Things to see and do while backpacking in Australia.
Check out tips from other travellers and bloggers and their experiences in Australia.
If you're already planning to visit Australia - scroll to the next section for a list of the best places to stay.
Footscray – Little Vietnam
One of Melbourne’s biggest migrant communities is the Vietnamese, who have settled mainly in the West. After the devastating Vietnam War, thousands came to nearby Australia for refuge, with many settling in Melbourne’s inner west. Although there are many Melbourne suburbs with thriving Vietnamese populations (such as Richmond, Springvale or Sunshine), this article will narrow down on Footscray, an inner city suburb that is easily accessible to tourists.Hania
The What (and the Where)?
The Hay Plains is one of the flattest places on earth – second after the Sahara according to the locals (however Google tells me Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is actually the flattest). It is the vast area surrounding my hometown of Hay in New South Wales, Australia. Located halfway between Sydney and Adelaide, and about five hours (or less, depending how you drive) from Melbourne it is smack-bang in the middle of nowhere, yet also the centre of everywhere.Victoria Anderson
Why Port Moresby?
1) If you are an Australian citizen, you will need to apply for a tourist visa in advance from the local Papuan Consulate/High Commission. Americans, Canadian, New Zealanders, Europeans and South East Asian can get a free visa on arrival at Port Moresby AirportMartin Anthony
Gold Coast, Australia : The perfect holiday destination
Gold Coast happens to be Australia’s entertainment capital is where the rib tickling Bollywood blockbuster movie called ‘Singh is King’ was shot. Often confused with Brisbane by the outsiders, Gold Coast has a charm of its own. It’s one of those cities that offers two opposite kinds of lifestyle- one full of hustle-bustle, and the other with beyond imagination #chill ; which means anybody from Shakespeare’s 7 stages of life can revel Gold Coast!Aakansha Gurnani
2. Get Nude at Long Beach
One of Australia’s most Beautiful Beaches also happens to be the only nudist beach on the island. It’s only about a 40 minute hike from the main tourist area but does require a medium fitness level as the hike back involves a long, slightly steep hill climb on loose rock. Don’t forget your sunscreen for this one!Wanderlust Storm
Always have a backup plan
You are going to need one. Since being in Australia, I’ve had so many things go wrong that I’m losing count. Firstly, your priority should be money. The amount of people I’ve walked by on the streets of Sydney who are sleeping rough because they have no money is astonishing. Backpackers included! Think twice before being roped into that 3-day tour around Bondi for more money than makes sense and do not get led into any over the top swanky bars in Sydney without being prepared to shell out a near-fortune for drinks. I know a lot of people will be smart about their money, especially since you had to save it to get here in the first place, but I know there will be people like me who are still learning what it’s like to be an adult. Make friends with people who are going to help you out when you need it, and be there for them in the same way. Don’t hang around with people who encourage your inappropriate spending (more specifically on nights out – I’m sure you know the kind). And in fear of sounding like your mother – BE SENSIBLE.Rebecca Pritchard
Rottnest Island: my first Australian exploration
I was alone, all by myself, in another country, on the other side of the world, at the beginning of my year of travelling around Australia, willing to be surprised, amazed, touched, embraced by all that “novelty”!Esmeralda
William Rickett’s Sanctuary
There is nothing like getting out of the city and finding yourself surrounded by the kind of nature that has inspired painters, sculptors, and poets. To stand amongst trees that would rival the city skyline, to breathe in the crisp and clean air, to smell a distant fireplace burning through the green forest. It is places such as these that make me feel truly at home, and why I will always be an Australian at heart.ada-jay
Things to do and see in Perth: Western Australias biggest city
Perth – the “capital” of Western Australia, the city that rises in the horizon with skyscrapers and building with barely anything around it. Actually, Perth is said to be the most isolated bigger city on the mainland because the closest big city from Perth is 2000 km away. Still, Perth is well worth a visit because there is a lot to do and see in and around Perth. Here I will guide you in 5 places you have to visit in Perth.Joline Lyttinen
To make your money stretch a little further buy platter food such as cheese, salami, olives and semi-dried tomatoes from the supermarket for dinner on the first day then you can use the left overs in a pasta the following night. I suggest enjoying your platter at Pyramid Rock there you’ll see the sun set over the water which isn’t common on the East Coast of Australia as the sun sets in the West. During summer the sun will set around 8:30pm so give yourself some time to take the walk down to Pyramid Rock and enjoy the view.Ellie Chadwick
Shrine Of Remembrance
Next on the list and something I feel is very important to mention is the Shrine of Remembrance. It is one of many truly magnificent war memorials in Australia and was built to honour the men and woman of Victoria who served in world war one. The designing of the Shrine was based on the Mausoleum of Maussollos which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. As you approach this beautiful building and climb the steps to the entrance, turn around and take in the glorious views of Melbourne through the parkland that surrounds the Shrine. Upon entering the Shrine it is important to be respectful and keep talking to a minimum. Once in the main entrance, you will come to the Stone of Remembrance which is inscribed with the words “Greater love hath no man”. If you are there in the month of November on the 11th day at the 11th hour (Remembrance Day), you are in for a special treat. There is an aperture in the roof that allows a ray of sunlight to shine through and light up the word “Love” in the inscription on the stone. As you continue through the shrine you will be greeted with collected artefacts from the families of those fallen. In the crypt below you will be able to see the Gallery of Medals. One medal represents a hundred Victorians who have served. At 5 pm each day there is a Flag Ceremony which the general public can attend, we stumbled across it one day and were so happy to have experienced it. Don’t forget to climb the stairs to the top of the shrine and take a walk around the balcony, there are sweeping views of the city, Port Phillip Bay and St. Kilda.Rebecca Brunning
Sydney: First look at Australia
After a long, very long journey from France, I have finally arrived in Sydney! It is 7am, I am exhausted but so happy to be here. It is the start of my one year Working Holiday Visa in Australia!Wild Coconut
Peninsula Hot Springs
Like anyone else, I like the occasional pampering. The problem is that I’m usually way too cheap! But Peninsula Hot Springs is a very affordable pampering – and you’d never guess it from the Bath House. I can’t speak to the spa, but the bathing area is beautifully set within lots of greenery, and offers 20 different “experiences” which include different temperature pools (one of which sits on top of a hill!!), a sauna, steam room, and showers. We paid $35 dollars each (off peak day) and spent over 2 hours hopping between pools and sitting by the duck pond. You can save even more money by visiting in the morning before 9 am. I’d recommend doing it in the morning or evening, because those pools are HOT. I couldn’t imagine doing it during the daytime in the heat of the Australian summer.Mei Ling
Find Australian designer wear on the cheap after a marvellous fry-up brunch and have a nap in the grass when your feet get sore. There are cute artisan and craft stalls and places to buy burek, rice paper rolls and almond milk flat whites if you haven’t had enough food already.nicole-nuglar
Where to stay
A trip to Phillip Island is well worth it, if you live in Melbourne, Victoria or just visiting Australia it’s somewhere I can’t not recommend to visit, safe travels!Melissa Badsey
One of the best draw cards for this area of far North Queensland is the abundance of amazing waterfalls.
My global sporting adventures took me to Melbourne, Australia, for seven months, and I recently visited Cairns and a whole section of Australia’s sunny East Coast in November, with a couple of friends during the off season for hockey. It was a perfect time to go, as the weather was hot and humid, but not unbearable. We hired a car for a couple of days and set off on a mission to smash out as many of the wonderful waterfalls and swimming holes of the Atherton Tablelands as possible!Bridgette Allen
Travelling as a couple means that in order to be in a room together and still saving money staying in hostels we go for the ‘Mixed Dorm’ option. However this proved a popular choice and booking only a week in advance many of the hostels in Byron were either booked up or only had one bed left in the rooms we wanted. We then found the Cape Byron YHA which had beds left in the room we wanted, in this case it was 5 bed share mixed dorm. When we arrived at Cape Byron YHA the guy at reception was great, he filled us in on where all the facilities, toilets/showers and kitchen, at the hostel were. He even recommended a walking trail to The Most Easternly point of Australia’s mainland and the Cape Byron Lighthouse, he gave us a little map showing us how to get there too. Our accommodation was located around 200m from the beach, if not closer. You could see the entrance to the beach from our hostels reception. Right around the corner was the centre of Byron, a perfect location. Cape Byron YHA also offered the free use of the hostels bikes and bodyboards. We ran out of time to make the most of the bikes but we took full advantage of the bodyboards on our day at the beach. We really enjoyed our stay here, all the staff were super friendly and the hostel was well equipped and well maintained; clean! If it’s a hostel you’re looking for I would say look no further. However there are plenty of alternatives such as holiday apartments/hotels and camping and campervan sites in the area too.paige-crosbie
Sydney City Centre
For those who like to indulge in a little retail therapy (guilty!) then head to the bustling Pitt Street which offers everything from Australia’s best designer stores to quirky boutiques and homewares. Not a fan of shopping? Continue with the culture trail and check out The Royal Botanical Gardens or the Art Gallery of New South Wales, showcasing the best local and international art and parklands retrospectively.Lexie Hadley
Wedge Island : Bush Tracks to Beach Bliss
When visiting Western Australia, one of the most popular day trips tourists embark on is the hour or so commute to Lancelin, a popular beach side town north of Perth in search of an ‘outback Australian adventure’ . Lancelin, with its white sand and blaring sun, does deliver- beautiful beaches for surfing and relaxing, sand dunes for four-wheel-driving, sand boarding and of course, the icon of many small Aussie towns, the local bakery where children and adults alike laze around in chairs out the front, satisfying hunger on endless summer days.Bec Myers
*Gasp!* the beaches!
Coogee Beach is home to lots of students from the University of New South Wales as well as locals. It is the location of the Coogee Pavilion and Coogee Bay hotel where you can find good conversation as well as a cold beer or two. Coogee is a chill spot to lay down your towel and catch some rays. Then after the beach the nightlife makes for a chill spot to meet up with friends for a bevvy. Not far from Coogee is Bondi Beach which can be reached by bus or along the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. This walk might seem long but with breathtaking scenery along the way, the walk will seem quick. There’s a lawn bowling club, outdoor gym equipment and small beaches along the path. The white wash waves and wave cut cliff rocks are especially eye catching. On a weekend this path can be somewhat busy, but if you’re an early bird or a night owl it makes for a romantic sunrise or sunset stroll too. Some of the beaches you can pit-stop to along way are Bronte and Tamarama that aren’t as busy and “touristy” as the main beaches. Continue the coastal walk past these beaches and you’ll round the corner to Bondi to see its long stretch of sand and surf. There’s lots of beach side eateries, bars and fun going on here. On a hot day you’d better be prepared to see thousands of beach babes crowd the sand and get their tan on as this is the place to be. Bondi is the spot to let your hair down and run into the water. Many backpackers find home to this area since it means being near the beach. All around Sydney one can find a good time, whether it’s at the beach, walking by the shops or sipping coffee in a park, many people enjoy what this city has to offer. Surry Hills has the eclectic housing, Newtown has a good night out and the CBD has great shopping opportunity. This hot spot is a “must-see” in Australia whether you’re here for a good time or a long time make sure you check it out.devon-ramwell
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