I'm 28 yr old Irish female and am due to travel to Oz for a year's work and adventures. I'm a bit scared of being alone doing this so i'm trying to find accomodation which i feel safe in, won't catch any diseases in (!) and is good for meeting people. From checking out various hostel websites, anywhere that looks fun, looks filthy too. And anywhere that looks clean and safe - looks a bit lonely and lacking any social scene.
I looked at Big Hostel, which i thought looked cool. I also looked at the Pink House, Blue Parrot, Wake Up and a couple of YHA hostels. It's a bit overwhelming so any help or advice would be brill.
The two hostels which are recommended most consistently here at travellerspoint are Wake Up! and Glebe Point YHA.
The Wake Up! (from what I know; I haven't stayed there myself - if I get anything wrong, I assume people more familiar with it will correct me) is a really large hostel (might be overwhelmingly so), with very modern facilities (very clean) and is a favorite of many people who are just arriving in Australia (undoubtedly helped by the many agreements they have with travel agencies who're promoting them). I believe it has a bit of a party atmosphere (there's a bar inside it), but it isn't quite what you'd call a party hostel. Its location is excellent; you arrive at central station by train from the airport, cross the street, and there you are. (The same goes for the YHA Central next door, and for the YHA railway square you don't even need to cross the road. Both are similarly huge and modern.) To get to Circular Quay, you cross the road again and hop on the train there, or take one of the dozens of busses which pass by every other minute.
Glebe Point YHA is my personal favorite, and I'll stay here any chance I get. It's still a large hostel, but not as overwhelmingly so. Its facilities range from excellent (the rooms) to decent (my main complaint is with its bathrooms, which are acceptable, but could be much nicer). The atmosphere here is very relaxed, with many people staying here for longer periods of time. Its main benefits are the awesome rooftop area (complete with hammocks during the summer, plus organized barbeques), and its location in Glebe, which is a universally loved neighbourhood with a great vibe (feeling vaguely bohemian and small village like), and the most awesome main street lined with excellent bakeries, cafes, used bookstores and restaurants. It's a 5-10 minute bus ride from central station (or a 15-20 minute walk)), with busses going every 5-10 minutes for most of the day. To get to Central Quay, take the same busses back and remain sitting in them (or switch to the train at central station).
Personally I would recommend Glebe YHA. Wake up is very very impersonal. Glebe is such a cool area one of my favorites in Sydney ... you´ll love it and its within walking distance of the centre of the city.
I am booked in for the first few days now at 790 on George, mainly cos the security rates so highly on the reviews. Its perfect for Darling Harbour and falling into bed after a hard nights partying at the Entertainment Centre this Friday!
My sis is now moving in with me...that wasnt planned! But I have been able to get a twin room for us at the same hostel.
Location seems very good as although its a supposed quiter less of a party hostel its next to/near Wake Up and the big YHA by the station.
Going to go and view Glebe though sometime next week as that is where I would prefer to be living once I am settled.
I am planning on going on a 'viewing' sesh of some hostels so will report back on here sometime late next week.