Where to stay in Australia
09 Feb 2017
Australia is famous for it’s hospitality industry, and this includes its range & quality of accommodation. Ranging from budget backpacker hostels to beachside resort hotels, we have accommodation options in Australia to suit all budgets and travellers.
Your choice of accommodation will depend on your:
- travel budget
- travel destination
- travel style and comfort levels
- number of companions
Rates are determined by the time of year, and the day of the week. Depending on the type of accommodation you require, if you time your visit to stay mid-week so you can save on accommodation costs in popular tourist locations. However expect rates to be higher mid-week in city & town areas where business travel would be popular. It all depends on the highest demand days, business travellers require week-days more whereas tourists and holidaymakers require weekends more.
During the course of the year, there are also periods that require accommodation more, so the rates are higher. School holidays can be higher rates, but also the couple of weeks after the school holidays can be a higher rate because the silver nomads (seniors) take their holidays after the school holidays. Summer is definitely busier than winter, so the rates adjust during the year to accommodate the busier crowds. Long weekends can also demand a higher rate, especially if it’s the last long weekend before winter.
Caravan & Camping
Camping is a great way to meet people and the best and cheapest way to travel around Australia on a budget. There are a lot of National Parks in Australia and many of them you can camp in for free or a small cost. Most of these camping areas require bush camping, and have limited amenities. You also have to abide by fire restrictions if you intend to have open flame cooking. More popular campsites will have basic amenities such as power, toilets, and water. Some may even have covered communal cooking & eating areas. Most National Park camping areas also use enviro-friendly toilets, and recycled or rainwater. Some may also have hard bore water, or salt water, so it’s always a good idea to carry soap & shampoo in case you camp at one of these sites.
Nearly all towns & cities have caravan & camping grounds where you will find a lot more facilities like a shop, laundry, recreational areas for the kids & adults, and many have swimming pools and spas. Some are quite nice resort style camping where you can have your own private toilet/shower facilities on your tent site.
Whether it’s family-friendly camping, bush camping or glamping, dog-friendly camping or 4WD access camping, you're sure to find a campsite to fit your requirements. Cost of powered tent sites in caravan parks depend on number of persons.
WikiCamps is a great app to download, or visit their website. It has a user-generated database of caravan parks and campsites with user reviews on the features.
Hostels are a mixed bag in Australia and are a great way for meeting fellow travelers as well as one of the best ways to save money. They can range between shanty like, beach lovers paradises, or quite trendy accommodation. Aside from the a dormitory rooms, a lot of them also offer private and family rooms, so they can be a cheap alternatives to hotels. They also generally have cheap and free services such as wi-fi, a laundry, luggage storage, fully-equipped kitchen facilities, and run local tours. Most are shared bathrooms, though many do have private bathrooms with their private rooms. Hostels also have common kitchen areas which is great for saving on meal costs.
Self Service Apartments
Most coastal cities & many towns have self service apartments. If you’re travelling with friends or family, you can book a 3 or 4-bed apartment and split the costs.
They are usually fully equipped with white goods, linen, utensils & cooking equipments, welcome complimentary toiletry products and tea & coffees. Access to a full kitchen saves you money by not eating out every night. These are usually converted apartments, cottage & houses, so the use of separate bedrooms from the living room make it easier to put the kids to bed, while the adults continue into the night. It’s also nice to have that bit of privacy from the kids. You also usually have your own laundry.
Hotels / Motels
Australia is full of hotels. From outback pubs with rooms, to high end resorts. From budget rooms, to high end luxury accommodation. Whatever your taste, budget or requirements, you will usually find a hotel within the vicinity. Some will just have a bar, most will have restaurants or eating areas, others will have all kinds of facilities. Many hotels have swimming pools, gyms & spas, and most of them have air conditioning. Most of them provide parking and are close to transport. If you hang out in the bar, you will usually find someone who can give you a little history on the area & the best places to visit.
Room service is available in most higher end hotels, whereas more budget motels will often provide a small bar fridge. High end hotels will provide a bar fridge filled with goodies, but beware, they will be charged to your room & they aren’t cheap. So if you want a coke, it’s best to go to the bar or local shop.
If you frequently visit the same hotel chains or hotel booking sites, join their rewards or membership program.
House Sitting / House Swapping
This has become very popular these days. There are many websites that you can use to find houses to house sit, or house house swap. It is an ideal way to save on accommodation if you are super flexible and can travel where the house sits are, rather than find a house sit to suit your plans.
House swapping means they live in your house while they live in yours. You’ll find people who live in the city, who will want to swap with someone living in the country or on the beach. And vice versa. Maybe you’re tired of Winter & they are tired of Summer, and you feel like swapping climates. Maybe you have the nomad spirit & feel like travelling for a while. There are all kinds of reasons while people swap houses.
House Sitting is usually when the person who owns the house requires someone to look after their house, garden & plants, or their family pets while they are away. It could also be that they don’t like leaving the house empty for a long period, so are in the need of house sitters. However, you do have to take into account that their could be duties involved in housesitting, and you must be prepared to do them in return for use of their house.
For both of these types of accommodation, you are required to leave the house as your find it. If you don’t, it will give you a bad reputation when it comes to doing the same again, it also gives the house owner a bad taste for it & would reduce to availability of this type of accommodation.
In a time where social media can make or break businesses, they are willing to give you the best deal they can. They are also useful to accommodation side of the hospitality industry, because they can let out empty rooms with ‘last minute’ deals.
If you are planning on going anywhere to to holiday, stake out their social media pages prior & keep an eye out for any good deals. Go and "LIKE” your favorite search sites on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
Check out accommodation websites & subscribe to their newsletters. They often distribute deals and special coupons only to their email subscribers and members.
Check review sites such as Trip Advisor
Search comparison sites that pull data from all the main hostel websites to help you find the cheapest price.