Sydney Harbour YHA Hostel



Hostelz.com's Review

Sydney Harbour YHA, this five-star hostel, doesn't make a good first impression -- not only is it difficult to find, but if you arrive before the appointed check-in time of 2 p.m., you have to pay to store your luggage and you can't access a shower. This was not a good start to our day when we finally found the hostel on one of the hottest days this spring.

The Location

The hostel is located in the Rocks area of Sydney, just ten minutes' walk from Circular Quay (Sydney Harbour). The area is very nice, but also very expensive, so the nice little cafes and restaurants located on the hostels doorstep aren't really affordable on a backpackers' budget. Circular Quay is home to the Sydney ferries as well as the railway and main bus stops, meaning you have easy access to the whole of Sydney and its surrounding suburbs. Alternatively it is around a thirty-minute walk to Sydney Central.

Rooms and Bathrooms

As this is a fairly new hostel, the rooms are all in very good condition and seem to be clean. We stayed in a four-share, which had plenty of space -- there are two sets of bunks, four lockers (which require padlocks), and a small table and two chairs. All rooms are ensuite and in our room the shower, toilet, and sink were all in different rooms, which was very convenient. There are plenty of sockets and two mirrors in the room; the beds are comfy and all linen is provided (no deposit necessary).

Common Spaces

All the common areas are modern and spacious as well as being well looked after. There is a rooftop terrace, from which you can see the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. There is also a BBQ on the terrace for guests to use.

We stayed in this hostel during the last week of a three-month trip and this was by far the nicest kitchen we had seen in a hostel. The equipment was all working and clean and there was more than enough work space for all guests, plus plenty of storage space both in and out of the fridge.

There is a large, indoor seating area with tables for eating and sofas for relaxing -- this is also where the bank of computers is located. The internet is Global Gossip and is pretty fast, there is also around fifteen PCs, so it's quite easy to get online. There is a separate TV room as well, containing a large wide-screen TV.

As well as the kitchen there is a small cafe open between 7 to 10 a.m., which serves breakfast; however it is more of a shop than a cafe, as they only provide you with the ingredients of your breakfast. We booked our room online and paid for a breakfast to be included in our stay -- don't bother. The hot breakfast is a DIY affair where you are given some bacon, two eggs, two slices of bread, and a small tin of beans, which you then have to cook yourself. This wouldn't have been too much of a problem if the ingredients weren't cheaper to buy in a shop, since you are cooking it yourself anyway.


Overall we enjoyed our stay at the hostel and the bedrooms/common areas were luxury compared to some we had stayed in, however it is slightly let down by our first impression and the breakfast situation. We would recommend the hostel to anyone staying in Sydney but don't expect too much just because it is a "five-star hostel."
by Sam Hopkinson
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
November 2011


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Sydney Harbour YHA Hostel" at 110 Cumberland Street.)


110 Cumberland Street, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
-33.860028, 151.206688
(+612) 8272 0900
(+612) 8272 0950
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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews

HI - Sydney Harbour YHA is incredible! It's got a great location; all ensuite rooms; and terraces with spectacular views of the harbour, Opera House, and bridge. Activities and meals are also available. Everything (beds, couches, laundry, tables) in this hostel is new, since it was opened only a year or two ago. The Location Location one of the most amazing things about this hostel. The hostel is located in The Rocks, just walking distance from Circular Quay; the wharfs, from which several ferries depart; the Opera House; and the Bridge. Circular Quay is a very important place in the city, so all means of transport (ferry, bus, train) have a stop there. There is a convenience store right beside the building. Rooms and Bathrooms All rooms have ensuite bathrooms, with liquid soap and a nice shower separated from the toilet. The rooms have bunk beds, reading lights, a plug in each bed, and a table and chair. Everything is new and very clean. Air conditioning system works perfectly (once windows are closed it turns on. In case the are opened the system automatically turns off -- that's environmentally friendly!). There are lockers with plugs inside, in case you need to leave your laptop or mobile phone charging while you are out! Remember to bring a padlock or buy one at reception. Common Spaces Reception is open twenty-four hours a day, and there is a little coffee bar/shop at reception where you can get cheap and healthy breakfast options (cereals, yogurt, milk, fruit salad, coffee and tea). On the same floor there is a lounge with comfortable couches and tables, vending machines, and computers. Next to it there is a well equipped kitchen (gas is turned off between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.). Beware, because some cases of stolen food have been reported. There is a little terrace next to the kitchen with some tables, but the incredible terrace is the one on the fourth floor, with amazing views of the city. To ensure neighbours are not bothered, both terraces are closed from 9:30 p.m. to 7 a.m. The is also a TV room next to this terrace, with lots of movies available and vending machines. Laundry includes washing and drying machines, laundry powder, and iron. Summary This is a recommended place to stay, thanks to the incredibly new and clean accommodations, great views of the city, and easy access to public transport. Secure your items in the lockers and leave your laptop charging with no worries. And don't miss Friday afternoon Rocks markets.

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