A dream vacation around the magical land down under features high on pretty much everyone’s bucket list. From swimming the Great Barrier Reef, to watching the sunset at Uluru, to hanging out with actual kangaroos and koala bears, the attractions of Oz are too many to list. Whether you’re planning a long road trip around this vast country or maybe embarking on a popular working holiday, one thing you’ll need to consider is logistics. Australia is more of a continent than a country, spanning three million square miles and packed with dozens of cities, sights and beaches. The worst thing you can do is land in Oz without a proper plan in place. Here are some tips on how to plan your dream trip to Australia.
Map it All Out
Your starting task also happens to be the most fun part of your prep. Travelling around a country the size of Australia can actually be incredibly challenging, despite the high-quality infrastructure. Have a map, either on your phone or the old-fashioned way, and make sure you have every stage of your route properly planned out, with plenty of backup options for when you inevitably miss the train or your car rental breaks down in the middle of the desert. Always make your starting point somewhere with plenty of infrastructure that is well-connected.
Whatever you do, don’t just draw out a route on a piece of paper on where you’d like to go without seeing if it’s actually feasible or not. Driving across Australia can take several weeks, and going from one major city to another may involve a four-hour flight with a transfer in between, so always check the logistics every step of the way, before you start to make any notes on that trusty map of yours.
Start with the Cities
A little fact about Australian geography; most of the country’s civilization is clustered into a little corner in the east of the country, which is where you’ll find the top three biggest cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane (Perth is the cheeky little outlier in the West of the country). These should be your starting points as well as your hubs in between other places you plan to stop off. They’re also the places where you should allot the greatest amount of time for, as exploring them properly can easily take weeks.
Oz’s big cities are global melting pots of culture, nightlife and entertainment, with some of the most renowned bars, museums, restaurants and sports teams in the world. Make sure to schedule in some things you want to do in each city before you land, and prepare by buying tickets or making your reservations, as these are all super busy cities. If it’s your dream to see the Sydney Swans in action, then make sure to book your tickets in advance, and to claim your bets on Oddschecker well-ahead of schedule. Same goes for anything else. Basically, if you have an Australian Bucket List, make sure to have a similar list for each city you’ll be spending time in, and plan accordingly.
What to Pack (and Download)
Once you’ve got everything planned, mapped out and booked, it’s time to finally start packing! There are a few things you’ll definitely need to survive your Oz adventure, so let’s get straight down to business. Make sure to buy at least a couple of Australian Power Adapters for your plugs, as they won’t be easy to come by once you’re in the country. Get some very high SPF sunscreen and make sure it’s completely waterproof. Bring along a classic Lonely Planet Guide Book in case you’re in need of inspiration, a waterproof phone case, and a sturdy water bottle for those long stints in the desert.
There are also some handy apps you can download; when you’re in the city, download The Happiest Hour for live info on all of the best happy hours and food deals across all of Oz’s major cities. Get LiveTrekker for when you’re on the road or in more rural areas (operates on GPRS so 4G signal not necessary), and of course the Stayz app through which you can book accommodation anywhere in the country. Happy travels and stay safe!