Noosa Heads YHA – 8.6/10
2 Halse Lane, Noosa Heads
|Length of Stay||3 nights|
|Room Type||4 Bed Dorm|
|Cost||$36 per person, per night
(We used our YHA e-packs)
This 1880s National Trust and Heritage Listed guesthouse is both a hostel and a restaurant. Set up a hill, surrounded by trees and plants, it feels like you’re almost in a treehouse. We arrived early evening and were advised of an introductory meeting with a free glass of wine and Q&A’s about the hostel. The decor made the place feel like it was possibly an old nunnery or church building due to the stained glass windows and pews.
The Halse Lodge restaurant/bar downstairs opened at 5pm, and as customers started to arrive the place go more lively, with music playing, people chatting and laughing downstairs. The hostel veranda was on the second floor and looked over the restaurant/bar courtyard. There were sofas, chairs and tables for people to hang out, read etc, but no food, drink or smoking was allowed from the veranda.
Downstairs there were pool tables and ping pong which were always in use, creating a fun atmosphere for guests. The only thing was the restaurant and hostel guests all used the same toilets which were at the back of the main building, so there were constantly people walking past the table tennis and interrupting the game.
Halse Lodge is also very popular with families, which meant there were loads of kids running about and shouting, which we didn’t enjoy as much.
The hostel was in the middle of a forest area, so naturally, there were leaves and bugs everywhere, but that was to be expected. The bathrooms, showers and kitchen were cleaned daily and kept tidy by guests, which was much appreciated in a shared environment. Overall the hostel had a decent level of cleanliness!
Halse Lodge is a hostel with a bar/restaurant below, and hostel guests were given special discounts on food and drink. However, as a backpacker, the prices of the restaurant/bar were way out of our budget, even with the 10% discount. They offered a pizza and beer for $10 which sounded good, so we had one to share. The pizza was really tasty, but it was plain margarita with rocket on top, and the ‘beer’ was a half pint (they did make this clear in the small print, but it’s not as good of a deal as it sounds).
For the rest our stay we either cooked for ourselves in the communal kitchen or went into town to restaurants that gave you more bang for your buck.
Ping pong table was free to use. The pool table was pay to play. Within the main building there was also a TV area to chilled out, and a piano with a ‘do not play’ sign, which really annoyed us.
Perfect location – 2-minute walk to shops, restaurants and cafes, and only 5 minutes walk to the beach. The transit station was about a 15-minute walk, but the hostel offered a free shuttle for pick up and drop off.
We stayed in a 4-bed dorm on the first floor. The room wasn’t very large but offered small lockers for valuables, multiple hooks along the wall, a mirror and an open wardrobe with hangers.
There was no air conditioning, instead, there was a window on either side of the room, above the doors, and a large ceiling fan that helped circulate the air on a warm night. Unfortunately, there were no nets on the windows and bugs would come into the room at 11pm when the veranda lights were turned off. We even had a massive cicada fly in, but it quickly got hit by the fan…
We were given one key to share between us, which opened the door from the hall. A second door opened like french windows onto the veranda. It was cosy for 4 people, but thankfully the beds weren’t too squeaky. I would not recommend hanging any wet clothes from the bed rails though, as Matt’s white t-shirt accumulated rust stains that we can’t wash out. The only major downside was 2 power outlets between 4 people!
Small lockers meant that only valuables could be stored, or possibly a day bag at a squeeze, and you would need your own lock. The reception was right at the entrance but there were multiple ways into the hostel from the restaurant. Key access to the room, and the door automatically locked when closed.
No one stood out. All the staff at reception were friendly and happy to help.
Overall: We would stay here again when back in Noosa, but would recommend anyone going to stock up on food supplies if you’re on a budget.