Before I came to the YHA Harbour in The Rocks, which is the old preserved precinct of Sydney, I had already heard of the hype surrounding it. You were able see the opera house from there, it was perfectly located in the middle of the city and nightlife. And it was comfortable. Naturally, all this had me intrigued and I to check it out myself.
Regarding the location, it really is just a 10 minute walk away from the ferry terminal and the two major train stations, Circular Quay and Wynyard, where shopping facilities are found. The bus stop is about 5 minutes away but beware that you have to walk up the hill (someone had told me before so I was mentally prepared). If you feel like eating out, you have come to the perfect place. Mingle with the stylish and fancy restaurant goers in the historic backstreets or next to iconic Sydney Opera House together with skyline flaneurs.
The reception is open 24/7 and always ready to help out. There are several people behind the counter and I never had to wait. For those who forgot their breakfast, you can always stock up here and get yourself a freshly made cup of coffee, bread or spreads.
This is a hostel for everyone. School classes come here for the archaeological Education Centre, families stay here as well as backpackers. It is quite the mix but creates a pleasant atmosphere. There is no noise or disorder and with the fancy rooftop area and TV room with a view, no wonder people are in a happy and relaxed mood.
The whole building is a liaison of old meets new, built on top of the remnants of colonial buildings, the Harbour YHA seeks to preserve, educate and merge with the new century. Walk along the modern corridors and chic lounge areas while looking down onto former digging sites. There are no small stuffy staircase, everything is glass or open. You will definitely feel the vibe of the old rocks and feel a little bit the Indiana Jones inside – especially if you can rest your laptop on a glass table displaying ceramic finds. How much eye to detail is that?!
Besides this, the usual suspects can be found: laundry, common areas, big kitchen, balcony, terrace as well as some perks. How about each room having ensuite with shiny bathrooms held in purist grey and white, thus creating a nice hotel flair. Add to that air conditioning and I had all I needed on these hot days.
Everything was clean and orderly. I must highlight the kitchen because I have never seen a hostel kitchen In such good shape. The cleaners were at it every felt 3 hours and the steel surfaces shone. I kinda felt guilty for preparing food. Oh, and the knives were really sharp for a change. Too bad I had to find that out by cutting myself. Stupid me.
Each room had a medium sized locker per person including sockets to charge your valuables safely. Also each bed came equipped with a socket and night light. There was a table and chair, which was nice since I finally could put stuff somewhere else than the floor or locker.
Liked it. Now I know why people flock here. The location is good,the looks polished and with that sunrise view, I just don’t know why anyone wouldn’t try this YHA. Particularly if you are a late sleeper like me (or have spent too much time out in the historic pubs) and appreciate the luxury of quickly dipping out and back into bed after having watched the obligatory east coast sunrise. The good life.
Sydney Harbour YHA
110 Cumberland St
Tel.: +61 (0) 28272 0900
I would like to thank the YHA again for having me. As always, my opinion remains my own.