Arts Factory Backpackers


Arts Factory Backpackers

Skinners Shoot Road, Byron Bay NSW 2481
Tel
(02) 6685 7709
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Not the best experience
12 December 2008
Cons
The dorm
Pros
Lots of organised activities
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For what you get, this is quite an expensive hostel. We stayed here as some friends had recommended it. It was not the best experience. We got put in a wagon, which is basically a really big tent. There were about 16 beds in it squashed together, and there wasn't a proper door, so we had rats and all kinds of insects in there. Pretty sure there were bed bugs too. The hostel is very busy, and it's full of all these wannabe hippes. The kitchen is massive but there was nowhere to put anything and there was too many people about to actually make anything. There is a really nice bar and the activities that they organise are pretty good, but because of it being a 15 min walk from the main street and because of the room I was in, I would not stay there again.

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Not everyone's cup of tea!
21 November 2007
Cons
Clique-yness, wannabe hippies, long-termers
Pros
Pretty funky, lots of activities to keep you occupied during the day
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Funky place but only come here if you're "cool enough" or else no one will talk to you!!! Unfortunately it's pretty superficial like that, despite the "hippy vibe" - largely due to lots of long-termers staying at the hostel. The Teepees, Wagons and Pentagon accomodation are all unique but expensive for what you actually get. Security is non-existent (but hey it's not cool to worry about that kind of thing). Bring your ear-plugs if you want an early night's sleep.

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wild turkeys in my way on the way to the bathroom
18 January 2007
Cons
expensive
Pros
this place is weird and wonderful
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I think this was the most expensive place we stayed, but if you're only staying for a few days, it doesn't really matter. When we got there, the dorm we had booked was over-booked so they put us in the pricier tent/cabin for the same price... and they let us have it for the 2nd night at the same price. There's lots of cool things to do on site if you don't want to go to the beach or go shopping. And bumping into wild turkeys is always enjoyable.

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disneyland for backpackers
2 July 2006
Cons
people who go to disney need entertaining
Pros
byron quickfix, the tick off tour
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well i must say everytime I've been here.. I try to hate it.. but you get to like it. it bustles... a little too commercial for me but most people love it. never heard so much bonking going on in my life. mosquitoes are a big problem.

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quirky and fun
22 May 2006
Cons
the mozzie lake
Pros
the big army tents
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yay for the arts factory. i discovered it a few yrs ago when me and my grilfriends went to splendour. we stayed in one of the army tents built onto the platforms around the lake. i was soooo coool, with the firlendlyiest staff. best place to stay in byro, beats $20 camping anyday.

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Anonymous
Commercial Scam!
6 December 2005
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I agree with everyone that said this hostel was fake and over rated! The image they TRIED to promote was one of alternative lifestyles and an atmosphere away from the commercial main stream - which it wasn't at all!! The fact that the prices were out of control, in my mind, contradicts the essence of this lifestyle...why would these people that don't give into commercial comformity want to buy a cotton Arts Factory G-string for 15 DOLLARS!!! But obviously there is sufficient demand as they're able to sell them! I also couldn't believe that it cost $16 a night each to cram your tent into a space half the size of it! But then the high prices suddenly became clear when I was informed that the hostel was building holiday retreat-like guest houses right next to the hostel! No wonder they can afford this luxury quart - they're charging us poor backpackers ridiculous prices so they can provide state of the art living for those more well off! Now I don't mind facilities that are a little run down, I am a back packer...but it would be nice to have a few more elements in the kitchen for the amount of people that are staying there! They did recieve one star though, and that was for the AMAZING fire show! Props to the peeps who put that on! I met some cool people there but ultimately just couldn't stand the atmosphere and went camping right across the beach which had awesome facilities and was only $12 a night:) If you want to sleep in a real teepee or Mongolian Yurt go to Berri Backpackers in SA, it's the BEST!!! Cheers!

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Anonymous
Stay there a highlight of Aus
30 October 2005
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The lost star is for the kitchen getting closed at night always hate that especailly if you have an early start in the morning and can't get breakfast. Was there Oct last year and this is deffinetly different, very Nimbin and Byron Bay, hippe style and the utter opposite of places like Base and YHA etc... Everyone's mentioned the activities... had a go at the didge and poi lessons, the teepee was also soooo cool. This is a place to get creative if staying there with some of the campers having their own little workshops so a place to stay a while. Walk to the beach or town is annoying but not too bad. Deffinetley spend some time here as this place is an activity in itself, a must see and stay in one of the novelty beds ie teepee, etc. Yeah Cheeky Monkeys is fun but Mr Bewhere the Crusties why did you leave your home town if all you want to do is get pissed. You travel to see different things and this deffinetely is different. This place rocked just get rid of the nazi kitchen closing time some can wander in for a midnight snack. Oh and if going to Nimbin go on a Sunday so you see Channon Market which is very flower children hippie and looked like the real Nimbin while the Nimbin High street seems more to make cash from the 'legal' dope for the town to fund the flower children creative alternative area. Go even if you don't want any herbal highs... Better still keep the cookies for a trip to Infinity in Surfers Paradise

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Anonymous
The nunnery rocks
10 September 2005
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I stayed at the arts factory for 5 nights. I was in a dorm the first night which was a bitt small and cramped but the next day moved to the nunnery which was fab. A 6 bed cottage, it had its own washroom and kitchen and was only 4 dollars more than the dorms. The entertainment was excellent. I would definately go back

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Anonymous
beware of the crusties
23 August 2005
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the arts factory is unlike any other hostel in oz really and feels more like a goa hippy retreat, you will meet the best and worst people here, there is always hugely pretentious middle class trust fund bohemians there that are so into their slacker persona you just want to give them a slap!!!, in five years they'll all be through that 'phase' and be working in banks and driving bmws. All the normal people there tend to band together as anti crusties and have a good time at cheeky monkeys getting ass drunk. The thing is about the arts factory though under all the gloss it is only a half decent hostel and some of the prices the charge for the tee pees and dorms is well expensive, its often dirty (though recently its been getting better with more backpacker cleaners) and its a long long way from the town centre and often the shuttle bus driver cant be arsed to come into town enough. O.K but not worth the hype

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Anonymous
a tricky one
23 April 2005
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This place is very very cool - a cinema, buddha bar, entertainment everynight, great staff and amazing atmosphere (oh and a nice swimming pool). But it is looking a bit tired and its swamp like location is a bit oppressive. the fact is a fair way from town doesn't matter as theres a free shuttle. The dorms are great but having seen the tents by the swamp and how dank they look its really worth asking for a proper dorm. I did have a wicked time but damn is it expensive $29 for a big dorm....

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Anonymous
for the bad reviews
23 April 2005
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Yes there are yuppie/hippies there. Yes the peace, love and anything vegatarian can get very tiring, but on the plus side you wont be bored. With such a diverse crowed, the entertainment was to just sit and people watch. Where else are you going to see a Isrial man wearing pink spandex, dancing to trance music by himself?? So if you go keep in mind that this place harbours alot of unorganic (sad they missed the 60's) tree huggers, but on the other hand you won't find another circus masquerading as a hostel anywhere else.

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Anonymous
Not worth the hype
19 April 2005
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After studying abroad on exchange I had visited quite a few hostels in Australia. I thought that the Arts Factory was so-so compared to the others. A few of my friends recommended the place, so on my trip to Byron Bay I stayed there for 2 nights. Some good things: I loved the atmosphere, the Buddha Bar with the live Reggae music was really Byron Bay...Now the bad things: The showers were horrible. My shower consisted of a streaming line of water, whereas my friends shower flooded the entire bathroom. And if you want a hot shower forget it if there is anyone else within a 5 kilometer radius also taking another shower. THe rooms were okay, but dirty. The beds were obviously old, but not the worst I've seen. The staff were UNHELPFUL. They were too busy acting cool than actually helping their customers. And they apparently don't work anyways because the front desk is closed from 1:30 to 4:30. It was annoying to have the hostel so far from the centre of town...walking was horrible when trying to carry anything. And their buses run about 10 times a day, (if that) not 14 like they say. Overall, a semi-okay experience, but there are definately better places to stay.

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Anonymous
Came for 3 days, stayed for 3 weeks
19 April 2005
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This place has a life of its own. If you were only paid till monday. They would knock on your door the monday morning, a big guy with a tootoo would come in and place candy in your hand and say "goodmorning, its time to check out" If you decided to camp, you were in the jungle area. There was a python in the girls bathroom, that everyone would say hi to every morning when brushing there teeth. There is a pillow on the floor movie theater, vegetaian indian food restaurant, and a gathering place by the pool that is alway full of people. Everyone who stays there is a character. You will never be board. On top of all that, The place is clean and maintained well. And the staff are having as much fun as you!

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kathryndodd
Excellent, pity about the wet hippy
16 September 2004
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I stayed here with my cousin in December 2003. We had the most amazing time! We were worried that it would be a bit of a trek into town, but there were buses really frequently and it didn't take too long to walk if you were out too late! There was so much to do at the Arts Factory that you didn't even have to go into town! The cinema was great, so was the Yoga, volleyball and fire-twirling! The only reason why I didn't give it 5 stars was that one night we came back to our dorm to find this girl passed out on my bed. She obviously hadn't washed in a long time and was soaking wet from becoming one with nature in the rain. I thought it was really funny and part of the experience, but when i couldn't dry the bed or get rid of the smell, it wasn't quite as funny! The girl was really apologetic and had entered the wrong room. But other than that i would definately recommend staying here and would stay here again!

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Feee
Find Yourself
17 August 2004
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I stayed at the Arts Factory with my boyfriend on the recommendation of a friend. We chose a cube (based on the picture on the web). It cost a whopping $60! We arrived at night so probably not the best time to get a feel for the place -a dingy scruffy tent with very little light greeted us. We had hoped to join in on some of the activities, go to the cinema and see the aboriginal show as well as the daytime stuff - but on top of $60 for our scruffy tent we thought they were over-priced. The kitchen is akwardly designed and the place seems to attract mainly 'finding myself' types who are so full of contradictions - they'll do anything to appease the opinions of their 'cool' travel companions! If I heard one more person call the TV 'a b*****d box' and question why anyone would want to watch the Olympics I think I would have screamed!! Only good thing about the place was the birdlife which sang a dawn chorus over the lake which thankfully we were close to!

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karen1979
Good but not as good as the hype
23 June 2004
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This place is kind of different to most of the hostels I have stayed in but its not as "alternative" and "hippyish" etc as it makes out to be in all its advertisements. The facilities are pretty good and its only about 5 minutes out of town. They have yoga lessons, talent shows and quizzes etc. The BBQ was pretty good too. The rooms weren't the cleanest I have been in but not the dirtiest either. There were a lot of wannabe hippies getting stoned when I was there - I found it a bit cliched but maybe that's just me. I wouldn't say "don't stay here" but just don't expect too much! :-)

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callum smith
This place made our trip
15 June 2004
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wonderful place to visit. If I could give this place 5 and a half stars I would. Me and my girlfriend stayed here on our way up the coast and ended up staying 2 weeks in Byron when we'd planned to stay only for 3 days - I think that happens to alot of people at the Arts Factory! We stayed in one of the double rooms which was called a cube, it was really cosy all wooden and homely. We were a bit disappointed when we were travelling back down the coast and stayed there again to find that all the cubes had been stripped down and replaced with metal and plastic fittings. We were told that they had to get rid of the wood so there wouldn't be any more bed bugs which I guess is a good thing but they're not as cosy as they used to be. That was our only (small) problem with it though. This place is truly fantastic and I couldn't recommend it highly enough to all the other people we met travelling, and I will definately be going back there next time I am in that area. Reasons I loved the Arts Factory: It's set in it's own space just out of town so you can really feel like you're away from it all All the people there are really nice and friendly They have a great bar and have good dj's coming through They have a good activities programme including fire twirling classes (something I never thought I would find myself doing!!!!), yoga, pool competition, sunrise tour and more

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sarai anders
no more boredom
9 June 2004
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hey guys, i came to byron for only one day because i haven't heard anything good about this place except that it is a pretty touristy town. well, when i got out of the bus a really handsome busdriver asked me if i already got accomodation and handed me a 3 dollar off voucher. he drove me to the artsfactory and you won't believe it, but i had the best time of my life over there. i ended up staying for 8 days even though i actually wanted to get a job in brisbane and was on the run. the people are just the nicest ever, guests and staff! everybody is really helpfull and tries to keep you busy. everyday they were offering something to do. lots of free live entertainment. i even learned how to draw! some people were complaining about the high rates this hostel has, but i am telling you, they offer so much stuff for free, that it is really worth it. i really loved the sunrise tours which were run by a really funny couple. everybody's spirit is just so uplifting and laid back, that i really hated to leave that place. i reckon you could spend weeks in this hostel. it's unlike any other hostel i have seen till now and i am travelling in australia for 7 month now. it is like a little village and you don't even have to go into town if you don't want to. even though it is winter you can do lots of stuff here and it is even warm enough during the day to go to the beach. at night they have a fire in the communal living room which is really great. i slept in a huge tent called teepee. they even had a fire in there and the security would come at night to check on it so it would not run out. well, all i can say is check out the artsfactory, it is a great place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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helena roberts
best in byron
23 May 2004
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We initially stayed at another hostel in town when we got to Byron, because we thought the Arts Factory was way out of town. The other place was cramped and noisy and dirty so we moved to the Arts Factory and had a really great time there. Ended staying in Byron much longer than had planned! The staff at the Arts Factory were really friendly and there were always fun activities going on there. They have the coolest bar in that place, with good Dj's playing all the time -it's better than any other hostel bar I have ever been to anywhere! The Arts Factory was really laid back and relaxed as Byron should be, and it was nice to be out of town (although it was not too far out of town as it turned out). I think it's the best place to stay in byron for sure.

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razzamatazz
BED BUGS BEWARE
21 May 2004
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I stayed at the arts factory for 16 days it was great being out of town from the hustle and bustle and the activities were great although expensive we stayed in the dorm than moved into the cube . where my boyfriend got bitten rather bad from bed bugs there was quite a bad outbreak whille we were there and the place should be closed down so all rooms can be properly cleaned to get rid of them they were quite full grown bugs they didnt even offer to put our clothes in the dryer for us or to pay for it they also didnt give us a free nights accomodation for the bugs especially since we got them in a room that cost $80 per night and had already been there 15 days before we said anything. this was the first backpackers ive ever stayed in and it was a bit dissappointing. the breaky meals there were great. I thought from the internet site that bongo lessons might have been free for the first go ,the showers are also really quite dirty unless you shower early in the mourning you also feel that becuase they have a rule of everything off the floor for cleaning or else goes to charity that you dont feel safe leaving any thing out of pack in your room incase one of the dodgy staff take it for them selves. Idid love byron though there is heaps of stuff to do and meals are quite reasonable but i would stay somewhere else next time

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