One look at the pictures of YHA Australia’s location in The Rocks at Sydney and we were sold. The picture in question shows the rooftop bar area that overlooks the Sydney Opera House and The Sydney Harbour Bridge. I could instantly imagine my wife and I sitting on the roof of Sydney Harbour YHA, having a drink and chatting with these iconic landmarks surrounding us.
We usually stay at hostels as a family with our teenagers in tow, but this experience was different. We used the YHA Rocks location as a base for a couple’s long weekend in Sydney.
Where is the Sydney Harbour YHA?
The Sydney Harbour YHA is located at 110 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, in Sydney. The YHA is located just adjacent to the Cahill Expressway, which goes over both Circular Quay train station and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The hostel is a short 5-10-minute walk from the Circular Quay train station. This location makes it ideal for exploring the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour.
Was check in at Sydney Harbour YHA easy?
We arrived at the multi-storey hostel where you will find the reception on the second floor. We were greeted by the friendly staff who checked us in and gave us the cards to our rooms. The reception at this hostel is open from 7 am to 12 pm every day for checking in and out.
Rooms for accommodation at The Rocks YHA Sydney Harbour
You will find 3 types of rooms for accommodation in the Rocks YHA location.
Private rooms at the Sydney Harbour YHA
There are standard and premium private rooms at YHA Sydney Harbour Hostel. The standard and premium rooms are the same, featuring double beds, en-suites, tea and coffee, air-conditioning and more. The difference comes with the premium room where you get a flat-screen TV and a view of the Sydney Harbour. We found the rooms quite large and certainly very comfortable for a couple’s weekend away in Sydney
Family Rooms at the YHA Sydney Harbour
This family accommodation near Sydney Harbour features rooms fitting both four and five people. This is an amazing feature as you do not find family rooms for five very easily in any city in the world. Family rooms in Sydney are pretty hard to come by, but not with this YHA Australia property. All family rooms include linen and towels, en-suites, Wi-Fi, TV, air-conditioning and more.
Your standard dorm room has bunk beds for up to six people, as well as linen, Wi-Fi, lockers, charging points and air-conditioning. You can hire towels for 2$ each in these rooms.
Do I need travel insurance in Sydney?
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What facilities does this YHA have?
You have a massive communal room on the first floor. This area includes your kitchen and food storage areas. The kitchen has stoves, microwaves, a fridge and cooking utensils. The kitchen is great for those wanting to cook to save a few dollars or maybe you just want to eat dinner with one of the best views in Sydney.
Like most hostels, YHA Sydney Harbour has a laundrette for clothes washing. This comes in handy if you’re staying for longer than a few days. Washing facilities are standard at nearly all hostels these days. They are a great addition to any accommodation.
Bike hire is available, so you can whizz around the local streets and parks—a great way to see Sydney. The front desk sells barista-made coffee which can be bought any time during the day to give you a boost for your Sydney exploring. There are also vending machines that sell cold drinks and snacks.
On the top floor, located adjacent to the amazing viewing deck, is a small games TV room. The room features a pool table, foosball table and a large flat-screen TV. It is a good place to hang out in the mornings if you like catching up on the daily news or are just waiting for an amazing sunrise over the harbour.
Throughout the building, you will find multiple noticeboards that will provide suggestions of things to do, upcoming events and even information on the staff who work there. Many of the events on offer can be booked through the hostel to make life much easier.
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Did we have to provide anything ourselves at the YHA?
As we flew to Sydney from Melbourne we did not take any of our usual supplies with us. We did take a small number of toiletries with us for our stay.
We purchased some basic snack items and some coffee that we kept in the kitchen storage area. Towels were provided for us during our stay.
What essential services can I find near the Rocks Sydney accommodation
Right next door to the hostel is a small convenience store and the Australian Heritage Hotel that serves food and drinks. The Rocks Bridge Stairs that lead onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge are 200 meters from the front door. Being in such an enviable position in The Rocks, you will find cafes, restaurants, pubs, museums and public transport options all within a 5-minute walk
The YHA Sydney Harbour site is an actual working archeological site. The building is built off the ground and you can take a tour of the foundations of the original building that the first settlers built in the early 18th century. There were houses, a butchers shop and a bakery on this site. It is a fascinating addition to this great Sydney accommodation option. A free tour of the site can be arranged with the front desk.
Things to do near Sydney Harbour YHA
After you have had your fill of the epic views oin the rooftop terrace at the Sydney Harbour YHA you must venture out and see some of the best sights in Sydney. The ones we have included below are some of the best Sydeny sights that are easy to get to from the YHA Sydney Harbour.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge
You can easily walk over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Starting on Cumberland Street, the best access point is the Bridge Stairs located a few hundred metres away. The walk is 1.5 km between the stairs at The Rocks and the stairs at Milsons Point.
The Sydney Opera House
An easy 1.5-kilometre walk via the Circular Quay Ferry terminals will see you standing in front of one of the world’s most iconic buildings. You can walk around the Opera House for amazing views of the Harbour and bridge.
In under 30 minutes of walking, you will be in Darling Harbour. Darling Harbour is the centre of activity on weekends with restaurants, bars, a Convention Centre, Sea Life Sydney and more. Darling Harbour is a beautiful place to walk on a nice night, grab some food and ice cream, maybe even take in a movie at the floating cinema.
Our favourite things at Sydney Harbour YHA
Without a doubt, the rooftop terrace is a great place to enjoy a drink with your partner, chat, share your thoughts and plan your Sydney experiences. The location is so close to the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, making it a must-stay location for exploring Sydney by foot and public transport.
Air-conditioning is always appreciated, especially when visiting in the summer months, and sometimes it is the little things you notice like the jar of Mentos in our room and the amazing water pressure in the shower.
Any room for improvement areas?
I am having to be really picky here to find something negative, but a few of the older vending machines still only take cash and not card. I wanted to buy a drink at 6.30 am from a machine in the communal that only accepted cash, and with the main reception closed, I was unable to buy a drink. Overall though one of the best YHA Hostels we stayed in.
We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to stay at the YHA Sydney Harbour when you visit Australia or if you are Australian looking to see the best our country has to offer. There are so many things to do in the Rocks area of Sydney area that will have you entertained for your whole stay. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Australia click through to our Australia Destination Guide Page for more brilliant inspiration.
If you are looking at travelling and using hostels all over the world then check out our Hostels for Families guide page for more family-friendly hostels we recommend.