Base Magnetic Island – 9.1/10
1 Nelly Bay Road
|Length of Stay||3 nights|
|Room Type||8-bed dorm|
|Cost||$144 (Cheap Deal 2 Package)|
It didn’t take long for Base Magnetic Island to become our favourite hostel, because the atmosphere was so lively and fun! Regardless of the time of day, the pool was full of people swimming and tanning. The other hostel guests were always up for group activities, like a walk along the beach, beer pong, chatting by the bar, playing volleyball, renting a topless car to explore the island… This made the hostel feel very inclusive.
At night, people would chat near the hammocks while watching the local possum hop around from tree to tree, before the nightly organised event from the hostel. We were able to take part in:
Killer Pool on Saturday (we won and were given a $30 bar voucher for food and drinks)
Water Pong Tournament on Sunday (we were out in round 2, too many people)
Boozy Bingo on Monday (we won round 1 and got a free jug of beer)
Boozy Bingo was by far the best event. It cost $5 to play and you were given three bingo cards, which had three boxes each. The prizes up for grabs were a free jug of beer, an upgrade to a private room and $400 cash!! There was loads of dancing on tables and ‘tickets’ to be won in between. It seemed like everyone was there and having a great time! The event host was great at including everyone.
Our room was kept tidy during our stay, both by guests and hostel staff. Mirrors were wiped down and the bin was regularly changed. Unfortunately, bathrooms and kitchens weren’t always clean when we went to use them. Kitchens surfaces were often sticky, the sink full of dirty dishes and toasters left with chunks of food. The bathrooms would be cleaned in the morning, but by night, there was never enough toilet paper, sinks would be clogged and floors very wet. From speaking with hostel staff at the time, it seemed they were very understaffed.
Base Magnetic Island is ‘dry’ hostel, meaning you’re not allowed to BYO alcohol. As a backpacker, this is usually a big deal, but the hostel has its very own Island Bar and Kitchen, which was reasonably priced. Luckily, the package deal we booked through Happy Travels, gave us tokens for one free meal, one free breakfast and one free welcome drink.
The hostel pool was large, with plenty of sunbeds available. It overlooked the sea, offering a beautiful view of sunrise and sunset, with the other islands in the distance. The kitchen was small (almost always messy) and the Island Kitchen stopped serving food around 8pm when the nightly events would begin. Bathrooms were large, offering plenty of stalls for toilets and showers. The communal area was everywhere: outside by the pool, undercover seating by the bar, outdoor booths for food/drinks and hammocks.
Base Magnetic Island is a short bus ride from the ferry terminal, and right on the beach. You couldn’t ask for a better location! Magnetic Island isn’t very large, so anywhere on the island is within walking distance, although local transport is cheap and easy to access.
We loved the dorm style island hut. Located away from the noisy reception/bar, the room was one of many island huts in a row and offered a stunning view of sunrise and sunset over the water. The 8-bed dorm was very comfortable, with lots of plugs and room to put away bags. The air conditioning unit and fans were a relief from the summer heat! Unfortunately, there were no lockers, so we had to carry our valuables with us everywhere.
There were plenty of other backpackers around making the hostel felt safe, but we weren’t given a lanyard or identifiable key card. The hostel is located off the main road and the bar is open to the public. The room did not have lockers, so we had to carry our valuables with us at all times. The luggage storage room had a key, but the staff did not monitor.
All the staff we encountered were friendly and positive. They really helped keep the energy and atmosphere upbeat during the nightly activities. Shoutout to the events MC who was incredibly funny, especially during boozy bingo.
We both had the best time here, and would definitely stay here again. It’s like a holiday resort for backpackers, with everything you’ll ever want or need on site. Get yourself to Base Magnetic Island now!