Backpacking In Australia

in Australia,Best Places To Backpack

Australia is an entire continent that is one of the best places in the world to backpack. Australia has a variety of environments, climates, and terrains within its border. Australia is loaded with unique wildlife that has evolved in isolation on the large island. Being a modern industrialized nation, Australia is easy to navigate and as a good public transportation system. Hitchhiking also isn’t uncommon on the highways, in particular in the Australian outback, as you can read about in Thumbs Up Austrlia: Hitchhiking the Outback.

Australia is one of the world’s best places to backpack but it’s nowhere near one of the cheapest. Flying to Australia is expensive from most anywhere except perhaps another great place to backpack, nearby New Zealand. The Australian dollar is also very strong against the US dollar a of late but despite all of this, Australia is a backpacker’s heaven.

koala bearThe rail system in Australia is very extensive and if you’ll be traveling outside of a single city your best (and cheapest bet) is to get an Austrail Pass. It currently costs about $900 Australian dollar (approximately $835 USD) for unlimited rail over 6 months. Considering how large Australia is the Austrail may save you quite a bit of money and hassle traveling even though it’s a large upfront investment. You can also purchase packages that are specific to a region (i.e. East Coast Discovery Coast) for a bit less. Make sure to research and check all of the restrictions on the particular plan you intend on using before booking.

Covering a lot of territory in Australia will take time and if your goal is to explore the entire country you should set aside 3-6 months if possible. You’ll want to go with a bigger backpack that’s light and can carry some outdoor and camping gear. The Osprey Atmos 65L pack is a good choice and is a nice blend of size and portability. There is a lot to see and do and plenty of land in between so having hiking boots, and a good sleeping bag that is well insulated against the chilly nights particularly in the Outback. The TETON Sports XL sleeping bag is an affordable and can keep you warm in temperatures down to -25C.

Hostels are frequent and plentiful in Australia and walking around most cities and towns is safe and easy. Australia has a low crime rate and most hostels are equipped with lockers to keep your backpack and valuables safe. It’s hard to recommend any one hostel in each of the major cities since there are so many good ones. Focus on finding one with wi-fi, a bit outside of downtown (it’s cheaper), and is well rated. Hostel World and Hostel Bookers are both full of plentiful recommendations for most hostels.

port arthur australia australia satellie image

Backpacking The Region

If you’re considering a regional backpacking trip try combing Australia with:

| New Zealand | Thailand |Philippines |

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