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.

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.

Overall Best Hostel in Airlie Beach – Airlie Beach Magnums

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.
  • $
  • Bar & Restaurant
  • BBQ
  • Air Conditioning

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.

Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Airlie Beach – YHA 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…
  • $$
  • Swimming Pool
  • Self Catering Facilities
  • Security Lockers

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.

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

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.
  • $
  • Swimming Pool
  • Free Parking
  • Air Conditioning

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.

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

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.
  • $
  • Bar
  • BBQ
  • Swimming Pool

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.

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

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.
  • $
  • Tour Desk
  • Swimming Pool
  • Bar

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.

Best Party Hostel in Airlie Beach – Base Airlie Beach Resort

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.
  • $$
  • Bar & Restaurant
  • Swimming Pool
  • 24-Hour Security

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.

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

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.
  • $
  • Swimming Pool
  • Cable TV
  • Air Conditioning

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.

Things DO go missing sometimes…

lock iconPsst! Heading to a hostel? Don’t forget to pack a padlock! It’s well worth having one so you can secure your locker and protect your stuff!

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!

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.
  • $$
  • Swimming Pool
  • Free Parking
  • Balcony Views

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 Isalnds.

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.
  • $$$
  • Location!
  • Self Catering Facilities
  • (Huge) Swimming Pool

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 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.
  • $$$
  • Air Conditioning
  • Free Breakfast
  • Ocean Views

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?

The Best Travel Backpack?!
Nomatic 30L Travel Bag

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Bag.

Read our full review!

What to Pack for your Airlie Beach Hostel

We don’t often travel without these essentials.

Active Roots Water Bottle

1. Active Roots Water Bottle: Hostels are increasingly meeting backpackers’ demands for potable (drinkable) water. Now is better than ever to start traveling with a reusable water bottle! Aside from cutting down single-use plastic, The Active Roots stainless steel water bottle will also keep your favorite beverage hot or cold all day long and it’s sized perfectly to fit an entire bottle of wine. ‘Nuff said.

Travel Pillow

2. TRTL Travel Pillow: Long flights and bus rides are quite uncomfortable (most obvious statement of the day). Most travel pillows… Well, you know how they are. TRTL travel pillow is different. I mean, look at it! It’ll cuddle you to sleep every ride and it does a pretty damn good job of supporting your neck so you don’t get that stiffness or legendary popping when you stir.

AR Towel

3. Active Roots Microfiber Towel: Having your own towel on your travels is a game changer. The Active Roots Microfiber Towel is perfect for travellers who are looking for a lightweight, quick-drying and extremely soft option. The antibacterial material is super water-absorbent and resists odor buildup because of its antimicrobial material. Ain’t technology cool?


4. Power Bank: Probably one of the most important travel accessories – a decent power bank. Charging your phone up to 5 times in a row, the Anker Power Bank is a true lifesaver on long adventures or bus rides. Slick looking, handy and not too big, it easily fits in even the smallest travel bag or your pocket. Charge 2 devices at the same time with the double USB port.

Travel Pocket Soaps

5. Sea to Summit Travel Soap: The Sea to Summit multipurpose soap leaves are the perfect hygiene travel companion. The individual, Leave-no-Trace-certified strips are great for keeping your hands clean before you eat in that dodgy but delicious restaurant. There are also little strip packs for laundry, shampoo and shaving.

Luggage Travel Lock

6. Padlock: Keep your stuff safe, guys. Unfortunately not all dorm lockers share the same security standard. You’ll want a lightweight lock that can fit all the various dorm lockers you’ll clip it to. Having a padlock that is flexible and can fit a variety of locker styles is the best way to make sure none of your belongings wander away while you are out.

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

And don’t forget to sort your travel insurance before heading to Airlie Beach! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads, our favorite travel insurance provider.

Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!

world nomads insurance banner

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!

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps keep the site going.