Planning your trip

Share

Travel can give you a sense of freedom and a chance to chill out. So what about exploring Australia? From lush rainforest regions and vast deserts to the bright lights of our big cities, this continent has just about every experience you could hope for.

Starting points

Australia is such a huge country. What kind of holiday are you looking for?

  • Action and adventure
  • Untouched environments
  • Fun and party action
  • History and culture

Set your sights on a particular place or experience, and make it happen. Tourism Australia (new window) is a great starting point for ideas.

Four key questions to ask yourself

  1. How long do you plan to be away?
  2. How are you going to get around?
  3. How much money do you have?
  4. Do you want to travel solo, with a partner, a buddy or a group of friends?

Money matters

The reality is that you need a certain amount of money to travel. Follow the links at the end of this page to Australian travel and accommodation sites to see what things cost.

Get an ATM card sorted before you go so you can get regular cash top-ups. Remember, remote areas may not have many ATMs or EFTPOS facilities.

Make sure you leave enough behind to cover payments while you're away, for things like car insurance, mobile phone bills or credit cards. You can set up direct debits for these things or ask someone you trust to collect and pay your bills in your absence.

For more ideas, including travel budgets, see our page on 'Affordable travel'.

Itinerary

Sort out what you can fit in, and where you can get to, by putting together an itinerary based on your budget and time limits. Wherever you go there's bound to be more to do than you expect. Keep in mind the time it takes to cover long distances.

You'll find some inspiration and ideas for your itinerary at Tourism Australia (new window).

The best holidays leave enough time for a bit of spontaneity. Still, it's useful to book accommodation, campsites, train or bus tickets and, where possible, any other specific activities that you'll be wanting to do. The demand can be very high during school holidays and peak seasons, so without a booking you might miss out.

Give your family or friends a copy of your itinerary before you go, just in case they need to get in contact with you.

Background research

Parts of Australia are pretty wild or isolated. Travellers can get into serious trouble or even die if they don't understand the environment they're exploring.

Water, fresh food and medical supplies can be hard to come by in remote areas. Some roads are in poor condition, or only suit four wheel drives. Weather can change unexpectedly, you can get lost or face dangerous wildlife. Your health and safety are your responsibility.

Never travel without a map and up-to date facts about local conditions. Draw on guidebooks, websites, local visitor information centres, and local people.

Background information can make your experience and impact as positive as possible. Always respect the needs of others and the environment. For instance, be aware and sensitive to local Indigenous people's perspectives. When you spend time outdoors, choose activities with respect for animal and plant life.

Packing your bags

Experienced travellers always travel light - guidebooks and websites offer loads of tips.

Weather conditions vary so pack a mix of light and warm clothing. Comfortable walking shoes are worth their weight in gold. You can always buy extra underwear, socks, sunscreen and other gear from a supermarket. Think ahead about essentials like a sleeping bag, a torch and cutlery, but don't carry more than you need. It's amazing how little you really need to get by.

Links for planning your trip

Tourism Australia
Everything you need to know about travelling in Australia including places to visit, getting around, what to pack, how much things cost and much more.

Better Health Channel
Here are lots of articles on this Victorian Government website about travel and holidays.

Visit Victoria - Travel Information
Maps and charts to help you plan your trip, and information about travelling in Victoria.

Cycling Promotion Fund - Holidays
Information about touring Australia by bike and further links about bicycle touring.

My NRMA - Planning for the big trip around Australia
Fantastic, practical information on travel costs, routes and how long it takes to get to different places by road.

RACV Journeys & Destinations Online - Preparing To Go
A great selection of information and tips to help you plan car trips and travel in general.

Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF) Australia
Find out about a fantastic range of Australian farm-stay holiday experiences where you pay by contributing your labour.

Disability Travel Information
Lots of great information on accessible travel across this country.