I have very bad news for you. Let me just get this painful part out of the way; I can not narrow down this trip for you. I can not give you highlights. Because every single place we went to on our trip for 6 weeks in Australia was AMAZING.
Despite ending on a low note (our fault, not Australia’s), the whole trip was pretty amazing. We would be very hard pressed to pick a part we would leave out if you only had 5 and a half weeks.
Australia is such a huge country, and we would have loved to cover it via buying a car like we did in New Zealand. We knew we had to get to the Red Centre, and driving to the Red Centre takes far too much time out of a six-week trip. It just isn’t feasible to get to as many places as we did in six-weeks if you plan on driving. I think an east coast road trip is an amazing option if you want to get a long drive in (and buy a car). It would be cheaper, but you would miss out on the center of the country and the west coast.
- 41 Days
- All 6 states & mainland territories
- 9 flights
- 3,000 km of driving
- 5 scuba dives
- 1 surf lesson
- 3 awesome Milky Way shots
- 5 biggest cities in Australia
- 3 boat trips
- Canberra: 2
- Adelaide: 2
- Driving to Melbourne: 6
- Melbourne: 4
- Tasmania: 8
- Bondi: 3
- Uluru: 2
- Kings Canyon: 1
- Alice Springs: 2
- Fremantle: 2
- Ningaloo Reef: 5
- Perth: 3
It’s important to remember that we’ve spent a lot of additional time on the east coast already, including nearly 3 weeks in Sydney and 3 days in Brisbane. Between May 1 and mid-July we will be taking our sailboat from Scarborough (outside of Brisbane) to Thursday Island. We look forward to a lot of amazing stops between now and then.
We flew four major domestic airlines:
- Jetstar Airways
Our strategy was to fly non-stop as much as possible (which we achieved) and not have to get up insanely early anywhere, so we did spend a bit more on our flights than someone who’s absolutely penny-pinching.
We got served food on every Quantas flight we took, although it was usually pretty bad. Quantas and Virgin always allowed 23 kg of luggage, versus Tigerair and Jetstar that had additional fees for luggage over 15 kg. The additional fee depends on the length of time for your flight. Additionally, Tigerair and Jetstar charge a fee to pick your seats.
I did look at booking using a third-party website for a few flights, but when I ran the numbers, it was only a few dollars more to book directly with Quantas or Virgin. Weirdly, third-party sites are allowed to advertise a lower price for these airlines, but then charge additional fees for seating, etc.
My SIM card is Vodaphone, and David’s is OVO. Vodaphone did not have service in parts of Tasmania or Exmouth. OVO had service in all of Tasmania and in parts of Exmouth. Telstra is the best option if you are traveling extensively in Western Australia.
I would say David and I have a moderate budget when traveling. We skimp on accommodations and do lots of free activities in order to eat delicious food and buy the one or two really big special activities that we got to do.
Airfare: We spent $4,500 AUD ($3,500 USD) on airfare.
Accommodations: Of 34 nights in hotels or Airbnbs, we paid an average of $130 AUD a night. That’s $4,400 total over 34 nights. The most expensive nights were at Exmouth Escape in Exmouth, WA (very nice apartment-style) and Outback Pioneer at Uluru, NT (meh).
Car Rental: We did 3 car rentals for a total of $1,300 AUD (Adelaide to Melbourne, Tasmania, and Red Centre).
- 54 Hours in Canberra
- Adelaide to Melbourne Road Trip
- Melbourne Laneways
- Tasmania in 8 Days
- Surfing in Bondi
- 5 Nights in the Red Centre
- Diving in Ningaloo with Sail Ningaloo
- Liveaboard sailboat with Sail Ningaloo
- Travel FAIL in Ningaloo Reef
- Rottnest Island
We had an amazing time. We’d seen a lot of the country, and many Australians we talked to said: “wow, I’ve never been to most of these places”. Australia is such a huge and diverse country, and we are so glad to have been able to explore so much of it. And we’re not done yet!
PS. The next few blog posts are going to be boat project related! Enjoy. 🙂