Make the most Back Packing around Australia
We are not going to tell you why 2020 is a great year to backpack in Australia, as you obviously know that you will be coming to experience the incredible natural beauty of our country.
Each year when you talk to a foreigner, you hear it is yet another backpacker and often groups too that choose Australia a prime destination to fulfil their gap year or satisfy older backpackers’ wanderlust.
From the iconic man-made wonders like the Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge, the Great Barrier Reef, pristine white beaches, the Outback to Uluru, Australia beckons to be explored.
Make no mistake, Australia is freaking huge to backpack and it would be a nightmare when you consider the massive number of places to see and things to do without a guide of some sorts.
We have found that most backpackers start in the bar capital of Australia, which is also referred to the European Enclave, which is our beloved Melbourne. You might plan to stay a week, but I assure you, it will be difficult to leave. Melbourne is definitely Sydney’s rival and it is tough to pick a favourite between the two cities!
The nightlife is extraordinary with an abundance of inexpensive clubs, bars and restaurants. You wouldn’t need to walk much when you hop onto the City Circle Tram which is free and a hop-on, hop-off service that goes around top attractions.
Also see: Top 10 Cafes in Melbourne
The Great Ocean Road
Not far from Melbourne, in Victoria is a 243km stretch of road called the Great Ocean Road. It runs between Allansford and Torquay. It is a trip that you must take with a number of attractions, but the Twelve Apostles are the primary attraction. They are found off the Port Campbell National Park’s cliffs and giant rock stacks.
Other attractions that you will see along this beautiful route include The Grotto and London Bridge. Where the road starts are one of the best surfer beaches with one of the most famous Australian beaches, the Bell’s Beach close by as well.
Read More: Road Trips to Go in Australia
Your backpacking would never be complete if you decide to remain in Melbourne and miss out on the cosmopolitan city of Sydney with its world heritage sites and iconic beaches. We have never heard of a backpacker that skipped Sydney and certainly would 2020 in Sydney not be any different.
Sydney offers an incredible variety of sights and attractions including the Manly, Palm, Coogee and Bondi Beach, Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Do not miss out on the Tower Sky Walk which is twice the height of the Harbour Bridge and as tall as the Eiffel Tower with the most astonishing views.
Backpackers that want to get wild on the cheap should include King’s Cross where backpackers and locals party late with inexpensive beer. Hostels in Sydney are expensive though and we suggest you go to King’s Cross for a shared 8-bed dorm that will cost you around AUD $20.
The good news is that plenty of Sydney’s and other cities as well allow you to work for a room. In exchange for a couple of hours cleaning, you can stay for free and still enjoy your time in Australia.
Some of Sydney’s cheapest hostels include Westend Backpackers which is just 5 minutes from Sydney CBD, Chilli Blue at 144 Victoria Street and Zing at 156 Victoria Street that even throws in a free brekkie.
A must-do is backpacking Fraser Island where you will find plenty of local and backpackers camping. It is a destination of exceptional beauty with 100 freshwater lakes, strikingly coloured sand cliffs and long uninterrupted white beaches. Both locals and backpackers love it for the close proximity to the mainland and an excellent place to chill after you spent time in the cities. It is the world’s largest sand island with 76 miles of extraordinary beach.
Don’t miss out on Lake MacKenzie while you are here. It is a natural wonder with no animal or plant life and made up purely of rainwater. It is a perched lake with shimmering white sand and crystal blue waters, and the jewel of Fraser Island. Fraser Island is warm throughout the year with a subtropical climate but consider your trip here in the shoulder season as the crowds are less.
Make no mistake Fraser Island is rather expensive even though it is incredibly safe to travel and backpack. With the accommodation here on the costly side, we suggest you take a day trip or multi-day trip to the island and stay in one of the mainland hostels or stay at one of the campsites like Cathedrals on Fraser. You could also pitch a tent and camp along the beach as many locals and backpackers do just that!
Read More: Islands in Australia
Depending on how you get to Australia and where you go first, you absolutely have to include the Outback. Everybody has heard of the Outback and the vastness of the red desert as well as the heat. However, when you are in Alice Springs, which we recommend you add to your itinerary, you will be able to add the Red Centre to your trip.
The indigenous aboriginal culture, endless deserts of red sand and at the same time you can see some of the wildlife. This is where you can witness the incredible Uluru and the hidden gems in the area. Take note that it is a sacred rock to the locals and rather give climbing it a miss or you might be seen as disrespectful.
Places worth checking out in the area though include the Kata Tjuta rock formations that change shape and colour depending which angle you take, the impressive Kings Canyon and the West MacDonnell Ranges’ stunning gorges.
The advantage you have is that the Red Centre is excellent for a backpacker on a limited budget as well. From Alice Springs there are multiple camping tours that range from three-day camping trips to five days and longer.
Read More: Australias Natural Highlights
To kick off or expand your Outback adventure you must include the urbanized city of Darwin. It is hot and humid but has an abundance of cheap accommodations, nightlife, restaurants and cafes.
When you spend a couple of days in Darwin, take time and go to the Katherine Gorge in the town of Katherine where you can take a boat cruise through the gorge. Take your tent and camp at the Douglas Daly Hot Springs which is a 45-minute drive from Darwin but be croc-wise!
An hour from Darwin is another must-see, the Litchfield National Park with a string of connected natural pools. Best of all, entrance to the Park is free! This adventurer paradise is also very famous for fishing with the abundance of rivers or deep-sea fishing too.
Read More: 10 Great Things to do in Darwin 2020
South Australia is a wine country with Adelaide the wine capital accompanied by an abundance of quality music, artisanal cuisine, delectable chocolate and plenty of beer. It has more than 200 cellars and 18 wine regions. After big cities like Sydney and Melbourne, you will love the tranquillity and charm of the small city.
We include it not only for its own attractions but also because it is a gateway to stunning places. Within short distances are the Maclaren Vale, Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Granite Island and Adelaide Hills to name a few.
The advantage is the affordable domestic flights to and from Adelaide to the capital cities in Australia. Adelaide holds many attractions to backpackers and what we love about it, is the multiple job opportunities to work at one of the wine farms to get some additional money to continue your Australian backpacking experience in 2020.
Gold Coast Waterfalls
The Gold Coast Hinterland is beyond description and the mountain ranges are littered by refreshing mountain streams, breathtaking scenery and the Gondwana Rainforest. When you want to get a refreshing trip of relaxing and experiencing the gorgeous Australian Gold Coast check out the amazing waterfalls.
Springbrook which is 32 km from the Gold Coast is more than worthwhile with its natural beauty, impressive views, lush rainforest and spectacular waterfalls. Include the 100 m Purling Brook Falls, Twin Falls, Natural Bridge Waterfall, Cedar Creek Falls in your visit to the Gold Coast.
While you certainly must include Perth in your 2020 backpacking experience, we know you will love the port city of Fremantle. It is close to the Western Australian capital and bounded to the east and north by the Swan River while the west is bound by the Indian Ocean. You can easily take a ferry to Perth via the Swan River while this is also a major port to cruise ships, leisure craft and container ships. From Fremantle, you could visit a series of islands like Carnac Island, Garden Island and Rottnest Island. Fremantle is the preferred option when you watch your budget while you still have access to major attractions and an abundance of things to do and see.
Read More: Stunning Views to Die for Australia
These places are a mere drop in the bucket of top places to backpack in Australia. You need to keep in mind that when you put together your plans it will not be possible to bounce between destinations in a couple of hours. You must be realistic, plan ahead and consider your time frame to see what you can fit in. Our recommendation is to consider a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks and come enjoy our magnificent country!