Many people think they know about Australia – generally its a very safe and easy place to visit and Australian’s speak English and have similar cultural norms in the US and UK. Australia is packed with stunning sights and is perfect for first time travellers and backpackers but there are some things I wish I’d known before visiting Australia for the first time…
Things I wish I’d known before visiting Australia
Australia is shockingly expensive
Australia has many amazing sights and is home to some spectacular scenery – it’s an amazing travel destination, but the downside is that the Land Down Under is one of the most expensive places to visit in the world. Plus, it’s a huge country and when traveling these long distances the costs really start to add up. Make sure you save enough money before you go (at least $100 a day) and think about ways to save money. Staying in Australia’s great network of backpacker hostels is a great way to save money, most come with kitchens so you can save money by cooking your own food and many have swimming pools, common rooms and bars where you can meet other travelers.
Don’t underestimate just how huge Australia is
Many travellers don’t realise just how big Australia is until they arrive. Did you know that Australia is the 6th largest country in the world and bigger than the size of all the European Union countries put together! You’ll need to plan your route carefully to get the most out of your Australian adventure or you could spend most of your time on the road. The drive between Sydney to Cairns takes 30 hours non stop! I did it in a week because I wanted to have some time to sightsee, but it was still pretty rushed. If you are short on time plan ahead and take internal flights to make sure you see as much as possible or stick to exploring one region.
Be careful of the critters!
Australia has some incredible unique wildlife, but be careful, not all of it is cute. Did you Australia has the highest concentration of animal creatures that can kill you! So give the incredible and unique nature and wildlife of Australia the respect it deserves; be careful where you swim as there could be crocodiles, poisonous jellyfish and strong rips in that alluring turquoise water and also remember that most of the spiders and snakes are highly venomous, don’t panic, they are unlikely to hurt you unless provoked but it’s wise to give them a wide berth.
Check the weather – it does get cold in Australia
Contrary to popular belief – Australia is not always boiling hot! If you arrive to the Southern parts like Melbourne in July it will be cold, I bet you didn’t know that you can even ski in Australia in the winter! When planning your trip Down Under it’s wise to be aware of the weather seasons – winter is from June to Aug so it’s best to head up North for warm weather at that time. Avoid visiting the tropical North in Summer (Dec – Feb) as it’s the rainy season, but this is the perfect time to enjoy the south.
See if you are eligible for a working holiday visa
Australia is expensive, but it gets a lot more affordable once you start earning Aussie wages. Luckily, young people under 30 may be eligible for a working holiday visa, and once you start earning an Aussie salary (around $20 Australia per hour) it becomes a lot more affordable. However, there’s quite a lot of competition for backpacker jobs so there’s no guarantee you will get a job in the first week, so take as much money as you can for your Aussie adventures.
Have you been to Australia? Do you have any more tips for first time visitors?