Backpacking in Australia on a Gap Year

Countries  »  Australia

101 Things to See and Do in Australia
The Ultimate Aussie Bucket List!

Australia on a gap year is a must! It’s always been hugely popular with backpackers and for very good reason. The Land Down Under has some of the best beaches, cities and national parks in the world, and offers unlimited opportunities for backpacking adventure. The culture is one of the most laidback and friendly on the planet, and it’s an easy place to find really well-paid employment. Australia is in the heart of Australasia, a region which also includes New Zealand and Fiji, making it easy to extend your gap year.

The Australian outback is huge and beautiful

The cities

Given its size you're unlikely to see all of Australia's amazing cities in one visit (unless you're SUPER dedicated), so it's worth planning ahead to make sure you pitch up in the right places.

Most travellers start in Sydney, home to the famous opera house (selfie sticks at the ready), Bondi Beach, and world class nightlife. From there you might backpack your way to Melbourne, no slouch in the partying department but also packed with culture, Brisbane on the east coast, which is just a stone's throw from the surfer's paradise of the Gold Coast, Adelaide in the south or waaaaaay across the country to Perth in the west. How you get between them is up to you. That's the beauty of a gap year in Australia.

Sydney Opera House and harbour, Australia

The scenery

Crikey, where to start. There is truly no other country in the world like Australia when it comes to wildlife and geography. The middle of the country, known as the outback, is famously barren and scorching hot, stretching what might feel like forever. Driving across it is an epic experience you'll never forget, especially when you visit Uluru (Ayer's Rock), an ancient, eerie monolith almost in the centre of the country.

If you can't take the heat you can head to the temperate south to drive the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, one of the finest roadtrips in the world, go trekking in lush mountain ranges, or go exploring on the island of Tasmania. If you're heading north, be prepared for sweltering tropical vistas. Basically wherever you go in Australia you're guaranteed a backpacking travel adventure that'll stay with you the rest of your life.

Click the 'Best Experiences' tab above for more things to do in Australia.

Australia is the ultimate backpacking destination, and throughout these pages you'll find all the inspiration you need for your epic gap year. What are you waiting for?!