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,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Australia hostels. Welcome.
Exmouth is AmAzInG. The Ningaloo Reef is located in The Cape Range National Park far far far away from town, but the good news is that The Ningaloo Reef Retreat does a shuttle bus there. I don't want to tell you my favourite spot as I share it with the likes of my middle brother and my best mate, but here's some food …
Mount Isa is real grubby place, since it is a mining community. Every house seems to have a mean barking dog.
Warrnambool is a great place to live and visit... the beaches are fantastic!!!
I have visited Apollo Bay many times and I would like to recommend to EVERYONE that they must try one of the delicious treats from the local bakery. The food is excellent and the staff are delightful.
Byron Bay is the most beautiful town we've seen so far. So lush, great health minded shops, lots of holistic therapies available, we'll be back to stay much longer next time!
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 …
Echuca is a great place to stay, the people are lovely and there is nothing better than sailing down the murray with friends around to have a few beers with. Loved the place and hope to get back in the future.
I think Airlie Beach is a wonderful place to relax and it has the most beautiful scenery.
For the three days I was in Cairns I realized it's truly beautiful. I suggest that that everyone go snorkeling and/or scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef.
Pemberton is a great town, plenty to do.
Jindabyne comes alive during the months of June through to September when the winter snow season is in full swing.There are good pubs and restaurants all within walking distance of each other. Check out the live music or maybe grab a steak at the one of the restaurants after a great day skiing or snowboarding.
Seriously, don't miss Broome, cancel everything else and go there. It's far better than anywhere on the east coast or west. It rules! I stayed there for a month out of four that I had to do Australia, wish I'd stayed longer!
Nimbin is disgusting. Don't even bother coming here. There are far better places to visit in the region.
Innisfail is a good place for a stop over and to earn some cash on the fruit picking but hard ass work...
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 …