How to plan a backpacking trip
Ready for a new adventure? Here’s how to get started.
By Leah Dobihal
A backpacking holiday is an exciting opportunity to experience new people and new places. But you might be wondering where to begin. Here’s how to start planning your backpacking holiday in Australia.
What visa do I need for a backpacking holiday in Australia?
The visa you need for a backpacking holiday in Australia depends on how long you plan to stay. A holiday of less than three months requires only a tourist visa, also called an Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601). This visa allows you to enter Australia as many times as you wish within a 12-month period, and stay for up to three months each time.
To stay longer than three months, you’ll need a different visa. A visitor visa, also called a Tourist Stream (subclass 600), is a temporary visa that can be granted for a stay of three, six or twelve months.
Neither a tourist visa nor a visitor visa allows you to work in Australia. If you’re looking to work during your holiday, consider a gap year and apply for a Working Holiday Visa.
How do I apply for a visa?
The best place to find out about the visa application process is the Australian Department of Home Affairs website. When you’ve selected your chosen visa, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for applying.
At a minimum, you’ll need to provide personal details and prove your identity, usually with a passport or similar document. Some applications will also require proof of funds and health records.
Depending on the visa, you’ll be asked to apply either online or with a paper application. If you apply online, you’ll need to first create an ImmiAccount, which will allow you to complete your forms, attach documents and submit the application. If you apply by paper, you’ll need to download and print the appropriate forms from the Department of Home Affairs website.
How do I begin planning my backpacking holiday in Australia?
When you start planning a backpacking holiday, you might feel overwhelmed by a long to-do list. Luckily, a few first steps will put you ahead in your planning process.
Of course, the first step is applying for your visa. After you’ve applied for the appropriate visa based on how long you plan to stay in Australia, you can start researching the diverse locations on offer.
If you’re looking for big city life, check out Sydney and Melbourne, as well as the smaller yet stunning cities of Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide. For a slice of coastal bliss, consider beachside towns like Cairns, Darwin, and the Gold Coast. Connect with ancient nature in the Northern Territory and Tasmania, or get cultured in Canberra. Understanding the endless opportunities around Australia will allow you to choose where to start, or even where to stay.
Australia is a big place, so be sure to also research the distances between your bucket list destinations. This will help you build an itinerary that works for your timing and budget.