Would it be a holiday without me trying to pack as much as physically possible into a small amount of time? Nah.
When we were planning Australia I went fully over excited – as always – and booked in as many different stays as possible. We weren’t necessarily on a budget trip, but a three week holiday takes a financial punch, so we were looking to scrimp where we could, and try to find the best accommodation possible.
I started writing this post before the trip, and now having returned I can properly review all our accommodation from our 3 week trip in Australia, through all the different locations we visited, ranging from the budget Airbnbs to the fancy resorts. For no other reason than I thought it would be fun to do so, here’s a ranking of all our accommodation in our three week trip to Australia!
Melbourne – Airbnb
This studio in Melbourne was one of the cheaper bookings of our stay, totaling £216 for 3 nights, which each is £36 a night.
I have to admit I was slightly nervous about our stay here after reading a particularly bad string of reviews the studio had on it’s Airbnb page before we arrived. Turned out we needn’t have worried at all…! The little studio had a nicely decorated with a full kitchen, comfy bed and a balcony as well. Albeit the balcony did just look over the highway, it was nice to sit out on it and have a little look in the mornings.
The location was pretty great – right next to the Victoria Market, and just on the edge of the free tram zone. It was a great spot for our first few nights in Melbourne, but as the following places will explain, it wasn’t the best – but it was perfect for the price!
Sydney – Airbnb
This studio with rooftop pool in Sydney came to £254 for 3 nights, coming to £42 each a night.
This definitely has to be the best Airbnb stay of our trip – or perhaps even one of my best Airbnb stays ever. The room was pretty standard – and was essentially an old, converted hotel room complete with large bed, television and studio kitchen.
But the standout part of this apartment has to be the communal rooftop terrace, complete with swimming pool and BBQs. This is one of the reasons we barely went out for dinner in Sydney as the option to have a barbecue with a view like this was a no-brainer.
The area was really nice – very close to Kings Cross station, and a short walk into Surrey hills and the surrounding area. If you’re planning on visiting Sydney I would definitely recommend this Airbnb, the pool and BBQs on the rooftop alone are enough to book a stay here.
Bondi Beach – Airbnb
This Guesthouse at Bondi Beach was a great find for how cheap it was and so close to the beach! So good in fact I completely forgot any pictures of it… At £192 for two nights which came to £42 each per night.
It was a perfect little studio based in the owner’s guesthouse, which was nicely decorated and had a little kitchen with a pre-stocked fridge where you could help yourself to the wine and beer. The bed was also huge and super comfy, so all in all, a perfect combination.
Byron Bay – Hotel
During our search Byron Bay was by far the most expensive for accommodation – especially their Airbnb options. Even the hotel I stayed at on my last visit had jumped up in price by quite a signification amount. Therefore, for Byron Bay we picked this Apartment at Byron Bay Beach Haven which was incredibly close to the beach. For £238 for 3 nights this came to £39 each it was a pretty good bargain for the area.
The property was once again a studio, but it came with it’s own patio area and use of the shared pool and BBQ area. It was really close to town and had it’s own free parking underground, which worked brilliantly for us as we’d hired a car for this leg of the trip.
Apart from a tiny snag in that our neighbours for the last two nights insisted on blasting music between midnight and 2am we had a wonderful stay. Even though we confronted them ourselves, once we mentioned it to the hotel managed they assured us they would’ve dealt with it in the middle of the night if we had asked. So great service all round.
Brisbane – Next Hotel
For our one night in Brisbane we chose the Next Hotel which boasted a rooftop pool and bar, in addition to spacious rooms with complimentary mini bar drinks! At £81 for the night, and £40 each it was one of the pricier stays, but it looked pretty glam for a one night stop in Brisbane, so why not.
This was a perfect stop for one night in Brisbane, with great service from the staff and a pretty luxurious feel throughout the hotel – they even had ‘nap pods’ that we tried out. The winning part of this stay had to be the rooftop pool, complimented by the happy hour cocktails you could have there as well.
Hamilton Island – Whitsunday Apartments
For the first part of our trip in the Whitstundays we’re at the Whitsunday Apartments on Hamilton Island, which came to £362 for 2 nights, so £90 each per night.
I would definitely recommend a trip to Hamilton Island if you fancy a ‘resort style’ stay whilst you’re in Australia. The entire island has a similar feel to Center Parcs in the UK – it has it’s own app with activities you can take part in, and instead of offering bikes up for hire you can also hire your own golf buggy to explore the island.
The Whitsundays Apartments aren’t part of the Island’s official hotels on offer, but the stay was still really great. We had a one bed apartment with a balcony overlooking the pool and ocean – even though we’d booked a room with a garden view!
Whitsundays – Palm Bay Resort, Long Island
We actually booked our stay at Palm Bay the first place we book in JANUARY 2018, because we saw it and just couldn’t help ourselves. At £270 for our own little bungalow on the beach it seemed like a deal too good to be true. Past Fiona was very excited for this and it did certainly live up to the expectations.
One slight snag about the stay is that the only way to get there from Hamilton Island is by booking a space on a water taxi for £35pp – luckily the ride over is lovely, and we happened to be the only two people on the boat!
In addition, the island is quite isolated and even though it has it’s own shop if you choose to self-cater it’s quite expensive, so it’s best to get your shopping done before you go. However, (and even though it’s not mentioned anywhere on the website) the island is fully-licensed so you’re not meant to bring your own alcohol. We didn’t realise and we did, but they kindly turned a blind eye…
Other than that, the island was a really lovely stay. The little huts have hammocks hanging out the front which is a great spot for a snooze. If you don’t want to self cater there’s a restaurant on site that did really good pizza – oh and the Happy Hour was really good too! Trying the staff’s homemade island cocktails was also an added bonus, nothing like drinking something that tastes like a smoothie when it also has gin and aperol in it…
Melbourne – Bella Experience Hotel
We had two nights in Melbourne at the end of the trip, and rather than returning to Airbnb I had a little look at the hotels on option as I figured coming back from the Resorts near the Great barrier reef might take a bit of a come down. Therefore I chose the Bella Hotel Apartments close to the Southbank which was £113 for 2 nights, which rang in at £28.25 each per night.
The stay here was great! And a perfect way to round off our trip. The hotel was a pleasant surprise, and even though we were only on the 6th floor with a room overlooking the motorway, you couldn’t hear any noise, and the view of the skyscrapers looked particular good at sunset! If I returned to Melbourne I would choose to go back here over the Airbnb, just as the value for money at this hotel for it’s location was an absolute bargain!
Anyway, that was all quite a lot to take in – apologies. However, if you’re planning a trip to any of the above destinations around Australia I hope its all be helpful.
Throughout our trip I couldn’t fault anywhere that we stayed, and would recommend all of the places above. If you’re planning a trip and fancy reading up on my tips to find accommodation on a budget then feel free to have a read! I always follow this process when looking at where to stay on holiday, and they haven’t failed me yet (touch wood…).
There’ll be plenty of Australia content coming to the blog soon, but in the meantime you can find all my latest travel snaps on Instagram @Grundytravels