Halse Lodge Noosa
Clinton caught up with Drew from Halse Lodge to get an insider perspective on what makes Halse Lodge such a great place to stay on the East Coast.
Hi Drew, can you tell us the name of your hostel, where you're located, and how long you've been open?
It's Halse Lodge backpackers and we're located in Noosa Heads about 100 meters from main beach and we've been operating since 1996 so we've been around for quite a while.
What sets you apart from other hostels in the area?
Well the building's an 1880 historic heritage listed building. It's a fabulously beautiful place on a couple acres of ground. Being 100 meters from the beach gives us a huge advantage, probably the biggest advantage is that we only take just a little over a 100 people so all of our staff are very friendly, they're able to relate to all the guests, and it's just a pretty cool place to be.
Awesome. Sounds good. How do you get to or from the bus station or airport?
We have a shuttle bus that goes to the local transit centre quite a few times each day. If we miss you at the transit centre you can catch a local bus, however to Halse Lodge only costs a couple of dollars or so or you can walk over the hill, which only takes 10 minutes. There's shuttle buses that can pick up that go to and fro from Sunshine Coast airport, so getting to us is just not an issue. It's very simple.
What types of rooms available at the accommodation and how long do people usually stay?
Our rooms are 4 share bunk rooms. We've got 5 and 6 share and a larger dorm and we've also got twins and doubles so we've really got rooms of all sizes and for all needs of people.
Well the building's an 1880 historic heritage listed building. It's a fabulously beautiful place on a couple acres of grounds, and being 100 meters from the beach gives us a huge advantage
Do you have a time of year? A high or low season? And events that travellers should be aware of?
It's busy most of the year. Travellers need to be aware that in the Australian summer is particularly busy here In Noosa so you really have to book in advance. You'd need to book in advance during Australian school holidays and the quiet time of the year is probably in July, early August. But it's a popular beach resort so really it is best a book.
How far in advance would you suggest people book in the summer?
I think in summer it's a wise idea to book a couple of weeks in advance at least if you can. Just give as much notice as possible and we'll try to find you a bed.
What facilities do you have on offer at the hostel for guests?
In regards to car parking, there are a limited number of cars nevertheless there's good car parking here. Obviously we have laundry with all the facilities. We've got self catering kitchen where guests can cook their own, free wifi, we have a bar, restaurant ... Really we have a full resort complex except we don't have a swimming pool because we don't need one. We're 100 meters from the beach.
You said you had a kitchen where people can cook their own meals? What time is that open until?
We open the kitchen every morning around 7 am and it's open until 11 pm at night. So guests can cook and it's a well set up kitchen so they can cook whatever they like in there and we'll look after it and keep it clean. We hope our guests do too.
Where's the closest super market? Do you have 24 hour convenience stores in the area?
There's a 711 convenience store about 80 meters from our entrance and the supermarket's, Coles, IGA and Aldi about 15 minutes away so we're really very close to all those conveniences.
When checking in what should guests have ready?
All they need to do is to have some ID and to have details of their reservation so we can sign them into our live reservation system. Often people book under a different name or a different spelling and it helps so much if we just have some reference point as to who the guest is and we can process it quickly.
Do you do early check-ins or late check-outs?
Yes we do. A lot of people arrive after hours. Reception's open from 7:30 in the morning until around 7 at night. If you arrive outside those hours and you've told us that you're going to, we have a safe into which we put all your details and room key and we'll give you the details on how to open that safe so you can find your way to your room. So you can pretty much check in or check out 24 hours a day. That's fine. We can solve with that.
Do you offer luggage storage for guests?
Yes, we have a luggage storage area. It's a common area where all our guests put their gear so we don't recommend you leave valuables in there but you can certainly leave your backpack, clothing etc and it's all locked up in a private room.
Do you offer any free stuff like activities for your guests?
Yes, we actually do. For example every night of the year we have a meet and greet speech. Everybody gets a free glass of wine and then we tell everybody what to do around the area. We have game nights and things of that nature so that everybody's made to feel welcome and able to meet everybody else that's in the place and it's good for comradery .
What do guests find most surprising about Halse lodge?
I think the 2 things that just blow them away are the beauty of the old heritage listed building, which is just a fabulous place and the fact that we're about 100 meters from one of the most superb beaches in the country. We have a location and the style of the building is pretty amazing.
What measures do you have in place in regards to guest safety and their belongings?
We put lockers in all of our rooms. We also have lockers in the public area, the reception, where people can leave things should they be wanting to do that. We've got close circuit TV that records everything through the common areas. We have a guard that comes through the premises all through the night. So thankfully we're pretty secure.
Do people need their own locks for the lockers?
Yes, people need to bring their own locks to the lockers. It's much easier that way if people have their own lock and the key and so we don't need to worry about them.
If they don't have one do you sell them?
We have lockers where people can actually put in a 1 dollar coin, and then they can securely leave their valuables, so they're also available.
What's the most popular tour or activity that people do in Noosa?
Noosa is historically the gateway to Fraser Island, pretty much all of our guests will go to Fraser Island from here and the other most popular tour would be to go to the Noosa Everglades, that's up the Noosa river. The boats leave just a short distance away, so Fraser Island and the Noosa Everglades are number 1 and then of course learning to surf because the other big thing is the surf is really consistent so there is surf lessons that go on every day.
Is Wifi or internet available?
Yes we have wifi and it's completely free and the hotspot is all around the lounge and the common areas. But certainly it's available 24 hours a day for all the guests.
Can the traveller charge their phones or electronic devices in the rooms?
Yes, all rooms have sufficient power points so the guests can charge up whenever they want.
Where is your closest favourite late night eatery? Do you have a secret hidden gem?
Over at Noosa Junction, which again just ten minutes from us. There's a lot of the fast food chains and there's plenty of restaurants and then down hastings street which is a couple 100 meters from us is a food court that has different sorts of foods and snacks so you just can't go hungry. Our restaurant's also open every night anyway so there's no way you're gonna starve here.
Do you have a funny hostel story you can share with us?
One of the things that tends to happen here is people meet each other they kind of get attracted to each other, which I guess pretty usual at hostels but every night we have a meet and greet speech. Everyone gets to have a free glass of wine and all the new arrivals come along and they meet each other and one of our backpackers give a bit of a speech and we found that boy meets girl across the room at the meet and greet speech and one thing leads to another and we know that we've had now 9 weddings arise out of people accidentally meeting over a glass of wine at the Halse Lodge. You can get more than you bargain for so be careful what you wish for.