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Looking for budget accommodation in Noosa and a unique hostel to stay in Australia?
The YHA Noosa, also known as Halse Lodge, recently won best Australian hostel in the TNT Golden Backpack Awards.
Situated on a hill just behind famous Hastings St, the main shopping and dining drag, the YHA Noosa is a beautiful old heritage Queenslander from the 1880’s.
If you don’t know what a Queenslander is, it’s a home with wide sweeping balconies, usually sitting high off the ground on stilts and tropical gardens.
A look at the old pictures on the wall inside the common room will show the history of Halse Lodge. It’s always been a place for travellers to lay their head at night, but at its first beginnings it was mostly fisherman that passed by.
Now the halls are mostly filled with happy travellers young and old from all nations and the odd Aussie or Kiwi thrown in. It’s the busiest hostel we’ve stayed at so far, and it’s easy to see why with the location.
It’s 100m from Noosa Beach and on the doorstep of the Noosa Heads National Park, a stunning place to walk along the coastal path to beautiful swimming beaches and look out points. If you’re lucky you might even spot a furry, cuddly friend or two high up in the gum trees. Our koalas love living in Noosa.
Backpackers are drawn here, and after spending a few days lazing on the beach or learning to surf with some of the boards the YHA rents out for free, they don’t want to leave.
The atmosphere is buzzing here with travellers having a magical Australian experience, and you can hear them all swapping stories over a few drinks of an evening or over toast and vegemite and a cuppa of a morning on the balcony off the kitchen.
It’s a serene way to start the day with an outlook of the rainforest, and if they feel like appearing, our beautiful Aussie birds.
I love how the hostel brings travellers together with a free welcome meeting every evening at 6pm.
Guests are enticed to come with a free glass of wine, so you know we were there. All available chairs and comfy couches were taken and we were invited to introduce ourselves and share a little about where we came from and our travels.
People connected instantly and I saw them befriend each other over the coming days.
The hostel also has a restaurant, a licensed bar, and a great beer garden area and it’s one of the very few hostels that you can’t bring your own alcohol too. But, they have happy hours and the prices are much cheaper than you’ll find on Hastings St.
The atmosphere is more relaxed as well. The restaurant is a favourite spot for the locals to come for some cheap booze and delicious food. Again, much cheaper than you’ll find on Hastings St (it’s a bit upmarket down there!) And on weekends there is often live music.
The bar does close at 11pm, so you’re safe in knowing the partying will stop.
Unless the revellers come rolling down the halls at the early hours slurring the words and making you appreciate that you’re pretty much past that stage in your life now and you’ll wake up feeling good the next day!
As you walk down the hill from the hostel to enjoy the day’s activities, don’t forget to stop off at Wonderland – Henry’s mobile coffee station – on the corner right near the surf shop. He’s a young guy with an entrepreneurial spirit, a friendly and happy persona and he takes the time to make you a great coffee!
There are no family dorms at the Noosa YHA, but we stayed in a four-bed dorm which serves the same purpose for us.
Being a heritage Queenslander, it’s open and wooden and a door opens right onto the balcony and leads you to a comfy couch to chill on while enjoying the afternoon breeze with a good book.
The only problem with Queenslanders in being very open is that the sound proofing between walls is not very good and can get a little noisy if you have people chatting outside your room at night.
I envied those doing it because let’s face it, parents don’t get to sit down and read books on comfy chairs.
Down below, the beer garden, makes for a perfect digital office. Nature’s there to inspire you and the tunes from the bar were pretty home-grown and folky. Just how I like it.
The manager, Sarah was incredibly sweet and helpful, especially to Kalyra and Savannah. They loved to run to her of an afternoon and tell her about our day’s adventures. Our girls can talk a lot, but she was attentive and kind to them.
We also noticed signs up advertising for travellers to stay and work in exchange for food and accommodation. I think opportunities like this are quite common at YHA Noosa. Perfect for those who want to linger awhile and save some cash!
And everywhere you turned at the YHA was helpful travel tips on what see and do in and around Noosa.
YHA Noosa – The Facts
Location – The YHA is located at 2 Halse Lane, just a 100m walk to Hastings street, Noosa Beach and the start of Noosa Heads National Park.
Prices – Dorms start at $29, private rooms at $78
Website:To get all the details and make a booking visit YHA.com.au
For other places to stay in Noosa, click here.
- Things to do in Noosa
- 3 Sunshine Coast beach towns to explore
- 14 things to do in the Sunshine Coast that doesn’t involve the coast
We stayed at YHA Noosa in partnership with YHA Australia.