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Sydney Harbour YHA's rooftop is home to one of the greatest views in the city, and the experience of enjoying a good ol' fashioned Aussie BBQ as you look upon the dazzling Harbour is nothing short of incredible. Start your week on a high note, with a $2 beef and kangaroo sausage sizzle every Monday! However, if you’re more into burgers, you’ll be livin’ for $7 burger night every Friday to fill you up before you hit the town (or go straight to bed, your choice!) Veggies, don’t fret, you’ll be well catered for. There’s non-meat options at every BBQ, or you can enjoy $5 pasta night on Saturdays! Five-star views at your fingertips and deliciously satisfying, affordable nosh – you and your belly can’t go wrong with a stay at Sydney Harbour YHA.
You will literally never go hungry when you stay at Railway Square YHA, with a different cuisine being whipped up every single night! Monday is meatball night – pay $6 and enjoy some delicious meatballs with pan-fried potato and coleslaw. Tuesday is $6 pizza night, followed by $2 Tim Tam ice creams. Another $6 will get you a meal on Wednesday’s Mexican night, that is, if you still have room after starting your morning with free pancakes! Thursday is $3 pasta night, Friday is all about burgers and Saturday is $2 hotdog lunch followed by free wine and cheese night! The highlight, however, is arguably Sundays - we're talking $6 nasi goreng followed by $2 Belgian waffles! The schedule will be subject to change, so check what’s on at the hostel regularly. No matter what's on the menu, one thing’s for sure: Mum and Dad won’t have to worry about you eating enough if you’re staying at Railway Square YHA.
Block Bar/Café in Yamba is a local icon, and a rite of passage if you’re lucky enough to be spending some time in the chilled-out, surfie town of Yamba. Though it shares the building with Yamba YHA, this hotspot is popular with locals, families, backpackers, tourists and basically anyone with any sense! You’ll be super thankful for Block Bar on those mornings where you need a hearty brekky to soak up the booze from last night, or when you’re having a lazy night in and don’t want to walk far to get fed! People rave about the above-and-beyond customer service, the eggs benny (pictured) and the famous “Block Burger,” which one visitor called the best Aussie Burger they’ve ever had. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’ll be able to get a delicious meal here any time of day, and crawl upstairs to collapse into a food coma immediately after. Doesn’t get much better than that!
Nothing puts a smile on your weary dial like pancakes for breakfast, but wait til you find out you can get them totally free at Cairns Central YHA…every single day! Cairns Central YHA care about you so much they refuse to send you out for the day on an empty stomach, so every single morning the team will be up bright and early flipping deliciously fluffy pancakes for you! That's right - when you stay here, you’ll never have to start your day exploring tropical North Queensland without deliciously filling sustenance. Just as well - you’ll definitely need all the energy you can muster to fully immerse yourself in this incredible region, jam-packed with thrilling adventures. Roll out of bed, meet in the courtyard (changing out of your jammies optional) and enjoy the battery goodness!
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Now listen carefully – this one is really something else. The restaurant at Halse Lodge (Noosa Heads YHA) is nothing short of a local treasure. Located in a heritage-listed building, it’s been featured on countless lists of the best restaurants in the city – people will come from all across the city to eat here. But lucky you – you’re already staying there! The menu is something you’d expect to see in a five-star restaurant, yet completely affordable, perfect for giving you that warm fuzzy feeling of a delicious home cooked meal. Fancy delicious crisp calamari for an entrée, followed by slow cooked beef ragu fettucine? Or will you hit your protein quota with a rump steak for your main, and top it off with a cheeky apple and berry crumble for dessert? When you’re good and full and rosy-cheeked, take a walk on the beach (only a few minutes’ walk away) before you crash into a dreamy food coma back at the YHA. It may cost a few bucks more than your standard backpacker diet of plain pasta and goon but seriously...your body is begging you for some nutrients.
Is there anything better than finally arriving at your hostel starving, and realising there is a brilliant no-frills café right on-site?! Brisbane City YHA’s Check-in Café will be your best friend as you explore Brisbane – always there just below your bed whether you need a tasty brekky, a quick snack or sugar hit, or you fancy sampling their delish dinner menu! With a range of menu items from the classic ham and cheese croissant to comfort food such as pasta, burgers and tacos, Check-in Café is your perfect option to enjoy a substantial and tasty meal, not blow out your budget and get to know your fellow adventurers while you’re at it! By night, head upstairs to the brand new Rooftop Bar for a nightcap or pre-drinks before hitting the town. Café, bed, bar and good times all 'round– Brisbane City YHA has absolutely everything you need for your Brissie base.
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1770 YHA is all about making your experience as comfortable and memorable as possible, which is why they have a brilliant chef whose specialties are best described as "Mum and Dad's home cooking" - everything dished up is hearty and there's plenty of it! We're talking steak, mashed potato, fresh veggies, schitzels, nachos, fish and chips, thai green curry, burgers, beef stroganoff and much, much more. All meals have a vegetarian option, so nobody will be missing out. But what really sweetens the deal are the dessert crepes - choose your fillings from strawberries, banana, apple, chocolate sauce, maple syrup, caramel, cinammon and ice cream and it'll all be wrapped up in a freshly made crepe, so it's more like a dessert kebab! Is your mouth watering yet? We thought so! The meals are on four days per week and the crepes are on most nights - check the blackboard in the hostel and prepare your belly. How. Good.
Your Port Lincoln experience was always going to be memorable – it’s the town of shark cage diving, swimming with tuna and sea lions and basically every ocean activity under the sun. However, we suggest adding paella nights at Port Lincoln YHA to your Eyre Peninsula bucketlist, and boy, will you thank us later! At $20 per person, the price may seem pretty shocking for a broke backpacker, but any true paella connoisseur knows that this actually very decent! Plus, the amazingly fresh and locally caught seafood used is some of the very best in the world, so it’s definitely worth treating yourself just a little to taste this incredible region. Paella night is an experience from the get-go, you’ll see it being cooked up outdoors in the hugest dish you ever did see. Then, grab some wine and pull up a chair next to your fellow travellers, regaling your ocean adventures as you munch on this delicious delicacy. To think you were going to spend that $20 on a week’s supply of two minute noodles…
The only thing better than having a meal made for you is knowing your cash is going to a great cause right? Melbourne Metro YHA is one of the most socially sustainable hostels in the YHA family, and every Wednesday, they will cook you a delicious healthy dinner in return for a small donation – every cent of which goes to a different charity every week. At 7pm, head up to the rooftop with your donation and check out what’s cookin’! As you eat, get to know your fellow travellers as you take in the view from the rooftop and plan out how you’ll spend another night in forever cool and perennially vibrant Melbourne. So, just to recap: you get food, you get to socialise, and you get to do your good deed for the day. Win, win, win!