Australia Travel Guide for Beginners
We hit the ‘other side of the world’ on our 4 month-long backpacking trip in 2014, and I truly hope we make it there again because we have only scratched the surface! Nevertheless, we’ve got a handful of experiences and travel tips that might come in handy if you’re thinking of visiting the gatway cities to this country. Check out this Australia travel guide with general country information and premier destinations.
Destination-Based Australia Travel Tips
We’ve only explored two major cities, in addition to one-day stay in Adelaide – which was a result of a massive oversight on our part with incoming flights, which, unfortunately, cut our stay mega short. On the other hand, we’ve also hit up the Great Ocean Road, and you can see the impressions from this epic drive here. Explore the destinations below for an beginner’s travel guide to Australia’s highlight destinations, and learn how to enjoy down under on a slow travel schedule and a low budget!
With a distinct European vibe and VERY temperamental weather, Melbourne was truly a whirlwind experience. Trendy cafes and fancy rooftop bars aside, this city offers a wealth of thing to do for those who travel leisurely. Whether a stroll in the park or observing the city architecture, exploring the city on foot has never been easier. Take a look at what we got into in Melbourne – from galleries, to free tours, to street art.
Sydney is the biggest city in Australia, and, without a doubt, the most iconic. If the eye-catching Opera House is any indication, the city landscape and architecture is some of the most memorable in the world. And even on a tight budget, there is a wealth of things to do to chill out, take in the vibe and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of this amazing city. Our Sydney slow travel experience was filled with getting intentionally lost and exploring the multitude of parks, museums, and historic sites this metropolis has to offer.
Budgeting Tips: Getting Around and Spending Money
As you may have guessed, Australia is not the most budget-friendly country in the world. The cost of living is comparatively high if you are coming in from continental Europe or North America, meaning that if you’re from a countries with comparatively low salaries in relation to Western Europe or, say Canada, your wallet might suffer. However, there are ways to alleviate that somewhat: for instance, by using public transit with the Opal card or with a prepaid pass, instead of paying each fare individually, which is mega expensive. A standard dinner for two at a restaurant will probably set you back close to 100 Australian Dollars, if not more, so renting an AirBnB where you can cook your meals would be better if you’re trying to not spend too much. Even though 1 Aussie dollar is slightly less than 1 Euro, a 20-dollar salad is a different kind of beast.
Going Beyond the Cities
While major Australian cities offer plenty of ways to get around, if you want to explore the outback or any major areas outside the metropolitan regions, get ready to drive a lot or invest in long-distance buses. However, buses are not criss crossing the entire continent at will: if you’re trying to visit Uluru (Ayers Rock) be ready to shell out at least $200 for a one way flight to Alice Springs.
Those planning to spend an extended amount of time in Oz might want to consider buying a car. This is quite common and easy due to the fact that, every year, there is a very high turnover of work & travel visa recipients from all over the world.