Bungalow Bay Koala Village YHA



Hostelz.com's Review

Don't hesitate to go to Magnetic Island if you're looking for an escape from the East Coast, some bush walking, wildlife, and a good time, and Bungalow Bay Koala Village YHA is the place to be to experience it all!

The Location

Located in the bush, Bungalow Bay lets you experience some real Australian native wildlife. It's just a few minutes walk from the hostel to Horseshoe Bay. Here you'll find a beach, walking trails to other beaches, a couple restaurants, and a convenience store. The main grocery store, an IGA, is located right next to the ferry terminal, so it's best to do your food shopping before getting to the hostel.

When you arrive on the island, there are several buses waiting for the ferry and its passengers. There's plenty of people about and everyone is helpful in directing backpackers to the correct bus. It's a fifteen-minute bus ride and they announce the stops well, so you're sure to get off at the right stop.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Rooms are in the form of individual bungalows, ranging from private to multi-bed dorms; bunk beds are basic but comfortable. Most have ceiling fans that work well to keep the rooms cool, and there's lots of screens for air ventilation. Unfortunately, as is the general trend, there's a shortage of power outlets in the dorms. Some bungalows have a bathroom en suite, while others don't. The bathrooms are clean, and there's no shortage of hot water for the showers. Rooms are cleaned daily,

Common Spaces

In general, the place is a spread-out complex, so it's always a walk, to the kitchen, reception, pool, or wherever, depending on where your room is located. Since there's always good weather on Magnetic Island (they say three hundred twenty days of sunshine!), this generally isn't a problem. Along your way to the kitchen, you might even see a wallaby hop by! There's plenty of wildlife around, encouraged by the free lorikeet feeding that happens daily. There's possums that can be seen around the kitchen during dinner time, and huge bats often fly overhead. The bush comes alive at night with the occasional cry of the kookaburra or curlew (both very loud birds), which can be awesome or annoying to hear, depending on the time.

There is also a wildlife sanctuary next door, so if you want to cuddle a koala, you can do so here. It's a very small but very hands-on place, where you have the opportunity to hold or pet pretty much everything you see, from a black cockatoo to a baby crocodile and snakes.

The kitchen is big and well stocked, though there are no ovens. There's shelves to keep your food and you must leave a deposit at reception to get your plate/bowl/cup set. There is a bar onsite, so no BYO, but it's a chill bar. They do a good job of having organized activities every night to get people together, everything from quiz night to bingo and coconut bowling. There is also a cafe restaurant if you don't want to cook. There's affordable laundry and drying lines there as well. With lots of places to chill, from hammocks by the pool to bean bag chairs, there's always people about.


You shouldn't miss out on Magnetic Island -- it's definitely worth the price of the ferry, and depending what you're into, two nights might be enough, or you'll find yourself extending to a week or more! Bungalow Bay might not be the party hostel on the island, but there's enough going on that you're sure to have a good time!
by Jenny
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
May 2014

Bungalow Bay
Pool and Hammocks
Camping area


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Bungalow Bay Koala Village YHA" at 40 Horseshoe Bay Road.)


40 Horseshoe Bay Road, Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia
-19.121702, 146.862303
info@bungalowbay.com.au, magneticisland@yha.com.au
+61 (7) 4778-5577 or 1-800-285-577
+61 (7) 4778-5781
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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews

A camping style
Despite bad weather there were things to do. Table tennis, board games and nightly activities at the on site bar all provided entertainment. The koala sanctuary tour was excellent and I held some animals I never thought I would have the chance to! The rooms were clean and the bungalows looked stunning, a little cold at night but duvets were provided. The bathroom and kitchen were clean with plenty of space for food storage. Close to horseshoe bay and a foodworks so great location, also bus stop is right outside! Very helpful staff so I would recommend staying here when on magnetic island!
Age 19, British
Bungalow Bay Koala Village YHA is located on the far (west) side of Magnetic Island, on the site of a koala sanctuary. This provides an option for guests looking for work that qualifies them to apply for a second-year visa; the hostel itself also offers work-for-accommodation deals (three-and-a-half hours per day). The hostel has a very pleasant atmosphere and is ideal for those wanting to see wildlife -- rock wallabies and possums are often seen running between bungalows! The Location The hostel is located in the Horseshoe Bay area of Magnetic Island, just ten minutes' walk from the beach and bayside shops, bars, and restuarants (the fish and chip shop on the beachfront is highly recommended!). This does mean that around a twenty-minute bus journey is required to reach the hostel from the ferry port. Horseshoe Bay is, however, the nearest area to the Forts walk, which is often stated as the best place in Queensland to see wild koalas. Rooms and Bathrooms Doubles and dorm rooms are found in A-frame bungalows set on seven acres of land. We stayed in a double room, which was very nice; we also saw a dorm room (very large and well kept), as some friends were also staying at the hostel. There are also facilities to camp at the hostel and room for camper vans is provided. In terms of bathrooms, plenty of toilets, showers, and sinks are available for all guests, even at busy times, and these facilities are kept clean. The lights in the bathrooms do attract bugs as they are left open at night, however, this is certainly not unique to this hostel in northern Queensland! Common Spaces Bungalow Bay is a fully licensed hostel, so no private alcohol can be consumed. The bar area is, however, very large and drinks are reasonably priced (for Australia!). Those wanting a night off from cooking without spending money in expensive bayside restaurants can buy cheap pizzas from the bar, which also hosts various activities such as trivia and "coconut bowling," where free drinks can be won. An internet room is provided for guests at a price -- however, it is not Global Gossip and so time bought cannot be transferred to other YHA hostels. The internet room is open for guests from early morning to 10 p.m. The hostel kitchen is clean and well equipped, with plenty of room for everyone's food in fridges. Plates and cutlery have to be hired from reception, which is not mentioned on arrival. The kitchen can once again attract flies; however, this is mainly down to guests not closing the door and fly screen that has been put in place by the hostel. Summary Overall this hostel is very nice, with a pleasant atmosphere and we would stay again if on Magnetic Island. The appeal of the hostel is also enhanced by the surrounding wildlife, since it's nice to be able to spot koalas and wallabies in the wild.
Sam Hopkinson
Good, more of a campsite though, crap room
This was actually a great relaxing place to stay. We got to go in the koala sanctuary which was great but aside from that it is very basic place. The A Frame rooms are very very basic, just two beds and thats it. Be prepared to get bitten at night. The kitchen was very basic, and the bathroom very dirty. there is also someone on reception who flirted mercilessly with my boyfriend, which pretty much ruined my stay. I wanted to complain to management!
Great location, shame about basics
The fun A-frames are fine, if a little sore on the head if you don't duck enough! A communal area here would be benfecial as the kitchen is so busy at all times, serving the campers as well as the rooms and dorms. Average bathrooms (no hand soap or working dryers), great bar area, but expensive beer for backpackers budgets -- overall Bungalow Bay was fine, but seemed to be doing the bare minimum required because it was in such a great location.
Jen O
We stayed five nights and had the best time. It was what we call a "top ten." The tranquility of the surroundings and seating at the bar/restaurant area were thoroughly enjoyed. Also, the (unexpected) feeding of the lorikeets in the afternoons was amazing. I would highly recommend this accommodation if you are looking for a good backpackers.
This is the best hostel iv stayed in so far. Very relaxed. Is located in a nature sanctuary, can do a brilliant tour and get your photo taken with Koalas, Snakes, and Crocs! It can get a bit noisy with the sounds of the wildlife, particularly the birds, but its quite relaxing. Has a good bar with good food and friendly staff. The en suite dorm cabins were fairly big. The pool looked a bit dirty but the hammocks around it were great to laze about in. Its also near horseshoe bay where there is a shop, pub, and a couple of restaurants.
  This backpackers is super cool once you can get past the fact that you are sleeping in a hut. But you are so close to nature. The possums watch you eat and wallabies jump around the camp at night. You can also feed the rainbow finches and there are koalas next to the hostel in a reserve. The whole island is beautiful and a trip to feed the wallabies at dusk is recommended.
Lu & Si
  Great place, had a little hut to sleep in but adequate and a lovely pool to jump into. The staff are helpful and being among nature all the time is great. Also have great food in resturant.
Shelley & Dawn

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