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Published on : Saturday, June 20, 2015
Australia is geared to budget travel, from Surfers Paradise to Subiaco, Broome to Brisbane. It’s easy to get around, with good networks of roads and public transport, and accommodation options range from five-star hotels to million-star camping.
Before you land in Australia you’ll need to apply for a visa. Depending on where you’re from and what you plan to do, you could be eligible for an ETA (Electronic Transfer Authority) that is simply issued by a travel agent when buying an airline ticket.
If you are aged between 18 and 30 and staying for more than three months, or who want to work, it’s worth getting a Working Holiday Visa which allows holders to work for up to four months over a 12-month period.
Staying in hostels is the easiest way to hook into the travellers’ network. YHA and VIP Backpackers have hostels all over the country, ranging from beach shacks to flash-packers. There are also countless independent hostels, B&Bs, motels and country pubs as well as camping and caravan parks right around the coast, many located right on the beachfront.
You can also free camp in some places – just check the signs or local laws and be sure to ‘leave only footprints’. There aren’t many places in the world where you can spread your swag (bedroll) or pitch your tent beside a lily-strewn billabong or at the edge of a perfect golden beach and snooze beneath the Milky Way.
When it comes time to move, options are defined by destination, distance and dollars. Greyhound and local buses service metropolitan and regional centres, and hop-on-hop off mini-buses frequent the popular travellers’ routes, particularly along the east coast.
If you’ve got the time and you really want to get off the beaten track look at renting or buying a car or campervan. There are heaps of companies that cater to backpackers. There are inter-city trains and public transport systems in all the major cities and you can cross the continent, east to west from Sydney to Perth via the Nullarbor Plain on the Indian Pacific, or north to south from Darwin to Adelaide on The Ghan.
For those with limited time or travelling solo, small group tour operators offer a huge variety of adventures, from cruising the party spots along the east coast to exploring deep into the outback wilderness.
Travelling in Australia is very much about the journey as much as the destination. It’s a wide, open, friendly place where throwing on a backpack and hitting the road will challenge, thrill, delight and intrigue you as few places on earth ever will.
Source: Tourism Australia