2694 Round Hill Rd, Agnes Water
|Length of Stay||2 nights|
|Room Type||6-bed dorm|
|Cost||$20 a night|
The hostel was quiet during the day, as not a lot of backpackers stop in the small town of 1770. Those who did had excursions throughout the day, so the few people hanging around the hostel were mostly those working for accommodation. In the evening the main building was more lively and fun, with music and people playing games and having casual drinks. The lights were turned off just before 10pm so you’d have to use a torch to carry on reading/playing table tennis etc, and a noise curfew was in place from 11pm. Even though there weren’t many people at the hostel, everyone was friendly, upbeat and happy.
Our room was tidy and the sheets smelt clean. The en-suite was well looked after and we were informed the toilet bowl only had brown stains due to the rainwater used from the storage tanks (glad to see they’re doing their bit for the environment). The kitchen was reasonably clean, and was closed for cleaning a couple times a day – staff wandering around would also tidy bits and bobs on their way through. The only real downside was that there wasn’t any soap in the bathroom dispensers the whole time we were there, despite checking a few different locations.
The hostel was quite a walk from town, so having lots of great facilities on site made our stay much more enjoyable. There was a big pool in the front, but we were unable to make use of it because it rained throughout our stay. The reception was in an open plan building, with few windows but fully covered. It had a pool table (pay to play), table tennis, football, a large bookshelf, games, puzzles and a tv. Wifi was free, but a bit slow and did not reach the rooms.
In addition, Southern Cross Backpackers also offer Scooteroo – an organised motorcycle tour of 1770 and Agnes Water, including flamed leather jackets, helmets and a photo shoot as a ‘motorcycle gang’. We highly recommend this experience!
Southern Cross Backpackers is quite far out of town, about 30-minute walk to Agnes Water centre and almost 2-hour walk to get to Seventeen Seventy. Thankfully, the hostel offered a shuttle service to the bus stop and town every two hours.
Decent amount of space, but no lockers, so everyone’s stuff either had to go under their bed or hang from their bunks. Sheets were nice and fresh, but the mattresses themselves were a bit lumpy and gave us both a bad back after two nights sleeping on them. The room didn’t have air con, but it was raining for most of our stay, so we didn’t really need it. There was a large ceiling fan helping to circulate the air, and at night it was actually freezing. We weren’t given thick blankets, just a top sheet to keep us warm (so we ended up putting more clothes on and using our towels as a blanket. The sheet would have been more than enough on a hot night).
At Southern Cross Backpackers, there is literally no security in place, other than the ability to leave certain items behind reception (which often had no one manning it). Southern Cross is a ‘Key-less Hostel’, as they believe it’s such a safe and trusting area, no one needs to lock their belongings away. This meant that the doors to the dorms required absolutely nothing to open, and you could go into anyone else’s room, at any time. Turns out, there weren’t any lockers available anywhere in the hostel. In an ideal world, this would be ok as it makes the hostel more free and open, but you can’t trust everyone! As a result, we kept our valuables in our day bags and took the risk of leaving them behind the desk during our Scooter Roo motorcycle trip.
All the staff were great, very helpful and friendly. We got the feeling that most of the employees were working for accommodation. They probably hadn’t been there long, as they didn’t know much about the property or the town itself, but they were always more than happy to find out the answers and get back to us as quickly as possible. Dixie and David were our favourite staff members, as they would come over and chat for hours. Dixie showed us how to make anklets, and even gave us some of her string to make our own. David would check if we wanted anything for lunch when they offered a shuttle bus into town, which was really thoughtful. They make the best bacon and vegetable wraps for as little as $5, which you have to try if you visit. Give these two a raise!
Overall: We would stay here again, but only on the off chance that we happen to stop in Agnes Water again. Southern Cross Backpackers had a very relaxed, open atmosphere and the hostel guests spent a lot of time talking with one another, as opposed to sitting alone on their device of choice, which we really enjoyed. If you choose to stay here, we highly recommend Scooteroo!