Those who have followed me for a long long time will know that 5 years ago, I was lucky enough to call Australia home. I had a 12 month visa, and boy did I have a fantastic experience.
Australia is the world’s largest island, yet its the smallest continent. So many people move to the land down under, and for good reason, in my opinion! I often reflect on my time there with regret, wishing I had pushed for sponsorship, or a way to give me the green light to go back.
We all know that Australia can be a tough place to stay. Lots of people I met during my travels did the 3 months of farming work as a ticket to stay in the country – if only for another 12 sweet months. You start with applying for an Australia visa, and then see how you like it over there, which opens up discussions on how long you can/wish to stay.
Australia has something special to offer every visitor. For me, it proved 10 months of life changing travels, meeting new people, experience a different work ethic, a nicer life, and experiences that will stay with me for life. Some people want to explore the traditional lifestyle of the nation’s Aboriginal people, others want to do nothing but relax on a sun-kissed beach.
Let’s not forget that Australia is home to some amazing national parks dotted around the country. And, if you’re into travelling to other amazing destinations, you have Bali and New Zealand close by. No matter what visa you have to get you over there, the experiences are so varied.
If a visa for Australia is something you’re looking at applying for, it could be for a short term travel, or to seek opportunities to stay. Whatever the plan, here are 6 incredible places worth checking out in good old Oz.
Although Cairns itself is quite an unattractive place, the rainforests that surround it and the beautiful turquoise waters that crash against its beaches more than make up for the lack of sights in the city.
It’s filled with travellers and low budget hostels, yet has a small slice of cute-ness and quirky vibes. You can some real unique hostels and accomodation here, along with local cafes and a slight hippy vibe.
It’s a popular tourist destination due to being the city considered to be the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. This is the primary reason why Cairns is so inundated with tourists.
Away from the reef, there are loads of amazing natural sights nearby, and lots of people stop by Cairns on their way to visit Daintree National Park or the Wet Tropics of Queensland. Flights from Cairns to Sydney are also quite cheap, and you can decided to start or finish your Eastern trip from or to Cairns.
This was a place I never got to visit while travelling on my visa, but I’ve heard so many fantastic things about Perth. It is the capital of Western Australia, a rather isolated place from the rest of the country. That being said, it’s a place a lot of English people emigrate to, and is routinely considered one of the most livable cities in the world thanks to its laid-back vibe.
It’s attractive as Perth is nearly always bathed in sunshine, and its stunning beaches are perfect for kicking back and relaxing on. Away from the beach, there are lots of outdoor activities for you to enjoy.
There are loads of fantastic museums on offer as well as some great shopping options in this city of nearly two million people. With a huge of variety of bars, cafes and restaurants, isolated Perth is the perfect gateway to the rest of the west.
I breezed through Brisbane on my Australia travels, as the place was completely fully booked as we decided to swing by last minute. It’s quite a busy city with tall buildings and that concrete jungle vibe.
If I had landed in Brisbane before Sydney, I may have fallen in love with it. However Sydney has stolen my heart first. That being said, it’s a popular tourist destination for many reasons. Brisbane is a lively, dynamic place, filled with a sunny climate all year round and a population of about 2 million people. It’s the third-largest city in Australia, after Sydney and Melbourne.
A fun and friendly city, Brisbane’s vibrant music scene has made it one of the music capitals of the world and there are lots of venues in town where you can enjoy a great show. With loads of brilliant restaurants and bars for you to choose from, Brisbane is not to be missed. It’s an ideal place to spend a few days in while travelling between Byron Bar and the Great Barrier Reef.
I would say this place is second only to Sydney, and is said to be like the UK’s version of Manchester. Melbourne is a cool, cosmopolitan city that is seeped in culture. It has one of the best voted food and drink scenes, along with lots of great art galleries, museums, and a lively music scene. If an outdoor cafe culture and vintage shop scene is for you, you’ll love the place.
Due to its high quality of life, people from around the world have flocked to the streets. Its multicultural population is reflected in the delicious cuisine on offer and the unique neighborhoods that make it such a fascinating place to explore. With a European feel about it thanks to the architecture on show, wandering around the city’s streets and numerous green spaces will inevitably make you fall in love with Melbourne.
Great Barrier Reef
Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef has to be one of my biggest highlights ever ever ever. It’s the dreamiest experience that you must do when in Australia! You’ll experience the largest coral reef system on the face of the earth, which stretches for over 2,300 kilometers. It is remarkably visible from space, and nine hundred islands dot this enormous ecosystem, which is actually comprised of 2,900 individual reefs.
Visiting the Great Barrier Reef is a humbling experience; every year around two million visitors enjoy all that this natural wonder has to offer.
Snorkeling and scuba diving are the best ways to experience the joys of the rich underwater world, while boat trips, kayaking, and even helicopter rides offer another view of the reef’s gargantuan proportions. Gently sailing through the perfect turquoise waters, dolphins, sea turtles and the reef itself are visible below the waves – an unforgettable experience.
Potentially my favourite city in the world, although I haven’t visited every city of course! But my time in Sydney was incredible and I can only say that it’s hard not to fall in love with it.
Sydney is defined by its scenic harbor, luscious beaches and relaxed lifestyle, mixed with job opportunities and a multicultural vibe. One of the best little trips is taking the ferries under the famed Sydney Harbor Bridge and past the iconic Sydney Opera House.
While those famous landmarks are the undoubted highlights, the city has much more to offer. With lots of museums, theaters and cinemas dotted about town, Sydney’s thriving cultural scene means that there is always something to see and do. As such, the city is great to live in and the fantastic beaches on offer only add to its attractiveness.
The beautiful Bondi Beach is a must-see when visiting Sydney. Outdoor activities play a large role in Australian culture. Surrounding the city, there are a number of brilliant national parks for visitors and locals alike to enjoy, as well as some interesting and educational historical sites. A fun and energetic city with a lot going for it; Sydney is without a doubt one of the most popular destinations in Australia.
Have you ever been to Australia? Do share your hot spots with me!