Ozzie Pozzie Backpackers – 8.9/10
36 Waugh Street, Port Macquarie,
|Length of Stay||1 night|
|Room Type||10 Bed Dorm|
|Cost||$37 per person
(We used one night from our YHA e-pack)
Ozzie Pozzie Backpackers is a fairly small hostel. This might be due to the fact that Port Mac is not a very popular stopover for East Coast travellers/backpackers. The hostel had a really chilled out vibe, and it was easy to relax. I wouldn’t describe it as a party hostel, we didn’t see large groups or drinking games during our stay. The interior decor was really cool, with flip-flops (or as Australian’s call them… thongs) nailed along the roof supports, hammocks, hanging dream catchers, balloons, lots of plants and even indoor trees, which made you feel like you were on a tropical resort. Staff and guests were all friendly, happy to have a chat but also knew when to just leave you alone to chill.
Our room had a slightly dingy feel due to lack of light, but it was actually very clean. The sheets smelt and looked fresh (and we loved the underwater/fish theme to all the comforters). The kitchen closed for cleaning every day around midday, and the bathrooms were cleaned more regularly. The sofas in the cinema room were a bit worse for wear but were probably second-hand ones brought in for a proper loungey feel.
Lots of available games options to keep you entertained – pool table, table tennis, foosball, air hockey, chess and board games. Out the back of the hostel, there was a medium-sized swimming pool with heaps of seating areas and hammocks. There was a reading room with books galore (much to Ally’s delight), and a cinema room with sofas and a VHS wall – so many classics!! The kitchen equipped with microwave, kettle, fridges, hobs and utensils, cutlery and crockery.
Ozzie Pozzie has a good, central location. It’s within walking distance to everything, including Coles, a few restaurants and fast food places. It takes about 20 minutes to the beaches or painted rocks, and a good 40 minute walk to the Koala Hospital. However, there are buses that run the route along the coast, so if you walk down to the Reserve you can get the bus back if you’re tired.
Our room was on a corner of the hostel, and split into two areas (4 beds straight ahead when you walk in, and another 6 beds to the left). Only 3 beds in use when we arrived in the larger area, so we grabbed our two closer to the door, in the more private, 4-bed area. Not much room to do anything other than sleep, and the two other beds next to us remained empty, but I reckon with a full room it would’ve been a bit cramped. Due to locker size being so small, bags were all over the floor or under the beds. The bunk beds were comfy and I could sit up in the bottom bunk without my head touching the top (I’m 6’1″). Luckily, there was a big electric fan on the wall opposite us, which was controlled by remote, powerful and not too noisy. We couldn’t hear any noise from outside the room (but I think the noise curfew also helped this). Small sliding window with bug guard which kept the room cool. No air con, but on the night we visited, it was cool enough at night with just the window open. Again, with a full room, it may have got a bit stuffy.
The reception was right at the entrance, with big windows to see who’s coming in and out. No security doors onto the property itself, but there was a warning sign advising ‘guests only’ before entering the dorm area – more of a deterrent than and enforcement. Key access was required to each room and locked automatically when closed. There was one small locker for each bed (enough for valuable items, laptop etc but couldn’t fit a small backpack in there) which required a padlock, but these were available from the front desk for $3. After the whole lock fiasco we had, we wanted to purchase a new one from reception, but they had run out the day before.
Jolene was the first member of staff we met when picked us up from the bus stop. She helped us to check in quickly and highlighted things we’d like to see on a paper map of Port Macquarie. Jolene also dropped us back off the following day, wishing us a safe journey and happy travels. We also met Dubi (not sure on the spelling), when our lock broke and I ran to the reception in a panic. She was quick to help, grabbing one of the hostel handymen to bring bolt cutters to our room and break through the lock. She helped to make light of the situation, by telling us times of when others had simply left their keys in the locker, and told us where we could find a new one in town (not from a Dollar Store…). Both girls made us feel really welcome — thank you!
Overall: I wish we could’ve stayed longer here, it is a great hostel with plenty to do for a few days. 24 hours wasn’t enough time, and we’ll be back soon!