Australia is a destination that enchants the imagination, but how do you make sure that your trip down under doesn’t leave you high and dry? The stunning landscapes and cultural hotspots of this vast country are far from the US and Europe, and if you’re traveling this far, your trip needs to go perfectly.
We’re here to make sure your trip to Oz goes without a hitch. Whether you’re hoping to visit Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, hike in Queensland or spend time in the cultural capitals of Melbourne and Sydney, we’ve got you covered.
Ready to learn more about Australia, and be prepared for your trip to this gorgeous destination? Then read our Australia travel blog, and discover our top Australia travel tips.
1. Take Australia’s Size Into Account
Australia is huge. Travelers from Europe and North America often think you can see the whole country in a week or two. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Australia is the only island that is also a continent. It is the sixth-largest country on Earth and comparable in size to the lower 48 US states. You need to have a plan of where you would like to go.
If traveling by car, you will need to book stop-overs in hotels along the way. If you’re planning to use car loans and drive from Brisbane to Sydney or Melbourne, this is unlikely to be an issue. In other states, this could cause some problems.
The Northern Territories and Western Australia are particularly isolated. It’s possible to travel many miles without seeing a single other car or person. If you’re still determined to travel by road, do your research and know the locations of hotels and roadhouses.
If you intend to travel from one end of the country to the other, our top Australia travel tip is to consider flying. Flights from Cairns to Ayers Rock Airport, for example, are cheap and take under three hours. Take this flight, and you could see the majesty of the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru in the same day.
2. Swim Between the Safety Flags
Perhaps the most important of Australia travel tips on this list, this could save your life. When you’re enjoying the beautiful beaches, pay close attention to the red and yellow safety flags. These signify where it’s safe to swim, and where riptides lurk.
These strong currents can pull you miles out to sea and are common in Australian waters. You should also always stick to beaches that are patrolled by lifeguards.
If you do find yourself caught in a rip, swim across the current, parallel to the shore. When you’re no longer being dragged out, try to swim back, using breaking waves to help you. Be wary of exhaustion, and rest for a minute to 90 seconds by floating on your back, if required.
3. Be Cautious of Local Flora and Fauna
No matter where you’re from, you should be cautious of local animals and plants when down under. The most obvious (and infamous) dangers are spiders and snakes.
While the large Huntsman spider may be alarming, they’re harmless. Instead, be cautious of the Black Widow and Funnel-web spiders. Snakes should be avoided if possible.
Kangaroos are common, and very cute to look at, but don’t ever try to feed one. Their punches are incredibly strong. They aren’t aggressive animals, but you still shouldn’t get too close.
Also of note is the Gympie Gympie plant. This tree grows wild in the north-eastern Australian rainforests and can be identified by its broad, fuzzy leaves and white or red fruit. If you see one, don’t touch it; its sting is widely regarded as one of the most painful plant stings in the world, causing agonizing pain which can last for years.
If you are bitten or stung by anything, and you aren’t sure of the cause, go to a hospital immediately. However, there is no need to be too worried: millions of people call Australia home, and the likelihood of this happening is very small.
4. Be Prepared for Incredible Food and Drink
Australia may not be world-famous for its food, but you’ll find plenty of fantastic food down under. This isn’t so much an Australia travel tip as an Australian travel warning: be prepared to gain a few pounds if you eat out a lot!
The quality of Australian produce is unrivaled, and even cheaper cafes and pubs serve up incredible food. Thai restaurants are also common and are often BYOB.
If you love coffee, Australia is a great destination for you. The cafe culture of Melbourne is sublime, and incredible coffee is easy to find.
5. Prepare for the Heat (or Rain)
Depending on where you go in Australia, and at what time of year, you could find it to be scorching hot or exceedingly damp.
It’s not uncommon for summer temperatures to hit over 104 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees centigrade. However, if you’re going to north-eastern Australia, you can expect heavy rain during the summer.
It’s also important to remember that their seasons are opposite to ours. Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, so during our summer months, it is winter and vice-versa.
6. Don’t Expect Australia to Be Cheap
Compared to North America and Europe, Australia is pretty expensive. Everything from food, drinks, toiletries, and other essentials are all going to be more pricey than they are back home.
However, this does have one upside. Due to a higher minimum wage, Australian staff do not expect to be tipped.
Take the exchange rate into account, and be prepared to spend a lot of cash on your trip, as you will.
Got Any Other Australia Travel Tips?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of Australia travel tips and are now a bit more prepared to go down under! Why not take a look at our flight search section, and find yourself a great deal?