The Airlie Beach YHA is a great hostel.
Personally I stayed for 2 lots of 2 nights. Once in a double room. The other time in a twin room. Sure this is a bit more expensive than the pure backpacking share accomodation experience but it was good enough for me.
The hostel is about 200m from the lagoon. The centrepiece of Airlie. It is also close enough to the party venues of the touwnship but far enough to be an escape. Other hostels in town are where the party is at but have no escape from the noise of music. (Beaches for one is Loud until 1am)
Unique Quality: The hostel has a pool between the two buildings. So one doesn't need to leave the accomodation to get a refreshing swim. There is no doubt that this place was originally built as a two star motel but don't let that put you off. Thanks to the development of backpacking this place was openned up to a whole new stle of traveller. The facilities are great. The lounge is clean, the kitchen huge, and the vibe is decent.
Don't be fooled by the slightly higher price than other hostels. This YHA includes linen. Other make you hire it per night.
Directions: Along the main stretch of Airlie beach towards Shute Harbour.
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Address: 394 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach, 4802, Australia