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.
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 …
Kangaroo island is located in southern Australia and it is the third largest island in the country. It is an amazing natural wonder of Australia that is well worth the visit and will get you in touch with Australia’s unique flora, fauna, and the locals that are passionate about preserving it.
Penrith is a very exciting place to be especially with its beautiful country and ocean views.
I loved Sydney and Australia. I went for the spring in 2001 and stayed in a southern suburb of Sydney called Glebe. I loved everything. My boyfriend and I got a camper RV and drove up the coast for a 3 weeks, it was so amazing, and we even got to the great barrier reef and the Whitsunday Islands. You have to go, …
Melbourne is a fantastic city, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. There are some beautiful parks in the center of the city, and some lovely galleries and museums. I ended up staying in Melbourne for longer than I originally planned as I found it to be a 'fun' city - great bars and nighclubs, to suit all tastes …
Launceston is right next to Cataract Gorge, a 150m cut into the rock with the river at the bottom. Literally 10 minutes walk from the city centre and you're in the heart of nature. The city has an adequate bus system during the week, based at St John Street. Always call taxis from payphones instead of mobiles as the …
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.
I commenced my journey around Australia 5 years ago and Phillip Island was my first stop... I'm still here and loving it! - Too bad when the secret's out! ;-)
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 …
Brisbane is a fantastic city! We loved our stay here. Brisbane was fabulous - South Bank (wow!) the river (wow) and great feel for a city. We saw some great AFl with the Brisbane Lions too!
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.
Perth is the best city in Oz. It's so laid back, with loads of decent beaches, pubs, clubs, and decent weather.
Forster is the nicest place in Oz.
Cardwell is the most beautiful place I may have ever been on Earth! The main street has mountians on one side and a simple, untouched beach on the other! It is in "croc country", so no swimming, but the view is enough to fall in love with Cardwell!! There are cute cafes and wonderful locals. The local Catholic …