It occurred to me to today that it is just about 2 years since my trip to Australia for Dr. DF’s and M’s wedding. I spent the first half of the trip with the whole wedding gang — staying in a beach-front house in Adelaide, exploring on a private tour around Kangaroo island and wine tasting wherever they would serve us 😉
The actual wedding and post-wedding dinner celebration were beautiful, on February 29th and at a fantastic country vineyard/winery just outside of Adelaide. After the family festivities came to a close, the cool kids changed into party clothes and hit up the best that Adelaide had to offer into the wee hours of the morning.
The day after the wedding (this particular logistical detail is not one that I would necessarily advise) I took the overnight bus from Adelaide to Melbourne for a few days of solo exploration before I needed to return to the reality of graduate school in MN…in the winter. Now the overnight bus is a great way to save both time and money, but DAMN. I am rapidly approaching being too old for that shit!!
Once in Melbourne, I made my way to my home base, The Nomads Hostel of Melbourne.
So, for the next time that you’re in Melbourne Australia, here is what you need to know–
Traveling on the cheap, I reserved a bed in a mixed dorm of 11 people. (This was the cheapest option available.) Of course, shacking up with 12 total strangers isn’t usually going to be one’s first choice for a good night’s sleep (or hell, maybe it is…no judgement here…) but I shared my room with 11 interesting and courteous travelers and had no regrets about my choice.
There were enough clean gender-separated dorm-style showers and bathrooms on each floor whenever I needed a shower or otherwise 😉
The common areas on the first level were fantastic. If you are interested in a longer stay this would be a particularly great location. There was a kitchen for preparing meals and storing personal food, an indoor lounge that was great for taking a load off and indoor and outdoor dining rooms for scarfing down whatever creations emerged from the aforementioned community kitchen.
There was also a bar that was very popular each night of my stay (but not irritatingly so…)
Like with my roommates, I met loads of interesting and courteous travelers here — traveling alone, in pairs and in small groups. Regardless of your travel group size, I felt like the Nomad would be a great fit for most backpackers.
The one complaint that I would have (I can’t be too positive now can I?) is in regards to the internet access. Internet was not included in the price of the room, it was limited to one device per pass code upon purchase and was a ticking clock from initial log-in through expiration. Now if I remember correctly, the internet vouchers were rather expensive, access was fair to poor and only in the indoor common areas on the first floor. While I’m not a proponent of my electronic devices consuming my vacation, posting a smug photo or
ten two or sending everyone you know email updates to the family shouldn’t be too much to ask these days.
Management and staff
These guys/girls…well, 20-30-somethings, were quite helpful. I can’t say that I had so many interactions with them, but most everything with the Nomad ran smoothly, they were able to answer any questions that I had and succeeded in making my stay a very positive experience. There were staff members from all over the world, who spoke a variety of languages and had a whole collection of different background stories.
In combination they were able to adequately serve every guest, from your solo American girl to your family of 4 from the Philippines.
The Nomads is located just off the beaten path on the north end of town, very near the Queen Victoria Market.
This was super nice because it was a doable walk to anywhere you’d want to go in Melbourne (or trolley ride if you want to get to the far end of town and don’t feel like hoofing it for an hour) but not smack in the center of the action when you want a bit of space between you and the city madness.
Overall The Nomads was a great experience. Both the people and the place made my stay fantastic and if I ever find myself back in Melbourne (god help me if I do to a certain extent, but that’s for another day I suppose) without a bag of cash to spend on a real hotel, I’d have no second thoughts about having a second stint.
P.S. Happy Anniversary Dr. DF and M!! 😀