Pick An Excuse, Any Excuse

13 March 2008

The Haven Hostel in Alice Springs has churned out a variety of excuses for the expulsion from their hostel of a group of Aboriginal women and girls who were attending a lifesaving course, organised by the Royal Lifesaving Association. 

We’ve had:

1.    They were causing a disturbance

2.    Other residents felt threated by them

3.    The hostel caters only for foreign tourists and isn’t suitable for Australians

4.    They insisted on leaving

Incidentally, I believe they were only in the hostel for about 30 minutes before they were asked to leave.  I understand that the Northern Territory Government has said that they would appear to have very good grounds for legal action.

The Haven has now put a statement up on its website which is basically a re-run of Excuse No. 4.   The Haven is part of a group called Adventure Tours Australia.  One of their selling points is that the traveller will be able to experience the “Aboriginal culture of each area visited”.  If there really were complaints from other residents, one can only assume that they didn’t realise they were going to experience this “Aboriginal Cultural Experience” at such close quarters. 

Should you wish to discuss this matter further with the hostel concerned, please visit their website which contains their email address.   I would love to know what replies you receive,  and I’ll let you know if and when I get a reply.


  1. Thanks for that- I’ve sent an email and will report any response.

  2. Sorry for the late comment

    When i was younger and in my backpacker days, i was incensed to find out that in South Africa, nearly all hostels have a rule that they won’t allow anyone with a South African passport to stay in the hostel, becuase they only wanted overseas travellers. As someone who’d backpacked across most of Africa, to find that my own country wouldn’t let me stay in a hostel was highly frustrating. I suspect the motivation behind this rule was very similar to the Alice Springs hostel – however in SA, this wasn’t exactly news headlines material at the time.

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