The choices of where to stay in Australia are endless and can be daunting at first. These include hostels, hotels, share accommodation, bed and breakfasts, private or small guesthouses and serviced apartments.
Accommodation in Australia can range from 5-room converted homes to massive 500-bed hostels to fully serviced apartments. Many places (except hotels) have a self-catering kitchen and many have a BBQ (an Australian tradition). Hostels have laundry facilities, a common area with TV and DVDs, luggage storage, and safe lock-up.
In the northern half of the country most places also have a swimming pool and air-conditioned rooms. Some hostels provide other freebies such as wifi, breakfast, tea, coffee, weekly BBQs, linen, and drink vouchers at local pubs.
If you are staying in hostels then be sure to check out hostelbookers.com to find a place to sleep during your adventures! They don’t charge a booking fee and they regularly have the best rates available.
Prices can range from as little as $22 in a dorm to as much as $330 for your own ‘hotel’ room. It just depends on where you are and what type of accommodation you’re looking for. Prices are generally higher in cities and remote regions ($28 – $45 for a dorm bed) and are a little cheaper in smaller towns and resorts ($22 – $35 for a dorm bed).
Many hostels in Australia will offer weekly or monthly rates for long-term guests. Another alternative with long-stay is to move into an apartment or house as a sharer or boarder. This can be a great and cost-effective option but before moving in be fully aware of your rights and responsibilities as a renter or boarder.
Local councils, state governments, and industry associations work to ensure hostels maintain a strict standard of safety and cleanliness. If you’re not happy with the place you’re staying, or think it’s unsafe, speak to the manager or hostel owner first, your comments should be welcomed. If you have booked via a website site, feel free to leave a review and there is of course TripAdvisor. If you still aren’t satisfied contact the local council or visitor information centre.
Caravan parks are usually a combination of camping areas, caravan sites, and semi-permanent accommodation. Almost every small town has at least one caravan park (many have surprisingly more than you would expect) with designated areas for camper vans and for tents. Most have a camper’s kitchen (stove and fridge), laundry, hot showers, and are usually in a convenient location near town. A holiday park is just a fancy name for the same thing really!
Prices for tenting in caravan parks can range from $12 per person to about $50 per site (this is usually for up to 6 people).
Yes. Caravan Park chains such as Big4 Holiday Parks and Top Tourist Parks or state-based auto associations have a 5-star rating system to help you find what you’re looking for. Higher-rated caravan parks generally have a number of additional facilities (swimming pool, common room) and usually charge a bit more.
Most caravan parks have a “residents only” policy, ensuring people aren’t just wandering around your tent. They also usually provide a free lock up service for valuables such as passports, credit cards, and plane tickets.
Bush camping (or free camping) is, without a doubt, a cheap accommodation option, but not always that easy to find. Many National Parks have bush camping sites with prices from free to $15. These usually have pit toilets and little or no running water. True bush camping is most popular along the West Coast of Australia, where huge distances separate small towns. Finding a spot, off the road and away from the beach usually isn’t too hard. But be warned you can’t always bush (free) camp, keep an eye out for warning signs and if you are unsure ask someone (a fellow camper or the local visitor information centre.
When bush camping, always set up camp at least 50 metres from any water source, clear away all evidence of camp fires and don’t leave anything behind when you leave. Some towns have regulations about bush camping within a certain distance of a local caravan park. Most areas where camping isn’t allowed are clearly marked with signs.
HAPPY CAMPING!! (or hostelling)
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