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.
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.
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.
Nimbin is disgusting. Don't even bother coming here. There are far better places to visit in the region.
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 …
Hobart is a happening place, with old buildings, tourists, and locals. It has the usual city feel to it, and is lovely to walk around in. Salamanca place is a must. Hiding behind other buildings this is an outdoor area with restaurants and some shops and a big pond. On Friday nights there is the live music by locals …
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!
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, …
Kangaroo Valley is really a silent place to stay -- with beautiful river, nice scenery, and nice pub!
Broadbeach is great, its only minutes to Surfers and has some great things to do as it is on the beach with its surf clubs. And the casino is always great with Thursday night -- cheap drinks in the casino's Prince Albert Bar. It's where a lot of the young loacals go.
Warrnambool is a great place to live and visit... the beaches are fantastic!!!
I stayed in Esperance for five weeks in 2000 and loved it -- the wonderful beaches and amazing colour of the sea, the hospitality of the residents, The Cape Le Grand area, lucky beach, twilight cove, and salmon leap. I hired a bike several times and had some great rides on the boardwalk/beach. They have very friendly …
Biloela was a great party town, small but good. Grew up there.
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.
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!
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!