Australia, or as the locals call it, the Lucky Country. Founded by British convicts, this country offers a wide variety of sights to see, amazingly friendly people and vast tracks of land to cross through. On top of that, the variety in climates offers something that will appeal to anyone who enjoys sunny weather. Australia can be a very expensive undertaking. Alcohol and tobacco are heavily taxed, and cost of living can be rather high. It might be a good idea to plan a working holiday, which gives you the chance to get to know the peace and vastness of the countryside. Get out of the big city away from the backpacker crowds, buy a car or camper van and enjoy life on the road, the numerous free camping areas and the friendly locals. You will also have the unique opportunity to get to know a people that have lived in the bush for thousands of years. Don't miss their art and history as they are an integral part of a journey to the Lucky Country.
Facts about Australia
Stuff to See and Do
What to Eat
Australia is a great place to catch your own fish, but if you are too lazy, too tired of eating the usual backpacker fare or don't want to spend the money on a decent fishing rod, here's how to get free fish.
There are a lot of popular fishing spots by the coast or along certain rivers (especially in Western Australia, but this will also work in Victoria, NSW or Queensland). If you go to one of these spots at sunrise or sunset (when fish tend to feed), there will usually be several serious fishermen. Given the extremely friendly nature of the Australian, you are bound to find someone willing to share some of the daily catch, as most tend to catch more than they require and would otherwise throw them back. Just go and ask, it's the Australian thing to do. A big fresh salmon might be your evening meal. Don't forget to share!
Note: please beware of fishing limitations and sizes, as we do want to keep them around for future generations!
Stuff to Know
Travelling and sleeping in a van in Australia can be a wonderful and cheap experience. However, people buy cars and vans for silly prices without even looking and soon break down. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Ask for documents that prove the car has had regular checks.
- Look at the odometer. The more km the less you want to pay for it (unless the seller can prove it has a new engine). Don't hope too much for less then 200k, and up to 300k is usually still pretty good,
- Look for Toyota Hiace or Volkswagen vans. These tend to have the most resilient engines.
- Australia is huge. Consider getting a diesel car, it will save a lot of money on those long trips to Uluru. LPG is another option, but can be expensive.
- Look at the engine. If you don't know a lot about cars, consider having it checked by a professional.
- Look when a lot of younger backpackers are leaving (about 1-2 months before the end of European school holidays), as prices may drop dramatically.
What To Bring
The title says it all but it's so true! Always pack, then unpack and repack! You will notice things you never needed in the beginning! Some of the best parts of travelling is buying unique clothing so you need to leave room for them in your backpack! Also your back will thank you in the long run!