In Australia you should expect the unexpected, plan on not wanting to leave, and on leaving a piece of your heart behind!
Beyond that, here are a few pointers to get you planning before you head off on the trip of a lifetime to that magical land of perfect sandy beaches, dense rainforest, bustling cities and wide, open, red landscapes.
Plan, But Don’t Overplan…
Such a huge country requires you to think carefully about where to go and when. November- March it’s best to avoid the North as this is the oppressively sticky ‘build-up’ to the rainy season where it’s unbearably hot. During these times drive the Great Ocean Road or hike the Blue Mountains.
Generally backpacking is much better done spontaneously, but with Oz you need to have at least a rough idea of how long it’s going to take to get from A to B. To see the East Coast in all its glory you need a bare minimum of 3 weeks. If you want to go beyond this iconic route, you’re going to need to fly or spend a lot longer in the country.
Accommodation and Transport
There’s something for everyone, from party hostels to rural retreats to city hangouts to Airbnb galore. You’re bound to find something that suits your needs and budget.
If you’re pushed for time, fly. However, it is cheaper to travel by bus and it means you see a lot more of the country just by looking out your window.
Greyhound has a hop-on-hop-off service, and the Oz Experience offers a similar service which includes excursions for backpackers who want to party along the way. You could also rent a car or van, pack a tent and camp out along the way.
Be Safety Conscious, But Not Scared
Yes, there are scary creepy-crawlies and critters to be found, but the risks are actually pretty low. There are more bee-related deaths each year than snake, shark, jellyfish, croc or dingo deaths, and thanks to anti-venom, spider bites are rarely deadly.
You can take a few simple precautions though: check under loo seats for redbacks, swim between the flags on controlled beaches, don’t swim in estuaries, mangroves or rivers where crocs have been sighted, and wear sensible shoes when in the outback to avoid snakebites.
Forest fires are frequent in the hot summer months, and you have to be streetwise in big cities (like anywhere else in the world).
Make sure you have travel insurance for Australia before you head out for peace of mind.
Get Off the Beaten Track
Of the millions of tourists who visit each year, not many head West. If you have time, go visit the Ningaloo Reef and spend some time on the white beaches, at a sheep station and enjoying the tranquillity that this coast has to offer.
Don’t just zoom through towns because they aren’t in your guidebook. You could end up having one of the best nights of your trip in that tiny town with one bar and a handful of houses!
Work to Pay For Your Stay
If you’re eligible for a working holiday visa, this is a fantastic way to extend your trip and earn some cash for the rest of your stay. Work in the great outdoors picking fruit, get an office job or work in a cool café or bar (you’ll need an RSA certificate in most states for bar/ café work).
Get Good Travel Insurance for Australia!
InsureMore’s travel insurance for Australia can cover you for your whole trip whether you’re diving, picking fruit, on a road trip or just chilling on the beach.
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in global single trip, family and annual travel policies including travel insurance for Australia . Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.