Australia’s favourite holiday destination, the Gold Coast possesses a huge range of visitor accommodation, with loads of terrific options for every type of budget. While Surfer’s Paradise and Burleigh Heads are popular with tourists who want to splash their cash around, fortunately there are also many other places that are ideal for those who want to enjoy a great holiday, albeit on a shoestring. One of my favourite budget-friendly places to stay on the Gold Coast is definitely the Kirra Beach YHA, situated close to Coolangatta and just two blocks walk from beautiful Kirra Beach.
Image courtesy of the Coolangatta YHA website
Kirra Beach YHA is part of the well-respected Youth Hostel Association (YHA) of Australia, which was established way back in 1939 to provide budget accommodation for young people travelling around the country. It’s also a member of Hostelling International, a worldwide network of affiliated hostels that can be found in over ninety countries.
These days YHA membership is open to people of all ages, and the many hostels throughout Australia provide not only dormitory-style accommodation, but often twin, double and family rooms as well. YHA hostels can be found in all of Australia’s major cities, as well as in many other tourist hot-spots. Situated in some of Australia’s most desirable locations, they provide clean, comfortable and secure accommodation for a fraction of the price of a guesthouse, hotel or holiday apartment.
Just 500 metres from the Gold Coast airport, Kirra Beach YHA would have to be one of Australia’s most conveniently located hostels. If you’re flying into or out of the airport, you can easily walk there, or catch a very cheap taxi ride. The down side of the hostel’s location is aircraft noise, although personally I didn’t really notice this. If you’re planning to spend most of your time out and are a deep sleeper, this won’t be an issue, but if you sleep lightly, perhaps consider staying somewhere else.
Apart from this issue, Kirra Beach YHA is an absolute gem. As the hostel’s website comments, it’s just minutes’ walk from the beach, and you can easily be out there, soaking up the beautiful Gold Coast sunshine, within an hour of touching down at the airport and booking into your hostel room. Coolangatta is at the southern end of the Gold Coast, which still possesses the laid-back surfer vibe of years gone by – unlike the beaches further north, which are over-run by nightclubbing party animals and package tourists.
The hostel itself is clean, comfy and friendly – the perfect base for a holiday on the Gold Coast. As with most hostels these days, there are several accommodation options offered at Kirra Beach YHA. For budget-conscious solo travellers the most popular choice is generally the dorms, which come in two configurations, with either six beds or eight beds, and are segregated according to gender. These are spartan but spotless, and consist of double-decker bunks and some simple shelve space. There are secure lockers in the hallway for storing valuables.
If you’re craving a bit of privacy this hostel also has a few single rooms, while those travelling with their partner or a friend will probably prefer the double or twin rooms. Larger rooms (with four beds) are perfect for families or groups of friends. It must be emphasised, however, that this is not flashy resort-style accommodation. Comfy but basic, these rooms are perfect for active, fun-loving people who plan to be out most of the time, and simply want somewhere clean, friendly and safe to rest their heads at night.
If you’re a social sort of person who enjoys connecting with your fellow travellers, there are plenty of common areas at this hostel. These are all on the ground floor and are open-plan, creating a relaxed easy-going ambiance. For those who like to self-cater there is a clean and well-equipped communal kitchen, which is connected to a spacious dining room and a couple of recreation rooms, full of cool stuff to do with your fellow travellers.
Enjoyable diversions for hostel guests include a pool table, table-tennis, board games, video lounge and a book exchange. If you’re the adventurous sort, bikes and surfboards are available for hire as well. There are also high-speed internet computers and wifi is available throughout the hostel. Best of all, there’s a swimming pool in the courtyard if you want to take an early-morning plunge, or simply want a change from the beach.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for good-quality budget accommodation in the heart of Queensland’s beautiful Gold Coast, then look no further than Kirra Beach Youth Hostel in Coolangatta. One of the most perfectly-situated backpacker hostels in Australia, this little gem is secure, spotless and epitomises the laid-back friendly mood that we all love so much about the Sunshine State. Just a short stroll from lovely Kirra Beach, it’s an absolute bargain, too – meaning that you’ll be left with more cash to spend on stuff that’s important to you.