The sunny weather, distinctive culture and beautiful scenery make Australia a backpacker’s paradise. Australian shores witness hundreds of thousands of backpackers every year. In fact, backpacking is a thriving industry in Australia as tours and budget accommodations are available throughout the country. Australia is a big country and, therefore, you must spend sufficient time to see this magnificent land.
You will need a visa and most travel agents will be able to help get it. If you are planning to go on a short sight-seeing visit, then you can get a tourist visa. However, the Working Holiday visa is the most popular backpacker visa. This will enable people in the age group of 18 to 30 to travel as well as work for a period of 12 to 24 months. You can check with the Australian embassy and find out Working Holiday visa is available in your country.
Money in Australia
Australia is considered to a reasonably affordable country. However, you need to have a credit card to secure booking in most hostels and for tours. You need to have enough money to take care of your expenses, especially when you searching for a job. If you are going to stay for a while in Australia, it is worth opening a bank account and saving on fees charged for overseas withdrawals. For opening a bank account, you must have an Australian address.
Backpackers’ Travel Insurance
It is very important that you organize sufficient travel insurance for yourself as medical expenses can be high in Australia.
Protect your belongings
Expensive items such as laptops, cameras, iPads/tablets etc can be costly to replace. This can be covered by your home insurance if you register all the things you’re thinking of taking with you with your provider before you travel. If you haven’t already got contents insurance, look online for the best contents insurance quotes to protect your belongings.
Backpacking in Australia – How to go around
The main options of transport are hiring a car or a campervan, buying a car or a campervan or purchasing a bus pass. Buying a vehicle offers a great deal of convenience, but you may end up wasting a lot of money on maintenance, insurance, etc. When you rent a vehicle, you may experience time limitations and you will also have to pay for the fuel. Roadside camping is not allowed in most tourist spots and, therefore, you will have to keep money for your accommodation.
One of the cheaper and popular ways of travel is by bus. Bus companies like Greyhound, McCafferty’s as well as Premier offers single journey tickets and hop-on-hop-off bus passes to enable you to travel from one place to another. You can get down at any stop on the route. Open-dated bus passes that are valid for 6 months to one year can be obtained. If you plan overnight travel, you can even save on accommodation. If you have only limited and can afford air travel, you may consider domestic flights. Flight prices can be reasonable, if you book sufficiently in advance.
Fraser Island and Whitsundays package is the most popular backpacker tour. Generally, travel agencies will include free accommodation, but the package can vary in price and quality. You need to clearly understand from your travel agent as regards the extras that you have to pay for.
Working in Australia
If you come to Australia on a Working Holiday visa, you can pick up only temporary and casual work. There are restrictions as regards the length of employment in a particular job. Common jobs available to backpackers are fruit-picking, cleaning, hospitality, laboring, etc. Generally, you will be employed in the backpacker sector. Another option for backpackers is the Wwoofing scheme.
Pre-pay mobile phones can be purchased for $50. Internet cafes are available in most backpacker hubs and the reasonable. This helps you stay in touch with your family.
Where to Stay
Backpacker hostels are available all over Australia. Some hostels may even offer campsites which can be a cheaper option. In backpacker’s hostels, generally kitchen facilities are shared. Some may have a reception/tour desk, a café or kiosk, bike hire or surfboard hire. Most hostels may provide linen but may not provide towels. If you are going to stay in one place for a long time, it better to rent a room or a house.
When to travel
Summer time is best backpacking time. However, you will get better deals on tour bookings and accommodation during winter months and the quieter shoulder season.
Australia is known for its sunny weather, but there can be variations. In summer, the southern part may experience high temperatures as well as dry conditions. As you move to the north, humidity becomes higher and it rains during the summer. Peak sightseeing season in the Northern Territory and tropical North Queensland is the winter months.