Ive just got back from travelling up the east coast for three weeks and thought id let you all know how i got on and what the hostels/trips were like. Not sure if TP allow this but my views may help a few of you out that are planning to go that way.
Sydney - Evas - not a bad hostel, nice clean and friendly. Stayed here after meant to be staying in the jolly swagman but it was dirty and horrible. After speaking to a few people it appears the swagman is the place where all the long term travellers stay for a good few weeks. Most people there are just interested in getting pissed. Went to two rooms and they were minty and checked in somewhere else.
And also Kings Cross is no were near as bad as it sounds so dont be worrying.
Also recommend the maze for its location and possible the new Base Backpackers. I stayed in two other Base's and they were excellent.
Byron Bay - make sure you stay in the arts factory. Quality place, really friendly and as it says in the LP old hippy commune. Very very nice bar and entertainment as well as a pictures. Highly recommended.
Hervey Bay - stayed at The Palace as part of Fraser 4x4. Not bad. Good to book an extra night when you come back from Fraser to have some food and a beer with your group before heading off the next day.
Airlie Beach - Reefos - not bad, nice little cabins. Even had a fridge and a TV. God i thought i was heaven, esp when i had few cold beers in the fridge! Nice and cheap but out of the centre. A few people recommended beaches hostel cos it is right in the centre and it is staggering distance for when you come out of the bars.
For the whitsundays sailing i recommend next sail/pro sail dont bother with the maxi yachts, too dear go with the smaller 10 man boat, we went on figaro (pro and next sail are the same company)
Townsville - Base (www.basebackpackers.com) Nice place to stay, v clean and tidy. We got a free BBQ when we arrived. Nice and dont be put off by the fact that it is over the bus station!
Magnetic Island - Base again. Check out the website, nuff said - quality
Cairns - Stayed at Captain Cooks for a few nights. Nice place. Make sure you get your free meal vouchers. The food is very nice, although i think it may taste nicer cos its free! Good bus service into cairns centre cos it is a bit of a walk. Place was fine apart from the fact if you wanted to stay out each night you have to get a taxi back because the bus stops at 8.
Gilligans - like a 4 star hotel compared to most places. Brand new custom built hotel/hostel with full entertainment complex in the centre of cairns. www.gilligansbackpackers.com.au Only problem was do not go to bed before the bar closes if u r on the lower floors as the whole room including the bunk bed shanks with the noise. Very nice setup though. Highly recommend. Get the bed, beer and meal deal cos it saves you a few pennies you would probably spend anyway.
I would also recommend backpackersworld travel agents where we got the package from. There are a lot of shady agents out there out to rip people off and i can honestly say these are not one of them. These we recommended to us and rightfully so.
Well thats about it folks, and no im not on commision form these places i just thought i would share my experiences with every one to try and help people out.
ps anyone else been to any of these places and have any other recommedations or comments?