>> For The Serious Backpacker, Australia Is Fully Serious
If you're an overseas 'looking for something different' backpacker, Australia has got it in spades. Oz is so diverse, and vast, and offers such extraordinary experiences.
Some of the accommodation is pretty amazing, though in a lot of the outback or rural towns it's still pretty rustic and dusty - all part of the atmosphere and camaraderie. Still, the hostels in the major cities and locations such as Byron Bay, the Sunshine or Gold Coasts, Port Douglas, the Blue Mountains and other major tourist hubs, no matter how isolated, can be really top notch.
A great way to experience living in Australia, if you have the time, is through WOOFing. That's Willing Workers On Organic Farms. Basically you exchange your labour for living and working on the farm and learning the organic farming lifestyle. Check out the web site to find suitable locations and families and to be sure the arrangements are fair.
But don't think you've arrived in a safe country and forget about travel insurance. You don't have to pay a fortune though. Save potentially hundreds of dollars by purchasing your long-stay travel insurance through iTrek. iTrek operate online so we save heaps in operating costs and are able to redirect the money saved to provide great cover and service and lower travel insurance costs. Click through to our Cover Summary page to check out the various levels of cover - ranged to suit the tightest backpacker budget.
What's backpacking without a Lonely Planet Shoestring Guide in your pack. With our Gold and Platinum Cover you receive FREE a choice of 9 guides - including the shoestring backpacker Australia guide. That's another $50 you've saved right there.
And what if you're an Aussie with the wanderlust? To hit the fruit picking, YHA, stunning location circuit you don't have to be from another country. There are thousands of Australian backpackers, and yet so many of us still automatically head off overseas as the only place to go - only to be embarrassed when we arrive and have to confess we know nothing about our own country. And that usually draws incredulous looks.
So next holidays, think about hitting the backpacking locations around your own country - you'll find overseas backpackers probably know all the best locations. Naturally, you still need to be sure you have adequate travel cover. If you are seriously injured in Broome it could be further to transport you home than from Fiji.
>> The Low Down From Down Under
- Hitch hiking is illegal in Oz.
- Always carry a water bottle, even in the cities and especially in summer, and drink from it frequently.
- 'Fair crack o' the whip' means 'please be fair' but don't expect anyone under 50 who hasn't been out of the city to understand you.
- If your car breaks down in the outback, never leave it and never separate from your companions.