Surfside Backpacker, Apollo Bay

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Surfside Backpacker Reviews


I was surprised when i arrived. The owner, an old lady is nice and looks like shes a little bit nuts. But shes in some kind of way adorable. The buildings (2 floor little houses) are very old but the bathroom are new (at least in my house) and the kitchen is good. There's a strange but very open atmosphere, people coming and going and partying after a little talk while dining.

Age 39 | C

Cute small hostel with a familiar atmosphere

We only booked one night but this hostel is so nice so we extend our stay two more nights. Robyn, the owner is a gorgeous person. The Beach is very close and its a very relaxed small town. we'll come back for sure! Thanks a lot.

Age 29 | German

Great seaside location, friendly host, run down, affordable, laid back

Only stayed a night. Nice Vibe, offbeat makes up for "rustic" facilities. Super location by Apollo Bay.

Age 53 | Canada

What a beautiful hostel!

When we arrived it was raining and grey and the hostel was still a beautiful warm and cosy spot to recover from the travel. Everybody was really friendly and the facilities really nice and clean. I would recommend this hostel to everybody, it's just so charming!


Bad attitude, rundown, but excellent view

I'm an experience backpacker, and have stayed in many hostels in my time so am used to all standards, and my experience at this particular hostel wasn't very pleasant. I called ahead of time to book a family room for 4 people for one night, and was quoted one price (which was cheaper than renting 4 x dorm beds). It made perfect sense to me, so we booked the room. On arrival the manager announced that the price of the room was actually higher than I'd been quoted (the same price as 4 x dorm beds). When I tried to question this with her, having booked on the basis of a lower cost, her only response was "well, do you want 4 dorm bed then." Clearly not -- we were travelling as a group, and if the family room is the same price as the dorm beds why on earth would we take them? There was no apology for the misquoted price, and as she already had our deposit we had no choice but to stay there. We were then shown to our room, which had a double bed and a set of bunk beds. Whilst the double bed had been made up, the bunk beds had been stripped of their bottom sheets only, and the pillow case and duvet cover hadn't been replaced. This was very obvious, as the bed was in a state of disarray. The manager quickly sorted out the pillow case for us but didn't do anything except folding up the duvet. When I questioned her on whether the duvet had a clean cover on it, she informed me that they DO NOT change their duvet covers each day, instead expecting people to sleep under dirty sheets. When I asked to have a clean one put on for my night she became irate, grabbing the duvet and telling me that she would have to wash the sheet as she didn't have any spares, and it was unlikely it would be dry by evening. Clearly they don't have a single additional duvet cover at this hostel. She went on to say that most hostels don't clean duvet covers everyday (which I accept, IF there is a sheet between the duvet cover and person), and would I really wash my duvet cover at home each day? I responded by saying that no i wouldn't, but it was only I who was sleeping under it so it wasn't the same situation at all! I decided it was too much hassle to argue with her, so asked her instead to bring a clean top sheet which I would sleep under. The whole experience of being misquoted and antagonised, then spoken to in such a rude manner left me with a very nasty taste in my mouth. Besides the incompetence of this particular woman (I am assuming she is the manager as she greeted us and took our money), the hostel itself is old and ramshackle. It has a nice vibe due to several good outdoor seating areas, and an incredible view from the garden out to sea, but the inside spaces are very dirty and old. There were live and dead flies all over the floor, the kitchen was dirty, there were no clean tea towels. The kitchen facility was ok, with an oven and 4 hob rings, but this is not enough for all the guests. All in all, it's fine for a nights sleep, and to be honest if you're not particularly worried about cleanliness or politeness then you'll be fine here. If you are I'd go for one of the other, infinitely nicer hostels in the area.

World Traveller

I felt so at home I was sad to leave

I absolutely loved this hostel! At first it not all that modern but when you you have experienced one night of fun in this hostel everything becomes better and better. this hostel really provides a good atmosphere to meet new people. at my first night we were all hanging out at the hammock having fun and loving life. The next was even better -- so much rest I never had such a peaceful feeling! perfect! I recommend this hostel to everybody, only the view from my room was perfect on its own.


Surfside Backpackers is an awesome place to look at the rough waves from the cosy lounge or meet some travelers in the homey kitchen. The outdoors area are just as pleasant on sunny days, so make sure you stop in Apollo Bay when doing the Great Ocean Road.

The Location

Located on the west side of town, just when you think you've gone too far, and just after the golf course, Surfside Backpackers is indicated by a sign on your right hand side (not the seaside, the other side). It's an easy ten minutes into the city centre, but you can also stroll down the beach (but watch out, the currents on the beach across the street are really dangerous).

Rooms and Bathrooms

The rooms are not huge, but just large enough so that you can heat them up with the portable electric fan heater provided. The bathroom and toilet are in the corridor. There are rooms in the main building (where the kitchen and lounge are) and also in the annex just across the courtyard, with another set of bathroom and toilet. You are given your own key for the room door and the building door but there are no lockers. The view from some of the rooms is just as impressive as the seaside view from the lounge.

The beds are comfortable, with sufficient duvet covers. The showers work well, though the bathroom is a bit cold in the winter due to lack of heater (but you can transport your portable heater into the bathroom if your roommates are ok with giving it up).

Common Spaces

The lounge and kitchen are simply great to hang out in. They have such a homey, cosy feeling, with a wonderful bay window onto the beach across the road. You can just sit at the sofas by the window and admire the view. There is no TV, but they offer good old board games and a pay-computer for internet access. There are also magazines and a few books. Don't forget to fill in the guestbook located on a shelf in the kitchen. The kitchen has all you need to cook yourself a meal, and there is a fridge, an oven, a toaster, and kettle -- but no microwave.


The owner is very friendly and the whole setting and atmosphere of Surfside Backpackers will make you want to relax in Apollo Bay for a few days. Enjoy the walk along the beach and if it's too windy or rainy for you, sit back at the bay window and enjoy the seaview.


This place is down to earth with a nice vibe and a charm all of its own. The owner (Robyn) is absolutely lovely and pointed out all the places to see on the Great Ocean Road. The place isn't particularly modern but is very comfortable and slightly eccentric. It has a relaxing lounge, complete with an old record player with an eclectic collection of old vinyls, plus stunning views of a beautiful beach. Apollo Bay is a lovely place and although I only stayed for one night I was sorry to leave. This is how hostels should be.

Ian Platts

More reviews...

Surfside Backpacker Reviews from the Web

Stayed here twice, Robin the owner is so lovely! Friendly hostel with lots of character


fine for a one night stay. Nothing special, rooms and bathrooms are quite old and could use a good clean, same w kitchen but everything worked fine. The only complain we have is that we were not told that we could not use facilities after checkout. As seasoned hostel users, we know some places like guests to vacate completely after check out while other places are more lenient. We werent told anything and the lady was quite rude to us when we were in the kitchen after 10.


The lady who runs this hostel is so lovely. However its desperately in need of a good clean and decluttering. Ok for somewhere to rest your head.


Nice place to stop, very old fashioned and a bit grubby


This hostel was pretty horrific. It was filthy. Black mold in the bathrooms, cobwebs in the living room, broken light fixtures, and rotten smells in the bedrooms..I felt like I was staying in an orphanage. Would not stay here again.


It was dirty, old and full of spiders in the bedroom


The lady who runs this hostel was so lovely! Showed us around everything and made sure our group got a room together even though we booked seperately. Bathrooms were nice and clean, and fluffy pillows. Good location near the supermarket.


Great location, close to the downtown with amazing views of the water. However, it was not clean, extremely cluttered, and run down. Looks like it could use a lot of updating.


The old lady running the place is very friendly and really nice to all the guests. Some of the areas are a bit chaotic as there is mismatched furniture, random stuff laying around... Bathroom was nice and clean (at least in my building, there are several). The location is excellent! Overall a nice experience and I'd stay again :)


This place is old run down, and not fit to be rented as accommodation. The beds are probably more than 20 years old . The rooms smell musty . The photos on line make it look inviting. In the flesh its totally different. Look elsewhere. Dont trust Hotel world that you will pay the balance on arrival as they took the money from our credit card anyway. Not impressed


Lovely lady the owner. Everything good in general, it could be a bit cleaner.


Great place to stay, looking forward to next time.


Didnt feel comfortable here at all. Good location and free parking were its saving grace. It was very dated, run down and not very clean. The older lady running the place was friendly and knowledgable but the hostel needs some new life injected into it to be honest.


Such a lovely person, the view rooms have a wonderful view over the ocean. Its a really cute house with a lovely atmosphere.

Definetly worth a stay, would come back any time!


It did the job. Its an older place with old facilities and it was pretty chilly while we were there. There was a heater in the room and an electric blanket and the lady who owns the place is lovely. In need of some more staff I think.


This is a very convenient Hostel to stay in. It is located in a fantastic area by the beach in Apollo Bay and is also very cheap. The accommodation itself does the job but is not particularly spectacular to look at. It's quite dated.... but who cares, it's a hostel at the end of the day and I enjoyed my stay! Would go again.



About Surfside Backpacker

Wake to the sounds of the surf at Surfside Backpacker.

Chill-out in our large comfy lounge room or have a free game of pool while revelling in the spectacular ocean view. We are situated opposite the surf beach and are minutes from the shops, pubs, cafes, public transportation and golf course in Apollo Bay.

Dorm rooms, doubles, singles, budget self contained ensuite apartments, disabled facilities and internet access are all available at Surfside.

Enjoy the 'feels like home' atmosphere and eclectic décor of our hostel. Big baths, electric blankets, heated rooms, linen, doonas, full kitchens with ovens, T.V. rooms, vintage vinyl collection, multiple outdoor lounge areas, courtyard and front lawn BBQ areas, and pool table all free.

Surfside Backpacker is a cosy and convenient stop along the Great Ocean Road on your way to the 12 Apostles, Cape Otway and the lush forests and the cascading waterfalls of the Otway National Park.

Location and Contact


Surfside Backpacker is located at No 7 Gambier Street, Apollo Bay, Victoria. We are situated on the corner of The Great Ocean Road and Gambier St opposite the ocean and the Barwon River.



Address: Corner Great Ocean Road & Gambier Street, Apollo Bay (Great Ocean Road), Victoria, Australia

Surfside Backpacker is listed on the following booking sites:

Not listed at Hostelworld


Website Surfside Backpacker Apollo Bay
Phone Number: 61 03 5237 7263
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities



Luggage Storage


Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

BBQ Grill

Book Collection/Exchange

Clothes Dryer

Concierge/Info Desk

Credit Card Payments

Entirely Non-Smoking




Lounge Area

Movie Library/Rental

Pool Table


Wheelchair Accessible

Service Animals

Max. Age: All Ages

Checkout: 10:00 (10 AM)

Curfew: No Curfew

Lockout: No

Maximum Stay: Unlimited

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 8 AM - 10 PM (08:00-22:00)

Size: Medium (30-60 beds)


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