australia travel guide
Australia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. If you love outdoor activities, it will be the perfect place for you!
Of course, there is plenty to do in the cities and you will find some amazing landmarks in Sydney, Melbourne or Perth. But the true beauty of Australia is nature.
You will find some of the most beautiful beaches in the world but also amazing mountains, waterfalls and lakes.
Australia is full of National parks and they are all extraordinary!
Another reason to visit Australia is wildlife. Don’t we all dream to see kangaroos, koalas, wombats and all the other native-Australian animals?
The best way to explore this big country is by car. Road trips are the way to go down under and they won’t disappoint you! If you don’t want to buy or rent a car, do not worry. You can easily get to the main cities by plane and go on a tour from there.
In this ultimate Australia travel guide, you will discover everything you need to know to help you plan your trip!
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost for you!
Practical information about Australia
Let’s start with the basics! Here are a few things you need to know about Australia before we dive into the cool stuff.
Capital city: Canberra
States: There are 7 states in Australia: New South Wales (NSW), Queensland (QLD), Northern Territory (NT), Victoria (VIC), Tasmania (TAS), Western Australia (WA) and Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
Currency: Australian Dollar
If you need to exchange some money, getting a Transferwise travel card will be the best thing to do.
Australian English is a bit different compared to British or American English. There are a few words that are completely different and of course, the accent, however, it’s nothing to be worried about. As a general thing, it’s pretty easy to understand.
Power plugs: Australian plugs are Type I (230V voltage/50Hz). They have a triangular shape. They are used in Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina. If you don’t come from one of these countries, you will need an international adapter.
Things to do in Australia
There is no shortage of beautiful places in Australia. Whether you love mountains, beaches, hikes or city breaks, you will have it!
There are many different climates in Australia which means that you will also find different kinds of landscapes. The north is tropical, Tasmania is pretty cold, Victoria has a very continental climate.
Major cities in Australia
Melbourne: Capital of the state of Victoria, Melbourne is known to be a vibrant and dynamic city. It’s also the cultural capital of Australia.
You will find a lot of museums, festivals and artists. The city is very famous for its amazing street art and cosmopolitan influences.
Melbourne is a great place to start your travels in Australia. It’s easily accessible, the city is amazing and there are many day trips and road trip opportunities.
Melbourne is surrounded by beautiful places such as the Great Ocean Road, the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula.
Sydney: Home to the most famous opera house in the world, Sydney is a city everyone should visit at some point. You can easily fly to Sydney as it’s the biggest airport in Australia. The best sights and landmarks are Sydney Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay, Bondi Beach, Manly and of course the Opera House.
There are also a lot of day trips you can take from Sydney including the Blue Mountains and Royal National Park.
Brisbane: Located in Queensland, Brisbane is perfect for people who want a bit more of a tropical vibe. From there, you can go on a road trip along the east coast and discover stunning places such as Rainbow Beach, Noosa or Byron Bay.
Adelaide: Capital of South Australia, Adelaide is often overlooked by visitors. The city itself is fairly small and although it’s a very pleasant place to live, it’s true that the CBD doesn’t have as much to offer as Melbourne or Sydney. However, the surroundings are stunning! From Adelaide, you can go to Kangaroo Island, the Barossa Valley, the Flinders Ranges or start the ultimate road trip to Uluru or Darwin.
Darwin: Located at the top end of Australia, Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory. It’s the smallest state capital in the country but shouldn’t be overlooked. There are a lot of cheap international flights (especially to/from Bali getting into Darwin) which means that it can be a good starting point.
More importantly, Darwin offers a completely different universe from any other Australian city and that is quite interesting.
From there, you can easily get to the breath-taking Kakadu and Litchfield National Park.
Perth: Capital of Western Australia, Perth used to be a mining town but grew quickly in recent years to become one of the trendiest cities in the country. Life in Perth is easy and relaxing but can also be adventurous! From there, you can go on many day trips or road trips to discover the most beautiful sites in Western Australia.
Hobart: Capital of Tasmania, Hobart is a great place to start exploring this beautiful state. You will find loads of cultural activities such as the MONA, Tasmanian Museum and Salamanca markets. You can also go on day trips to Freycinet National Park.
Most beautiful places in Australia
Australia offers a wide variety of landscapes. From the tropical lands in Queensland to the desert in Northern Territory, you will find all sorts of beautiful sites. Here is a quick overview of the most beautiful places in Australia.
Great Barrier Reef: located along the coast of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the most unique ecosystems in the world. It stretches over 2,300 km and is home to thousands of species. Amongst all the reefs, the most famous is the heart reef.
Whitsunday Islands: this archipelago is formed of 74 islands and is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Whitehaven Beach. It’s a great destination if you like sailing or want to enjoy a relaxing holiday. Hamilton Island is known for its luxury resorts. There are many things you can do in the Whitsundays including snorkelling, diving, flying and skydiving.[
12 apostles: situated on the Great Ocean Road, in Victoria, the 12 apostles are an amazingly beautiful natural landmark. It’s a great place to stop at during your GOR road trip, especially at sunset or sunrise.
Phillip Island is one of the best day trips from Melbourne. It’s particularly famous for the penguin parade but also offer great hiking opportunities. You can easily access it by car, via the bridge.
Uluru Kata Tjuta is Australia’s most iconic landmark. We all saw photos of it and visiting it is an amazing experience. Uluru is a sacred aboriginal site and if you want to learn more about the native-Australian culture, this is the perfect place! If you love hiking, the valley of the winds walk in Kata Tjuta will blow your mind (pun not intended 😉 )
Kangaroo Island is a fairly large island located in South Australia. It’s often overlooked by first-time visitors but has so much to offer! It’s like a miniature version of Australia. Red soil, kangaroos, koalas, white-sand beaches… you have it all on Kangaroo Island!
Flinders Ranges: this amazing national park in South Australia features amazing mountains views and hiking trails. From Wilpena, you can go to St Mary’s Peak and enjoy the wonderful views over the range of peaks.
Blue Mountains: located near Sydney, this amazing national park is perfect for hikers. You will find many walking trails, waterfalls and of course, the stunning three sisters lookout! The mountains are covered with gumtrees that give them this blue hallow, hence the name. They are also the subject of loads of aboriginal legends
Jervis Bay: home to Hyams Beach, the whitest beach in the world, Jervis Bay is perfect for people who want to enjoy a relaxing holiday. They are many beautiful beaches and a lot of them are dog-friendly. You will also find two stunning national parks: Jervis Bay and Booderee. They both offer great walks. Finally, it’s a great winter destination for whale watching.
Byron Bay: if you are into surfing and want to discover a hippie town, Byron Bay will be perfect for you! Cape Byron Lighthouse and Byron Bay main beach are the most popular spots but there are also plenty of amazing day trips you can take from there.
Cradle Mountain: Located in the North West of Tasmania, Cradle Mountain is known as a hiker paradise. It features some of the most beautiful views in Australia!
Lake Hillier is Australia’s most famous pink lake! Situated in Western Australia, in the region of Esperance, it’s one of the most unique natural landmarks in the world.
Diving and flying above the Great Barrier Reef: the best ways to experience the Great Barrier Reef is from the water and the sky. If you go diving, you will get to see the corals and fish up close. That’s so colourful and pretty! The other option is going on a scenic flight. You won’t get to see all the colours but you will get to understand how big and beautiful it is. You will also be able to admire the beautiful heart reef. Click here for more information and see the prices.
Driving a 4WD on Fraser Island: located near Hervey Bay, Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world. It’s home to the 75-mile beach, Eli Creek, the Champagne Pools, Lake McKenzie and Central Station. You can drive all the way up and down with a 4WD. If you don’t want to rent a vehicle, you can also opt for a tour of Fraser Island. Click here for more information and see the prices.[
Skydiving in Airlie Beach: there are many places where you can skydive in Australia but Airlie Beach is one of the best in terms of views. You will get to see both the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsundays. Pretty amazing! Click here for more information and see the prices.
Whale watching in Hervey Bay: in winter, the whales start their migration and go all the way up the east coast. Hervey Bay and Jervis Bay are both great places to see the whales! Click here for more information and see the prices.
Sailing in the Whitsundays: there is no better way to experience the Whitsunday islands than going sailing. There are many companies that offer sailing trips. My personal favourite is the Summertime cruise. They bring you to Whitehaven beach, snorkelling and sea kayaking! Click here for more information and see the prices.
Take a selfie with a quokka in Rottnest Island: located near Perth, Rottnest Island is famous for being home to many quokkas! These little smiley creatures can only be found in Western Australia. They are super friendly and love taking selfies! Click here for more information and see the prices.
Wine tasting in the Yarra Valley: there are many wine regions in Australia. One of the most popular is the Yarra Valley, just outside Melbourne. There are many wineries where you can go for lunch and taste wine! Click here for more information and see the prices.
Watching the sunset at Ubirr: located in Kakadu National Park, Ubirr is a popular sport to watch the sunset and learn more about the aboriginal culture. There are many rock paintings and walking tours.
Discover street art in Melbourne: the capital of Victoria is internationally renowned for its street art. If you head to Hosier or Fitzroy, you will discover some of the best murals in the world. Click here for more information and see the prices.
Climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge: this one is for thrill-seekers and city lovers! There are many places in Sydney where you can get beautiful views of the city however, nothing beats the thrill of climbing the Harbour Bridge. Click here for more information and see the prices.
Discover Bay of Fires: located in Tasmania, Bay of fires features very unique orange rocks and crystal-clear waters.
Stargazing in the Pinnacles desert: if you want to discover what a desert really looks like, the Pinnacles will be perfect for you. They are a sight to see during the day and in the evening become magical! You can see the entire milky way! Click here for more information and see the prices.
Be mind-blown by the Breakaways: located near Coober Pedy in South Australia, the Breakaways are Australia’s best-kept secret! It is a bit of bumpy ride to get there but it’s so worth it! The landscapes are magical, they look like a painting. Click here for more information and see the prices.
Go on a helicopter ride above King’s Canyon: if you are heading to Uluru, make sure you also check out King’s Canyon. You will find amazing walks there but one of the best ways to appreciate these stunning landscapes is from a helicopter! Click here for more information and see the prices.
Best road trips in Australia
Australia is the perfect country for a road trip. It’s vast and there is so much to see! More importantly, it’s a very cultural thing and loads of Australians take road trips each year. Because of that, the infrastructures are particularly adapted to this road trip culture. There are loads of rest areas and campsites everywhere!
Great Ocean Road: this is definitely the most famous road trip in Australia. The Great Ocean Road goes from Torquay and Allansford. If you drive all the way without stopping, it will only take you a few hours however it’s best to have at least 3 days ahead of you. That way, you will get to stop to all the main sights including the 12 apostles and Otway national park. It can also be part of a bigger road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide.
Sydney to Melbourne: there are two routes you can take to go from Sydney to Melbourne. The first one is the inland drive. It will take you through Canberra and the Alpine National Park. The second one is the coastal drive. It’s longer but also offers a bit more. You will get to discover Wilsons Promontory National Park, Phillip Island and Jervis Bay.
East Coast: this one is the most popular road trip in Australia. It will take you all the way from Sydney up to Cairns. You can also break it down in smaller road trips as if you do the full one you will need at least a month or 2 ahead of you. On this road trip, you will stop at Byron Bay, Brisbane, Fraser Island, the Whitsundays, Townsville and Cairns.
Adelaide to Darwin: if you are looking for an epic adventure in Australia, taking the ultimate road trip through the Outback and Red centre is the best thing you can do. It is quite a long road trip as well and will take about 1 month to complete. If you don’t have that much time, you can also break it and either do Alice Springs to Darwin or Adelaide to Uluru.
Perth to Broome: Western Australia is often overlooked by visitors. This is a shame because it has so much to offer! If you go on a road trip from Perth to Broome, you will get to see wonderful national parks such as Nambung and stop in wonderful places like Kalbarri, Shark Bay, Coral Bay or Monkey Mia.
Tasmania: This is a great road trip for adventurers! Tasmania has it all! You will discover stunning natural places such as Freycinet National Park, Wineglass Bay and Bay of Fires but also cultural and historical cities like Launceston and Hobart.
Planning a trip to Australia
Travelling in Australia is not particularly challenging. People speak English and it is a safe country. However, because it’s so far away and so big, it requires a bit of planning. You need to know what you are getting yourself into and how you are going to get around. Of course, you can just wing it (not the visa part though!) but you might end up wasting a lot of precious time. In this section, you will discover everything you need to know to plan your travels in Australia.
Best time to visit Australia
Australia is located in the southern hemisphere. This means that the seasons are reversed compared to Europe or North America. Summer is from December to February and winter from June to September.
This is very important as it can completely change your plans.
Due to the variety of climates in Australia, it can be difficult to recommend an ideal time to visit. It all depends on what you want to do.
If you are planning on visiting Queensland, Northern Territory and the northern part of Western Australia, July and August will be in winter, from May to October. This is the dry season and although it can get very hot still, it’s bearable.
The southern part of Australia, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, have more of a continental climate. A bit like in Europe. Therefore, visiting in summer is a better idea. November to February is the best time.
As you may have gathered now, it really all depends on where you want to go. A lot of people recommend going in September or October. The main reason for that is that the weather is kind of fine everywhere. I personally disagree with this because I think that in order to get the best of both worlds, you also get the worst of both worlds.
Obviously, if you are staying for a year (with a Working Holiday Visa), you will get to get the best of each season.
Here is a breakdown per state:
- Australian Capital Territory: March to May or September to November
- New South Wales: March to May or September to November
- Victoria: November to March
- Tasmania: December to February
- South Australia: November to March
- Western Australia: May to October
- Northern Territory: May to October
Visas for Australia
You will a visa to go to Australia (unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen).
There 3 types of visa you can get to visit Australia. They are all great options, it only depends on the time you want to spend in the country.
If you wish to stay for less than 3 months, you can opt for an Evisitor visa (subclass 651). It’s free and gives you the right to stay in Australia to travel, visit friends or business. You can apply online. It usually takes less than a day to be approved. The only thing about this one is that you need to be outside of Australia to apply.
If you wish to stay for more than 3 months and up to 12 months, you can go for either a work and holiday visa or a working holiday visa. They will essentially give you the same rights which are work and travel in Australia for up to a year. The only difference is the list of countries they are available for.
For example, if you hold an Argentinian passport you will have to go for the Work and Holiday visa. If you have a British passport, it will be the Working Holiday Visa.
They both cost $485. You usually get a reply within 48hours but it can take up to 2 or 3 months.
If that’s what you want to go for, you can also check out my Working Holiday guide to find more information about it.
Flights to Australia
The best way to get to Australia is by air. There are a few boat options from South East Asia and New Zealand but it’s way more hassle than it’s worth. Unless you are going on a special trip where you want to come to Australia with your own vehicle, you will want to fly.
Direct flights to Australia are hard to find because of the distance. If you are in the US, there are some from Hawai. If you are in Europe, there is one line (opened in 2019) from London to Perth. Anything else will include a layover or 2.
The most common places to stop by for a layover are Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Beijing. You can get great flight deals with Air China or Air Malaysia but the best airlines are Qatar, Qantas and Emirates.
To find the best deal, head to Skyscanner. Not only Skyscanner will compare all the prices out there but it will allow you to tweak your research to get to see the best deals. You can simply put “Australia” as a destination instead of a specific airport. This way, it will show you the best prices for any airport in Australia.
The same thing goes with dates. You don’t have to can indicate the whole month instead of specific dates and it will show you when you should be flying.
This trick could save you a lot of money. If you are lucky, you can find return flights for less than $500.
To give you an idea of prices though, usually, return flights from Europe to Australia are between $1000 and $2000.
Transport in Australia
Australia is a very big country. It’s almost as big as the USA and the whole of Europe. When you look at the map, it never seems as big as it actually is but believe me, everything is far away!
Here are the most common ways to get around in Australia.
By plane: Internal flights are very popular in Australia. You can easily get cheapish flights to go to Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide or Alice Springs. If you have a limited time, flying will be the best thing to do as it will save you days of travels. The main airlines are Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar. You can find the best prices using Skyscanner.
By car: Driving is the best way to explore Australia. Everything is quite secluded which means that you will have to drive at some point. If you don’t have much time ahead of you, you should prioritise a combo flight + tour. However, if you are there for a long holiday or a working holiday visa, you should consider getting a car or a van. You can either rent one. Europcar is a good car rental company in Australia but if you want to make sure you get the best prices, you can compare them on Skyscanner. Having a car will allow you to freely navigate, go to all the beautiful national parks and amazing road trips!
By train: The rail network in Australia is not as developed as in Europe however there are some awesome train journeys you can take. If you want to go from one state to another and experience a very unique train journey, you can do so!
The most popular are:
The Ghan: from Adelaide to Darwin
Spirit of Queensland: from Brisbane to Cairns
The Indian Pacific: from Perth to Sydney
The Great Southern: from Brisbane to Adelaide
The overland: from Melbourne to Adelaide
By bus: This option is a bit less popular as bus journeys in Australia are quite long. Basically you don’t really get the perks of flying nor of a road trip. That having been said, if you are on a budget and don’t want to rent a car, they can be a great option. The best company to book bus tickets is Greyhound. They have many different routes, in every state.
By ferry: if you wish to go to Tasmania or one of the islands, you might need to catch a ferry. They will work out cheaper if you are a group of people and have a vehicle. If you are a solo traveller, flying will be less expensive.
Here is how you can book ferry rides:
For Tasmania, you can book your ride on Spirit of Tasmania
For Kangaroo Island, check out Sealink
For other smaller islands such as Magnetic Island, you can find tickets on Get your Guide.
Tours in Australia
Tours are very common in Australia. If you don’t have a car, they will be a must-do. But even if you do have a car, you will go to some places where you will need to go on a tour.
Regardless of the potential practical necessity, they are such a great way to explore the country. Not only you will get to do awesome activities but you will also be with a professional guide who will share his knowledge and expertise.
Here are the websites I use to book tours in Australia:
Get your Guide: they have a very large choice of tours and never disappoint. No matter where you go, you will find something on Get your Guide! They also have an amazing app, you can pay online and keep your e-ticket on your phone.
Klook: widely popular in Australia and Asia, Klook offers great tours as well. I tend to always go with Get your Guide when it comes to tours but Klook has a few tricks up its sleeve. They also supply transport tickets and sim cards. This can come very handy. You can even get $10 off your first booking on the mobile app if you use the code “MOBILE10”
Viator: this one is kind of the world giant when it comes to tours. I personally don’t like them as much as the other two however they sometimes offer more options, especially in secluded places.
Accommodation in Australia
There are all sorts of accommodation in Australia. From free campsites to luxury holiday resorts, you will find them all!
It all depends on your budget and expectations.
Here are the different kinds of accommodation in Australia and how to book them.
Australia is a land that was made for road trips. This also means you will find loads of campings.
If you are on a budget, you can find many free campsites (and showers) on Wikicamps.
If you want a bit more comfort and book a campsite with amenities, you can also find them on the app or on Booking.com
You can also opt for a national park campsite. For that, head to the official website of the national park you are visiting and click on the camping section. They will tell you where they are and how to book them. Sometimes there is a collection box on site, a park-ranger passing by to collect the money or sometimes you have to book at the visitor centre. Each place makes its own rules.
Camping is one of the best ways to experience Australia and I can’t recommend it enough!
Backpacking is big in Australia. For this reason, you will find many hostels (also called backpackers) in every main city but also in more secluded places.
Prices go from $15 to $100 depending on the room you book. A bunk bed in a dorm is always cheaper.
You will find all sorts of hostels. Some are absolutely spectacular, some are awful. Check carefully the reviews to avoid any disappointment.
If you want a bit more privacy but are a bit on a budget, booking an Airbnb will be the best options.
Most of them are located in the big cities but you will find some everywhere, even in some small towns in the Outback.
You will also find many hotels in Australia. Prices go from $50 to hundreds or thousands of dollars. If you want the cheaper end, you can also look for motels. There aren’t everywhere but you can find some.
Hotels in Australia can quickly become very expensive. It’s not something I would recommend to someone going on a working holiday visa as it won’t be sustainable but they are a good option if you are on holiday.
It all depends on your budget and the level of comfort you want.
Australia is full of heaven-like places and therefore resorts. They are mainly located on the east coast but you will also find some in the Mornington Peninsula and all around the country.
Hamilton Island is known to be the most popular resort destination in Australia.
Resorts are pretty expensive. Prices usually start at about $300 per night. That having been said, everything is included. You will generally have a pool and plenty of activities included.
You can also book a stay in a resort on Booking.com or on the resort’s website.
What to pack for Australia
First of all, it’s important to not overpack. I know it’s always tempting to add more and more things to be prepared for everything (especially the ladies, we all have suitcases full of “just in case” items) but let me stop you there. Australia is full of shops! No matter what you need, you will find it! It’s better to have less than too much. You will be moving a lot and carrying your backpack around won’t be pleasant if it’s too heavy.
Here are the essentials:
– Passport & visas
– Travel debit card (I recommend Transferwise)
– Camera and/or phone
In terms of clothes, opt for:
– A swimsuit
– Hoodie jumper (yep, it can get very cold at times!)
– Wind jacket
And finally in terms of toiletries:
– Towel (microfibre towels are great, they don’t take much space and dry very quickly)
– Sunscreen (never underestimate the sun in Australia)
– Shampoo & soap (I use the hard ones, way easier to carry around)
– Toothbrush and toothpaste
– Baby wipes
– Mosquito spray
This is a bit of a general packing list but it will depend on where you go and when. For example, it’s very hot in the Outback during the day but also very cold at night!
If you stick to Queensland, you won’t need many warm clothes but if you go to Tasmania, you will need a lot of them.
Apps and travel resources for Australia
Transferwise is the perfect app for travel money. Originally, you could only do international transfers but they developed a travel mobile app and travel card in the past recent years. After trying many of them, I think Transferwise is the best option for travelling in Australia. You will get a very good rate on currency exchange and use your Transferwise MasterCard as if it was an Australian card. Obviously, you can also withdraw money. You will get instant notifications on your phone. Simple and easy. You can check my full review here or sign up for an account here.
Wikicamps: If you are planning on camping in Australia, you will need Wikicamps. With it, you can easily find all the campsites in Australia, even the free one! There are reviews, making it easy to know whether that’s the right place for you or not. It costs $7.99 but it’s well worth it! It will make your life easier and save you a lot of money.
Beach Safe: This app will tell you everything you need to know about all beaches in Australia and how safe it is to swim. As you may know, it can be dangerous to swim on certain beaches in Australia (box jellyfish, sharks… you name it!). You will find signs on every beach that will tell you what you are not allowed to do but as they say, better safe than sorry. With the app, you can also double-check if the beach is safe before getting there.
The Happiest hour: If you are staying in a city, this one can come in handy. It gives you access to plenty of deals on food and drinks.
Safety in Australia
Australia is one of the safest countries in the world. People are lovely and as a general thing, you will feel safe pretty much anywhere you go.
There is nothing to be overly concerned about in cities although of course, as anywhere else in the world, you should always be careful (especially at night).
The biggest threats in Australia are natural. There are a lot of animals that can harm or even kill you. If you are in the Outback or North of Queensland especially, you should be extremely careful.
When you go hiking, always wear closed-toe shoes as there could be snakes. When you are going to the beach, look for signs and maybe even check on Beach Safe app whether it’s safe to swim or not. The main dangers would be jellyfish, crocodiles or sharks.
Finally, always follow the instructions on the signs. If there is a sign saying not to stand near the edge because there are crocodiles or because the cliff is not stable, just stay away! Australian nature is beautiful but it can be dangerous.
As a general thing, as long as you listen to what you are told, there is nothing to worry about but it’s something to be aware of.
In terms of health, it’s highly recommended to get travel insurance. Australia has agreements with certain countries to give access to Medicare. If you are from one of these countries, it’s always a good thing to have but taking proper travel insurance is necessary. If you injure yourself while hiking and need to be evacuated or need surgery or something like that (not that I wish it to you but you know, sh** can happen) you will be so happy to have proper health coverage.I can’t stress that enough!
World Nomads is a great travel insurance. You can check the prices here.
Australia Insider Travel tips
Travelling in Australia is not that different than travelling in Europe or North America however there are some specific things to know. After travelling for a year in Australia, I realised that there are many things I underestimated and I do not want you to make the same mistakes.
You might have read these somewhere else already but I promise, you won’t actually realise how true these statements are until you actually get to Australia.
– Use sunscreen: Australia is right under the ozone hole and the sun burns! It burns a lot! You can literally feel the rays of sun crashing on your skin. Using sunscreen is very important! I recommend at least SPF50. If you are scared you won’t get tanned, don’t be. Even with the highest protection, you will tan! You can find sunscreens in every shop in Australia. It actually comes in bulk, in very big tubs. Make sure to put some on every 2 hours, even if you are in a city!
– Get mosquito spray: if you are heading to NT or QLD, mosquitos (or mozzies as the Aussies say) are horrible. You can end up being covered with bites. I looked like I had chickenpox!
– Use a fly net if you go in the Outback. I happily admit that you will look absolutely ridiculous with a fly net on your head however those flies are so much worse that you can imagine. If you go to Uluru or the Grampians, they will be all over you. They will literally drive you insane! I never thought it could be that bad and yet it was even worse than bad. I ended up with a window net on my head! Fly nets are very expensive in the Outback so it’s better to get them beforehand.
– Distance and time management. Australia is way bigger than you think it is. It takes ages to go from point A to point B. The most common mistake visitors make is to over plan. Don’t try to fit all of Australia in a 3 weeks trip! There are so many things to see, you need to focus on one place and explore it. Between driving and flights, you will realise how big this country is. A good way to save time is to go on tours but still, don’t try to fit too much in!
– Budget: Australia is expensive. No matter what you do, it won’t be a cheap trip and that’s something you should be aware of. I recommend to plan carefully your trip and make a budget before you book your flights so you know what you are getting yourself into. There are ways to make it cheaper. You can sleep in free campsites for example. But no matter what, you need to have enough money. As much as possible, I recommend booking your tours, car and accommodation in advance so then you only have to pay for food and extras.
– Use Transferwise. As previously mentioned, Transferwise offers the best rates in currency exchange and an excellent app. It will make your life easier.
– Use Facebook travel groups. There are many Facebook travel groups about Australia. Australia Backpackers is a good one. You will find plenty of recommendations and can post ads to find travel mates and share the costs of your road trip!
So, with all of that, you should have a good idea of what it’s like to travel to Australia! Don’t hesitate to check out all our articles about Australia.
Last thing, HAVE FUN! Australia is so beautiful! You will love it!
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