YHA Australia

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YHA Australia logo.svg
AbbreviationYHA Australia
Formation28 May 2002[1]
Legal statusCorporation, members' liability limited by guarantee.[2]
PurposeProvision of accommodation, travel and associated services
Region served
AffiliationsHostelling International
WebsiteYHA Australia

YHA Ltd, trading as YHA Australia, is a not-for-profit of members trading corporation[3] providing accommodation, travel and associated service in Australia. It is a provider of hostel accommodation in Australia, and is a member organisation of Hostelling International.

YHA Ltd is a management and director controlled corporation with managers and directors controlling the selection of successive directors [4] and directors being able to appoint a least one-third of their number without election [5] Directors may profit from payments[6] but members are not entitled to a share of profits or assets. Profits are not necessarily spent or re-invested in the network of hostels or the provision of accommodation and services to members.[7]

In recent decades, the organisation changed focus and closed many hostels in rural areas and concentrated on providing travel accommodation in major tourist destinations, particularly large accommodation in metropolitan areas and coastal cities and towns where accommodation was already readily supplied. While still using the name YHA (Youth Hostels Association), the organisation now provides accommodation regardless of age. At the same time, the types of accommodation provided has changed from hostel to a broad mix including hotel-style rooms and suites and self-contained accommodation.[8]

Purpose & Mission statement[edit]

YHA Australia's Purpose[when?] is: "To create an open and accommodating world where life flourishes" YHA Australia's Mission statement[when?] is: "Our mission is to create a community in diverse spaces, by connecting the curious, inspiring personal growth and creating genuine local experiences, in a sustainable way".


The YHA 'house and tree' trademark symbol originates from the first Youth Hostelling signs in Europe in 1934.[citation needed] The open door symbolises a welcome to travellers, with the tree and house representing shelter and respect for each other and the environment.[citation needed]


For the history of Youth Hostelling as a movement see Origins of youth hostelling.

YHA Ltd was registered on 28 May 2002 under the name, YHA NSW Ltd. The organisation succeeded YHA NSW Inc., formerly named the Youth Hostels Association of New South Wales Inc. which had succeeded the unincorporated Youth Hostels Association of New South Wales which had been formed in 1942 under the auspices of the Government of New South Wales.

The first Youth Hostel Association formed in Australia was YHA Victoria, founded in 1939 Melbourne, followed by YHA New South Wales (1942), YHA South Australia (1949), YHA Tasmania (1951), YHA Western Australia (1951), YHA Queensland (1962) and YHA Northern Territory (1976).[9]

In 1947, the state-based organisations formed the Australian YHA as a federated body to allow Australia to be represented in the International Youth Hostelling Federation (the original name for Hostelling International).[10]

Between 2007 and 2017, the state and territory-based YHA organisations outside New South Wales and the operations of the Australian YHA merged into YHA Ltd with some becoming controlled subsidiaries or charitable trusts.[10]

Heritage hostels[edit]

Fremantle Prison YHA is located in the women's wing of a historic 19th Century prison.

Fremantle Prison YHA is located in the World Heritage listed 19th century former prison's women's wing. Railway Square YHA is situated on the disused 'Platform Zero' of Sydney's Central Station, with replica rail carriages providing multi-share rooms and the old parcels sorting shed re-purposed into the hostel's main building. Newcastle Beach YHA is a converted 'gentleman's club' founded in 1885, and Blue Mountains YHA is a well preserved art deco building that used to be the home of the Wentworth Cabaret, featuring the oldest sprung timber dance floor in the Southern Hemisphere.[11]


The custom-built Grampians Eco YHA, located in Halls Gap on the doorstep of the Grampians National Park in western Victoria.

YHA Australia is committed to reducing its impact on the environment and raising awareness of the benefits of low-impact travel. YHA's Sustainable Hostels Fund – which encourages guests to donate $1 when they book a stay online that YHA then matches dollar for dollar – has helped install solar hot water systems at Adelaide Central, Perth City, Byron Bay, Cairns Central, Glebe Point, Pittwater, Grampians Eco Lodge and Melbourne Metro, as well as solar power in Alice Springs, which generates as much as half of that hostel's energy needs. The 145 solar cells installed on Perth City's rooftop in 2014 saves more than 42 tonnes of carbon emissions a year.[12]

YHA-owned hostels stopped selling disposable water bottles in 2014, instead encouraging guests to purchase refillable bottles at reception. Some YHA hostels feature rainwater tanks, on-site vegetable gardens and composters, bike rental, swap shelves, low-energy lightbulbs/LEDs, and water-saving bathroom devices to promote sustainable travel.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22]


Sydney Harbour YHA, which opened in 2009, enjoys panoramic views of Sydney Harbour.
Sydney Harbour YHA's views of the Harbour and Sydney Opera House

In 2019, the Grampians Eco YHA was the winner of 'Best Accommodation in Australia' and 'Best Accommodation in Victoria' at the Adventure Tourism Awards. Sydney Harbour YHA also won 'Best Accommodation in NSW' for 2019, along with Hobart Central YHA for 'Best Accommodation in Tasmania'.[23]

In 2018, the winner of the 'Best Accommodation in Australia' award at this event was Noosa YHA, which also won the award for 'Best Accommodation in Queensland.' The following won in their respective States: Melbourne Central YHA (Victoria); Fremantle Prison YHA (WA) and Adelaide Central YHA (SA).[24] In previous years, many other awards have also been bestowed on YHA properties, including Sydney Central YHA[25] and Sydney Harbour YHA[26] winning the 'Best Backpacker Accommodation' Award at the Australian Tourism Awards. Adelaide Central YHA has won 'Best Backpacker Accommodation' in South Australia; Alice Springs YHA has won 'Best Backpacker Accommodation' in the Northern Territory; Brisbane City YHA and Cairns Central YHA 'Best Backpacker Accommodation' in Queensland; Melbourne Metro YHA 'Best Backpacker Accommodation' in Victoria; Perth City YHA 'Best Backpacker Accommodation' in Western Australia, and Thredbo YHA 'Best Backpacker Accommodation' in the Canberra & Capital Region awards.


  1. ^ https://asic.gov.au/ ACN 008 387 791
  2. ^ "YHA Ltd Constitution" (PDF). Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  3. ^ "YHA Ltd Constitution" (PDF). Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  4. ^ "YHA Ltd Constitution" (PDF). Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  5. ^ "By-law 1 – Director nomination & election" (PDF). Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Directors Remuneration Policy" (PDF). Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  7. ^ "YHA Ltd Annual Report 1919" (PDF). Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  8. ^ John McCulloch and James Murray (1997), Beds Boots and Backpacks, the story of the YHA in Australia, Playright Publishing Pty Ltd, Sydney
  9. ^ John McCulloch (May 1992). "The Youth Hostels Association: Precursors and contemporary achievements" (PDF). The Journal of Tourism Studies. Australia: James Cook University. 3 (1): 22–27. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  10. ^ a b "YHA Australia Hostels - YHA Australia". www.yha.com.au. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  11. ^ "The past lives of YHA hostels | YHA Australia". www.yha.com.au. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  12. ^ a b "Green is the New Black | YHA Australia". www.yha.com.au. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  13. ^ "YHA LTD Year in Review 2009". issuu. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  14. ^ "YHA LTD Year in Review 2010". issuu. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  15. ^ "YHA LTD Year in Review 2011". issuu. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  16. ^ "YHA Ltd Year in Review 2012". issuu. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  17. ^ "YHA Ltd Year in Review 2013". issuu. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  18. ^ "YHA Ltd Year in Review 2014". issuu. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  19. ^ "YHA Ltd 2015 Year in Review". issuu. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
  20. ^ "YHA Ltd 2016 Year in Review". issuu. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  21. ^ "YHA Australia 2017 Year in Review". Issuu. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  22. ^ "YHA Australia 2018 Year in Review". Issuu. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  23. ^ "2019 Award Winners - Adventure Tourism Awards". Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  24. ^ Awards, Adventure Tourism. "2018 Award Winners - Adventure Tourism Awards". Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  25. ^ "Australian Tourism Awards 2011". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  26. ^ Kate Schneider (3 March 2012). "Australia's best named in the annual Qantas Australian Tourism Awards". news.com.au. Retrieved 5 December 2012.

External links[edit]