So you want to go to Australia! Maybe to see the outback, snorkel the many reefs, lay on a beach, or maybe even meet a cute surfer. Who knows your reason but you could not have picked a unique country. From the tropical rainforests in the northern area of Queensland to the red center, I believe there is something there for everyone. You do not have to take my word for it! Over 8.37 million people visited the country last year according to Tourism Australia which makes it one popular place to visit. So let’s get planning!
PICK A TIME
Naturally, the next thing you have to do is choose a time of year to go. Since Australia is located in the Southern Hemisphere, their seasons are opposite to the Northern Hemisphere. This makes Summer December through February, Fall is March to May, Winter is June to August, and Spring is September to November.
Depending on the season you are planning on going, flights may be more expensive. As their offseasons seem to be the Spring and Fall, prices may be lower. To find the cheapest flights available, try searching Skyscanner, Google Flights, or Kayak. Travel hack: type in ‘Australia’ in the ‘To’ section and see where in Australia you can fly into for the cheapest.
APPLY FOR A VISA
Once you have picked a time to visit, be sure to request a tourist visa. Then, after you have booked flights, request a tourist visa through the Australian Government’s Immigration site. There are a few options to choose from so be sure to apply for the correct one.
PLAN A ROUTE
New decide where you would like to travel in Australia. The classic backpacker’s route goes all the way up the East Coast, usually starting in Sydney and making it up to the Whitsunday Islands or Cairns. When I was there, I started in Sydney, made my way to Canberra then headed up the East Coast, all the way to Cape Tribulation. Since Australia is such a big country, there are endless different options to choose from.
Accommodation in Australia is usually easily found depending on the location. From hostels to hotels to Air BnB’s, there are different options at different price ranges. A common theme is that staying in the center of town can be a bit pricey so an option would be to book a place a bit out but close to a transit route that is often run.
PLANE, TRAIN OR BUS?
Now depending on where you want to go, you may or may not have to travel long distances. Although air is the traditional way of going those distance’s, there are more scenic ways to go. The train system is often an excellent way to see bits of a country without having to drive. It also can be cheaper than most forms of transportation. But for those times that you cannot travel by boat, train, or car, the airfare is inexpensive and efficient in getting from A to B. People may have different experiences with airlines but I have found that Australia’s two leading carriers, Virgin Australia and Quantas, have been excellent. Always check the flight sites mentioned above so you can find the best flight for you.
DETERMINING COST PER DAY
Besides the significant expenses of accommodation and transportation, make sure to budget what you want to be spending per day. Although the cost could change per day, be sure to take into account other expenses such as activities and food. Something to be aware of is that, compared to Canadian standards at least, I would have to say that the prices of food and beverages both at a supermarket and restaurants are quite high. It ultimately depends on what type of budget you are going with, so if you are going with a larger budget or come from a place where the exchange rate is better, just ignore this last point. For those of you who, like me, want to travel on the lower end of a budget, be aware of the price of groceries. As for the cost of activities, there are so many things to do such as snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef and horseback riding in the Outback. Although it might be expensive, most of them are well worth it, but you will just have to weigh the cost versus the experience.
Now the only thing left to do is sit back, relax, and get ready for a trip of a lifetime! Be sure to let me know if you have any questions or want recommendations of places and sites to see along the East Coast. Until next time!
– PIN ME –