The East Coast of Australia, from Melbourne to Sydney (oh and Canberra…..) and finally up to Cape Tribulation in the far North of Queensland, is probably the most popular and most visited part of Australia and with a huge amount of exciting cities and beautiful beaches to explore we can see why.
But how can you travel Australia’s East Coast and see everything it has to offer?
1. Take a flight
There are two main budget airlines for domestic flights in australia are Jetstar and Virgin Australia (formerly Virgin Blue), both will get you pretty much anywhere on the East Coast, providing you’re not fussy about having to get a bus or taxi from the airport.
How about flying from Sydney or Melbourne to Ballina where, after a 30 minute bus journey you could be exploring Byron Bay or fly from Brisbane to Prosperine where you can sail, dive and snorkel your way around The Whitsunday Islands?
You can easily plan your trip to Gold Coast with Expedia and try your hand (or feet!) at surfing in Surfers Paradise, touch down at Cairns airport to explore the Great Barrier Reef, stick around Sydney to find the perfect balance between beach and city-living and while away your time in Melbourne with coffee and cake in one of its many cafes.
Flying isn’t always the cheapest option but if you’re looking to get somewhere quickly and conveniently then it’s definitely the way to go.
2. Book a bus journey
Greyhound Australia and Oz Experience both have different packages you can use to travel Australia’s entire East Coast in one go or, if you’re planning on working in Australia or just staying longer in places you like, you can opt for a 12 month pass – just use the calculator on their website to work out how many kilometres you’ll need over the year and you’re away!
The great thing about travelling by bus is that it actually stops at the most popular destinations – you can see the entire East Coast by bus easily without the hassle of airport transfers and departure lounges and you’ll easily make friends along the way. Prepare for a bumpy ride though!
3. Hire a Campervan
Ah the traveller’s dream! Riding around the country in a campervan, getting back to nature, cooking on a camping stove, beers on the beach – perfect. Thankfully there are a huge amount of companies in Australia who want to make this dream come true, for a price of course.
The most popular choices are Jucy, Wicked Campers and Spaceships but there are smaller companies as well. This is when your negotiation skills come in handy as your try and play one of against the other in a bid to get the best deal: to be honest, it works!
You can also check to see if there are any relocation deals available too – this means that, usually for something ridiculous like $1/day, you can ‘relocate’ a campervan to a specific depot in a certain amount of time.
Campervanning is the ultimate adventure and ensures that you get to see, stay and do whatever you want in your own time frame.
4. Hitch a Ride Part 1
This one takes a bit of courage but once you’ve stuck your thumb out a few times you’ll get used to it. Obviously hitchhiking your way up the East Coast isn’t the most conventional way to travel and so you’re going to have to get used to being flexible. There won’t always be someone driving where you want to go and you’ll have to change plans – it could be the best thing you ever did though; meeting new people and living one day to the next without any plans can be exciting!
Obviously if you’re going to hitchhike it goes without saying that you need to be careful and stay safe especially if you’re travelling alone. Stay in contact with friends or family via text, keep your wits about you and don’t try and hitch a ride in the dark.
5. Hitch a ride Part 2
Wait, didn’t we already cover this? Well, no. Scour the noticeboards in any Australian hostel or even just pop onto Gumtree and you’ll find heaps of people already driving somewhere who want a road trip buddy or are willing to take a passenger, usually just for the cost of petrol money.
Again, this requires a lot more planning and a flexible approach but it’s definitely a fun way to meet people, have an adventure and catch a cheap ride!
How did you travel Australia’s East Coast?