AUSTRALIA Travel Guide for 2024: Discover Magic Down Under

Australia Travel Guide - osam tour

Welcome to the ultimate Australia travel guide. From the landscapes of the Great Barrier Reef and the iconic Sydney Opera House to the rugged beauty of Uluru, Australia is a land of wonders waiting to be explored.
In this Australia travel guide, we’ll delve into fast facts about Australia, the best time to visit, top attractions, culinary delights, and unique souvenir ideas. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, or an adventure lover, Australia has something extraordinary to offer every traveler.

What to See and Do in Australia

Whether you’re an experienced traveler out to explore some of the most famous landmarks in Australia or someone setting foot here for the first time, there’s never a shortage of things to do or sights to see. Here are the best places to visit in Australia for first-timers.

  • Explore the Great Barrier Reef: Begin your journey with the world’s largest coral reef system, the Great Barrier Reef, teeming with vibrant marine life and colorful corals. Snorkeling, scuba diving, and boat tours offer unforgettable experiences.
Great Barrier Reef - osam tour
  • Sydney Opera House and Harbor: Witness the iconic Sydney Opera House‘s architectural marvel and stroll along the picturesque Sydney Harbor. Join a harbor cruise for stunning views of the city’s skyline.
Sydney Opera - osam tour
  • Uluru (Ayers Rock): Marvel at the majestic Uluru, a sacred monolith in the heart of Australia’s Red Centre. Experience the mesmerizing changing colors of the rock at sunrise and sunset.
Australia Uluru - osam tour
  • Great Ocean Road: Embark on a scenic road trip along the Great Ocean Road, offering breathtaking coastal views and iconic landmarks like the Twelve Apostles.
Australia Great Ocean Road - osam tour
  • Bondi Beach: Soak up the sun at Bondi Beach, a world-famous stretch of sand known for its surf culture, vibrant atmosphere, and beachside cafes.
Australia Bondi Beach - osam tour
  • Daintree Rainforest: Immerse yourself in the oldest rainforest on Earth, the Daintree Rainforest, where guided tours unveil its diverse flora and fauna.
Australia Daintree Rainforest - osam tour
  • Explore Melbourne: Wander through Melbourne’s laneways, indulge in coffee culture, visit museums, and enjoy the city’s vibrant arts and music scene.
Melbourne - osam tour
  • Fraser Island: Discover the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island, boasting stunning freshwater lakes, rainforests, and unique wildlife.
Australia Fraser Island - osam tour
  • Tasmania’s Wilderness: Discover the rugged beauty of Tasmania’s wilderness, including Cradle Mountain, Wineglass Bay, and the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park.
Tasmania - osam tour

Fast Facts About Australia

  • Climate: Australia’s climate varies from tropical in the north to temperate in the south. Expect hot summers and mild winters in most regions. Northern areas experience a wet and dry season, while southern regions have more distinct seasons.

  • Local Currency: The official currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD). Major credit cards are widely accepted, and ATMs are readily available in cities and towns.

  • Power Voltage: Australia uses 230V power outlets with Type I plugs. Bring a universal adapter for charging your devices.

  • Language: English is the primary language spoken throughout Australia, making communication convenient for English-speaking travelers.

  • Religion: Australia is religiously diverse, with Christianity being the predominant religion. You’ll also find a mix of other faiths and non-religious individuals.

  • Safety: Australia is generally safe for travelers, but exercise caution in urban areas, especially at night. Pay attention to ocean conditions, as some beaches may have strong currents.

  • Cultural Etiquette: Australians are friendly and informal, but it’s essential to respect their personal space and cultural sensitivities. When visiting Aboriginal sites, follow local guidelines and show respect for their culture.

  • Tipping: Tipping is not mandatory, as service charges are usually included in bills. However, leaving a small tip for exceptional service is appreciated.

  • Public Holidays: Major public holidays include Australia Day (January 26), Anzac Day (April 25), and Christmas (December 25). Be aware that businesses may have reduced hours or be closed on these dates.

Best Time to Visit Australia: Seasons and Festivals

Here’s a breakdown of the seasons and notable festivals to consider when you plan a trip to Australia.

Summer (December – February)

Summer in Australia is characterized by warm and sunny days, making it the perfect time to hit the beach. However, the tropical north is in the midst of its wet season (November to April), which brings heavy rains and tropical storms to Darwin, Broome, Cairns, and the Whitsundays. It’s also stinger season on the Great Barrier Reef, meaning snorkelers and divers are required to wear full-body wetsuits. In the outback, daytime temperatures will soar. Head to the southern parts of the country to find the best weather.

Here are some festivals to check out during summer:

  1. Sydney Festival: A three-week celebration of music, theatre, dance, and visual arts held in January.
  2. Australian Open: One of the country’s biggest sporting events, bringing the world’s best players and more than 550,000 spectators to Melbourne Park for two weeks of world-class tennis action.
  3. MONA FOMA: Tasmania’s summer festival celebrating music, art, and culture. It’s a collaboration with the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), so expect an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary genres, and a lively atmosphere charged with curiosity and creativity.

Autumn (March – May)

Autumn in Australia is from March to May. The Tropical North’s wet season extends through April, and many tourist attractions may be closed for the season, making May a better time to plan your visit to the Kimberley region or Darwin. Cairns and The Whitsundays can be hit with tropical storms during this period, but the Southern Great Barrier Reef is not usually affected. In the south of Australia, autumn brings cooler days with occasional rain.

Here are some festivals to check out during autumn:

  1. Melbourne Food and Wine Festival: A celebration of Melbourne’s culinary scene, featuring food and wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, and masterclasses.
  2. Adelaide Fringe: The biggest arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere, showcasing a variety of events including comedy, cabaret, theatre, music, visual arts, circus, and much more.
  3. WOMADelaide: An iconic open-air festival featuring music, art, and dance from around the world.

Winter (June – August)

Winter in Australia is from June to August. It’s widely known for its red outback and golden sand beaches, but many visitors are surprised to learn that a white winter is common in Australia. Sydney’s Vivid is arguably the most renowned of all winter festivals, but there is an abundance of cosy, comforting events located all around Australia.

Here are some festivals to check out during winter:

  1. Vivid Sydney: A festival of light, music, and ideas that transforms the city into a wonderland of ‘light art’ sculptures, innovative light installations, and grand-scale projections.
  2. Dark Mofo: A festival that revels in the darkness and cold of winter, featuring a program meditating on the theme of exaltation, including music, art, and food.
  3. Borealis: A mesmerizing light installation that transports you to a faraway place where time slows down, projected over Centennial Vineyards using color, movement, density of light beams, and changing weather, all set to a tranquil soundtrack.

Spring (September – November)

Spring in Australia is from September to November. It boasts average daily temperatures from 17°C and 35°C (63°F and 95°F), from the south to the north, respectively. The Northern sub-tropical and tropical regions experience two seasons: wet and dry. The wet season, or tropical summer, is between October and April, where you’ll experience a mix of sun and rain – making for epic waterfalls – and prices are more affordable. May to September is host to the dry season, with plenty of sunshine and an average maximum temperature around 35°C (95°F).

Here are some festivals to check out during spring:

  1. Floriade: The largest flower festival in the Southern Hemisphere, showcasing more than one million blooms on display for a month-long event.
  2. Melbourne Cup: A horse racing event that stops the nation, held on the first Tuesday of November every year.
  3. Byron Bay Bluesfest: A five-day festival featuring more than 200 performances across multiple stages, showcasing the best blues, roots, and world music.

How to Get Around Australia

Here are the best ways to get around to consider when planning your Australia trip:

By Car: Australia is a vast country, and a road trip is a great way to explore it. However, driving long distances can be tiring, so it’s important to plan your route carefully and take regular breaks. If you’re planning to travel long distances, flying may be a more convenient option.

By Train: Travelling by train in Australia is a unique experience that allows you to appreciate the vastness of the country. The most notable long-distance rail journeys in Australia are the Indian Pacific between Sydney and Perth, the Overland between Melbourne and Adelaide, Great Southern between Brisbane and Adelaide, and The Ghan between Adelaide and Darwin via Alice Springs. Trains are more comfortable than buses, and there’s a certain “romance of the rails” that’s alive and well in Australia.

By Bus: Australia’s extensive bus network is a reliable way to get between towns and cities. Most Australian buses are equipped with air-conditioning, comfortable seats and toilets; all are smoke-free, and some have Wi-Fi and USB chargers. Greyhound Australia has the country covered, while smaller companies such as Premier and Murrays operate in certain regions.

By Plane: Flying is the only way to do more than one state on a shorter stay. Australia’s main domestic airlines service major cities and key tourist sites with regular flights. Major players are Jetstar, Qantas, and Virgin Australia.

Where to Stay in Australia: Accommodation Tips

Here are some tips and recommendations for finding the best places to stay during your Australia travel adventure:

Hotels: Hotels are a popular choice for travellers who want to enjoy the comforts of home while on the road. They offer a range of amenities, including room service, housekeeping, and concierge services. Some of the best booking websites for hotels in Australia are:, Expedia,

Hostels: Hostels are a great option for budget-conscious travellers who want to meet new people and experience local culture. They offer shared dormitory-style accommodation, as well as private rooms. One of the best booking websites for hostels in Australia is Hostelworld.

Apartments: Apartments are a great option for travellers who want more space and privacy. They offer a range of amenities, including a kitchen, living area, and laundry facilities. One of the best booking websites for apartments in Australia is Airbnb.

Eco-lodges: Eco-lodges are a great option for travellers who want to experience nature while minimizing their impact on the environment. They offer a range of amenities, including organic food, renewable energy, and sustainable building materials. One of the best booking websites for eco-lodges in Australia is Ecotourism Australia.

Farm stays: Farm stays are a great option for travellers who want to experience rural life and learn about farming practices. They offer a range of activities, including animal feeding, horse riding, and farm tours. One of the best booking websites for farm stays in Australia is Farm Stay Australia.

Glamping: Glamping is a great option for travellers who want to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort. They offer a range of amenities, including luxury tents, gourmet food, and spa treatments. One of the best booking websites for glamping in Australia is Glamping Hub.

Australia Travel Guide: Money-Saving Tips

Here are some practical money-saving tips to help you make the most of your budget during your Australia travel adventure:

  • Book in advance: Booking your plane ticket, accommodation, and tours in advance can save you a lot of money.

  • Travel during the low season: Fewer people travel to Australia during its autumn/winter season (March to August), so tickets and accommodation are much cheaper compared to high season.

  • Take advantage of free activities: Many of Australia’s top attractions are free, such as the beaches, parks, and museums. Here are some museums in Australia that offer free admission: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in Sydney, The Rocks Discovery Museum in Sydney.

  • Use public transportation: Public transportation is a cheap and convenient way to get around Australia’s major cities. Consider purchasing a Myki card in Melbourne, an Opal card in Sydney, or a Go Card in Brisbane.

  • Cook your own meals: Eating out can be expensive in Australia. Consider cooking your own meals using fresh produce from local markets.

  • Stay in hostels: Hostels are a great budget option for accommodation, and they offer a chance to meet other travellers and make new friends.

  • Take advantage of tax refunds: If you’re a non-resident of Australia, you may be eligible for a tax refund on goods you purchase in the country. Be sure to keep your receipts and fill out the necessary paperwork.

What Food to Try in Australia: Traditional Cuisine

Here’s a Australia travel guide to the culinary delights and traditional dishes you must try during your visit:

  • Aussie Meat Pie: This savory pie is made from cheese, minced meat, onions, gravy, and mushrooms. It’s a quintessential Australian dish that is synonymous with the country’s identity .

  • Barramundi: This large-scaled river fish is often fried or grilled and is a treat from the Australian cuisine that you shouldn’t miss.

  • Vegemite: This spread is unique to Australian cuisine and is made from leftover brewers’ yeast extract and additives. It’s typically served on toast and can be had for breakfast, lunch, or a snack on the go.

  • Lamb Leg Roast: Australians prepare this dish tenderly, and the locals take great pride in it. Aside from the obvious main ingredient, the list of remaining ingredients is surprisingly short, comprising of a mixture of olive oil, garlic, and rosemary. At restaurants, the dish is normally served with baked potatoes and is considered to be a heavy meal that would end your busy day in Aussie land quite well.

  • Barbecued Snags: Australians love to party, and you should not be surprised if you’re invited to a traditional barbecue. Barbecued snags are usually made from beef or pork, which is topped with your favorite kinds of spices and sauces. The final serving will be complemented by some mashed potatoes and fried onions that will make it a delightful experience.

What to Bring from Australia: Souvenir Ideas

Bringing home a piece of Australia is a wonderful way to cherish your Australia travel memories:

  • Aboriginal Art: Aboriginal art is a unique and beautiful way to bring a piece of Australia back home with you. You can find a variety of Aboriginal art pieces, including paintings, sculptures, and textiles, at galleries and markets throughout the country.
  • Tim Tams: Tim Tams are a delicious Australian treat that make for a great souvenir. These chocolate biscuits are a favourite among Australians and come in a variety of flavours.
  • Kangaroo Leather Products: Kangaroo leather is a durable and high-quality material that is used to make a variety of products, including wallets, belts, and shoes. These products make for a unique and practical souvenir.
  • Australian Wine: Australia is known for its world-class wines, and bringing back a bottle or two is a great way to remember your trip. You can find a variety of Australian wines at liquor stores and wineries throughout the country.
  • Boomerangs: Boomerangs are a traditional Aboriginal hunting tool that have become a popular souvenir item. You can find boomerangs in a variety of sizes and designs at souvenir shops throughout the country.
  • Opals: Australia is known for its high-quality opals, which make for a beautiful and unique souvenir. You can find a variety of opal jewellery and other opal products at jewellery stores and markets throughout the country.
  • Australian Tea: Australia has a thriving tea culture, and bringing back some Australian tea is a great way to experience it for yourself. You can find a variety of Australian teas, including native blends, at tea shops and markets throughout the country.

Additionally, check out our article about the best winter holiday destinations in 2024.

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