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.
Maroochydore is a great place to do fruit picking as it is so close to the beach, has lovely weather, plenty of charity shops, and great drinking holes!
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 …
The experiences I had in Laidley are amazing. I wouldn't miss a day!
Home Hill is the best! I went to Australia for nine months and I spent four months in Home Hill! I had the best time of my life over there. The people are great. I will definitely be going back there!
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.
Mission Beach is a great little beach town. Its away from the hussle and bussle of other tourist areas so one can actually enjoy the place they are at.
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.
When you're in Adelaide, do visit the Adelaide Hills -- really nice scenery and free wine tasting.
Biloela was a great party town, small but good. Grew up there.
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 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 …
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 returning there for the third time this coming January. Merimbula is a great place to stay with friendly managers and close to where I like to snorkel and bodyboard.
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 …
Albany has five National Parks and two Natural Reserves next door. It has a combination of squeaky white, deserted beaches with the bluest water, wild rocky coastlines with massive waves, and whale spotting in winter. Additionally, the oldest mountain range in the world at the Stirling Ranges and Porongurups is set …