See our 2018 Top 9 IRL

You’ve seen literally everyone’s Top 9 Instas on your feed, but why don’t you go see ours in real life in 2019? Ready, set, roadtrip – and have those Grams at the ready!


1. Vivid Sydney, NSW

The technicolour light show that needs no introduction! Vivid Sydney turns 11 in 2019, and sees the entire Harbour city illuminated through light shows, incredible projections on buildings and icons such as the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, clever, interactive installations, exclusive international gigs and thought-provoking talks from world thought-leaders. It’s a game-changing thing to experience, this transformation of a city; and you can escape the crowds and take the beauty of the whole thing in from the world-class Sydney Harbour YHA rooftop - exactly where this timelapse was captured from. Yes. 

Wanna see it? Stay at: Sydney Harbour YHA


View this post on Instagram

Better eight than never 😆 loving this shot from @livingforsun

A post shared by YHA Australia (@yhaaustralia) on


2. Figure 8 Rock Pools, NSW

There’s no sculptor more talented than Mother Nature herself, and she’s gone above and beyond on this little beauty. About an hours’ drive from Sydney lives the Figure 8 Pools – natural rock pools formed into a specific 8-shape, and oh-so-perfect for Instagramming (have a look at #figure8pools)! Be warned: this bath of a lifetime does take a little rock hopping to get to, so wear sensible shoes. It’s also worth trying to get here on a weekday rather than a weekend, so the crowds are a little more sparse and you can bathe and equate in private!

Stay at: any of our Sydney properties

View this post on Instagram

Baby, you're electric ☇ Lake Hillier, WA by @westernaustralia

A post shared by YHA Australia (@yhaaustralia) on


3. Lake Hillier, WA

Without getting too scientific, Lake Hillier is so beautifully, vibrantly pink due to a hell of a lot of salt (and a few other bits and pieces!) – and has boasted this rose-coloured hue ever since its European discovery in 1802. Cool fact – if you fill a container with the bubble-gum water, it maintains it’s colour! And, good news – you can in fact swim in this lake, and if you peer high enough you’ll be able to spot the very-normal-coloured Southern Ocean just a stone’s throw away!

Bring your drones, if you’ve got ‘em – this one’s a gooden!

Stay at: Esperance YHA

View this post on Instagram

Just in case you haven't seen a quokka snuggling a leaf in a while 🌿 by

A post shared by YHA Australia (@yhaaustralia) on


4. Quokkas on Rottnest Island, WA

Imagine a furry little animal that looks like a cat, a wombat and a baby kangaroo all at once; who live happily on their own island with no predators so they’re super friendly and curious. Sounds delightful, yes? Well – you needn’t just imagine; because they’re called quokkas and they exclusively live on Rottnest Island, off the coast of Perth, Western Australia. And, we can get you there for a day trip of a lifetime (check it out here!).

Stay at: Perth City YHA or Fremantle Prison YHA

View this post on Instagram

Wake up kids, we've got the dreamers' disease 💭

A post shared by YHA Australia (@yhaaustralia) on


5. 12 Apostles, VIC

The Great Ocean Road comprises 244 kilometres of wild, winding and wonderful South Coast and is one of the most gorgeous drives you’ll ever take; with the 12 Apostles acting as the icing on this dramatic and delicious cake. The crumbling pillars have been beaten into shape by powerful waves over the years, but the Apostles, only viewable from the shoreline, are an iconic sight not to be missed!

Stay at: Apollo Bay YHA

View this post on Instagram

You gotta wave back 👋 Wave Rock, WA by @josieloves

A post shared by YHA Australia (@yhaaustralia) on


6. Wave Rock, WA

There’s something about rock formations that have you feeling just a lil’ bit small, right? This one, in particular, will have you gazing in wonderment at nature’s capabilities and creativity, with the phenomenally-wave shaped rock spanning 110m with a 15m height. The only respectable thing to do would to pose for an Insta snap, right? Get ready for a bit of a drive out to this baby (Western Australia is big, right?) – but also keep your eyes peeled for some lesser-known stunners on the way. 

Stay at: Perth City YHA or Fremantle Prison YHA

View this post on Instagram

How we feel commuting to work on a Monday, thinking about weekend adventures had ☕️

A post shared by YHA Australia (@yhaaustralia) on


7. Boroka Lookout, VIC

Boroka Lookout lives in the glorious Grampians National Park, home to stunning and striking series of mountain ranges and indigenous rock artwork sites. Rather than lush green National Parks we’re used to, the Grampains are dramatic and dangerous, with rocky terrain providing the perfect backdrop for edgy sunset or sunrise photography. Put on some serious walking shoes and prepare yourself to be awed and inspired by nature’s playground – she’s a beauty.

Stay at:  Grampians Eco YHA

View this post on Instagram

Tuesdays are for rose coloured glasses and rose coloured lakes 🌹 Cactus Beach, SA by @the_spruce_duce

A post shared by YHA Australia (@yhaaustralia) on


8. Cactus Beach, SA

Bubble-gum pink. Turquoise blue. Dreamy, creamy sand dunes. You, and the road. The result of this equation is one Cactus Beach, serving up serious Gram AND caption potential (cactus emojis are so damn cute) – but make sure you or your travel buds have a drone, ‘cause you’re for sure going to want to see this one from the sky.

This corner of the country is a little trickier to get to, so why not make the most of it while you’re here? Take that drone and adverturers spirit to Port Lincoln, where only the brave can swim with sharks and sea lions!

Stay at:  Port Lincoln YHA

View this post on Instagram

One of our favourite spots from up high. Snapped by @alesewatsonphotography

A post shared by YHA Australia (@yhaaustralia) on


9. Urangan Pier, QLD

Ever been told to take a long walk on a short pier? Well, this is kinda like that, but nicer. Hervey Bay’s Urangan Pier reaches nearly one whole kilometre into the ocean, so you can spot fishies, dolphins and sting rays in the water the further you waltz out. Better yet, turn around and look back at the twinkling city once you hit the end of the pier – doesn’t she look perdy?

Again, this one’s a drone owner’s dream, but we’re sure ya’ll can get creative and post some interesting and individual points of view of this long lady.

Stay at: Hervey Bay YHA

Don’t forget to add #YHAoz to your happy snaps to see them regrammed on our channels, in our emails and on digital screens around the country! Happy travels x

Nearby Hostels

    Sydney Harbour YHA - The Rocks thumbnail
    From $38.95 per night
    Sydney Harbour YHA - The Rocks
    The only hostel in Sydney that has views of Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Sydney Harbour YHA is the best place to stay in Sydney for the New Years Eve fireworks and the Vivid light festival.
    Sydney Central YHA thumbnail
    From $31.35 per night
    Sydney Central YHA
    Our heritage-listed building, opposite Central Station, is ideally positioned near the Sydney Airport Train line, Darling Harbour, Chinatown and the Powerhouse Museum.
    Sydney Railway Square YHA thumbnail
    From $32 per night
    Sydney Railway Square YHA
    The hostel that literally has its own platform at Sydney Central Railway Station. You won't have an excuse for missing your bus, train or plane, with direct access to the Sydney Airport Train line and bus terminals at your doorstep.
    Sydney Glebe Point YHA thumbnail
    From $26.5 per night
    Sydney Glebe Point YHA
    Glebe Point YHA backpacker hostel offers a relaxed inner city location, just a short tram ride to Sydney CBD. Explore Glebe markets, cafes and restaurants.
    Sydney Bondi Beachouse YHA thumbnail
    From $26 per night
    Sydney Bondi Beachouse YHA
    Live the dream! Stay at Bondi Beachouse YHA backpacker hostel and learn to surf at Sydney's famous Bondi Beach.
    Sydney Collaroy Beachouse YHA thumbnail
    From $26 per night
    Sydney Collaroy Beachouse YHA
    Sydney's northern beaches YHA hostel is a high quality traveller's resort only 50 metres from one of Sydney's best surf beaches.
    Sydney, Pittwater YHA thumbnail
    From $33 per night
    Sydney, Pittwater YHA
    Situated at the mouth of the Hawkesbury River in Ku-rin-gai Chase National Park, Pittwater YHA backpacker hostel is perfect for escaping Sydney.
    Esperance YHA thumbnail
    From $28 per night
    Esperance YHA
    Esperance YHA hostel is a great base for exploring the Cape Le Grand National Park where kangaroos laze on the pristine beaches, only 15 minute walk to town.
    Perth City YHA thumbnail
    From $25 per night
    Perth City YHA
    Perth accommodation in the centre of the CBD. Perth City YHA is central to The Perth Mint, Art Gallery of Western Australia and Perth Zoo
    Fremantle Prison YHA thumbnail
    From $20 per night
    Fremantle Prison YHA
    Fancy a historic and unique stay? Fremantle Prison YHA has what you are after! With the option to stay in the prison itself or the colonial cottages you're in for a comfy stay.
    Apollo Bay Eco YHA thumbnail
    From $33 per night
    Apollo Bay Eco YHA
    Midway along the famous Great Ocean Road, relax by the wood fire heater, and enjoy ocean views from the rooftop at Apollo Bay Eco YHA.
    Halls Gap - Grampians Eco YHA thumbnail
    From $33 per night
    Halls Gap - Grampians Eco YHA
    Grampians Eco YHA is a stylish eco-certified hostel. Watch wild kangaroos relaxing on the lawn and explore the stunning Grampians National Park.
    Port Lincoln YHA thumbnail
    From $30 per night
    Port Lincoln YHA
    Port Lincoln YHA is based in an adventure-lover's paradise. Whether it's shark cage diving, swimming with tuna or sea lions or maybe a surf or a swim, this hostel can deliver!
    Hervey Bay YHA thumbnail
    From $25 per night
    Hervey Bay YHA
    This multi-award winning hostel in the seaside town of Hervey Bay is conveniently located within an easy walk of nearby beaches.
badge image