days.
Hopefully the name itself has got you a little excited because yes, this hostel is literally 2-minutes from the famous Bondi beach!
This is of course perfect for travellers desperate to see the beach as soon as they reach Australia.
Alongside the beach, there’s a wonderful rooftop terrace boasting awesome views. This is also where you can join yoga classes and personal training sessions.
It will be easy to find a buddy or two here that you can explore the city centre with. Bus connections will get you there in no time.
Another city on most travellers’ radar is hip and new age Melbourne.
Dubbed the sports and culture capital of Australia, it’s certainly worth putting a few days aside to explore what’s on offer here.
Here is the list of the most amazing hostels in Melbourne:
Find our detailed guide to the best hostels in Melbourne here.
Nevermind the name; this is a travellers HOSTEL, where luxury and budget come together in harmony.
This is no doubt the #1 recommendation for style, comfort and enjoyment for a variety of traveller types.
Couples can lounge on their very own balcony in private rooms, and solo travellers can meet plenty of people in the 8-bed dorm.
Not convinced? We probably should mention the rooftop with a Jacuzzi. AWESOME!
This great hostel is a 5-minute walk to the central station, surrounded by restaurants and shops.
If you want funky decor, quirky art and tons of personality; this is the backpacker hostel for you.
The rooms here are modern and very clean. All the usual inclusions we know you love are here. And yes, that includes a yammy breakfast!
We reckon the best bit has to be the basement bar. This will surely throw all of your social anxieties out the window.
Here’s one for the working travellers out there looking for a small, easy going place to reside.
Landing Pads Brunswick is a wonderful choice for those with a brand new working holiday visa and zero job plans. Just ask the staff to point you in the direction of the free job board.
This is less of a party place and more of a strong family home. In fact that’s exactly what it feels like – a big house share!
Be aware that this hostel is situated 20 minutes outside the CBD area of Melbourne.
Compare prices at: Hostelworld
Let’s leave the cooler temperatures of Victoria and head to sub-tropical Queensland where bats fly and parties commence every night of the week.
(Confused about the cities? Again, remember, we created this hostel map for you with all awesome hostels in Australia.)
There are some truly jaw-dropping hostels in this part of Australia.
Top Tip: hire a car to explore the beauty of the immediate areas surrounding Cairns city.
Our favourite hostels in Cairns are:
Find our detailed guide to the best hostels in Cairns here.
Let’s get excited for bright, big spaces and warm smiling faces that greet you at the Bounce Cairns door.
This is certainly great for backpackers looking for a sociable time – the large hang out area and pool are designed with this in mind.
What we love is the level of luxury here.
Every room is deluxe style with an en-suite and private balcony or courtyard garden.
To top it off there’s a bar on-site and breakfast is included.
If you’re looking for a HUGE hostel filled with nothing but party atmosphere, we urge you to check out Gilligan’s. If you are looking for hostels in Australia to get laid, well, consider this one.
Read: Sex in Hostels, the guide on dos and donts.
This hostel is all about the thrill-seeking traveller that has bundles of energy!
Here it’s possible to…
Take a chill pill and opt for Mad Monkeys if you prefer a family atmosphere on a smaller scale.
Right on the esplanade the public lagoon is at your disposal.
Inside the hostel there’s good Wi-Fi, hot breakfast and bicycle hire included in the price.
This is a bright, modern accommodation that was fully refurbished in 2017. Couples and small groups will certainly feel at home here.
No doubt Uluru and the red centre are high up on many of our readers’ bucket lists. And luckily for you there are some truly wonderful hostels in Alice Springs!
Central, cosy and unique – all boxes ticked by the following 3 best hostels in Alice Springs:
Find our detailed guide to hostels in Alice Springs here.
We also wrote a big guide on the best things to do in Alice Springs.
Undoubtedly deserved of the #1 spot is this fabulous little family run oasis.
Here we bring to you an accommodation that boasts passion, detail and local knowledge that will blow your socks off.
Every room has its own theme and the social spaces consist of a beautiful garden, pool, BBQ area and TV room. We recommend booking the Betty Bus for a truly unique stay in the Australian desert.
5-minutes from the town centre and super fast WiFi are just a few more things that make this a secret to shout about.
Jump Inn is a great option for the music lovers and those that appreciate a decent beer.
It’s maintains that small, intimate vibe but branches out when the bar doors open and the jam session kicks off once a week.
Female solo travellers will particularly enjoy the en-suite dorms that neighbour a large, refreshing pool. There are private options too set away from the bar.
This pretty little hostel is nestled within a quiet residential area very close to the town centre.
What’s nice about this hostel is the basic design that doesn’t cop out on comfort and cleanliness. It’s an affordable option and this is reflected perfectly.
Thanks to the small size, staff have more time to dedicate to their guests which sets it apart from the bigger places. Have a chat and enjoy a swim, you deserve it.
The island of Tasmania is stunning; simple as that.
It’s the perfect getaway for travellers in search of hiking, cycling and trying their hand at fruit picking.
Remember, Tasmania is not on mainland Australia. Check again the map.
Let’s take a look at the best hostels in Hobart, Tasmania:
This is THE place to stay if you’re travelling to Hobart… well actually if you’re travelling to Tasmania in general.
Family run and on the map since 2014, the owners have put serious effort in the rooms and it’s really paid off. It certainly has a hotel vibe here at hostel prices.
It’s a home and what does every home need? Pets, cute kids and warm spaces. Tick, tick and tick.
Read our full review of Montecute Boutique Bunkhouse below and find out why it’s an easy choice for our 5 star hostel in Hobart.
Aside from an awesome name, this quirky hostel offers a central location and a bunch of fun, free tours.
There’s heaps of space to relax. Grab a local beer or a cup of organic coffee and relax in one of the hammocks at the end of a long day.
Solo travellers and social butterflies will feel right at home here.
Coming in a close second for the #2 spot is The Nook Backpackers.
Whilst the rooms here are nothing to write home about, the free Mt Wellington shuttle and weekly karaoke night really give this place an edge.
It always helps when there is friendly staff, and that’s no exception here. Talk to them about bicycle hire and pick their brains on local knowledge.
The city of Townsville doesn’t have much to offer other than beautiful beaches, good bars and memorable hostels. Sounds pretty rubbish, right?!
Once you’ve explored Townsville we recommend taking a trip to peaceful Magnetic Island just 6km from the coastline.
The two coolest hostels in Townsville are:
This super stylish hostel may have you double checking your reservation. Don’t panic; the sparkling rooftop pool, plush beds and outdoor bar and restaurant are all yours to enjoy at a fantastic price.
It’s within walking distance to the beach and cool nightlife, too.
A hot paradise for couples and solo travellers looking for the coolest accommodation in Townsville.
Check out our full review of Rambutan Townsville YHA below to find out why it’s won our 5 star hostel reward.
Looking for a bit of peace and quiet not so close to the CBD? Look no further!
Civic Guest House is all about the friendly, relaxed environment for the laid back traveller.
The general design of bedrooms and common spaces are simple but effective. We personally love the little garden lounge area out the back.
Be sure to make use of the pool table and chess board during your stay.
If the capital of Queensland is calling your name, you won’t be disappointed with the hostels you’re about to discover!
Let the river sweep you off your feet and guide you to awesome rooftops, sparkling swimming pools and a fun party hostel.
The fun hostels in Brisbane are:
Welcome to a cozy atmosphere for flashpackers!
Breeze Lodge has a real inviting design that’s equally colourful and playful. And there’s so much space everywhere you turn!
It’s also situated on Kangaroo Point which is Brisbane’s most beautiful suburb. Cliffs nearby offer the perfect spot for a sunset every day of the week.
The rooftop and two groovy lounge areas are also worth a mention.
Welcome to this boutique hostel set inside a colonial heritage listed building that dates back to 1872. Ooo-err!
Alongside its historic charm you can expect cosy rooms and helpful staff.
Travellers that aren’t into party vibes will like it here: there’s a No Alcohol protocol in place. Instead enjoy the pool and wind down with a movie.
Your third option for a great time is Bunk Brisbane. It’s built on young, happy vibes which will soon rub off on you.
It has won many awards for staff, rooms and of course the all important on-site bar and nightclub in an ultimate location next to the famous Story Bridge.
Rooms of all types are available to satisfy couples, budget travellers and flashpackers.
Right then, who’s ready for a smashing party? This ‘18-35 years only’ hostel sure knows how to set the scene for a great experience.
Take in the view from the rooftop terrace and revel in the many freebies including:
It’s time to venture to South Australia’s cosmopolitan coastal capital.
It’s often a stop off point for travellers on their way to Perth, Melbourne and even Alice Springs. Check out the hostels we’ve found that might tempt you to stay a bit longer.
The best hostels in Adelaide are:
In the top spot is a rather large hostel boasting 18 rooms with 134 beds. So as you’ve probably guessed this is a good choice for sociable travellers.
Even Alfonso, the owner, has time for a chat. His enthusiasm for the hostel is evident and infectious.
Start your day with a stretch in the spacious rooms along with a delicious buffet of pancakes and fresh fruit. Yum!
Three times a week there is a ‘family dinner’ on offer. This is a really great way to save money and meet people. Just make sure you get there on time as hungry mouths don’t wait around.
Super cool: over the coming months every bed is being transformed in to a privacy pod. Yep, expect a curtain, plug and reading lamp all to yourself. The brand new mattresses are also really comfy!
Other enticing perks:
A much smaller and more personal option in Adelaide is Backpack Oz. Family run by caring owners that enjoy a good reputation.
There’s a daily happy hour of $4 beers and BBQ dinners once a month that will really help settle you in.
The CBD is within walking distance and many great pubs and cafes are nearby, too.
Rooms vary in size from 6-12 beds and there’s an option for female solo travellers that prefer single-sex dorms.
Over in Western Australia is another striking capital city that sits where the Swan River meets the Southwest coast.
Get ready for sweeping views and endless opportunities.
The best hostels in Perth are:
Our #1 recommendation offers a clean, friendly and spacious retreat during your travels.
This is a very typical Australian hostel with basic rooms and more of a focus on social areas. Great for the real budget backpacker!
Be sure to join the free food night as a perfect means to get to know other guests and friendly staff.
This backpackers is run by backpackers, for backpackers. Did we confuse you there? Basically, this is a super sociable, fun and multi-cultural environment for travellers.
There’s a fully licensed bar and free entertainment to help your entire stay keep within a budget.
Note: this is one of the cheaper hostel options so expect basic design and minimalism.
Brace yourself for humid temperatures and croc country – this is the real Australia! It might be by the coast but this is not the place to come if you’re looking for great beaches.
Instead head down to Darwin recreation lagoon where a safe swimming area has been created.
The best hostels in Darwin are:
Voted best accommodation in the Northern Territory in 2017. Did you think we’d find you anything less?
Mitchell Street is slap bang in the centre of Darwin, surrounded by shops, restaurants and awesome nightlife.
Enjoy an awesome leisure deck that has two pools and a spa with waterfall, a licensed bar, darts and more. Staff is at hand 24/7 to assist and pass on their local knowledge.
It was actually quite tricky to put these two hostels in order, so we’d like to make this a joint #1 with Melaleuca. Here’s why:
Choose between a range of dorm sizes including a female only. All of this close-by to the famous Mindil Beach Sunset markets.
This quaint seaside town is a surfer’s paradise and attracts most of those travelling up and down the East Coast of Australia.
If you like to dread your hair and be a part of a crowded yet small community; you’ll just love Byron Bay.
Our hostel recommendations in Byron Bay are:
Our #1 hostel in Byron Bay just so happens to be seconds from Belongil Beach – score!
You may have a hard time leaving this hostel to appreciate it however, because it has so much to offer alongside a range of rooms that suit every traveller.
Free bikes, yoga classes, pancake Sundays and live music are just a few temptations we had to mention. Oh and let’s not forget The Tree House Bar and Restaurant attached to the property.
How do you like the sound of disconnecting from social media to make new friends around the campfire before collapsing in your very own private tent?
This is a ‘hostel’ with a twist! Forget bunk beds; this is a camping experience.
All of the usual amenities are here including Wi-Fi, communal area and kitchen. There’s also an hourly bus that stops right outside to take you to town.
Compare prices at: Hostelworld
This striking hostel offers outstanding rooms for all traveller types. We think couples will especially love the superior double private!
Although it’s just seconds from the high street, you won’t need to leave as there is a bar and cafe on-site.
If you just need one temptation, it has to be the free nightly meal on offer.
Compare prices at: Hostelworld
This is a must see part of Australia. There’s a stunning 22km white sand beach and red rocks decorated with dinosaur tracks.
It’s the perfect location for travellers that seek crazy vast nature and time to reflect.
The best hostels in Broome are:
Remember that 22km beach we mentioned? Well it’s just a short walk from our chosen #1 hostel.
Rooms here range from luxury private, family, mixed and female only dorms. It has been designed with everyone in mind.
Facilities include a bar, swimming pool and BBQ facilities, just to name a few. They even offer complimentary airport pick up!
Home to Kimberley tour guides; the staff here are eager to help plan your West Coast adventure.
It’s a family owner hostel so you can be rest assured a lot of passion has been put into the rooms and friendly atmosphere.
Enjoy a dip in the pool, grab a beer and light the fire pit as the evening sun sets. Sounds pretty good… we’ll see you there.
Along Queensland’s East Coast lies a modern high-rise city only metres from a white sand beach.
Party goers and lovers of typical cheesy seaside entertainment will feel right at home here.
Best places to stay in Surfers Paradise are:
Welcome to Surfers Paradise’s newest hostel, just 100m from the beach.
The brand new renovations ensure top notch facilities and clean living spaces. Dorms include funky custom built bunks.
By far the main attraction here is the hot tub and sun deck. You’ll have an Aussie tan in no time!
Party peeps aged 18-35 are in serious luck!
There is a dedicated Party Room here which features a pool table, PS4 and a BYO alcohol rule. Pub crawls are arranged every week, too.
The beach is a mere 150m. We suggest filling up on the free fry up before hitting the waves.
So why exactly did we leave Australia’s capital city to the very end?! In all honesty; Canberra is a pretty rubbish destination.
It’s primarily a business hub with not a lot to offer travellers when compared to the rest of the country. This includes hostels!
Still, we appreciate some of you will be curious none the less so we thought we’d better include it.
The answer to where to stay in Canberra are:
Sorry, we only found this one. It is the only one we can really recommend to you!
Note: there are a couple more options but we don’t think they match the Hostelgeeks criteria.
Being situated in central Canberra is a big plus of this YHA hostel. Stay here and you’ll be surrounded by heaps of free attractions and lively local music scene.
If you’re not too bothered about the city, make use of the pool, rooftop and underground bar.
Otherwise rent a bike and go explore the city’s main shopping hub right on the doorstep.
For those of you brave enough to try shark cage diving with Great Whites, Port Lincoln is where you’ll want to head. It’s actually the only place in Australia where you can do so!
As for Port Lincoln accommodation? We stayed at Port Lincoln YHA and were pleasantly surprised.
Debi and Robert have created more of a homestay atmosphere than a hostel. It’s incredibly clean, the spaces are huge and you’ll be made to feel like one of the family.
Get excited by the…
Good to know: Debi is familiar with beautiful nearby beaches, so make sure you have a chat with her.
We highly recommend shark cage diving with Calypso Star Charters. Skipper Dan has a 85% success rate and really knows all there is to know about Great Whites.
Other than Hobart, Launceston is the second biggest city in Tasmania and the most common stop on route to Cradle Mountain and the Overland Track.
Whilst you’re in town, we recommend staying in a 1888 heritage building, the Arthouse Hostel.
On first appearances it looks a little like a haunted house. But inside you’ll be greeted with high ceilings, huge windows and homely spaces. This felt much like a big house-share – it’s incredibly sociable.
Make use of the:
If you like big dorms rooms, you’ll enjoy Arthouse Hostel.
There are female, male and mixed dorms. All of which come in different sizes of 4-10 beds. Private options have queen sized beds and are very spacious.
Note: many backpackers find work and stay longterm. Remember the building is old so it can get a little noisy.
Have a chat with owner Pete and the other staff, they’re super friendly and know the immediate and surrounding areas well.
Phew, that’s a lot of information! And we are proud of you made it all the way to the famous map of all the epic places to stay.
Never fear; this handy map pinpoints ALL the most amazing hostels in Australia. It will help you get your head around the geography of this huge country.
Here is our recommendation for a backpacker itinerary around Australia.
It is probably no surprise that Australia is huge. So the more time you have to explore, the better.
The most common route is travelling the East Coast either from north to south or vice versa.
From there it’s possible to travel along the South Coast to the West or brave the desert by heading straight through the middle.
Prepare for seriously long drive time or big expenses on flights if you decide to explore many areas of Oz.
Check the weather before you choose your route! Queensland is sub-tropical and Victoria is variable with its four seasons.
You wouldn’t want to travel to Darwin during the rainy season, for example. Unless you love 90% humidity…!
Below in the map you find our itinerary recommendation and all mentioned hostels. We marked them as follows:
5 Star Hostels: Black with White Star
Design Hostels: Blue
Backpacker-Type Hostel: Orange
Other recommendation: Pink
(You can open the sidebar in the map to activate and deactivate groups.)
When backpacking around Australia, there’s no doubt you’re going to need transport. Come on, walking is no option really……
Your options are:
The vastness of Australia and its cities connect brilliantly thanks to the wonderful Greyhound bus.
It’s possible to buy different length passes that enable you to hop on and hop off any destination on route. For example; buy a week long pass and travel from Sydney to Adelaide, hopping off at Melbourne on the way.
Check out greyhound.com.au for all the information on bus routes and prices.
Renting a car to explore Australia is another option. Many people opt for a van which has a bed and cooking facilities. This is a fantastic way to get around!
Sure, the initial costs are quite high, but you’ll save on accommodation and it gives you ultimate freedom wherever you go. Especially because there are tons of free roadside camping spots.
I’d recommend this if you’re travelling far distances, and stick to local buses/trams/trains within cities.
If renting or buying a car sounds like too much hassle for you; consider hopping in someone else’s.
This is actually very popular in Australia as a means to cut costs down for everyone.
It’s a fantastic way to save on travel expenses and meet new people.
Most backpackers advertise in their car window or on message boards in their hostel – it’s never hard to find someone that’s driving huge distances, it just depends on their direction.
Short on time or can’t stand to be cooped up for hours on end?
Then I highly suggest paying a bit extra to fly from A to B.
Although I’d always suggest spending longer in one place, if you really need to see every city in Australia in three weeks, then domestic flights are a god-send.
It’s possible to find really good last minute deals, but prepare to spend a lot of money to reach destinations that are rural such as Alice Springs.
Read here our full review of Kiwi.com and how to use it.
Okay, after finding all these super cool places, it’s time to see what you should pack in your backpack or suitcase. Make sure you always pick a quality hostel, it totally reduces the things you need to pack.
You can buy pretty much anything around Australia anyway. So no need to pack everything you own!
Here is our ultimate hostel packing list.
It features 23 items you need to pack.
The main things to pack are:
Read the full packing list here.
Do you fancy a discount? C’mon, who doesn’t?!
You can find all our valid discount for hostels here.
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This list of the best Backpacker and Luxury Hostels, the 5 Star Hostels, will always stay up to date.
Besides the listed accommodation, we also put together the best hostels in the world; the 5 Star Hostels.
We stayed in a former winery in Santorini, in a former jail-now 5 Star Hostel and many more. And we share all of those unique budget accommodations with you.
1 hostel per destination & hostel lists. We only pick the #1 hostel for all destinations.
This guide is an exception since it covers all backpacker accommodations in Australia.
We unbox the hostels and check all their pros and cons. For each destination, there can be only 1 hostel be chosen to be a 5 Star-Awarded Hostel.
This is your shortcut to your hostel-picks, saving you lots of time in your accommodation research.
And for sure, it gives you the security of a top-hostel choice without any bad surprises.