Australia, also commonly known as "Downunder," is a popular and very rewarding travel destination. Firstly, don't worry about the spiders, the snakes, the crocodiles, the insects, the drop bears, the sharks, the boxing kangaroos. Chances are you'll forget they even exist (well not the kangaroos, they're everywhere). The average Australian very rarely comes across any type of animal or insect that is going to cause harm, so don't worry. What you should be worried about is the heat. And if you plan on driving in Australia, make sure you carry a spare Jerry can fuel of petrol or gas, spare food, and water, and a radio would also be a good idea. The biggest danger to most tourists is having their car break down in the middle of nowhere, so be prepared if you are planning a roadtrip.
Many people who stay in Australian hostels hire or buy a car to drive around the country, or visit on a "work and holiday" trip. If visiting Australia for a couple of weeks, be aware that the country is very big, and cities and attractions separated by very large distances. So choose an area, or have a plan for travelling to where you want to go.
Sydney is a must if visiting Australia. Take a couple of days to visit all the city's main attractions, including the Sydney harbour bridge and Opera House. Fireworks can often be seen in the harbour most Saturday nights.
Continuing up the east coast, we have the Gold Coast (beaches, nightclubs, theme parks) and the Sunshine Coast (relaxing, with lots of beautiful beaches). Off the coast we also have the Great Barrier Reef, one of the best places in Australia for diving and snorkelling, with high biodiversity of tropical fish and marine life. There is also the Daintree Rain Forest (the nearest hostels are in Cape Tribulation) for great hiking and wildlife spotting. And many island resorts, including the famous Whitsunday Islands (the nearest hostels are in Airlie Beach).
If we continue heading along the coast we eventually get to the Northern Territory where towns become more infrequent. The Northern Territory is home to tropical rain forests and the beautiful Kakadu National Park. In the interior (or "outback") we also have Uluru / Ayers Rock, a strange rock formation in the centre of Australia, and Alice Springs, a nearby town, where most people will stay.
To the West, there is Western Australia. Most tourist skip Western Australia due to the isolation of the state's capital, Perth (the most isolated city in the world). However the state has some of the best beaches and snorkelling in the whole of Australia. It is also less touristy, so a great destination if you want to avoid the crowds.
South Australia is home to the Barossa Valley, famous for it's wines, particularly the shiraz red wines. If you're in the area, Kangaroo Island is also worth a visit, especially if you love nature and wildlife.
The drive from Adelaide (the capital of South Australia) to Melbourne (the capital of Victoria) is stunning, and known as one of the best drives in the world. Follow the rugged coast line, passing famous spots such as the the Twelve Apostles (a natural rock formation).
Melbourne is probably the trendiest city in Australia, with a great nightlife and restaurants, and some historic colonial buildings. From Melbourne you can easily hop on a plane for a 20 minute flight over to Tasmania for some great hiking. And if it's winter, maybe even to enjoy some snow (yes, it snows in Australia).
There are many accommodation options in Australia. In the cities, hostels are a popular choice, and of a high standard. Hostels are great places to go to meet other travellers, and often can help if you are looking for local work. In smaller towns and rural areas, hostels aren't always common, and roadhouses or camping might be the only option.
Australia, very big, very vast, and full of something for everyone!
Hi, I'm Kelly Sheldrick,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Australia hostels. Welcome.
Coral Bay is the most beautiful place I've ever been. I recommend the coral veiwing and snorkelling tour. And go and walk with the sharks at the south point of the bay, it's a great experience.
Bicheno is the best place in the entire world. It's so peaceful, they have all they need.
I've been in Kalbarri for 5 days and i found hard to leave: it's a very pretty and quiet place. If you go there, don't miss a tour of the area: it's beautiful!
The experiences I had in Laidley are amazing. I wouldn't miss a day!
I've stayed in Coolangatta twice, and really like the area.
Queenscliff is a magnificient coastal town, 30 minutes from Geelong by public transfer. Ferry runs yearly between Queenscliff and Sorrento on the hour. Fishing tours are available and swim with the dolphins also available. Visit Australia's only black light house, visit the lookout of the "rip". Steam trains run on …
I worked in Surfers Paradise for 14 months from Sep 2002-Dec 2003 for a backpackers hostel, and it's my favourite place in Australia. There's so much to do, the weathers always great, and you meet tons of people very easily. You can go to theme parks, watersports, skydiving, zorbing, nature walks in the hinterland (I …
Perth is the best city in Oz. It's so laid back, with loads of decent beaches, pubs, clubs, and decent weather.
I had a brilliant time in townsville. It's a place where you can go to get a real feel of Ozy life as there isn't a huge backpacker appeal. It's just a really nice town and I look forward to going back. Another bonus is that it is a base for the Oz army so there were plenty of fit young men around. This was way back …
We spent a great month in Augusta a couple of years ago (as part of a 3 month journey around SW Australia). We started in a caravan (which was great), and we migrated to a rented a house from an estate agency and extended our visit for another three weeks. We were most impressed by the friendly and welcoming attitude …
Bowen is one of my favourite spots in Oz. My tip is to mingle with the locals and they will show you the best time ever coz they are the friendliest bunch of Ozzies I ever met.
Innisfail is a good place for a stop over and to earn some cash on the fruit picking but hard ass work...
For anyone that is traveling Western Australia, get out now or else you're going to end up broke! Don't believe any of the bullsh*t about the work on the fruit farms -- I've the best part of $1,500 spent on accommodation. I've tried about thirty farms, all answers the same -- the weather's too bad. Carnarvon is a …
Port Macquarie is a nice town for a visit and the beaches are very nice as well.
Bellingen is a very peaceful place, surrounded by natural beauty -- the perfect place to relax for a couple of days and also to explore the surrounding by mountain bike and on horseback. By car there are some great beaches within easy reach. This place felt like a home away from home during my six-month backpack trip.