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“Sydney's Best Kept Secret” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sydney Harbour YHA

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Sydney Harbour YHA
110 Cumberland Street | The Rocks, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 134 Specialty Lodging in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Hobart, Australia
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Sydney's Best Kept Secret”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

Definitely the best value accommodation in Sydney. My second stay here, ended up in the exact same room! A few doors from the entrance to the roof top terrace - where you can admire the best views of the bridge and Opera House. And, watching the cruise ships arrive and leave port is something else!
Rooms are clean and spacious with modern tiled ensuites (I stay in a four bed dorm - $44 a night for members); lounge area comfy; movie room brilliant; kitchen huge and well equipped. Reception staff are super helpful and friendly.
Cost saving tip: before buying milk for cereal or coffee, check the 'free food' section in the fridge, there's always leftovers.
When heading down to the Quay, take the side exit and make your way down through the Nurses Walk - lots of quaint little shops and alleyways.
Added bonus: from the balcony's outside most rooms, you can look down on the "Big Dig" - a fascinating part of The Rocks history.
Can't praise this hostel enough - returning in March for Opera on Sydney Harbour with 4 friends from Tassie - can't wait to show it off to them!

Room Tip: Third floor rooms have easy access to the rooftop terrace for brilliant views of the harbour.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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689 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (109)
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London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013 via mobile

This is the best hostel we've stayed in. Its location simply cannot be beaten - right in The Rocks and therefore the perfect place to explore the city as a tourist. The Harbour Bridge is a couple of minutes walk away and Circular Quay is about five minutes, where you can get the ferry to Manly or the bus to Bondi, as well as visiting the Opera House. There are loads of pubs and restaurants within two minutes walk, including The Australian Hotel, The Glenmore and Harts - all very nice pubs within metres of the hostel. The accommodation is extremely clean and modern and our en suite double room was a good size. Staff are very helpful and it seems to be a well run place. We stayed over new year and the party on the deck was excellent and surely one of the best places in the city to see the fireworks, hassle-free! The deck is a lovely space in general, with superb views of the Opera House (in particular), the bridge and the downtown area. A fantastic stay and a peerless location!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arizona
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

We are in our mid to upper 60's and stayed here 2 nights in mid-October 2012. We hightly recommend this hostel. It is centrally located in the Rocks area and easy walking distance to Ciruclar Quay, the Bridge, the Botanical Gardens, the Opera House, the Aquarium and many other sites.
We arrived by cruise ship and walked from the cruise terminal at Circular Quay to the hostel, pulling our suitcases. It is uphill, a little tiring, but do-able. Once at the hostel there is an elevator to the reception floor and the other floors.
This hostel is really big, but quiet! The reception was terrific, friendly and helpful. The rooms are basic, but our room had a good view and all the basic essentials, including a blow-dryer. We had a double ensuite room. Everything was super clean. The bed was the most comfortable of our 3-day Australia and 17-day New Zealand stay.
The hostel offers tours, breakfast, advised us on eating places, computers, Wi-Fi and a huge kitchen.
We stored our medium size suitcases in one of their lockers for several hours on our last day before walking to the train station and taking the train to our motel near the international airport. I don't remember the price to the airport, but it was realatively inexpensive and fast. I think less than $10.
If we'd return to Sydney, we would definitely stay here again.

Room Tip: We stayed on the third floor and had a partial view of the harbor. It was a double ensuite room.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

Stayed here on the 14th/15th December and hadn't got around to reviewing it yet.

This YHA Hostel, well, it feels more like a hotel!

For those who don't know, it's built on an archealogical dig site, which makes it so interesting and unique! They have tours/digs during the week but unfortunately I didn't get to experience that as I was only staying for a night. What I love is that you can walk out of your room and right there it's all open air with three walls and in the middle is the dig site. Hard to explain but you will see what I mean when you see photos. This hostel is also "green" which I also love!

If you're coming from the train station, walk from Wynyard Station, not Circular Quay! So much easier and so easy to find and this is coming from someone who's normally not very good with directions!

Lobby/common area was amazingly huge! So many comfy seats it felt very comforting! The kitchen is great too, very clean and big! They also have a cafe thing right by the front desk, and a small grocery corner shop thing right next door to the hostel.

Computers in the lobby area for $1 for 15 minutes, good fast computers. Wifi I think was $4 a day and they had other prices but cant remember.

Beds I found to be very comfy, room and hostel was so clean! I stayed in a four bed dorm on the third floor and like I said you walk out of the door and you're in open air which leads directly to the rooftop.

There were four huge lockers in the room (one on top/one on bottom, so two big lockers) which was great in adding an amount of privacy to your bed as well as if you're on the top bunk you can use the top of it to put your shoes or bag so I thought that was great.

Best thing? A shower and toilet in the room!! Yay! No waiting in line with heaps of people lol!

The view from the rooftop is Ah-MAZING!!! Love it! Five star view for backpacker price, literally, there is a big flash hotel I think it was the Shangri La just up from this hostel and you would have just the same kind of view as them! When I was there one of the cruise ships was in the harbour (can't remember which one but it was princess something or other) so that was cool watching the sail away party from the rooftop and then when it was dark watching it cruise away with glittering lights haha that was my highlight :-)

I love that there are a wide range of ages and families staying there so it makes it more quiet than a typical "party hostel" but still plenty of opportunities to socialize with bbqs on the rooftop and other parties and outings. I felt very comfortable and at ease during my stay here; something for everyone! They also have a movie room as well where you can hire a dvd at the front desk and you pay a deposit I think, so it's basically free, so that was cool!

Something I didnt know till reception told me was that you can get a card that you get stamped for every night you stay at a yha and after 10 stays you get your membership free so that was great but pretty annoyed no one in melbourne told me about that!

Will definitely stay here on my next visit, love this place! :-)

P.S: my rating says excellent for swimming pool and fitness center please note that this doesn't apply to this hostel but it wont let me unrate it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012 via mobile

The hostel was centrally located right in the tourist district making it very convenient to explore key attractions (the harbor bridge, the rocks, the opera house, the botanical garden and etc.). It was definitely cool that the hostel was built on top of an acheological dig site. The front desk staff were all very friendly and the room/ washrooms were very clean.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

Any brilliant word cannot do it justice. The location is in the rocks , the neighborhood is relatively safe since its located near Shangrila. And the street directly goes to the bridge Climb club. By 5 mins walk you will step in Circular Quay subway station and Opera House (and Opera Bar!). Hostel has its lovely common area with kitchen and that's very ordered and clean. The room is spacious and lockers available. What impressed most was the staff here. They are so helpful and knowledgeable. We arrive in the peak periods and want to be placed into same dorm though we are on separate itinarary. They patiently catered our needs and didn't bother to do that for nearly 40 mins. And they organize activities such as pub nights out and lovely dinner sessions occasionally. Its really not just a hostel but a true community that all the backpackers share when in sydney. Its a spot in sydney itself.
By the way the hostel is built on an archeology site with the groud floor featuring a discovery museum. It really shows the history of this neighborhood.And the roof you can see opera and harbour directly. Its not just a hostel..
Do you a favour. Spend a night with staff and backpackers in common area, do a night out with community ,spend some time on the ground floor discover the past of this neighborhood. You will enrich your stay in sydney a lot!!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penang Island, Malaysia
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

Rule no 1 : Dont ever take a taxi from airport to YHA although travel guides says it costs AUD45-50. I ended up paying AUD76-60 for the 4 of us. The airport shuttle bus would have cost much leser per person. You can get the YHA staff to book the shuttle bus to the airport for you.

Anyway this YHA is the most unique YHA we ever stayed, having an excavation site beneath. We took a 4 bedroom with attached bathroom. Towels are provided. However there is no electric kettle in the room. The water dispenser in the dining room are not replaced regularly. We were told to get our water from the tap. Anyway, the tap water is safe enough to drink.There are common bathrooms at each floor and we found one with long bath (located at 2nd floor)!!! Security is good as access card is given for room floors.

We arrived on a Sunday and were lucky to find the flea market. Just walk out the back way towards Suzannah Place, down the stairs and turn left. The flea market is around there.
There is a 24 hour convenience store next door or you can get snacks and drinks from the in-house vending machine.

On Tuesday night, we are looking forward to a rooftop BBQ. But due to windy conditions, the venue was shifted to the kitchen. However there was no signage to inform us of the change and we hang around the rooftop for a while before deciding to check with the staff. Had our first taste of kangaroo burger, just for the experience. Still prefer good old beef burger anytime.

Overall, The Rocks is more laid-back and relax environment compared to city centre. There are plenty of things to do and see in The Rocks area alone. If you want to get to City Centre, hop into the Free Shuttle Bus No 555 (taken from Bus Stop D at Circular Quay). However do note of the operating time.

At night, chill out at the rooftop and admire the view. There are sundeck chairs for you to relax.

Other than minor hick-ups (including no WIFI for two days), we truly enjoyed our stay and seriously recommended it to anyone.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sydney Harbour YHA

Address: 110 Cumberland Street | The Rocks, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney
Amenities:
Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 134 Specialty Lodging in Sydney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 105
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only backpacker hostel in Sydney's historic harbourside Rocks precinct is now open! Explore Sydney's colonial history, walk to all the city's major sites whilst staying in the heart of the city. Multishare and double/twin accommodation, all with en-suites and many with harbour and Opera House views. The place to make the most of your visit to Sydney! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sydney Harbour Yha Hotel Sydney

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