Traveling in Australia can be one of the best experiences of your life, but it is important to do a lot of research ahead of time to make the most out of your vacation.
If you are in the beginning stages of preparing for your adventure Down Under, make sure you read through the following seven must-know tips for traveling in Australia.
1. Prepare Transportation Ahead Of Time
One big mistake that travelers to Australia make is that they underestimate the size of the country. Although it is an island, it is also technically a continent, which means that it is very big.
If you want to really see it, you need to have a car. Luckily, there are lots of transportation options once you arrive at any of the major airports in Australia, from buses in Sydney to cheap car hire at Townsville Airport to private chauffeurs in Melbourne. But the best option is always to rent a car. This way you can go to places on your own terms and go off the beaten path if something interesting catches your eye.
If you plan on renting a car, make sure that you book it well ahead of time so that you have a guarantee that a car will be available when you arrive. Many cheap car hire companies all across Australia offer reasonable daily rates and allow you to pick up the car in one location and leave it in another if you need to.
That means that if you fly into one region and then drive to another and fly out of there, you can drop your rental car off at a different airport than where you arrived without issue.
Another popular way to get around the country is by tour bus. This option is for people who do not feel as confident behind the wheel in a country where many drive on the opposite side from what you are used to. It is also a great way to take in the landscapes while relaxing in a comfortable coach.
This type of transportation normally also comes with a knowledgeable tour guide, so you will learn interesting facts about every place that you visit. Because many tourists from around the world visit Australia, it is very important to research and book this form of transportation several months in advance because it can sell out.
No matter how you choose to get around when traveling in Australia, remember that because it is a busy and desirable place to visit, you have to book your transportation well in advance to avoid getting stuck somewhere with no way to get from destination to destination.
2. Study Up On The Wildlife
Australia is known for a lot of things, but wildlife has to be high on that list. From kangaroos to koalas to giant arachnids, Australia has it all and is almost always the only place in the world that has certain types of animals.
Due to its isolation from the majority of the world, Australia has been able to cultivate a rich and unique biodiversity that is seen nowhere else. Because of this, part of your experience on your vacation will be encountering these animals, whether you want to or not.
To prepare yourself both mentally and physically for the excitement of seeing wildlife, when traveling in Australia, it is important to do some research on some of the plants and animals you may see in the regions you plan to visit.
For example, Sydney is known for being host to many small mammals like wallabies and possums, so you may see some walking around, even in the city. If you plan on spending some time in the outback, then you are likely going to encounter lots of cool animals like Tasmanian devils, wombats, and even camels.
While you are studying the many animals you may see, make a list of the ones that interest you the most and see if you can check them all off before the end of your trip. It is also important to remember that many animals that you may encounter are wild and should not be messed with.
Remember to view from a distance and appreciate their beauty from afar.
3. Pack For Diverse Climates
If you plan on traveling in Australia, you need to prepare your wardrobe for all kinds of climates. Australia has seven different climate zones ranging from cool and dry to humid and hot depending on the time of year and the region. The center of the country, which is mostly taken up by the outback, is qualified as a desert climate. From there, depending on the direction you head, you can encounter tropics in the far North, grasslands, and bush in the outer rim of the desert, and a temperate climate in most of the South.
Depending on your plans, you could encounter rain, humidity, desert heat, and cool evenings all in the same trip, so the best thing you can do is pack layers. A few pairs of long pants are good to pack for the evenings and when you are in sandy areas, as well as good walking boots to keep your feet dry and keep creepy crawlies out. Lots of t-shirts and tank tops that can be shed and put back on depending on the level of heat are also essential when traveling around the country.
4. Take The Time to Appreciate The Indigenous Culture
Something that is often overlooked is the fact that Australia has been inhabited by people for at least 65,000 years, so there is a rich cultural history there.
If you plan on traveling in Australia for a couple of weeks, try to dedicate at least a day or two to participating in an aboriginal experience in the form of tours with aboriginal guides or visiting cultural heritage centers.
These experiences allow visitors to understand the rich history of this unique island while also seeing things through the eyes of people who have passed down lore and traditions for thousands of years.
If you are unsure where to start with finding a cultural experience like this, check out different tour offerings online and book ahead of time. If you are traveling with cheap car hire, you can even do a self-guided tour to different cultural regions and take tours once you get there.
Make sure to do some research before you get to Australia and inform yourself about some of the history before you see it for yourself.
5. Use Sun Protection
One of the things that Australia is most known for is its sunny weather. No matter where you are in the country, you will likely be exposed to the sun.
This means that you should always have sun cream on hand during your days out and try to wear sun-protecting clothing. Be sure to pack at least one broad-rimmed hat that covers both the face and neck and try your best to cover your chest in clothing or sun cream.
It is also important to re-apply sun cream as often as possible, especially if you are doing water activities on the coast. You will have no fun the rest of your trip if you get a terrible sunburn in the first few days.
6. Try the Diverse Cuisine
Because Australia is home to immigrants from many different countries, it has accumulated a lot of different cuisines from all over the world. One of the most popular cuisines in Australia is actually Thai food, so the big cities have an abundance of Thai food restaurants. Other popular cuisines include Indian, Japanese, Italian, and Mexican.
Although there are a lot of food options from other countries, there is also a category of food that is quintessentially Australian. Australian cuisine consists of seafood from the many coasts, meat pies, and, if you are feeling adventurous, kangaroo.
7. Be Adventurous
Australians are known for embracing the outdoors and taking part in all of the adventures that the landscape has to offer.
From surfing to hiking to visiting the vast national parks, there are many opportunities to get outside and get lost. The best way to do this is, of course, with the freedom of cheap car hire so that you spend less on renting a car and more on seeing amazing things. If you want adventure when traveling in Australia, you must get off the beaten path and drive to places like Mount Uluru or the coast to go cage diving with great white sharks.
If you are a hiker, check out guided outback treks or breathtaking hikes along one of the coasts. If you are more into water activities, be sure to get your scuba diving certification before your trip so that you can explore the great barrier reef.
From coast to coast, Australia is packed full of adventure activities at all levels of difficulty and there is a huge industry for adventure tourism, so you have plenty of options.
An Australian adventure awaits you and all you have to do is start planning. Use this article as a guide to help get you started on the planning process. Once you have researched transportation, packed according to the climates you are going to, booked some tours, and mapped out your journey, it is time to book that flight and begin your vacation.