Hosteling in Australia for fifty yr olds??

Aug 15th, 2008, 02:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 57
Hosteling in Australia for fifty yr olds??

Hi- you may have read my other posts. i'm trying to put together a sort of spur of the moment 7days in australia and am simultaneously researching many different aspects. we haven't looked into lodging yet as we first need to figure out our basic itinerary.

usually we lean toward B&Bs or small inns or funky little locally owned motels. but then i had this thought that maybe we could do something we've never done before- hosteling. we could do a bareboned lodging thing and then splurge on other stuff, or be able to add a couple days to the trip.

i haven't actually run this new idea past my hubby yet...

here's my question. we are adventurous and adaptable a point... does anyone know if the hostels in australia are generally clean and safe places? are they filled only with college age kids or do they attract a variety of types. we are a 50yr old active married couple but don't absolutely have to have double room accomodations or private baths all the time.

maybe it would be a memorable experience....OR NOT!!?? any thoughts?
lucybell1 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2008, 07:10 PM
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The best way to find out whether a hostel is clean is to read the reviews.

Try websites like BUG, Hostelworld, etc. - do a search in the city/town you are looking to stay in, then read reviews from other travelers.

Even at a hostel that gets favorable reviews, you should still expect the shared bathrooms and the kitchen may not be as clean as what you are used to if you normally stay at a B&B or inn.

Will you be the only 50 year olds in the hostel? Probably not - but the best way to get an idea on the age of typical hostelers at a location you are considering is to read those reviews again (some websites post the age of the person writing the review) and avoid any hostel that uses the word "party" a lot on its website.

Generally, hostels that are part of Hostelling International/YHA often appeal to a wider mix of ages - solo backpackers to families all looking for a decent, clean place to stay that is relatively subdued and quiet.

As for your concerns on safety, most problems in hostels revolve around petty theft. Keep your valuables secure - locked inside your luggage, in your locker (if one is provided) or on your person and you likely won't have problems.

And think about the time of year you are travelling - if the hostel has no airconditioning, no fans and it is 40C outside and you're sleeping on the top bunk, you could be in for one miserable night.

Overall, hostels are a good way to stretch your budget - besides the room itself being less money, you often have access to free breakfast, on-site laundry, internet access, kitchen facilities and a front desk staff that is generally more than willing to help answer some of your travel questions.

Ceidleh is offline  
Aug 15th, 2008, 07:54 PM
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Thanks,Ceidleh. that was extremely helpful. It sounds like we could mix up some hostels with some B&Bs and stretch our dollars. I will be checking out those websites you mentioned.
lucybell1 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2008, 08:52 PM
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Lucy: Not sure where you are flying from, but 7 days in Australia is not a lot of time. Huge country, so when planning an itinerary, I hope you stick with just one section or try to extend your trip.

Have you considered Tasmania? You can cover a substantial portion of Tasmania with one week. Great scenery, great hiking...

Ceidleh is offline  
Aug 15th, 2008, 10:11 PM
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Yes, if most of the reviews begin with "hey there" and contain no capitalised words you may wish to think twice. By reputation places that attract lots of young British backpackers are to be avoided, but I imagine they're not the only sinners.

We'd had no experience of hostelling in Australia but decided to try one in Portland, OR on our last visit to the US. It was a great choice. There were many other mature-age travellers, we had a spacious room with a bay window in a timber Victorian 10 minutes' walk from downtown and the Nob Hill district, shared bathrooms were no problem, there was ample opportunity to chat to other travellers in the kitchen/dining area and the staff were friendly and helpful. We got all this for the price of a Super8 motel miles out in the 'burbs (i.e. about $60 a night).

If you find anything comparable in Australia I doubt you'll regret the decision.

You can research likely HIA properties at

Neil_Oz is offline  
Aug 16th, 2008, 02:22 AM
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Hello, I've read all your posts so far and just wanted to say you're setting yourselves up to have a wonderful time, being flexible and willing to wing it a bit!

As for hostels. I hostelled all round Australia (every state) on my first visit, staying in dorms. Ten years down the track the habit has stayed with me, though now I do pay the extra for a room of my own if there's one going. I'm the same sort of age as you.

Some of the independent backpackets can be very good but beware of anywhere offering free this and free that as they will attract the real budget (young) crowd.

You can't go wrong with YHA - I've stayed at Melbourne Metro, Sydney Central, and Adelaide Central - all of which have superb facilities, and double/twin rooms. The younger 20s working holiday folk often call them 'soulless' but that's OK with me. I've also stayed at the YHA in Port Fairy in a dorm but I see they have double/twin rooms too.

No security issues in my experience - haven't lost a thing!! You just need to do what you'd do even if you were staying in a top 5 star hotel, ie carry your valuables and passport with you, or put them in the hostel safe.

Of course, pubs and B&Bs would be good too - they're just not as economic for a single as a good hostel.

afterall is offline  
Aug 16th, 2008, 04:36 AM
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Excellent advice, everyone. Thanks much!

I guess I goofed when I originally started separate threads for my different questions. But to Ceidleh who referred to our short time frame- we're coming from the US and yes, I am painfully aware that 7 days isn't long in a huge place like Australia. I would dearly love to be planning 2-3 wks. But my husbands work rarely ever allows him to be gone for that extended period of time all at once.

I work as a flight attendant and I guess I'm so accustomed to flying to intl destinations and having about 30-50 hrs there to make the most of'd be amazed what you can do and see! The point is, I definitely have the mentality that a short visit is better than no visit.

That being said some of my favorite moments of intl travel are always the hours spent sitting at some outdoor cafe, sipping a cappuaccino (sp?) and watching the world pass by. Thanks again forall the help.
lucybell1 is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 10:54 AM
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My husband and I have stayed in college dorms in England, the U.S. and France for (in some cases $25/night). It is similar to hostles but you don't have to share a room. YOu do have to share bathrooms though.

We never had a bad experience.
In Portland, OR we stayed at a nursing college (better than most expensive hotels) for $5./night
Might be another option.
nanabee is offline  
Aug 24th, 2008, 01:46 AM
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If you are driving, another reasonably priced alternative is onsite vans in caravan parks. They can be in gorgeous locations and range from basic to deluxe.

We've also stayed in backpackers in Cape Tribulation and Cowes on Phillip Island and felt very comfortable - had a lot of fun.
Sarvowinner is offline  
Aug 24th, 2008, 03:19 AM
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Good point, sarvowinner. (lucybell1, in case not clear, "van" means "caravan" = US "trailer").
Neil_Oz is offline  
Aug 24th, 2008, 08:00 AM
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While traditionally onsite vans have been older caravans, now many parks have onsite cabins similar to US Mobile Homes with their own bathrooms and toilets. They can very well equipped.
Sarvowinner is offline  

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