Unless you have booked your flights months in advance the dates you choose will make all the difference to your price, if you can afford to be flexible, make sure you check the prices a few days either side of your original date to have a chance of getting the best deals.
There are a number train services that operate in Australia, you have the trains/trams that travel in and around the cities/suburbs, those which traverse the coasts which are a collection of joining services and the interstate trains that travel vast distances from coast to coast through the centre of the country.
Backpacking around Australia is so much fun! Australia is a huge country and when you visit with the aim to explore, the way you get around becomes a part of the experience. The way you travel will depend on the usual factors like time, cost, availability, etc... but theres more to getting around then just travelling from A to B. Read our handy guides to getting around Australia.
Bus services in Australia include public transport buses, shuttle buses, backpacker buses, long distance Greyhound coaches and plenty of other private tours and day trips.
The cost depends on the service but is usually competitive with other modes of transport, some of them even being free like the Central Area Transit (C.A.T) in Perth.
Above all methods of transport, driving in Australia will easily provide you with the most freedom. Having your own vehicle you can go anywhere, at any time without the hassle of public transport or having to compromise on any of your arrangements. Learn everything you need to know to start driving in Australia.
When you are backpacking around Australia you will find lots of ferries dotted all over the country. There are river boats/ferries like the Sydney City Ferries which cross the Parramatta River or the Brisbane CityCat service which stops off at various wharfs along the brisbane river.
Other ferries in Australia take vehicles across small river crossing points like the Daintree River Ferry which provides access to the Cape Tribulation area.
There are also the ferries like the Spirit of Tasmania which crosses the Bass straits over night from Melbourne to Tasmania.
The Spirit of Tasmania is a major ferry service which goes from Melbourne (Australian mainland) to Devonport (Tasmaina) every night across the Bass Straits.
The ship has a few bars, a restaurant and lots of space to sit around. You can go outside onto the deck if you're a smoker or want some fresh air.
The accommodation ranges from ocean view recliner chairs (similar to flight seats but bigger and more comfortable) through to luxury cabins with beds and bathrooms.
If you're on a road trip you can take a vehicle with you which is stored in the bottom section of the ship until you reach your destination the next day. More information, time tables and fares can be found at the Spirit of Tasmania website.
The ferry service which runs between Townsville and Magnetic Island is provided by SeaLink. On these 'speed catamarans' they have a bar and plenty of seating areas.
The journey takes about 20-30 minutes and runs frequently throughout the day. More information, time tables and fares can be found at the SeaLink website.
There are ferry services which leave from Hervey Bay, River Heads and Rainbow Beach heading out to Fraser Island on a daily basis. These barges carry four wheel drive vehicles and pedestrians out to the island.
Being a world heritage listed site, permits are required to drive and camp on Fraser which can be obtained. There are special four wheel drive bus services available which provide day trips.
More information, time tables and fares can be found at the Fraser Island Barges website.
This is a small ferry which goes from Daintree village across the river to access the Cape Tribulation road. It caters for cars/campervans and runs from 6AM until 12PM every day, simply drive aboard and away you go.
The crossing takes about 10 minutes and is relatively cheap. More information, time tables and fares can be found at the Daintree Info website.
This is a car and passenger ferry service run by SeaLink which takes you from Cape Jervis (South of Adelaide) across to Pennshaw (Kangaroo Island) contouring the Fleurieu Peninsula.
The ferry is air conditioned, comfortable and the trip takes around 45 minutes. More information, time tables and fares can be found at the SeaLink website.
If you have a driving license and you intend to drive during your trip you will need to take it with you. If you won't be driving in Australia remember it's still a good solid form of identification to take for proof.
Driving in Australia will easily provide you with the most freedom to explore. Having your own vehicle you can go anywhere, at any time without the hassle of public transport.
Unless you have booked your flights months in advance the dates you choose will make all the difference to the cost of your flight. Pack weight is also something to consider for your journey.
The good thing for people on a Temporary Working visa is that you can make a claim for all of the employment tax you have paid when you leave the country.
For calling international numbers (i.e, contacting people at home) a phone card/ticket will often provide you with the best rates. Learn how to call home with low calling costs when you need to.
Anything can happen when you're backpacking around Australia and if something goes wrong, having a contingency fund will enable you to act quickly when you need to get things sorted out. In the case of an emergency (i.e, your money gets lost or stolen) or even if you simply over spend and just wind up broke, you will need access to money, accommodation, food, transport & identification documents to get everything back on track.