Australia Travel, Tours, Backpacking & Gap Year
Australia is an incredible country with iconic cities, world famous coral reefs, luscious rainforests and surf beaches galore - there’s something for everyone. View our amazing trips and activities and plan a dream trip to Australia today.
Adventure Tours, Backpacking Trips & Gap Year Programs in Australia
Australia Travel Guide
Find inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to travel, go backpacking or take a gap year in Australia. View tips and advice for places to go, the best packages available and information about costs, accommodation, transport, health, safety and how to visit Australia on a budget.
- Population: 27,000,000 (approx)
- Currency: Australian Dollar (A$) $1 =0.9A$ / £1 = 1.5A$
- Capital: Canberra (Population: 368,000 approx)
- Language: English
- Area: 740,000 sq km (approx)
- International Calling Code: +61
- Transport: There is a really excellent transport system in Australia including trains, buses, flights and trains
- Health & Safety: Australia is a very safe country to visit with a great modern health system and quite low crime. Buy a travel insurance policy to make sure you are totally covered.
Top Reasons to Travel to Australia
There has never been a better time to visit Australia, here are just a few reasons to go:
- Famous cities like Sydney and Melbourne full of culture, museums, restaurants and entertainment
- Some of the best beaches in the world
- Friendly English speaking locals
- Outdoor lifestyle and a warm climate
- Spectacular sights like the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands
- Amazing activities and adventures
How to Get to Australia
Multiple international flight routes link Australia with the rest of the world, making it a popular destination to visit on a round the world flight or as a destination in its own right. Prices vary depending on the company and time of year. To get the best deals you will need to book in advance and also travel out of the busy summer season. We recommend searching and comparing flights to Australia on Skyscanner.
Visa, Eligiblity & Entry Requirements
With a relaxed lifestyle and a favourable climate, the idea of a holiday in Australia sounds great. But what does it take to make all the arrangements beyond an airline ticket? Here’s what you need to know, just to travel in Australia you will need to apply for a visa, this applies even if you are just visiting as a tourist. Please don't expect to arrive without a visa and be let into the country.
Visas fall into a further tier of categories; short and long stay tourist visas or short and long validity business visas. The tourist visas are for those visiting the country for the purpose of sightseeing or to stay with relatives, the business visas are for people entering the country on business terms only. An Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) can be applied for online and they are added to your passport instantly, meaning there isn’t a huge application process and hence they are the easiest of the Australian visas to obtain. Around 30,000 British citizens apply for a permanent visa every year, and many more for travel.
Whether you are venturing for a short, permanently or you are one of the many spending your time in the sun, Australia visas are essential when it comes to travelling Down Under. Tourist visas permit you to stay in the country for up to three months and the only thing you need in order to be eligible for a travel visa is a valid passport from an eligible country. Business visas are on a similar basis; short term business visas permit you to enter and conduct business within Australia for three months.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
Make no mistake, Australia is hot. Only falling below 20 degrees C in the winter, the summer months of December to February regularly go above and beyond that. This year-long sunshine makes Australia what it is; an outdoor country. As such, there is a huge onus on outdoor activities and live sporting events. You can visit Australia all year round and not be dissapointed.
You can find accommodation for all budgets in towns and cities throughout the country. Choose between hotels, hostels, resorts, apartments and AirBnB. If you are looking for somewhere cheap to stay, use Hostelbookers or Booking.com to search for budget accommodation and book well in advance to get the best prices.
Travelling & Backpacking in Australia
Beach to Bush, Great Barrier Reef to Ayers Rock, Kangaroos and Koalas - Australia has so much to offer for a short or long visit. Travellers are drawn to the extensive coastline 25,800km long and dusted by 7000 beaches many of which are picture postcard pristine white sand bays washed by turquoise surf. Australia is also home to 500 national parks including rainforests, empty outback, coastal dunes and rugged mountain ranges. Search Australia travel ideas today.
While many visitors will enjoy a traditional beach BBQ (or Barbie) of steak and prawns washed down with a beer or two during their stay, for the more active Australia is also home to some of the great waves on the planet, world class surf and some of the hottest surfers.
One of the worlds natural wonders, the diversity of Queensland's Great Barrier Reef is legendary and a boat ride out to the reef from Cairns or Port Douglas is an unforgettable experience. The reef which comprises thousands of individual reef systems, coral cays and literally hundreds of picturesque tropical islands is home to a spectacular abundance of marine life including colourful coral gardens, sponges, rays, dolphins and a mind boggling array of tropical fish. Australia has such extensive coastline that 112,600 surf lifesavers are employed to keep watch!
Away from the coast many people head out on an Outback Odyssey or Bush Walkabout to explore Australia's vast empty interior bush landscapes of burnt, bare and beautiful ochre. The most famous sites of all is Uluru (Ayers Rock) - a celebrated icon of Australia. No matter how many times you've seen it in postcards nothing prepares you for seeing the solitary and impressive landmark yourself - it appears as an ochre brown colour and at sunset becomes illuminated a burnished orange and burnt red.
Wildlife lovers will delight at meeting wallabies, wombats, possums and of course the famous kangaroo. Another well know antipodean animal unique to this part of the world is the Tasmanian devil which is actually type of hyena. Hiring a car which is a popular way to get around - the surf and sun run from Sydney to Cairns takes in 2864km of beaches, national parks, theme parks and surfing and can be completed in a few weeks.
Another popular run the Great Ocean road in Victoria loops and curls along Victoria's coastline with surf beaches and golden sands on one side and dense rainforests on the other. Sydney offers great nightlife and culture including concerts at the iconic Opera House and a fireworks spectacular centred on the landmark harbour bridge. Perth is know for its great pubs, bars and restaurants and foodies will love getting stuck in at the Melbourne's internationally renowned food and wine festival held each Feb and March. Wine is one of Australia's great exports and vineyards can be found in a number of regions. In New South Wales for example the Hunter Valley is the oldest wine region in Australia where Shiraz, Semillon and Cabernet Sauvignon vines have been grown since the early 1800's.
Australia Travel Tips & Advice
- The Outback is spectacular, think desert and a few remote outposts and towns. You can experience this for yourself and join thousands of other gappers to visit places like Ayers Rock near Alice Springs and Darwin.
- The legendary East Coast is amazing, this will be a wild and crazy experience seeing some stunning locations along the way. You could start in Sydney and travel north or head to Cairns and go south - both ways are epic.
- If you would like to explore the country at your own pace another great way to travel is by renting a campervan. This is a good idea especially if you are planning on travelling long distances between major cities, or if you are staying in one place for a period of time and wish to explore the surrounding area in greater depth than you would be able to on public transport.
- If you are looking for a city to base yourself or settle we recommend Sydney or Melbourne - both have a lively atmosphere and lots to do. Both cities have great nightlife and cafes, most backpackers stay here the longest. In Melbourne you have to do the Neighbours experience and pub night, you might even get to meet Dr Karl or Toadfish.
- Perth is small but relaxing city, a great alternative to Sydney and Melbourne. Adelaide is also a nice city but don't expect much to do, its probably best to visit if you know someone who lives there as they will be able to show you around, popular things to do include visiting the local museums and also climbing Mount Lofty.
- The Great Ocean Road is one of the most spectacular routes in the world
- Going scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef is incredible, you can set this up through our website before departing. If you are looking to learn to surf you can choose from almost any coastal place like Byron Bay or Surfers Paradise.
- If you would like to visit Tasmania, flights are cheap but taking the ferry from Melbourne to Devonport is more scenic and a much better option. You can hire a car, we recommend visiting the Bay of Fires, the Freycinet National Park, the Tasman Peninsula, the Central Plateau Conservation Area, Mole Creek Karst National Park and the remote Lake Mackenzie.
- Ayers Rock is a long way in the middle of nowhere but it really is spectacular especially if you see it at sunrise or sunset - the rock changes colour it looks really magical. Book your flights or train tickets way in advance though as spaces can fill up quick.
Gap Year in Australia
Start planning a gap year to Australia! This is one of the most popular destinations in the world with a warm climate, friendly locals, facsinating cities, beautiful beaches and a relaxed atmosphere - there is so much to see and do here.
if you are researching ideas for the best things to do on a gap year in Australia our directory will help you plan a dream break. Australia is one of the most popular destinations in the world for a reason - this country is an amazing place to explore. Highlights can include being more than just a tourist, visiting Ayers Rock, riding jeeps around Fraser Island, sailing in the WhitSundays, snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef... the list could go on and on!
Most gap year programs are open to students, graduates, career breakers and for people looking to see more of this country. If you would like to travel to Australia search our opportunities where you can experience the highlights of the country. From sightseeing, going on an adventure, to staying a little longer and working here, find your perfect experience.
The distances are long in Australia, but many travel companies provide comfortable buses and overland vehicles to get around. You will really need to research and see what your interests are for which company you choose. There are small group adventure tours and also special experiences e.g. wildlife watching and culture.
You can find trips for all budgets with durations ranging from a few days to over a month. Whatever your interests, you will be sure to find a great value tour to match your interests. You could go overland, head to the Outback and see Ayers Rock, go cross country or travel the legendary East Coast taking in the very best locations. We highly recommend visiting the Whitsunday islands, Fraser Island and Byron Bay whilst overland camping tours will allow you to experience the real Aussie bush.
On most tours you will travel overland in a private small tour van. For day trips and excursions sometimes you will use public transport and sometimes use internal flights to allow you to see the highlights as quick as possible. Usually travellers of the same sex will share a twin room, but there is also the option to pay a little extra and get a private room. Accommodation can vary depending on the tour and location.
The price you pay and also destination can have an effect on the level of comfort. If you are a bit more independent there are rewards are many for people who do a self drive in a 4WD or campervan. If you are looking for a self-drive holiday that is far from crowds and city life, there are companies which offer a wide-range of campervans for your road trip adventure.
Tours of Australia are very affordable by Western European standards, joining an organised group tour, seeing the sights, staying in hotels and motels, eating and drinking well can be achieved on a modest budget. Cost can depend on the trip you select and time spend travelling, there are departures are all year round and you can also register / request more information for specific dates. There are sometimes special offers available if you book in advance or last minute.
Best Australia Tour Operators
Are you wondering what are the best Australia tour companies to book with are? On One World 365 you can search and compare trips from top rated Australia tour operators including Contiki, G Adventures and Topdeck Travel. Thousands of people travel with these companies every year and they offer highly rated guided tours with good reviews.
Australia Small Group Tours
The trips we promote have a typical group size of around 10-18 travellers with an average of 12. This can vary between the tour and operator. We have a selection of tours for all budgets, so whether you are looking to explore on a budget or you have a bit more money to spend you will be able to find a trip to match your interests. You can find lots of cheap tours of Australia allowing you to discover the highlights of the country and not break the bank.
Australia Backpacker Tours
Our tours are perfect if you are travelling solo and would like to meet other people and travel in a group. You will get to meet other international travellers and get taken to the best locations in the country with an experienced guide. Most trips specifically cater for the 18-35 age group and are a really popular option due to meeting other people, getting day-to-day activities, hotel check-ins, selected meals, accommodation and also transport/guides included in the price. Don't worry if you are slightly older, most tours accept all ages.
Only on a short time frame? Or want to see more than your average tourist? City tours are available to book in all the major destinations, some last a few hours whilst others can be a day or longer.
On a wildlife tour in Australia you can get close to wild animals like kangaroos, wallabies, crocodiles and dingos. There is a lot of choice too when it comes to destinations, most overland experiences give you free time to visit zoo's and wildlife sanctuarys whilst others take you to places like Kangaroo Island which is teemed with animals. On a visit to the floodplains you will see hundreds of birds, cockatoos, parrots, geese, herons, ducks, geese, jacanas and buzzards. You might catch a glimpse of kingfishers, falcons, eagles and kookaburras. These trips are amazing if you are a bird spotter or passionate about wildlife.
How to Book
Search trips on our directory and enquire for more information or book direct with an operator. If you need any help booking a trip in Australia please get in touch.