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Tips for Backpacking in Australia

Whether you're dreaming of surfing on pristine beaches, trekking through ancient rainforests, or just soaking in the vibrant city vibes, Australia promises an adventure as diverse as its landscapes.

And we're here to guide you through every step, ensuring your backpacking trip is as epic as the land Down Under itself!

Planning and Preparation

Alright, let's talk planning! Backpacking in Australia and venturing into the great Aussie expanse might seem daunting at first, but with a little bit of prep, you'll be ready.

First things first, sort out that visa and travel insurance—it's essential for a worry-free adventure.


Depending on your country of origin, you might need to apply for a specific type of visa for backpacking in Australia. For many backpackers, the Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417 or Subclass 462, depending on your country) is a popular choice, allowing travellers aged 18-30 (35 for some countries) to work and travel in Australia for up to a year. It's a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the Aussie culture and fund your travels as you go.

For those not eligible or not interested in backpacking and working in Australia, a Visitor Visa (Subclass 600) or an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA, Subclass 601) might be more suitable. These visas allow for shorter tourist stays but don't permit employment in Australia. Always check the latest requirements on the official Australian Department of Home Affairs website, as visa policies can change.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is another non-negotiable when backpacking in Australia. The unexpected can always happen—from minor mishaps like lost luggage to more serious issues like health emergencies or trip cancellations.

Make sure your insurance covers medical expenses, including possible repatriation, as healthcare costs in Australia can be steep for non-residents. Also, consider coverage for adventure activities if you're planning to dive, surf, or explore the outback, ensuring you're covered for any adventure you embark on.


Now, the fun part—your itinerary. Australia is huge! So, it's wise to have a rough plan in place before going backpacking in Australia. Think about what you like to do: sipping wine in South Australia, catching waves in Margaret River, or maybe a selfie with the quokkas on Rottnest Island?

Just remember, Australia's vastness can be tricky, so give yourself enough time to soak it all in without rushing.

Packing Essentials

Packing for an Aussie adventure is like prepping for a great BBQ—you want all the right ingredients for a perfect day.

Lightweight clothing is your best friend, especially those that can handle a bit of Aussie sun and double up for a cool evening. A sturdy pair of shoes is a must, whether you're scaling mountains or hitting the city streets. And, of course, your trusty backpack, which will be your home away from home, so choose wisely.

Don't forget the essentials like sunscreen, a hat, and your swim gear because you never know when you'll stumble upon a gorgeous beach or a hidden swimming hole.

Budgeting and Finance

Let's talk dollars and cents. Backpacking in Australia doesn't have to break the bank. With some savvy budgeting, you can enjoy the Aussie dream without a financial nightmare.

Hostels, campsites, and places like Summerstar Tourist Parks in Western Australia and South Australia offer comfy stays without the hefty price tag. Street eats and local markets will give you a taste of Aussie flavours without the restaurant bills.

And when it comes to getting around, consider buses, rideshares, or even a good old road trip—it's all part of the adventure!

Transportation Options

The journey is just as important as the destination. In Australia, you've got options galore to get from A to B, each offering its unique view of the landscape.

Road Trips

The classic road trip is a rite of passage when backpacking in Australia and is often the easiest way to get around. There's something truly magical about setting off on the open road with your favourite tunes playing and the vast Australian landscape stretching out before you. 

From the coastal drives along the Great Ocean Road to the legendary Pacific Coast Highway, every route has its own unique charm and stories waiting to be discovered.

But here's a pro tip for the adventurers drawn to the outback: venturing into these remote areas is an incredible experience, yet it requires a lot more planning and preparation than your average road trip. 

The Outback

The outback is unforgiving, with long stretches of road without services or towns. This means you need to be well-prepared with enough supplies, including water, food, fuel, and, importantly, a reliable means of communication in case of emergencies.

Moreover, understanding your vehicle's capabilities and the road conditions is crucial. Some outback tracks require a 4WD and a good grasp of off-road driving techniques. Always check the route conditions before setting off, as weather can dramatically change the outback landscape, making roads impassable.

Public Transport & Flights

If you're looking to cover vast distances, a quick flight might be your best bet. Flights run frequently between major cities and larger rural towns.

And for those who love to take the scenic route, hop on a bus and watch the Australian landscape unfold before your eyes.

Train networks are primarily concentrated in and around the capital cities. Train options outside these urban hubs become sparse, so it's something to keep in mind when planning your adventure.

Accommodation Choices

After a day of adventures, there's nothing better than a cosy place to rest your head. Australia's got you covered with an array of budget-friendly accommodation options.

Hostels are the go-to for solo travellers and social butterflies, offering a bed and a chance to meet fellow wanderers. For a more intimate experience, Airbnb and guesthouses offer a homey vibe. And for the nature lovers, camping under the stars is pure magic.

If you find yourself wandering through Western Australia or crossing the Nullarbor to/from South Australia, check out Summerstar Tourist Parks. We're like a home away from home, offering a comfy and affordable stay amid some of Australia's most stunning landscapes.

Outdoor Adventures

Ready for some action? Australia's outdoor playground offers everything from world-class surfing and diving to breathtaking hikes and wildlife encounters.

Whether you're looking to ride the waves at Maragaret River, explore the underwater wonders of Abrolhos Islands, or trek through the mystical Daintree Rainforest, there's an adventure waiting for every kind of thrill-seeker.

And remember, the best adventures often come from the unexpected, so don't be afraid to venture off the beaten path and create your own unforgettable experiences.

Book Your Stay

So there you have it—your ultimate guide to backpacking through the stunning landscapes of Australia. With a bit of planning, the right gear, and an adventurous spirit, you're all set to explore the wonders of this incredible land. 

And if your travels take you through the breathtaking beauty of Western Australia or South Australia, don't forget to check out Summerstar Tourist Parks for a comfortable, budget-friendly stay that'll feel just like home.

Frequently asked questions

  • What transportation options are available for getting around Australia?

    Australia offers a variety of transportation options for backpackers, each with its unique advantages. The classic road trip is a popular choice, providing the freedom to explore at your own pace and discover hidden gems along the way. For covering vast distances quickly, flights are convenient and frequent between major cities and larger rural towns. Public transport options include buses and trains, offering scenic routes and a chance to experience the Australian landscape up close.

  • What are some budget-friendly accommodation options for backpackers in Australia?

    Backpackers in Australia have a range of affordable accommodation options to choose from. Hostels are a favourite among solo travellers and those looking to socialise, offering dormitory-style rooms and communal spaces. Airbnb and guesthouses provide a more intimate and homey atmosphere, with private rooms and local hospitality. For nature lovers, camping under the stars in national parks or caravan parks offers an authentic outdoor experience. If you're travelling through Western Australia or South Australia, consider staying at Summerstar Tourist Parks for a comfortable and budget-friendly stay amidst stunning landscapes.

  • What essential items should I pack for backpacking in Australia?

    When packing for your backpacking adventure in Australia, it's essential to bring lightweight clothing suitable for varying weather conditions, including hot days and cool evenings. Don't forget to pack a sturdy pair of shoes for hiking and exploring, as well as a reliable backpack to carry your essentials. Other must-pack items include sunscreen, a hat, swimwear for impromptu beach visits, a reusable water bottle, and a first aid kit. Additionally, consider bringing a travel adaptor for charging electronic devices and a portable power bank for staying connected on the go.

2 April 2024

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