I’m not even sure why I decided to stop in Port Macquarie. I had just spent three days in tiny Newcastle, so I wanted something bigger, but wasn’t ready to take the nearly ten hour bus to Byron Bay. I just booked a few nights there, just in case I didn’t like it. Unfortunately, the bus didn’t get to Port Mac until 1 a.m. and I would have to walk to the hostel and find my key in the middle of the night. I was not thrilled by this. Thankfully, the owner of Ozzie Pozzie Backpackers, Richard, told two other girls on the same bus to look out for me and we could walk together. “Are you Caroline?” I heard a Scottish accent ask me. I met Sam and Sarah, two girls from St. Andrews (home to golf and formerly Wills & Kate).
We stumbled into our room in the middle of the night and weren’t sure what to think. When I saw the hostel in daylight, I was already in love. It has this laid-back beach vibe that reminded me of the houses we used to rent on the Alabama and Florida coasts, with names like “Sea Breeze” and “Fantasea.” The free internet access and breakfast only added to the appeal.
I like my hostels quirky and Ozzie Pozzie is just that. I’m not even sure what made me love it there so much. Maybe because of the staff, Richard, Phil, Simon and Brad. They planned trips to cellar doors and pizza nights. Maybe because of the fellow guests who made up Team Scotland. Maybe even because of a few particularly fuzzy goon nights.
When Phil asked what I was going to write about Ozzie Pozzie, I said I would call it an insane asylum, which it is. But because I’ve been so spoilt by Ozzie Pozzie, I haven’t loved any of the hostels I’ve stayed in since. Their brochure says, “Warning: You may never want to leave.” And it’s so true.
*I received one free night at Ozzie Pozzie but I obviously loved it, which is why I paid for two additional nights. My opinions are entirely my own.*