Hostel Review: Aussitel Backpackers

(I’m just going to begin this post by apologising for the delay! My excuse? Well, I had no WiFi!)

The Good
– Good central location in Coffs Harbour, within walking distance to the beach, supermarket and basically anywhere else a backpacker may need to frequent!
– The hostel offers a pick up/drop off service to the bus stop for those arriving or leaving by coach.
– Really friendly, relaxed atmosphere from the minute you arrive. During my 6 week stay there were plenty of long-term guests who all knew each other really well, but were equally as welcoming to newbies and short-termers and this definitely helped to contribute to that vibe.
– The hostel runs one morning and one evening activity every day, without fail. These range from kayaking, snorkelling and visiting the local markets in the mornings to ping pong competitions, pizza nights and nights out in the evening. There’s never nothing to do!
– There is free surfboard, kayak, snorkelling, fishing and stand up paddle board hire.
– Rooms are all a decent size, offering private double rooms or mixed dorms accommodating 6-8 people each.
– Very clean. The hostel offers some work for accommodation positions, which invariably means cleaning, and so in return for accommodation certain people would clean the rooms/bathrooms/kitchen/outside area every day.
– There’s a swimming pool!
– Budget-friendly, as I was booking a week at a time and the hostel does a deal where if you book for a week your 7th night is free.
– Reception can book horse riding trails, skydives and various other activities for all guests.
– Free WiFi! No backpacker is ever going to say no to free WiFi!
– Communal living area/space with more plug sockets and a TV to watch programmes or a selection of films on.

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The Bad
– The pool is the only thing I’d say that wasn’t particularly clean! I’m unsure whether it got cleaned throughout my entire stay, but that didn’t stop me from swimming in it almost every day!
– Hot water was a bit inconsistent…sometimes I’d be showering, hear a toilet flush and brace myself for a couple of seconds of cold!
– Only 5 hobs to cook on. As the hostel probably accommodates around 70-80 people, in addition to allowing those sleeping in vans and cars to use their facilities, dinner had the potential to become a bit reminiscent of a rugby scrum at times!

The Ugly
– Quite a few cockroaches here and there. Not in the rooms though I’m glad to say! But I feel like I’ve been in Australia long enough to not get freaked out by them now, so I’m not sure whether this should really class as ‘ugly’.
– I left my phone on the table whilst I left to go to the toilet. I came back to over 500 selfies. This is not something I hold the hostel accountable for, more a warning for any future guests, an it comes under ‘ugly’ because, well…! πŸ˜‰

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(I jest, they’re a beautiful bunch really)

The Staff
(I’m just going to say now, writing this bit is weird because I’m friends with basically everyone that worked there!)
– The hostel is run by a couple who live on site, and as a result seem to be on call 24/7! I personally found them incredibly helpful and easy to get along with. At times they do have to be strict, such as enforcing the 11pm quiet time rule, but without that sort of no-nonsense attitude no one between the ages of 18-30 is going to listen, are they?!
– The 3 that work behind reception easily become your mates in the first day! They’re the ones in charge of checking in and out, morning and evening activities and the general day to day running of the hostel, and so they spend so much time with the guests it’s a surprise we didn’t get sick of them to be honest!
– And like I said, the housekeeping staff are all fellow guests and so as much as they might bitch about how dirty the girls bathroom always seemed to be in comparison to the guys, they were alright really! πŸ˜‰

Tell me a story!
– Well, I have a lot of stories from my time at Aussitel, but none of them make that much sense or seem that great if you weren’t there.
What I will say is that I had the best time in Coffs Harbour and so much of that was to do with this hostel and the people that were there. If truth be told there’s not really anything to do in Coffs Harbour, apart from the Big Banana which takes about an hour! But I honestly would recommend staying at this hostel and taking advantage of all it has to offer, as I feel as if I had a much better all round Australian experience there than I ever did in central Sydney. My days consisted of kayaking down the creek, swimming in the sea, jumping off the jetty, playing pool volleyball and quite a lot of alcohol! I look back on the photos I have from there and can’t help but smile, and I cried as I left which I was not expecting!
It’s not the life for everyone, I admit, but it was pretty darn awesome for me, and like I said I had the most amazing Australian Christmas there πŸ™‚

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Aussitel Backpackers: www.aussitel.com

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