If ever there was a postcard-perfect backpacker beach with sparkling turquoise water to be found on Australia’s Whitsunday Coast, Airlie Beach is it. For many people, Airlie Beach is the gateway to the spectacular Whitsunday Islands.

That said, for backpackers looking for a good time, Airlie Beach is a destination unto itself. Think beer gardens, barbeques, and epic snorkeling every day.

Let’s cut to the chase: How does one find the best hostels in Airlie Beach? How do you discover decent backpacker accommodation amongst all that white sand and beautiful sea? Truth be told it is a bit of a challenge.

Being that this is Austalia and even more importantly a very popular coastal Australian party town, most accommodation in Airlie Beach is not exactly what I’d call budget friendly. But fear not!

That is exactly why I wrote this guide to the best hostels in Airlie Beach!

Get all the insider knowledge you can handle regarding the best backpacker hostel options in Airlie Beach.

My Arlie Beach Hostel guide makes it easy to book the right hostel for yourself based on your own personal preferences. Let’s dive right in…

Quick Answer: The Best Hostels in Airlie Beach

Best Hostels in Airlie Beach
Welcome to my ultimate guide to the best hostels in Airlie Beach.

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The 10 Best Hostels in Airlie Beach

You’re a party-enthusiast and a night owl on a backpacking trip through Australia? Then you’ll absolutely love Airlie Beach. To keep the travel costs low, choose one of these cool hostels we’ve picked out for you.

Airlie Beach Magnums – Overall Best Hostel in Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach Magnums best hostels in Airlie Beach
Sweet rooms, nice chill areas, and overall positive vibes make Airlie Beach Magnums the best hostel in Airlie Beach.

This little oasis is just about the best hostel in Airlie Beach: located very centrally yet surrounded by lush nature this top hostel in Airlie Beach boasts not only dorms but private rooms and deluxe cabins, too. Now doesn’t that sound posh? It’s also not exactly a budget breaker either, so those on a shoestring will like the price (and convenience) of Airlie Beach Magnums. There’s a decently sized kitchen to use, outside places to hang, a volleyball court, plus an indoor recreation room. It shows its age somewhat, but this Airlie Beach backpackers hostel is a very solid option.

YHA Airlie Beach – Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Airlie Beach

YHA Airlie Beach best hostels in Airlie Beach
YHA Airlie Beach features a nice pool and comfortable dorm rooms. If you want to make some new friends on the road come to the best hostel for solo travelers in Airlie Beach…

You wanna make friends, but you don’t wanna have to sacrifice your sanity in order to do that – i.e. does meeting new people always have to be a loud, super drunk affair? No it doesn’t, and at the ‘official’ youth hostel in Airlie Beach – simply called Airlie Beach YHA – you’ll find that hanging out with new people can be a chilled experience. Though almost as central as you can get, this is actually one of the quieter top hostels in Airlie Beach – complete with communal areas, pool, private rooms, spacious dorms. It’s got everything you need. And it’s fairly clean. Not the cheapest, but worth it for the crowd it attracts.

Nomads Airlie Beach – Best Cheap Hostel in Airlie Beach #1

Nomads Airlie Beach best hostels in Airlie Beach
Fun. Cheap. Beautiful. Nomads Airlie Beach is my top pick for best cheap hostel in Airlie Beach.

The cheapest way to enjoy the tropical garden places to stay in Airlie Beach has gotta be Nomads Airlie Beach. This has some stylish rooms and dorms, as well as loads of beanbags spread about (you can even use them in the pool), making it possibly the coolest hostel in Airlie Beach. AC makes the heat bearable in all of the rooms, whilst there are also spots to pitch up tents or park your van, so it’s pretty much guaranteed to suit most travellers. It’ll definitely suit you if you’re looking for the most budget hostel in Airlie Beach.

Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
Aether Backpack

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

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Bush Village Budget Cabins – Best Hostel for Couples in Airlie Beach

Bush Village Budget Cabins best hostels in Airlie Beach
The Chill, non-rowdy atmosphere at Bush Village Budget Cabins makes this place the best hostel for couples in Airlie Beach without a doubt.

If you’re a couple on a budget then say no more, Bush Village Budget Cabins is ideal for romantic and unromantic pairings alike, with its quiet setting amongst lush palm trees and chilled atmosphere. There’s no parties going on here, which is great if you’re not into that, but there are still communal spaces – like a pool, and a bar (opens at 10am) and a kitchen to whip up some pasta or whatever you can muster. You’ll find plenty of time to gaze lovingly into each others’ eyes in this recommended hostel in Airlie Beach; Bush Village can organise tours and overnight sailing trips as well for a memory-making experience.

Base Airlie Beach Resort – Best Party Hostel in Airlie Beach

Base Airlie Beach Resort best hostels in Airlie Beach
It is no secret that Airlie is a good place for party animals. Come see what the fuss is about at the best party hostel in Airlie Beach: Base Airlie Beach Resort.

At this huge hostel there are plenty of opportunities to get totally smashed and have a fun time whilst doing it. This is mainly because of their nightly events that get everyone together – boozy bingo, anyone? I mean, nights like that are gonna end up a silly mess and sometimes we like a silly mess. So if you’re looking for somewhere to party, this is probably the best hostel in Airlie Beach to do such a thing. Also the famous lagoon itself is just 50m from the hostel – prime location. But yeah: nightly entertainment and drinks specials at their onsite bar (it’s called Boaty’s) here make this a place to remember.

Kipara Tropical Rainforest Resort – Best Hostel with a Private Room in Airlie Beach

Kipara Tropical Rainforest Resort best hostels in Airlie Beach
Need a quiet space? Kipara is the best hostel with a private room in Airlie Beach.

Kipara Tropical Rainforest Resort offers up a selection of private self-contained villas for you and your partner, or you and some friends – or just YOU – can stay and chill in the green paradise of this recommended place to stay in Airlie Beach. Privacy is a big draw to this place – everyone loves that feeling of having your own little base, which is what sells Kipara over, say, a youth hostel in Airlie Beach. If chilling out in a private villa that isn’t too fancy sounds like your sorta thing, well, here’s where you go.

Backpackers By The Bay – Best Cheap Hostel in Airlie Beach #2

Backpackers By The Bay best hostels in Airlie Beach
Backpackers By The Bay covers all of your budget travel needs, especially your wallet, making it another one of the best cheap hostels in Airlie Beach.

Fairly close to the main street, and fairly close to the lagoon too, this Airlie Beach backpackers hostel is a decent option since it comes equipped with everything you’ll need at a nice price: there’s a kitchen, hammocks everywhere, a library, BBQ, outside exercise area, pool, to name just a few of the what-you’d-expects. It’s not the best hostel in Airlie Beach – the location isn’t 10/10, and the rooms feel a little basic – but Backpackers By The Bay is a great place to base yourself when you’re staying on this tropical paradise of an island, especially if the word ‘budget’ matter to you.

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Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

More Best Hostels in Airlie Beach

So those were the hostels – but if you’ve had your fill of staying in hostels, why not indulge in a little privacy with some prime villas and resorts? We say indulge: the prices are still pretty wallet-friendly, though!

Whitsunday on The Beach

Whitsunday on The Beach best hostels in Airlie Beach
Location. Location. Well, you got it. Whitsunday on The Beach is located right where its name suggests.

The location of Whitsunday on The Beach is definitely its major USP. The clue is in the name. It’s pretty much on the actual beach, but also all the bars and restaurants and nightlife options are very nearby. The pool here is MASSIVE, it truly is: it looks like an extension of the stunning sea (and awesome marine life within) that this part of the world is famous for, and it’s got a bridge over it. If that matters to you. If not, yeah, that location is prime. Other than that the self-contained boutique-style rooms aren’t overly special – if you can handle that considering the quite steep price.

Airlie Beach Retreat

Airlie Beach Retreat best hostels in Airlie Beach
Airlie Beach Retreat is one of the best hostels in Airlie Beach if you are traveling as a group.

The family rooms at Airlie Beach Retreat sleep up to four people, which is great if you’re travelling around Oz with friends, but there are smaller private rooms – all at decent prices (especially when you think that you’ll be sharing the price between a few of you). This place is the place to be if you want a slice of privacy at similar prices to a budget hostel in Airlie Beach: bungalows come with stunning views, there’s a pool, places to cook your own meals… but overall, the chilled tropical vibe is strong here. A great place to rest with your mates if you are heading to/ coming back from the Whitsunday Islands.

Airlie Waterfront Bed & Breakfast

Airlie Waterfront Bed & Breakfast best hostels in Airlie Beach
If you’re feelin’ fancy, Airlie Waterfront Bed & Breakfast is probably the best non-budget option for backpackers in Airlie Beach.

Minus: expensive. Plus: pretty sick. Yep, this isn’t exactly a budget hostel in Airlie Beach, but it is a great way to splurge your cash if you feel like having a few nights of relatively affordable luxury. The hideaway-style rooms (some with hot tubs) are stylishly done, there’s a free continental breakfast served each morning in said room, and the location is pretty damn good: just a few minutes of walking takes you into the heart of Airlie Beach and its shops, bars and restaurants. It’s not a huge place, but it is cosy – the sort of place you could stay for a treat. Can’t be all budget hostels 100% of the time, can you?

What to Pack for your Airlie Beach Hostel

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out our definitive Hostel Packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!

FAQ’s on the Best Hostels in Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach is a stunning location that, unfortunately, comes with quite a high price. Luckily, there are awesome hostel options. To make your decision on where to stay even easier, we’ve listed the most frequently asked questions and did our best to answer them.

How much does a hostel cost in Airlie Beach?

The average nightly rate of a stay in a hostel in Arlie Beach starts from $15 for a dorm and $29+ for a private room.

What are the best hostels in Airlie Beach for couples?

Bush Village Budget Cabins is an ideal hostel for couples on a budget in Arlie Beach. It has a pool, a bar (opens at 10 am), and a kitchen.

What is the best hostel in Airlie Beach near the airport?

While there aren’t any hostels in Arlie Beach that are particularly close to the airport, some offer airport shuttles or will help you arrange transport. Check out these cool hostels:
Airlie Beach Magnums
YHA Airlie Beach
Kipara Tropical Rainforest Resort
Whitsunday on The Beach

Why you should travel to Airlie Beach

There you have it my OZ- ramblin’ friends: my ultimate guide to the best hostels in Airlie Beach has come to an end.

I am sure by now you have gleaned the valuable information you need to book your hostel and roll into Airlie Beach with the confidence of a happy dingo.

Airlie beach is a really awesome spot, but remember it is popular. Don’t forget to book your hostel before you arrive eh!

Still feeling like a Koala at a salad bar? Too many options laid before you? If you’re still having trouble booking a hostel, I suggest going with the sure-fired best overall hostel in Airlie Beach choice: Airlie Beach Magnums. Best of luck of your Adventure!

Airlie Beach Magnums best hostels in Airlie Beach
Why not stay at the best? Book your stay at Airlie Beach Magnums for a kick ass time in this true backpacker paradise…

Travel Safety Tips for Airlie Beach

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

More Epic Hostels in Australia

Hopefully by now you’ve found the perfect hostel for your upcoming trip to Arlie Beach.

Planning an epic trip all across Australia?

Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

For more cool hostel guides around Australia, check out:

Over to you

By now I hope our epic guide to the best hostels in Arlie Beach has helped you choose the perfect hostel for your adventure!

If you’re planning on travelling further, you can be almost always sure that you’ll find a great place to stay wherever you are. There are so many amazing hostels all over Australia, each of them offering a comfy bed, a welcoming vibe and a chance to meet likeminded travellers

If you think we’ve missed anything or have any further thoughts, hit us up in the comments!

Looking for more info on travelling to Arlie Beach and Australia?