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My first ever solo journey was to Australia and it turned out to be such a life altering expertise with so many nice moments I’ll always remember. I used to be feeling a bit nervous on the flight however as quickly as I landed, all my fears melted away.
Australia could be very properly arrange for backpacking with loads of superior hostels, low cost backpacker bars and hop on hop off buses that make it straightforward to get round. Because the nation has an amazing Working Vacation Visa program, it’s particularly well-liked with Hole Yr vacationers and younger individuals who simply wish to journey straight out of uni.
The most well-liked route in Australia for first time guests is the east coast route from Sydney to Cairns. The east coast is extra densely populated than different components of Australia and due to this fact has lots to see.
Flights to Sydney are often the most affordable, so it’s greatest to fly into Sydney after which work your means as much as Cairns both by automobile or by bus. To offer you some inspiration and provide help to plan what to do, right here’s an inventory of a few of the greatest issues to do on the east coast of Australia.
East Coast Australia: Issues to Do
Spend a Few Days in Sydney
Your first cease on the east coast shall be Sydney, which is probably the most populous metropolis in Australia.
Sydney is understood for its iconic Opera Home, which value $102 million and took 14 years to construct. The spectacular constructing was designed by Jørn Utzon from Denmark and options greater than 1 million roof tiles. Among the best methods to expertise it’s by grabbing a sundown cocktail on the Opera Bar, which has a view of Harbour Bridge and Opera Home.
Different main Sydney points of interest you’ll wish to go to embody the Royal Botanic Backyard, Darling Harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Rocks, which is dwelling to an open-air market plus plenty of eating places, pubs and outlets. If you wish to take a break from sightseeing, absorb the solar on Bondi Seashore, which is Sydney’s most well-known seaside.
Take the Ferry to Manly
No journey to Sydney could be full with out taking the ferry over to the seaside city of Manly. Departing from Round Quay, the ferry takes half-hour and is less expensive than taking a Sydney Harbour cruise. If you wish to get there a bit faster, it’s also possible to purchase a ticket for the Quick Ferry, which prices $10.20 every means.
Manly has an attractive tree-lined seaside and a relaxed vibe, so be sure to pack your towel and swimwear so you may spend your day stress-free on the sand. Afterwards, take a stroll alongside The Corso, a pedestrian avenue lined with eateries, bars and pubs.
Bondi to Coogee Coastal Stroll
The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Stroll is a clifftop stroll that stretches 6km and takes round 2-3 hours to finish. It’s an attractive stroll with plenty of rock swimming pools, seashores and cafes to find alongside the way in which.
The stroll begins at Bondi Seashore and can take you previous the well-known Bondi Icebergs – a swimming membership that’s proper on the ocean and a well-liked spot for images. Different highlights alongside the way in which embody Tamarama Seashore, Bronte Seashore and the Waverly Cemetery, which is the ultimate resting place for a lot of outstanding Australians.
Go to Blue Mountains Nationwide Park
The Blue Mountains Nationwide Park is positioned west of Sydney and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Website. One of many fundamental highlights of the park is the Three Sisters rock formation, which may be seen from Echo Level Lookout.
With over 140 kilometers (87 miles) of monitor, the Blue Mountains is a well-liked place for mountain climbing and bushwalking. There are additionally tons of actions you may strive, together with scaling canyons, trying to find glow worms and exploring the world’s oldest underground cave system.
When you’re performed being adventurous, you may go to one of many area’s quiet mountain cities the place you may discover the outlets, artwork galleries, museums and cafes. And in case you actually wish to deal with your self, think about staying in a single day on the Emirates One&Solely Wolgan Valley, which is an opulent retreat constructed on a big expanse of wilderness conservancy.
Skydive Over Byron Bay
Skydiving ought to be a kind of issues on each backpacker’s should do checklist, and Byron Bay provides spectacular views of the seashores and shoreline as you soar out of that aircraft.
I booked a tandem Skydive from 15,000 ft with Skydive Byron Bay and had such a enjoyable expertise. I used to be completely terrified nevertheless it was such an exhilarating factor to do and I felt like I’d completed one thing afterwards! The skydive instructors additionally seize the entire thing on digital camera too, so you may have some recollections of your whole expertise.
Discover Your Inside Hippie Baby in Nimbin
The hippy city of Nimbin simply exterior Byron Bay is each stoner’s heaven. Although hashish is prohibited in Australia, it’s no secret that the hippies in Nimbin like to smoke a joint.
When you don’t have your individual automobile, you may go to Nimbin with a tour firm, equivalent to Completely satisfied Coach Byron. I visited with Jim’s Different Excursions, which is unfortunately not in operation. We boarded a brightly coloured bus which took us to the hemp museum and the weird dwelling of Paul Recher, which is in the course of a jungle.
Nimbin was as soon as a sleepy dairying village however was remodeled into Australia’s “various way of life” capital after the Aquarius Pageant in 1973. As we speak the constructing facades are painted in brightly coloured murals and the city has a brilliant quirky, psychedelic vibe.
If you wish to do some purchasing, there are many artwork galleries and boutiques promoting jewellery and crafts made by native artisans. There’s additionally a weekly farmer’s market that takes place each Wednesday afternoon.
For the most effective locations to eat in Nimbin, take a look at Armonica Cafe, Nimbin Bakery, The Mended Drum or Nimbin Oasis Music Hub & Cafe.
Celebration on the Gold Coast
Surfer’s Paradise is Queensland’s nightlife capital and is the the #1 vacation spot for partygoers. If you wish to go clubbing or bar hopping, that is the place to do it. Widespread golf equipment embody Misplaced Kingdom Nightclub, The Avenue, elsewhere, SinCity Nightclub and Cocktails Nightclub.
When you choose one thing a bit extra laid again, head to the Island Rooftop at sundown so you may take pleasure in some cocktails as the town lights up.
Offered you’re not too hungover from the evening earlier than, you may join a surf lesson on probably the most well-known surf seashores on the planet or strive rise up paddleboarding to discover Chevron Island and Macintosh Island Park.
As the most important metropolis in Queensland, Brisbane is properly value a go to and has heaps to see and do. Town has a reasonably laid-back vibe and because it has a tropical local weather, it’s good for al fresco eating.
A well-liked adrenaline-pumping exercise in Brisbane is climbing the Story Bridge, which lets you soak in panoramic views of the town. Flowing via the town is the Brisbane River, which is greatest skilled by taking a sundown cruise or renting an electrical picnic boat.
Town might not have a seaside, nevertheless it does have a small man-made seaside known as Streets Seashore, which is lined with sub-tropical vegetation and has a blue lagoon for bathing. The seaside is positioned inside South Financial institution, which boasts eating places, biking tracks, picnic spots and BBQs.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Subsequent on this checklist of the highest issues to do on the east coast of Australia is the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, which was opened in 1927 to assist defend one among Australia’s most iconic species. The sanctuary is positioned in Fig Tree Pocket, which is round 12km from Brisbane CBD.
Let’s face it, koalas are extremely lovable and cute, and at this sanctuary you may truly maintain one and have your picture taken with it. You’ll additionally get to go to the leaf sorting space to find out how employees cater for these choosy eaters.
In addition to koalas, the sanctuary can be dwelling to owls, kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and an entire host of different Australian wildlife.
4×4 On Fraser Island
Fraser Island by far probably the most enjoyable factor to do on the East Coast so you need to positively be sure to add this to your Australia itinerary. Whereas there are day excursions to Fraser Island, probably the most enjoyable option to do it’s by driving your self!
Rainbow Seashore or Hervey Bay are two well-liked beginning factors for Fraser Island experiences.
I stayed in a hostel in Hervey Bay and visited Fraser Island on a gaggle self-drive tour. We have been organized into teams and despatched on an alcohol run the evening earlier than in order that we might have a boozy time by the campfire whereas on the island. The next day we have been proven a security video explaining what-to-do and what-not-to-do on Fraser Island, earlier than embarking on a meals store to Woolworth’s to replenish on meals.
Subsequent we have been taken to a storage to choose up the 4×4, be taught some driving guidelines and eventually hop on the ferry over to the island. Offroading is a lot enjoyable and it feels extremely releasing to drive on the sand with no visitors lights!
Fraser Island is sensible, not simply due to the gorgeous lakes and surroundings, however since you get to drive on the seaside, cook dinner your individual camp meals, arrange tents, play consuming video games and sleep underneath the celebrities.
A significant spotlight is Lake McKenzie, which boasts powdery white sands and turquoise waters with pure tea tree oil. The island’s main freeway is Seventy-5 Mile Seashore, which is dwelling to champagne rock swimming pools, a historic shipwreck and sea life equivalent to whales and dolphins.
Study to Surf in Noosa
The East Coast of Australia is the pefect place to be taught to surf and lots of hostels have free surf boards and physique boards so that you could apply by your self. Nonetheless in case you’re new to browsing it’s at all times value taking just a few classes so you will get the hold of the fundamentals.
Noosa is understood for its surf and has quite a few surf faculties, together with Surfdancer Academy of Surf, Go Experience a Wave, Epic Surf Classes, Noosa Surf Classes and Merrick’s Noosa Study to Surf.
This coastal city is a well-liked resort vacation spot and many Australians go to to benefit from the sandy seashores, sunny climate, boutique resorts and stylish resort vibes. Many of the motion facilities round Hasting Avenue, which is stuffed with boutiques, eating places, cafes, galleries, day spas and present outlets.
Chill Out in Agnes Water/City of 1770
Once I heard concerning the City of 1770 I pictured a city the place everybody wears interval costume however that turned out to not be the case. Positioned north of Fraser Island and south of the Whitsundays, City of 1770 is a coastal city that’s well-liked for browsing and serves as an entry level to the southern Nice Barrier Reef. It has lovely sandy seashores and experiences over 300 days of sunshine per yr!
The city was the second place the place Captain James Cook dinner and his crew stepped onto Australian soil and their first touchdown in what’s now the state of Queensland. I stayed just a few days in a hostel there and beloved how stress-free it was!
Cool Bananas is certainly one of many coolest hostels I’ve stayed in with a Caribbean sort vibe- suppose hammocks, lanterns and palm timber.
Sail the Whitsundays
Backpackers travelling up and down the East Coast often have two actions they know they wish to do – one is doing a 4×4 drive of Fraser Island, and the opposite is crusing the Whitsundays.
There are quite a few tour corporations which provide crusing packages to the Whitsundays from Airlie Seashore, and it’s value purchasing round to search out the suitable boat and package deal deal.
The tropical Whitsunday Islands lie about half means up the Queensland coast and are bordered by the Nice Barrier Reef. There are 74 of them, however solely 8 are inhabited.
Vacationers enterprise to the islands to stroll on the powder white, picture-postcard sands of Whitehaven Seashore, snorkel or scuba dive on the Nice Barrier Reef or just calm down on a crusing boat as they cruise across the islands.
Lease a Topless Automobile on Magnetic Island
Lots of people I spoke to had by no means heard of Magnetic Island, though it has a resident inhabitants of round 2,500 folks. The tropical island lies off the coast of Townsville and has a daily passenger ferry service.
The most effective time to go to the island is round a full moon so that you could go to the total moon occasion at BASE Backpackers hostel. While it’s not a patch on Thailand’s full moon occasion, it’s an amazing excuse to occasion anyway.
Lease one among these Topless Vehicles for the day and also you’ll really feel a bit like Barbie- it’s a good way to get round!
If you wish to see some koalas within the wild, I like to recommend doing the Forts Stroll mountain climbing path. The hike is about 3 to five kilometres lengthy relying on which route you’re taking and also you’ll get to see some breathtaking views alongside the way in which.
Snorkel Over the Nice Barrier Reef
One among Australia’s most well-known points of interest is after all the Nice Barrier Reef, which is likely one of the seven pure wonders of the world and the one residing factor seen from area.
The reef is definitely composed of two,900 particular person reefs and 900 islands that cowl an space of roughly 344,400 sq. kilometres.
If you wish to discover the reef you may have plenty of choices, together with scuba diving, snorkelling, helicopter excursions, glass-bottomed boat excursions, semi-submersibles and cruise ship excursions.
Queensland has a number of cities that make nice bases for exploring the Nice Barrier Reef, together with Cairns, Port Douglas, Rockhampton, Townsville, Airlie Seashore and Mission Seashore.
A number of the reef’s islands are additionally dwelling to attractive resorts the place you may spend a day or two stress-free. With powdery white sands, turquoise blue waters and phrase class diving, you’ll really feel such as you’re in heaven!
Go to the Daintree Rainforest & Cape Tribulation
When visiting Cairns you’ll see plenty of excursions marketed to the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation. GetYourGuide has a variety of nice excursions you may e book on-line:
Listed below are a few concepts:
- Cairns: Daintree & Cape Tribulation Guided 4WD Tour
- Cairns: Daintree and Mossman Gorge Tour with Cruise Choice
The Daintree Rainforest is the world’s oldest rainforest and has been rising for over 180 million years! Begin your journey on the Daintree Discovery Centre, the place you may see the cover from an aerial walkway and be taught loads of data concerning the rainforest with the assistance of interactive shows.
Inside the rainforest you may hike on a wide range of mountain climbing trails, expertise rafting on the Mossman River, uncover the right way to hunt for bush tucker or take a crocodile cruise to get a view of the saltwater crocs that reside there.
If you wish to be totally immersed in nature, think about staying an evening on the Silky Oaks luxurious lodge, the place you may sleep in treehouses and dine open air within the rainforest.
On the sting of Daintree Nationwide Park you’ll discover Cape Tribulation, which is a gateway to the Nice Barrier Reef. This lovely coastal area is positioned on a headland and provides a singular panorama the place rainforest meets reef.
Right here you may take a ship tour onto the reef, swim within the rainforest swimming holes or sign-up for a 4WD journey to discover the rugged terrain of the Bloomfield Monitor. The world is really gorgeous, with remoted seashores and a wealthy range of natural world.
Getting Across the East Coast of Australia
Essentially the most handy option to get across the east of Australia is by driving. You can hire a automobile or hire a campervan so you may sleep in your automobile and lower your expenses on lodging.
Australia is large, so driving distances between cities and cities may be very lengthy. When you drove the east coast of Australia with out stopping it will take 27 hours in complete! You additionally have to do not forget that they drive on the left in Australia, which can take some getting used to in case you come from the USA or Europe.
When you don’t wish to drive, the most suitable choice is to journey by Greyhound bus. Greyhound provides East Coast Whimmit Passes, which let you journey up (or down) the east coast at your individual tempo and hop off wherever you want. Coaches have free WiFi and in-seat USB chargers, and you’ll simply reserve your seat on-line.
A 3-day Whimmit Cross prices $249, a 15-day go prices $319 and a 30-day go prices $389. As soon as you buy a go you may have 12 months to start your journey and also you’re granted limitless journey in any route for as many days as your time permits.
Flight costs are typically cheaper flying into Sydney, so I’d recommend beginning in Sydney then ending in Cairns, which is the route I took. I then flew to Alice Springs to do a tour to Uluru and flew to Melbourne to drive the Nice Ocean Street. From Melbourne I flew again to Sydney to finish my journey.
A Closing Phrase…
There are such a lot of superior issues to do on the east coast of Australia that you need to enable loads of time to see every part. 2 weeks is absolutely the minimal period of time you should journey the east coast however I’d say give your self round 3-4 weeks to do every part at a extra leisurely tempo.
I had a lot enjoyable backpacking Australia and it was such a life altering expertise. I made lifelong buddies on that journey and had so many unbelievable experiences simply on that one journey. When you’re contemplating a visit to Oz however haven’t pulled the set off but, I can let you know it’s completely value it.
One of many greatest obstacles to beat when planning a visit to the Land Down Underneath is the steep flight costs, so if you wish to lower your expenses in your ticket, take a look at my helpful information to getting low cost flights to Australia.
Guide Your Journey
Don’t overlook journey insurance coverage: Heymondo is the most effective journey insurance coverage firm and provides inexpensive insurance policies. Safetywing is ideal for long-term vacationers and digital nomads.
Guide your flights: Discover low cost flights utilizing Google Flights, Skyscanner or Kayak. To get journey offers despatched straight to your inbox, join Scott’s Low-cost Flights or Jack’s Flight Membership. Use the Hopper app for his or her AI powered worth change predictions.
Reserving your lodging: I take advantage of Reserving.com to e book all my accommodations. Their Genius loyalty program means that you can earn reward credit no bookings and 10%-20% off lodge costs. You can too strive Google Resorts and TripAdvisor to look costs throughout a wide range of websites. Agoda is the most effective website for reserving accommodations in Asia.
Journey on a finances: Staying in hostels is a good way to fulfill folks and is greatest in case you’re on a finances. Yow will discover loads of superior hostels with Hostelworld.