Australia: The Pocket Guide

Population: 24,1 Million
Language: Australian
Australian people speak a good level of English 😉
Australian Dollar // 1€ = 1,58 AUD ($1,24).
Getting around: One of the best and cheapest way to travel around the country is driving yourself. Campervans are a very popular option for backpackers, you can also rent a standard car. Public transports are very good in cities but not really to travel out. Domestic flights are very good but expensive.
Internet: Wifi is good but very expensive in Australia so seek for free wifi (hostels/hotels, bars, restaurants…) and I highly recommend you to get a local sim card. I was using Vodafone, good prepaid rates and works very well.
Best time to go: Seasons and climate are very different across the country. I’ll give the detail per region below.
Safety: Australia is very safe in terms of people. Now, it is a wild country with a lot of dangerous species so just be aware of it, be careful and everything will be fine.

Good to Know - Australia

Australia is the only country being a continent by itself. Big as the western countries of Europe altogether, 90% of the population is living along the coast, spread between wilderness, fantastic cities and paradisiac beaches. Australia is a classic.

Places visited:
Brisbane – Byron Bay  – Gold Coast (Surfers Paradise & Coolangatta) – Sydney – Melbourne



Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane

I lived in Brisbane for about a year. It’s an amazing city to live in, great vibe, down to earth and vibrant.
I would say though that it’s less exciting for travellers as it is more of a “business city”, but it is totally worth stopping by and experiencing the best out of it.

Summer (Dec-Feb) – Average 25ºC
Autumn (Mar-May) – Average 20ºC
Winter (Jun-Aug) – Average 16ºC
Spring (Sep-Nov) – Average 20ºC

I recommend spending 2/3 days.

Getting around:
If you are not travelling by car, the buses network is very good and will get you anywhere fast. If you’d like to reach another city (eg: Surfers Paradise), there are trains also running.
If staying for some time, take a look at the Go Card, it’s an electronic ticket for public transports giving you cheaper rates, available at any 7-Eleven.

My Favourites:
South Bank is a very chilled district of Brisbane, across the river the from city center. There is an artificial beach (not the best but works fine and a sunny day), a big wheel and plenty of great restaurants & bars.
Stradbroke Island. Straddie is an island located 30 kilometres southeast of Brisbane, you can board the ferry with your car and drive over there or take the free shuttle.
Expect beautiful, isolated, white-sand beaches, kangaroos and palm trees.
– The many rooftop and riverside bars across the city.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary: located 12km from Brisbane City, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary with 130 koalas. You can hold a koala, hand feed kangaroos and meet a large variety of Australian wildlife in beautiful, natural settings.
The Casino. Reputed being the most beautiful building in the city, the Casino is very impressive and vibrant. Worth checking out.

Going out:
The nightlife is pretty awesome in Brisbane. Expect big city clubs, rooftops and multiple rooms. There are two distinct areas with a different vibe: the Valley and the City.
– The met (Fortitude Valley)
– Stock Exchange Hotel
– Down Under bar (perfect for Backpackers)
– Family (Fortitude Valley)
– The Fox Hotel (Rooftop party on Sundays)


Byron Bay
Byron Bay, Australia
Byron Bay, Australia

Byron Bay has for me the most incredible vibe. I’ve been there countless times and always loved this hippie-like mindset, meeting a lot of travellers and the wonderful beaches.
This vacation coastal village is a backpackers temple and a hotspot for surfers.

Summer (Dec-Feb) – Average 27ºC
Autumn (Mar-May) – Average 20ºC
Winter (Jun-Aug) – Average 15ºC
Spring (Sep-Nov) – Average 20ºC

I recommend staying forever.
Alternatively, 4/5 days would be great.

==> I stayed every time at the “Backpacker Inn on the beach“. Awesome location (on the beach and close to bars and shops), very social, great staff. You can also rent out surf equipment.

Getting around:
You can easily walk your way around town.

My Favourites:
Surfing and enjoying the beach.
– The lighthouse for a great viewpoint.
– The Cheeky Monkeys is the backpackers most wanted bar int town.
Woody’s Surf Shack, vintage surf vibe bar for local and backpackers.

==> Nimbin! The Amsterdam of Australia.
Nimbin is an epic hippie village famous for its weed open trade and “sustainable initiatives”.
Although weed should be illegal, it is a real open market and quite an experience.
Located 70 km from Byron Bay, if you have a car, it is definitely worth checking out 🙂


Gold Coast – Surfers Paradise
Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast
Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

Unlike its name, it is not a paradise for surfers but everything here is around surf, even public benches have the shape of a surfboard.
It is very touristic, full of building and the beaches are not really nice but for the rest, it’s a fun place to experience.
Hotspot for backpackers and Australian teenagers favourite weekend hub, it is all about partying, Aussie style.

Summer (Dec-Feb) – Average 28ºC
Autumn (Mar-May) – Average 25ºC
Winter (Jun-Aug) – Average 21ºC
Spring (Sep-Nov) – Average 25ºC

I recommend staying 2/3 days.

==> The Bunk Surfers Paradise hostels. It used to be a crapy pink building full of backpackers when I was travelling there, which had a very unique and crazy vibe. It has now been completely renovated and looks even better.

Getting around:
Everything is within a walking distance from that hostels.

Going out:
– Orchid Avenue, Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise Boulevard to go out.
Special mention for the Sin City bar and its underwear-only dressed waitress.


Gold Coast – Coolangatta
Coolangatta, Gold Coast
Coolangatta, Gold Coast

Reputed for hosting the Quicksilver and Roxy Pro competitions, Coolangatta is a much more chilled town than Surfers Paradise.
Hot surf spot, beautiful beaches, nice bars and awesome vibe.

Summer (Dec-Feb) – Average 28ºC
Autumn (Mar-May) – Average 25ºC
Winter (Jun-Aug) – Average 21ºC
Spring (Sep-Nov) – Average 25ºC

I recommend spending 4/5 days.

==> Check out Komune Hostel. Incredible place with palm trees and a swimming pool facing the ocean. Prices under 30€ a night.

My Favourites:
It is awesome to be there during the Quicksilver and Roxy Pro. Great vibe during the competition and lots of entertainment.
– Surfing 
and chilling at the beach.
– Seaside and local bars.


Opera House, Sydney
Opera House, Sydney

Sydney is my favourite place in Australia. It is the perfect combination of what you can expect best from a city. It’s vibrant, the weather is amazing, there is the sea, it’s international and it’s beautiful.
Awesome to live in, incredible to visit, Syndey is magical. Very international, business hub, green parks, amazing bay, high-quality cuisine, you will love it!

Summer (Dec-Feb) – Average 22ºC
Autumn (Mar-May) – Average 18ºC
Winter (Jun-Aug) – Average 13ºC
Spring (Sep-Nov) – Average 17ºC

I recommend staying 5/6 days or more.

Getting around:
The city is amazing to walk around to, you can also use the public transports. I don’t advise to drive in the city, parking is a nightmare and painfully expensive.

My Favourites:
The Opera House, the one, the only, certainly one of the most exclusive cover picture you can get.
The Royal Botanic Garden. Skyline buildings on one side, Sydney bay on the other, this magical garden is one of the most important botanical institutions in the world and is absolutely beautiful.
Bondi Beach. Ultra-popular, majestic and hype, Bondi is one of the most popular beaches in the world. This Australian surfer’s district is full of nice restaurants, chilled bar and trendy stores.
The New Year’s Eve fireworks. I had the chance to spend New Year’s Eve in Sydney and that’s a hell of a show. Shot from the Harbour Bridge, the Sydney fireworks are in the top 3 largest worldwide. With a budget of $7,2 Million and reaching over 1,6 Million attendant.
The Harbour Bridge. You can even climb to the top if you feel like spending some dollars.
Darling Harbour is a very nice area to chill.
King Street, George Street, Pitt Street are the main streets in the city center. Super active, vibrant, full of tourists and business workers, really nice to walk around.

Going out:
– Kings Cross
“Follow the Coca-Cola sign”, that’s how people will indicate it to you.
Bars, clubs, restaurants, this inner-city is the main hub for Sydney’s nightlife. 
– City
More elegant, the city offers a wide range of awesome bars and clubs.
==> Check out the Ivy Club for cocktails, rooftop and swimming-pool.


Melbourne Central
Melbourne Central

Melbourne is the hipster, stylish, arty city in Australia. It is the most European-like in my opinion. Amazing architecture, dynamic and highly multi-cultural, Melbourne is a real must to discover on your Australian trip.

Summer (Dec-Feb) – Average 19,5ºC
Autumn (Mar-May) – Average 15ºC
Winter (Jun-Aug) – Average 10ºC
Spring (Sep-Nov) – Average 14ºC

I recommend spending 3/4 days or more. 

Getting around:
Public transports are very good and the tram is very authentic. You can also easily drive your way around.

My Favourites:
– Queen Victoria Market 
is the largest open-air market in the Southern Hemisphere. Discover a wide variety of fresh and quality products.
– Royal Botanic Garden.
– Walk 
around the city.
Check out the ongoing exhibitions all around the city.
Cafes and restaurants.
The nightlife is different from the rest of the country, it’s very similar to European standards like Paris or London. It’s vibrant, it’s hot and it’s going to be epic, have one for me!



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4 thoughts on “Australia: The Pocket Guide

  1. And you have but seen a snippet of this fabulous country. North, south and west of Brisbane there is so much more to see – the Sunshine coast, Frazer Island, Eumundi markets, Tambourine Mountains to name just a few. East of Melbourne is the whole peninsula full of fabulous scenery – the Gippslands, winding along coastline on the Great Ocean Road, Lakes Entrance, wineries, the history of the goldrush country around Ballarat and a mere hop, skip and a jump to the beauty of the Victorian Alps. Inland from Sydney is the whole Blue Mountains, Snowy Mountains, the governing capital of Australia, Canberra, with its rich history…. All this and so much more. There are still South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania…… welcome back to explore more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are so many amazing things to see and experience in Australia, I could spend years over there 🙂
      I’ve actually been to the Sunshine Coast, beautiful! I also spent 2 months in Perth a couple of years before, going to high school. Fantastic experience as a real Australian teenager 🙂
      I hope my adventures will take me back there one day!

      Liked by 1 person

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