I spent 2 months traveling the east coast of Australia on a Greyhound, starting in Melbourne and ending at the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns! I’m not sure I would travel this way today but for the early 20’s traveler this is by far the most flexible and affordable way to travel. I recommend buying the Greyhound WHIMIT pass where you have 12 months to begin your trip and get unlimited travel back and forth along Australia’s East Coast. They offer 68 stops between Melbourne and Cairns and you just login to your Greyhound account to book the next portion of your trip when you’re ready. Like I said SO FLEXIBLE. They have free wi-fi and USB chargers, and decently comfy seats for sleeping on overnight trips… they don’t lean fully back but it’s a little better than an airplane seat.

Accommodation: Hotels in popular destinations within Australia tend to be pricy so I opted for Airbnb and Hostels. I always recommend hostels for solo travel because it’s a great way to meet fellow travelers and, get tips and deals for local excursions, and it is by far the most affordable. You have a couple options with most hostels, typically the cheapest option is a shared room (can be shared gender or single gender) or you can often times find a private room options. The best part about hostels is the shared space, a lot of them have a great setup for mingling, cooking, and playing games. I found the best website to see hostel ratings and reviews to be Hostelworld. There is no way I would book a hostel before reading verified travel reviews… be safe :).

Airbnb is another great option. There were quite a few times during this trip where I was overwhelmed and just wanted my own space to decompress. If you are trying to save money for a long trip often times you can find an affordable room in someone’s home, or there is generally affordable options for a private guest house. Again, READ THE REVIEWS FIRST. I can’t stress how important reading reviews are before booking accommodation for solo travel. The last thing you want is to put yourself in a bad situation all by yourself.

Food: If you are going to be in one destination for awhile grocery shop and keep the food in the fridge at the hostel. Some will serve breakfast, so you can keep some easy staples for lunch on hand and cook in the shared kitchen there, then go out for dinner and hit the town at night with your new friends from the hostel! If you’re not into cooking, fear not. The food in Australia is some of the best in the world and there is something for everyone… no not just shrimp on the barbee.

Phone: It’s super easy to setup a cell plan in Australia. I used a Telstra pre-paid SIM card in my iphone to get a local number, data/cell service. But as every seasoned backpacker knows places with wi-fi are your best friend. Save calls back home for facetime/facetime audio or whatsapp when connected to wi-fi. If you are going to stay in Australia long term definitely get a local plan, if not I have a T-Mobile international plan for $10/month and I love it for all my travels, it does however typically have slower data loading times.

“There’s as ease that I have living in Australia. The best things about Sydney are free: the sunshine’s free, the harbour’s free and the beach is free”

Russell Crowe

Overnight sailing trip to see the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns
Whitsunday Islands


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