Mrs Macquarie's Chair, Sydney, New South Wales © Destination NSW
Tips to start planning your trip to Australia
Follow these 10 steps to make your dream trip a reality.
Planning your first trip to Australia? Kickstart your bucket list and dream up an unforgettable holiday with this step-by-step guide.
1. Choose your perfect destinations
Australia is bursting with incredible destinations – the only question is, which ones to pick? Each Aussie spot offers a unique holiday, so whether you’re a foodie, beach lover or adventurer, there’s a place perfectly suited to you. It's also worth considering the time of year you're planning to visit – think school holidays and the weather – and how long you've got to explore. Get inspired with these must-see destinations.
2. Find things to do on @australia
Australia boasts a never ending, epic list of things to do. Think immersing yourself in the world's oldest living culture, snorkelling with magnificent marine life and relaxing on a paper-white sand beach. If you're all about Instagrammable destinations and hidden gems, soak up the beautiful experiences captured on @australia Instagram and save your favourites to a curated folder. Once your dreamy, picture-perfect list is complete, let the planning begin.
3. Pick a time of year
The next key piece of the planning puzzle is to figure out the best time of year to take your trip. You'll need to take seasons, school holidays and events into consideration, all of which can impact the cost, availability and types of experiences on offer. Discover the best time of year to take your trip.
4. Discover itineraries, big and small
Australia might be big, but there are plenty of itineraries to choose from, no matter how long you've got to explore. You'd be surprised at how much you can see in as little as three to six days, but if you've got more time on your hands, our seven to 10-day itineraries will give you a flavour of multiple Australian states and cultures. One of our favourite ways to explore is on the open road – a no-brainer if you've got two weeks or more to spare. Use our road trip planner to find your perfect road trip itinerary; whether you're seeking culture, countryside or calming luxury, our backyard has a road trip suited to you.
5. Get the local know-how
One of the most fail-proof ways to travel is by recommendation – think the best coffee your friend had in Melbourne, or the amazing hike your cousin went on in Tasmania. Travel like an Aussie with these experiences that make you feel like a local. What better introduction to Australia?
6. Find your perfect accommodation
Finding the perfect accommodation for your holiday can make all the difference to your trip. Australia has a plethora of accommodation options, ranging from boutique hotels to charming glamping sites and family-friendly resorts. Read up on our diverse accommodation options to find your ultimate stay in Australia.
7. Start budgeting
Budgeting ahead of time is a sure way to guarantee a low-stress, relaxing holiday, which leads to the ultimate question: how much do I need to budget for my trip? Australian experiences range from free walking tours to lavish experiences. The amount you’ll need to budget really depends on what your dream itinerary looks like, but don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to save money too – you can find it all in our budget guide.
8. Use a planning app
If you're tired of carrying around a wallet full of travel documents, why not help yourself and the planet at the same time? Go digital by using online apps such as Trello, Tripcase or Tripit where you can store all of your travel information, including itineraries, flight details, car rentals and even your packing lists, all in one place.
9. Leave enough time to apply for your visa
If you're visiting Australia as an overseas passport holder, you'll need to apply for a visa and make sure it's approved before you hop on your flight to join us Down Under. There are plenty of visa types to choose from including tourist, student and working holiday visas – all of which lead to an epic time in Australia. When it comes to choosing your visa, you'll need to take into account your passport, as well as the length and purpose of your visit. Find out everything you need to know on our guide to visas and entry to Australia.
10. Get expert advice from an Aussie Specialist
Once you're ready to book your holiday, the next step is speaking to an Aussie Specialist. Experts on all things Australia, these friendly travel agents can help you with everything from adding to your bucket list and recommending the best experiences to providing tips on what to pack and how to experience Australia like a local. They can book everything for you, making for a relaxed, easy-going experience.