Road Tripping and Backpacking Australia

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By Matilda Carlen. Follow @Plindan

Australia is a fascinating place with a nature and animal life you cannot find anywhere else in the world. From the dry desert to the humid rainforest and terrifying sharks to fluffy koalas, Australia has it all. The best way to experience it all is to jump in a car and drive around. In this article I will give some tips and ideas when you and your mates are driving through the Land Down Under.  

Language

As we all know the national language in Australia is English. However, it is very different from any other English I have come across. The thick accent and the slang could easily lead to misunderstandings.  For example, if an Aussie tells you to bring your thongs to the beach they mean your shoes and not your underwear. But fear not, the Aussies are a very kind and helpful bunch of people so if you don’t understand what they are saying don’t hesitate to ask. And believe me you will pick up the slang faster than you think.

Get a Car

On a road trip your main transportation is of course a car. So what is the best way to get one? I was lucky enough to road trip with a mate from Australia who had a car, however if you are not that lucky you can either rent or buy one. Lots of people come to Australia to road trip so buying and selling cars is usually not a problem.  Gumtree is a site used in Australia for second hand selling and buying (it is similar to eBay). If you don’t want to buy there are some good deals on renting cars as well, however in Australia you need to be over 21 to rent one.

Driving

When it comes to the actual driving, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • THEY DRIVE ON THE LEFT SIDE!
  • Remember to have an international driver’s license.
  • The roads are not always paved, dirt roads are common in between cities and towns. And streetlights are not a fact.
  • When you have a half tank, fill up! You never know when the next petrol station will show up and you don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere.
  • A great car game to play in Australia is trying to pronounce the town names. For example, try saying Mooloolaba.
  • And, THEY DRIVE ON THE LEFT SIDE!
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Tricount

It can be hard to keep track of who paid for what while you are traveling, especially if you are a group of people. A huge help is the smartphone application Tricount. You just add the traveller’s names and on the road you will add who paid for what and the app will tell you who owes money to whom. It is really simple and it works offline. It is perfect to keep track of the petrol money.  

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Packing

Youre going to want to be as organized as possible while backpacking or roadtripping. Part of being organized is having a good backpack organizer. You don't want to be frustrated and waste time constantly packing, unpacking, and trying to find your stuff. Check out the PACK Gear Backpack Organizer, which lets you unpack in 10 seconds!

Do not miss!

Bunya Mountains National Park – It is a beautiful and easy hike through the rainforest just a short drive from Brisbane. You can feed the wild birds and why not stay a night in a cottage with a beautiful view.

The sunrise at Burleigh Heads beach (Gold Coast)- From this part of the beach you can see all the way to Surfers Paradise. And when the first sun hits the sand surfers and swimmers hit the water and joggers and yoga practitioners hit the beach. Bring your camera and get some great shots.   

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 Small Coastal Towns -When road tripping, having a plan and a map is a great idea but sometimes you need to be spontaneous to see the most amazing things. It is when you take a wrong turn that you will find the best adventures. On our way down to Byron Bay we stoped in a small sleepy town called Brunswick, QLD. It had small shops with the coolest things, great for souvenir shopping.

Attractions

Dream World- Queensland is famous for their amazing theme parks. One of many is Dream World and White Water World. It is a theme park and water park in one; it does not get better than that. Go on the roller coasters till you puke and then jump on a waterslide to cool off.

Featherdale Wild Life Park-If you want to get up close with the native animals of Australia, this is the place to be. Pet a koala, feed a kangaroo and smile with a Quokka. It is a great way to learn about these unique species and have a cuddle.

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These are just a few things that helped my mates and I on the road. If you have more tips and ideas or questions please leave a comment below.

Written by Matilda Carlen

Twitter & Instagram: @Plindan