- Australian Hostels
Australia has been doing it tough for most of 2020 (first bushfires, then a global pandemic), but despite months of disappointment, travel lovers are now presented with a rare opportunity. With pollution down, and overseas arrivals at a minimum, Australia’s most popular and well-travelled destinations are in the most pristine condition they’ve been in years. If you’ve ever been interested in seeing more of this sunburnt country, easing restrictions for domestic travellers mean that this is the perfect opportunity – and you can do it all while helping Aussie tourism find its feet again post-lockdown.
So, sure - your big Euro trip got canned by COVID, and it might be a while ‘til you get to see your Canadian cousins. But guess what? You live in one of the most uniquely beautiful nations in the world, and right now we’ve got it all to ourselves. After a bit of a bumpy patch, it’s finally time to lace up your walking shoes again. Don’t worry if you haven’t shed those lockdown kilos yet, though – you don’t have to go any further than your own backyard…
Tip: Remember to check the up-to-date COVID-19 travel guidelines as they apply to your state!
Just an hour outside Sydney, the Blue Mountains boast stunning waterfalls, ancient forests and incredible vistas overlooking valleys rivalled only by the Grand Canyon. Walking tracks zigzag the cliffs and gullies between the settlements of Katoomba and Leura, while in town, galleries featuring local artists and quaint, eclectic shops provide a unique cultural snapshot. Spend a weekend to refresh your mind and soul in the crisp mountain air!
It may not be ski season, but even in summer, the Snowy Mountains of Southern NSW are a sight to behold. Head to the summit of Australia’s highest point at Mount Kosciuszko, or pack a picnic to spot platypus in the Thredbo River. The alpine slopes transform into hair-raising mountain bike tracks in the offseason, while many chairlifts remain open to offer breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery. Whether you’re a downhill demon, or simply looking to hike through a quintessentially Australian landscape, pay a visit to Thredbo, and you’ll be right at home.
For those looking for something truly special, head to the idyllic Whitsundays just off the tropical coast of Queensland. Surrounded by one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef, and flush with palm trees, turquoise water and dazzlingly white beaches, the archipelago is nothing less than a paradise on earth. Activities centre around all things nautical, with scuba diving and snorkelling providing exquisite up-close marine encounters, while sailing, jet skis and turtle spotting cruises accommodate those preferring to stay above water. If all else fails, lounging on a beach, drink in hand, with immaculate views of the Coral Sea should satisfy even the most discerning of travellers…
Iconically Australian and known globally as typifying our country’s harshness and remoteness, the Red Centre of Australia is a must-visit for anyone with even a passing interest in this land and its original custodians. Aside from being an essential stop on the way to the jewel in Australia’s crown that is Uluru, the town of Alice Springs is a veritable oasis in the desert, and from here visitors can immerse themselves in Indigenous art and culture and arrange expeditions into the Outback for 4WDing and camel riding. Expect hot days, cold nights under star-studded skies and a uniquely raw closeness to nature. Book your trip now and let YHA be your launchpad for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
This one’s for the real adventurers. Perched on the edge of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, a stay in Port Lincoln offers swims with sea lions (read: ‘sea doggos’), world-class surfing breaks and, for the truly daring, spine tingling cage diving with great white sharks. For those not as keen to venture into the chilly waters of the Spencer Gulf, the rugged Lincoln National Park offers an immaculate coastal snapshot filled with rare flora and fauna.