For a westerner, going to Australia is about as far as you can travel without leaving the planet. That’s part of its appeal for a lot of travellers, but there’s a lot more to Australia than just the incredibly long flight you’ll have to take to get there. It’s a country with a unique culture, outstanding sights, and phenomenal natural beauty. That makes it a perfect destination for a backpacking trip – or indeed a trip of any kind!
If you’re considering visiting the Land Down Under as a backpacker, the first thing you need to know is that you’re not going to see the whole country in a single trip. It’s far too big for that. You can pick and choose your locations because the country is so sparsely populated, but even getting between major cities is an enormous time investment. You’re probably going to need to come back more than once if you want to see everything Australia has to offer. The good news with that is after going once, you’ll definitely want to go again.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume that you’re heading to Australia for the first time, and you want to know what you ought to prioritise. We’ll also tell you a few of the essential things you need to know in advance so you can have the perfect “Aussie Adventure” – a title that just so happens to be shared by a very popular online slots game. The imagery of that online slots game highlights what’s wrong with a lot of people’s impression of Australia before they go there. It’s not all kangaroos, snakes, sandy beaches and cold beers. Granted, those things do exist – which is why you see them represented on the reels of Rose Slots for New Zealand Players – but they’re just window dressing for a much deeper, more meaningful experience. By following these tips, you stand a better chance of sharing in that experience.
Have An Australian Safari
When we hear the word “safari,” we tend to think of the kind of animals you’ll find on the African plains. We think of lions, elephants, giraffes, and water buffalo. You won’t find any of those animals in Australia outside of zoos, but you will find a wide range of other exotic creatures in their natural environment. Your trip to Australia isn’t complete until you’ve seen a kangaroo, a wombat, a koala, and a dingo. Also keep your eyes peeled for emus, wallabies, platypuses, and cassowaries. Visiting a national park is a good way to go about this – especially if you can get yourself booked onto a guided tour.
Dive Into the Melbourne Suburbs
It would be easy to spend most of your Australian vacation in Sydney, which is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s not the only major city in Australia worth visiting, though. Melbourne is also more than worthy of your time, and if you have an interest in the arts, you should head into the suburbs. Known as “the Melbourne laneways,” they’re a hipster’s paradise of street food restaurants, cute coffee shops, authentic Australian street art, and more importantly than all that, friendly Australian people. It will be a highlight of your trip.
Swing By A Barbecue
If you’re an American, you’ll have been raised on the idea that the world’s best barbecues are held in the American south. A visit to Australia will challenge that notion. The best thing about Australian beach barbecues is that they’re often free – they’re considered to be such an important part of Aussie life that they’re laid on by the government! That gives you the chance to sample unique Australian cuisines like camel burgers and kangaroo steaks. You won’t find many of them in Texas.
Find Free WiFi Wherever Possible
Across much of the USA and Europe, internet cafes are becoming a thing of the past. Broadband internet at home is so cheap now that there’s no reason to use them. That’s not the case in Australia, which has the most expensive broadband in the world. Even the internet cafes can be expensive because of this, though. That’s not ideal when you’re on a limited budget, and you need to stay in touch with people at home. On the plus side, almost every McDonald’s offers free WiFi to all customers. All public libraries have to offer free WiFi, too. Take this into account when you’re moving between locations, and make sure you always know where your next connection point is likely to be.
Reverse Your Weather Expectations
We tend to prioritize summer when we book vacations for ourselves. We get away with that so long as we stay in the USA, Europe, or in the northern hemisphere in general. It’s not so easy when we head to the southern hemisphere, where the seasons are inverted. In Australia, Christmas is basically a beach holiday party held at the hottest time of the year. Meanwhile, the most likely time to see snow is in July. That can be an enormous culture shock if you arrive at the height of the western summer dressed for the beach. If you visit between October and March, you’ll find most cities in Australia sweltering in a climate akin to Florida. It’s cheaper to visit during these months because it’s too hot for most tourists, but if you don’t think you can handle the heat you’d be better advised to visit in April or May.
Oh, and keep an eye out for snakes. And spiders, for that matter. If you see a snake or a spider on your journey across the outback, assume it can kill you and act accordingly. We’re not saying that all of them can, but the best way to stay out of trouble with them is to treat them all like they’re hot lava! Remember Sydney is very expensive, but rural areas are very cheap. Most of all, get to know your hosts. Australians are (for the main part) chatty, friendly, and laid-back. They’ll want to know who you are and where you come from, and they might even offer you a beer. So long as you’re in a safe environment, it would be rude to say no!