No matter where you plan to backpack, the start of your journey can be just as intimidating as it is exciting. In a destination as expansive and unique as Australia, you may never know what you’re truly in for until you experience it first hand. We’re here to help push you past the initial “just figuring this place out” phase and into the “conquering this place with confidence” state of mind. Whether you’re starting your adventure with an organized tour that can help you get your bearings or braving it alone from the get-go, these tips will take you from Aussie backpacking newbie to expert.
Disclaimer: This article was kindly sponsored by Intro Travel
There is no denying that part of the thrill of backpacking comes from spontaneity. Not knowing exactly where you’ll end up or what you’ll experience makes it a true adventure. However, Australia is a vast country and having a rough guideline for your trip before departure is essential for getting the most out of your time there. We suggest making a list of your absolute must-dos while in Australia and creating an outline of your journey from there. Or you can book a starting trip with a reliable company and they will provide you with guidance for the rest of your journey. Take into account the distance between some of Australia’s hotspots and be prepared to book a flight or two within the country. Whether your bucket list includes driving the great ocean road, diving in the great barrier reef, or hiking in Tasmania- you can accomplish it all, with plenty of room for unexpected adventures in between, as long as you have a plan.
Don’t forget to apply for an Australia visa in advance. It’s your ticket to get into the country. The visa can be applied for entirely online in roughly five minutes.
Be Bus Ready
Make sure to pack all of your essentials for long-haul bus rides. Buses are one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to get around while backpacking in Australia. A number of companies offer hop-on hop-off services and package deals for the ultimate flexibility and affordability. Like we mentioned before, the travel distances in Australia may be longer than you expect so come prepared with your headphones, neck pillow, and Tam-Tams in tow.
Don’t Skimp on Nightlife
It can be all too easy to give into exhaustion night after night. We don’t blame you, after all, there is so much to do and see in the daylight. However, party hostels and backpacker bars are abundant in Australia. They can be a great way to let loose and meet potential travel mates, or bond with your current ones. If the rowdy festivities aren’t quite your scene there are plenty of world-class rooftop bars for sipping on novelty cocktails and hipster hideaways that sport local craft beers. Whatever your preference, don’t miss out on all the fun after dark. Australians love to party and it shows.
Don’t be afraid to speak to locals! Australians are eager to share their opinions on the best beaches, restaurants, and bars. They can give you the advice you won’t always find on listicles of the most Instagrammable spots. If you want to find hidden gems and explore off the beaten path there’s no better way to do so than by asking those who call Australia their home. Experience the country like those who know it best.
Know Your Goon
Last but certainly not least, “goon” is a staple of backpacker life in Australia. It’s a generic term used for boxed wine that you’ll encounter at hostels. We’d be surprised if you make it through the first few days down under without trying it or at least hearing of it. There are a number of popular brands to choose from and they range in drinkability and hangover strength, but we’ll leave it to you to determine which kind falls where. It’s all part of the adventure!