Top 6 YHA Hostels in Australia
Backpacking and Hostels in Australia go hand in hand. While there are thousands of backpackers hostels, the YHA hostels are top-notch budget accommodation. They offer the highest standard as far as facilities, service, and safety are concerned.
In 16 years of Solo Travels in Australia, I stayed in almost all YHA hostels in Australia and highly recommended them. While I like to stay in hostels and use other private accommodation forms, YHA represents a cornerstone in my backpacking adventures throughout Australia.
I am a big fan of YHA. That’s why I have compiled a list of my favourite YHA Hostels in Australia, focusing on hostels in Australian cities.
YHA Hostels in Australia – Why choose them?
Accommodation in Australian cities is costly, and excellent value accommodation is difficult to find. For solo travellers on a budget, hostels are the only way of staying at affordable rates. These are the reasons for booking a hostel with YHA:
- Most of them have excellent locations.
- They can 100% guarantee a female dorm.
- High safety standards.
- They are not party hostels.
- Families, couples and solo travellers alike are welcome.
If you are travelling on your own and backpacking Australia, YHA is a trustworthy women-friendly hostel chain that you can trust.
Where to stay in Sydney – YHA Sydney Harbour
There are many hostels in Sydney. YHA Sydney Harbour opened up a few years ago and soon became one of Australia’s most popular hostels. The large open space kitchen, the comfortable lounge make it a welcoming and relaxing place.
Dorms and private rooms are equipped with ensuite bathrooms, which is a top feature of this modern hostel. It’s actually an upgraded hostel. Rates are around 40-45 Dollars per bed in shared dorms, and private rooms start from 150 AUD.
Many families and couples are staying there and sometimes large student groups too. The rooftop highlights the hostel with a large area to relax, chill out and enjoy the magnificent view over Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
YHA Perth City – the best hostel in Western Australia
YHA Perth is the best YHA hostel in Western Australia. And I would dare say of whole of Australia. It offers many facilities and rest/reading areas equipped with books, computer screens, TVs, etc. Common areas like the kitchen, bathrooms are kept very clean throughout the day.
I discovered YHA Perth in 2008 and liked it very much. The only downside is the noise of trains riding right in the backyard, and this is an issue, especially late evening and early in the morning.
Thanks to restoration works that provided sound-proofed insulation, they could reduce noise. The good news is that it will disappear for good when they accomplish the ongoing project for sinking the rail underground. It will take a few years, though.
YHA Adelaide – a great hostel in South Australia
Adelaide Central is one of my favourite hostels in Australia. I can stay for weeks because I feel at home there. The best feature of this hostel is the kitchen. There is a waste disposal system in the well-organised hostel kitchen, with different bins and small containers on working tables for food waste (food scraps, bio-waste, etc.).
Moreover, there is good kitchenware, like cutlery, dishes, pots are in the good sanitary state, tea towels and hands-towels, are also changed every day. While I cannot find anything negative about this hostel, sometimes you need to be patient at the reception, where a long queue for checking in is quite common.
YHA Brisbane – busy hostel of Queensland capital city
The YHA Brisbane is a nice hostel with a large kitchen but a bustling and crowded place! If you want to cook in peace, I recommend using the kitchen early in the morning; this is the best time to have a super-clean kitchen, have breakfast and sit outside on the rooftop next to the pool.
Dorms are small but clean. This is the only hostel I know that offers electrical plugs inside the lockers, which means you can safely recharge the battery of electronic devices while stored inside your locked cupboard. I find this is a very clever idea that other YHA hostels could follow.
The only downside is its location, a bit far away from the centre, about 20 minutes walk from the city and 10 minutes from Southbank.
YHA Cairns Central – the best location in Cairns
This hostel has the best location in Cairns, just opposite the shopping mall. This small hostel offers dorms and private rooms in a very laid-back atmosphere. Single rooms for 55 AUD per night are available if you crave more privacy.
The pool, surrounded by palms, is a relaxed place to chill out. The staff is accommodating with a travel desk to book your next destinations and any tours around North Tropical Queensland.
The only drawback, this hostel lacks cleanliness, and in my opinion, it doesn’t meet the YHA standard, the floor in dorms is not clean and communal areas are not tidy, here they could improve it a lot.
Fremantle Prison YHA Hostel – be locked up in a heritage building.
Fremantle Prison YHA Hostel is the new entry among the best YHA hostels in Australia. It opened up in March 2015; this brand new hostel is located in the old Fremantle prison.
The old building has been refurbished and can host over 170 people. There are different rooms, from the original 1-2 bed cells to modern six-bed dorms for backpackers, double rooms for couples, to private cottages to suit families with kids. This is a must-stay when visiting Fremantle. You can read my review of my stay at Fremantle Prison YHA hostel Review.
I love staying at YHA hostels. If you plan to use them, get a YHA membership card to save money. This membership card entitles you to YHA rates (you save 3-5 dollars/night) and an array of discounts on things throughout Australia.
I highly recommend purchasing the YHA card before leaving your own country. In Europe, the world YHA card costs 10 Euro whereas the map is more expensive in Australia, around 30 Dollars. Moreover, if you plan to stay in YHA hostels for longer than ten nights, then you are better off to get a 10 or 15-YHA-nights-package to save some extra 3-5 dollars per night.
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First published in 2015, last updated in April 2021
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March 7, 2015 @ 9:42 pm
Nice looking hostels! I’ve actually only stayed in one so far and it was actually more like a hotel – with our own room and en-suite bath. Great experience!
March 9, 2015 @ 10:45 am
Yep, some YHA hostels have fantastic facilities, great locations at affordable rates!
March 7, 2015 @ 10:47 pm
What a lovely pool – especially for a hostel!
March 9, 2015 @ 10:42 am
Some YHA hostels have a pool, this one in Cairns is really a good one!
March 7, 2015 @ 10:51 pm
Going to have to bookmark this!
March 9, 2015 @ 10:39 am
Glad you liked it, thanks for stopping by!
March 7, 2015 @ 11:02 pm
Thanks for the head’s up on some cool places. I’ve wanted to go to Australia for a while, my roommate is from there and he makes it sounds like a paradise of sand and surf. Did you find it very affordable? I have US dollars so I’m a little worried about it being a bit pricey.
March 9, 2015 @ 10:39 am
Australia is an expensive country to live in and also for travellers! However there are many ways to travel on a budget. The good thing is that if you are younger than 30 you can work and travel. It’s up to you if you want to work and for how long you want to work. If you are going to Australia and plan long term travel, I would definitely consider this option as it gives you the freedom to work whenever you want, finance your travels and discover a wonderful country! 🙂
March 7, 2015 @ 11:35 pm
I have never been to Australia neither have I ever stayed at a hostel. I definitely should check it out the next trip.
March 8, 2015 @ 5:40 am
I lived in AU for a year but never stayed in a hostel. These look awesome and I love that they have guaranteed 100% female dorms. I will have to check them out!
March 9, 2015 @ 10:31 am
YHA is a women-friendly hostel chain, this is one thing I value very much, there are not many independent hostels that can guarantee female dorms all the time, because their main goal is to fill up the rooms with guests, not to offer a service and value to travellers!
March 8, 2015 @ 6:17 am
Great overview of some of Aus’ best hostels – I particularly love the YHA Sydney Harbour – such great value for money considering its location and the awesome facilities – YHA has set a really high standard for hostel accommodation 🙂
March 9, 2015 @ 10:24 am
YHA hostels are great value. I have tried out other hostels in my travels, but in my experience there are no backpacker hostels that can beat the high standard of YHA in Australia!
Vicky and Buddy
March 8, 2015 @ 10:54 pm
I still haven’t stayed at a hostel yet, but these look really great. I’m afraid I’ll get spoiled after I go to these and then try out other hostels lol
March 9, 2015 @ 1:25 am
I’ve never stayed in a hostel before but am considering them during our RTW travels starting in July. The YHA hostel looks very clean, which is extremely important for us. I would love it if they had hostels specifically for families only.
March 9, 2015 @ 10:21 am
Hi Brenda, I am not aware of hostels for families only, however at YHA hostels I have seen many families with children too. You can rent a private room with 3 or 4 beds, that’s really good value. Enjoy your RTW travels!
March 9, 2015 @ 1:31 pm
As a budget traveler, and well a student, I am always looking to find hostels to add to my list when I visit a destination. Now I just need to make it to Australia, of which I’m looking forward to! The one in Cairns is by far the fav!
March 9, 2015 @ 2:02 pm
You will like staying at YHA hostels in Australia! They are gold when travelling alone!
May 16, 2015 @ 11:15 am
Great article. I just returned from travelling a month in Australia and hostels are definitely for the budget traveler. Sydney Harbour YHA is a great hostel. I have to say although YHA Hostels have a standard, not all follow that basic standard. I highly recommend for future travelers is to research the location through various sites, especially trip advisor. You’ll get some insight on how good the hostel is. I found YHA Airlie Beach very dated, not clean and poorly maintained. I also stayed at non-YHA hostels and found many that were more updated, clean and community oriented. Enjoy your blog, keep updating for those future travelers.
July 11, 2016 @ 3:37 am
Thanks for the info on hostels I have used them for many, many years.
Is there anywhere you would recommend in Airlie Beach then, and other recommendations for Qld coast.
July 13, 2016 @ 10:29 pm
I only stayed at Airline Beach YHA, but if you head to Cairns, Travellers Oasis Hostel was fantastic. The staff were very personable and helpful in booking a tour for you. The atmosphere is cozy and friendly with many people to talk to. It’s not part of the YHA but it’s a great one.