Australia: Know before you Go Guide

Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge Australia for travel blog Brads Backpack

For as long as I can remember, Australia has been a haven for Backpackers. Each year with them packing up their backpacks and applying for their visas. Either to kick back and relax as they explore or to stay longer and work their way across the land. But as with any trip, preparation is key, and Australia is no exception. But here are 10 Australia Tips!

1. Australian Visa Requirements:

Passport Visa for advice post on Brads Backpack Travel Blog

Ensure you have the appropriate visa to enter Australia. Depending on your nationality and the purpose of your visit, you may need a tourist visa or a working holiday visa. I went for a tourist visa as I would only be there a month and had no intention of working. The process for me was really easy and I had the peace of mind that there wouldn’t be any issues when I landed. It’s a long flight to Australia, so you don’t want to risk being turned around apon arrival.

2. Expect the unexpected:

Map of the world for travel blog Brads Backpack

Australia as a country is incredibly diverse. Each new city and state should be treated as a whole new adventure. There is so much to explore and Australia will continue to surprise you time and time again. Without sounding too much like a horoscope, open yourself up to new opportunities and you will be rewarded here. One day you can be climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge and the next enjoying an ice cold beer in the mountains. Its good to plan and know your options but there’s so much you can do in Australia some flexibility will ensure mean you don’t have to miss out on any opportunities.

3. Weather and Climate:

Blue mountains in Australia for travel Blog Brads Backpack

Australia’s massive size means there is a great variation in the weather. Make sure you dress for the areas you’re going and the time of year! It’s important to remember that seasons are flipped in the Southern Hemisphere. So Winter in England means Australia has the Summer (yes that does mean they can have a BBQ at Christmas).

4. Sun Protection:

Sunscreen for  advice post on Brads Backpack Travel Blog

Its vital you know that in Australia the levels of UV (Ultraviolet) Radiation are really high. Leading them to have the highest rate of melanoma in the world, claiming the lives of 1400 to 2000 Australians per year. That means it’s more important than ever to put on sunscreen. Luckily it’s available nearly everywhere so you have no excuse not to have a bottle with you. As the Aussies say “Slip, Slop, Slap”. Slip on a t-shirt, Slop on some sunscreen and Slap on a hat. Make sure you keep topping up to prevent any burns and keep hydrated. Having a bottle on sunscreen in your bag is not only a tip for Australia that stops burns, but a potentially lifesaving one too.

5. Reef Safe:

Great Barrier Reef for Australia advice post on Brads Backpack Travel Blog

Australia is committed to protecting its wildlife and environment. One of the ways they are making steps is by encouraging the use of reef-safe sunscreen. Harmful chemicals in sunscreens can contribute to coral bleaching. Always read the labels and check your ingredients. For a full guide why don’t you check out the blog post by Save the Reef linked below. 

6. Wildlife:

Crocodile for Australia advice post on Brads Backpack Travel Blog

It’s known that Australia has incredibly diverse wildlife. From fluffy and friendly, to aggressive and scaley. Even the cute ones you have to watch as they are still wild animals. A tip for Australia’s wildlife is to always keep a safe distance, and never provoke them. It’s also a good rule to never feed them, whether that’s fruit and seeds or in the case of the crocs, limbs.

7. Distance:

Road Trip for Australia advice post on Brads Backpack Travel Blog

As big as you think Australia is, it’s bigger. Even domestic flights can be time consuming, often equaling flights across europe. Of course if you want to practise slow travel then Australia is perfect. You don’t have to arrive everywhere instantly and you will have incredible adventures if you take the longer route. Travelling by train or road tripping yourself gives fantastic views of Australia. Just make sure you pack accordingly and take your time.

8. PackSmarter:

camper van for Australia advice post on Brads Backpack Travel Blog

All that travelling means there can be areas where populations are small. If you are considering road tripping make sure you have some emergency supplies in your car. That means water and snacks (not just junk food) , a spare tyre or means of repair, and a phone with a spare battery. Also a great tip for Australia you go to Australia any essential numbers. As with any country you visit you should know along with the local emergency line, but your travel insurance and a breakdown company as well. 

9. Environment and Conservation:

Koala for Australia advice post on Brads Backpack Travel Blog

 Australia is home to unique ecosystems and fragile environments. Respect the natural surroundings, follow designated trails, and dispose of waste properly. Be aware of any fire restrictions or other environmental regulations in the areas you visit. Little actions make a big difference, so dispose of your rubbish correctly or even better pic up little bits you find along the trail to leave things better.

10. First Nations Culture:

Aboriginal Artwork for Australia advice post on Brads Backpack Travel Blog

Australia has a rich Aboriginal heritage which is incredible to learn about. Take the time to visit and respect the local Indigenous cultures and traditions. Almost every place you visit will also have an indigenous name along with a Dreamtime story about its past. Take for example the island of K’gari, which has now returned to its traditional name after being called Fraser Island for many years. Visit cultural art galleries and read the many informational signs around Australia to gain a deeper understanding of Australia’s First Nations people.

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