An oddity in the YHA hostel world – a small top floor hostel set of rooms atop a Caravan Park’s restrooms and pool changing rooms/showers. Located in a caravan park, this hostel goes for about 36 Australian dollars a night per bed and is located in the Albury/Wodonga warehouse district, near the Hume Weir, Ettamogah Pub, and the Jindera Pioneer Museum. It is close transit from Mt Buffalo, major ski resorts, and Falls Creek. It is also located near the River and harbour. The Caravan park has free wifi/internet access, a swimming pool, a TV room, a self-catering kitchen, and a basic store. I found the hostel was not atypical of standard YHA layout, with dank dark rooms, and not much to do. A really nice self-catering kitchen was poolside with some areas to leisure. It was very basic and high priced for what was offered. However, the staff was friendly, helpful, and attentive. Rating : 2.75 stars out of 5. Review by Tom Baurley.
In the heartland of New South Wales just bordering Victoria, Australia lies the small agricultural town of Albury which serves as a major regional center for New South Wales along the Hume Highway and the Murray River. In Aborigine, this area is called “Mungabareena” or “place of plenty talk”. It is NSW’s second largest inland city next to Wagga Wagga with a whopping 53,507 inhabitants. The River Murray separates it from its Victoria twin city “Wodonga”, which if counted as one, would have a population in excess of 90,000. The area was once infamous for its orchards and vineyards bu has since been over developed by housing. Ecologically the area is known for Lake Hume that is along the Murray River that is home to the Hume (or Weir) Dam that provides 60 Megawatts of power to the state of New South Wales. Surrounded by the Murray River flats in the Great Dividing Range’s foothills, Albury sits atop 539 feet above sea level. With warm temperate seasonal climates, the summers range from warm to hot with cool to mild winters, and an experience of all four seasons throughout the year. Albury is home to agriculture, business, railways, and commerce. It is home to the Australian pizza chain known as “Eagle Boys”. It is also a stronghold for Australian rules football especially with the Ovens and Murray Football League. THe Mugabareena Reserve is located along the Murray River just south of the airport giving significant aboriginal attention and importance to the Albury area. While the area has been inhabited by Aborigine for tens of thousands of years, the first white settlers arrived in November 1824 and called “Crossing Point” for its popular crossing place across the Murray River where explorer Hovell inscribed the name in a tree. These settlers built the first European buildings at the Crossing with a provisions store and small residential huts. The town was named after the Kent England village “Albury” as it shared resemblance. The settlement expanded in 1847 to two public houses, a handful of huts, police barracks, and a blacksmiths. THe main bridge was built in 1860 and the area became a customs post between the two colonies as New South Wales and Victoria. The area was habitated by a significant population of German immigrants who began harvesting grapes in the area for wine production. By the 1870’s it was home to several wineries, a butter factory, a flower mill, a cider brewery, and a soft drink manufacturer. By 1881 the railway from Sydney arrived and by 1888 Albury received its first school house. Also popular for theater performance groups it was home to the Flying Fruit Fly Circus in 1979. Albury is also greatly known for the outdoor recreation area of Lake Hume and Mitta Mitta river that is 10 kilometers upstream of the city that gives hydro-electrical power to the city.