A land filled with adrenaline-inducing experiences, remarkable road trips, breathtaking wildlife and vibrant city vibes, Australia has been and continues to be one of the top destinations in the world for adventurous travellers and backpackers alike. It is no wonder that thousands of people flock to this great southern land year after year, in search of the once-in-a-lifetime experiences that are so unique to this incredible country.
If you are someone who is seeking an adventure down under and are looking for all the resources you need to make the most out of your trip, you’ve come to the right place. While no one wants to overplan their trip to the land of “no worries”, our guide to backpacking Australia is loaded with all the tips you will need to make your trip as laid-back as possible. So, without further ado, let’s get this show on the road!
Australian Travel Costs
Ensuring that you are able to both fund and sustain your backpacking trip to Australia is crucial. This is especially important when it comes to visa requirements, as some visas may allow you to work for a certain number of hours per week, while others may not. In order to ensure that you aren’t accidentally breaking any laws, it is vital to have a thorough understanding of Australian travel costs.
The currency in Australia is the Australian Dollar. It’s denoted by the dollar sign “$” , the same as the American and Canadian Dollar. If you don't have time to get cash at the bank prior to your trip to Australia, you may be tempted to get foreign currency at an airport currency exchange counter. Although these places offer convenience, exchange rates are typically much less favourable than your bank at home. A better option in this case would be to skip the kiosks and instead head to a local bank that offers foreign exchange services.
Expert Tip: If you’re looking to lock in exchange rates prior to your trip, we highly recommend looking into getting a travel money card.
Cost Of Flights
The costs of flights to Australia vary greatly, depending on your origin and the time of year you are planning to travel. Generally, it is cheaper to travel during the low-season (June-August), when flight costs are slashed by up to 40%. The more flexible you are with your travel dates, the higher the chance of finding a great deal that will save you a ton of money in the long run.
In terms of inter-state travel, flight tickets are relatively affordable and may cost anywhere between $60-$240AUD. Again, prices vary according to season, so be sure to do your homework if you’re looking to keep flight costs down.
Cost Of Accomodation
Accommodation costs will vary according to the type of room or hostel you choose. In major cities such as Melbourne and Sydney, a bed in an 8-person dorm will cost roughly $20–$35AUD a night. In smaller cities such as Cairns, you can expect to pay a little less, with beds going for $20–$25AUD a night.
Cost Of Transportation
Public Transport: The cost of transportation as a backpacker in Australia will vary greatly according to the frequency and type of travel you are planning. Luckily, most cities in Australia have reliable, efficient and cost-friendly public transport services. Generally, we encourage backpackers to get their hands on a smart travel card (like a Myki card) to keep costs as low as possible. In major cities such as Melbourne, you can expect to pay a maximum of $8 a day for train, bus and tram rides.
Interstate Transport: If you plan on travelling interstate by road, we highly recommend looking into affordable options such as Greyhound or Firefly Express. These services offer flexible hop-on hop-off packages, and direct bus routes between major cities cost between $75 AUD and $150 AUD.
Domestic Flights: Domestic flights in Australia are another fantastic way of travelling interstate on a budget. Budget airlines such as Virgin Australia or Jetstar fly between major cities for as little as $40. Make sure to pay attention to their baggage policies, especially their carry-on weight restrictions.
Renting a Car or Campervan: Renting a vehicle makes sense for short and some longer stays in Australia. Thankfully, Australia has many free campgrounds, and renting a campervan would also cut down on costs by doubling as accommodation.
Alternatively, if you choose to rent a car, you will need to sort out accommodation at local motels, hostels, Airbnbs etc. during longer trips. Do note that you are required to follow local traffic rules and laws, with no exceptions. Find out more about renting a car in Australia as a backpacker here
Cost Of Food & Drink
Food and drink in Australia doesn’t always come cheap, but that doesn’t mean that you have to spend all your hard earned money at fancy restaurants or cafes. Many backpackers in Australia cook their own meals at hostels or campsites to save money. By heading to the supermarkets (Aldi, Woolworths, Coles) and preparing your own meals, your average cost of food per day can add up to as little as $10.
Luckily, there are also a number of cheap eats that you’ll find all around Australia. Find out more about the best cheap eats for under $20 in Melbourne here.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Australia?
The truth is, the “best time” to visit Australia is completely subjective and entirely up to your individual weather preferences. Australia is a massive country that experiences different climates throughout the year. Depending on your chosen destination, planning according to the season is crucial.
If you are planning on travelling during the Australian winter, you’ll enjoy milder temperatures in the ‘Outback’ (central Australia), Queensland, the Northern Territory and the northern part of Western Australia. Because these locations often experience sweltering Summer heatwaves and are prone to tropical storms, they are best visited during the colder months of the year.
If you plan to travel during the Australian Summer, the best places to visit are Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia between November and April. You’ll escape the winter chill and maybe even get to join in the fun of a quintessential Bondi Christmas under the glorious, warm sunshine!
Australian Visa Requirements
Now that you’ve sorted your finances out, it is important to ensure that you acquire an appropriate visa for your travels to Australia. There are several visa options depending on the intended length of stay, age, and your home country. The 3 most common visas for backpackers to Australia include:
Electronic Travel Authority: The ETA costs $20AUD and is available for passport holders from the United States, Canada, Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, or South Korea. Visa holders are eligible for stays up to 3 months, with unlimited entries into Australia for the duration of the visa.
Please note that ETAs are mandated by law to contain a no-work condition. This prohibits a holder of an ETA pass to carry out any work whilst in Australia other than what is considered “business visitor activity”. Find out more about the ETA here.
eVisitor visa: This free visa is available for passport holders from Europe and is valid for 12 months. Visa holders are eligible for stays up to 3 months, with unlimited entries into Australia for the duration of the visa.
Please note that eVisitor visas are mandated by law to contain a no-work condition. This prohibits a holder of an eVisitor visa to carry out any work whilst in Australia other than what is considered “business visitor activity”. Find out more about the eVisitor visa here.
The Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417 or 462): This is a temporary visa allowing young people aged 18 to 30 (to 35 for some nationalities) to travel and work in Australia for up to one year. You can renew this visa up to 2 times (conditions apply).
During your 12 month stay, Working Holiday Visa holders can work as much or as little as they choose in full-time, part-time, casual, paid or voluntary work. However, the work is restricted to a period of six months with any single employer. Find out more about the Working Holiday Visa here.
For more information,we recommend referring to the Australia visa and immigration website for all their visa options.
Australian Vaccination Requirements
From July 6 2022, the way you travel to and from Australia has changed. All travellers should be aware that:
- People entering Australia do not need to provide evidence of vaccination status
- People entering Australia do not need to complete the Digital Passenger Declaration or Maritime Travel Declaration
- People leaving Australia will not be asked to provide evidence of their vaccination status
- Unvaccinated visa holders do not need a travel exemption to travel to Australia
- Masks are still required on flights travelling to Australia.
- It is important to remember that airlines, vessel operators and other countries may have specific requirements that travellers need to comply with.
Although not mandatory, the WHO recommends vaccines for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies, Japanese encephalitis, and influenza.
Should I Visit Australia?
Yes, yes and yes. Australia is one of the world’s best destinations for avid backpackers, brimming with so much natural beauty and diversity that is impossible to fully explore in just one trip. Generally, we recommend that beginner backpackers visit for at least 2-3 weeks each trip, in order to fully enjoy everything that this glorious country has to offer.
While it is common to think it is possible to rush through Australia and see the entire country, it is important to note that the driving distances between destinations are incredibly long and can quickly take a toll on your mind and body.
And there you have it – everything you need to know about the Aussie backpacking scene. Australia is the perfect destination for epic road trips, lots of fun, food, laughter and memories that are guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Are you planning on backpacking your way through Australia sometime soon? Have a burning question that needs answering? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
Posted By JenniferA
Updated : 19th August 2022 | Words : 1691 | Views : 418