YHA’s are a great accommodation choice for women looking to stay in some of Australia’s best locations. YHA’s offer friendship, camaraderie and safety with their eclectic mix of travellers of all nationalities – here’s 6 of the best YHA’s across Australia.
Stretch your travel budget further by staying at one of the 50 YHA’s across Australia – whether you’re seeking wellness, adventure, or inspiration, no two are the same! You’re never too old to stay at a YHA either – you’ll be surprised by the eclectic mix of not just nationalities, but also ages. Enjoy our guide to six of the best YHA’s in Australia for adventurous women – whether you’re young or ’young at heart’!
1. Byron Bay YHA – Go there for Wellness
Byron Bay is ideal if you’re looking to relax and reconnect with yourself …if you’re dreaming of crystal castles or stunning bushwalks, guided meditations and massage therapies, Byron’s the place for you!
Ever heard of forest bathing? All it takes is a bit of exploration and mindfulness, as you bathe yourself in the sounds, sights and feelings of the forest. This practice is considered a form of medicine in some countries, so if you’re looking for a rest, get to discovering a new practice in the bohemian hills, beaches, and hinterland of Byron Bay, such as the Cumbebin Swamp Nature Reserve.
Byron Bay YHA is located in the town centre and has everything from chilled out spaces to and outdoor pool, and ensuite private rooms with air-conditioning, so once you’re done at the beach, you can saunter back, shoeless – there’s always something to do and people to meet when you get back ‘home.’
· Why Go There – Surfie chic décor, laid back vibe, walking distance to everywhere
· Location – 7 Carlyle St, Byron Bay New South Wales
· More Information – Byron Bay YHA Byron Bay YHA
· Best time to visit – Winter (it sounds counter-intuitive, but if you want to avoid the tourists and experience Byron at its most authentic, wild, boho self, hang out with the locals in the winter time, it’s still warm enough for a swim!)
2. Blue Mountains YHA – Go there for Adventure
The Blue Mountains is a haven for those seeking the wilder things, and with good reason! No matter what adventure you’re after, it’s right on your doorstep just a stone’s throw from Katoomba, with hidden waterfalls to swim under, cliffside hikes, and cycling tracks along ridgelines that’ll give you an adrenalin rush. Relax in town at the local brewery or check out the latest art at the many galleries and performance spaces along the main road of town.
If you’re keen to learn the local’s secrets to the best hikes, abseils and more, you don’t need to head far, High & Wild operate out of the Blue Mountains YHA and are ready to kit you up for adventures of all sorts. No matter your fitness or experience levels, their qualified and knowledgeable staff will tailor an experience perfect for you. Blue Mountains YHA is located in a National Trust listed former Cabaret Club, in the centre of Katoomba, and has a range of rooms including single/twin ensuites, as well as a huge former ballroom to hang out in when you’re worn out from all that exploring!
· Why Go There – Cosy, historic hangout in the heart of Katoomba
· Location – 207 Katoomba St, Katoomba, New South Wales
· WMore information – Blue Mountains YHA
· Best time to visit – All year ‘round! It’s chilly in winter, but that means you can explore without breaking a sweat, and you’ll get to see the magical fog roll through the mountains, and rug up next to the roaring log fire. Cool off in summer with ice-cold watering holes along hiking tracks making for the perfect pit-stop on your trek.
3.Sydney Harbour YHA – Go there for Inspiration
Once the home of convicts, Sydney’s historical district, The Rocks, is home to haunted alleyways, archaeological digs, historical ruins… and the delightful Rocks Markets. After you’ve picked up local delights at the markets, you can head to one of the many colonial-era pubs, which spill out al fresco onto the pavements and streets. Situated on top of Australian’s largest archaeological dig, at Sydney Harbour YHA you’ll literally be sleeping amongst history, with plenty to explore without straying too far from your room (all of which are ensuited).
Follow the narrow laneways and alleys of The Rocks, down Suez Canal and past Nurses Walk, saunter past Circular Quay and venture into the Royal Botanic Gardens. Admire the plants dating back to the convicts’ days and learn about the rich indigenous history of the area here.
Heading in the other direction, take a trip to nearby Barangaroo to experience the headland as it was in colonial days, bar-hop or catch an event.
· Why Go There – Rich heritage at ground level, and panoramic views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge from the rooftop
· Location – 110 Cumberland St, The Rocks, New South Wales
· More information – Sydney Harbour YHA
· Best time to visit – Jacaranda season in Sydney during early spring is too good to miss. The weather’s mild enough to enjoy a picnic, or a dip in one of Sydney’s famed beaches if you’re brave. Winter is also a sparkling time when Sydney comes alive with the Vivid Festival.
Grampians Eco YHA – Go there for Adventure
Nestled into the regional Victorian town of Hall’s Gap, the eco-certified Grampians Eco YHA is your entry point to the breathtaking Grampians National Park. If you’re looking for cliffside sunsets, views that go for miles and rock-climbing for every ability, this is most definitely the place to be. You can set your own path on a self-guided walk, or tag along on a guided tour of the national park to explore awe-inspiring scenes across hills and valleys.
After a long days exploring, kick back at Grampians Eco YHA and share a yarn with the managers and their family of chooks and visiting wallabies. This place is known as a home away from home for many travellers, and once you spend a night, you’ll most certainly see why.
· Why Go There – relaxing by the wood fire while kangaroos nibble on the lawn
· Location – Corner Grampians & Buckler Roads, Halls Gap, Victoria
· More information – Grampians Eco YHA
· Best time to visit – Get cosy in winter by the fireplace, and if you’re lucky you may even catch some snow!
Port Elliot Beach House YHA – Go there for Inspiration
Port Elliot Beach House YHA is situated just moments from the Fleurieu Peninsula, and a short wander from Horseshoe Bay, an ideal location for Stand-Up Paddle-boarding and more in the waters of the Great Australian Bight. Walk to the centre of town to explore the charm of the area or get a taste of the stunning coastal wilderness on nearby Granite Island
This boutique property has a history as a guest house dating back over 100 years, with a rich, heritage patina. It offers all types of rooms, including ensuite ones, even an impressive suite if you’re travelling as a group.
· Why Go There – the spectacular views over Horseshoe Bay from the balcony
· Location – 13 The Strand, Port Elliot, South Australia
· More information – Port Elliot Beach House YHA
· Best time to visit – If you visit during whale or penguin season (May-October) you can head on boat tours to get right in the action, or explore from the shores by bike, with $10 hire available from the YHA.
Cairns YHA – Go there for Adventure
Cairns is a town formed by adventurers. Head into the city centre on any given day and you’ll see skydivers landing onto golden sandy beaches, jumping boats headed out to snorkel the great barrier reef, or setting off into the rainforests to enjoy everything from gentle hikes to bungee jumping and multi-day treks. There’s never a dull moment in this vibrant coastal city, and without a doubt, whatever adventure you seek, you’ll find it in the tropical north!
While you’re exploring Cairns, a must-visit are the night markets, open until 11pm daily and ready to serve you a fresh late-night snack, the perfect way to wrap up a day of adrenaline-pumping adventure before preparing for even more.
Cairns Central YHA is a traveller’s oasis, with a pool, spa, communal areas to chill out and a range of rooms (all air-conditioned). Let them take care of your tour arrangements, whether it’s diving, rafting, bungy, or riding the scenic rail to Kuranda in the hills.
· Why Go There – Just a short walk from the Cairns Esplanade (‘the Espie’) where all the pubs, shops and cafes are, as well as Trinity Wharf, departure point for Great Barrier Reef cruises
· Location – 20-26 McLeod Street, Cairns, Queensland
· More information – Cairns YHA
· Best time to visit – The dry season (May-October) means you can explore without rains affecting your trip, but if you’re up for the true rainforest experience (and the best deals) the rainy, or Green Seasons, is the time to visit.