East-Coast guide

The East-Coast refers to the road that follows the eastern coastline, which starts in Cairns and ends in Melbourne. Over the past few years, Melbourne has become an international attraction, due to the cultural persona and has attracted much international interest over the years. Therefore, Melbourne has become a popular starting or ending point for many backpackers. However, the majority of backpackers choose to explore the East-Coast between Brisbane and Cairns.

Australian Weather:

 

  • Many backpackers assume that Australia is warm and sunny all year round! Because of the country’s size, it could be snowing in one state and 35 Degrees in the next!
  • Melbourne and Sydney can be quite cool during Winter (June to August) and changeable in Summer, so make sure you pack a warm jacket, pants and closed shoes.
  • Byron Bay to Bundaberg attracts mostly sunny weather all year round. As you head north of Bundaberg and into Tropical North Queensland you may need to prepare for wet season. Wet Season is within Australia’s summer season and usually hits the tropics between November and March. Expect tropical rain, high humidity and A LOT of sweat! We suggest packing a very light, waterproof jacket with a hood.
Weather Australia

The most popular highlights on Australia’s East Coast

Whether you are travelling along the coast by car, campervan, bus or with an organized tour. This are the most popular must-see destinations on the East- Coast:

Cairns

Cairns is a popular starting or ending point of Australia. Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland’s tropical North.

What to do?

Visit Cairns for the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics World Heritage Rainforest, but don’t miss the great things to do in and around town. You’ll find amazing cafés, night markets, the lagoon and plenty of beaches nearby. I also recommend doing the overnight tour to Cape Tribulation. This is where the Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. Moreover, Cairns is also called the adventure capital of Australia. There is pretty much any adrenaline activity on offer there; Bungy Jumping, Skydiving, Cable Ski, White Water Rafting, Jungle Surfing – you name it!

Furthermore, a trip to Atherton Tablelands is pretty exciting. You can swim in natural waterholes, beautiful lakes and visiting the famous waterfalls as featured in Peter Andre’s “Mysterious Girl” is up your alley. Taking the scenic railway and cable car to the hidden rainforest village of Kuranda should be on your to do list. As well as a visit to nearby Fitzroy and Green Islands.

Where to stay?

Most backpackers, who are travelling to Cairns, stay at Gilligans. This is one of the most popular hostels in Cairns. This hostel is located right in the centre of town. I have stayed here myself and I really enjoyed my time here. It has a party atmosphere, with a lovely swimming pool and 7 nights a week entertainment.

Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island is becoming more and more popular over the years as word of this tropical island paradise continues to spread. If you are traveling by bus, the Greyhound and the Premier bus stop is at the Magnetic Island Ferry Terminal in Townsville. At the bus stop you can take the Ferry to Magnetic Island,
(see ferry times here).

Where to stay in Magnetic Island

I personally recommend staying at Base Backpackers Magnetic Island. They offer a lot of discount packaging, the location is perfect, the hostel is located at the beach and offers great views. Moreover, every night they have activities. It is the ultimate place to chill at the pool or the beach, snorkel and check out the surroundings.

What to do on Magnetic Island?

Meet a koala

Let me tell you my little secret, my heart will melt anytime I see a Koala. Did you know that Magnetic Island has the highest population of Koalas in the wild? So, take a walk though Forts Walk to find them. If you don’t like walking around, looking up the threes and finding a Koala yourself an alternative can be to stop at Bungalow Bay Koala Village. At the Bungalow Bay Koala Village, you can meet Koalas, during the Champagne Bush Tucker Breakfast or during a tour.

Forts-Walk

If you don’t want an organised tour to meet a Koala then take the Forts Walk. During this walk you can spot Koalas in the wild. The Forts Walk, is a 4 km walk which takes you past the historic remnants of World War two, spectacular views of Palm Island and Bowling Green Bay National Park. A must do, I would say!

If you are planning on doing this walk I recommend doing it early in the morning, before it is too hot. Moreover, the changes to spot a Koala are better in the morning.

Rent a Car

I recommend hiring a car with other backpackers. This way you can check out all the beautiful sights of this amazing Island. You have the choice between a 4×4 vehicle or a magnetic ‘Barbie Topless-Cars’. Even though the topless-cars look super cute, it is advisable to take the 4×4 vehicle, due to the difficult roads.

Feed the Wallaby

Feed Rock Wallabies’s just before sunset. If you head down to Geoffrey Bay just before sunset, you will find a lot of rock wallabies. You can feed them as well. If you would like to feed them you have to stop at the newsagents next to Arcadia Pub to pick up a bag with special Wallaby feed.

See the sunset at Horseshoe-Bay

Horseshoe-Bay is the best place to see the sunset on Magnetic Island, really a must see!!

Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach is surrounded with banana plantations, green mountains and rainforest. If you want to visit the Whitsundays, Airlie Beach is the obvious departure point. Airlie Beach has several hostels, massive beer gardens, pubs, clubs and a huge swimming lagoon, where nothing much happens during the day. Airlie Beach offers it all, the party scene, as well as, the adventures activities, like excursions into Conway National park or a sailing trip to the Whitsundays. However, according to the many travel guides:

“the heart of Airlie still beats of the rhythm of unskilled sailors, taking to the sparkling seas and jungle-clad isles with bleary- eyed wonder”.

Airlie Beach is a vibrant town, with a tropical atmosphere and you instantly tune into your holiday mode. Stroll through the boutiques and cafes off the main street. Moreover, every Saturday there is a morning market where they sell art, fresh fruit, vegetables and much more.

As you arrive into the tiny yet bustling town of Airlie Beach, prepare to be blown away by the views!

Where to stay in Arlie Beach?

Most backpackers, who are travelling to Arlie Beach, stay at Nomads/Base Airlie Beach hostel. This is one of the most popular hostels in Airlie Beach. This hostel is located right in the centre of town. I have stayed here myself and I really enjoyed my time here. It has a relaxing atmosphere, with a lovely swimming pool and a volleyball court. At night time you can go to the Shed Bar or Boaty’s, which is the perfect place to tantalize your taste buds and enjoy a cold drink.

Whitsundays

As mentioned before, Airlie Beach is the gateway to the 74 Island that make-up the Whitsundays. Visiting the Whitsundays is something that almost every backpacker who travels to Australia has on his or hers Bucket list. These tropical islands, on the east coast of Queensland may rightly be called a treasure on earth.

The Whitsunday Islands have everything you are looking for in an island: beautiful corals, imposing rocks, rainforest, the whitest beaches on earth, unique animals (like six species of turtles) and the Coral Sea that turns blue- green. The Whitsunday islands lie just off the coast in Queensland, next to the Great Barrier Reef. People from all around the world make their way to the Whitsundays to visit one of the most beautiful beaches on earth: Whitehaven beach and explore the stunning beauty of Heart reef. Interestingly, the Great Barrier Reef actually protects the island from large swells. This makes the environment ideal for sailing, swimming, diving/snorkelling and relaxing in hidden bays.

Many of the Whitsunday islands are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. Another interesting fact is that only eight of the 74 islands are uninhabited.

Obviously the Whitsundays Islands are a tourist magnet, but with so many different islands you always have the opportunity to go to a place where there are hardly any to no people. Drop off with a ferry, set up your tent, go on an adventure in the rainforest and literally feel Robinson Crusoe.

Sailing trips to the Whitsundays

A lot of backpackers explore the Whitsundays by doing a sailing trip to the Whitsundays. With 74 white sandy islands, stunning beaches, hidden coves and inlets and an abundance of wildlife, a Whitsundays sailing tour is an unmissable part of any Australian East Coast trip There is a massive range of Whitsundays sailing tours. I would personally recommend booking your sailing trip with an agency and months in advance. As mentioned before travel agencies have all the information about all the available Whitsundays trips (from daytrips to stunning Whitehaven beach to overnight tours) and can help you find the perfect tour suited to your budget. I did some research and I created an overview of the most popular Whitsundays Tours and I included some website links of travel agencies who offer the tours for the best price. So, check it out!

Overview of the most popular Whitsundays tours:

Budget friendly, Whitsundays Tours:

– Big time budgeting? This is the Whitsundays best budget-friendly trip, offering an unforgettable sailing experience! Habibi is the best choice for the budget backpacker. This 75ft Ketch offers 2 great days and nights of cruising around the Whitsundays. Habibi is great value for money for those on a budget who are still seeking an awesome experience. Picture yourself lazing on the deck sailing around the wonderful Whitsunday Islands and step foot on the one and only Whitehaven Beach! This social trip on board Habibi will be full of sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling and exploring, all while making new friends and having the ultimate Whitsundays experience.

If you want to save money, check out the following websites to get more information and the best price!

– New Horizon is the ideal trip for those with a sense of fun and a craving for adventure! Being one of the most popular tours on the East Coast of Australia, backpackers travel from all corners of the globe just to take part in this once- in-a-lifetime Whitsunday adventure that will have you laughing, exploring and making memories to last a lifetime! Snorkel or dive amazing coral reefs, take an exhilarating ride on a jet boat, “walk the plank”, zip down a mega slide, or paddleboard around secluded bays – New Horizon has it all! This is just the start of the activities you can get your hand on while sailing the Whitsundays on New Horizon!

If you want to save money, check out the following websites to get more information and the best price!


Social boat for exploring the Whitsundays

Are you looking for the biggest party boat in the Whitsundays? Jump on board Atlantic Clipper! If you want to spend your days exploring all the hottest areas of the Whitsunday Island and your nights socializing with a group of fun, like- minded travellers, Atlantic Clipper is for you! You will have the time of your life aboard this spacious and comfortable boat which boasts a huge water slide, air-conditioning and an action-packed itinerary full of fun and adventure!

If you want to save money, check out the following website to get more information and the best price!


Relaxing boat to explore the Whitsundays

Wings, is the ultimate way to see the Whitsunday Islands on an unforgettable 2 day trip! Over 2 days you will sail in blue tropical waters, relax on the beautiful white sands of Whitehaven Beach, chill out or sunbake on the large front decks taking in the scenery! Wings thrives on spending more time on the beach than other boats, and when you are not beach-hopping, enjoy the air-conditioned interior of the boat. Wings II offers the ultimate catamaran adventure!

If you want to save money, check out the following website to get more information and the best price!


A Luxury Whitsundays Tour:

Ride to Paradise is the ultimate way to explore the Whitsundays – a little bit of luxury, and a lot of fun! Ride to Paradise Resort Stay includes 2-nights of accommodation at the exclusive Paradise Cove Resort on the beautiful Whitsundays mainland. Spend your nights on land and your days at sea on board the fast and fun Wildcat, visiting the Whitsunday Islands. Visit iconic locations such as Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet Lookout, and several beautiful snorkeling locations.

Town of 1770

Seventeen Seventy, also written as 1770, is a laid-back seaside town and locality in Gladstone Region, Queensland, Australia. It’s situated on a peninsula, with the Coral Sea and Bustard Bay on three sides. Located 6 hours north of Rainbow Beach, this is the place on the East Coast where the Great Barrier Reef meets the surf coast and tends to attract many backpackers to the region. The area also has four national parks that offer wilderness camping and hiking, these are: Mount Colosseum, Merimbula, Deepwater and Round Hill.

This town is a tourist attraction, because of the area’s wildlife, sunsets, vegetation, natural environment and an outer surf and inner still water beach. If you are travelling by bus, the Greyhound and the Premier bus stop is in Agnes water. From there you can go to the town of 1770.

What to do?

The most popular activity in 1770 is the Scooteroo tour (where you drive around in a leather jacket on a Harley Davidson spotting for Kangaroos). In this way you can check out all the beautiful sights of this historical town, in 3 hours, on a chopper motorbike. You are also able to see wallabies and kangaroos in the wild and to watch the sunset over the ocean.

Click here for more information!

If you are up for another adventure, there are also possibilities for surfing and kitesurfing lessons. Check out the links if you would like some more information on the activities.

Surf lesson 

Kite Surfing

Moreover, there are also day cruises and flights to the outer Great Barrier Reef, to nearby Lady Musgrave Island and Pancake Creek, and the nearby Bustard Head lighthouse.

Where to stay in 1770?

Most backpackers, who are travelling to the town of 1770, stay at Southern Cross Backpackers. This is the most popular hostel in Agnes Water and they also offer the Scooteroo tour, as mentioned above. You can buy an accommodation-tour package, which makes it a very nice and easy stay!

Rainbow Beach/Fraser Island

This picturesque coastal town is the closest departure point to Fraser Island and hosts a huge variety of unique activities. World heritage listed Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world and voted one of the best backpacking experiences in Australia and there is no surprise why! Fraser Island is home to some of the most stunning white sandy lakes and Eucalyptus Rainforests in the entire country. The is also the largest sand Island in the world and the only way to get around is by a 4X4 vehicle. If you were thinking of doing it in just one day, you’ll need to either sacrifice soaking in the deep Champagne Pools, or swimming in Lake McKenzie’s dazzling crystal clear waters. This is why I really do recommend allowing 3 days to see Fraser Island.

What to do on Fraser Island?

Let’s be honest, a trip to Oz is not complete without visiting Fraser Island. There are a lot of tours going to Fraser Island. There are a number of tour options available including: Tag Along and Guided options departing from Brisbane, Noosa, Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay.

My personal favourite is the guided Tag-along tour by Dingos, departing from Rainbow Beach. You’ll not only get to camp on the island, but if you have a license you can actually drive 4×4’s on the Fraser Coast ‘highway’. Moreover, the tag Along option is affordable. Most Tag Along tours will have you joining a convoy with other travellers led by a professional driver in a lead car. You will camp on the island – and don’t forget to spot for Dingo’s!

If you want more information about the itinerary  the best prices, click here for more information!

Noosa

Noosa is located in Australia’s Sunshine Coast and is just a short 2-hour bus journey north of Brisbane. Noosa is one of Australia’s most fashionable resort towns, a salubrious hub backing onto crystalline waters and pristine subtropical rainforest. The town is located within the Noosa Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO recognized area famous for its highly diverse ecosystem.

While the designer boutiques, polished restaurants and canal-side villas draw the beach-elite sophisticates, the beach and bush are free, leading to a healthy intermingling of urban fashionistas and laid-back surfers. Noosa encompasses three main zones: upmarket Noosa Heads (around Laguna Bay and Hastings St), the more relaxed Noosaville (along the Noosa River) and the administrative hub of Noosa Junction.

Noosa is not only a popular gateway to Fraser Island, but it’s also the ultimate place to check out Australia Zoo. Make sure you explore the secluded beaches through Noosa National Park and see what wildlife you can spot. Not to be missed are the fantastic Eumundi Markets. Moreover, I highly recommend trying surfing in Noosa or going on a kayak tour through the Everglades. I would suggest staying a minimum of 2 to 3 days in Noosa to RELAX! If you want more information about a surf lesson or kayak tour, click on the links below!

Surf Lesson

Kayak Tour 

Where to stay in Noosa?

Most backpackers, who are travelling to Noosa, stay at Nomads Noosa Backpackers Hostel. This is one of the most popular hostels in Noosa. This hostel is centred in the heart of Noosa in the middle of the main street and is only 800 m away from Noosa Main Beach and the National Park. You can enjoy your day at the pool, play volleyball. Perfect place to stay!

Brisbane

Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. It’s the biggest city nearby many beach towns, such as Byron Bay and Surfers Paradise. Therefore, it’s also a good base to visit other cities as there is an airport and several cheap transport options. Brisbane is definitely a popular stop for backpackers travelling the East Coast.

What to do?

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary, with 80 years of experience and over 130 koalas. Get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most iconic wildlife and you might even be lucky enough to score a Koala cuddle.

Click here to get more information about the tour

River cruise
See the capital city’s stunning sights from an entirely new perspective during a fascinating river cruise along the Brisbane River. Glide past landmarks including Kangaroo Point Cliffs and Story Bridge, snapping photos and picking up local lore from an informative guide along the way.

Morten Island day tour
Less than an hour away, the white beaches and blue waters of the Moreton Island set the scene for swimming, surfing, snorkelling and sailing and with tours departing daily to the tranquil Gold Coast hinterland. Click here to get more information about the tour.

Where to stay?

YHA is a popular chain for backpackers travelling through Australia. Also, in Brisbane you can find this hostel and the reviews are really good! Brisbane city YHA is an award-winning hostel overlooking the Brisbane River. This hostel is centred at Roma street, close to the main bus stop. They offer shared rooms, private rooms and even family rooms. Looking for something else? There are plenty of hostels in Brisbane!

Gold Coast/ Surfers Paradise

The Gold Coast is a coastal city in Queensland, around 1 hour north from Byron Bay. Nowadays, the Gold Coast is a major destination with its sunny subtropical climate. Gold Coast and more specific Surfers Paradise has become widely known for its surfing beaches and amazing skyline. Moreover, Surfers paradise is part of the nation’s entertainment industry with television productions and a major film industry. But the Gold Coast has more to offer, there is something to do for everybody (theme parks, nightlife, wildlife sanctuary and rainforest hinterland).

What to do?

Visit one of the theme parks.

Gold Coast has four of the biggest theme parks in Australia! But, keep in mind that if you are planning on heading to the theme parks you will need to allocate an entire day! Click here for more information!

Swim beneath waterfalls in the Gold Coast hinterland.

If you have a car, you are lucky! Be sure to check out the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Gold Coast hinterland! There are loads of natural waterholes, walking trails, waterfalls and amazing lookouts to explore. Jupiter’s Casino is worth a cheeky visit and a spot of shopping at Pacific Fair never goes astray.

Wildlife sanctuary

With over 1000 native animals, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is home to one of the largest collections of Australian wildlife in the world. Established over 60 years ago, the Sanctuary has attracted millions of visitors and continues to promote opportunities to get closer and interact with Australia’s amazing wildlife. Set amongst 28 hectares of lush Eucalyptus and rainforest visitors can see many of Australia’s iconic species on display in their natural habitat. There are many interactive wildlife opportunities throughout the Sanctuary where you can cuddle a koala, feed a kangaroo, hold a baby crocodile or snake. Get right up close and personal with Australia’s iconic wildlife with an included Koala cuddle and a photo! Click here for more information!

Surf!

Learn surfing on one of the most amazing beaches in Australia. As stated before Surfers Paradise is known for its surfing beaches. The perfect spot to catch the waves! Click here for more information! 

Skydive

Enjoy the stunning view of the Gold Coast, while freefalling from 12.000 feet. Whether the thought excites, inspires or downright terrifies you, everyone feels the same sensation when hovering over the glistening Gold Coast skyline; pure thrill!

Where to stay?

Most backpackers, who are travelling to Surfers Paradise, stay at Bunk Surfers Paradise. This is one of the best hostels in Surfers! This hostel is centred close to the bus transit centre and only a heartbeat away from the beach. Bunk is only a short walk away from all the restaurant, supermarkets, nightclub and shops in Surfers Paradise. Moreover, at Bunk they organize daily activities and nightly events while accommodating you in comfort at Queensland most iconic beach location.

Byron Bay

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard backpackers say their favourite place in Australia is Byron Bay. With its chilled vibes, beautiful beaches and fun little party scene, it’s easy to see why people get stuck in this little town. Byron Bay is the most eastern town of Australia. This beautiful seaside town is a melting pot of alternative life style and Aussie surf culture. As soon as you arrive you’ll understand why this is one of the most popular destinations in Australia. If traveling to Byron Bay from Sydney (or in the other direction), I suggest getting an overnight Greyhound or Premier bus.

What to do?

With a host of fun day trips, activities and busy nightlife, be sure to take out time to relax and enjoy everything this stunning region has to offer.

Surf!

Byron Bay, is the perfect spot to learn how to surf. Mojosurf run the world class surfing academy in Byron and can pick you up right in front of your hostel to hunt down the perfect wave for you to learn on. If you have limited time or budget they also provide a half day surf adventure. They specialize in getting small groups trained up and riding the perfect waves on beautiful uncrowded beaches- now with exclusive Silver Value Inclusions so you can make the most of your time in stunning Byron Bay. If you really love to surf you can also follow the 4 or 7 day Sydney to Byron surf-tour. Click here for more information!

Dive or snorkel at Byron Bay’s Julian Rocks Marine

Snorkel or dive at Byron Bay’s Julian Rocks Marine Reserve and swim with tropical species found on the Great Barrier Reef as well animals from Australia’s deep Southern Ocean. Click here for more information!

Nimbin tour

When in Byron Bay, a day trip to the historical and colourful hippie village of Nimbin should also be on your Byron Bucket List. The day trip is by far one of the weirdest and wackiest experiences I have ever had in Australia, rolling through the hinterland in a rainbow bus with the Bob Marley tunes a-blaring!This tour is all about venturing into village vibes so bring out the hippie colours to explore Nimbin and the incredible surrounding Byron Bay hinterland. Spend the morning meeting dreadlocked locals and exploring the colourful street before a fun filled afternoon of waterfall hopping. Click here for more information! 

Skydive

Experience the awesome world of skydiving! Up to one minute freefalling with speeds accelerating up to 220km per hour, all with absolutely spectacular views over Byron Bay. Click here for more information!

Walk to Byron Bay Lighthouse

Probably the most famous thing to do is to take the time to walk to the iconic Byron Bay Lighthouse. The walk to the top takes about an hour and is filled with some of the most scenic views and beautiful beaches you can find around Byron Bay. It’s very popular to walk up here for an awesome sunrise/sunset view. To see the sunrise at the lighthouse is an unforgettable experience.

Visit the Byron Bay Markets

Another pretty cool free thing to do is visiting the local Byron Bay market on the first Sunday of the month. The market offers a great range of hand-crafted wares, artworks, locally-grown produce and many stalls with foods and drinks.

Hit the Beaches

Byron Bay is famous for its beaches and best things about it is; they’re all free! Since the weather in Byron Bay is pretty decent the entire year, why not enjoy it by laying down at the beach or by taking a dip in the ocean.

Listen to some Live Music

While walking around you notice the unique atmosphere Byron Bay has to offer. The beautiful thing about Byron Bay is that there are musicians on nearly every corner, so at night if you’re not up for hitting up pubs and clubs in Byron Bay for a wild night, take the time to stroll the streets of Byron Bay listening to the buskers.

Join a drum circle

You will find the drum circle up at Main beach playing every day at sunset, and literally nearly every other corner of Byron Bay will have some sort of music to listen to.

Go see the talent show at the Art factory

It is a fun night with all kinds of performances and there is also a big drum circle afterwards.

Try and spot whales and dolphins!

During, winter you have the chance to see the migrating humpback whales from one of the many coastal walks you can do, which is an awesome experience. It’s possible to spot the whales from the lighthouse walk or try one of the many other coastal lookouts around town.

Head to the Minyon Falls

Up in the hills above Byron is the beautiful Minyon Falls. Situated within Nightcap National Park, this stunning waterfall is super impressive and well worth the drive. Camera’s at the ready, you can also enjoy a couple of beautiful walks around Minyon Falls that show off the lush and tropical Byron surrounds at their best. Take a picnic and make a day of this hinterland adventure, stopping at the picturesque town of Bangalow on your way. This is probably my favourite of the best free things to do in Byron Bay.

Where to stay in Byron Bay?

Most backpackers, who are traveling to Byron, stay at Nomads Byron Bay. This is one of the most popular hostels in Byron. This hostel is based in the heart of Byron, only 2 minutes away from the bus stop and only a 3 minutes’ walk away from the beach. The most perfect location in Byron. However, there are a lot of hostels in Byron. So, if you want a little bit more luxury, I recommend staying at Wake-up hostel. Wake up in a modern, bright and breezy room that suits your budget. Wake-Up offers a range of accommodation, from dorms to private rooms. Other good hostels are: Backpackers-Inn, YHA cape Byron and YHA Byron bay city.

Sydney

Sydney needs no introduction. Sydney is Australia’s oldest, largest and most diverse city. It hosts the stunning Sydney Harbor, opera house, Bondi beach to soak up the sun before partying away those memories you just made at King’s Cross, Sydney’s nightlife hub. Explore the rocky headlands, azure bays and legendary surf beaches. When it is time to leave the city strap on your hiking boots and hit up the Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains is one of the most photogenic cities in the world! If you want to explore the city and its surrounding, I suggest that you take at least 3 till 4 days.

What to do?

Get the perfect photo

One of my favorite ways to get the awesome photo of the Harbor Bridge and Opera House is by purchasing a Ferry Ticket (around $5 – $10 for the day) and cruising around the CBD. The ferry also runs return transfers to Manly Beach – a great day out!

Visit the Blue Mountains

A day tour to the beautiful Blue Mountains National Park is also a must! Click here for more information!

The Coastal walk

The Coastal Walk between Bondi and Coogee Beaches should also be on the top of your Sydney Bucket List. Public buses operate from the CBD to Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach all day.

Darling Harbour

A walk down to Darling Harbour is also worth your while, as well as checking out Chinatown for a cheap bite to eat and Paddy’s Markets for a spot of souvenir shopping.

Swim at the Bondi Icebergs Pool

What is it? It’s the most photographed ocean pool in Australia – at Sydney’s most famous beach (Bondi). The 50-metre saltwater pool a popular spot for sunbathers and a bottleneck spot on the Bondi to Coogee walk. The baths have been a landmark of Bondi for 100 years, and it’s only $7 for casual entry, giving you access to the pool, the sauna and the gym.

Eat brekky at Carriageworks Farmers Markets

Carriageworks Farmers Market is the busiest Saturday market in the city. It’s well worth the trip for its range of seasonal produce, including organic and biodynamic foods from farmers and producers from across New South Wales.

Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge

A chance to scale the world-famous “Coathanger”. You can see Sydney Harbour in all its majesty. We recommend the express climb, which is a little shorter and takes you up the inside arc so that you are surrounded by hand-riveted steel and feel a little like you’re inside the ribs of a metal skeleton. Don’t miss: The views out west. This is an incredible experience at dawn, dusk or at night.

Discover local street art on a Culture Scouts: Inner West Tour Newtown

A three-hour walking tour of Newtown and Enmore where your local guide will point out the iconic and lesser-known street art of the Inner West. You’ve heard of local artists Lister, Numbskull and Skulk, but how many times have you stopped to look at their work? There’s time on this to appreciate the works right under our noses, like Lister’s dancing ballerinas on the Hub building, or the sweeping layers of pink, blue and turquoise of ‘Save Our Coral Reef’ by Phibs and George Rose.

Take a sunrise swim at Bronte Baths

Built into the rocky cliffside, this ocean pool is popular with early risers for salty laps and Instagram pics of the sunrise. The waves at Bronte Beach can get a little hairy for the less experienced swimmers, but here you can enjoy the best of both worlds with a protected saltwater pool that has waves crashing at the walls. Try and get here before 7am, watching the sun breach over the ocean’s horizon from this vantage point is pretty special.

Let’s Go Surfing on Bondi Beach

Surfing a wave at Bondi should be on everyone’s bucket list. If you’re rusty with a surfboard, book in for a class at Let’s Go Surfing. After your lesson, head to one of North Bondi’s excellent cafés like Porch and Parlour or Harry’s Bondi.

Where to stay?

Most backpackers, who are travelling to Sydney, stay at Wake-up(Sydney’s best backpacker accommodation). This is one of the best hostels in Sydney! Wake-up is located just a few minutes away from Sydney’s Central Station and Sydney CBD. Wake-up even owns a bar. The Side Bar is Sydney’s biggest backpacker and student bar and the hub of backpacker nightlife. The more reason to check it out;)

Melbourne

Melbourne is a little further down the East Coast, but boy it is worth the extra hours spent on a bus. Nowadays, Melbourne is called the culture capital of Australia. This vibrant city has a rich history, loads of culture, arts and attitude! The perfect way to experience the city is by using the red city circle tram. The red city circle tram provides comments as you pass by the city’s unique and historical landmarks. Melbourne is known for its good food, boutique bars and laneways filled with amazing street art! Hence, a few hours away you will find the Great Ocean Road, where you can see the breath taking twelve apostles. 

What to do?

Great Ocean Road

See the breathtaking 12 Apostles, spot native wildlife and explore the amazing surf breaks and waterfalls. Go for a walk, surf, mountain bike trip or explore the cultural side of the city.

Peruse the sheds at Queen Victoria Market

The Queen Victoria Market is an open-air market that’s filled with people who are passionate about fresh products (and are happy to tell you about it). The Victoria Market is popular by locals and is their go-to market to buy fresh fruit, vegetables etc. Over the past few years to Victoria Market has become a must see by tourist and I mean why not. The market is filled with stalls selling, food, clothes, accessories and more. Important to note, keep in mind the opening hours/days of the market (since it is closed on Monday and Wednesday).

See a classic at the Astor Theatre

The Astor Theater was opened in 1936 and is in fact the last single-screen cinema of its kind in Melbourne. Therefore, a pretty special place to visit! The Astor Theater still has gold curtains and the entire experience feels like you have been flashed back to Hollywood in the olden days.

 
Take a day trip to the Yarra Valley

Les than one hour away from Melbourne, you find the Yarra Valley. The Yarra Valley is one of Victoria’s premier wine region. You can find vineyards, old farmhouses and beautiful rolling green hills. Every weekend you can visit one of the most unique wineries.

Try a cocktail at Beneath Driver Lane

An underground bar in Melbourne’s City Centrum, Beneath Driver Lane. Nowadays, one of the coolest bars around Melbourne city Centre.

Check out the amazing street art

All around Melbourne you will find stunning street art. You can even join a street art tour where they show you the best spots around the city center.

Go see Flinders street station

You might know the Flinders street station of postcards or brochures. This stunning building was opened in 1910, and it is listed on the Victorian heritage register.

Visit Brighton beach

Go visit Port Phillip Bay under the watch of 82 bathing boxes, a row of uniformly proportioned wooden bathing boxes lining the foreshore at Brighton Beach.

Where to stay?

Most backpackers, who are travelling to Melbourne, stay at Space hotel. Space hotel is one of the popular accommodations in Melbourne. Space Hotel is a merge between up- market backpacker accommodation and budget boutique hotel. This is budget accommodation as it was never meant to be. Offering a wide range of room options for budgets both big and small.With modern designer rooms featuring iPod-docking stations, high quality mattresses and flat screen TVs, not to mention spaces to play games, watch movies, workout and lounge around; it’s the best way to discover all that Melbourne has to offer.