Launceston Backpackers is a good, affordable place to stay with just a few problems. It's small and comfortable, with mostly modern facilities and extremely friendly staff that are happy to help and deal with any problems that may arise.
The location is a short walk from Coles, and across the road from a park, however, you will still probably need to hire a car to get around. It is five minutes' driving to the central business district.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The rooms are spacious and the dorms don't have too many beds in them. Dorms, twins, and double rooms are available and there are modern cupboards in the rooms. The rooms in the "old" building are quite beautiful, with high ceilings and lovely windows with views. The new building is modern and clean but less attractive. The bathrooms are less than stellar -- the upstairs bathroom only has shower curtains and you seem to walk in on naked people semi-regularly, as they must dress in the common area of the bathroom.
The hostel has an extreme water-saving policy, which means the full flush on the toilet doesn't always flush solid matter -- many times, we saw what someone else had left behind in the toilet. The sink taps also give only a trickle so it is hard to wash your hands properly. The hot water system upstairs was broken for two days when we were there, forcing everyone to use the two showers downstairs, which are better, as they have space for you to change without being in the common area of the bathroom.
The shower nozzles downstairs are very low -- we had to crouch to get under the water -- and again they suffer from extreme water-saving mode, so you get little more than a trickle of water, making it hard to wash soap out of your hair. Besides this, the bathrooms are clean, but the upstairs one is old and has ripped flooring.
The common spaces are great -- always clean -- and they are modern. There are computers with pay internet. The kitchen gets very busy in peak times, but hardly anyone uses the lounge room, which has a plasma TV and plenty of sofas. There is an ant problem at the hostel -- although there is ant-rid in the bathrooms and kitchen, there are also ants in the lounge room.
This is a good, friendly hostel that is very affordable. The bathrooms are annoying but manageable. Towels are available for hire and there are free maps with popular locations printed on them available in the office. In peak seasons (summer), you need to book a room if you want twin or double share.