Backpacking in Australasia

Countries  »  Australasia

Why Go?

Discover Australia & New Zealand

If you had no knowledge of the planet and you looked at a world map for the first time, you’d barely notice Australasia, hiding quietly in the bottom corner. You could be forgiven for assuming this was a place of quiet insignificance.

But you’d be so wrong. Australasia is the ultimate gap year destination. Most start with travelling the east coast of Australia, usually south to north. This is where you find the parties, the fun, the craziness. You’ll also find the glorious Sydney Harbour, the amazing Fraser Island, the paradisiacal Whitsunday Islands and the other-worldly Great Barrier Reef.

Most then head to New Zealand for the spell-binding scenery and adventure activities, and then it’s on to the tropical islands of Fiji, famous for their pristine beaches and thriving marine life. The really adventurous might then keep on travelling all the way to the Cook Islands, which look much the same as they did when Captain James Cook, their namesake, sailed past 300 years ago. Fiji and the Cook Islands form part of Australasia and Polynesia respectively; the other island group in the region is Micronesia.

Australasia is the perfect  training ground for new backpackers. The scenery and climate are wildly different to anything you’ll be used to, but the general culture is much the same, the popular places like New Zealand and Australia are very safe, and there’s no language barrier to worry about.

Australasia vs. Oceania

To cover our butts, we're aware that we're technically wrong by including Australasia as a continent instead of Oceania. The latter encompasses everything that Australasia does, as well as around 25,000 volcanic or coral tropical islands, scattered over a massive area of the Pacific Ocean. The islands are split into three groups: Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia.

These are undoubtedly lovely, but we generally felt people were more likely to recognise the name Australasia. Got it? Good. Carry on!


Top Countries

Australia

Australia

New Zealand

New Zealand

Fiji

Fiji

The Cook Islands

The Cook Islands

Best Experiences

Top Experiences in Australasia

There are so many awesome things to experience in Australasia we could spend the next year trying to list them and still not get close, but here are a few to get you started!

Climb a glacier in New Zealand

There are few sights in the world like seeing ice spilling forth from between mountains. Wrap up warm, put on some sensible footwear, and do your best not to fall over.


Scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

An entrant on any travel bucket list, there really is nowhere else on Earth quite like the Great Barrier Reef. Get ready to dive into another world.


Drive the Great Ocean Road in Australia

Do you like roadtrips? Beaches? Great weather and views? Oh my, the Great Ocean Road is for you. Rope in a few friends and have the best drive of your life.


Go island hopping in French Polynesia

Paradise is a word often bandied about by seasoned travellers, but the islands of French Polynesia really might be it. You'll never want to leave.


Cruise the Whitsundays in Australia

Oh heck, more paradise! The Whitsundays are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Get your cozzie on and soak up the sun.


Do the Nevis Bungy Jump in New Zealand

There are few experiences like freefalling 134 metres into a canyon with nothing but an elastic band around your ankles. You might never come down from the adrenaline surge.


4x4 on Fraser Island in Australia

If you're feeling adventurous, tearing up Fraser Island is a great way to feel like a badass on four wheels without getting a speeding ticket.


Go blackwater rafting in New Zealand

What's blackwater, you say? Why, rafting in the dark, of course! Not only is it exhilarating, but you get to check out some tasty caves to boot.


Drive a campervan through the Outback in Australia

If you really want to experience Australia, cutting through its heart with a campervan is the ultimate journey. Just make sure you take supplies!


Explore Lord of the Rings scenery in New Zealand

You may have heard of a little movie called Lord of the Rings. Well, New Zealand is basically Middle Earth. Just look at it! It's ridiculous.


Swim with whale sharks in Australia

Don't worry, whale sharks are pretty chilled. But they're also MASSIVE, so you still feel pretty hardcore for climbing into the water with them.


Chill out in Sydney's Botanical Gardens in Australia

The city can be hectic, so this is the ideal place to grab some relaxation time, surrounded by beautiful flowers and stunning views of the Opera House.


See the island where 'Castaway' was filmed in Fiji

It's okay, a naked, hairy Tom Hanks isn't here any more. What you have instead is a remote island paradise where you can scream 'WILSON!' until your heart's content.


Check out the graffiti in Melbourne in Australia

Melbourne is a city packed with culture, so much so that it spills out onto the streets in the form of incredible street art and graffiti.


Explore the beaches of Sydney in Australia

It's basically impossible to get bored of Australia's beaches. They're all so beautiful. And being close to the city is mighty convenient, too.


Hike one of the Great Walks in New Zealand

We already mentioned NZ's incredible scenery. This means the landscape is criss-crossed with simply stunning walking routes for you to enjoy.


Experience a fire-walking ceremony in Fiji

The weather is hot, hot, hot, and so are these Fijian feet, as they walk on hot coals in this traditional ceremony. Don't try this at home.

Itineraries

Let Us Do the Work

Check out these itineraries which we have created for Australasia, and remember, we are experts in creating tailor made gap year experiences, so if you have a particular route in mind just call the number on the big blue button below.

Travel and work in New Zealand

Travel and work in Australia

Travel and work in Australia

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Advice

Our Best Articles on Australasia

Need advice on backpacking in Australasia? You're in the right place! We have articles covering all the major destinations, from Australia to New Zealand to the Cook Islands.

New Zealand Travel Guide

New Zealand Travel Guide

Working in Australia

Working in Australia

9 Facts About the Cook Islands

9 Facts About the Cook Islands

A Guide to Arriving in Sydney

A Guide to Arriving in Sydney

Fiji

Teaching and Waterfalls in Fiji

Why Papua New Guinea is Awesome

Why Papua New Guinea is Awesome

Guide to Australia

Louise Denton's Guide to Australia

Skydiving in New Zealand

Skydiving in New Zealand

Australia Itinerary

3-Week Australia Itinerary

Working and Learning in New Zealand

Working and Learning in New Zealand

Buying a Car in Australia

Buying a Car in Australia

Paddleboarding

Why Paddle Boarding is Awesome