Do you like narrow, windowless, dirty rooms? Do you like piss and blood stained mattresses? If so, Federal Backpackers is the place for you. Have a shower and walk back to your room and it will be likely you now have 2 years worth of dirt, numerous variations of pubic hair and unidentified objects now stuck to your feet. I should be fair and say I did actually see a cleaner, but I can only assume the vacuum being used was built in 1987 and gave up sucking in the early 90’s. The communal kitchen contains numerous pots and pans, 95% of which do not have handles, so as long s you are happy with casual burns, no problems. After you have cooked you have the luxury of choosing from 3 randomly placed tables in what I suppose they are calling the ‘dining room’.
The common room is built on a mix of any old previously loved (or unloved) chairs, huddled strategically around a TV. You are free to write all over the walls here, seriously, they actually tell you that as you walk through, so maybe this can be seen as a positive or a minus depending on your preference. There is a ping pong table jut at the bottom of the stairs which, all things considered, is in decent enough condition, if it wasn’t placed in a room which smells like a foot. The toilets and showers are by no means the worst I have come across, the only down side being that it is impossible to get any sort of consistency with the shower temperature, it’s like being kicked through kettle into a fridge, numerous times.
It’s about time for some plus points I think. There is a bottle shop attached to the side which you can buy jugs of beer in to take into the garden. This should be a positive right? But to me it’s just seems like more of a money making scheme as you are not allowed to buy goon (boxed wine) and take it into the garden, only jugs bought there can be drunk. The jugs on offer were a lager, a cider, a fairly weak type of goon and vodka (not straight obviously), all priced somewhere between $8.50-$12, except during happy our where prices start around $6.5 for certain jugs. Give it a few hours into a Friday night and you may be lucky enough to see someone so wasted they are pissing into the only outside toilet sink, awesome.
I must clarify I am by no means a snob, I’ve stayed in all manners of shit holes and slept in a graveyard before, but I’m just trying to give you an honest enough account that you can make your mind up if this is the place for you.
One definite plus point for this place is the staff. The lady who runs the reception was really cool, friendly and chatty, and I met one of the guys who worked there in the beer garden and he seemed pretty decent.
The rooms are charged at $27 dollars for the first night, $25 for every additional night and $165 if you pay for the week straight up. As this is a working hostel you cannot get any work if you pay by the night, you must pay for a week to qualify to get your name on a list. That isn’t to say you are going to get any work that week, it just means if you are lucky you will. You can expect to be put on a standby list and have to ride it out for a while to get work, so don’t turn up to this hostel with only a week’s worth of rent and think everything’s is going to pan out, it isn’t.
To get a room key and cutlery you have to pay a $30 deposit, this isn’t too uncommon, but note it is cash only for this and they do not accept eftpos (card payment), they do accept card payment for room rates though.
To find this gem of a hostel you just need to come out of the train station and turn left, walk past the City Central Backpackers on your right hand side and it’s straight in front of you.
That’s about all I need to say on the hostel, it’s up to you from here on out to make the decision if you want to end up here……just don’t get sucked in and stay too long if you do, some people have!
Love Scotty x