The Ultimate Trip Planner for Australia

Published Categorized as Travel Blog, Australia Travel, Destinations
TRIP PLANNER FOR AUSTRALIA
TRIP PLANNER FOR AUSTRALIA

The Ultimate Trip Planner for Australia will help you devise a detailed holiday plan and make the most of your visit to this country of breathtaking beauty. Coral reefs, islands, ancient rainforests, breathtaking white sand beaches, and super-cool cities rim the coast, and rugged canyons and red deserts of haunting beauty stretch across the interior.

Whatever you decide to see and do, Australia is one of the world’s most rewarding places to visit with spectacular scenery, incredible wildlife, and some of the friendliest people on the planet. Use our Trip Planner for Australia to help you plan your trip to destinations all over Australia.


DID YOU KNOW?

  • If you visit one new beach in Australia every day, it would take over 27 years to see them all.
  • An Australian man once tried to sell New Zealand on eBay.
  • 90% of Australians live on the coast.
  • Australia has over 60 separate wine regions, producing approximately 1.35 trillion bottles of wine every year.
  • 80% of the animals in Australia are unique to Australia.

Disclosure: Exit45 Travels are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This means that if you click on our affiliates / advertisers links and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but at no extra cost to you. AND, many times, you will receive an offer. Win/win! The products and services we write about and mention are the ones we love. We only recommend items that we feel are of good quality and would be helpful to our readers. While we pay for our travels out of our own pockets, these small commissions do assist in keeping us on the road. Thank you!


“Being lost in Australia gives you a lovely sense of security.”

– The Songlines –

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TRIP PLANNER FOR AUSTRALIA

Trip Planner for Australia: FAQ’s

Where Is Australia?

Australia is a country, an island, and a continent. It is one of the Oceania countries and is located between the Indian Ocean to the west and the South Pacific Ocean to the east. It is the sixth largest country in the world.


Map of Australia

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Source: WorldAtlas.com

What is the Population?

The 2021 population of Australia is estimated at 25,790,000 people. The majority of Australians are of European descent, and only a small minority belongs to the indigenous population, the Aborigines.


How to Get There?

Although some cruise ships do call into various ports in Australia, the most common way to get to Australia is by flying into one of the numerous international airports. These include Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport, Brisbane International Airport, Melbourne International Airport, Perth International Airport, Cairns International Airport, Adelaide International Airport, Darwin International Airport, and the Gold Coast International Airport.

There are many budget airlines to choose from for competitive prices such as China Eastern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Air China and Air India.  Some of the more popular airlines with competitive rates and great service include Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.


When Should I Visit Australia?

Australia is such an enormous country so there is no such thing as a bad time to visit Australia. Depending on your location within the country, climate and temperatures can differ immensely.

In general, the north and northeast of the country tend to have a more tropical, humid climate due to its proximity to the equator, while the southeast and southwest corners of Australia have a mild, oceanic climate, making them a pleasant addition to your Australia itinerary. Central Australia and the western areas of the country have a hot desert climate.

The country has four clearly defined seasons across most of the country:

  • Summer (December – February)
  • Autumn (March – May)
  • Winter (June – August)
  • Spring (September – November)

In the north of the country, they also experience a wet and dry season. Tropical North Queensland i.e. Cairns, the Whitsundays, the Daintree experience their wet season from November to April. Also, the Top End (Darwin, Katherine, Kakadu National Park, Arnhem Land), and Broome and the Kimberley experience a wet season during the same months.

  • Best Time to Visit: September- November (Spring) and March- May (Autumn)
  • High Season: December – February (Summer)
  • Low Season: June – August (Winter)

When planning your trip to Australia, ensure you schedule your visit according to the places you want to see and the activities you want to enjoy.


What are the Visa Requirements?

All visitors (except New Zealand citizens) to Australia visiting for tourism purposes must have a valid Australian visa to enter the country. The visa must be applied for before leaving your home at your nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate, or you can also apply for certain types of visas online at the Australian Department of Home Affairs website. There are three types of visa available:

1. eVisitor

  • Free visa for multiple visits to Australia for tourism or business purposes.
  • Allows for as many visits of up to three months as you want during a 12 month period.
  • Online application procedure.
  • eVisitor is not affixed to the passport.
  • Only the citizens of the European Union countries and 8 other European countries that are a part of the Schengen Area Agreement can apply for an Australia eVisitor.

2. Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa

  • Allows entry to Australia as many times as you want for up to 12 months, and stay for three months at a time.
  • Online application procedure.
  • The ETA is an authorisation and not a document i.e. no paper document or stamp is placed in a passport.
  • A service charge applies of AUD$20 (USD$15).

3. Visitor Visa

  • Designed for people who are not eligible for either the eVisitor or Electronic Travel Authority Visa.
  • Granted for three, six or twelve months to anyone visiting Australia as a tourist.
  • An application fee will be charged.

What Currency is used in Australia?

The currency used in Australia is the Australian Dollar (AUD). The notes that are currently in circulation include $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins that are used are the 5 cent coin, 10 cent coin, 20 cent coin, 50 cent coin, $1 coin and $2 coin.

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Exchange Rates

AUD$1 = USD$0.77 = EUR0.64 (at time of publishing)

Top Tip: We use the XE Currency Exchange app when we travel so we always know the most up-to-date rate of exchange.


ATM’s

ATM’s are readily found nearly everywhere in Australia, although they may be limited in remote towns and the outback.

Top Tip: To avoid unnecessary costs, choose the local currency when withdrawing money.  


Cash

Any bank or exchange bureau will change major currencies into cash, including US dollars, Euros and British pounds.


Credit Cards

EFTPOS (our electronic payment system) is also widely available in most Australian shops, restaurants and hotels, allowing you to pay for purchases with your credit card or debit card. MasterCard and Visa are the most commonly accepted credit cards.

Top Tip: Fees may be charged on transactions, particularly if withdrawing from an international account, so it is advised you check with your bank prior to travelling.


Exchanging Currency

Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and all international airports.


Goods and Services Tax

Australia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10 per cent. You may be able to claim a refund for the GST paid on goods if you have spent AUD$300 or more with a single business, no more than 60 days before departing Australia. Tourist Refund Scheme facilities are located in the departure area of all international terminals.


Phone Plan / SIM Cards in Australia?

The easiest way to stay connected to family and friends whilst you are in Australia is to get a SIM card before leaving the airport. The major phone network providers like Telstra (has the best reputation and may be the best choice for travellers visiting regional and remote areas), Optus and Vodafone have dedicated stores or stands in most international airports.

If you are looking for more options, you might consider waiting until after you leave the airport. SIM cards are available at convenience stores, like 7-Eleven, and from major supermarkets like Aldi, Woolworths and Coles (all of which offer their own competitive phone plans).  

All of the major networks offer 4G services and the majority of visitors from Europe and Asia will be able to use an Australian SIM card in a phone they already own. 


What is Internet Access like in Australia?

In general, internet access is readily available throughout Australia, but coverage can be limited in more remote areas. You will find Wi-Fi in many restaurants and cafes including McDonalds and Starbucks, although this Wi-Fi access is often slow or it comes with restrictions such as being limited to 30 minutes of access. Public libraries are generally the most reliable places for free Wi-Fi. Hotels provide free Wi-Fi for their guests however some hostels only provide pay-per-use Wi-Fi hotspots.


What Safety Precautions Should be Taken in Australia?

Australia is an incredibly safe place to travel around whether you are travelling with a group, or a solo female traveller. In general, Australians are extremely friendly and helpful. The best safety measure is to be aware of your surroundings at all times and take normal precautions like you would anywhere else.

However, there are some specific things to bear in mind when it comes to safety while travelling in Australia. Most incidents that occur are because visitors are not used to the country’s unique climate and wilderness.

Top Tip: The emergency number for police, ambulance and fire brigade is 000.


Wildlife

Australia is known as being home to numerous dangerous animals such as venomous snakes, poisonous spiders, crocodiles, sharks, jellyfish and more. Pay attention to your surrounds and be on the lookout for snakes and spiders. If you’re bitten, seek medical help immediately.


Beach / Water Safety

There are a number of considerations to take into account when enjoying the numerous swimming spots in Australia.

The beaches are beautiful but swim with caution as currents are often strong and very dangerous. Australia’s popular beaches are usually patrolled by lifeguards from October through to April. Red and yellow flags mark the safest areas for swimming and it is always recommended to swim within these monitored areas.

There are also many lakes, waterholes, creeks and rivers that are popular swimming spots in Australia. Pay attention to signs at the entrance that will advise if swimming is safe, or check with the local government website before visiting. 

For information about marine stingers and crocodile safety in Far North Queensland, visit the Queensland Government website.


Sun Safety

The sun is extremely strong in Australia, so it’s important to protect your skin during the day by avoiding staying in direct sunlight without a hat, sunglasses and SPF 50+ sunscreen.

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Road Safety

Road trips are a popular way to travel around in Australia but there are a couple of safety precautions to keep in mind:

  1. Avoid Driving at Night

Try to avoid driving at night. Once the sun begins to set, Australia’s wildlife such as kangaroos, emus wombats and koalas, most of which are nocturnal, begin to appear. Also, livestock such as cattle may graze on the side of an unfenced road.

2. Don’t Underestimate Driving Times

It is easy to underestimate the time needed for an enjoyable road trip.

3. Fill Up with Petrol Often

There will be long distances between some petrol stations, so always make sure you fill your tank up when you have the opportunity.

4. Road Trains

Road trains or articulated trucks (which can be as long as the length of 10 cars) can take up to 2.5 kilometres to overtake if you’re travelling at 100 kilometres per hour. Allow plenty of room before you try to overtake a road train as they often sway from side to side as you overtake. Be prepared for the wind-rush when passing as it can pull you towards the road train.

5. Get Roadside Assistance

Ensure that you also have adequate roadside assistance. If you break down in the middle of nowhere, it’s good to know that you can get help.


Drinking Water

The tap water is generally safe to drink in Australia. If the tap water is not safe to drink (this is typically only the case in rural areas), there will be a sign above the tap advising so. Travelling with a reusable water bottle is highly recommended as there are public taps and drinking fountains available throughout major cities, and most cafés, restaurants or hotels are happy to fill your bottle at your request.


Insurance

We highly recommend travelling with the appropriate travel insurance as you never know when you will need it.

Jonas had an accident in Vietnam and ended up in hospital and needing surgery. One phone call and our insurance provider gave the necessary approvals to go ahead with the surgery and agreed to pay for all associated costs. Never have we been so thankful we had it…

BOOKBuy Travel Insurance Here

READ MORE: THE IMPORTANCE OF TRAVEL INSURANCE


What are the Recommended Vaccinations for Australia?

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend the following vaccinations for Australia: 

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Yellow Fever
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Rabies
  • Meningitis
  • Polio
  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
  • TDAP – Tetanus, Diptheria and Pertussis
  • Chickenpox
  • Shingles
  • Pneumonia
  • Influenza

Mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue fever and Japanese Encephalitis, are present in Australia. We recommend using insect repellent with DEET both during the day and evening to avoid mosquito bites and prevent these diseases.


What is the Voltage in Australia and What Types of Power Plugs and Sockets Do They Have?

In Australia, the power plugs and sockets are Type 1. The standard voltage is 220 – 240 Volts and the standard frequency is AC 50 Hz.

  • Type 1: have two flat metal pins, forming an inverted ‘V’ shape, and occasionally a third pin in the centre.
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How to Get Around Australia?

Australia is a very large country however, touring Australia’s long distances is relatively easy, thanks to a well-connected transportation network in every major city. Each city has an established network of reliable and affordable public trains, trams, buses, and ferries for local sightseeing and destinations beyond.


By Air

Due to the size of Australia as a country, flying is the quickest way to cover the large distances. However, flying maybe the fastest and most efficient way get from city to city, but it is also the most expensive.

There are lots of major airlines flying domestically including Qantas, Jetstar, and Virgin Australia. These airlines offer frequent, daily flights connecting all the major cities and many regional towns. If you book your flights in advance, you should be able to find some great deals as the domestic airlines are very competitive. 


By Car

Route Planner / Road Distances
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Australia Road Distance Calculator (Source: thelanddownunder.com.au)


Self-Drive – Car, 4WD, Motorbike, Motorhome / Campervan

Personally, we believe the best way to see Australia, if you have the time, is by road. This is the easiest and most convenient way to experience and see many more things than you would using public transport.

Numerous car rental companies such as Avis, Budget, and Europcar are based at the major airports and in city locations for car, 4WD or motorbike hire.

Travelling around Australia in a motorhome or campervan is also an extremely popular choice for a lot of travellers. Some of the more reputable motorhome, campervan and RV rental providers include Apollo Camper, Cruisin’ Motorhomes, Let’s Go and Travellers Autobarn.

There are many iconic road trips including:

  • Great Ocean Road, Victoria – rugged coastline, 12 Apostles limestone rock formations, historic lighthouses
  • Pacific Coast Way, Queensland – links coastal havens, hinterland towns and major cities all along the coast from the Gold Coast to Cairns
  • Grand Pacific Drive, New South Wales – spectacular coastal drive
  • Red Centre Way, Northern Territory – ancient landscapes including Uluru, Kings Canyon, outback town of Alice Springs, Tjoritja swimming holes
  • Great Eastern Drive, Tasmania – snow-capped mountains, white sand beaches of the Bay of Fires, sandstone ruins of Port Arthur convict settlement
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Great Ocean Road Drive – Victoria

READ MORE: THE ULTIMATE 1 MONTH ROAD TRIP FROM BRISBANE TO CAIRNS


Taxi

Taxis in Australia are highly regulated and as such, all taxis are all required to use a fare meter which goes up with time and distance travelled. Also, in most states, taxis have different pricing for day and night, with higher rates from 10pm to 6am and a $2.50 surcharge on Friday and Saturday nights. They can be hailed down off the street or booked directly.


Rideshare Apps

Rideshare apps are often a cheaper alternative to taxis in Australia. Uber is still the most popular of them all and used widely throughout Australia, but other rideshare apps such as DiDi, Ola, Go Catch, Scooti, Shebah, and Hop are becoming popular. These alternative apps are very price competitive with lower minimum fares, time fares and distance fees.


By Bus

Bus travel in Australia is comfortable, easy and reasonably priced. Greyhound Australia (Australia’s national coach operator) offer long-distance coaches with air conditioning, adjustable seats, USB chargers, reading lights, and free Wi-Fi. They also offer a Whimit Travel Pass which works like a Hop On Hop Off pass allowing you to travel on any route and in any direction, for your chosen amount of time i.e. 7, 15, 30, 60, 90 days of unlimited travel. Book your tickets in advance to get the best prices!


By Rail

Australia can be see extensively through their rail network including city trams, commuter trains, and long-distance and trans-continental trains. Unfortunately, long-distance train tickets along the North / South Line from Melbourne to Darwin, and the East / West Line from Sydney to Perth, can be rather expensive.


By Ferry

There are many ferry services in our capital cities connecting suburbs along the Brisbane River, around Sydney Harbour and on the Swan River in Perth. Also, many of Australia’s smaller surrounding islands such as Kangaroo Island, Whitsunday Islands, Magnetic Island and Tasmania are serviced regularly by ferries.


What Accommodation Options are on Offer in Australia?

Australia has a huge range of accommodation options to suit most budgets. There are modern five-star luxury hotels, comfortable three to four star hotels, resorts, self-contained apartments, motel accommodation bed and breakfasts, tree-houses in the rainforest, eco-lodges, motor inns, hostels, backpackers, caravan and cabin parks, and camping, as well as glamping options.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS IN AUSTRALIA AND MAKE A RESERVATION!


Best Hotels in Australia

Australia has a vast selection of international hotel groups and Five Star Hotels that provide the ultimate in luxury and comfort. Some of these include the Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Intercontinental, Radisson, Mercure, and the Sheraton. 

There are also a wide range of comfortable three to four star hotels in both the city and country. Some of the better known chains include the Novotel, Best Western, Ibis, Vibe, Mantra, and Travelodge to name just a few. Country hotels and Pubs are also found all over Australia and offer comfortable accommodation to travellers, however, the standards can vary considerably from place to place.  

But regardless of your budget, there are plenty of hotel options in Australia. We use booking.com to find the best hotel deals.

Click here to search for Hotels in Australia.


Best Hostels and Backpackers in Australia

Hostels and backpacker venues provide budget priced accommodation options with share facilities. Generally these places cater for the younger age groups although there are no age restrictions. Hostels and backpackers are mostly located in the cities and popular tourist destinations.

But again, regardless of your budget, there are plenty of hostels and backpacker options in Australia.

Click here to search for Hostels and Backpackers in Australia.


What Does Australia Have to Offer?

History and Culture in Australia

Australia’s modern culture is primarily a Western culture, derived from Britain. The British colonization of Australia began in 1788, and waves of multi-ethnic migration followed. The culture has since been shaped by a number of other factors including the unique geography of Australia, the cultural input of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other Australian people. The climate has also had a huge impact on Australia’s modern culture with the majority of the population living close to the coastline, encouraging a relaxed beach culture.

Some key values of Australian society include freedom of religion, parliamentary democracy, equality of men and women, and compassion for those in need. Australian society values equal opportunity for all individuals regardless of their race, religion, or ethnic background.

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Religion

Christianity is the dominant religion with the main denominations including Catholic, Anglican, Uniting Church, Presbyterian and Reformed, Eastern orthodox, Baptist and Lutheran. The two major denominations, Catholic and Anglican, account for 36% of the Australian population. Other faiths include Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, and Jews. On a general cultural level, Australians tend to avoid overt displays of their religious beliefs.


People

Australians are very friendly and easy going people. In fact, Australians are renowned for their laid-back nature and unique sense of humour. Another thing Australians are known for is their love of sport, recreation and the great outdoors.


Language Spoken

Australia is a culturally diverse society with nearly half of all Australians either born overseas, or have at least one parent who was born overseas. While English is the official language, over four million Australians speak a language other than English with the most common languages being Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Italian.

Aussie Slang

Australian’s are famous for their use of abbreviations and slang. Some common expressions are:

  • Aussie – Australian
  • Arvo – Afternoon
  • Brekkie – Breakfast
  • BBQ /Barbie – Barbeque
  • BYO – Bring your own
  • Cuppa – Cup of tea / coffee
  • Flat out – Very busy
  • Footy – Football
  • G’day – Hello
  • How ya goin? – How are you?
  • Loo / Dunny – Toilet
  • Mozzie – Mosquito
  • No worries – It’s OK
  • Servo – Petrol station
  • Sunnies – Sunglasses
  • Togs – Swim suit / bathers

Eating and Drinking

Australia’s cuisine combines a mix of the many cultures and nationalities that live within its borders, as well as dishes considered typically Australian. Meat and seafood is also a significant part of the cuisine, as well as top quality local produce and organic foods.

Local markets and food festivals showcase regional specialities including cheese, specialty sausages, and locally made wines. Fine dining restaurants can be found through the larger cities. Gastronomes on tour of Australia will want to try restaurants serving Modern Australian cuisine, where exotic foreign influences combine with contemporary adaptations of traditional meals. Also the humble barbeque featuring steak, prawns and beer is the predominant Australian food experience.

Some Australian specialities which must be tried include:

  • Barramundi – a fish native to Australia and the Indo-Pacific region
  • Moreton Bay Bugs – similar to a lobster but more succulent and sweet
  • Sydney Rock Oysters – small and soft with a distinctive taste
  • Macadamia Nuts – found in Queensland and New South Wales
  • Meat Pie – the iconic meat pie makes for the perfect takeaway food snack
  • Wine – world class from regions such as Margaret River in Western Australia and the Barossa Valley in South Australia

N.B. The legal drinking age in all states and territories of Australia is 18 years old. You will need to provide proof of age, either with a driver’s licence or passport.

Top Tip: Tipping in Australia is not expected as the minimum wage is considerably high. If you wish to tip, you can do so at your discretion, but it is not expected or compulsory.


Shopping

There are some amazing shopping opportunities in Australia and within every major city you’ll have a plethora of options.

  • Sydney – Queen Victoria Building for fashion lovers, Pitt Street Mall for local boutiques, The Rocks for traditional handicrafts
  • Melbourne – Emporium for luxury shopping, Block Arcade for shoes and chocolates, Queen Victoria’s Market for street fashion
  • Brisbane – Queen Street Mall for one-stop shopping, Brisbane Arcade for jewellery, Edward Street for luxury labels
  • Adelaide – Rundle Mall is a shopper’s paradise, King William Road for local brands, Adelaide Central Market for food products
  • Perth – Fremantle Market for weekend shopping, Westfield Carousel Shopping Centre foe shopping and entertainment

Most cities in Australia hold weekend markets where you can purchase new one off pieces, second-hand and vintage clothing, as well as local handicrafts, and locally produced foods, fruits and vegetables.

Popular items to take home from a trip to Australia include:

  • Warm and Comfortable UGG boots
  • Opal Gemstones
  • Australian Wine
  • Vegemite (a salty spread)
  • Tim Tam chocolate-coated biscuits
  • Traditional Aboriginal Arts and Handicrafts – didgeridoos, paintings, and boomerangs

Wildlife

Australia is one of the most important nations on Earth for biodiversity with unique climatic and geological conditions. As such, most of Australia’s distinctive wildlife is found nowhere else in the world. Kangaroos, Koalas, Spiders and poisonous Snakes are animals that come to mind when thinking about Australian wildlife, but there are also Box Jellyfish, Kookaburras, Platypus, Bandicoot, Emu, Dingo, Sugar Glider, Echidna, Koala, Tasmanian Devil, Wallaby, Thorny Devil Lizard, Cassowary, Wombat and Quokka.

The best way to see Australian animals is in the wild! Read our guides on where to see wildlife in Australia and how to spot platypus in Yungaburra. Australia Zoo, made famous by Steve Irwin “The Crocodile Hunter” is also a great way to see lots of Australian animals easily.

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Adventure Sports

With over 34,000km (21,000 miles) of coastline, Australia is an ideal location for wind-surfing, kite-surfing, water-skiing, surfing, sailing, scuba-diving (including wreck-diving), shark diving, snorkelling, speed-boating and banana-boating.

Australia possesses over 650 rivers and dams so there are plentiful opportunities for year-round kayaking and canoeing. Popular locations include the Murray River (between New South Wales and Victoria), Katherine Gorge (Northern Territory), Sydney Harbour (New South Wales), Rottnest Island (Western Australia), and Freycinet Peninsula (Tasmania).

The Tully River and Barron River (Queensland), Franklin River (Tasmania), Murray River (New South Wales), Mitta Mitta River (Victoria) have fast headwaters and rapids ideal for white-water rafting.  

Varied landscapes and wildlife offer excellent opportunities for trekking. Nature trails of exceptional interest include the Three Sisters, Katoomba Scenic World, and the Blue Mountains National Park.

In addition, sky diving, bungee jumping, hang gliding, rock climbing and abseiling, adventure caving and mountain biking are possible.


Festivals / Events Calendar

Australia boasts a full calendar of arts festivals, music festivals, and film festivals showcasing local and international talent. Some of the most popular celebrations include:

  • New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Sydney
  • Australian Open Tennis Tournament in Melbourne in February
  • Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney in March
  • Adelaide Fringe Festival in February / March
  • Riverfire Fireworks Display in Brisbane in September
  • AFL (Australian Football League) Grand Final in Melbourne in September
  • Melbourne Cup Day is held all across Australia on the first Tuesday of November
  • Chinese New Year is celebrated all across Australia

Things to See and Do in Australia

The sheer size of Australia means you are unlikely to see all the famous Australian landmarks you would like to in one single visit. Generally, visitors plan to see a couple of states / territories, regional areas and a handful of cities at least. Below are some of the places you might want to add to your travel list.


Things to See and Do in New South Wales (NSW)

New South Wales is Australia’s most populated state and it is well known for its’ capital city, Sydney, its rivers and mountains, a coastline of endless beaches, and its sophisticated dining scene. Sip on wine in more than a dozen diverse wine regions, or visit national parks full of waterfalls and unbelievable rock formations. Some of the top things to see and do in New South Wales include:

  • Sydney – climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, riding the Manly Ferry
  • The Rocks – historical area turned tourist precinct
  • Bondi Beach – world famous beach
  • Byron Bay – chilled-out ultra-hip coastal destinations
  • Hunter Valley – wine region
  • Blue Mountains National Park

READ MORE: BEST WEEKEND TRIPS FROM SYDNEY


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Things to See and Do in Queensland (Qld)

Home to more than 1,000 ecosystems and five World Heritage-listed sites, Queensland is a natural wonderland like no other. Rainforests, hundreds of islands offshore, wetlands, tropics, savannas and deserts each offer a unique and unforgettable experience. Some of the top things to see and do in Queensland include:

  • Brisbane – Queensland’s’ capital city, perfect for culture lovers, South Bank Parklands
  • Gold Coast – gorgeous beaches, theme parks such as Dreamworld and Movieworld
  • Noosa – Noosa National Park, Main Beach, Hastings Street
  • Fraser Island – UNESCO World Heritage Site, largest sand island in the world
  • Airlie Beach – the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef i.e. Daydream Island, Hamilton Island, Hayman Island, Whitehaven Beach

READ MORE:


Things to See and Do in Victoria (VIC)

The state of Victoria is obsessed with food and wine and nowhere can this be seen more than in the cultural and sports-loving capital city of Melbourne. If you head south, you will reach a peninsula producing amazing foods and an island speckled with little penguins, or head west for incredible mountain landscapes and one of the world’s most famous coastal drives. Victoria’s largest coastal wilderness area can be found to the east, and snow-capped ski slopes to the north. Some of the top things to see and do in Victoria include:

  • Melbourne – street art, hipster cafés, bars and restaurants of Carlton and Fitzroy
  • The Great Ocean Road – 243 kilometre (151 mile) drive, the Twelve Apostles, beaches, rainforests, waterfalls
  • Philip Island Penguin Parade
  • Mornington Peninsula
  • Yarra Valley – wine region
  • Hiking and Bushland Scenery – Grampians National Park, Wilsons Promontory, Dandenong Ranges

Things to See and Do in Western Australia (WA)

Western Australia isn’t as popular as the states on the east coast, but it is a wonderland of wilderness areas, wildlife, coral reefs, flaming red sunsets, and beautiful beaches. Some of the top things to see and do in Western Australia include:

  • Perth – Kings Park and Botanic Garden, 19 beaches where you can swim, surf, snorkel and dive
  • Swan Valley – take a cruise up the Swan River, Australia’s oldest wine region. Perth is crammed full of museums too, ensuring you won’t be bored.
  • Rottnest Island – cycling around and visit one of the 63 beautiful white-sand beaches
  • Margaret River – wine region
  • Broome – ride a camel at sunset along Cable Beach, Horizontal Falls, Cape Leveque
  • Kimberley – the UNESCO World Heritage site of Purnululu (Bungle Bungle) National Park, Mitchell Falls
  • Ningaloo Reef – World Heritage-listed and the world’s largest fringing reef, famous for whale sharks (March through October)

Things to See and Do in Northern Territory (NT)

  • The Northern Territory (or Top End) offers a taste of the Australian Outback with its stark red deserts, magnificent rock formations, and spectacular wilderness areas. Also, experience timeless indigenous culture on your Australia itinerary in the region where native rock art defines the landscapes. Some of the top things to see and do in Northern Territory include:
    Darwin – Mindil Beach Sunset Market, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Stokes Hill Wharf, Crocosaurus Cove
  • Kakadu National Park (Jabiru) – World Heritage-listed
  • Katherine Gorge – 13 steep-walled gorges in Nitmiluk National Park
  • Alice Springs – Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (Uluru formerly Ayers Rock), The Olgas
  • Kings Canyon – Watarrka National Park, Kings Canyon Rim Walk

Things to See and Do in South Australia (SA)

South Australia has made a name for itself as a relaxed region full of wine, wildlife and natural wonder. Its capital of Adelaide is home to a sophisticated art and dining scene, and the ‘Festival City’ knows how to celebrate, with a calendar full to the brim with events. Some of the top things to see and do in South Australia include:

  • Adelaide – pink salt flats at Lake Bumbunga
  • Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills – wine regions
  • Kangaroo Island – pristine beaches and a haven for wildlife

Things to See and Do in Tasmania (TAS)

Tasmania’s natural beauty is captivating, its cultural experiences are diverse, and its food and drink offering is enviable. The island of Tasmania (called “Tassie” by Australians) is Australia’s smallest state and the ideal destination for a self-drive tour. Almost half of its landmass is protected by national parks and World Heritage Areas, providing a pristine playground of wild rivers, misty peaks, lakes, and densely wooded forests.

Today, the state is famous for its fabulous fresh produce and artisan foods including succulent seafood such as oysters, fresh fruits, fresh apple cider, and creamy cheeses. It’s also called “the Apple Isle” because it was once one of the world’s major apple producers. Some of the top things to see and do in Tasmania include:

  • Hobart – Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), fascinating convict history, Mount Wellington for views, Port Arthur Historic Site
  • Bruny Island – gourmet treats and artisan produce, South Bruny National Park
  • Freycinet National Park – Wineglass Bay

Things to See and Do in Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

The Australian Capital Territory is home to Canberra, Australia’s capital city. Despite its small size, the state packs a big punch with world-renowned museums and a vibrant dining scene. Some of the top things to see and do in Australian Capital Territory include:

  • Canberra – Australian War Memorial, Lake Burley Griffin, National Gallery of Australia

Budgeting for a Trip to Australia

Unfortunately, travelling in Australia is expensive. Accommodation costs and eating out at restaurants and cafes will eat up a good part of your budget, as will transportation costs. Alcohol is expensive as Australia pays one of the highest alcohol taxes in the world.

Some Examples of Costs in Australia

  • Meal in Inexpensive Restaurant – AUD$20
  • McDonalds Combo Meal – AUD$12
  • Local Beer 500ml – AUD$8
  • Coke / Pepsi 350ml – AUD$3.30
  • Bottle of Water 350ml – AUD$3
  • Petrol (per litre) – AUD$1.40

In Summary

Australia really is a very special country to visit. Known for its soaring temperatures, thriving natural habitats, friendly local culture, and stunning landscapes that stretch across the entire country, Australia is the perfect place to visit to find a relaxed atmosphere, and plenty of enjoyable activities to help keep you entertained no matter what you enjoy. 

Have you been to Australia or plan to visit? What was the highlight of your trip? Let us know in the comments section below.


Exit 45 Rating

The Exit45 Rating scale runs from a low of 1 to a high of 5 in each of the 9 categories.  As such, the higher the score out of 45, the better the Exit45 Rating.  N.B. These scores are our own personal opinions and are based on our experiences, budget constraints and what we love doing i.e. adventure seeking foodies who love snorkelling and water related activities.

Value for Money4
Cuisine4
Friendliness of Locals5
Ease of Language Barrier5
Climate3.5
Activities and Tours4
Ease of Travel3.5
Culture Barrier4.5
Safety4.5
TOTAL EXIT45 RATING38 / 45

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TRIP PLANNER FOR AUSTRALIA

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TRIP PLANNERS FOR AUSTRALIA: RELATED BLOG POSTS

Want more info to help you plan your Australia trip? Check out all the articles we’ve written on travel in Australia below and continue planning your trip.

By Peta Wenzel

We are Peta (Australian) and Jonas (Swedish/Australian), a couple in our mid 40’s / early 50’s who have been travelling the world fulltime since January 2018. We met and lived on the Gold Coast, Australia and spent many evenings researching and watching YouTube vlogs about travel and dreaming of the day we would retire and be able to enjoy a lot more travel ourselves. Over the years, a number of events happened to family and friends and an opportunity arose which made us decide to not wait but to instead take a “Gap Year”. We are now in our 3rd year of travel and still hunger for new adventures and embrace the uncertainty that comes with full-time travel. If you want to know more about who we are, why we choose this lifestyle and how we do it, please follow our adventures and see how you can do it too.

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