I know what you’re thinking… YHA is a place only backpackers stay at… right? When we were looking for Bellingen accommodation recently, we were unsure about whether to stay at the local YHA.
Just like you, we wondered whether young backpackers would be boozing it up and keeping us awake all night that we had our reservations.
But…it did look pretty. I mean that white verandah that wrapped around the beautiful Australian hostel looked quite frankly amazing.
And we have stayed in a couple of YHA’s when we travelled around Tassie years ago and loved it. I mean, let’s face it… we ARE backpackers and love meeting new people, but as we’re getting older, we just value our sleep now and have certainly put the partying days literally to bed.
So, we decided to give the Bellingen YHA a visit but we what we didn’t know before we stayed there is how amazing it actually is.
For those of you who are wondering where Bellingen is, it’s a six hour drive from Sydney and inland from Coffs Harbour (aka the big banana territory!). And, if you’re wondering why we visited there, it’s known as Australia’s hippest small town. But we’ll tell you more about it very soon.
1. The location
Some people you might think it would be a concern having the local pub and the awesome Bellingen Brewery over the road, I know I thought in my head I’d be able to hear the music blasting right into our room. The reality is, it’s super quiet that if anything you’ll might hear the odd cows mooing from the fields outside your room (a fantastic reminder that you’ve left the city behind!).
2. The views
It’s hard to imagine that accommodation right in the middle of a town can hold incredible views, but let me tell you, Bellingen YHA has the kind of views that you’ll want to wake up early just to watch the sunrise.
Honestly, that one morning we woke up early was a moment I think will stay with us for a long time. Hearing the sound of the birds and nothing else whilst the sky turned pink was an absolute delight.
3. The space
The Bellingen YHA is located in such a beautiful house that you’ll have so much space to chill out in, mostly on your own without anyone else around. We loved the verandah so much, from the swinging chair to the table and chairs that just screamed afternoon tea please.
There’s a couple of floors so you can also play pool downstairs or find one of the spaces out on the deck to do some yoga, and there’s even a meditation area too.
4. The YHA Bellingen owner
We loved Amanda who runs the YHA. She has such a warm nature and generally wants to help you have a great stay that we realised everyone in Bellingen has this same energy too. Her kindness really made our stay absolutely perfect and it’s no wonder she’s created such a beautiful guesthouse for people to stay in.
5. The other guests
As we mentioned, we were a bit apprehensive about what the other guests would be like but we can confirm there was such a mixture of people staying there; from your grandparents to families and backpackers. Bellingen YHA also have wheelchair access as well which is fantastic.
But most of all, it was really quiet here and there weren’t any boozy backpackers in sight. It’s also the kind of place you’d want to stay for weeks because it’s so chilled out.
6. Insta worthy place
7. Great facilities to cook your own food
There’s a big clean kitchen that has everything you’ll need to cook your own food. I must admit it might be hard to pass up the $10 meals on a Wednesday night at the local pub though.
8. Stylish modern rooms
9. Awesome cheap accommodation in Bellingen
I doubt you’ll find much better than this cheap Bellingen accommodation as the rates start from the following:
4 bed dorms from $30
Double rooms from $80
6 bed family room $100
10. Having access to so many local gems we didn’t know about
When we woke up on the first morning, we went down to the kitchen and saw a big map on the wall (at the back of this photo). We couldn’t believe how many local gems were on this map and with the help of the owner Amanda to talk us through how we were going to spend our time in Bellingen, we put together a plan. If we hadn’t stayed at this YHA, I don’t think we would have found out about some of the amazing places we were able to visit.
We must admit, you’ll want to come back to the YHA as soon as possible. We honestly couldn’t think of another place we’d could spend a more chilled out weekend at.
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