Keiraleagh Backpackers Wollongong



The Review

Wollongong Backpackers Keiraleagh is a hundred-plus-year-old, heritage-listed building, that was originally a hospital. The kitchen, which has an original, arched doorway, was the chapel; the two outside dorms were the stable; and the workshop was the morgue! It's a laid-back place, and while "The Gong" is not on the main foreigner circuit, there's quite a bit of partying in the summer. It does cater for a few long-term residents, but not enough to change the nature of the place ... which is deliberately bohemian.

The Location

The hostel is set in a central part of the city and is easy enough to get to, and is close to public transport with the rail station less than two kilometers away; the beach and harbour are just over a kilometer; and the shopping streets are just two small blocks away. The Gong is a small city, but there's enough nightlife for most people in and around the centre. Travelers based in Sydney will find it an easy weekend away.

Rooms and Bathrooms

There's a big range of accommodation, but it's all budget priced, so the rooms are fairly basic, but all are clean. The bunks are comfortable but lack individual power points and lights. There's storage space in most rooms but not all are lockable, however, there are secure lockers in the main common lounge. The inside rooms are quite spacious; private and shared unisex bathrooms do the job but you might find the WC seat colour doesn't match the bowl ... wow! That's the nature of this hostel.

Common Spaces

There's one small, indoor common area, which is both a kitchen and TV/DVD lounge with comfy large sofas. The kitchen facility is quite good, with plenty of utensils, and importantly, there's a large fridge and a small freezer. The only negative is the abundance of German cockroaches. Soft drinks and candy/sweets are sold from a vending machine at very moderate prices, while coffee and tea are provided free.

The outdoor area, which has music from a mainstream, easy-listening pop radio station is played most of the day, contains large Indonesian chairs and tables and is the main socialising area in all but the coldest months. There's a free BBQ out there that guests can use; the two cheapest dorms, two shared toilets and a shower facility (not the greatest), and a guest laundry (with free iron available) running off it. The paved area has a tarpaulin over it to protect from the summer heat, while the grassed area is under renovation, having been destroyed by a party.


This is a fun hostel, especially in summer when you can return from the beach and party on the premises with drinks bought from the supermarket rather than inflated prices of some hostels. If your style is a classy building, rules for everything, that is quiet after midnight, this is not the place for you, but if you are happy with basic economic facilities and a classic backpacker style, you should find this the place to be.
by OldNomad Staff Reviewer
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.


(Location is approximate. You may need to pan/move to find "Keiraleagh Backpackers Wollongong" at 60 Kembla Street.)


60 Kembla Street, Wollongong (The Gong), New South Wales, Australia
-34.423071, 150.897492 (accuracy not guaranteed)
61 2 42286765
+61 (2) 4228-6216
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

How is Keiraleagh Backpackers Wollongong rated on other websites?

  Cleanliness Location Atmosphere Overall
(154 ratings)
(19 ratings)
Not listed on HostelsClub.
No reviews yet.
76% Guest Reviews

Friendly staff, good location. Not very clean and quite noisy.
Ok for one night, kitchen and bathrooms grubby. Noisy.
Could not stand it!
This place is no good. Staff don't seem to care about their guests, the place is an absolute mess, there are cockroaches and other insects everywhere and it smells of urine. I avoided showering or taking a poo because the bathroom facilities were absolutely filthy, I only stayed one night and that's all that I could take. The staff kind of seemed as though they were under the influence as well.
Age 23, Australia
Had to stay somewhere else
I highly recommend anyone who expects a hostel to be of living standard to reconsider booking here. I stayed here (or was to stay here) in January '14. Here are the reasons I STRONGLY advise you to reconsider. The backyard area is where everyone drinks and plays music at night time, the problem is, the rooms are closely SURROUNDING this area, making sleep impossible. The kitchen had cockroaches crawling all through it. The place is incredibly rundown. There are holes in the roof; the shower lights don't work at all (so enjoy having a shower in the dark); the showers leak, making a safety hazard as the water puddles on to tiles that are not slip proof; there is no ventilation in the showers and the toilets, leaving mould and germs to prosper. The bunk beds are very unstable. They are so close to being on the verge to collapsing. The rooms smell like rotten B.O, the kind that has been there for months. I was honestly so desperate to get out of this place that I had contacted all 24-hour reception hotels in the Wollongong area to take me out. Please, if you have decent living standards then please reconsider booking this hostel as you will regret it.
Would never ever return to that hostel!
staff helpful, but the rest wasn't great at all. could get no sleep because there was party music during the whole night and the walls were so thin that you could hear everything coming from outside, relatively dirty, very old building (should be renovated!!), weird people, would never return to that place!!
Age 25, CH
Very close to beaches and night clubs
Lovely old house, relaxed, casual, stylish. Close to beautiful beaches. Enjoyed BBQ with other backpackers. Dorms and double rooms are good value for the price. Clean Kitchen and bathrooms.
Sweedle Cake
it was dirty and smelly and dark and cramp and it just felt creepy. there were ants all through the kitchen and it stunk.
  What a great place to stay -- it's such fun, I think I'll go back again just for the sake of saying hello and will probably end up staying for a fortnight!
  We only intended to stay two nights but ended up staying for two weeks, like most people. The house is full of character and has great atmosphere. I love the hot pink toilet upstairs with the animal print curtain! We had lots of barbecues and parties. The backyard is great and I love the dogs! The family who runs it is lovely and friendly, which makes a difference to other places we stayed in the area. The location is excellent. It's a few minutes walk to the beach and nightclubs. I would recommend staying in this house for sure.

More reviews...

Rate Keiraleagh Backpackers Wollongong

Have you stayed at this accommodation? Please submit your rating and review.