Sure, you enrolled to study hard and learn lots; but we all need a break (or three!) at times. Australia is a damn huge country and we know time and money is hard to come by, so we’ve narrowed it down to five places you’ve gotta see during your time in Victoria, South Australia or good ol’ Tassie. Drum roll, please!
Ah, Sydney. Home to a big bridge, a bigger foodie scene, hundreds of little streets to find yourself lost in and thousands of things to do (Seriously. You’ll never be bored. Here’s 101 free things to do when you get here).
You’ve got a choice between Bondi Beachouse YHA which overlooks iconic Tamarama Beach, centre of the city with Sydney Central YHA, sleeping in a train carriage at Railway Square YHA or lap up the best view of the harbour at Sydney Harbour YHA.
Fancy climbing the Harbour Bridge, learning to surf on Bondi Beach or checking out the Aquarium and Madame Tussades in Darling Harbour? We can book them all, plus more! Have a look-see here.
Don’t forget the stunning, small-town charm and transformative air of the Blue Mountains while you’re down there! 2 hours out of Sydney lies Katoomba, the home of the NSW National Park and Blue Mountains YHA. Bushwalks, canyoning, abseiling and caving is a’plenty, plus one of the 10 best pizzerias in Australia!
Let’s be real, Australia’s East Coast is probably the reason you wanted to travel here – sea, salt and sand every day, tonnes of high-octane activities like surf lessons, skydiving, bungee jumping, boat trips, snorkelling or even scuba diving – and some pretty crazy nightlife, too. Sounds good to us!
The East Coast spans New South Wales and Queensland, from Sydney to Byron Bay to Brisbane to Cairns and all that’s in between - and we’ve got hostels in pretty much every location you’ll want to visit. Have a read of our comprehensive East Coast guide here, and make sure to leave enough time to truly experience the magic!
You’ve had enough friends travel Australia to know the 12 Apostles when you see them, but the wild and windy Great Ocean Road - 244 kilometre stretch of the South Coast - offers so many other Instagrammable stops along the way! Wind your way along the very bottom coast of the country and be awed by natural rock formations, stunning sunsets and sunrises and totally secluded beaches.
You’ll need more than a day to explore the route, and you’ve got two options. Carve out two days to take our Great Ocean Road tour, or self-drive and spend the night at either end with Apollo Bay Eco YHA and Port Fairy YHA – both as gorgeous and charming as each other, and 20% off for you!
Imagine a furry little animal that looks like a cat, a wombat and a baby kangaroo all at once; who live happily on their own island with no predators so they’re super friendly and curious. Sounds delightful, yes? Well – you needn’t just imagine; because they’re called quokkas and they exclusively live on Rottnest Island, off the coast of Perth, Western Australia. And, we can get you there for a day trip of a lifetime (check it out here!).
These little angels aren’t the only reason you should head West. Perth is a buzzing city full of nightlife, food, unique experiences and of course the recently renovated Perth City YHA – plus, you can pop along to Fremantle Prison YHA and spend the night in a real life prison. If you dare. Don’t forget the West Coast while staying down South – it’s an experience few travellers explore but one well worth the extra kilometres!
The red centre is our cultural, indigenous heartland; and truly must be experienced to be understood. Whether you’re road tripping from Adelaide or flying in from any capital city, you’ll be astounded by the hundreds of kilometres of deep, red dirt – this is the Australia you’ve really gotta see.
If you time your trip right, you can join thousands of gorgeous Priscilla, Queen of the Desert fans in their celebration of the film’s 20th birthday at the Queens in the Desert Festival, or be dazzled by hundreds of football fields’-worth of twinkling lights decorating the iconic Uluru in the Field of Light exhibition.
Whether coming for an event or not, you’ll be immersed in a fascinating, ancient history of people and place; and you’ll be bloody glad you came. Bonus, Alice Springs YHA is built in an old cinema, and screens outdoor movies each and every night. Forget Netflix and chill when you’re in the Northern Territory!