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Australia Travel Guide

Looking for an in-depth Australia travel guide?

Then you’re in the right place!

If you’re looking for an adventure, it’s high time you booked a trip to Australia.

From beautiful beaches to breathtaking deserts to astounding mountains to unique wildlife, Australia really does have it all. You’ll find so many true bucket list experiences in this country, whether you’re surfing Byron Bay, exploring the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, or marveling at Uluru and taking in the desert culture in Alice Springs.

You’re sure to come home with tons of memories and plenty of photos to show your friends and family.

Australia is a huge country and packed with so many incredible things to see and do that it’s hard to get the full experience in one short trip. You’ll want to set aside a fair amount of time to explore this unique part of the world, and there are many easy ways to do just that!

If you have a fair amount of flexibility or just want to take a little life sabbatical and go exploring, look into a working holiday visa. This visa allows 18 to 30-year-olds from certain eligible countries to travel through Australia for up to 12 months while working specific jobs in sectors like Australian tourism, farming, and construction.

This is a great way to really get to know the country while making some money to fund your travels. Head to the Australian Department of Home Affairs website to learn more.

If a working holiday is a bit too much of a commitment, look into tour companies and travel agents that offer travel Australia packages or youth travel backpacking tours around the country. In many cases, these companies will also help with many of the logistics involved in traveling to Australia, from visas to transportation between destinations.

Once you’ve figured out how you’re going to travel around Australia, it’s time to figure out where you’re going to go! Australia’s famous cities like Sydney and Melbourne are of course worth visiting, but there are plenty of other gems to check out.

Australian Capital Territory, a small territory carved out of New South Wales that is home to the capital city of Canberra, has plenty to explore and makes for one of the best day trips from Sydney. Visit the ski slopes of the Australian Alps in the winter, take a tour of Parliament House, or float above the city in a hot air balloon.

Over in Western Australia, you’ll find the lively city of Perth, where you can sip local wine and snap a photo with an adorable quokka all in one day!

Want to visit some of the most beautiful beaches in the world? Head to the Gold Coast on Australia’s east coast where you’ll find bright blue waters, incredible surf, and laid-back vibes.

And if you’re looking for the road trip of a lifetime, consider a drive down the famous Great Ocean Road, a scenic highway in Southern Australia that’s hard to beat.

Keep reading to dive into resources that will help you with planning a trip to Australia in Oceania.

Note: This ultimate guide to Australia travel contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Australia Map

Use this Australia travel map to begin planning your trip to this incredible country!

Australia map

Click here for an interactive Google Map version of the above graphic.

Adventure & Hiking Holidays In Australia

Looking to have some active travel adventures in Australia? Don’t miss:

Australia Road Trip Guide

Looking for the perfect Australia road trip itinerary? These posts can help!

Australia Travel Tips

The following Australia travel advice can help you plan the perfect trip, whether you’re visiting to experience solo female travel or in a group!

Barossa Valley Travel Guide

No Australia guide would be complete without mentioning the Barossa Valley and the many things to do there, like:

Melbourne Travel Guide

Looking for a Melbourne visitor’s guide that can help you plan the perfect trip? Check out:

Sydney Travel Guide

Looking for a Sydney destination guide? These Australia travel articles can help!

Kangaroo Island Travel Guide

When traveling Australia, you can’t miss Kangaroo Island. Here is how to have an incredible time!

Other Places To Visit In Australia

Looking for the best places to visit in Australia? Here are some other unforgettable ideas:

Best Tours In Australia

Explore local culture with an Australia tour guide through these unique excursions:

  • Great Barrier Reef Snorkeling and Diving Cruise from Cairns
  • Cape Tribulation, Mossman Gorge, and Daintree Rainforest Day Trip from Cairns or Port Douglas
  • Kuranda Scenic Railway Day Trip from Cairns
  • Uluru (Ayers Rock) Sunset with Outback Barbecue Dinner and Star Tour from Yulara
  • Sunset 3-Hour Cruise from Darwin with Dinner and Sparkling Wine
  • Sydney Opera House Beyond the Stage Tour & Harbourside Brunch from Sydney
  • Sunset Blue Mountains Wilderness & Wildlife Tour (Without the Crowds) from Haymarket
  • Kakadu National Park Full-Day Tour from Darwin with Lunch

Renting A Car In Australia

Need a rental car for your Australia trip?

Use Discover Cars to quickly compare your car rental options.

Their comparison tool does the homework for you, so there’s no need to have up 10+ tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. Actually, you can save up to 70% using their tool!

Australia Hotels

Click here to browse the best Australia travel hotels!

Prefer self-contained stays?

Click here to check out unique local rentals!

You can also use this map to search for local stays:

Australia Travel Insurance

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling solo or with a group on an Australian tour. When visiting Australia — or any other country in the world — make sure to get travel insurance to protect your health and safety.

In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

With coverage, you’ll have peace of mind as you embark on your Australia travel itinerary.

Click my referral link here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.

Australia Travel Guide FAQ

Okay, now let’s answer some common Oceania travel guide questions that specifically pertain to traveling in Australia.

Q: What are the best things to do in Australia?

One of the best things to do in Australia is to explore the country’s incredible natural wonders. With tons of opportunities for hiking, diving, safaris, and more, you won’t forget the sights you see in this truly unique country.

Australia is home to the Great Barrier Reef, one of the largest living structures on the planet and one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World. The reef stretches along much of the state of Queensland and is so big that it can be seen from outer space.

While diving is probably the most immersive way to experience the reef, you can also explore this natural wonder while staying dry through glass-bottom boat tours and underwater viewing stations.

Australia’s Red Centre, or the Central Australian outback, is also world-famous for its beautiful desert views, iconic wildlife and Aboriginal culture. The desert’s main attractions are Uluru and Kata Tjuta, ancient rock formations sacred to the local Anangu people that have amazed visitors for centuries. Take a tour of the area with an Aboriginal guide to learn more about the land and its significance to the Anangu people.

What’s more synonymous with Australia than kangaroos? You can see these creatures (and many more) in their natural habitat on Kangaroo Island, a large island off the coast of South Australia where the local wildlife roams free. You’ll run into tons of classic Australian animals here, from koalas to wallabies to goannas.

Hike some of the island’s many trails, visit a local honey farm, or book an animal encounter at a wildlife educational park. The island is also well-known for its wineries and you’ll definitely want to do a tasting at one of the many cellar doors.

Now, Kangaroo Island isn’t the only Australian island worth visiting. Explore the many scenic Bruny Island hikes for a taste of adventurous Tasmania — and keep your eyes peeled for the rare white wallaby!

You can’t skip a trip to the beach when you visit Australia! Bondi Beach in Sydney is one of the most famous shores in the world, best known for its clear blue waters, clifftop walk, and world-class surf. Take a surf lesson yourself, or just catch some rays and do some people watching.

Australia is also the perfect place for an epic road trip! Along with the popular Great Ocean Road, a Brisbane to Cairns road trip introduces you to some of the country’s most incredible destinations.

Q: What is the best month to visit Australia?

December through February are generally the best months to visit Australia, as that is when the country experiences summer. This is the perfect time to visit southern Australian destinations like Melbourne and Sydney, as temperatures are usually warm and pleasant.

Things can get extremely hot in the summer in northern Australia, though, since this area is closer to the equator. If you’re looking to visit Darwin and other northern Australian destinations, consider visiting in the winter when temperatures are less brutal and not quite as rainy.

Q: How much does an average trip to Australia cost?

A week-long trip to Australia will generally run you about $2,000 for one person. Costs will depend on your destination, but the average traveler spends about $143 USD per day in Australia on accommodations, transportation, food, activities, and other day-to-day travel expenses.

Since the country is so isolated, your biggest expense will likely be your flight to Australia from your home country. Keep an eye on sites like Kayak to find deals on flights and bring the total cost of your trip down.

Q: Where should I go for my first trip to Australia?

Australia is a huge country and there’s quite a lot to see, particularly for first-time visitors, but there are a few places you absolutely shouldn’t miss.

Sydney, arguably Australia’s most famous city, offers tons of great things to see and do. The iconic Sydney Harbour area is home to the famous Sydney Opera House, probably the most recognizable building in the country.

Even if you can’t get tickets to a show at the Opera House, it’s worth strolling around the adjacent boardwalk and marvelling at the incredible architecture. The Opera House also offers daily tours for those who want a more in-depth look at the iconic building. For a taste of the city’s history, head down to The Rocks neighborhood, featuring 19th-century cobblestone streets and buildings filled with shops, restaurants, and galleries.

The city is also home to tons of great beaches, including the famous Bondi Beach, where you can soak up some sun and incredible views. For a nearby day trip out of Sydney, head to the Greater Blue Mountains Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre featuring incredible sandstone plateaus and more.

Looking to road trip your way along the country’s southern coast? Take a ride on the Great Ocean Road, a cliffside highway with amazing ocean views and tons of great stops along the way.

During your trip, you can visit the 12 Apostles, a series of limestone pillars carved out of the mainland cliffs that will take your breath away. You can also encounter local wildlife at several wildlife reserves along the way, or do some seal spotting along the shore. The Great Ocean Road will also lead you to Melbourne, Australia’s cultural capital, a lively city full of fun and quirky things to see and do.

No trip to Australia would be complete without a visit to The Outback. The ancient rock formation Uluru is a truly breathtaking sight and the surrounding Red Centre area offers tons of opportunities for adventure travel. Here, you can explore King’s Canyon, learn more about the local Aboriginal culture, get up close with kangaroos, and swim in real waterholes.

The nearby city of Alice Springs also has tons of great art to check out as well as trails for mountain biking and remnants of Australia’s storied past like original European settlements. Bring your sunblock and get ready to explore this iconic area.

Q: What should I avoid in Australia?

The biggest threat to your safety in Australia is Mother Nature. Thankfully, her wrath is pretty easy to avoid.

If you want to head out to the beach (which you absolutely should), make sure you stick to official beaches designated for swimming. If not, you may run the risk of encountering a shark, crocodile, or one of the other dangerous sea creatures local to the area.

You’ll also want to heed any warnings from lifeguards and always swim between the flags at the beach. Rip currents can develop quickly and cause even the strongest of swimmers to struggle to get back to shore.

And do not forget sunscreen and water! The Australian sun is notoriously strong and you don’t want to end up in the hospital with third-degree burns and a wicked case of dehydration.

If you’re not renting a car during your trip to Australia, you’ll want to avoid the suburbs and stay close to major cities and areas with reliable public transport. Public transit is spotty at best outside of the cities, so you’ll definitely have a hard time getting around.

If you do choose to rent a car, be sure to factor travel time into your itinerary. It can take quite a while to get from Point A to Point B in Australia however you choose to travel, and you don’t want to spend your entire trip on the road. A proper road trip around the country can also take months, so don’t get too ambitious with your plans unless you truly have the time.

This probably also goes without saying, but leave your Steve Irwin impression at home. Any references to Crocodile Dundee, “shrimp on the barbie”, and the like will (at best) earn you dirty looks from the locals.

And you probably wouldn’t appreciate it if someone did the same in your home country or hometown. Just be yourself and don’t be afraid to chat with people. Australians are quite friendly as long as you leave the fake accent at home.

Q: Is Australia safe to travel?

Australia is considered very safe for travelers. Rates of both violent and petty crime are low throughout the country, though it does help to stay vigilant for pickpockets in major cities like Sydney and Melbourne.

Natural disasters can be a bit of a risk here, though — riptides are common at beaches, wildfires are common in the summer months, and there are several dangerous animal species to look out for if you’re out in the wilderness.

UV exposure rates are also very high here, so be sure to use SPF every day, even if you’re not planning on spending a ton of time outdoors.

Keep an eye on the news, heed all road signs and beach warnings, and follow guides when venturing outdoors.

Q: How long can a tourist stay in Australia?

Tourist visas in Australia are generally granted for up to three months.

These can be extended to a full year under certain circumstances but three months is the length of an average stay period granted by the Australian Department of Home Affairs.

If you want to stay longer than your granted stay period, you’ll need to apply for a new visa.

Q: Do I need an Australia travel visa?

All visitors to Australia (other than citizens of New Zealand) need a visa to visit the country. You must apply for a visa before leaving home.

Visitors from most European countries can obtain a free eVisitor visa online and visitors from the United States, Canada and several other European countries can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) visa online or through a travel agent for a small fee. If you are applying for an ETA visa, be sure to get your application in before you book travel to Australia.

It’s recommended to view your country’s Australia International Travel Information page for the most up-to-date information on entry and exit requirements. You can also contact the Australian Consulate-General.

Q: Where is Australia?

Australia is a country — that is also an island and a continent — located in Oceania between the Indian Ocean and the South Ocean.

Q: Are credit cards accepted in Australia?

Credit cards — particularly Visa and Mastercard — are widely accepted around Australia, though it is always wise to carry some cash for smaller establishments and in case of emergency.

Q: Can you drink the tap water in the Australia?

It is typically safe to drink the tap water in Australia, though do double check with your hotel to be sure as water sources — and water quality — vary from place to place.

Q: What is the local currency in Australia?

The local currency in Australia is the Australian dollars (AUD).

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