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30 Amazing Ways to Travel In Australia Even if You’re On A Budget

30 Amazing Ways to Travel In Australia Even if You’re On A Budget

Dreaming of a trip to Australia but scared of the gaping hole it might leave in your wallet? Fair enough, it’s no secret that a trip down under can cost a mint…and then some. But, fear not, here’s a list of 30 tips and tricks to help you discover the ‘great southern land’ on a budget.

Cheap Things To See and Do

1. Sydney is on everyone’s bucket list, but ranks up there with one of the most expensive destinations. Rather than spend truckloads on the normal tourist activities, do the coastal walk from Bondi to Tamarama for the best of the beaches, check out Hyde Park, Centennial Park and the Sydney Botanical Gardens or visit during a festival, such as Vivid Sydney for free entertainment around Sydney Harbour.

2. If you’re heading into the cultural hive of Melbourne, trek around the Queen Victoria Markets for a bustling atmosphere and cheap shopping, take the free city tram to explore the entire city and gallery hop through museums and art-lined city laneways.

3. The Gold Coast is theme park central, but you don’t need the rollercoasters to enjoy the city. Walk along the stretch of white-sand beach to the trendy hamlets of Nobby’s Beach, Miami and Burleigh Heads. Take a drive to Springbrook for rainforests walks in the hinterland or catch a bus to Byron Bay to spot dolphins and watch the local buskers and fire twirlers.

4. The Great Barrier Reef is a must see and you can do so without breaking the budget by staying in Cairns and taking a budget reef tour. It won’t be a luxury boat but you’ll forget about that when you see the underwater paradise.

5. For an outback adventure without having to fly to Ayres Rock, check out Lawn Hill Gorge in North West Queensland, where you can camp and take spectacular nature walks.

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The Best Value Accommodation

6. Camping is a national pastime and no matter where you go, there’ll likely be free, or cheap grounds, so it’s worth it to bring your gear. Camp on Cockatoo Island for views of Sydney Harbour.

7. Caravan parks, especially on the coast, provide budget cabins and permanent vans. Try Cairns Holiday Park to launch on the Great Barrier Reef.

8. Hostels are in every major city, in country tourist areas and most have great facilities. Get a YHA membership and you’ll be set in nearly every town.

9. Apartment rentals are a great family option and you can check out websites such as Home Away and Stayz for deals.

10. The most budget friendly hotels tend to be big chains such as Travelodge, Ibis and Best Western.

11. Roadside motels are a dime a dozen and if you’re travelling up and down the coast, these are your best, and most budget friendly homes for the night.

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Getting Around Without Breaking the Budget

12. Jetstar is a cheap option for air travel around Australia, so sign up before you go to get deals on flash sales. Tiger Airways and Virgin are also worth checking out.

13. Driving around Australia is generally easy and a great way to get off the beaten track. Juicy car and campervan rentals are one of the cheapest and most popular options.

14. Travelling by bus is easy in Australia, with local bus systems in every city and national services, such as Greyhound, to take you far and wide.

15. An Ausrail pass from Rail Australia, covering long distance travel, is your best bet for value for money train travel.

16. If you’re going to visit for a few months, it’s worth considering buying a car and selling it before you go. You can find deals on Gumtree and Carsales.

Eating and Drinking

17. The water in Australia is completely safe to drink from the tap (unless signed otherwise in rural areas) so you can forget about buying bottled water. You’ll find water bubblers in most parks and public areas across the country.

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18. Shopping Centre food courts, though not the most atmospheric venues, are filled with cheap takeaway food options.

19. Another benefit of staying in hostels in Australia, is that they generally offer dirt-cheap breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks deals.

20. RSLs (Returned Services League) are scattered through pretty much every suburb in Australia and you’ll always find cheap meals and drinks on the menu.

21. Bowling Clubs are another fixture across the country with cheap meals.

22. Surf Clubs are smack bang on the beach in most coastal towns, with 5 star views and good value meals.

23. Chinatown in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney is always a fantastic option for cheap and delicious lunch and dinner specials.

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24. As most of Australia is a picnicker’s paradise, supermarkets are the cheapest option to stock up with food you can make yourself and eat in the great outdoors.

25. Alcohol can be a killer on the wallet in pubs and clubs, but many restaurants allow BYO. Try bottle shops (or bottlo’s), Dan Murphy’s and BWS.

Cheap Events and Entertainment

26. Surf competitions are free, exciting and always on in Australia. Time your trip with the Quicksilver Gold Coast Pro from February to March, the Ripcurl Pro in Victoria from March to April or the Noosa (Queensland) Longboard Festival in November.

27. From March to October you can go crazy over Rugby League or AFL, like the locals do and buy cheap tickets to go to a game. One of the biggest is the State of Origin, between Queensland and New South Wales.

28. On the weekends, country fairs, farmers markets and arts and crafts stalls dot the inland roads and coastal parks, with free entertainment, fresh local food and chilled out public spaces in the sun. Head to the Nimbin Markets in northern NSW or the Fremantle markets in Perth.

29. Australia is full of iconic outback and city pubs, with no entry fees, cheap drinks, pub meals and local bands.

30. With over 50,000 kilometers of coastline and more than 10,000 beaches, swimming, surfing and lazing on the sand is the most Aussie of all Aussie entertainment. Many beaches have free BBQ’s and facilities, so all you need is some snags, a beer and the ability to say, “G’day mate”.

 

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Nicole Leigh West

Travel and Lifestyle Writer, Choreographer, Reiki Practitioner

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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