Top 5 Hostels : East Coast Australia

Travelling up (or down!) the East Coast is one of the most popular backpacking experiences – and for good reason – it’s incredible.  I cannot recommend it enough and if you are thinking about doing it – BOOK YOUR TICKET! I promise you won’t regret it! Beautiful Beaches, endless sunshine, amazing surf spots, unique towns and quirky cafes are just some of the highlights you’ll experience, plus there’s all the bucket list experiences you can tick off along the way ( Sky diving, Great Barrier Reef, Bungee Jumping…) You can read more about the East Coast Must Do’s here.

One of the most important things to consider when backpacking is where to stay, there are so many options available. Hostels are the most popular choice – they’re cheap,a great place to meet people and always in the prime travel locations. But hostels can be a real hit or miss. We travelled the East Coast for 6 weeks, spending a lot of time in hostels and our experiences were very mixed! It is super important to read reviews before booking a hostel so that you are informed by actual backpackers! The three booking sites I use – , Hostel World and Airbnb all have reviews, so be sure to read them before booking. I spent a long time researching hostels before booking, so I’ve given you a head start here and made it super easy for you! Here are my top 5 hostels along the East Coast….

 { My photos of the actual hostels is limited (sorry!), but click on the links and you can see lots of images! }



Hostels East Coast Australia
Hostels East Coast Australia
Hostels East Coast Australia
  • Byron Bay Beach Resort was my FAVOURITE hostel along the whole of the East Coast – it was awesome! We ended up staying a whole week we loved it so much! The hostel is located out of centre of town, a 15 minute walk along the coast to Belongil Beach and our room was literally two minutes away from the beach.
  • The whole of Byron Bay has such a chilled, relaxed vibe, and this hostel just captured it perfectly which made this hostel super special. I mean there are hammocks outside all of the rooms!
  • The facilities were spot on – clean and powerful showers with plenty of space to get ready, a large kitchen area with tables and chairs to eat at, a TV room (although we didn’t really use this; it was too beautiful outside!) and a social area. But the best part was the outside area, with a communal BBQ and picnic tables. The hostel runs an event everyday and there’s something to suit everyone – 5am  sunset trips, all you can eat pizza, BBQ’s  volleyball comps and more! And the WIFI was great too!
  • An extra benefit was free daily bike hire, and it’s the perfect location to cycle along the coast to the other byron Bay beaches. They also had free surf board hire which with the beach two minutes away you can’t really complain!
  • If you don’t fancy cooking they have a restaurant literally on the doorstep – Tree House at Belongil which served awesome food from breakfast to dinner, (including breakfast tacos and falafel salads!) and it’s a great place to go for some drinks and to listen to live music too!
  • Just next door is the Ratpack Travel office, where Sam can give you loads of useful information about tours and activities to do all along the East Coast. He booked us onto four incredible trips –  a skydive, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island overnight trip and a Whitsundays day trip! Make sure you visit him!



Hostels East Coast Australia
Hostels East Coast Australia
  • Mad Monkeys was located in easy walking distance to the Cairns nightlife and town centre – but far enough out that it wasn’t too crazy and loud!
  • The kitchen and dining facilities were the best we experienced on our whole trip. There was a large kitchen area to prepare food and loads of space to store food (quite often fridges get full up in hostels!) There were staff at busy times checking the kitchen space was clean, and drying up all the washed up equipment!
  • The best thing though was the FREE breakfast! Every morning there is a free breakfast buffet, cereals, toast and all the toppings, eggs, juices and hot drinks! There’s nothing better than waking up to an all you can eat breakfast, especially when you’ve been out the night before (and that WILL happen in Cairns!)
  • The outside dining area was huge and covered – loads of tables and an outdoor bar, they also put quizzes and other events on too and there’s a real great atmosphere out there.
  • The other best thing was that are the next door restaurant you were entitled to 50% off all food, including amazing salads, pasta and pizzas – it was so cheap (and delicious!) that we ate there every night! You just order at the hostel bar and they bring it through to the outside seating area – perfect!
  • At Mad Monkeys there is an outdoor pool with big outside beds to chill out on, but we loved to chill on the balcony full of beanbags! They also have a games room with an xbox…not my kinda thing, but it was very popular!
  • They have lots of washing machines and dryers, good wifi and great air-con in the room  – which you NEED in Cairns!!



Hostels East Coast Australia
  • Rambutan Hostel was more like a hotel than a hostel (the images on really are what it looks like!) It was super new so the facilities were all spotless and modern. We ended up being stuck in Townsville for almost a week due to the Cyclone, and this was the best place we could have been ‘stuck!’
  • The rooftop pool and outside area are like a fancy resort, not a hostel! Around the pool there is loads of really comfy seating with TV’s, and a dining space by the bar too which was a great spot to sit around for some late night drinks and chats!
  • We stayed in a four person room, which had two bunk beds and a single bed, then an en-suite bathroom and toilet separate from each other which was good as they are normally in one.
  • The kitchen area space was limited, but if you timed it outside of the really busy times, then it was fine!
  • Great central location near to bars, cafes and shops
  • There was also a lovely cafe on the ground floor (open to public also) which was a nice spot to chill in and use the wifi



Hostels East Coast Australia
Hostels East Coast Australia
  • Airlie Beach is the gateway to the Whitsundays so a night or two in Airlie is essential on your East Coast adventure.
  • Magnums Airlie Beach was a really nice surprise! When we chose our hostel we were limited on options because we booked really late – so make sure you book online in advance! We thought Magnums would be a crazy party hostel (it’s at the popular Magnums bar), but it was surprisingly quiet! The rooms are located quite far back from the bar so we didn’t have any problems with noise!
  • Great central location, everything you need is on your doorstep – the beach, lagoon, shops, cafes and bars!
  • The rooms and facilities are very basic, but just what you need!



Hostels East Coast Australia
  • Rainbow beach is one of the starting points for Fraser Island trips and another must-visit location!
  • Dingos Resort was the perfect hostel for our night before our Fraser Island tour. It’s a super social setting and a great environment to meet new people. It has a swimming pool and a great bar area. They also offer free pancakes every morning, $6 meals, live music nights and free tours to the sand blow. There is all the usual; laundry, wifi, and great kitchen area.

Don’t Forget Airbnb!

Hostels East Coast Australia

Airbnb is a great place to find unique homes to stay in, particularly great if you are planning on staying in one place for a period of time. We were staying in the Gold Coast for just over a week, so wanted somewhere more homely than a hostel, and Airbnb was perfect for this. We ended up having a great week staying with Kathy, a woman who loved to travel,  we love hearing all of her stories! There are so many options; from renting a whole home, to staying with a local, and there are all sorts of properties on there to suit all price ranges! Check it out – This link gives you £30 off your first booking too!

Booking Sites for East Coast Hostels

Take a Look offers a huge range of accommodation options. Backpackers, holiday makers, travelling couples; they have something for every traveller in their huge range of hostels and hotels. It’s really easy to compare different accommodation options to find what best suits you. I found the customer reviews and ratings really helpful, so be sure to check that out when you visit the site too!


Take a Look

Airbnb offers a huge selection of properties at a great price. What I love most about using Airbnb is meeting people from all around the world and experiencing what it is like tor really live somewhere. If that’s not for you though, there are plenty of options to rent whole homes privately, you can just easily set that as an option in your filters. New to Airbnb? Click the link to get £30 off your first Airbnb stay.

Hostel World

Take a Look

Hostel World is the perfect site for backpackers. It is super easy to find the perfect hostel for you and your experience. Simply choose the options that re important to you using the filters at the top of the site and let Hostel World find the best options for you. I found some of my favourite hostels on the East Coast of Australia here!

Take a Look

Whenever I am planning a trip to a new place the first thing I do is look on Sky Scanner to check the best flight prices. They find for the best deal for you, so you don’t have to spend ages searching through endless websites, leaving you with more time to plan that trip of yours!

I hope this has been helpful for planning your stay along the East Coast of Australia – there are hundreds of hostels, these were just my favourites. I would love to hear about your East Coast Australia hostel experiences too so comment below!

You might find my Top Travel Essentials for Backpackers and East Coast Must Do’s posts useful too!

Thanks for reading,

The Healthy Backpacker x

By | 2018-02-14T09:44:22+00:00 June 30th, 2017|0 Comments

Leave A Comment