The best time to visit this amazing region is roughly from October to April, while the hottest months are usually December and February. Keep in mind though, that in the eye of the summer, northern Queensland experiences tropical heat, but the further south you go, daytime temperatures in cities like Melbourne are pleasantly temperate. But, even if you’ve chosen your destination, the second question is – how are you going to get around? Let’s explore the most popular options for traveling the most populous and developed region of Australia – the East Coast.
Car sharing is an excellent way of travelling between the East Coast cities, as you won’t have much problems finding people to share a ride with. When compared to a bus or plane, car sharing lets you meet other backpackers or Australians who can give you valuable tips on things to see and places to visit in the region. Most backpackers’ hostels have ridesharing contacts pinned on their billboards, including people who are looking for a ride. HopHopRide is an Australian carpool site dedicated to road trips and a perfect tool for backpackers. On the downside, you’ll have to accept that your privacy will be somewhat limited, as well as the freedom of choice where to go.
Hire a campervan
If you don’t want to compromise your privacy and freedom for the sake of a few hundred dollars, forget the car share and hire a campervan. A region that feels that it was just made for road trips, the East Coast will give you a taste of the best Australia has to offer – bustling cities rich in history, flavours and culture, iconic landmarks and natural wonders, pristine beaches and ancient rainforests. And the best part is that you’ll get to make as many stops and detours as you like. There are many companies that hire campervans to travellers of all budgets, such as Hertz, Appolo and Britz. Campervans are especially suitable for couples and groups of friends as they offer a place to stay with all necessary amenities on board.
Book a cruise
Embarking on a cruise of the East Coast gives you an opportunity to experience this awe-inspiring stretch of Australia from a different perspective. An abundance of mesmerizing islands, including sea bird colonies that surround the Queensland coast are guaranteed to make your cruise unforgettable. The crown jewel of the Sunshine State, the Great Barrier Reef, stretching from Bundaberg to Papua New Guinea is moored in pristine blue waters that are home to some of the most captivating marine fauna, waiting for you to explore it. So, don’t wait and book some of the hot cruise deals for 2018 in advance and have a vacation of a lifetime, with both pleasurable time on board and many activities on land as well.
Hop on a Greyhound
They call them buses, but Greyhounds are more of long distance coaches complete with toilets, TVs and Wi-Fi on board. Your journey will be interrupted with short rest stops where you can stretch your legs and buy refreshments from service stations or ‘servos’ as they call them in this part of the world. A Greyhound pass allows you to travel north and south along the East Coast. Just keep in mind where you’re heading, as your ticket will be valid for hop-on-hop-off rides along the coast, as long as you’re going in the same direction.
While far from the cheapest option, flying is probably the best way of travelling if your time is limited or you want to see more cities in the time of your stay. Remember that internal flights in Australia can sometimes be surprisingly pricey, especially between the states, while for shorter journeys, you’ll be able to score some bargains. Websites like Skyscanner can help you find inexpensive flight options, while the budget airlines to consider are Jet Star and Tiger Air.
Punch in a train ticket
Traveling the East Coast by train is a surprisingly relaxing way to sit back and enjoy the scenery. Trains are equally convenient for short journeys, for example from Sydney to the Blue Mountains, but also for longer, interstate trips such as from Sydney to Brisbane. Among several train passes available from Australian Railpasses, perhaps the most interesting option for East Coast travellers is the Discovery pass, which can be used in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, and you can travel as far west into the NSW outback as Broken Hill.
Join a guided group tour
Australia’s picturesque countryside, forgiving weather and attractions make it an ideal place to travel in a tour. With tons of things to see, paths to tread and villages to discover, planning and driving, riding or hitching all the way yourself might turn too overwhelming. The solution is to join one of many organized tours of the East Coast. There are many budget-friendly travel agencies that, among other adventures, offer snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, surfing in Byron Bay, exploring Fraser Island and the Whitsundays.
The East Coast ruins for thousands of kilometres, from Cairns in northern Queensland, through Sydney in New South Wales and down to Melbourne in Victoria. It’s often said that this part of Australia is a backpacker’s Xanadu. Whichever way of travel you choose, in the end, will depend on your preferences, available budget and time you’ve managed to set off for your big Australian adventure.