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

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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.

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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 November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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