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  • Writer's pictureKatie Wright

Where We Stayed: Australia

During our time backpacking the East of Coast of Australia Lewis and I stayed in a wide variety of different types of accommodation. Everything from Airbnbs to luxury hotels to campsites to some seriously budget hostels… here is a comprehensive list of everywhere we stayed and our rankings of the experience.

New South Wales:

  1. Vilma’s Airbnb – Maroubra, Sydney

  2. Type of accommodation: Airbnb

  3. My rating: 7/10

  4. Vilma’s was a bit far away from Sydney CBD but it was easy enough to get the bus in for the day as long as you were planning on being out for the whole day. Vilma and her daughter were so nice and helpful in recommending things to do in the city and around their suburb of Maroubra. Vilma’s artwork is cool and she makes great coffee. The room was comfortable and clean but nothing fancy.

  5. Wake Up! Hostel – CBD, Sydney

  6. Type of accommodation: Hostel

  7. My rating: 8/10

  8. This was our first ever Australian hostel and we didn’t know how good we had it until we stayed at some other hostels. It’s in the perfect central location in Sydney so for location I’d give it 9/10 (10/10 would be if it was like overlooking the Opera House or something ridiculous like that). It’s clean, the staff are nice and helpful, the bar (Sidebar) and the adjoining cafe are nice enough. I’ve heard some horror stories about things occurring in the 10 person rooms but the 6 and  2 person rooms are great. Avoid first floor rooms at all costs as the first floor is the only floor with a kitchen and hang-out space so they are very noisy.

  9. Primus Hotel Sydney  – CBD, Sydney

  10. Type of accommodation: Luxury Hotel

  11. My rating: 10/10

  12. Primus is located super conveniently right by Hyde Park and a close walk to the Botanical Gardens and Circular Quay. It’s also pretty close to Darling Harbor and pretty much everything else. The service at the hotel was lovely and the reception area smelled noticeably fantastic. I also loved the free coffee and tea in the reception area. The hotel has a large roof deck area and a rooftop pool (although it is pretty small). The rooms were decorated beautifully and the bathrooms were large and spacious with a nice relaxing tub.

  13. Hyatt Regency Sydney – Darling Harbor, Sydney

  14. Type of accommodation: Hotel

  15. My rating: 10/10

  16. This was a luxurious hotel with amazing views of Darling Harbour. The rooms were large and incredibly comfortable. Service was great. There is a super expensive but super fancy rooftop bar looking out at the harbour.

  17. Twistops Retreat – Barrington Tops

  18. Type of accommodation: Unique

  19. My rating: 8/10

  20. Totally rustic and in the complete middle of nowhere a stay at Twistops is certainly a retreat. We stayed there as part of our tour and had a great time. You would definitely want to go as a big group and enjoy the party atmosphere the hosts at Twistops put on. The food they make is pretty good and the river rafting is awesome!

  21. Spot X Surf Camp – Coffs Harbour

  22. Type of accommodation: Unique

  23. My rating: 8/10

  24. At Spot X we stayed in Teepees and I actually had one of my best nights sleeps of the tour in mine. They were super comfortable with both a heater and a fan provided depending on what you needed. Showers were not great but the ocean view out the Teepee was stunning.

  25. Sleeping Inn Surfers – Surfers Paradise

  26. Type of accommodation: Hostel

  27. My rating: 0/10

  28. I’m not sure how far it really is for me to rate Sleeping Inn as we didn’t even end up actually staying there. Lewis and I showed up to check in and we took one look at the place before whipping out Expedia to book Mantra Legends. It just looked so rough, unclean, big party scene and was way out of the way of everything in Surfers Paradise. Not into it.

  29. Arts Factory Lodge – Byron Bay

  30. Type of accommodation: Hostel

  31. My rating: 7/10

  32. I feel like you have to stay here when you go to Byron just to say that you did. It’s pretty much exactly what you would expect it to be. We stayed in a 6 person dorm and it was fine. No lockers though, but with only 6 people you didn’t really feel that worried about it.


  1. Mantra Legends – Surfers Paradise

  2. Type of accommodation: Hotel

  3. My rating: 9/10

  4. Fantastic coffee in the room, relaxing pool. Clean. Good. Not that expensive. Wasn’t as luxury as Primus in Sydney but definitely felt lux in comparison to the hostels we were used to and definitely compared to the hostels we saw in Surfer’s Paradise.

  5. Brisbane Central Nomads – CBD, Brisbane

  6. Type of accommodation: Hostel

  7. My rating: 0/10

  8. Please refer to my TripAdvisor review entitled “My Own Personal Hell.” Avoid at all costs!!!

  9. Francesca’s Airbnb – Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

  10. Type of accommodation: Airbnb

  11. My rating: 7/10

  12. Pay the extra money and stay here instead of Nomads in Brisbane!!!!! We fit six of us in Francesca’s perfect little condo and we all had our own beds and I think paid $17 each. The pool is nice, the outdoor BBQs are good, its close to most things. So worth it. Francesca basically saved our lives from Nomads.

  13. Noosa Nomads – Noosa Junction, Noosa

  14. Type of accommodation: Hostel

  15. My rating: 6/10

  16. Not bad for a hostel. We stayed here for a few nights but we had a double room and not sure how great the dorm rooms were. Kitchen was verrrrry cramped so do your cooking mid-day and eat it cold for dinner or skip trying to cook altogether and just go to Betty’s Burgers (you know you want to). Great location but you’ll get your exercise in walking up and down the hill to Hastings Street.

  17. Glen & Michaels’ Airbnb – Sunrise Beach, Noosa

  18. Type of accommodation: Airbnb

  19. My rating: 4/10

  20. This place surprised us because it’s reviews on Airbnb were so positive when in reality it wasn’t very good and was my least favorite Airbnb experience so far. They have 4 rooms (all sharing the same bathroom and shower) in their house rented out on Airbnb at all times so it weirdly feels like a hostel. It’s far from everything. They wouldn’t let us use the kitchen as a way to “encourage guests to explore all of Noosa’s delicious restaurants” which was super annoying because a lot of people (aka us, and our friend Zach who also stayed there) use Airbnb as a way to budget travel. We were glad to meet Zach through staying at Glen’s but definitely wouldn’t be my first recommendation.

  21. Noosa Lakes Resort – Tewantin, Noosa

  22. Type of accommodation: Condo Resort

  23. My rating: 9/10

  24. We felt like we were on vacation here! Enjoyed lying by the pools and cooking dinner on the poolside BBQ. Far out of town but there’s a bus stop right out front and the bus comes nearly every 15 minutes.

  25. Emus Beach Resort – Emu Park

  26. Type of accommodation: Hotel/Hostel

  27. My rating: 7/10

  28. This was one of the nicer hostels we stayed in on the East Coast Tour of Australia. Located in Emu Park which is a very quiet Town, it was the perfect place to relax whilst on the tour. The rooms were like hotel rooms but with 4 single beds in them. The resort offered cooking facilities but you could also pay to have dinner there, which was very cheap. We had the Thai Green Curry, which was delicious. The resort was also located opposite the beach which was ideal.

  1. Boomerang Sailboat – Whitsundays

  2. Type of accommodation: Sailboat

  3. My rating: 7/10

  4. This was one of the best experiences of the whole of the East Coast Tour. 2 days and 2 nights aboard the Boomerang sail boat sailing around the stunning Whitsundays. The vessel was 83ft in length and 20ft wide, which was plenty of room to socialize and live in during the tour. The beds were relatively comfy but make sure you get one of the first picks for the beds, as some are very small. The food was delicious on board especially the Nachos and it was amazing to just be able to jump in the ocean and snorkel at numerous points during the trip. Be warned: Don’t expect to shower as it’s just a tap, however you get to jump in the beautiful water a lot.

  1. Nomads Airlie Beach – Airlie Beach

  2. Type of accommodation: Hostel

  3. My rating: 7/10

  4. This hotel is located just a 5 minute walk from Airlie Beach town center and also the Lagoon. This backpacker’s resort is set amongst tropical gardens and the dorms are all built separately around the pool area. Each dormitory has its own private bathroom and shower. There is also a bar on site, which is an ideal place to hang out in the evening.

  1. Bungalow Bay Koala Village – Magnetic Island

  2. Type of accommodation: Hostel

  3. My rating: 7/10

  4. If you love Koalas or want to get the all-important photo holding a Koala this Hostel is the place for you. Bungalow Bay Koala village is the only resort in Australia that has it’s own wildlife park on site. The resort offers 3 daily tours and you can also enjoy a buffet breakfast with the Koalas on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. We stayed in one of the double bungalows here which was nestled amongst the gardens. Keep an eye out for wildlife as you are walking around the area.

  1. Nomads Cairns – Cairns

  2. Type of accommodation: Hostel

  3. My rating: 5/10

  4. Was the final Hostel we stayed in and was located just a few mins walk from Cairns Esplanade. The hostel was a little bit out of Cairns but offer a shuttle bus to the center every hour…just make sure you are near the front of the line for this as it can get busy. The room was clean with a private en suite bathroom which was nice. The Hostel is a short drive to the airport which is ideal if Cairns is your last stop on your tour.

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