Studying up North? Here’s your travel bucket list.

Sure, you enrolled to study hard and learn lots; but we all need a break (or three!) at times. Australia is a damn huge country and we know time and money is hard to come by, so we’ve narrowed it down to five places you’ve gotta see during your time in the tippy top of Australia. Drum roll, please!

Sydney

Sydney and the Blue Mountains

Ah, Sydney. Home to a big bridge, a bigger foodie scene, hundreds of little streets to find yourself lost in and thousands of things to do (Seriously. You’ll never be bored. Here’s 100 free things to do when you get here). Accommodation-wise, you’ve got a choice between Bondi Beachouse YHA which overlooks iconic Tamarama Beach, alternative Glebe Point YHA for all you coffee and market lovers, centre of the city with Sydney Central YHA, sleeping in a train carriage at Railway Square YHA or lap up the best view of the harbour at Sydney Harbour YHA.

Fancy climbing the Harbour Bridge, learning to surf on Bondi Beach or checking out the Aquarium and Madame Tussades in Darling Harbour? We can book them all, plus more! Have a look-see here.

Don’t forget the stunning, small-town charm and transformative air of the Blue Mountains while you’re down there! 2 hours out of Sydney lies Katoomba, the home of the NSW National Park and Blue Mountains YHA. Bushwalks, canyoning, abseiling and caving is a’plenty, plus one of the 10 best pizzerias in Australia!

Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef

All the way at the tippy-top of the country lies Cairns, the tropical wonderland that leads you to our beautiful Great Barrier Reef – the world’s largest coral reef system. Sadly, global warming is causing the destruction of this stunning reef, so you’d better get in to see it this time ‘round while it’s as breathtaking as ever. We’ve got the very best tours for you, too! 

If scuba diving, snorkelling and boat-tripping on the Reef isn’t enough for you, we can book you bungee jumping, overnight boat trips and all that’s in between! Have a look at all the activities Tropical North Queensland offers, and get ready for a trip of a lifetime! Of course, you’ll stay at Cairns Central YHA for some rest, relaxation and rejuvenation between all your adventuring!

Byron Bay

Byron Bay and Nimbin

Nestled just under the Queensland border lies Byron Bay, the hippy town that has to be visited to be understood. A relatively small town with gorgeous beaches, bare feet, more bars than you could ever dream of visiting and a passion for surfing, yoga and good times.

We’ve luckily got two hostels smack-bang in the middle of the city for you to choose from, the newly renovated Byron Bay YHA or the true backpacker Cape Byron YHA, both of which will feel like your home away from home.

Order a shuttle bus and sneak a night away to the fairy paradise of Nimbin Rox YHA. You can camp under the stars in a lush yurt and wonder why you’d ever want to sleep indoors. Pro tip: brave the early wake up and greet sunrise – the valley becomes coated in a technicolour fog that’ll have you wondering if it was all a dream.

Uluru

Alice Springs

Image credit: Tourism Australia

The red centre is our cultural, indigenous heartland; and truly must be experienced to be understood. Whether you’re road tripping from Adelaide or flying in from any capital city, you’ll be astounded by the hundreds of kilometres of deep, red dirt – this is the Australia you’ve really gotta see.

If you time your trip right, you can join thousands of gorgeous Priscilla, Queen of the Desert fans in their celebration of the film’s 20th birthday at the Queens in the Desert Festival, or be dazzled by hundreds of football fields’-worth of twinkling lights decorating the iconic Uluru in the Field of Light exhibition.

Whether coming for an event or not, you’ll be immersed in a fascinating, ancient history of people and place; and you’ll be bloody glad you came. Bonus, Alice Springs YHA is built in an old cinema, and screens outdoor movies each and every night. Forget Netflix and chill when you’re in the Northern Territory!

East Coast

East Coast

Let’s be real, Australia’s East Coast is probably the reason you wanted to travel here – sea, salt and sand every day, tonnes of high-octane activities like surf lessons, skydiving, bungee jumping, boat trips, snorkelling or even scuba diving – and some pretty crazy nightlife, too. Sounds good to us!

The East Coast spans New South Wales and Queensland, from Sydney to Byron Bay to Brisbane to Cairns and all that’s in between - and we’ve got hostels in pretty much every location you’ll want to visit. Have a read of our comprehensive East Coast guide here, and make sure to leave enough time to truly experience the magic!

Don't forget your 20% discount at over 40 hostels around Australia! See here for a list of all participating proterties, and happy travels! 

Nearby Hostels

    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 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 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.
    Byron Bay - Cape Byron YHA thumbnail
    From $25.5 per night
    Byron Bay - Cape Byron YHA
    Cape Byron YHA backpackers hostel is the perfect place to kick back and relax after a day in the surf. Bike and boogie board hire is available.
    Byron Bay - Byron Bay YHA thumbnail
    From $30 per night
    Byron Bay - Byron Bay YHA
    Looking for the perfect hostel to relax? Byron Bay YHA is a tropical oasis - central to cafes, restaurants, local bars and Byron Beach.
    Nimbin Rox YHA thumbnail
    From $26 per night
    Nimbin Rox YHA
    Have you ever wanted glamp in a tent? Well you'll enjoy the unique accommodations at Nimbin Rox YHA backpackers hostel. Situated in the lush sub-tropics of the magical Nimbin Valley.
    Blue Mountains - Katoomba YHA thumbnail
    From $25 per night
    Blue Mountains - Katoomba YHA
    Only a 90 min train trip to Katoomba from Sydney. While you're here check out the Blue Mountains National Park, Scenic World and Jenolan Caves.
    Cairns Central YHA thumbnail
    From $20 per night
    Cairns Central YHA
    Cairns Central YHA is located in the heart of town, only a block from the train station and surrounded by cafes, restaurants and pubs. Comfortable common areas, lush swimming pool and social BBQ area make it the perfect spot to relax.
    Alice Springs YHA thumbnail
    From $26.5 per night
    Alice Springs YHA
    Alice Springs YHA backpacker hostel is built within the grounds of an historic outdoor cinema. Make sure you book your accommodation with us, for nightly movies under the stars!
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