Every year around October time there’s a mass exodus of people from the UK and other parts of Western Europe flocking to the other side of the world on Australia backpacking adventures. It has become almost a rite of passage for the twenty somethings to ditch the grey skies and head to the eternal Sunshine of Australia. There are many reasons for this, maybe it’s because their Australian cousins whilst speaking the same language live on a different planet, giving them the security of familiarity with the adventure of the unknown.
Whilst many choose the working holiday Visa option, most just go to travel. In Australia backpacking is embedded under the skin the culture. Australians go backpacking in their own country instead of travelling overseas, but that’s because the land is so vast, there is plenty to see and do and experience there.
So it’s no surprise that this beautiful country is not lost on the European crowd. Approximately 200,000 Brits head there every year, but they are just tip of the iceberg. There are many nationalities choose Australia as there backpacking destination.
It’s not uncommon to meet Swedes, Americans, Dutch and Canadians along the well trodden East Coast Australia backpacking route. So why are they all there? What are they doing the other side of the world?
Travelling the East Coast
The East coast is famous among backpackers and is without a doubt the most popular route amongst the gap year and backpacker community. Most start in Sydney, and work their way up to Cairns many also fly into Melbourne and do an even longer version. The infrastructure is all there to make this a really easy journey, despite it being several thousand miles in distance. Along the way you have the World heritage site of the Great Barrier Reef, beaches galore and cool cities like Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns to party your thongs off. (Flip-flops in the western part of the world). Here just a few photos of the amazing places along the East Coast of Australia.
|Coolum Beach, Sunshine Coast|
Diving the Great Barrier Reef
Whether you know how to dive or just want to float above it with a snorkel, the Great Barrier Reef is a must, the best place to see it is from Cairns, although it stretches down thousands of miles along the East Coast. You have to be quick, because global ocean temperature rises have wiped out over 20% of the reef in recent years and it is predicted that this could be accelerated 50% within the next couple. It is a truly beautiful sight to behold, with huge ocean diversity is one of the best places to go diving in the world.
|Great Barrier Reef from above|
|Coral at the Great Barrier Reef|
Learning to surf
Apart from drinking beer and cooking sausages barbecues, surfing is a national pastime. We would stop short of calling the national sport, that would be a funny kind of rugby, which they call football which has rules a bit like American football, but is in fact so difficult to understand were not going to even attempt to unravel here.
Surfing is in the very make-up of the culture, with 90% of the Australian population living within 1 hour of the coast, amazing beaches and incredible waves it makes absolute sense as to why it is so popular. To the typical European this is as alien as the language, but certainly worth experiencing. The best way to do is to take a safari road trip Sydney to Byron Bay, the Grace land for surf dudes.
Exploring the outback
Why would you want to go 2000 miles to the heart of the most in hospitable place on the planet is there a big rock? Probably because it’s there, for whatever reason for pure surreal vistas surrounding Uluru formerly Ayres Rock (also known as Uluru), draws thousands of Australian backpackers every year. Apparently it’s a spiritual sacred place according to the aborigines, and we would certainly agree with them.
If you want to explore the outback this is one of the best destinations to do. You would need to fly into Alice Springs.
Fraser Island is one of the world’s biggest sandbars, its entire island stretching over 100 miles long made entirely of longshore drift sand. It so ancient, there is now a fully fledged rainforest growing up out of the sand (the only place in the world this happens) with hidden freshwater lakes, endless beach and great backpacking opportunities with groups of backpackers hiring Toyota land cruisers and spending some time on this incredible island.