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“It is Mackay after all.........” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Gecko's Rest Budget Accommodation & Backpackers

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Gecko's Rest Budget Accommodation & Backpackers
34 Sydney St, Mackay, Queensland 4740, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Mackay
Melbourne, Australia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“It is Mackay after all.........”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2011

I stayed here for 1 night passing through and the only way to describe the atmosphere is that of a morgue. The lady on reception was tired and grumpy, they have this weird system where you get your own 'container' of crockery as there's none in the kitchen and it has to be returned on check out. The rooms are quite simple, the aircon is very effective (I had to sleep with a jacket on in the middle of summer as weird dormmate had it cranked to coolest setting ALL night & wouldn't turn it down). Bathrooms again clean, but very, very old looking. There isn't much natural light and everyone stays in their rooms. There no social areas, TV doesn't work and you can't use the kitchen after 9pm, can't drink, have to wash crockery IMMEDIATELY after use (or reception lady will yell at you!). All the strict rules, combined with the drab interior and overall quietness of the town make for quite a depressing stay. An update, a coat of bright paint, some nicer social areas and a smile from reception would make all the difference.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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37 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
foxxy04
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2010

I Really don't know why people would complain about this place, I have stayed in some other Hostels and they were more expensive and not as nice as this one. (Its not the Hilton but it is NICE). Anyway, I came back to Mackay this time with my partner and stayed here again cause I loved it on my last stay. I wanted to show him all the Fantasic Paintings on the walls. (there had also been a few more done which was a bonus). Stayed in a double Room this time, Number 4, bed was good and air con worked great and has always been clean and tidy, I also like how there is a big kichen to cook your own meals in (love my cooking). We also hired a car and went up to Eungella for the day which was great to see again. My partner also really like this place and we will always recommend it . :)

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2010

This place was horrible. We only stayed here for one night and were glad that was all! We had an overpriced double room which was swarming in some kind of bugs and the air shafts above us rattled everytime you opened the door and there was bad damp on the ceiling. The showers were ok and the rest of the hostel seemed ok (we didn't see much of it though) but generally I wouldn't recommend it.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Melbourne
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2010

I stayed in the single room at $40.
For the price it's ok: Clean Spacious room with Fridge.
Shared bathroom & Shared kitchen

Downsides: no window for light or fresh air,
thin walls so can get noisy

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Bellevue, WA
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2009

I've been staying here because I'm in Mackay for a longer time period than usual at the moment, and didn't feel like paying $150+ for a "real" hotel. As backpacker's go, I'd rate this one above average... and cleanliness wise, find it above average even compared to full motels/hotels in Mackay. I'm guessing spotless rooms aren't high on the list for miners, because motels in this area don't seem to try very hard on that criteria.

Before trying Gecko's Rest, I stayed at several $90-$120/night motels on Nebo Rd. None impressed me with their cleanliness (can you tell I care about that?), and the apparently common housekeeping habit of leaving all room doors open for a while during the day just made me uneasy. I happen to like my clothes and headset radio, thank you, and don't want to lose them to someone who wanders by. Also, as I'm travelling without a car, it was inconvenient to have to walk into town every day (or hire a cab for $10).

So at Gecko's Rest, I'm in a single room with skylights but no window, for $30/night (weekly rate), and it's simply a far better deal. There's a single bed, a cabinet, my own fridge, a mirror, a power strip for my battery charger and enough room to spread out my yoga mat in the morning. No ensuite, but the toilets are right across the hall, which is practically the same thing. (Be warned that when others use the hot water, your shower water temperature may get cold fast for a moment.) I'd call this a mid-sized hostel. Clearly bigger than the ones in converted homes, but not a mega-enterprise, either.

The hostel is a bit lacking in natural light, but this is somewhat made up for by the interesting murals all over the walls, that give you something interesting to look at as you walk the halls. It's not like a dank off-white cement block dorm hallway, but rather lime green with artwork here and there. The kitchen is simply HUGE, with several stoves, microwaves and sinks, an oven, and a large commercial cooler... the kind of thing I'm more used to seeing in Sydney hostels than in a country town like Mackay. I think this was probably the kitchen from when this building was a hotel or restaurant in a prior life. On check-in, they ask if you want a set of dishes, and will hand you a plastic tub with plates and utensils. Pots and pans are in the kitchen. Be aware that kitchen appliances can't be used after 9pm. Wine is allowed in the kitchen with meals, but other drinking needs to be done on the large back deck.

I started trying it out for just one night, and it worked for me. If you're travelling solo and want a clean/safe/budget place to stay in Mackay, and don't mind no-frills accommodations, give it a try. I've also heard that Taylor's pub is a good budget place, but haven't tried it yet, because I was already happy enough staying here when I heard about it.

The location can't be beat. Pubs with inexpensive and good lunches and brekkies (and evening entertainment) are a 2 minute walk away. Don't discount how handy it is to be staying near the clubs, as getting a taxi late on a Friday or Saturday night can be a 1+ hour experience on the wrong night! Pure+natural down the street offers a sub-$10 salad bar lunch. The post office and tourist office are right down the street as well. Supermarkets are nearby.

Staff are friendly, and seem to be older folks (I'm used to fellow backpackers or other young people at the desks much of the time, but that's rare here). Guests are a mix of backpackers, people who've just migrated to Mackay and are looking for work in the mines and random others travelling solo who want a clean bed in town at a fraction of the Mackay Grand Suites prices (and 1/4 of even the Mid City Motor Inn's prices).

Internet is a bit pricey at $5/hr, but that seems to be the best rate available in town, so I can't complain too much about it.

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foxxy04
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2009

Hi, Me and 3 friends stayed here in a 4 bed dorm room and loved it. We had our own king single bed each and they were already made up when we checked in (ohhh felt like home). We also got towels and kichens stuff when checking in for no extra charge so was stocked with that.the chick at reception was helpful as well with booking our tour to Eungella national park and when i could not work out how to use the washing machine lol. The back deck was good for a drink and a laugh before we went to the clubs as well.
But the best thing i loved about this place was the paintings on all the walls, i was so amazed at them. i think the arist was there when we stayed his name was rudy sudy, great job.loved my stay.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Maidenhead, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2009

Fortunately we were only in transit through Mackay, and only needed somewhere to rest our heads before an early flight to Brisbane.

We had a twin room which was windowless, featureless and pretty much furniture-less - there was a bed, a grubby sink and that was about it. At least the aircon was good! Took us a little while to find, as it is tucked away in the middle of a small retail block. We didn't venture into the kitchen so cannot comment, but the bathrooms were pretty basic and pretty grubby! To be honest, the whole place looked in need of a good clean and a lick of paint.

Mackay itself definitely feels a bit down at heel, a real working town, with a few drunks wandering about the place. Restaurant options were few and far between, especially post 8pm on a Sunday when we were there. We did however have a reasonable meal at Sorbellos Italian restaurant on the main street.

Wouldn't recommend staying, but not sure there are many budget options around.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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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Additional Information about Gecko's Rest Budget Accommodation & Backpackers

Address: 34 Sydney St, Mackay, Queensland 4740, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Mackay
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 23 Specialty Lodging in Mackay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Gecko's Rest is a family owned and operated budget accommodation provider, situated in the heart of Mackay (CBD), close to transport, shops, cafes, restaurants, movie theatre, pubs, nightlife of Mackay, Bluewater Lagoon, Bluewater Trail and Artspace Centre. Gecko's Rest backpackers has got a variety of spacious rooms which can sleep up to 48 people. Choose from one of our dorm, single, double or twin rooms on offer. All of our facilities are clean & comfortable and we are fully compliant with all fire safety regulations for your safety and our peace of mind. Every room has air-conditioning and a fridge, storage space for each bed, linen & towels provided. Please note that some of our rooms do not have windows but indirect daylight through the ceiling. Why not chill out by the Bluewater Lagoon, take a scenic walk along the Pioneer River or go on a tour to Eungella, Finch Hatton or Keswick Island. - Eungella/ Finch Hatton Gorge/ Broken River (rainforest, platypus, waterfall): Please book with Reeforest Adventure Tours in advance. - Keswick Island (snorkelling/ kayaks/ buggy hire/ whale watching): Please book with Megaforce Charters in advance. Gecko's Rest is located on Sydney Street, three doors down from Kate O'Reilly's Irish Pub. We are 10 minutes walk from the Greyhound/ Premierbus bus stop (corner Victoria/ Tennyson ST). We are close to Mackay's attractions: Bluewater Trail, Bluewater Lagoon, Mackay Entertainment & Convention Centre, Mackay City Library, Artspace Centre, Queens Park, Heritage & Art Deco walks, Memorial Swim Centre and Bluewater Quay. All other attractions, Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens, Marina/ Harbour, inner city beaches, are easily accessible by bus. ... more   less 
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