COVID-19: Safe stay measures are being taken at all of our hostels and YHAs are following all relevant State based travel restrictions.
See our Covid page for full details.

Caution: #humblebrag approaching – our super sustainability efforts!

Whilst we're loving enjoying our planet, we're also really concerned about making sure it's around for future generations to enjoy, too. Strap yourselves in for a #humblebrag, 'cause we're mighty proud of our sustainability efforts!


Drink beer


At YHA Australia, we save water and always turn the taps off!

Given that 71% of our world is covered in water and it's, you know, vital to our survival; we've put the following water conservation efforts in place across our network:

  • 3 – 5 star rated water-saving tap ware and showers are commonplace in YHAs
  • Several properties use rainwater tanks to water gardens and flush toilets
  • Dual flush toilets are installed in most of our properties
  • We use front loader washing machines which use far less water
  • Drought-resistant gardens are featured in many of our locations
  • Signage in bathrooms encouraging guests to minimise water usage


Power Nap

At YHA Australia, saving energy doesn’t end at a power nap!

You know how Mum is always telling you to switch lights off when you leave the room? We're the same - except we've got over 60 'homes' to look after! We're lessening our greenhouse gas emissions through the following elestricalenergy conservation methods: 

  • All properties use low energy light bulbs, with LED lighting being installed in several properties
  • Solar power (photo-voltaic) systems have been installed at Alice Springs, Hawkesbury Heights, Melbourne Metro, and Grampians YHAs
  • Many properties enjoy solar hot water systems
  • Key card activated lighting and air-conditioning is present in large city hostels, with motion and sensor lighting commonplace in other properties.
  • We’ll always support walking or public transport during hostel activities or suggesting trips for our guests
  • Air-conditioning controlled by a building management system
  • Signage in rooms to encourage guests to turn off the lights and air conditioning 
  • Many of our hostels proudly participate in Earth Hour
  • Washing lines installed at all possible properties to reduce power usage and give your clothes a little sunshine love!
  • Many hostels offer free use of bikes, boogie boards and surfboards
  • Sydney Harbour YHA has taken many steps towards reducing their power usage – solar panel and gas powered generator installation, designed with abundant natural light, exclusion of car parking – and as a result use 27% less energy and 44% less gas per night than our other Sydney CBD properties

 Humans helping Humans

At YHA Australia, we’re into humans helping humans. And koalas.

We live by the Aussie tradition of just being a good bloke or sheila. How fortunate are we to spend our lives travelling?! So, we give back where we can. Have a look how this is achieved: 

  • Every city hostel is proud to use Who Gives A Crap toilet paper, who donates 50% of their profits to help build toilets and improve sanitation in the developing world
  • Pittwater YHA organises bi-annual volunteer weekends to undertake bush regeneration in the neighbouring National Park
  • Adelaide Central YHA has introduced Feel Good Fridays, where pancakes are dished up for a gold coin donation to be gifted to the Hutt Street Centre, providing shelter and food for Adelaide’s homeless
  • Hostels and head offices offer internship programs for domestic and international students
  • Brisbane City YHA rallies their staff and guests to cook weekly meals for the homeless with OzHarvest 
  • Our hostel and head office staff are members of local, national and international tourism organisations, responsible for the regulation, maintenance and growth of all aspects of Australian tourism; including reducing our eco-footprint
  • Alice Springs YHA offers weekly work experience to special education students 

The afterlife

At YHA Australia, we believe in the afterlife.

We're into the four R's: reduce, reuse, recycle, Rihanna. As great at recycling is, we're super committed to making the most out of food, clothes and materials - we believe in the afterlife, after all! 

  • Railway Square YHA – the hostel so green it recycled a whole building! The property that was one a mailhouse is now a buzzing hostel where guests enjoy an upcycled dining table as well as a internal green herb wall, and recycling is cycled to a local Citizen Blue depot on a regular basis
  • Hunter Valley YHA’s café is built from 90% recyclable material 
  • All hostels are equipped with recycling, organic waste and general rubbish bins, as well as signage in multiple languages to inform guests of the difference
  • We boast swap shelves for books and clothing to keep the love affair alive
  • Encourage free food shelves and move unnamed food and drinks so they’re up for grabs before they’re inedible (yes – free food!)
  • Many hostels have ceased purchasing plastic cups for activities and takeaway coffee cups in cafes, instead investing in jam jars and reusable cups 
  • We sell reusable water bottles, ceasing the sale of bottled water from vending machines since 2014
  • We use environmentally friendly cleaning products across the board
  • Many hostels offer an on-site herb garden or green wall for guests to spice up their meals and reduce single-use plastic
  • Organic waste collected for composting onsite in many properties


Our Eco Certified hostels

The ECO Certification program assures travellers that certified products are backed by a strong, well-managed commitment to sustainable practices and provides high quality nature-based tourism experiences. And by golly, we’ve got two of them! Apollo Bay Eco YHA and Grampains Eco YHA are the jewels in our sustainability crown and we couldn’t be any prouder.

How you can help


Firstly - take pride in knowing that backpacking is by far the lowest-emission form of travel, so well done you for being so sustainable! Communal living, public transport, reduction in material possessions and an interest in human connection - sounds pretty great to us. 

You can help us run more sustainable hostels by contributing $1 when you book online to the Sustainable Hostels Fund. We’ll match your contribution and use the accumulated funds to make our hostels more sustainable. Past projects funded through guest contributions include solar hot water at Byron Bay YHA and Adelaide Central YHA, and solar power at Alice Springs YHA.

Who doesn't love a treasure hunt?

Keep an eye out for wee stickers in the shape of a light bulb, a water drop, the recycling symbol and a world globe whilst staying with us, as they’re letting you know when you’re actively aiding us in our energy reducing, water saving, recycling or social sustainability efforts. They’re hidden all ‘round our hostels, and who doesn’t love a bit of interactive learning?!

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YHA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We acknowledge and pay our respects to Elders past, present, emerging and the extended Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community.