Australia Tours

Even the most inexperienced traveller will know that Australia is big. Really big. All of Europe could fit snugly inside Australia's borders with room for more, so planning is key when it comes to touring this continent-country. There's no such thing as a day trip from Sydney to Brisbane so the best way to see the most of this wide brown land is to plot a path from one major centre to another, with plenty of sightseeing along the way.

Coolangatta

East Coast Sunseekers

A lot of backpackers head down under to soak up the sun, sand and surf, so if beaches are your thing, the eastern coast of Australia will be right up your alley.

Sydney is the main port of call for most travellers and where most flights to Australia arrive. Sydney is the perfect city to gear up for a sunseeker adventure. Not many metropolitan cities are lucky enough to have both a bustling CBD and over 50 beautiful beaches right on its doorstep. Bondi is famous for its backpacker crowd but you don't have to step too far out from the eastern suburbs to find more spectacular coastlines – check out Palm and Whale Beaches to the north, or head south for some killer breaks at Maroubra. Find your sea legs with a surfing lesson or two and you'll find these new surf skills will pay dividends as you head north up the coast for more beach action.

sydney

Stop by regional centres like Newcastle for pristine shorelines and pumping nightlife, as well as Forster, Port Macquarie, Nambucca and Coffs Harbour. As you approach the New South Wales/Queensland border, check in at Byron Bay for a laidback stopover. Byron, known for its hippy culture and alternative lifestyle, is the perfect rest stop before continuing north to the all-night partying of the Gold Coast. Make sure you pick up a snorkel set as you travel up the Queensland coast – places like Noosa and Hervey Bay are teeming with sea life and, if you're lucky, even pods of dolphins.

Check out the hop on/hop off flexi tours that go from Sydney to Cairns, meaning you can linger in the towns that take your fancy before getting back on board to explore some more. Alternatively, hiring a caravan or campervan is a great way to enjoy the freedom of the open road with all the facilities you need right in the back seat. Hire prices start from about $35 a day.

Outback Outings

The only thing more Australian than throwing a shrimp (or rather, prawn) on the barbie, is heading outback for a truly ‘occa' experience. Tours are the ideal way to explore the red centre as much of the terrain can be challenging, even for the most experienced trekker, and many of the towns are extremely remote. Flying into Alice Springs is by far the easiest and quickest way to get to the outback, unless you feel like driving 17+ hours from the nearest capital cities, Darwin or Adelaide (remember how we mentioned Australia is big?).

A huge range of touring companies, large and small, offer comprehensive packages ranging from deluxe comfort tours to budget backpacker expeditions. Not only will you reap the benefits of local knowledge, you'll be able to share the experience with other intrepid travellers.

Alice Springs is a hub of indigenous and artistic culture and the perfect place to explore and better understand Aboriginal culture, which has been intrinsic to this amazing area for over 40, 000 years. Be sure to nosh on some bush tucker here, including nuts, berries, kangaroo and emu – Australia is probably the only place in the world where we eat our national emblems!

Other must-sees include Uluru, the gigantic red monolith in the heart of the outback, and the Olgas, Uluru's more freeform counterparts, both of which are situated in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a day's drive south-west of Alice Springs.

The hottest backpacker hostel in town is Annie's Place who have been welcoming young, active travellers from all around the world since 1999. They also run tours so you can head out into the bush with your newly minted mates for the outback adventure of a lifetime.

'Snow Problem

While a lot of travellers are content with the balmy heat of the tropics or the searing sun in the outback, believe it or not, Australia does actually have a cold season too. If you're avoiding the peak travel prices of high summer, consider heading south and experiencing a little of what an Aussie winter has to offer.

Perisher and Jindabyne are Australia's premier winter playgrounds, located approximately halfway between Sydney and Melbourne, a 5-7 hour drive and there are numerous shuttle and coach services to ferry you into the mountains if you don't have a vehicle of your own.

Ski packages are by far the best value; you'll get five nights accommodation, five hot breakfasts, a five-day ski lift pass plus ski/board and jacket hire for not a lot of money. While you're shredding it on the slopes, make sure you save some energy for the Snowy Mountains nightlife. If you time it right, you can also check out the Snowy Mountains of Music Festival in early June, for tunes cooler than snow.

Dos and Don'ts for Touring

Do:

  • Talk to locals. They're in the know about the best dive sites/bars/eateries plus you'll make some new mates in the process!
  • Join YHA. You'll receive all kinds of discounts as a member including 10% off YHA hostels.
  • Travel light. Your back won't thank you for the extra 10kg of useful junk, plus you'll need some room for souvenirs.
  • Haggle. There are literally hundreds of tour operators vying for your business so shop around before you commit.

Don't:

  • Blow all your money on nights out. Sure, that fifth shot seems like a good idea at the time, but wouldn't you rather another scuba dive, or extra night in paradise?
  • Underestimate the weather. Australia can be unbearably hot to those not used to high temperatures so make sure you stay out of the sun where possible and keep hydrated. Conversely it can get very cold in the winter months so pack some real shoes as well as thongs.
  • Rush it. Take your time, savour the sites – you're better off spending an extra day somewhere awesome than staring out a bus window in transit.
 
To book a tour or for further information contact us
 
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