Backpacker accommodation in Australasia varies depending on what region you are in. Australia and New Zealand are full to the brim with budget hostels and camping grounds, whereas the outlying islands are more likely to have beach bungalows and guest houses.
Backpacker accommodation in Australia and New Zealand falls into two main categories: hostels and camping grounds. Hostels are best if you don’t have your own transport and are staying in an urban area, whereas camping grounds are best for those travelling around independently in camper vans, or staying overnight in the national parks during hikes.
Hostels usually have shared kitchens, dorms and bathrooms, and more often than not a communal area with a TV and seating. Most hostels will be able to organise tours and other travel essentials. The main hostel chains in Australia are Nomads and Base Backpackers, and BBHNZ in New Zealand, so if you’re planning on using this type of accommodation on a regular basis it would be a good idea to invest in loyalty cards to save money. You can expect to pay between £10-15 per night in hostels, though prices may rise steeply in certain areas at certain times of the year – i.e. Sydney on New Year’s Eve.
Camping grounds are slightly cheaper – about £5 for a pitch with electricity – but obviously more basic. Many of the lesser-visited national parks don’t charge for camping, but you may have to pay an admission fee to the park. The facilities will really depend on how far off the beaten track you are: camp grounds close to settlements will have showers and sometimes a kitchen, whereas in the central deserts of Australia they are little more than a patches of earth.
Out of all the thousands of islands scattered throughout Australasia, Fiji is easily the most developed and backpacker-friendly. Backpacker accommodation usually comes in the form of hostels and guest houses, most of which are very affordable. The vast majority of travellers fly into Nadi, where the cheapest accommodation can be found (about £5 per night), and then go off in search for the beaches on either the Coral Coast, the Yasawa Islands or Mana Island, where backpacker accommodation starts at around £10 per night.
The vast majority of backpacker accommodation in the Cook Islands can be found on Rarotonga, the largest and most populated of the 16 islands in the group. The accommodation is a mix of hostels, bungalows and guest houses, with rates ranging from about £10-25 per night.