Having had an amazing time in Australia and dying to revisit, I thought I was due a post on how to plan a trip to Australia for those like me who have been dreaming about visiting Australia and its many beautiful states. I have shared tips on the best times to travel to Australia as well as shared a post on how to travel alone in Australia, this post is all about giving you an idea of what to consider when planning a trip to Australia.
If like me you will probably asking yourself ”How much does it cost to fly to Australia”, “what’s the cost of a 7 day trip to Australia” or even “how long to drive from Melbourne to Sydney”. I will cover all that and more below. I flew from London and I had a stop in Malaysia before landing and starting my trip in Sydney. If you are wondering how long to spend in Sydney, things to see and do in Sydney, I have covered a lot of posts on Sydney, including a two day Sydney itinerary, with more to come so when you plan your trip to Sydney you have plenty of posts to refer to. First things first though, your visa to Australia!
- 1 How To Plan A Trip To Australia – First Things First
- 2 Basic Things To Know When Planning A Vacation To Australia
- 3 Deciding How Long To Visit And Visas For Australia
- 4 What To See In Australia?
- 5 The Best Way To Tour Australia
- 6 Best Time To Visit Australia
- 7 How To See (Almost All Of) Australia In 30 Days!
- 8 Start Booking Your Vacation To Australia
How To Plan A Trip To Australia – First Things First
When looking at how to plan a trip to Australia there are a few things to consider first. The planning and trip guidance are a must to have a safe and easy travel experience. To explore the vibrant capital city, Sydney, you need to gather up all practical travel information as much as you can. Choose the best time period to plan your vacation, know the visa and custom guidelines, obtain the Customs and Quarantine regulations. Also, enrich your knowledge base about Health and Safety Information, Local Weather information, Time zone etc.(A must to avoid the jet lag I suffered)
- Passport & Visa entry Requirements: You will need a valid Australian visa to enter the country except Australian or New Zealand citizen. Apply for a tourist visa and working holiday visas, at your nearest Australian Embassy whichever you need. You can apply for an Australian visa online like I did.
- Customs and Quarantine Regulations: According to Australia’s customs law you cannot bring in these items: fresh or packaged food, fruit, eggs, meat, plants, seeds, skins and feathers. Limitation in currency is up to AUD $10,000 that you can bring into Australia. If you need more you have to submit the declaration of your imported currency amount.
- Health and Safety Information: The customs laws also prevent you from bringing selected drugs, steroids, weapons, firearms and protected wildlife into Australia. So, choose only daily use medicative kit only.
Basic Things To Know When Planning A Vacation To Australia
- Time zone: There are three separate time zones in Australia – Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), Australian Central Standard Time (ACST), and Australian Western Standard Time (AWST). Sydney, New South Wales lies in AEST (UTC +10) and ACST (UTC +9.5) time zone. AWST (UTC +8) covers the state of Western Australia.
- Local Seasons Weather Facts:
- December to February are summer months in Sydney. This is the best time to enjoy Sydney’s outdoor lifestyle. Local temperatures lie between 35° and 45° C.
- From March to May, its autumn. In these times Sydney see warm days and mild nights. During this time temperatures across the regions may vary between 20° to 25° C.
- The winter season is from June to August in Sydney. But winter months are the least crowded. In July the daytime temperature lies near 12°C.
- September to November are the spring season. It’s the driest time with temperatures hovering around 20°-30°C. And it is the best time for outdoor exploration activities.
- Currency and Money Exchange: Australian Dollar (AUD) is the only currency. In Sydney Travelex, Travel Money Oz and also OFX. Will help you to exchange your currency.
- Language and Culture: English is the official language of Australia. In some places Arabic and Mandarin are spoken too. Maximum people are The Roman Catholics. Rest of people are Anglican and some are non-religious.
Deciding How Long To Visit And Visas For Australia
Before you even start thinking about how much is a trip to Australia you have to know your visit qualification for the intent of your visit to Australia. An important element when you plan your trip to Australia is the visa type you apply for. Below are two popular visa types available.
Work and holiday visas
Are you wanting to stay longer than 3 months in Australia or maybe work during your stay, it is a good idea to apply for a work and holiday visa (subclass 462). The Work and Holiday visa is for tertiary-educated people, aged 18 to 30, who want to travel and work for up to 12 months in Australia. This visa allows you to supplement the cost of your holiday through periods of temporary or casual employment.
Are you interested in staying for another year after your first one you will have to do region-based framework for a minimum of 90 days to be able to apply for your second year visa (subclass 417). When choosing work make sure it is eligible for the second year visa, some employers state it is when it actually is not. Take a look at the Australians government’s website to see approved regions and types of work that is eligible for your regional work. You need to save all the evidence to send off for your application in hopes of getting approved.
When it comes to how to plan a trip to Australia for vacation, you need to find out your tourism visa eligibility and then of stay. Are you staying a shorter time and not planning on working, apply for a visitor visa (subclass 600). This visa allows you to stay for up to 12 months and costs around 145 A$.
On this visa you are not allowed to work, your intention should be only to visit, and you must carry proof on the entry of the country that you have enough money to survive the expected period of time for your stay. This is the ultimate visa for a short stay, most people swap to a work and holiday visa after fallen in love with this country.
What To See In Australia?
There are so many amazing places to see in Australia. I am sure you have an inkling of just how big Australia is. Once you decide you are going to visit, the next question is where should I visit in Australia? The top cities to visit in Australia are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Cairns, Darwin, Alice Springs, Perth, Fraser Island and in addition all the cool things to do in Adelaide.
These are the cities that offer the most activities and culture and worth to tick off on your Australia bucket list. Activities are usually free or cheap apart from some that can be quite pricey. Some of the activities in Sydney are really not worth the price and I would recommend that if you are on a budget, save your activity money for up north where there is more to see and do.
Some Must-See Places In Australia And Activities To Include:
- Great ocean road ( Melbourne to Sydney)
- Opera House ( Sydney)
- Bondi ( Sydney)
- Fraser island
- Airlie beach
- Byron Bay
- Gold coast – party life and beaches
- Brisbane museums
- Coober Pedy ( Alice Springs)
The Best Way To Tour Australia
Van & car
Whether you want to plan a road trip in Australia or caravaning around Australia, roads are in great condition around the country. Australia has a vast network of well-maintained roads and this sure is one of the best countries in the world to go road tripping in. You can easily rent a car or even buy a cheap car/van for as little as 700 A$.
If you are traveling alone, looking to make friends or wanting to go as chill and cheap as possible, you can look up car shares on some of the many rideshare websites, where the only part you pay is split petrol with the driver.
Follow Victoria’s Great Ocean Road as it hugs our spectacular southeast coastline or experience Australia’s Red Centre in an epic drive across the desert. You’ll find car rental companies at major airports and central city locations; so hire a car, 4WD, caravan or motorbike and hit the highway.
For a more glam vibe or if you have no time to spare, flying is the best way to cover Australia’s large distances in a short time. Australia’s domestic airlines – including Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Tiger Airways and Rex – serve all state capital cities and many regional cities, making it an easy way to travel between Australia’s iconic destinations. Be prepared to pay more than for any other travel option.
You can book flights both budget airlines and main airlines via Expedia, I used Jetstar to fly from Sydney to Melbourne but you also have Tiger Airways. They are budget airlines and offer cheaper tickets but you have to book in advance similar to RyanAir and EasyJet if you have flown with them in Europe.
If you want to do a trip around Australia on a budget, this is another method of travel to reduce costs. Coach and bus travel in Australia is comfortable, efficient and reasonably priced. Long-distance coaches generally have air conditioning, reading lights, adjustable seats and free wifi. Australia’s national coach operator, Greyhound, offers hop-on, hop-off passes for popular routes, short trip passes and flexible passes based on the number of kilometres you wish to travel.
Above I have listed the various methods available for exploring Australia. Below are additional details with travel times too if leaving from Sydney. So if planning a trip to Sydney Australia and want to do a drive too. You may also need to know how long to drive from Melbourne to Sydney or vice versa depending on where you land first. If you are short on time, flying is the best method to get around.
|TRAVELLING FROM SYDNEY TO:|
|Sydney – Adelaide||1412 / 877||1.83||22||25.3|
|Sydney – Canberra||286 / 177||0.5||4.3||4|
|Sydney – Melbourne (inland)||872 / 542||1.1||14.3||10.25|
|Sydney – Melbourne (coastal)||1040 / 645||1.41||–||–|
|Sydney – Perth||4054 / 2513||4.17||63.3*||66.5|
|Sydney – Darwin||4210 / 2610||4.25||69||2|
|Sydney – Hobart||1589 / 985||1.75||–||–|
|*Via Melbourne and Adelaide|
Best Time To Visit Australia
I have shared a full post on the best times to visit Australia to help you decide on when the best time is to visit down under for each of the states as well as any events throughout the year that may be of interest.
Best time to visit Australia on a budget
January and December are by far the most expensive months to visit Australia, not only is this the peak of summer but also around Christmas and new years. If you are on budget prices are the absolute cheapest between September and October, both accommodation wise and flight wise. The absolute best is to book far in advance to snatch the best deals.
Best time to visit Australia based on weather
Considering Australia’s seasons are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere, summer ranges from December through February. The summer months are definitely the best to visit if you are looking for hot, humid weather but be aware of the extreme temperatures and serious downpours in the north of Australia. The summer seasons are better for visiting Australia’s south parts since their summer is more like our European ones, with colder winters. Are you interested in visiting the northern parts then wait for the dry season and winter to get a comfortable experience.
How To See (Almost All Of) Australia In 30 Days!
When it comes to how to plan a trip to Australia, another important element after you figure you how much you have for a vacation down under is how long you spend in Australia. Everyone’s budget is different and I think most of your know my travel style on the blog but try to cater to all or at least give you an idea the costs for budget, mid-range and luxury.
Whether you are planning a 7 day trip to Australia or a one-month long trip, below is a guide to give you an idea of how much a trip to Australia is, in terms of flight costs, food costs, tours, and accommodation.
30 Day travel itinerary
When travelling Australia as a traveller, the best way to get around if you are on a time limit is with the greyhound hop on hop off bus pass. This allowes you to take the bus between different cities by just showing your bus pass. You can go wherever you want, whenever you want and get to meet fellow backpackers to go on tours with. If you want unlimited travel options in any direction for a duration of 30 days I would recommend you to get the 30-day Whimit pass. This will cost you £211 but cover all your travels within Australia, and did I mention all greyhound buses offer free wifi!
I want to go to Australia again holiday in the coming year so if you are also planning an Australia itinerary for 2 weeks or want to do 4 or 3 weeks in Australia, the sample trip planner and itinerary should give you an idea of the best places to visit in Australia as well as how long to spend in each and costs.
Week 1 Sydney and Melbourne
Tourist visa ~ £80
Flight London to Melbourne ~ £550
Accommodation Melbourne and Sydney 1 week (hostels) ~ £140
Bus Melbourne to Sydney ( Greyhound bus takes around 11.5 hours) £211 ( For the full travel pass)
The average person spends around £40 per day on food on a holiday in Sydney or Melbourne.
- Sydney Opera House
- Great ocean road
- Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
Most attractions are free or very cheap, are you looking to party be prepared to spend more on club entries and drinks.
Week 2 Brisbane and Gold Coast
Food and alcohol in Queensland is slightly cheaper than in Melbourne and Sydney.
Accommodation 1 week (hostels) ~ £140
Travel bus pass already paid for above~ £0
Again, many of the attractions are free or super cheap, but if are you looking to party in the evenings then be prepared to spend a little bit more on club entries and drinks.
Things to do and see:
- Byron Bay (surfing?)
- Dreamworld, Wet n Wild, Movieworld multipass Gold Coast
- Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
- Clublife in Gold coast
Week 3 Townsville, Cairns and Fraser Island
The further north you get the cheaper the accommodation and food gets! I have added some extra money on the activities since there is much more to do in this region.
Accommodation 1 week (hostels) ~ £120
Travel bus pass already paid for above~ £0
- Fraser Island 4WD tours
- Snorkel or dive the Great Barrier Reef
- Cape tribulation rainforest
- Skydive in Townsville or Cairns
- Magnetic island
Week 4 Alice Springs and Darwin + Flight to Perth
Accommodation 1 week (hostels) ~ £140
Travel bus pass already paid for above~ £0
Flight Darwin to Perth ~ £150
Flight Perth to Uk ~ £500
- Walking and hiking through national parks
- Crocodile farms and camel riding
- Aboriginal culture and museums
- Hot air balloon
- Nightlife in Perth
You can obviously vary the cost of your trip depending on where you go, how long you go for, where you travel, activities, food etc. If you have more time, a cheaper and better way to travel to Australia is by buying a cheap van and driving up. Petrol is not too expensive and the majority of the tours you usually pay for you will be able to drive yourself. Sleep in the van or hostel or a mix to skimp on the price and eat food from the different supermarkets such as Coles rather than restaurants.
Party cheaply by pre-drinking on Goon, Australian box wine a cheap as 10A$ per four litres and very popular in the backpacker scene. Most activities are cheap or free and if you are on a working visa you can easily pick up work anywhere along the way to refuel your accounts for more travelling and fun. This is surely the best country to travel for ultimate experiences on a minimal budget and the place to make friends for life!
Start Booking Your Vacation To Australia
- Search for flight deals to Australia on Expedia or EBookers.
- Book your visa online
- Book your apartment, hostel or hotels in Australia.
- Book your city tours around Australia or book a guided tour around Australia you can also find amazing Australia tour packages with Contiki or G Adventures.
- Buy travel insurance.
- Pack bags and go enjoy Australia solo or with friends!
So there you have it, how to plan a trip around Australia, with ease. Everything to consider!
Need More Tips For Your Trip To Australia? Also See
- How To Spend One Week In Melbourne
- How To See Great Ocean Road From Above
- Five Days In Melbourne
- Exploring The Bathing Boxes On Brighton Beach
- Visiting Melbourne’s Hidden Beaches
- How To See The Penguins In Melbourne For Free
- Why You Shouldn’t Dont Miss Melbourne’s Street Art
- Best Places For Brunch In Melbourne
- The Best Markets In Sydney
Have you also considered visiting Africa? I have a post on how to plan a trip to Africa. If you have your heart set on Italy at some point I also have tips and many accompanying posts with tips on how to plan a trip to Italy.
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