In April 2019, I went to Australia for 2 and a half weeks, it’s a great country and I feel that there are some things you should know before going there. It’s a popular destination for backpackers and people going on working holidays, but it might be paradise or not the place for you.
1. Getting Into Australia
Thankfully nowadays, the requirements to get into Australia have been relaxed, however Australia is well known for having strict border controls. As a British citizen, make sure that you get a visa before you go, which can be sorted out online. On a tourist visa you will be granted 3 months and make sure that you also have a return flight out of Australia. As you’re on the plane, make sure you fill out your customs form honestly as they can be very strict about what can be brought in.
2. Australia is Quite Expensive
Even though it’s a popular destination for backpackers, Australia is one of the most expensive countries I’ve been to. An Australian dollar is equal to 56p and while $50 may seem like a lot of money, it will not take you far. Even hostels can be expensive and to go to the Outback I had to buy a sleeping bag which cost £60.
3. The Nature is the Main Reason to Visit
In all honesty, Melbourne and Sydney aren’t the most exciting cities to visit, but they are still good places. The Gold Coast is very much overrated and I recommend avoiding it, the main reason you should go to Australia as a tourist is to see the incredible natural sites. There are jungles in Queensland, deserts in South Australia and beautiful mountain ranges in New South Wales. Furthermore, outside of the cities and tourist traps there are brilliant beaches such as Venus Bay in Victoria.
4. Going to the Outback is not for the Faint of Heart
If you want to go all the way to Uluru in the middle of the Outback, be aware that you must be well-prepared. I went on an organised tour, so I was taken on a bus, but if you go by car, it can be dangerous if you break down. The Outback is extremely remote with Alice Springs being one of the most remote cities in the world. I found the hiking to be not too difficult, however in order to avoid the heat brought on by the sun, I had to get up at 5 in the morning for the hikes and bring a litre bottle of water.
Once you’re deep in the Outback, you will be overwhelmed by the flies, it’s so overwhelming that I decided to buy a hat which covers my face. Furthermore, as I was going from Adelaide to Alice Springs hours was spent on the bus a it’s quite a long way and most of the views are just empty desert.
5. The Weather isn’t Always Sunny
As Australia is south of the Equator, summer is in December and winter is in July. As I went in April, it was autumn and it meant that it wasn’t too warm. When I was in Queensland, the weather wasn’t warm enough to go to the beach and when I was in Sydney, it rained almost the whole time I was there.