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.
Anglesea has great views of the beach from the lookout, fantastic place to see kangaroos at the Angelsea Golf Course, hundreds of kangaroos.
I think Airlie Beach is a wonderful place to relax and it has the most beautiful scenery.
Bicheno is the best place in the entire world. It's so peaceful, they have all they need.
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.
There's nothing to do in Hervey Bay. Make sure you get on a three-day, two-night 4x4 tour, which actually works out cheaper anyway.
I am from Mount Gambier and think it's one of the most beautiful places I've lived. It's humble and a place to relax and take in all the amazing scenery. So close to the sea, the vineyards, and the marvels of the volcanoes.
Mount Isa is real grubby place, since it is a mining community. Every house seems to have a mean barking dog.
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 …
Mackay is a safe town to walk and explore. Non-touristy and friendly locals.
Fremantle is a breath of fresh air. It has a quirky vibe, anything goes! Beautiful climate, beaches, historic buildings...
Here's my TOP 10 to-do's for Freo: (in no order)
1. Fremantle Markets, get a beer at the market bar and listen to the buskers.
2. Definitely do the night-time Prison tour, its excellent.
Forster is the nicest place in Oz.
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.
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.
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!