Mildura International Backpackers, Mildura

3.8
62 Reviews
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Mildura International Backpackers Reviews

Good and Bad

I stayed here for a few months in 2016 to do my farm work. The hostel itself wasn't modern or up to date, but the rooms are small, cosy, and clean. There are two large kitchens with adequate cooking facilities and storage. At the time, the living room was a bit rundown, with old furniture, but I believe this has since been updated. There was an outside social area with a few old couches, a ping pong table, a grassy area, and an area for drying laundry. There are laundry facilities, but unfortunately these cost money, which I found a bit stingy considering the bad quality of wash and the amount of washes it takes to get farm dirt out of your clothes. The hostel is mostly unmanned -- the owner, John, will come by once in the morning and once in the evening for a period of time to deal with business. I believe he did check the security footage "like Big Brother" -- this allowed him to see which backpackers had been partying and creating mess the night before and ask them quite reasonably to clean it up the next morning. Unfortunately, this was often not done when asked, and a small group of backpackers who mostly weren't involved in the partying were left to clean it up. There is no wifi, swimming pool, or pool table -- this is all stated on the website so this is a bit misleading. As far as jobs go, part of this is your luck when you arrive. It seems that you will be put into a piece rate job when you arrive (so at least you've got some income) and the "better" jobs will be allocated out when they are available to those who are suitable and have been there longest. This is not a perfect system, but I guess it is the fairest way it can be done, and also allows John to see who has a good work ethic and whether it is fair to give them the better jobs. It's no coincidence that the loud, disruptive people at the hostel are the ones who clash with John and therefore aren't given the "good" jobs. That being said, on one particular occasion, two guys were banned from the hostel for seemingly no reason other than the fact John was having a bad day. He was fair almost all of the time, but occasionally things like this happened. The rent is around $150 a week -- this includes travel to work -- and John was always considerate about turning a blind eye to late payments for a few weeks when he knew we really didn't have any money (obviously trusting that we would pay it up when we were working again, as we did). This is by no means the best hostel I stayed at in Australia, but also not the worst. I went to do my farm work, I got my form signed and I left. I made lifelong friends, but I wouldn't be inspired to return to Mildura or to this hostel again.

anonymous
2019-01-20

Horrid

Horrible treatment towards guest! Do not stay here!

Anonymous
2018-08-22
Age 27 | Australia

Worst ever, avoid

The place is awful and so dirty -- cockroach and broken windows in bedrooms, the piece of garden is giant ashtray, bathroom and toilets are softly cleaned and the owner, Jon, asks his backpacker to clean the rest of the hostel. His website says wifi, swimming pool and pool, but none of that exists. The owner -- disgusting! everyday Jon is looking the videos of cameras he sets everywhere in the backpacker to know who party the night before like that he knows who will clean the backpacker, who deserve a good job and who he will harass. a real Big Brother. And every time Jon "clean" the place he throw some backpacker's stuff (clothes, cigarettes, even food). For jobs -- if Jon likes you, you will have a hourly paid job, if not you will pick fruits and Jon will put pressure on you to you work faster like that him gets more commissions. And if you try to get justice he will take you off your job first, and if you keep going he will kick you out of his hostel. I'm currently helping by "Fairwork" to stop that shame. There are others working hostel in Mildura (avoid the place owned by Jon's son, same vibes).

Lucien
2016-12-14
Age 25 | France

Very poor

Promises hourly paid jobs/visa and you end up with no money and no visa. Everyone hates it there and nobody likes tony. I ran away after three days. Dirty sheets, beds, and carpets. No card payments available. no receipts provided and very unprofessional and organised. Be prepared to be texted late at night or early morning for next day work arrangements. Joke of a place, just another scam. Stay away!

holly
2015-09-15
Age 23 | england

Un-great

International backpackers welcome. Australian's are not. Never got in the door. Got turned away before I could even stay. Australians looking for a backpackers to stay, I would not recommend.

andrew
2014-10-29
Age 26 | Australia

Shabby

It was a little too shabby and noisy for my taste. Most guest were young people, working. Probably very good for them but related to the standard it was too expensive, as I was charged the same as other places with a much higher standard.

Ole
2013-05-21
Age 69 | Denmark

The Mildura City Backpackers is a pretty neat little working-hostel. It is an excellent choice for staying a few weeks or month and earn some money by picking or packing grapes or working in one of the small businesses around town.

The Location

The Backpackers is located a little of the town's centre, but it is well within walking distance.

Coles and Woolworth are a at the other end of the towns centre, so, if you stay here, be sure to always take enough people with you for a shopping trip. If you prefer not to carry to much you can also "borrow" one of the shopping carts.

For your amusement there are several backpacker-friendly bars (e.g. the Sand Bar, Setts Bar) where you can always count on having a great day off or a cold after-work-beer. The Bars and Clubs also regularly host backpacker-events like "Miss Backpacker", Wet-T-Shirt-Contests or trivia quizzes.

In addition to the night life attractions, you can always go for stroll through the city park, which is about 3 walking minutes from the hostel, or take a swim in the Murray River.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The rooms are normal dorms with two to eight beds and lockers provided. We think the mattresses are pretty comfy, although we didn't test all of them. The only negative thing we have to say about the dorms is, that you don't have a lot of space to fit your stuff in, but that's just a small downer.

The bathrooms on the other hand are not for the picky and smaller wildlife interactions may happen.

The hostels own cat is not very good at catching spiders, but awesome to cuddle with ;).

Common Spaces

The Common Spaces are build pretty generous and there is more than enough space for everybody, because the hostel only provides accommodation for about 50 people. There is one TV-Room inside, which we often use to end the day with a good movie, while relaxing in the comfortable chairs and sofas. Under the roof outside the left of the hostel is another TV and a huge table with enough place for a kingsize banquette. Out in the back at the largest hang-out area in the hostel, we've got another TV(!), a ping pong table and various places to sit and socialize. All this is well protected by a big sunroof and is the centre of the whole place.

The kitchen has an appropriate size for the number of people who are staying at the City Backpacker and is well maintained by the groundskeeper. The fridges and freezers also provide enough place for everyone to accommodate their belongings.

Summary

All in all we can say, that we're having an amazing time here. We get to know each and every person who joins our little community and if there's something to celebrate everybody is in for a good party. The owners of the backpackers, who are also the operating staff, are hilarious and awesome people and will also become your friends if you stay for some weeks. Also there is total pizza madness on every Friday, where the hostel gets free pizza for everybody and it's so much that you can't finish it in one day ;). Without overacting we can say that this is one of the best hostels we've ever stayed at! We wish you lots of fun and amazing times :)

Dave
2012-10-05

Good hostel, but work situation in the area is bad at the moment.

I arrived at Mildura Central Backpackers at the beginning of February and stayed there for around 2 months. The Harvest Trail information book has it that February to April is the proper time period to go to northern Victoria if you're looking for harvest work involving grapes, so I planned on getting a good deal of work in for the 2 months before heading home at the conclusion of my Aussie working holiday with a change chunk a'jangling in my pocket. I had been mislead. On day one I was greeted by a gaggle of grumpy Germans. Their downcast faces and and worried chain smoking told me the answer to my question of whether or not there was much work in the area before I even asked it. It had been a rain-drenched week prior to my arrival and work was sparse for the backpackers who'd come with shiny dreams of days spent in the field, toiling away but receiving adequate compensation for their efforts. It was my third day at the hostel in small-town Mildura without being assigned anything to do on the hostel's job board and a group of us were standing outside in the driveway of the hostel in front of the "Work Wanted" sign, shiftlessly debating what to do with another day in the hustling and bustling Milduran metropolis. As cars driven by people with "real" jobs drove by I realized that being a backpacker doing harvest work in rural Australia is sort of like being an illegal Mexican immigrant in the United States. You just sort of stand around until some dude in a pick-up truck drives in and asks you if you want to do some job that's beneath the efforts of Australians. Farmers and work contractors routinely take advantage of optimistic young men and women who populate Mildura's working hostels because they know that many backpackers are young and inexperienced and won't stand up for themselves. Work becomes dear and then lads and ladies with no other options jump on offers where they often end up making way under Australian's legal minimum wage because they've completely run out of money. They eventually get some meager work after waiting a while and make enough to pay rent, food, beer, and smokes and then promptly run out of money again so that the cycle can repeat itself for months until they finally snap out of it and leave for whatever reason. Having said that, I eventually ended up working with a brilliant farmer named Vince who gave me a fair hourly rate for packing and loading boxes of grapes and a hilarious contractor named Peter who did the same for weeding. From what others told me, I got very lucky that I wasn't set up with a contractor named Travis, who pays backpackers by contract (relative to the amount of work they accomplish on the job or "per bin"). I'd routinely see Travis with a group of backpackers huddled around him early in the morning, doing a complex set of mathematical calculations on the hood of his car to determine that he owed all of them 83 dollars, not 85 dollars because they'd forgotten to carry the 2 or something. Legend has it that Travis is so incompetent that he often forgets to tally the results of a day's labors, and a group of people ended up having to go back to a job and re-count how many trees they had vine-trained for no extra compensation at 7 in the morning. Another great story is that of Jack the Lad, a backpacker who, after a couple of beers, was persuaded by Travis to drive out with him into the outback at 3 in the morning to bury Travis's recently deceased dog. You can't make this stuff up. Anyways, back to the hostel itself. As others have noted, the units are pretty nifty. They're self contained with a kitchen and living room area and house about 5 people. My unit had a cockroach problem from day one, but Tony did end up spraying for roaches a couple of days before I left without warning me or my roommate. This caused the roaches to lose all sense of reason and direction and wander everywhere; through my sheets, through the food cupboard, everywhere. My roommate and I promptly switched units. Roaches aside, the units are much nicer than what you typically get at a hostel. This however comes with a price. Price is probably one of my main reasons for giving MCB an average review. When I got there, it was 160 for the first week and 150 per week after that if you paid your rent on time plus a 50 dollar deposit you get back at the end of your stay provided you don't drunkenly destroy anything too valuable and return your key and linen. I understand that that's how it goes in Australia, even in a small town like Mildura. What really ruffled my feathers was what the owner Tony did. For the ostensible reason of cutting back on his number of tenants for a lower insurance rate, he kicked out around 14 people from the hostel (90% of them girls) and lowered the number of people per room to two (it had previously been three). With this change came a rent hike to 160 per week. Now, that's fair. I didn't mind paying ten bucks more per week if I was going to get a bit more breathing room. Plus, with fewer people at the hostel there should be more jobs for those who stay, right? Wrong. Not only did Tony end up putting the third bed back in to every second room and keeping the rent rate at 160, but for whatever reason, there were dudes going 3 or 4 days without work in a row in the middle of the week towards the end of my stay. That's just not cool. Now, I don't mean to be too harsh on Tony. You can tell he really is a good guy. I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors and I hope his wife gives birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. Tony and his wife cook a brilliant Turkish barbecue every second week with kebabs, Turkish bread, and tsaziki sauce and it is awesome. Generally, I found that if you were honest and hard-working and let Tony know in advance if you wanted a day off from a job, you'd generally be treated well. The problem is the jobs just don't seem to be there. So in a lot of ways I guess the lack of work is due to the rotten price of grapes at the moment and the AUD's detrimental effect on the orange market. It should also be noted that if you just want to get your days signed off Mildura isn't too bad, a lot of contractors can be very generous in this regard. I left MCB a happy guy who had saved way less than he planned and made some great friends along the way. In the end it's the quality of the people that determines how your stay goes. Just don't bet your bank account on a trip here.

Cornelius
2012-04-06
Antarctica

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Description

This unique Heritage listed hostel is in a class of its own. Situated in the heart of the city, it is less than 5 minutes walk to shops, restaurants, cinema's, niteclubs, supermarkets and the mighty Murray River. The hostel features ladies only dorms and bathroom, cable tv including Premier League Football, three internet computers, Free Friday night bbq, washing facilities, New kitchen and bathrooms, clean dorms, Free tea and coffee, Free pick up from bus terminal or airport, and most importantly we arrange work for you so you can party and save some money! Already known as Mildura's Best Backpacker you wont want to Leave!!

Location and Contact

Location

Map

Map

Address: 5 Cedar Avenue, Mildura, Victoria, Australia

Mildura International Backpackers is listed on the following booking sites:

Hostelworld Not listed at Booking.com Not listed at HostelsClub

Website

Website Mildura International Backpackers Mildura www.mildurabackpackers.com.au
Phone Number: 0408210132 +61 (3) 50210133
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Solo Traveller

Bedsheets

Parking

Airport Pickup

Bike Rental

Luggage Storage

Towels

Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Air Conditioning

BBQ Grill

Cable TV

Clothes Dryer

Concierge/Info Desk

Entirely Non-Smoking

Gameroom

Hot Showers

Kitchen

Laundry

Lounge Area

Pool Table

Swimming Pool

TV

Credit Card Payments

Wheelchair Accessible

Service Animals

Curfew: No Curfew

Lockout: No

Maximum Stay: Unlimited

Minimum Stay: 1 night

Open Dates: All Year

Reception Hours: 8am. Phone contact 24hrs if office is un attended

Size: Medium (30-60 beds)

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