Flights are relatively cheap and actually quite convenient. Hitchhiking in Australia is a common and very safe practice.
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Make sure to follow the usual rules of the trade though and, as always, use common sense. Always be prepared and treat hitchhiking like a wilderness situation.
In some cases, you can actually make reservations online for transport in and out of Australia. By using an online resource, like 12Go , you can save yourself a whole lot of stress and maybe even some cash. Check it out!
By far the best way to get around Australia is by having your own vehicle. There are many car rental companies in Australia that offer long-term contracts. Each has a wide variety of vehicle types from sedans to 4x4s to campervans. Campervans are definitely the most popular way of getting around Australia as they provide both transport and lodging at the same time. Living out of a campervan can be convenient, fun, and cheaper than conventional travel. Most offer good rates especially for longer periods of time. I recommend going with Wicked Campers if you plan on renting a campervan in Australia.
Make sure to check the contract though — many rental companies impose certain restrictions on going offroading and over a certain amount of miles per day, and charge extra fees for not following these parameters.
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If you plan on staying in Australia for a long time more than 6 months try buying your own campervan. You can find adds for used campers in many hostels and on the online boards like gumtree. When buying a camper, be sure to take the vehicle to the shop to get it checked before actually committing.
Most auto shops are used to this kind of request and will charge a competitive fee.
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Your home for the next several months. Luckily, Australia benefits from some very, very cheap international airline routes. The cheapest and most convenient flights out of Australia are usually bound for Asian destinations. Seriously, you can get just about anywhere in Asia from Australia and for a great price.
Malaysia is a pretty cool spot and backpacking around the peninsula or on the island of Borneo is definitely worth trying. Otherwise, you can get just about anywhere from Kuala Lumpur. Asia aside, you can, of course, head across the Tasman to start backpacking in New Zealand. Unlike Australia though, New Zealand has a wildly diverse geography and is much more temperate, both in terms of climate and native personality.
How about a dose of some real mountains in Pakistan after Australia? Traveling to Australia on a budget is doable if you know a couple frugal tricks. Doing so means sticking to hostels, cooking at home, and drinking goon, among other things.
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More popular destinations, like Melbourne and Sydney, will be more expensive while most of Queensland and parts of Western Australia will be cheaper. I strongly advise those backpacking around Australia to limit how much they dine out — the food is overpriced and, quite often, bland. Much better to buy cheaper groceries and cook at the hostel. If you must drink, buy the cheap and ubiquitous boxed wines aka goon — these will be your only saving grace.
If you plan on participating in any of the classic Australian adventures, like diving at the Great Barrier or sailing in the Whitsundays, you will definitely be paying a pretty penny. The only thing to do is just save up as much as possible and then pick one or two of your favorites to participate in. Photo: Workfortravel wikicommons. The value of the Australian dollar has fallen in recent years due to economic changes but the country is still prosperous and expensive by international standards.
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ATMs are widely available and pulling out cash via a foreign card is an effortless affair. Most ATMs will charge a withdrawal fee on top of whatever international charges your bank imposes. Best to take out lots of cash at once to avoid paying too much in fees. All of the major banking corporations — Commonwealth, Westpac, NAB, ANZ — have basic savings accounts that are very convenient and easy to use for those who are on a working holiday in Australia.
Drop by any bank and inquire about how to start your account. If you had a job while backpacking Australia, definitely make sure to do your taxes at the end of the fiscal year! Backpackers are usually entitled to a huge tax return for reasons that are hard to explain and it would be a real shame to walk away from a big payday! Camp : With plenty of gorgeous places to camp, Australia can be a great place to camp in the rural areas. This rule does not apply to buses, which you can often book within the day or even hour.
Check for reviews. That being said, Couch surfing to make some real friendships and see this country from the perspective of locals. Australia benefits from a fairly modern telecommunications network.
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WiFi, 4G speeds, and other forms of connection are widely available and easy to find. Most cafes and many public spaces, like libraries, busy town squares, and grocery stores, have free hotspots that can be connected to with only a little effort. Some people do complain that Australian internet can be slow. I personally had no problem while using it though. Probably free there too. They have so little worries and give so little fucks that life just seems easier in their presence. It can be argued that the Australian attitude derives from their inhospitable environment.
An Australian is threatened on a near day-to-day basis either from deadly creatures, ridiculous climate patterns or from people that constantly need to remind them of these last two points. After a while, danger itself just becomes commonplace and desensitizing.
The fact that Australia is so geographically remote as well means that hardly any international presence notices or really holds Australia very accountable. To be fair, Australians who live in their home country are a little different from the ones that you see traveling so much. Rooted Australians are still hard workers and seemingly proficient at any trade involving blue collar work.
Aboriginal people, the original Australians, are also present in modern Australian society, though to a smaller degree. Australian cuisine is heavily influenced by its colonial roots. English, Italian, Asian, and Greek styles are all present in modern day Australian cooking to varying degrees. Being a colony of the British Empire first and foremost, Australian cuisine resembles most that of the English variety. When dining out in Australia, expect a similar experience to as if you were dining out in the UK.
The food will be hearty, heavy, and, at times, somewhat basic. Being a nation of immigrants though, there is plenty more than the usual English fair. Several Mediterranean cultures call Australia home as well and have brought their cuisines with them. Thank the Italians for introducing a strong cafe culture in Australia — coffee in Australia is surprisingly delicious and taken seriously. Kangaroo is healthy and cheap. Other more exotic meats like emu, alligator, and even grubs are available in specialty markets. Having lived in the nation for some time, I can confidently say that are very few countries that have as many music festivals per capita as Australia!
There seems to be a different one nearly every weekend in this country. There are other cultural celebrations in Australia that showcase other forms of expression but they sometimes feel buried by the musical ones. They, in addition to the public holidays and the music festivals, make for a thrilling time. The super popular Rainbow Serpent Festival is held on this weekend as well. Anzac Day April 25 — Day of remembrance for fallen soldiers. Usually a very somber and ceremonial day. Features blues, roots, alternative, and more musical styles. Wide Open Space May — Cultural festival that celebrates desert life.
Music is very trancy and underground. Melbourne Cup November 5 — The most prestigious horse racing event in Australia. Lots of silly hats. If you plan on going backpacking in Australia, you must go walking in the wilderness for a few days. Here is a forbidding land, full of harsh landscapes and bitter elements, the likes of which tested and tortured the original settlers. Should you decide to brave these wilds, you will gain real insight into the Australian identity.
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To enter the Australian backcountry you will also need to be prepared. Also, consider buying a sleeping mat or a hammock instead. I always suggest getting a sturdy backpack as well, especially so if you intend venturing deep into the wilderness. My first backpack was a cheap one. Though it lasted a respectable amount of time, it would eventually be held together by duct tape and carabiners.
Needless to say, it was far from waterproof.
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