Australia is the both a country and a continent and as such offers a wide range of activities and experiences for adventurous travelers. Youâ€™ll find the locals incredibly friendly and helpful.Â With a little planning you can really stretch your budget and experience more of the country.
Australia is a very big country and to experience as much as possible, youâ€™ll probably want to use some commercial transportation.
Jet Star has frequent last minute sales and Rex airline, the countries regional airline often has backpacker specials for international tourist that offer tickets that offer unlimited air travel. The train is another good option as long term passes offer considerable savings. You can often get discounted public transportation passes on weekends in Sydney that covers all public transportation including the ferry. Other cities often offer similar deals too.
If your wanderings take you to agricultural areas, like the ones near Texas, which is west of the Gold Coast, be sure to check out the local farms and fruit and vegetable stands. The prices are excellent and the freshness canâ€™t be beaten.
The RSLâ€™s (Returned Services League) and Memorial Clubs will usually open their doors to international travelers especially if they are military veterans. The food is often served family style and the menu choices are frequently limited but the price canâ€™t be beaten. Additionally the camaraderie is top notch and you will find yourself sharing stories and experiences. Australians are very outgoing, so be sure to leave any shyness and seriousness outside.
Youâ€™ll often find great lunch specials and can save by making lunch your biggest meal of the day. The take away places offer the best prices and cover almost every cuisine imaginable, with Asian and Indian being among the most plentiful.
Just like in the US, the casinos in Australia often feature great restaurant prices. Most of the casinos, like Jupiterâ€™s on the Gold Coast have a very American feel. Many of them offer roulette tables, blackjack games and many more games. Most of these games have various playing style like blackjack, it is always welcomed to learn the rules before giving it a try.
Places to Stay
To see as much of the country as possible you should maximize your accommodation budget. Hostels are available almost everywhere and very reasonable. If youâ€™re carrying basic camping equipment many of the beaches and parks offer really inexpensive camp sites.
You could also consider WWOOF, which is a program that lets you work in exchange for room and board. You basically do chores like pick fruit and still have time for backpacking excursions in the area. This is especially helpful if you plan for your tour to be several months long.
Places to Go
Australiaâ€™s major museums and art galleries are free.
Uluru â€“ It is just a big rock, but itâ€™s a really breathtaking big rock. Be sure to see it at sunrise and sunset.
Fraser Island â€“ This is the worldâ€™s largest sand island and very popular. Itâ€™s very rustic and a great camping location. You can swim and hike as well. Youâ€™ll also see a lot of dingoes.
Daintree â€“ This is truly off the beat path and is the worldâ€™s oldest rainforest. Hiking ranges from easy to very challenging, and once you are away from the touristy areas, it is incredibly peaceful and beautiful.
The Outback â€“ You canâ€™t backpack in Australia without a trip to the outback. You donâ€™t have to be Crocodile Dundee to survive either. Western Australia and the Red Center are the best places.
Tour Some Wineries – Australia has some world class wineries and you can go solo or take an organised tour.Â The Hunter Valley, Margret River, and the Barossa Valley are the best bets.
The Gold Coast â€“ Just south of Brisbane is one of the best places to surf and enjoy the beaches. In addition to the casino we mentioned, the Gold Coast has nice nightlife, good restaurants, but is also affordable on a backpacker budget.
Tasmania â€“ The ultimate off the beaten track destination. You get there by ferry from Melbourne. The bays are beautiful and there are lots of amazing hiking areas. The towns are small and the people are great.