Australia is a big country – very big. To give you an idea, Europe fits into Australia. Most of the 25 million inhabitants live along the eastern and south-eastern coasts as the interior is largely arid or semi-arid.
I’ve driven across from Canberra to Perth and vice versa a couple of times and it took 4.5 days if you drive all day until about 7pm and then resume the journey at 7am next morning. If you did a road trip around Australia and took the time to visit the most popular sights, it would take you a minimum of 3 or 4 months.
Here are some recommendations (in no particular order):
- Coastal drive all the way from Brisbane down to Melbourne
- Sunshine Coast – from Mooloolaba to Noosa
- Fraser Island
- Cairns to Port Douglas and Daintree Rainforest
- The Whitsundays
- Gold Coast
- Byron Bay
- Coffs Harbour to Dorrigo via Bellingen
- Snowy Mountains (from Canberra)
- The Great Ocean Road from Geelong to Port Fairy
- Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kings Canyon and the Olgas
- Kakadu and Litchfield National Park
- Cairns to Port Douglas and Daintree Rainforest
- The Whitsundays
- The Barossa Valley (from Adelaide)
- Kangaroo Island (South Australia)
- Perth and Rottnest Island
- Margaret River – premium wine region
- Esperance and Lake Spencer (pink lake)
- Perth to Ningaloo Reef/Exmouth road trip – drive there and fly back
- Broome to Kununurra Road trip
- Tasmanian road trip (you can do the circuit in about 10 days to 2 weeks or longer)
This website will help you plan – https://www.australia.com/en-us/explore.html
If you’re on a working holiday and you want to get to know the real Australia, there’s plenty of work on farms, cattle stations, in the outback and remote places. There are Facebook groups which advertise, for example, facebook.com/workaboutaustralia, facebook.com/outbackjobsaustralia and more. And for the grey nomads (that’s travelling senior citizens in Australian), have a look at this link – http://www.greynomadsjobs.com
If you want to pick a specific region, each state has their own website and is filled with all kinds of information to help you plan your trip:
- https://visitcanberra.com.au (for the Australian Capital Territory)
A great way to get to know a city is by doing a walking tour. Some are free and some might ask for a donation – as much as you want to give. My husband and I did such a tour in Melbourne and we’ll be doing another next time we go back. They’re usually conducted by local students and each one has their own spin on what they like to showcase. They’re fun and informative and you’ll learn a lot more about Australian culture. Our tour included graffiti art of Melbourne laneways. More about that in another post.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
Most people think the best time to travel is summer but there are a few negatives. Temperatures can soar over 40 deg, even as far south as Melbourne and you won’t find much relief in the ocean. It’s not much fun when the sun is beating down on you relentlessly. Better to head for air-conditioned pubs or shopping malls. In the tropical north, it’s the rainy, cyclone season. It’s hot and humid and is also the time for box jellyfish which are deadly. They travel as far south as the Whitsundays and you really shouldn’t swim. In the bush (and cities) it’s snakes. To be honest, we don’t see a lot of those but they’re around – just make sure you check your toilet.
My favourite time of the year is autumn with it’s balmy weather and the glorious, rich autumn colours. It’s still quite warm north of Coffs Harbour however starts to become cooler from mid season in the southern regions. Same applies on the west coast.
ACCOMMODATION AND TRANSPORT
You’ll find it all here and to suit any budget. You’ll need to pre-book during peak season if you don’t want to miss out. Bear in mind that you should always look for central accommodation in cities, close to transport. Public transport isn’t cheap in some cities and it’s more cost effective to purchase some kind of transport pass. In Sydney for example, an Opal Card permits travel on buses, local trains and ferries.
You might want to consider housesitting as it’s free – and you could find yourself sitting in a mansion. Some people might just want you to water the garden or look after their pets. There are lots of websites you can search such as:
If you’re restricted for time, then flying between cities is the way to go. Otherwise, if you have a couple of months or more, consider buying a car or campervan which you can sell at the end of your journey. There’s also the option of bus travel, but they make lots of stops. You can break the journey along the way so that’s a bonus. Train travel between major cities is limited.
If you decide on the campervan or motorhome option, whether buying or renting, be aware that you’ll need to pay to park if you’re staying at caravan parks. You may get fined if you park on the street so check with local authorities. If you don’t want to waste money on caravan parks, do some googling as there are plenty of websites advertising where to camp for free. Here’s just one – www.freecampingaustralia.com.au
If you’re budget conscious, another option to travel around would be to share a ride. Make sure you do your homework though as to who you will be travelling with. A couple of links which might be useful are shareurride.com.au and lifesocial.com.au
FOOD AND ALCOHOL
We don’t really have a national cuisine. It’s probably because we’re so multi-cultural and we like to try a bit of this and a bit of that. You’ll be spoilt for choice and it doesn’t have to cost. Restaurants can be pricey but guaranteed you’ll find one within your budget. There are plenty of night food markets and food courts in the bigger cities which sell cheap meals. Or cook your own depending on where you’re staying.
Please feel free to contact me if you’d like more information or if you’d like me to provide you with a quote.
TRAVEL ACCESSORIES FOR PURCHASEProCase Travel Gear Organizer Electronics Accessories Bag, Small Gadget Carry Case Storage Bag Pouch for Charger USB Cables SD Memory Cards Earphone Flash Hard Drive -Black
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