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Melaleuca Surfside Backpackers
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Reviews (65)
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33 - 38 of 65 reviews
Reviewed 15 March 2013

I came to Melaleuca just after new year for one week! Mick and Michelle were very helpful and very friendly! The use of a push bike to get to the shops was great and the discount pass for the busses given was very helpful and made traveling very cheap.
The sand-boarding trip with Mick is great! This trip is well worth doing. Also the scooter hire available is great for $65 per day i found to be a bargain! The facility's of the hostel are good and the place is very clean.

I will most defiantly be visiting the Melaleuca backpackers again and iam sure i will have just as a great experience as i did last time!

Stayed: January 2013, travelled solo
Thank Seb_chef_jones
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2012

We arrived at the camp site and were quick shocked to find that the camping area was adjacent to a main-ish road. We were expecting a quiet tranquil spot. (If you are a backpacker though the rooms are at the back so you will be OK).

We were travelling with 4 families (8 children aged from 3 years to 9 years.) The children spotted a kangaroo and were about 100 metres from it when one of the owners literally screamed at them to come to back. She told them to come to her while she explained about the kangaroo. She absolutely freaked the children out. Explaining that the kangaroo is a wild animal that it could "kick you really hard and hurt you, scratch you badly, if it is sucking on a tent wire and knocking your tent do not knock it back from the inside because it will RIP YOUR TENT OPEN. She then proceeded to tell us about the wild possums that can draw blood. All of this was told in such an aggressive manner and the kids were getting really scared. One of our kids put her hand up and said her friend has a pet kangaroo too and this woman practically snapped her head off saying there are no pet kangaroos allowed in Australia (even though clearly this is a pet kangaroo)...the adults were all looking at this lady with our mouths agape we just couldn't believe her manner and aggressive tone. The final straw was when their dog ran up to our son and jumped up at him and she shouted at my son and said "don't encourage the dog to jump up on you" It was at that stage my husband said something. Our children have been camping before in national parks and know how to deal with wildlife. Definitely a talk to the children by the owner could have been had in a calm manner not aggressive and offensive. This lady left such a bad taste in our mouths and what with the proximity of the camping area to the road we decided that we weren't going to stay there so went across the road to One Mile Beach Caravan park but unfortunately they were full. So we went back. About an hour later we took the kids to the toilets and the water wasn't working. This lady was near the toilets so we asked nicely if there was something wrong with the water. She snapped at us and said a plumber is coming, when we asked how long it would be she snapped back saying "how would I know".
In the end we had a nice time and made the most of it. We virtually had the whole camp site to ourselves. The kangaroo came at night and was looking for food as did all the other wildlife but that is the beauty of camping in the bush so that didn't bother us. The grassed area was really big so the kids could run around and have fun.
If you are a backpacker the accommodation was great, great common room and facilities.
It looks like the place is run by 2 couples and we were just not in luck with the lady we had. The guy on the desk was lovely and very accommodating.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Shelley H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MelaleucaSurfside, Owner at Melaleuca Surfside Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded 19 February 2013

Melaleuca is a relaxed establishment but it is Private Property and we do have Rules, Boundaries and Limitations, just as everyone and everywhere else does, and we do expect ALL GUESTS to abide by them.
If the road that runs past this property was going to be an issue for you, surely the members of your group that stayed here previously could have mentioned it to you. Additionally it did not stop you from trying to change accommodation to the caravan park that shares the same "main-ish road" with us, as you have now clearly confirmed this was your real intention when you told my husband that the group was taking the children to the beach for a swim, instead of checking in.
Normal courteous practice when visiting any establishment, EVEN when you are camping, is to "Check In" upon arrival.
After over 2 hours, and 3+ requests from myself, and then my husband at least twice (while you were setting up), the adults of this group finally decided to do this, surely you must understand how infuriating this is for any accommodation provider. We know that the caravan park was not full, and can only guess that you preferred the car free, spacious grassed camp area of Melaleuca to the confines of a caravan park camp site.
While you profess that your 3 - 8 year olds are "experienced" with wildlife, their actions of running and screaming freely across the property unattended (after 3 hours cooped up in a car) at the animals we care for is completely unacceptable and dangerous, not only for the children, but our wildlife as well. (see the previous review) If you had listened to the induction, as the children did, you would know that we do native animal care, rescue and rehabilitation on site, if you had listened perhaps you wouldn't have wasted the RSPCA's time in sending them out.
It is disappointing that you believe that the children were scared at the induction, the same one that thousands of people (young and old) listen to each year. While the parents wandered around the camp site, the children were asking (yelling over the top of each other) multiple questions about the wildlife and the rules they were asked to follow during their stay, NO children were EVER abused or yelled at. If the parents had followed normal protocol and checked in at the office upon arrival, not the children; this confusion would have been alleviated - you could have told the children the rules yourselves.
During the course of the day you arrived the water was indeed shut off for approximately half an hour, after the water mains burst. It is disappointing to hear that your interpretation of what was told to the lady in the Kitchen of "You will be the first to know, when it comes back on" is so far from the truth.
Overall your visit to Melaleuca was an upsetting experience for all involved, I am sure none of us will have to worry about that again, as no doubt you will now all seek alternate caravan park accommodation if you visit this area again. Safe travels to you all.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2012

.I was bitten by a possum which drew blood and kept awake all night by the resident petI kangaroo trying to enter my tent. On the twelve time this happened I awoke frightened and reacted by knocking the kangaroo with my hand {not hard enough to dissuade it from returning mind you!}. I took all this in good humour but was uncertain of the health affects of the possum bite, so I contacted the owner in the morning. The owner
joked about growing large ears from the possum bite and then barred me from the site for hitting his kangaroo.
I have since been to a doctor who informs me there are several potential deadly diseases humans can get from possums: lyme disease, rickettsia and leptospirosis to name but three.
The owners have a deluded view on their wildlife/ pets and should call it a zoo: this is not a safe or restful place for tenting.

Room Tip: the huts and kitchens looked good.
Stayed: October 2012, travelled solo
2  Thank Benjamin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MelaleucaSurfside, Owner at Melaleuca Surfside Backpackers, responded to this reviewResponded 5 November 2012

It is a shame that, as an educator yourself Ben, you could not heed the information you were given upon arrival in your extensive induction regarding the wildlife that resides on the property here at Melaleuca, particularily not to feed anything, and sadly you must have ignored the signs about the place stating the same, as the only way a wild possum could have bitten you was if you were trying to catch or feed it.
I can assure you as a wildlife rescuer and rehabilitator for many years that Lymes disease is not proven to be in Australia, and as with all wild animal bites proper cleaning of your wounds is important, it is uneccesary though to disperse falsities to create fear.
You were indeed asked to leave the premise (and also thanked for your honesty) when you joked with the other guests - in front of staff, about "Punching the kangaroo in the head!".
The kangaroo, "Josephine" has been hand reared and lives on the property, she has been here for in excess of 6 years and you, as well as all the other guests that camp here are told exactly how to deal with her, it is a shame you didn't seek further advice from the staff when you were here,surely you must understand that as a Wildlife Sanctury and retreat that we have ZERO tolerance for cruelty to animals.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2012

This place is extremely Nice, clean , good location.
U can explore the nature, they have a kangoo that lives insides the camping. Clean kitchen and good toilets. The owners are very friendly and helpfull

Room Tip: Bring a good wine and enjoy the nature
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jorge M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2012

We arrived with our campervan very late, and going anywhere else was not an option since it would be too late. To get to the office you would have to walk on a path between the trees while trying your best to avoid the spider webs. The staff gave us the friendliest welcome that we have gotten anywhere in Australia so the first impression was really good. The area where you can park your camp-ervan is full of bugs though. I am not the one that is too scared of these kind of creatures since I have lived in Australia and have gotten used to it, but this was over the top for me. The solution was a bottle of wine to get a bit braver and a warm night in the camping-car without any doors or windows open. Result = no bites and no bugs in the car, but one very swetty boyfriend and a lack of fresh air. The place is however very charming. They have a lot of cute possums around, and a kenguru that lives there. The kenguru would come into the kitchen area and is used to having people around. Just remember not to touch the animials, feed them or take flash fotography of any of the animals. The only reason why they have some birds in cages is that one of the owners help injured birds in order to return them to the wild again when they are better. The kitchen is nice and well equipped. It is not the cleanest of places, and expect a lot of spiders around. Just look up and you'll see them all over. This place would be perfect for anybody used to camping in Australia and not worried about ticks and other bugs.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank MissTravelFreak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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