Is Australia A Good Place To Backpack?

Is Australia A Good Place To Backpack? Image | East Coast Tours Australia

Due to its diverse visa options, unique wildlife and scenery, and safe, laid-back environment, Australia is an amazing place to backpack! Many travel lovers and adventurers around the world dream of backpacking Australia. But why? What makes Australia such a good place to backpack? 

Australia is undeniably beautiful, but it's not only the breathtaking landscapes and iconic landmarks that make it a great place for backpacking. Overall it's just a very safe and accessible place for travellers. It's pretty easy to get a Working Holiday Visa that allows you to stay for a year or more and work while you're travelling. You can make a decent wage and fund your travels here for up to 3 years! Or if you're seeking a quick holiday, Australia's modern infrastructure and friendly locals make it super easy to hop from place to place and have an epic time. So if you're among the people who dream of backpacking Australia, it's time to make it happen!

Sunrise at Maheno Shipwreck on K'gari (Fraser Island)

Is Australia A Good Place To Backpack?

The magnificent, safe, and enticing country of Australia is one of the best places in the world for backpacking. But as with any trip abroad, it's a good idea to be prepared! We're going to cover some basic tips for backpacking Australia. From budget estimates to safety tips and visa recommendations, there is a lot to consider before you board a plane and soar over to Australia. With a bit of pre-trip research, brainstorming, and preparation, you are sure to have a smooth and exciting backpacking adventure Down Under!

girl walking along Fitzroy Island with snorkel gear

Is it expensive to backpack Australia?

Australia is one of the more expensive countries to backpack, though it can be done on a budget! Oceania is definitely not as cheap as Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, or Central America, and you'll spend more money backpacking in Australia than you would in Thailand or Mexico. 

But there are ways to explore Australia cheaply, and the cost of travel here is similar to that of Western Europe or North America. On average, a backpacker might spend around $150 AUD per day. That's about 100 USD or 90 Euros per day. Add in flights and visa costs and you'll get the recommended $5,000 AUD for around 3 months of travel or 1 year of travelling and working. 

If you're worried about costs in Australia, adopt some budget travel tips to have a more affordable holiday. Stay in budget hostels and try to cook some of your own meals. Opt for tour packages that combine Australia's best experiences at a discounted rate. And prioritise free attractions like beaches, national parks, and free museums or markets. You can backpack Australia on a budget if you're smart with your money and open-minded to new experiences!

people posing in a backpacker hostel

Is it safe to backpack Australia?

Australia is an extremely safe country for backpacking, even for solo travellers and female travellers. Crime and terrorism are much less common than other countries in the world. Infrastructure is modern, healthcare is accessible, and gun ownership is illegal. So in terms of the overall safety for tourists and locals, Australia is one of the safest countries in the world

The main safety concerns in Australia are all natural! Most unfortunate incidents for tourists in Australia occur due to a lack of awareness about the natural world. Having basic sun safety and ocean safety knowledge is important for protecting yourself when exploring Australia's beaches. Driving carefully and keeping your distance from local wildlife will minimise any animal run-ins as well. If you respect the natural world and heed local advice, you should have no safety issues in Australia. 

aerial view of the coastline of K'gari (Fraser Island)

Do I need a visa to backpack Australia?

Australian Immigration is pretty strict and you do need a visa to backpack Australia. But the variety and accessibility of visas make Australia an excellent place for backpacking! As long as you meet the recommended requirements and apply for your visa ahead of time, you can enter Australia and stay for a few weeks or a few years. There are lots of flexible visa options that allow you to curate the experience of your dreams. 

Enter on a cheap and easy tourist visa if you just want to have a short holiday. Or try a Working Holiday Visa and have the opportunity to live and work here for a year. You can even extend your WHV for 2 or 3 years! There are so many different ways to backpack Australia, whether you just want to see all the highlights in a few weeks or spend up to 3 years slow travelling around the continent. 

couple posing near a Byron Bay sign

How long should I backpack in Australia for?

3 weeks is the minimum amount of time you'd want for backpacking Australia, though many people stay for as long as 3 years! Your visa will ultimately determine how long you can stay in Australia, but you'll want to plan your travels strategically depending on your time frame. Australia is huge and there is truly so much to see and do! Many highlights of the country are spread out, meaning you'll need to catch flights or long bus rides between locations. To avoid rushing still have time to see a few different places around the country, aim to spend at least 3 weeks in Australia

However, if you're short on time you can still get by with 10-days or 2 weeks in Australia. If you only have a short time to backpack Australia, try to just pick a few locations near each other so you can fully enjoy those places. For example, you won't want to hop between the East and West Coast in a 2-week trip, it's just too far! The best way to backpack Australia is to spend at least 3 weeks making your way along the East Coast. Lots of the best attractions reside here, and there is frequent transport between destinations. If you have time to extend your backpacking trip to 4 weeks, 6 weeks, or a year, go for it!

people paddleboarding on a lake near Cairns

What are the must-sees when backpacking Australia?

If you're unsure what attractions to include in your Australian backpacking itinerary, here is a short summary of the recommended places to visit. It's really hard to narrow down a list of the must-sees in Australia. The continent is absolutely packed with lush national parks, charming small towns, magnificent cities, pristine beaches, scenic drives, iconic landmarks, and so much more. In every area of Australia, there are day trips and hidden gems to explore as well.

But here are some of the coolest places to visit in Australia that you can try to fit into your itinerary. Depending on how much time you have here, you may want to just explore one state to avoid hopping around too much. If you only have 2 or 3 weeks, you could easily just explore QLD and NSW on the East Coast. But if you have a few months or years, you could make it to most or all of these destinations!


  • Cairns (Great Barrier Reef & Daintree Rainforest)
  • Port Douglas
  • Magnetic Island
  • Airlie Beach (Whitsunday Islands & Whitehaven Beach)
  • Noosa
  • Gold Coast
  • K'gari (Fraser Island)
  • Rainbow Beach
  • Brisbane

New South Wales

  • Byron Bay
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Port Stephens
  • Newcastle
  • Hunter Valley
  • Sydney (Opera House, Bondi Beach & Blue Mountains)
  • Jervis Bay


  • Melbourne
  • Great Ocean Road (Bells Beach, Twelve Apostles & Loch Ard Gorge)
  • Wilson's Promontory
  • Phillip Island
  • The Grampians

South Australia

  • Adelaide
  • Kangaroo Island
  • Barossa Valley
  • Coober Pedy


  • Hobart
  • Freycinet (Coles Bay, Hazards Beach & Wineglass Bay)
  • Cradle Mountain
  • Launceston
  • Bruny Island
  • Maria Island

Western Australia:

  • Perth
  • Margaret River
  • Esperance (Cape Le Grand Park & Lucky Bay)
  • Rottnest Island
  • Broome 
  • Exmouth (Ningaloo Reef & Cape Range)
  • The Kimberley

Northern Territory:

  • Uluru
  • Kings Canyon
  • Kakadu National Park
  • Darwin
  • Alice Springs
  • Litchfield National Park

Whitehaven Beach from Hill Inlet Lookout

Check out our itinerary planner if you're looking for inspiration for your Australian backpacking adventure!

Or you can live chat with our travel experts online if you have any further questions, we're available 24/7!

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