Ever since I went over to Australia as a backpacker and fell in love with the country, I have been a self-confessed cheerleader for all things Down Under. But it’s not just me, I don’t know a single traveler who has paid a visit to the Southern Hemisphere and who hasn’t fallen in love with the climate, the culture, the incredible landscape and the people. Australia has a certain charm I haven’t yet found elsewhere, perhaps it’s something to do with all that vitamin D, perhaps it’s just living a lifestyle where you put having a life first! Whatever it is, it sparks something in visitors from all over the world. From the backpackers heading over for their working holiday visa, to the families or retirees eager to see the famous sights, to the ones who drop everything and decide to emigrate. I’ve seen the stars in the eyes of those fresh off the plane – the ones who spent every night dreaming of what Australia could be and then finding it was something completely different but more incredible than they could have imagined.
But planning a trip to Australia can be pretty intimidating with the sheer enormity of the country and such a wealth of activities and things to see. Where would you even begin? Well take it from someone who spent two years over there and still didn’t have time to see everything she wanted – if you try to take on the whole country you’re probably going to lose. However, if you’re smart about planning your trip – you will get to see the side of Australia that will most set your world alight and will stay with you long after the plane hits the tarmac at home. No matter what trip you are planning – there are always ways to cut corners, to save money and to ensure you really make the most of your time in the country. Here is my ultimate Australia holiday planning guide with all my best tips for saving money and time along the way – suitable for all types of travellers and all lengths of trips:
How long are you going for?
This is key to your whole trip because Australia is a big place and you need to make sure you plan effectively to make the most of your time. You also have to consider the travelling time which takes up two days at either end of your trip.
TWO WEEKS: If you can’t get much time away from work and only have two weeks to see the country then you should focus on the East Coast. Fly into Sydney and see the sights, then take two weeks to explore the delights of the Great Barrier Reef and the beaches of places like Byron Bay and the Whitsundays. Two weeks is a bit rushed but if you choose carefully where you want to stop along the way, you’ll have a great trip.
THREE WEEKS: Three to four weeks gives you ample time to really savour the East Coast, you could fly into Cairns and start by working your way down the coast, then hit Sydney. After a few days soaking up the sights, you could continue and drive to Melbourne taking in the Great Ocean Road along the way. It’s a fantastic road trip and a great way to see half of Australia in just a few weeks.