Welcome to Australia!

One of the most popular destinations in the world and with good reason, Australia has it all – exciting cities, amazing nature experiences, incredible wildlife, an interesting history, great food, nice people etc. I’ve loved Australia since the first time I visited back in 2007, in fact so much that I decided to move there for 1,5 years back in January 2017. Australia is a must visit, and I sincerely hope you will love the country as much as I do!


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Australia

About Australia

Australia is located in the South Pacific Ocean with Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand as its closest neighbours. Australia is the sixth largest country in the world and offers very diverse sceneries and climates – from the humid rainforest to the dry desert, from the vibrant big cities to the remote areas, from the multicultural melting pots to the sacred Indigenous lands. There is something for everyone in Australia!

Best time to visit

Australia is a huge country and the best time to visit is different depending on where you plan to go. The northern part of the country has two seasons; wet season and dry season, where dry season that runs from May to October is the best time to visit. The temperatures are around 20-30 degrees and the humidity is low.

The southern part of the country has four seasons where late spring and summer that runs from November to February are the best times to visit. The temperatures are around 25-30 degrees. This time of the year, the cities are more vibrant and lots of events and festivals are held. However, the popular attractions can be very crowded and prices may rise.

The red centre is a dry desert with very hot temperatures around 30-40 degrees during summer and colder temperatures around 10-20 degrees during winter.


Getting there and getting around

For most people, Australia is far away and getting there requires a flight. Momondo (affiliate link) is my preferred site for finding cheap flight tickets. There are major international airports in Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Darwin and Perth and various domestic airports throughout the country. The biggest Australian airlines are Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia.

A popular way of exploring Australia is by car or campervan. Most of the different cities and towns are connected by highways, making it very easy to get around. However, you should know that the Australian’s drive on the left side of the road. As an alternative, bus companies like Greyhound, Premier Motor Service and AAT Kings offer bus trips around the country.


Other information

Time: +8 GMT on the West Coast to +11 GMT on the East Coast.
Language: English.
Population: 24 million.
Capital: Canberra.
Currency: Australian Dollars (AUD) (1 AUD ≈ 0,76 USD). You can pay with credit card pretty much everywhere. There are ATMs in most cities and towns. It’s not common to tip in Australia except for excellent service. In that case, leave a maximum of 10%  gratuity.
Visa: All visitors except for New Zealanders need a visa to enter Australia. You can read more about the visa requirements and apply for a visa for up to 90 days on this site. The typical tourist visa (eVisitor subclass 651) is free of charge.
Safety rating: 12/163 on the Global Peace Index.


Budget

Accommodation

Accommodation in average hotels cost around 100-200 AUD per night for a double room. Free wifi is common, however, some places only offer free wifi in the main areas.
Accommodation in average hostels cost around 25-50 AUD per night. Most hostels have several room options from private double rooms to big dorm rooms that accommodate several people. Wifi is typically available, but be aware that wifi isn’t always included in the price.
In addition, Airbnb is widely available in Australia, and there are various campgrounds throughout the coast.

Food and drinks

Eating out is typically expensive in Australia. A meal at an average restaurant costs around 25-40 AUD while fast food costs around 10-15 AUD.
Drinks range from around 10 AUD for a glass of wine to 20 AUD for a cocktail.

Transportation

Not surprisingly, the price for flight tickets varies depending on where you fly from. However, it’s often quite expensive to fly to Australia. Likewise, domestic flight tickets are typically quite pricey.
The price of renting a car or campervan is decent. 20 days with different pickup and drop off locations cost approximately 750-1000 AUD for a compact car and approximately 750-2000 AUD for a campervan.

Attractions and activities

The price level on attractions and activities is generally high. However, Australia has so many amazing things to see and do that you can’t miss out on.
Day trips to the Great Barrier Reef cost around 180 AUD for snorkellers and around 250 AUD for divers.
Sailing tours on the Whitsundays cost around 500 AUD for a two days and two nights-tour.
Bus tours on Fraser Island cost around 350 AUD for a two days and one night-tour.
Surf lessons cost around 65 AUD for a two-hour lesson.
Bridge climbs on the Harbour Bridge cost around 320 AUD.

Other

Other expenses you should consider are travel insurance and visa (if necessary). Travel insurance for three weeks in Australia costs around 90-160 AUD.

 


Itinerary options

3 weeks: The East Coast

3 days in Cairns
2 days on Magnetic Island
3 days at the Whitsundays
1 day at Cape Hillsborough
2 days on Fraser Island
3 days in Noosa
2 days in Brisbane
5 days in Byron Bay

4 weeks: The best of Australia

4 days in Sydney
3 days at Uluru
2 days in Adelaide
4 days at Kangaroo Island
2 days in Barossa Valley
5 days along the Great Ocean Road
5 days in Melbourne
3 days in Sydney

10 weeks: The big trip

5 days in Sydney
4 days at Uluru
5 days in Darwin
4 days in Cairns
2 days on Magnetic Island
3 days at the Whitsundays
1 day at Cape Hillsborough
3 days on Fraser Island
5 days in Noosa
3 days in Brisbane
7 days in Byron Bay
7 days in Melbourne
7 days along the Great Ocean Road
3 days in Adelaide
5 days at Kangaroo Island
3 days in Barossa Valley
3 days in Sydney