Planning a Trip to Australia | The Best Guide for 1st Time Visitors

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Are you in the process of planning a trip to Australia and have no idea where to begin? No worries, this is the ultimate Australia travel planning guide to help answer all your most important questions and needs.

Australia is a huge country and a place on many people’s bucket lists. Due to its far distance from pretty much everywhere a trip here requires extensive planning and time.

With so many different places to visit, new places to navigate, and differences to take into account planning and preparation are key. It may seem overwhelming at first but after this post, your questions will all be answered so you can get on planning your trip with ease.

Use this guide on planning a trip to Australia and prepare for the holiday of a lifetime!

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Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

Planning a Trip to Australia

When to Visit Australia

The best time to visit Australia is during the SOUTHERN Australian summer.

The seasons are different in Australia than in most parts of the world. They are as follows:

  • December – February is summer
  • March-May is autumn
  • June – August is winter
  • September – November is spring

Australia is at its most lively and exciting from December – February. Where beaches are full of people, events, and activities are in full swing and the whole country is buzzing with summer energy. This is the best time to visit Australia for the ultimate Australian experience with sunny days, full beaches, and hot weather.

If you are planning to visit Australia on a honeymoon or couples trip be sure to check out the most romantic things to do in South Australia!

However, this is also when all school kids are out for summer holidays so it can get quite busy and pricey due to this. If you want to enjoy warm days with fewer people and lower prices visiting in spring or fall is best.

➡️ Read More: MOST beautiful places in Australia

How many days do you need in Australia?

Making the journey to Australia is an effort, but it’s honestly not as bad as most people make it seem. But it does take quite a bit of time to get there and get over the jet lag. Plus, there is a ton to see in Australia and the country is HUGE!

Therefore it is best to spend at least 3 weeks in Australia if not more. The optimal amount of time is 4 weeks or 30 days. With this amount of time, you can see the highlights of Australia without feeling rushed or like you are missing too much.

Of course, with only 4 weeks you will have to be very picky about where you go and what you see but this is part of the struggle when planning a trip to Australia.

Bondi Beach
12 Apostles

Where to go in Australia

Australia is home to a number of iconic cities, landscapes, landmarks, and natural wonders just waiting to be explored. Picking where to go and what to skip for your next visit is entirely up to you are your travel style. Below are some of the best places to visit in Australia

  • Sydney: Australia’s most popular city with beautiful beaches, iconic landmarks, and a thriving city center.
  • Melbourne: A more edgy and alternative place in Australia with close proximity to the Great Ocean Road.
  • Great Ocean Road: The most famous drive in Australia and one of the most beautiful drives in the world. See the famous 12 Apostles and various surfing beaches.
  • Byron Bay: Stunning coastal town with stretches of blue water beaches and a cute town.
  • Brisbane: A modern city sitting along the coast. The perfect combination of sea views and skyscrapers.
  • Whitsundays: The most beautiful beaches in Australia. White sand, blue waters, and an absolute dream!
  • Great Barrier Reef: One of the most famous places in Australia located near the Whitsundays.
  • Uluru: Place to visit to enjoy Australia’s outback beauty.
  • Daintree Rainforest: Beautiful rainforest that offers something different from beaches and cities.

If it feels overwhelming here is my 3-week Australia itinerary made to help guide your journey through the country.

How much to budget for a trip to Australia?

First things thing: visiting Australia is NOT cheap. From the flights to accommodation to food, all these are very high prices that you should plan and prepare for in advance.

  • Accommodation per night: AUD$50 – AUD$350 (average AUD $250)
  • Food: AUD $50 – AUD $100 per day
  • Transportation: AUD $10 – $20 per day
  • Tours / Activities: AUD $50 – $150 / week

Therefore a reasonable budget for two people for one week in Australia (WITHOUT flights) is about AUD $2,100. This is when staying in decent midrange accommodation, eating out a few times a week (but also preparing some meals on your own), and exploring freely.

➡️ Read More: The Ultimate Perth to Esperance Road Trip

What to Pack for Australia

Packing for Australia depends on when you visit, where you are going, and what you are doing. However, as a general rule, you should pack the following:

  • Power adapter
  • Light jacket
  • Swimwear
  • Flip Flaps
  • Walking shoes
  • On-the-go backpack

How to Get Around Australia

The best way to get around Australia is by plane or by renting a car and driving around.

Flights around Australia can be pretty cheap and flying from city to city is the best way to save time and see as much as possible in a short amount of time.

Driving around Australia is a super popular way to get around. Renting a camper van and driving along the coast and stopping at campsites is an Australia must-do!

Travel Insurance

Getting travel insurance before you travel is a MUST. It’s the number one thing you should always pack before travelling that can save you a lot of money, time, and stress. With how crazy travel has gotten recently you need that peace of mind that no matter what happens there is something protecting you from losing out. I always travel with travel insurance and think everyone should.

I always travel with travel insurance and think everyone should. Below is my favorite travel insurer Safety Wings, enter your details to get a free quote! 

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Planning a Trip to Australia
Planning a Trip to Australia