YHA Australia is a non-profit organisation with more than 70 hostels located in all states and territories.
Its mission is “to provide opportunity for all, but especially young people, for education by personal development, fostering friendship and bringing about a better understanding of others and the world around them.” It is a non-profit organisation that reinvests surpluses back into its network of hostels. Its aim is to give travellers the chance to meet people who march to the beat of a different drum, but share the common thirst to travel the world.
Hostels of YHA Australia are made for travellers and the organisation is constantly trying to improve them, which is why it reinvests surpluses into their development. They are designed in way to make travellers feel more at home with the help of friendly staff, while clean rooms, comfortable beds and great kitchens only add to that feeling. All hostels have social areas, namely the common lounge rooms where you can sit down and relax with your new friends or play board games. Many of the hostels provide even more opportunities to hang out at the pool or over a cup of coffee and they also organise various events.
The best way to book YHA hostels is through YHA Australia’s website because it has the best and cheapest prices. Some of the hostels are so unique that we’ve decided to include them in this article. Sydney Railway Square YHA is a hostel where you can spend a night in a real railway carriage on Platform Zero of Central Station or choose one of the comfortable rooms in the adjacent historic building. Sydney’s most laid-back hostel is located right next to Central Station and is within minutes from Chinatown and Darling Harbour where some of the city’s best pubs and restaurants can be found. The complete opposite to the hustle and bustle of Sydney is the oasis of peace in Nimbin Valley in south-eastern Australia surrounded by mountains. It’s famous for its large number of animals, sustainability and self-sufficiency, in which it surpasses other places far and wide in the surroundings. Nestled in a tropical garden amidst the valley is Nimbin Rox YHA hostel. You can spend a night in one of the tents or in the adjacent building. You can experience the true spirit of travel in the midst of all that nature, cook some food on the barbecue, hang out by the open fire, take a dive in the pool or relax in a sleeping bag. The most popular among travellers, the following hostel is located near Fremantle, a large port city in the southwestern part of the continent. It’s named Fremantle Prison YHA for a reason. The building was once a prison built in 1850 and hosted prisoners up until 1991. But don’t worry, many restoration works have been undertaken in order to offer a unique opportunity of spending a night in a prison cell. Sitting on top of a hill, it has an outdoor patio and a relaxing veranda with a beautiful view of the city and its surroundings. There are many accommodation options ranging from large private chambers to small charming cottages that once housed the guards.
An important objective of YHA Australia is reducing environmental impacts and raising awareness of the importance of sustainable tourism. Therefore, special sustainable hostels are available, which also include some of the hostels mentioned above plus many others. Apollo Bay Eco Yha earned its title as an eco-certified hostel by harnessing solar energy, using thermal storage banks, and collecting rainwater. It’s located along the Great Ocean Road and surrounded by rainforests. It offers plenty of activities, such as kayaking in the company of seals, swimming, hiking among the waterfalls, whale watching, spending time at the gorgeous beach and the list goes on. Brisbane is home to Brisbane City YHA, which has its own 80,000-litre rainwater tank and low energy lighting, toilets and showers as well as solar hot water system. The hostel reduced overall water consumption by 15% using these water saving practices. It is also known for its use of recycled items and a system-controlled air-conditioning, plus it also has a garden. In Hunter Valley, near Sydney, there’s a hostel with the same name, surrounded by vineyards. Its cafe was built using sustainable materials, mostly recycled building supplies. Stradbrooke Island YHA reduces its carbon footprint by harnessing solar energy and its distinctive feature fund raising organisations helping the local community and offering work experience. There are plenty of opportunities to go diving and exploring the sandy island, 30 kilometres south of Brisbane.
YHA Australia offers more than 700 discounts to all HI card holders. All members also get 10% off their Get Your Guide booking. You can first book a train ride on the website, which will take you down the Busselton Jetty, the world’s second longest pier located near Perth, and then explore the underwater observatory where you’ll descend eight metres to the ocean floor. There, you’ll discover a whole new world of submarine biodiversity. You can also undertake a 90-minute ghost tour by lantern light in Port Arthur, Tasmania, a real haunting place. Port Arthur is a well-preserved former colonial penal settlement where more than 100 people lost their lives. To all whale lovers, we recommend spending a whole day at the whaling station where you can watch the dancing waves hitting the rugged coast and admire the playful whales and other animals along Australia’s southern coast. Of course, an Australian adventure wouldn’t be perfect without seeing the Great Coral Reef. Your most comfortable choice would be a glass-bottom boat tour, which will allow you to discover the incredible underwater world.
For all information about Australia before or after making the trip, we recommend checking out the Lonely Planet travel guides. All Hostelling International members get up to 20% off their guidebooks. There’s are great selection of guidebooks available, from country guides to region specific guides and even city guides. There are also two special road trip guides if you’re more into scenic roads and authentic adventures.