World Travel Guide > Guides > Oceania > Australia

Where to stay in Australia


Every state has a selection of hotels run by well-known and established international chains. More authentic accommodation can be found outside the cities. The highways out of the state cities are lined with motels offering self-contained family units, and often an in-house restaurant service.

Grading: hotels and motels in Australia are graded from 1 to 5 stars by the Australian Automobile Clubs under the Star Ratings Australia system. The Star Ratings Australia system will cease to operate as of 30 June 2017.

Bed and breakfast

Bed and breakfast in private homes is available throughout Australia, and numbers are on the rise. One of the major attractions of this type of accommodation is the range of properties available. Bed and breakfasts might be found in rambling country manors, boutique urban mansions, restored miners' cottages or faded colonial buildings. Friday to Sunday nights are normally more expensive.


Camping tours cover most of the country, especially the wilder areas. Participants generally join a group under an experienced guide team and everyone helps with cooking, washing, etc. All equipment and transport is supplied; some also provide portable showers. More rugged tours with Land Rovers are available offering limited facilities. Campsite information is available from visitor information centres. Camping is available in caravan parks, campsites and national parks. It is illegal to camp in undesignated areas.

Other accomodation

Pub hotels: Pub hotels usually offer drinks, meals and simple but comfortable accommodation for travellers. Many were built during prosperous eras (such as goldrushes) and so are fine buildings, frequently heritage-listed. Pubs tend to be easy to find and advance reservations are not always necessary. However, standards may vary according to the type of pub and its location.

Hostels: Hostels are found almost everywhere backpackers are likely to venture – the normal demographic is 18-30, although there’s usually nothing odd in older travellers using hostels for cheap accommodation. Facilities are generally a high standard, and visitors are advised to get a Hostelling International card in their country of residence, although cards are available at the larger YHAs in Australia. Some private backpacker hostels have upmarket budget facilities including ensuites, and even women-only floors.Budget : University colleges and halls of residence offer inexpensive accommodation for both students and non-students during the holiday periods (June to July and late November to late February).

Rural farmstay: Many less-accessible areas have accommodation on farmsteads and outback stations, from guest houses on the huge sheep stations to basic staff quarters on smaller arable farms, giving an insight into an alternative aspect of Australian life.

Self-catering: Serviced apartments and self-contained flats are available at main tourist resorts, especially along the east coast. Some cities, such as Brisbane, have a high concentration of good-value self-catering accommodation. Some hotels have self-catering apartments. Holiday units and apartments are classified according to a 5-star system, with criteria comparable to those for hotels and motels above.

Homestay: Property rental companies such as Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO have transformed the accommodation market in recent years. More than 20,000 homes and rooms are available to rent on Airbnb alone, and other websites might offer a more personal experience. For example, through the website Homestay, a traveler can get to know their hosts and really get better immersed in the local culture. Although sometimes you might have trouble booking a place to stay last-minute, generally these website provide many options for accommodation for on a wide range of budgets.

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