Travelling to Australia
From Bondi Beach to the Outback, Australia has long been a top destination for gap year travel. With such a great amount of land, and encompassing such different geographical environments, Australia has something to offer everyone.
Outdoor and extreme sports, environmental conservation and becoming certified to scuba dive are just a few of the options on offer during a gap year in Australia. If you think you might like to travel "down under" during your gap year, then start planning now because spaces on structured programmes go faster than you can say "G'day, mate!"
Australian GeographyAustralia is a large landmass, with a handful of smaller dependent islands, between the Indian and South Pacific Oceans. Its total size is only slightly smaller than the United States of America, and similar to that of Europe. Full of sun, sand and wide open spaces, Australia is actually the smallest continent in the world, but the sixth largest country!
The capital of Australia is Canberra, and for administrative purposes the country is divided into six states and two territories, including:
- New South Wales
- South Australia
- Western Australia
- Australian Capital Territory
- Northern Territory
Preparing for an Australian AdventureWhile Australians themselves are known for their laid-back lifestyle, don't throw out your own checklists just yet. Before you travel you will need to obtain guidebooks and travel recommendations, hepatitis, rabies and typhoid vaccinations, as well as tetanus and measles boosters, needed prescriptions for the length of time that you will be away and you will need to apply for a Working Visa or Visitor Visa to enter Australia.
You should also register your itinerary with the British High Commission in Canberra, in case of an emergency.
Investing in sturdy boots, swimsuits, layers of clothes, a backpack and bedroll are all a must before you leave for your trip, as is budgeting for travel and adventure and collecting student/youth travel cards and offers that may save you money.
Create an ItineraryNot only is an itinerary necessary for your own safety - so that family, friends and the High Commission will know where you are, or are supposed to be, at any given time - an itinerary is also a great way to plot out your points of interest and come up with a more efficient travel schedule. Many gap year travellers in Australia opt to:
- Visit Ayers Rock "near" Alice Springs.
- Investigate the Daintree Rainforest, one of the oldest rainforests on Earth.
- Sail to the Whitsunday Islands from the coast of Queensland.
- Snorkel and/or scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef.
- Learn to surf at Bondi Beach.
- Walk atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge.