Our mission is to provide modern, clean and eco-friendly

accommodation right in the heart of Woolgoolga


Woopi Backpackers is a socially and environmentally responsible company. We aim to protect the environment and the local community. Woopi Backpackers was built with the environment in mind;


  • We use gas hot water systems with a 6 Star energy rating, this will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions significantly
  • All lighting installed is LED energy efficient globes
  • Our bathrooms have unique water saving rain shower heads
  • We used recycled building materials where possible during construction
  • Most of our furniture is handmade, upcycled or donated from the local community


Our POS System is Square, a wireless and paperless device which supports chip cards and NFC payments. Guests have the option to receive digital copy receipts over email or via text message.

Supporting the local community

Given the small town nature of Woolgoolga, we care about the community and the impression our business and guests make. Woopi Backpackers is built by locals for locals;


  • Owned and operated by local people
  • Built by local trades
  • Investigating in the assistance of other local businesses


Our aim is to encourage backpackers to shop local and support the community.


Site photography  by: Lyss and Her Camera, and Robert Watkin.

Meet our team

Sam Newman

Owner operator and onsite manager

Sam is a fourth generation Woopi local who has big dreams for this tiny town. There’s not much in this world that he hasn’t explored, Central and North America, Asia, Europe and most of Australia to name a few. Despite being an experienced and enthusiastic traveller, Sam aspires to put his tiny town on the map by inviting curious, adventurous and fun loving travellers to stay at his new backpacker accommodation. He has a diverse resume filled with varying skills; from working as a lab technician in a compounding pharmacy while at uni, bartending and teaching in London, geology and mining in rural Australia and now as a business owner in Woolgoolga. Interestingly, whilst visiting a friend in Nicaragua he helped build highly sustainable, eco-friendly homes also known as ‘earth huts’, and this is where some of his ideas came from when building Woopi Backpackers.


The inspiration for opening a backpackers came after years working in the mines showed Sam that in that industry you are just a number and your livelihood is dependant on the price of coal. Growing tired of working for others and missing home, because in Woolgoolga you are somebody, he returned and began the dream of owning and operating his own business. A backpackers fulfilled this dream because Sam noticed the town’s booming Blueberry industry and its attraction for working travellers, but lack of affordable, short-term accommodation.


Sam plans to use all of his acquired knowledge, local insight and travel experience to facilitate the most comfortable, yet exciting stay for all of his guests.


Rebecca Newman

Business partner

Bec is actually Sam’s twin sister! As well as the same last name they also share a love for travel, in fact she may have even visited more places than him (don’t tell him that). Whilst living in London she traveled all over Europe expanding her interests in history and art, she also worked in a Science Museum, how cool is that! Back on Australian soil Bec still enjoys the diversity, she’s lived in different states, different cities, isolated rural and coastal towns. When Sam expressed his interest in opening a backpackers in their hometown, Bec jumped at the opportunity to get involved, offering her time and investment. Since working for brands such as Travelex and Mastercard we hope to use her extensive experience in dealing with the travel industry to perfect what our business has to offer.


Though not being permanently situated in the area she will be using her own unique skills and knowledge when contributing ideas to make Woopi Backpackers a lively and enjoyable atmosphere for locals and its guests.

Emily Portsmouth

Admin, marketing and events manager

Emily is a young Woopi local who is passionate about sharing the fondness she has for her beautiful home town. She has travelled to various parts of the world, visiting places such as Japan, New Zealand, The Pacific Islands, America and most recently living in Canada for a working ski holiday. Though she enjoys exploring overseas she has learnt that there really is no place like home! Having lived in large cities and small towns along the east coast of Australia she has a broad insight into what our beautiful country has to offer, and will gladly share her best kept secrets of the most special places to make your holiday experience as fulfilling as possible. Growing up in Woolgoolga and loving the beach Emily has always been an active member of the Surf Life Saving community, therefore is well equipped to answer any questions you may have about the town or inform you on important surf safety tips.


With a Bachelor’s Degree in Business- Event Management, Emily is eager to start planning some inventive and exciting events for our guests and the people of Woopi to enjoy.