If you are someone who has wanderlust or you applied to study abroad with the intent to explore the culture as well, this guide is the perfect way to start planning your adventure. You must be coming across some amazing pictures on Instagram from all the beautiful places in Australia but don’t know where to start. Letting your mind wander freely on a trip with your friends will actually help you with your academic stress and give you some time to have fresh ideas for assignments and research that might have seemed too boring.
Life as an international student can get repetitive and stressful especially if you have a part-time job as well so let’s look at how you can kill the boredom and learn through the experience of travel.
Types of experiences and attractions to consider in Australia
Is it the loud and happening cultural experience that fills you up with joy or the serene and beautiful wonders of nature? Depending on the kind of entertainment or recreation that you and your friends are craving for, you can choose one of the following adventures for your little trip. A good escape with good company even for a short time can nourish you more than you think.
Exploring the natural wonders of Australia
- Great Barrier Reef: The world’s largest reef system which is the only living thing visible on earth from the moon is reached through either Cairns, Bundaberg or Whitsundays. There are 400 species of corals and 1500 species of fish in this 3000 km reef that borders the Queensland Coast. You can snorkel and experience this visual beauty and then relax at any of the beach island resorts around the reef
- Uluru: This is a sandstone monolith that is a sacred site for the Anangu people and it displays some amazing colours at sunset and sunrise. If you are someone who enjoys observing interesting stone formation then there are other places like Uluru as well like The Pinnacles, Twelve Apostles, Kings Canyon, The Walls of China, etc.
- Mackenzie Falls: Situated inside the Grampians National Park, this 30 metres waterfall is in the midst of a large sandstone mountain range. Spending time at this beautiful naturally healing wonder will make you forget all your stressors.
These are just some examples of the kinds of landscapes that Australia’s nature has to offer. You can find relaxing beaches, mammoth-like rock pillars and national parks full of rare flora and fauna.
Visiting landmarks and cultural sites in Australia
To properly immerse yourself in the culture of a country, it is important to understand the art, architecture and music of the place. Don’t miss the following landmarks while you’re planning your trip away from your campus region:
- Sydney Opera House
- National Museum of Australia, Acton
- Melbourne Cricket Ground
- MONA, Hobart
- Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area
- St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne
- Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane
Participating in events and festivals in Australia
Celebrating the culture and arts with the natives gives you a feeling of home and a chance to explore the history of the nation as well. Some of these event tickets are registered for free and some can be booked online for an affordable fee
- Adelaide Festival of Art
- New Year’s Eve
- Byron Bay Bluesfest
- Sydney Mardi Gras
Enjoying the beaches and water-based activities in Australia
Since enjoying the weather and beach is a big part of the culture, there are many activities offered to explore sea life and get the adrenaline rush from riding the ocean waves. Places like Kirra, Burleigh Heads, Margaret River, Esperance and Tasmania are famous for watersports. Some of the activities that you can enjoy are:
- Scuba diving
- Jet skiing
Hiking and exploring the mountains and outdoors in Australia
Australia has a very diverse landscape that can be a treat for hikers who want to enjoy some amazing scenic views (which could be an island, beach, desert or volcanic plateaus), see some kangaroos or mingle with the indigenous tribes while getting a good workout. Check out the best time to visit these places, pack enough food and water for the hike march on with your friends:
- Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, Tasmania
- Scenic Rim Trail, Queensland
- The Arkaba Walk, South Australia
- Fraser Island Great Walk, Queensland
Planning your travel and vacation time in Australia
If you’re a student and do not have any important pre-occupation during the university’s free time, you can either take a weekend trip, go have an adventure during the semester break or plan something longer in the nine week summer break.
Transport options for exploring Australia
You can use any of the following options to plan your itinerary:
- Rent an RV (costs almost 110 AUD per night)
Getting plane tickets for the whole friend group can be quite expensive, where bus and train are affordable. There are special train passes available as well that can allow you unlimited travel for a certain time. To compare the prices and see the routes for the bus and rail maps, check out the following websites.
Travelling within the destination city is also pretty affordable through the specific smart transport cards system.
Finding and booking accommodation for your travels in Australia
If you have an RV or Campervan, this would not even be a problem but it might be too expensive for a student’s budget so explore the following options for a short-term stay.
- Book hotels through Expedia, hotels.com or Booking.com
- Air bnb
Budgeting and managing your travel expenses in Australia
Here are some tips to save money if you’re on a budget while you’re travelling:
- Find ways to get cheaper meal options
- Try to cook your own food if there is a kitchen in the accommodation
- Opt for special rail or bus passes that can offer you discounts
- Choose activities that are free- sightseeing, hiking, etc.
Staying safe and healthy while travelling in Australia
To travel with a free mind, you must be prepared for emergencies so consider these things before you leave:
- Keep emergency numbers for police, ambulance and fire brigade
- Follow all swimming instructions and do not wade too far into the ocean
- Keep first aid and insect repellants if you’re venturing into the wild
Taking a tour or guided adventure in Australia
If all this planning is too much with your current university schedule, you can leave it all to a tour guide to plan and direct your group during the journey. These tours are carefully planned and take you through a scenic route. Sometimes the tour websites or apps offer discounts as well so keep an eye out
Resources for planning and organising your travels in Australia
To keep your friend group update and collaborate on the go about where to go and what would be the best way to budget properly, you can use these resources to plan and research for your trip:
- Trip Hobo– to plan out your schedule and activities for the day and share with friends
- Rough guides– to read up on the destination of your travel and get authentic information
- The Points guy– for travel hacks and tips to save money