So much to see, so little paid time off to see it with. We've hacked the 2019 calendar so you can get booking on the boss' dime!
Oh, and this plan only includes the most common public holidays – national holidays on Australia Day, Easter, Anzac Day and Christmas – and doesn’t even account for all of the weird and wonderful public holidays that dot the calendar in various states and territories (we’re looking at you, Northern Territory Picnic Day). Now that you know when to take your 20 days of leave, where should you spend your 49 days of holidays? Funnily enough, we've got that sorted, too.
Well, well, well - how much time do you have? If you've been squirreling away those hard-earned days off, you could go the whole turkey and dismiss yourself from 22 December all the way to 6 Jan, giving you 15 glorious away-from-your-desk days, but the suggested nine is still a decent slab of time (and Chrissy ham) to explore this gorgeous part of the world. Every port is a highlight, from Coffs Harbour, the mid-point between Sydney and Byron, where you'll learn to surf and to slow down; to Bellingen YHA where you'll feel more zen and connected than an influencer coming back to Aus after finding themselves, to Yamba YHA where you'll experience the warmest hospitality (and sun!) of your life, over to Nimbin Rox YHA to sleep under the stars and with fairies, and of course ending in Byron Bay (just in time for the NYE crowd to have nursed their hangovers and toddled back home). You're going to be sunkissed, salty-toed, and happy as bloody Larry. Happy new year!
You truly haven't experienced this country until you've zipped your way up her midline. Harsh, varied, otherworldly, vast, breathtaking - and that's just in the first few days! The Explorer's Way snakes all the way from the base of South Australia to the tip of the Northern Territory, passing highlights like the underground town of Cooper Pedy, our indigenous heartland Uluru, sprawling and stunning Litchfield and Kakadu National Parks and ending in our tropical top end, Darwin. Trust us, you want the whole ten days to make this trip of a lifetime - savour every minute.
As the winter chill starts to bite Australia’s southern states, it’s time to migrate to warmer weather... but, this time we're going coastal. Book a budget getaway to sunny Queensland with YHA – and with 14 hostels sprinkled all the way up the Queensland coast, we’ve got you covered wherever your winter wanderlust may lead.
Noosa, Airlie Beach, Cairns, Port Douglas – there’s no shortage of choice for a mid-year injection of Vitamin D, but it’s hard to go past the tropical treats of Townsville and Magnetic Island. Spend a couple of days at Rambutan, a Townsville glam-packers boasting a rooftop pool, bar and restaurant, before catching the ferry to Magnetic Island for a stay at the Bungalow Bay Koala Village, the only resort in Australia with its own on-site nature reserve and just a stroll from the golden sands of Horseshoe Bay.
Melbourne will forever be a magical city bathed in twilight and banging coffee, but it's extra bewitching in 2019 thanks to the arrival of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage play. We've kept this cheeky getaway stored up so you can head to Melbs whenever you nab tickets, but we reccommend going in September to break up the tail end of your year a little bit. Read here for an ode to HP we wrote, and remember that Melbourne Central YHA and Melbourne Metro YHA are offering super special deals on their beds and rooms right next to all the magic.
Get away over Christmas with an escape to the West Coast. Well, maybe ‘escape’ isn’t the right word to describe your stay at Fremantle Prison YHA – which, as you might be able to figure out from the name, is built in a former prison. If you’re travelling with the kids, book one of the beautifully restored 19th Century guards cottages overlooking the historic port city, while there are modern private and multi-share rooms in the former women’s wing of the prison itself, including twin and double ‘cells’.
Don’t miss out on the chance to catch a ferry and cycle around the white-sand beaches of nearby Rottnest Island, or the opportunity to discover some other corners of this vast state. Margaret River, three hours’ drive south of Perth, is a compulsory stop for its world-class wineries, mouth-watering local produce, and wind-swept beaches.
We have oodles of tours on offer, ranging from day trips to 8-day adventures, so you'll be sure to see all the very best bits of our otherworldly Western coast.