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North Bundy Backpackers

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Hostelz.com's Review
We chose Grand Backpackers upon arriving in Bundaberg because it had the highest rating among reviews online.

The Location

The hostel is little bit -- just over a kilometer -- out of the city center, so it takes twenty minutes to walk into the city. There is a shopping center nearby with an IGA supermarket, bottle shop, and pharmacy. If you arrive by bus or train and have a lot of luggage, you need the hostel crew to come to pick you up or take a taxi. There are always parking places near the hostel.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The hostel was a motel before being converted, so rooms are pretty clean and nice -- most have six bunk beds with a toilet and kitchen. The air conditioning works perfectly. You get a normal key and if you lose it, you lose your deposit. There are no lockers, so you have to trust your roommates. The shower and toilet are in good condition. There are shelves for storing things in every room.

Common Spaces

There is a ok swimming pool with a few sunbeds (they are all more or less broken). The computer room has expensive and slow internet; the wireless network does not work. There is a big, nice TV room (but there's no no cable or satellite) with a DVD player. There's also a ping pong table and a vending machine with soda.

Summary

The hostel has good facilities, an ok location, poor management, and a fair-to-poor work situation. We never had any problem with the management, but have friends here that did. Our roommate had to wait about four hours on the bus and was a bit irritated; he and his friends were going to the reception to make a complaint. The receptionist refused to say that they were sorry and tried to kick them out of the hostel. My friend had to go to the owner of the hostel to be able to stay. If you complain too much, they try to kick you out or don't give you any jobs. The work situation is not that good in this hostel.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
September 2010

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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How is North Bundy Backpackers rated on other websites?
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Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
1   Horrible Hostel I stayed at this hostel for 2 nights along with my boyfriend and sister. We planned to stay here for around 4 weeks to get our farm work done for 2nd year visas. Before we arrived we were told there would be a maximum of 6 to a room, each room having its own bathroom, shower and free wifi. When we arrived there was no one at reception, hours are 9am-10am and 4pm-7pm. When we did finally get into the hostel the reception was very messy and dirty, although the floor was being swept when we arrived. We were shown to our room, which instead of the 6 bed we were told it would be, it was a 10 bed dorm with one bathroom. We also had to wait until late in the evening until we were provided with any bedding. The bathroom was also shared with two other 4 bed dorms, so 18 people in total having to share one bathroom. The bathroom was disgusting, mud smeared on the floor, shower curtain hanging by one hook and loads of bugs. We were told the bathroom got cleaned once a day, which is not much when it is used by 18 people all doing farm work. For the short time that we did stay here I never saw it remotely clean. The job sheet goes up each evening around 7pm to tell you which farm you will be working on the next day. After 7pm the reception shuts so if you're not happy with the job you have its very difficult to get hold of staff.The transport is free to and from work, however you may have to drive. My sister and I were on a tomato farm while my boyfriend picked sweet potatoes, but only got 2 hours work because the farm did not have enough containers to hold anymore. On the tomato farm the supervisors were mostly non-english speaking and shouted in their own language, expecting us to understand what to do. There was no consideration taken that it was our first day and we did not know what to do. There is parking available at the hostel but by the time all the vehicles used for work transport are parked there is not much room for anyone else. Steve, the owner is very arrogant and intimidating and when we did try to get hold of staff to tell them we wanted to leave it was rather difficult. We have now been waiting over 2 weeks and still have not been paid. Definitely would not recommend this hostel.  , age 23, Scottish ()
4   Probably the best hostel in Bundaberg I stayed in another backpackers (literally on the opposite side of the road of the greyhound bus stop) before. Don't go there, go to north bundy! Nice open air area, two kitchens, pool, tv room with Xbox, most rooms have en suite bathrooms. When you go there you probably have to work on a tomato farm, where the pay is sh*t. But wait one or two weeks (depends on the work availability) and you'll get an hourly paid job. Everybody can work 7 days a week, which is good for your 88 days. Or simply take one day off per week. In north bundy you can go back to tomatoes whenever you have no other job. I for example worked 3 days a week hourly paid and the rest on tomatoes.  , age 27, German ()
4   Good, fun people i stayed in this hostel for 3 months. the work wasn't the best but it was constant and they didn't charge for every little thing so I could save. I would recommend a stay here although the kitchen is shared it can get messy but they clean it every day so no so bad. I meet some really great people here and will remember my stay. thanks north Bundy and Dennis.  , age 22, england ()
1   WORST HOSTEL, DIRTY AND FILTHY PLACE!!!!!!!! Me and my partner booked in this hostel on a Monday, as we arrived we went into the reception to check in where there was food all over the floor covered in ant nests. They had dirty bin bags over flowing that caused such a vile smell. We paid $150 for the week and had to pay $20 deposit for a plate cup knife and fork. When we was given them the cup had mould at the bottom of it. We was shown our room which was absolutely disgusting and once again the floor was covered in ants. That night we went to sleep and was woken up by a noise which worked out to be a mice in my suitcase. We went to cook food in the kitchen area and when we went in there we was greeted by roughly 20 flies that was flying around. We refused to cook and even go near by there because of the smell as well. The owner Steve was very rude and didn't help with any work that we was promised. Me being a girl I felt uncomfortable being in the same room as him on my own as he would make dirty comments. We decided to leave after 5 days as the conditions were very poor and I'm actually surprised that they could run a business like that without getting closed down. When we left we asked for our deposits and was told a simple "NO." We argued our point across and they threatened to call the police. I really not recommend this sh*t hole of a hostel. Stay away from here because the owner Steve will only take you for what you have got.  ()
1   Worst place ever. I'm not talking about the place, that's disgusting, half destroyed, you have to renew it yourself, buy your own sheets and can't ask for anything that's minimum comfort. That's the nicest part. They treat you like nothing, no jobs, they give you just enough work for you to pay their rent and then no job for the whole week. The contracts you sign says that you're going to be paid 20$ an hour. Some of the young people there worked a month and didn't get paid at all, or just 1/4 of what they were supposed to be paid, no taxback cause the job was not declared at the time (it was this summer, I hope it changed), for myself they didn't have any jobs to offer except zucchini picking. Which means 25$ for a whole working day (8 hours day. 20$ was really really in best cases at the season and if you're working very hard and ruin your back). Because the rent is "cheap" (130$ a week), people go there, but then as you don't work you're losing money and time. Very unfair and bad management, you feel constantly insulted, I leaved after a very short time, never again, run away.  , age 22 ()
4   Good working hostel I stayed in Northside for 5.5 weeks. I got work the first day after I had arrived but that is not a guarantee to find work right away. I've heard Northside is the best hostel to find work in Bundy right now. You are paid by the hour and not by contract. Don't expect much of the accommodation, it is a working hostel. You cannot use the pool, there is no barbecue, but a TV room. You have to pay 7 dollars a day to get to and from work. I have met some really nice people at the hostel and would definitely recommend it if you want to make some money and do not have a car.  ()
1   I have big hate for this hostel In terms of work, you need to arrive at the right time of year to get any. I arrived in Febuary and work was very limited for everyone. Although it started to pick up in march time the management were not very helpful when I kept pressing them for more work, "I'll do the best I can". The hostel is predominantly German or French, limited English folk, which wasn't too bad because for me it was nice to meet people from different places. It was a nice crowd of people. Management inlcudes Detlev, who usually sorts out the work list, biased towards certain travelers and seems quite moody, but will try and help when he can. Wayne, Really nice guy, will go out of his way to help you in any way he can. Barry: Patriotic Australian, fantastic bloke, really relaxed, will always be social and have a laugh with everyone. Rohan, Co-owner, not too bad, he will just do his job but doesn't get involved much in helping helping people out. Reese, Co-owner. The WORST person I have ever met! This is the main reason that anyone that is thinking about staying here, shouldn't. He WILL NOT help you in any way. He IS NOT lenient whatsoever. He is SO arrogant. No one in the hostel has ever said anything positive regarding Reese. Even the other management despise him. If you are a few days late with rent because the farm hasn't yet paid you, he will not hesitate to kick you out and call the police (it happened a couple of times whilst I was there).  , England ()
2   Better then the Bundaberg average! This hostel has nice facilities, it was a motel, but now it's a backpacker hostel. The rooms are quite big, and almost all of them have their own kitchen and bathroom. When you open the door to your room you are outside, and here they have big wood tables where people hang out, eat etc. They have one tv room with one old tv! I enjoyed this place when i stayed here in 2010, NOTE that the comments from 2009 would not really apply because there is new owners now. When I stayed here 2010 Rohan (bald guy) was the owner, he wasn't to bad actually! Most of the time he was pretty nice and everyone was fairly happy! The only problem at that point was that the hostel didn't have enough jobs, so there was many people on the standby list. Things changed pretty quick, when Reeze entered the picture, Reeze is the son of the owner of City Center. Reeze sold his porsche to buy half of the hostel, so he and Rohan owned their own half. But Reeze seemed to take over it and started to run it his way, he overpower Rohan. One of the first things he did was to apply the new policy, you miss the buss you loose you job. So people that been on the hostel for a couple of month and got seek they lost their jobs, even though the farmers asked for that person, one guy called his farmer and said that the hostel told the farmer that he didn't want to go back to that farm. The second thing was the no alcohol policy, and it was really strict, if you got caught drinking a beer on the hostel area you get thrown out. People were not allowed to even store beer in their fridge. So from being a fairly relaxed hostel with happy backpackers it all changed, they started to spy on the backpackers, started to through people out something that was very uncommon before, something that is extremely uncommon in hostels and hotels all over Australia, but not in Bundaberg. At this point I had enough and left this hostel. The hostel is as far as I know still operated by the same people and comparing to other hostels this is not too bad, just have to be careful if you don't get a job, to try another hostel.  , Local ()

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