Australia is one of the most beautiful places I have visited and one of the top travel destinations in the world for the gay community. Nature here is a high definition experience, and flying around the country can be incredibly cheap if you plan ahead. It has something to offer for any kind of traveler. Each one of the six regions will bring something unique and special to your trip.
New South Whales
Host to the city of Sydney and its two most iconic man-made treasures, The Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. Byron Bay, surfer capital of the world, has enough beauty to make you want to move there.
Home to Melbourne, where the best coffee and culinary options on the continent are. The magnificent Ocean Drive, known as one of the most scenic roads in the world, leads you to the epic Twelve Apostles rock formations.
The state of the Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, and Australia’s most beautiful beach, Whitehaven Beach. The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from multiple destinations; I recommend flying to the city of Cairns in which you will find the biggest tours offered. The most dangerous animals in the world live in this region, but this has never stopped travelers from discovering the richness of its lands. Their capital Brisbane is the cultural center of the region.
Land of the vast outback and the sacred rock, Uluru. The remote city of Alice Springs offers Aboriginal art galleries and an airport that makes the access to the Red Centre desert easier.
The fertile grounds that hold the Barossa Valley Vineyards. It has a total of 1.7 million people, and its population is the most highly centralized of any state in Australia, with more than 75 percent of South Australians living in the capital, Adelaide, or its surrounding environments. Most of the area is extremely arid and deserted. Adelaide is one of the top destinations for backpackers that are driving or hitchhiking to Uluru rock.
Mostly ignored by travelers but a favorite of any that visit. Western Australia is home to the city of Perth and the calmest, whitest sand beaches, and most crystal blue waters you will find on the entire continent. You will need a 4 x 4 car to explore the region and its jaw-dropping natural reserves.
Gay city and Travel Guides
- Luxury Hotels The best rated rooms in luxury hotels can be found for $400 AUD
- Budget hotels, you are looking to spend at least around $75-95 AUD for a double room, private bathroom, TV, and breakfast.
- Hostels can start at $15 AUD per night for a dorm room, though they can get as high as $50 in the big coastal cities. Private rooms with a double bed and a shared bathroom in hostels range between 60-100 AUD per night.
- Airbnb can be an option if this is the budget you are working with. Larger, chain hotels cost closer to $200 AUD.
- Camping costs between $25-40 AUD per night for a spot that can either be for an RV or tent. For more specific information, visit the camping National Park website of the region you are looking to camp in.
Food prices are similar to New York City prices. Almost every entree costs $20 AUD or more, even two fried eggs with some bread. Groceries aren’t that much cheaper either. If you cook your meals, expect to pay $100 AUD per week for groceries. Grab and go places cost around $8-10 AUD for sandwiches. Fast food is around $15 AUD for a meal. The best values are Thai restaurants where you can get a filling Pad Thai for $10. God bless Thai food!
Local city trains and buses cost $3-4 AUD. The easiest way to get around the country is by flying. If you book your flight in advance with Jetset, Tigerair, or Virgin Australia, they all offer incredibly cheap options to and from the main cities and destinations.
Avoid Greyhound at all costs: passes begin at $145 AUD and go all the way to $300 AUD. They are expensive, long, and uncomfortable trips. Don’t do that to your back, take a plane. The most popular and cheapest way to travel is to drive yourself. If you are going to be here for a couple of months and you’re coming with a group of friends, renting a van or a 4 x 4 can be the most fun and exciting way to explore the country.
Multi-day activities and tours are expensive, generally costing $400-540 AUD. Day trips will cost about $135-230 AUD. For example, a one-day trip to the Great Barrier Reef can cost $230 AUD, while a 2-night trip sailing the Whitsunday Islands can cost upwards of $540 AUD. A 3-day trip to Uluru from Alice Springs is around $480 AUD. Walking tours are around $50 AUD and day trips to wine regions are between $150-200 AUD.
Money Saving Tips
Get a Sim Card
The telephone companies Telstra and Optus have really improved their services, and they offer great phone packages that have great coverage throughout the country. Their call/text rates aren’t that high either, so the credit will last you awhile.
Don’t drink or smoke
This is a great opportunity to go sober and connect with nature and save probably over a thousand dollars on your trip. Everything here in Australia is taxed heavily, so a drink in a bar can easily cost you $14-25 AUD depends how fancy the venue is.
If you are traveling with friends, it’s smart to buy a used car or campervan (or rent a new one from one of the many rental companies in the country) and split the costs of gas. Also you could hitch a ride with other travelers, this is the safest place on earth to do that and is extremely popular between young backpackers.
This country has a lot of exciting activities and tours that eat into any budget. Booking activities together through a hostel or tour agency will get you a discount and save you hundreds of dollars as a repeat customer.
Get free WiFi
Libraries, Starbucks and McDonald’s have free wi-fi that you can use. Don’t eat their food, seriously! Just get the free wifi and go!
Work for your room
Many hostels offer travelers the chance to work for their accommodation. In exchange for a few hours a day of cleaning, you get a free bed. Commitments vary, but most hostels ask you to stay at least a week.
(For gay city guides and more tips, see specific city destination guides)