The ultimate minimalist getaway, what better way to get back in touch with the Earth than sleeping under the stars in a bell tent? The hippie and super-cool town of Nimbin is perfect for you to get some distance from the hustle and bustle of city life, and have a hell of a lot of fun while doing it. Lose track of time wandering around the quirky village by day, enjoying the colourful boutiques and cafes and the even more colourful residents. Nimbin is also surrounded by lush rainforests and waterfalls - breathtaking landscapes you’re guaranteed to fall in love with. When the day is out, your tent at Nimbin Rox YHA is nestled in lush tropical gardens in the magical Nimbin Valley. Fall asleep to the sound of crickets and wake up to the sound of native birds. Come on – some experiences are worth giving up binge-watching for.
“Bello,” as the locals call it, is one of the most creative towns in Australia. Arts and crafts fairs are abundant, as are hip little coffee shops and incredible markets. Bellingen is also a spectacular natural beauty – the rainforests and waterfalls of Dorrigo National Park are unrivalled. You’re in for a real treat when you stay at Bellingen YHA – it’s all charming, old-fashioned guesthouse vibes, with a touch of that chill backpacker atmosphere you’ve come to expect from YHAs. The balcony view is one of the best YHA has to offer – nothing but green for miles, overlooking the rainforest gardens and river. You may even see cows grazing in the distance! Spend a morning wandering the rainforest, an afternoon swimming in the river and the evening soaking up the friendly, homely atmosphere at Bellingen YHA. And you thought Candy Crush was relaxing...
Need to get out of the city, without actually leaving Sydney? Say hello to Pittwater YHA – your personal, enchanting oasis away from the metro crazy. Set on the hillside of Morning Bay in Ku-ring-gai National Park, you’re truly away from the world here – so much so that you’ll need to BYO food, as you won’t find any shops around! But you won’t be wanting for entertainment – spend your days kayaking and picnicking around magical Morning Bay, bushwalking to lookouts and exploring Aboriginal engraving sites and waterfalls. You’ll also see plenty of native animals in their natural habitat. Basically, Pittwater has everything you need for time spent away detoxing the soul and inner rejuvenation. When night falls, roast marshmallows upon the fire pit under the stars. Now that's what we call getting back to the beautiful, brilliant basics.
If you want to feel worlds away from your daily life but also are unable to travel too far – look no further than the Blue Mountains, just a two hour train ride out of the Big Smoke of Sydney. For a truly idyllic and zen experience, stay at Blue Mountains - Hawkesbury Heights YHA – a solar-powered hostel cocooned by beautiful bushland. Spend your day filling your lungs with the fresh crisp air and enjoying the endless adventures the Blue Mountains has to offer – hikes, mountain biking, abseiling, canyoning, the works. Hawkesbury Heights is also close to the Blue Mountains National Park, boasting waterfalls and unbelievable lookouts. At the end of the day, why not make your own pizza in the wood-fired stove, and eat it by the firepit with your new friends? There’s no better way to get away from it all than staying in the middle of the bush – you’ll thank us later.
Just as magical as the name implies, Port Fairy is an idyllic seaside town on the Great Ocean Road – a hidden gem, yet constantly voted as one of the best towns in Australia. Just a stone's throw from the centre of town, Port Fairy YHA is heritage listed and is the former home of the town founder, a true relic of the Victorian era. It won’t take you long to get swept up in the friendly, charming and above all relaxed vibe of the town – you can watch the fishermen unload their catch for the day, laze on the beach, meet the local wildlife and wander the wide streets lined with adorable nineteenth century cottages. At the YHA, you can breathe in the salty air as you spend some me-time in the beautifully kept garden, or curl up by the open fireplace with that book you’ve had for months but never got around to reading. You know the one...
Situated on the outskirts of Grampians National Park, when you hide out at Grampians Eco YHA, you’ll be surrounded by the calming aura of lush forest. Native birds chirping, treetops swaying in the breeze with the sunshine seeping through – you'd be hard-pressed not to find your inner peace here. The Grampians is beautiful all year round, but is truly something special in winter – waterfalls run rampant and the greenery comes to life. The atmosphere at Grampians YHA makes your time in the Grampians all the more magical – warm up by the fire pit at night, and feel your worries drift away into the air, along with the smell of burning wood and the soothing sounds of a crackling fire. The best part? This hostel is famous for its ecological sustainability – nothing says “detox” like actively reducing your footprint on Mother Earth!
You don’t need to be in the middle of the bush to enjoy a detox – the red desert sand of the Kimberley will do just fine too! The town of Broome is buzzing with life and diversity in spite of its remote location, but it’s also rife with natural wonders you could never hope to see in the big city. The Staircase to the Moon, for one – for 2-3 days every month between April to October at low tide, the full moon reflects a “staircase” on the water that leads up to the moon. There’s also dinosaur footprints at Gantheaume Point, guaranteed to give you an enormous appreciation of the wonders of our world, past and present. Broome YHA is a 5-star backpackers resort surrounded by tropical gardens and African gazebos, with a bar, a swimming pool used all year round due to the tropical climate, and a lively atmosphere embodying everything there is to adore about Broome.
The fact that Pemberton YHA is the only hostel in town tells you something about how secluded it is – no crowds, no skyscrapers or stress in sight, what better place to stay for a digital detox? Situated in a refurbished mill house cottage, the unique history and significance will be palpable as you relax and unwind in this unique spot. It’s also walking distance to all the charming shops and attractions – including breathtaking tall karri trees, pristine forests, walking trails, wild rivers and exquisite landscapes. After your adventures, watch the sunset from the veranda, sipping tea or a local wine! Pemberton is also a stop along the world-famous Bibbulmun Track – taking this long distance trail after your stay at Pemberton would take your detox to the next level.
No need to listen to ocean sounds through your headphones to help you sleep – at Port Elliot YHA, you’ll fall asleep to the sound of the sea for real, every single night. A historical boutique Beachouse, Port Elliot YHA is the best spot to base yourself when in the Flerieu Peninsula for a relaxing getaway. With 270 degree views of the Southern Ocean coastline, you’ll find it difficult to drag yourself away from the balcony, but the breathtaking walks, beaches and lookouts of Port Elliot should provide sufficient motivation. Once you’ve explored the day away, a friendly, homely and beachy vibe at Port Elliot YHA awaits you – enjoy the best sleep you’ve had in a long time, and wake up feeling about a tonne lighter. And you didn’t even check Instagram once!
The busy town of Noosa doesn’t automatically come to mind when thinking of rustic getaways, but we haven’t introduced you to Noosa Heads YHA yet! It may be an easy walk to Hastings Street, but Noosa YHA is far from your run-of-the-mill centrally located hostel. It actually boasts luxury treehouse vibes, surrounded by two acres of lush gardens and rainforests. You can easily stroll through the rainforest or to secret beaches, where you can enjoy a relaxing swim or just read a book in the sunshine. At the YHA, you can relax on the shady verandahs, enjoying the captivating views. When the sunshine goes, enjoy a peaceful solo dinner and drink at the licensed restaurant, then have an excellent night’s sleep in your comfy bed. After your stay, you’re guaranteed to return to humdrum life a little more tanned, and a lot more relaxed and refreshed.