The ultimate guide on how backpacker hostels work in Australia

Cairns Gilligans Backpackers
Dorm Wake Up

“Staying in Hostels can be a very rewarding experience!”

The ultimate guide on how backpacker hostels work in Australia

When you are travelling Australia on a budget you will no doubt end up staying in hostels as a cheap way to stretch your savings over the duration of your stay.

Hostels or Backpackers Hostels are a form of budget accommodation that generally cater for the youth adventure travel market.  In saying that, you can find the odd grey nomad staying in some which can make for some interesting banter.

As budget travellers love their free stuff, a lot of hostels have free activities daily and they are usually written on a board near the reception area.  If you cant find it, just ask reception they will be able to hook you up!

Hostels are made up of the following:

As budget travellers love their free stuff, a lot of hostels have free activities daily and they are usually written on a board near the reception area.  If you cant find it, just ask reception they will be able to hook you up!

How do dorms rooms work?

Dorm rooms: Dorm rooms are rooms that you would share with other people, usually bunk beds and they start from 4 beds up to 10 people or even more. So that means you and the other people in the room are the only ones to have access to that room.   In saying that though always be aware sometimes people from other rooms in the hostels might be friends with other guests in your room and could enter the room as well.  Most hostels will have a locker for each dorm bed in the room to keep your belongings secure.

If that’s not the case, then we suggest having a padlock that you can lock your backpack or for other valuable items you don’t feel comfortable leaving them in your room most reputable hostels will have a safe which you can leave your passports, laptops and other valuables should you need to.

99% of all hostels in Australia will provide linen upon check in or the bed will already be made up with fresh linen and a Duvet, Doona and a pillow.  Most hostels require you on checkout to bring your sheets and pillow case to reception so the cleaners know which beds to make sure have fresh linen for new guests arriving.

Check in times for most hostels in Australia is around 2pm, though sometimes if you are super nice to reception and if it is not too early they will let you check in if the cleaners have been through the room already.

Depending on the hostel, some with have ensuite bathrooms connected to the dorm room, some dorm rooms will be advertised with share facilities which means the toilets and showers will be located outside of the room, usually down the hall or not too far away.  So if that is important to you have a bathroom connected to your room make sure you request this at the time of booking or make sure you choose the right option online.

Now there is also the option to have mixed dorms where you will be sharing with both male and female guests or certain hostels offer female only dorms for those ladies who don’t want to share with male travellers.

Generally, its not always the best idea to book the cheapest hostel just because you save $3.  As for the cheapest hostels there is usually a reason why they are cheap, whether is the cleanliness or the rude staff, or location.

Private rooms     :  Private rooms in hostels are not 5 star hotels, they are usually a 2 to 4 star budget style private room again with an ensuite or with shared facilities.  Private rooms in hostels generally you won’t need to bring your linen down to reception upon check out as you are paying a premium rate for that room so that is usually a part of the customer experience that the hostel will look after your linen for you. When spending long periods of time in dorm rooms in hostels sometimes it can work out not too much more expensive to stay in a private room or twin room with your friend or partner and then that way security is less of an issue as it is just the two of you.

 

Facilities

Now other important aspects of choosing the right hostel for you is the facilities they have on offer.  An easy way to see what they have on offer is to go to either their website or websites like hostelworld.  Some hostels offer a lot and some don’t offer much at all, you really do pay for what you get in Australia.  For example some hostels offer a free towel and others will charge you $10 to hire a towel, Generally, its not always the best idea to book the cheapest hostel just because you save $3.  As for the cheapest hostels there is usually a reason why they are cheap, whether is the cleanliness or the rude staff, or location. Think about it, I know everyone likes to save money but is it really worth it to walk long distances or pay for public transport when you could have just paid that small amount and be centrally located to all the landmarks, cbd, shops and nightlife.

It is also important to think about how you will get home and how far and safe it is to do so.  A trick would be to know what you are planning to do in each destination so that will help you choose the right hostel in terms of location.   It is a good idea to spend a little extra and you’ll be thankful in the end.

Now Australia is a long way behind the likes a South East Asia, Americas and most other countries when it comes to Free Wifi.  In saying this we are getting better, but some hostels are still trying to hold on to the paid model of charging guests for Wifi.

Be sure that if this is something you require that it is included so you won’t be disappointed.  If the hostel is charging you for Wi fi don’t freak out, there are plenty of restaurants and bars around to get Free Wi fi or data plans are getting super cheap in Australia so if you planning to stick around a while it might be best to get a prepaid data pack from one of the Mobile providers.

Australia is generally a warm climate so if you really feel the heat I would recommend choosing a hostel with air conditioning, and in the winter June to September in southern Cities like Sydney and Melbourne you are going to want some form of heating in your room.

Most hostels will have a common room with TV or in some cases even cinemas, so there is always places to chill out should you not want to stay in your dorm or private rooms and try and mingle with fellow travellers.

Kitchens and cooking facilities

All decent hostels will have a kitchen or cooking areas for travellers to buy their own food and cook their own meals to save on eating out.  It is a good idea to buy yourself a reusable shopping bag that is lockable that you can store your food in a fridge or shelf without having other travellers taking advantage of your food, some hostels will even have Pidgeon holes storage shelves for each persons food that is lockable as well.

Laundry Facilites

All great hostels will have coin operated laundry facilities available on site with both washers and dryers. You usually will pay around $4 for a wash and around $2 -$4 for a dry.

Conclusion

In conclusion, staying in backpacker hostels can be a very rewarding, character building and socially beneficial experience when travelling solo or in a group.

As the market is very competitive, hostels are constantly trying to step up their games to keep the new age traveller satisfied and businesses go out of their way to provide amazing experiences whilst hosting their guests travelling Australia.

One Stop Adventures only uses reputable and clean hostels plus we also make sure the hostels are in great locations and constantly keep an eye out for any new and upcoming hostels so you know you are going to be staying with the best when booking with One Stop Adventures for your Australian trip. More importantly when booking an East Coast Package, West Coast or Outback tour in Australia with us we will get you even more discount on hostels!!

Unique Locations!
Awesome Laundry facilities
Dorm at Gilligans, Cairns
Wake Up Sydney Private rooms
The crew of Bunk Brisbane
Chilling by the pool at Backpackers Inn
Meeting new people is super easy when staying in hostels!
Chilling in Gilligans Common room
Gilligans Nightclub

Ready to find a trip of a lifetime with awesome hostels?

By Paul Byrne

Paul is the Owner/Operator of One Stop Adventures with 10+ years experience
sending people around Australia, New Zealand and Fiji!