Whether you’re an Australian who’s never really seen a lot of your own country, or a backpacker making that ultimate journey over to Oz, the East Coast of Australia highlights the absolute beauty and intricate culture of the land down under, with some total gems along the way.
Preparing & Planning
Before you head off on your Aussie adventure, you need to put in some ground work. Obviously, finances are a big part of this, and you’ll need to decide on a budget.
Will you be staying in hostels or camping? Will you book a tour, or do you prefer to go off the beaten track and doing things your own way?
Hiring a van makes a whole lot of sense – you’ve got your lodging included. Because you can sleep in the back, you just need to pay for things like fuel and caravan or camping site rentals. If there’s a group of you, it really increases the value for money, because you can split the costs.
Of course, there’s a whole lot more to it than that. You’ll want to think about practicalities like insurance and finding a car which isn’t going to cause you a headache – reading a backpacker’s guide to choosing the right van for the job is always a good idea, which gives you a bit of a mental checklist.
Where Should You Go?
The East Coast of Australia isn’t this popular for no reason! It’s home to so many of the country’s most amazing sights. A great starting point is Sydney. There’s an abundance of things to see and do, no matter what you’re into.
If you’re in a rush, you can see a lot of the highlights in just 24 hours, including Manly Beach (which is a little less packed than Bondi, and just a short ferry away from Circular Quay), and the obvious landmarks like the Opera House and Darling Harbour.
Once you’ve done the obligatory Sydney trip, it’s time to hit the road! Whilst there are a ton of amazing spots on the way up, the next big one is Byron Bay. It’s home to hippies, live music on every corner, and, of course, a glorious beach. If you’re into fun activities, try dolphin kayaking or surfing, and everyone will love a sunrise walk to the lighthouse, the most Eastern point in Australia.
If you’re into cities, Brisbane is an ideal stopover for you. Once you’ve had your fill of its man-made lagoon, you can hop back in the van and see Noosa, a quaint beach town.
Noose is also the perfect base for a trip to Fraser Island – an Island made entirely of sand. There you can hire a 4×4 and pose for perfect pics at its crystal blue lake.
Next, go to Airlie Beach and take a trip to the Whitsundays Islands. It’s absolutely breathtaking to head on out on a boat, so it’s no wonder Whitehaven has been voted one of Australia’s top five beaches out of an impressive total of 88,000.
Finally, Cairns is home to an array of exciting things to do – most notably, a boat trip out to the Great Barrier Reef, where you can explore this stunning wonder of the world by either diving or snorkeling.
Travel is an incredible experience, so don’t forget to take it all in. Stay safe, and stick to your group. Don’t spend the whole day behind the camera, and be sure to take some time to explore off the beaten track. This is your adventure – so live it.