Top Tips and Ideas for Backpacking Across Australia

Australia is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet, so its status as an attractive tourist destination is more than understandable.  People head Down Under in ever-increasing numbers year after year. Whether this is to head to a particular city or landmark, or take in a range of places, tourists simply cannot get enough of Australia.

Despite the vast size of the country, Australia is popular with backpackers. Due to the size of Australia, planning a trip across the country is necessary, prior to heading there. What are the main things you need to consider, and why?

What do You Want?

In a country with so much to see and do, if you don’t have at least an idea of the places you would most like to visit, you are going to find yourself in a constant state of flux. Once you know the places that you most want to see, you can start to work out whether it is feasible.

Look at booking hostels, car hire special offers, and even looking at where you might be able to get a short-term job for a week or two – farms and bars in remote towns are great for this sort of thing – in order to earn some extra finances for your trip.

Once you have organized all of that, you are ready to go.

While you will undoubtedly have your own ideas for backpacking around Australia, we have a few suggestions of our own that you might not have thought of. These aren’t unknown tourist gems, but they are likely to be less busy than other great places around the country.

Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park Australia

To get an idea of the scale of this area, get this: it is half the size of Switzerland.

In the Northern Territory a few hours’ drive from Darwin, this is Australia’s biggest National Park, and a must if you are in the area. The number of people who pass this by leaving Darwin to head right for Uluru is staggering; ensure you don’t miss out.

If you managed to hire a cheap campervan or have a high-quality tent, look to spend a few days exploring this amazing place.

Margaret River

Many places within reach of Perth have a great reputation with travellers. Broome, to the north, is usually the pick of most travellers, but for us Margaret River has a certain essence and charm about it that makes it irresistible.

The whole surrounding region is filled with vineyards, while the town itself is filled with great places to stay, shops, parks, and anything you could ask for, to fit any mood or feeling at a given time.

Blue Mountains

blue mountains australia

Sydney is Australia’s most popular city, and people who travel there often wonder what the huge mountains visible in the distance are. The foothills of the Blue Mountains actually start at the edge of Sydney, yet many people travel right through the city without ever going there.

If you’re in Sydney, it is simple; you have to hire an Aboriginal guide to show you around the Blue Mountains, and introduce you to the unique landscape and history connected to the whole range.

Ensure you make the most of your backpacking trip Down Under. Whether you take in most of Australia or just a small part of it, there are lifetime memories waiting at every turn.

This article is written by Transfercar, a car hire Australia service, providing travellers free transport for major cities in Australia.

A Guide To Explore Barossa Valley With Family

Barossa Valley is the perfect destination for a wonderful vacation with family. If you’re not familiar with this area, there’s so much more to see and do, other than exploring vineyards! If you’re taking your family along, make sure you have at least a week or two to explore all the delights of this green paradise on earth.

A Guide To Explore Barossa Valley With Family

Take a Professional Barossa Wine Tour

Take a professional Wine Tour for a personalized, private wine-tasting experience. These tours are conducted in classic 1962 Daimler cars, or 4WD, depending on your tour operator. You will be taken to only those cellar doors that you want to visit, based on your individual wine tastes. The tour includes both the large, iconic wineries and also family-owned small boutique cellar doors. You will be accompanied by your personal wine guide who will have a deep and rich experience in the Barossa Valley wine history. These tours are single day and multi day with accommodation, depending on what you choose.

Take A Barossa Valley Sightseeing Tour

Adelaide: This tour starts from Adelaide and takes you through the rolling Adelaide Hills and the beautiful vineyards. The Adelaide Hills has charming villages, many green pastures and the perfect rural ambience. The tour follows the beautiful Torrens River in Adelaide, goes through the magnificent Torrens Gorge, skirts Kangaroo Creek and Millbrooke Reservoir, and meanders through the beautiful stone buildings of Williamstown.  Taste some of Barossa’s most famous wines at the Wolf Blass, take pictures from the Menglers Hill lookout, and eat a great lunch at the Kaesler Winery Restaurant. Explore old and quaint craft shops, tea rooms and cottages in Stirling, Aldgate and Crafers villages.

Hahndorf: Enjoy the attractive Barossa Valley villages with their European buildings, classic vineyards and famous landmarks. Listen to the tour guide as he or she describes the fascinating blend of Europe and Australia in the valley. You will also be able to explore the quiet European agricultural village of Hahndorf, and its German influences, reminiscent of the tastes and smells of Bavaria.

Whispering Wall in Williamstown

The Whispering Wall was built between 1899 and 1903 as Barossa Reservoir’s retaining wall. This dam is considered a marvelous and revolutionary engineering achievement for its time. It’s even mentioned in the Scientific American journal. However, what your kids will enjoy best is the wonderful and unique acoustic effects of Whispering Wall. Place one kid at one end of the wall, and the other at the other end, over 100 meters away. Your kids will be able to listen to each other’s whispers clearly, as though they were whispering right next to each other! The adults in your party can enjoy learning about the construction of this dam, and enjoy a bushwalk in the colorful surroundings.

Balloon Over Barossa Valley

The best way to see the whole of Barossa Valley is to view it from a balloon. Take an early morning flight to observe the dew-drenched vineyards, buildings, national parks, quaint streets, cottages, villages and old cellar doors of Barossa Valley. Most Barossa Valley hot air ballooning tours include a buffet breakfast with a local wine, and some of them offer a commemorative flight certificate as well.

Explore the Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park in Tanunda

There are two main walking trails which take you through scrub, open grasslands, creeks, rocky outcrops and low forest areas. Enjoy the panoramic views over the Barossa Valley ranges. Take a local guide along to describe points of interest, native plants and spot the diverse wildlife in its natural setting. Go birdwatching in the early mornings and evenings; watch for kangaroos during the day in the open plans. Take a moonlight walk to spot Echidnas and possums which forage for their food at dusk.

Nelly works for Adrenaline and contributes well-written articles to various blogs on adventure travel in Australia.

Aboriginal discovery in Australia

One of the parts of Australia’s heritage that makes the country so unique is its history with the Aboriginal people who were there long before the Europeans found the continent down under in the 18th century. After migrating over 50,000 years ago from Africa, indigenous Australians have become a compelling and fascinating part of the country’s heritage. Although currently there are just over half a million Aboriginal people in Australia, or 2.5% of the total population, their influence on Australia is undeniable.

Aboriginal discovery in Australia

Many people are familiar with the history of Australia’s Aboriginal people, more specially, the impact that this distinct cultural group has had on Australian history and culture. The various indigenous groups in the country were there for at least 40,000-50,000 years before the Dutch found the country in the 1600s and the British colonised it in 1770s. Over 200 languages were spoken by the individual groups, and the settlements were primarily in the same locations as the current cities and towns of Australia.

Whether you’re Australian or a tourist,an effort should be made to visit some of the incredibly preserved Aboriginal art and heritage. The following routes take tyou through some of the most beautiful parts of Australia, showcasing the history, heritage and art of the Aboriginal people along the way.

The Savannah Way

Linking the North Eastern state of Queensland to Western Australia through the Northern Territory, the Savannah Way goes through 15 of the country’s national parks and five World Heritage areas. The train runs through the famous Kimberley region, and visitors will pass through Darwin, on to Katherine, Timber Creek, Kununurra, Halls Creek and finish in Broome.  This trip takes about six days to complete, but driving through the beautiful Kimberley region will ensure that you see not only the coastline, but desert and tropics as well.

Explorers Highway

If you’re interested in a longer journey, the Explorers Highway is an 11 day drive from the north of Australia to the south, down the centre of the continent. Passing through the some beautiful wine regions, you’ll also be able to take a drive through the famous town of Alice Springs, see Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) and the Kings Canyon with an Aboriginal guide. You’ll also see some amazing Aboriginal rock art in Kakadu National Park, which is a World Heritage Site.

South Australian Loop

For a one to two week drive through Australia, the South Australian Loop offers you not only a passage through the south east of the country, but you’ll drive through areas offering you unique opportunities to see kangaroos, penguins, sea lions and more. Between Arkaroola and Parachilna, you’ll see rock art, visit sacred sites, and be treated to some bush tucker.

Nature’s Way

This journey is a five day trip through the Adelaide and Mary River wetlands to World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, and back to Darwin. You’ll see the amazing crevices that the Dreamtime ancestors created in the Nourlangie Rock, and witness some amazingly preserved examples of X-ray art in the park itself. You’ll also be able to spend time exploring with an Aboriginal guide.

Sacred Sites

If you’d like to learn more about Aboriginal heritage in Australia, the sacred sites of Baiame Cave, Ban Ban Springs, and Murujuga should be top of your list of what to see. Baiame was the Creator God and Sky Father in several Indigenous groups, and a cave in the New South Wales area of Milbrodale houses numerous Wiradjuri Aboriginal paintings, one of which might depict Baiame himself.

Ban Ban Springs is the first area of Queensland to be registered formally as an Aboriginal Cultural Heritage location. It is a Dreaming place, and holds a lot of significance of the Wakka Wakka people.

Murujuga, which is also known as the Burrup Peninsula is a unique ecological and archaeological area. It contains the world’s largest and most important collection of ancient Aboriginal rock carvings, some of which might date back to 10,000 BC. Some of the most unique depict the now extinct ‘Tasmanian Tiger’.

Hopefully you’re now inspired so why not book some last minute flights, and start exploring.

Getting Cultural Experiences In Tasmania- An Island Of Inspiration

In Tasmania, the old flows neatly with the new, creating a seamless cultural fabric where everything fits. The island blooms with art and cultural influences from the ancient aboriginals and the more recent European visitors. String the markets, museums, galleries, playhouses and local events into a fine Tasmanian cultural map on your visit.

culture experience Tasmania

Give A Nod To Recent European Cultural Remnants

Explore Convict Sites

Visit the five World Heritage Convict Sites, such as Port Arthur, the Brickendon-Woolmers Estates near Longford, the Coal Mines Historic Site, the Darlington Probation Station on Maria Island and the Cascades Female Factory in South Hobart.

Ponder A Previous Era

Visit the isle of the dead and Sarah Island. The isle of the dead is a fenced grave site in Port Arthur, full of the unmarked and headstone-less graves of convicts past. This area is at low sea level; European officers were buried on higher ground, as a mark of respect. Sarah Island was Tasmania’s first penal station, where convicts were imprisoned under the harshest conditions possible, felling Huon pines in the nearby rainforest. Now both convict sites are tourist sites, with walking tracks linking important sites.

Visit Colonial Landmarks

1. Beaconsfield Mine & Heritage Museum

This museum is located in Beaconsfield, northern Tasmania. It is a testament to the gold rush of the past, full of machinery and hands-on, interpretive displays of how gold used to be mined, panned, melted and solidified.

2. Brickendon Historic Farming Village

This 1824 farming estate is still owned by the original family. If you want to know more about the world of early Tasmanian settlers, to their daily lives, their hard work and the conditions they lived in, this is just the place.

3. Clarendon Homestead

The Clarendon Homestead is a 19th century old homestead in the town of Clarendon, which is classified by the National Trust. The buildings in this area are beautifully preserved and a must-visit.

4. Low Head Pilot Station Maritime Museum

Australia’s oldest pilot station sits on the picturesque Low Head peninsula, where the Tamar River begins. This pilot station is still in use, as it has been from 1807. Explore the cottages built for European maritime pilots in 1805.

5. Maritime Museum of Tasmania

This museum charts Tasmania’s seafaring heritage and maritime history from its very beginnings till the modern day. Here you’ll find the largest collection of maritime artifacts, beautiful paintings and models of old ships.

6. National Automobile Museum of Tasmania

See the best of motor vehicles and motorcycles of Australia’s past – all 95 of them, Veteran, Exotic, Classic and Vintage. Privately owned vehicles are displayed seasonally as well.

Pay Your Respects To The Tasmanian Aboriginal Culture

The Tasmanian Aboriginal people maintain their cultural traditions via their arts in spite of the conflicts and impact of the European colonization. Tasmanian aboriginal women make beautiful shell necklaces using a traditional method that has been internationally recognized. They also make beautiful, functional and watertight baskets out of plant materials, kelp, or animal skin. Be sure to buy some of these handmade artifacts, some t-shirts with drawn aboriginal themes, aboriginal wood crafts such as spears and waddies from native hardwoods and so on. Many wooden handicrafts are stained with many colors of ochre, which has religious and spiritual significance for aboriginal people.

Go on a tour of the Tasmanian landforms and wilderness Aboriginal guides, descendants of the Trawlwoolway people. Visit spectacular rock shelters, old growth forests, mountains and waterfalls. Sample bush food, and listen to stories of how the ancient aboriginals hunted and foraged for their food. View their old hunting tools, and roam the cliff faces at Devils Gullet where aboriginals once mined rock.

Nelly is an avid adventurer and nature lover working for Adrenaline, who loves to share his experiences with others. Nelly regularly contributes freelance travel articles to adventure travel blogs.