Where to fly to when starting your trip:
A big question; I always suggest following the seasons. Why? Because you want to follow the sun; the sun offers everything you need for a holiday, when the sun shines everything seems so much better.
March to September: The Northern Half of Australia – Cairns, Brisbane, Broome, Darwin
October to March: The Southern Half of Australia – Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney, Newcastle
I am such a big fan of some of the smaller cities and towns. Things are often cheaper, and even though they are small there is often still a lot to see and do.
It always feels like you are getting a real locals experience when you are in a smaller place. Don’t forget you can get the best flight prices here!
What to pack:
Generally, Australia will be a lot warmer than back home (depending on the season of course), but if you are following the sun, like I suggest, you will generally just need summer clothes.
Make sure you pack your sunglasses and sunscreen too. That being said, it can be a bit of a misperception that Australia is always hot, so do bring one warm item so you are ready for those cold desert nights.
Also a good rain jacket such as the Mac and Sac which is great as it is high quality and portable. Bring good, comfortable shoes that are good for hiking and every day activities.
Make sure you check out my Essential Packing List in the FREE Australia Independent Traveller Action Plan here!
When it comes to your backpack and luggage, I have a couple of suggestions.
A lot of people think that you will need to be carrying your bag on your back (maybe because of the word backpacker); truth is, if you don’t have to, you won’t!
In the hot weather of Australia, carrying a bag can be uncomfortable, as you will sweat your arse off. I think a hybrid bag that has wheels that can convert to go your back when need be is a great solution.
There are so many paved roads in Australia. I use my bag on wheels 97% of the time.
If you are a traveller that wants to carry a bit more, and is happy to have checked luggage, I am a big fan of the Osprey backpacks. I personally use the Osprey Sojourn 80L but the Osprey Sojourn 60L is another sweet bag, if you prefer your bags just that little bit smaller.
I am also slowly getting more and more into minimalist travelling. I hear more and more from travellers that travel with only hand luggage.
Tortuga backpacks are the leaders in this field, and are an awesome company. The bags are designed for urban travellers. The Tortuga 44L is carry-on-sized, organised, and comfortable to wear, good pricing too.
If you are in the USA and want to get some general travel gear and want one shop that has nearly everything, check out Backcountry, an awesome store with everything you need.
Don’t leave home without it. It really is simply as that. I am a big fan of World Nomads, and that is who I use for my Travel Insurance.
They specialise in Independent Backpackers needs. I find often it is the most affordable, and you can insure extra gear. Check out world nomad now!