My name is Allison and im 17 instead of going to college I have decided to go backpack around Australia. I am, as of now, going alone and need some help on planning places to see and where to stay. I have been thinking about doing this for a few years but never knew where I wanted to go till a few weeks ago I woke up with Australia in my head. It's not as much as a culture shock as going someplace with a different language but still a good change of pace I feel.
I really am just looking for advice from people who have traveled alone and who have been to Australia. I hopefully will be leaving in September and will be gone for a few months. I want to see as much as I can and if I still have money go to New Zealand. Any advice you can give me will help me I’m just scared I guess, but in a good way.
YES I FEEL STUPID FOR SPELLING AUSTRALIA WRONG IN MY TITLE
if your going to do it, get a years working visa and live the life out there, i did and it was amazing. its very expensive out there so unless you have lots and lots of money to take you are going to need to work. However, you can only get one working visa so make the most of it and stay the full year. xx
I backpacked my way through Australia and New Zealand for two years after university, and one of things which stands out most in my mind still is how extremely well set up both countries are for backpackers. It's really supremely easy to make your way around; public transport goes everywhere you'd want to go, there's good quality hostels everywhere, all of them filled with other people also travelling for 3-12 months, swapping tips and ideas on where to go and what to do. You'll get jaded after a while, and bored of the constant "where are you from, where have you been, where are you going next?" - but for the first few months, it's extremely helpful.
Supermarkets sell most things in decently small portions (something which isn't the case everywhere in the world, as I'm noticing here in Canada, where I have the choice between not buying margarine, or buying about 5 times more than I'll use in the few days I'll stay in the current location), there's backpacker-oriented travel agencies everywhere more than willing to give you advice and put you on a tour the very next day, banks are completely used to setting up and closing accounts for travellers, seemingly every other shop or service has a backpacker discount, and most of all, seemingly half the local population has done a RTW trip or similar in their younger years, and is willing to give you the benefit of the doubt because of it.
I'd advice against seeing "as much as possible", and against trying to plan things in too much detail. It's good to have a rough itinerary and a list of places you certainly don't want to miss, but be sure to leave yourself plenty of space to fill in the details as you go along. For one, it's going to be impossible to plan everything beforehand anyway, for another, you'll get loads of new input from fellow travellers when on the road, but most of all, your ideas as to what you want to see and do will change as you discover the person you'll be when travelling.
Also, realize that you'll need at least one rest day each week; just a day to veg out on the hostel's couch, reading a book and drinking a cup of tea and slowly assimilating the experiences from the past week. You'll have off-days and rainy days and days you just can't bother to go out and do things, and this will be perfectly okay. Everybody needs time off like that, and it'd be very annoying to feel bad when having such a day because it was the only day you had scheduled to see "Must See Attraction X". So pace yourself, take things slow, and don't try to do too much. And the rest of the time, enjoy yourself and marvel at unsuspected sights of beauty and wonder, as well as once in a lifetime experiences lining up to wow you!