I’ve spent almost nine months backpacking around Australia. And although that time may be a few years in the past by now, there are some universal things that I learned during my time Down Under. When I went there, I boarded my first flight ever, cooked my first meals ever, did my first laundry ever, and so on. It’s fair to say that I learned how to take care of myself, be open-minded, and be creative. Therefore, I feel like I’m in a position to share some useful tips for travelling around Australia.
Australia, as gorgeous a country it may be, can also provide some serious challenges to first-time long-term travellers. It is, for example, filled with dangerous animals and extremely desolate stretches of road.
5 Tips For Travelling Around Australia
Stay in Hostels
Hostels are amazing places to get to know people. Most Australian hostels are filled with young and independent travellers, people who are always in for some fun, a trip, a night out or a day on the beach. Many hostels also organise evening activities, such as barbecues, movie nights and pool tournaments. Additionally, hostels are among the cheapest accommodations available.
Visit as Many National Parks as Possible
Australia is a gem of a country and its national parks are its natural crown jewels. From Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kakadu to Wilsons Promontory and Freycinet, Australia is chock-full with absolutely spectacular national parks. These places are what makes a trip to Australia worthwhile—make sure to buy a national park pass to save some money on entrance fees.
The key to a memorable trip is leaving room for improvisation. Having and sticking to a set itinerary or schedule has the potential to completely mess up your trip if something should go wrong. Not having strict plans, however, means that everything that comes your way will be welcome or, in case of something ill-natured, manageable. Spontaneous decisions, trips and activities will most likely also stick in your memory longer.
Prepare Yourself Before Going on a Road Trip
It’s easy to underestimate the sheer size of Australia. Don’t be fooled while travelling around Australia, though, for the distances between places, including fuel stations, can be enormous. Therefore, it’s vital to load up on food, water and fuel before going on any road trip. You never know what will happen on the road and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Especially driving at dawn and dusk can be dangerous, as that is when wild animals tend be most active and could cross the road.
Connect With Locals
Australians are among the friendliest people on earth, if not simply the friendliest. Connecting and interacting with locals is a key ingredient of a successful and rewarding trip travelling around Australia, as it is in any country in the world. Australians will always invite you to come along for a beer, come over for a “barbie” or join them to watch a sports game.