The land down-under, a sunburned country, home of deadly animals, no matter what you call it, Australia is known for many things. No matter what your expectations, Australia will impress you, with cosmopolitan cities, untouched wilderness and rich marine life. It is a country that many visitors fall in love with and rightly so, with something for everyone. To see and understand it though, takes a commitment of time, money and, of course, getting to the most remote continent. The rewards of making the trip are worth it, but make sure to plan and prepare your trip lest you be surprised by the $20 USD 6-packs of beer, $4 coffees, and $22 fish and chips.
DON’T MISS: Tasmania, it is one of the few places we’ve ever visited and wanted to call home.
MUST SEE: Great barrier reef, Great Ocean Road, wineries near Adelaide, and the fabulous cities of Melbourne and Sydney.
MUST TASTE: Pavlova and meat pie.
TRIP PLANNING: Australia is huge, it takes at least a few weeks to visit the key sights (Great Barrier Reef, Great Ocean Road, Melbourne and Sydney). If you want to see any more of the country plan for at least a month.
GETTING AROUND: Virgin Blue Airpass, for as little as $90 a flight, you can fly from city to city in Australia. Once you land in a city renting a car is a good option as an economy car for the day costs the same as the airport bus/train links to the city centers.
OUR COST PER DAY (2 ppl): $123.76, the most expensive country we’ve visited on this trip.
COST OF A BEER: $3 from a liquor store, $6 at a bar. A six-pack at a liquor store costs at least $18 AUD, making Australia probably the most expensive Western country to buy beer in. Wine is much more accessible at under $10 a bottle.
KEY MONEY-SAVING TIP: Couchsurfing. We paid for accommodation three of 31 days as we couchsurfed, this not only saved money, but allowed us to meet locals, see interesting places, and have a lot of fun.
YOU NEED TO KNOW: Airport transfers are ridiculous, it cost us about $60 AUD (round-trip) for the both of us to get between the airport and most Australian cities. If you need a car in any of the cities rent them from the airport and save the excessive transportation cost to the city.
IF WE KNEW WHAT WE KNOW NOW: We would have given ourselves more time to visit Perth, Ayer’s rock, Darwin and to just slow down. Four weeks was not enough to comfortably see all we did.
HELPFUL LINKS TO LEARN MORE: Aussie money savers, tips to free things to do in Australia, Australia’s best wineries, Australia Tourism Board (they have exceptional information), Wikitravel Australia, Virgin Blue Airpass. Any suggestions? Please let us know by sending them our way!
WE WERE THERE FOR: Four weeks.
OUR HIGHLIGHT: Tasmania.
WHERE WE WENT: Sydney, Townsville/Magnetic Island (Great Barrier Reef), Brisbane, Tasmania, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Adelaide
WE REGRET MISSING: The Outback. Had we known that there were affordable tours such as these, we would have made the trip up to Ayer’s rock.
FEATURED ARTICLES ABOUT AUSTRALIA
- Sydney: how to enjoy the city’s best on a free walking tour
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- Tasmania: what to see and do on Austalia’s most beautiful island
- Tasmania’s best food
- Is the world’s best modern art museum in Australia? You decide…
- Magnetic Island: The place to visit the Great Barrier Reef
- The vibrant urban markets of Australian
- How to roadtrip the Great Ocean Road
- Indulging in Australia’s best wineries
Tasmania is an Australian island and the 26th largest island in the world. Located 150 miles south of the continent, separated by Bass Strait. This little island is well worth a visit with amazing natural scenery, an incredible modern art museum and great food. This is a place that shouldn't be missed if you make the trip Down Under.
Hobart, the capital of Tasmania was founded in 1804 as a penal colony and is Australia's second oldest capital city after Sydney. We immediately fell in love with Hobart's charming original homes, delicious culinary treats, beautiful harbor and friendly folks. Take a look at the first city of the trip we felt we could really call home.
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. The main draw for travelers is the beautiful harbor featuring the iconic Sydney Opera House. We found the city to be welcoming, walkable and we loved being so close to the fantastic beaches of Bondi and Manly. A trip to Australia would not be complete without spending some time in this amazing metropolis, so being there for New Year's made it even better!
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Situated on the Brisbane River, after which the city is named, this picturesque city is worth a visit for the South Bank arts district, compact central business district and wonderful parks. We enjoyed our time in Brisbane where they lived up to it's tag line; "beautiful today and perfect tomorrow."
Townsville is Australia's largest urban center north of the Sunshine Coast and its main attraction is the Great Barrier Reef. Magnetic Island is an island only 5 miles offshore from the city of Townsville, Queensland, Australia. The mountainous island in Cleveland Bay has effectively become a suburb of Townsville, with just over 2,000 permanent residents. We stayed on "Maggie" as the locals refer to the island and enjoyed the secluded beaches, wonderful views and the resident koalas as well as a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef where we were blown away by the marine life.