The Hostelz.com Review - Genuine, independent review you can trust.
One of a handful of backpacker hostels along the coast between Durban and Port Shepstone, Blue Sky Mining Backpackers & Lodge is particularly handy for Durban, if you don’t want to stay in the city, as transport is pretty good between Warner Beach and Durban.
Located at the top of a ridiculously steep, but mercifully short hill, overlooking the ocean, Blue Sky Mining is just ten minutes' walk from anywhere in Warner Beach town. It's easily accessible from Durban by Metrorail and by minibus taxi. The beach is just a five-minute walk away.
Rooms and Bathrooms
Blue Sky Mining has a labyrinth of stairs and corridors leading to a rich assortment of rooms. There are two four-bed dorms. One, "Turtle," has bunks, the other, "Dorado," has single beds. The bunks are sturdy and the mattresses very comfortable. There are bedside tables and lamps and power points. As with everything here at Blue Sky Mining, they are scrupulously clean. All the rooms here are fan-cooled and the private rooms are of a very high standard as far as decoration and neatness are concerned. The shared bathrooms are large and there is twenty-four-hour hot water. Towels can be rented from reception.
There are quite a lot of common spaces at Blue Sky Mining. Inside seating is provided in the corridor from the dorms to the bar area in two rooms. The second having a fireplace and all having cushioned seating. Outside, you’ll find a sundeck and a plunge pool, and further round the building, there’s a large grassed garden area, also with a plunge pool, populated with tables and chairs. These sit outside the bar and restaurant area. There is a TV room and a café here. As you enter the property through the security gate, you’ll also see a pool room. Curiously, the free Wi-Fi cannot be accessed in any of the common areas except the pool room and the common kitchen, which are close to reception. The common kitchen has a microwave, kettle, toaster, and fridge, but no cooker. There is also next to no cutlery, crockery, and pots and pans, as these have to be rented from reception.
You can’t fault Blue Sky Mining for cleanliness, and everything about this place has been well conceived and is easy on the eye. A bug-bear for us is that almost everything has a price -- there are no freebies here except the Wi-Fi. No free tea and coffee and no free breakfast, and deposits are asked for everything, including kitchen utensils and towels. This is unusual in Southern Africa. The room key deposit is higher than the price of the bed, in some cases! They have an on-site bar and restaurant, so they clearly want to encourage you to use them, but some people want to self-cater, and there are plenty of shops in Warner Beach to enable that, but you have to pay to cook here and you have to keep walking up and down that steep hill, if you go out!
Blue Sky Mining is more of a tour agent that has accommodation. The accommodation seems to come second to their dive, surf, and other tours. The place was empty when we stayed there, so there was no real atmosphere, although it has plenty of the ingredients to be a fun place. It feels a little sterile to us, but it is professionally run. It rents out surf boards, fishing tackle, bicycles, and kayaks, so that has almost all the activity bases covered.
Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
Published on Jul 6, 2018
Location and Contact
From the airport or from Durban take the N2 south. Then take exit 133 from the N2. Turn towards the sea. Left at traffic lights. Left into Strelitzia street. Left into Meintjies street. Left into Nelson PAlmer street. Nr 5 Nelson Palmer, you will see the sign for the backpacker.