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.
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.
Port Macquarie is a nice town for a visit and the beaches are very nice as well.
Forster is the nicest place in Oz.
Perth is the best city in Oz. It's so laid back, with loads of decent beaches, pubs, clubs, and decent weather.
Nimbin is disgusting. Don't even bother coming here. There are far better places to visit in the region.
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 …
Bicheno is the best place in the entire world. It's so peaceful, they have all they need.
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.
Warrnambool is a great place to live and visit... the beaches are fantastic!!!
Canberra is the oddest place I have been to in my life! I only really went to see some rugby and felt like I had walked onto a film set, everything is so new it looks fake. And when I got up on satuday morning to have a stroll around the town there was a distinct lack of people. Only go if you want to see some decent …
I stayed in Tully for two and a half months as work was plentiful. If you want work you don't have to go through a hostel, just get up bright and early, say 5:30 am, and stand at the post office junction. Ask the farmers if they need help as no qualifications are ever asked. Tully and its environs have a lot to …
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, …
Mackay is a safe town to walk and explore. Non-touristy and friendly locals.
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.
Batemans Bay is very far from the beach and attractions -- too far if you do not have transport.