What Should I Expect in Australia?
One mistake first time visitors to Australia make is not realizing just how big and vast it really is. This makes for long travel times if you plan on exploring a good portion of the country, and because of the vastness and sparse population, getting around via public transport can sometimes be challenging.
- Renting or hiring a car is the most effective way of getting around and affords you the freedom to see what you want when you want. It also allows travelers to see parts of the country that buses simply don’t travel to. Obviously this is much less cost effective than taking a form of public transport.
- Renting a campervan is another popular method of getting around Oz, and costs can be defrayed by being able to sleep, cook, and eat in your transportation. There are even cheap campervan options, which are basically pimped out minivans with beds, a TV, DVD player, small fridge, and stove for the more budget-conscious traveler.
- Bus travel is the way to go if you can’t afford a car or campervan. It is relatively cheap (compared to the US and Europe) and very efficient. Bathrooms, TV’s with movies, and air con are the norm. If you’re looking to get off the beaten path a bit, it’s going to require extra planning and may be difficult.
- Backpacker buses are the cheap and popular way of getting around for the young folks. They are basically glorified tour buses, but with college students instead of retirees. This makes for a raucous environment and can be tons of fun, though the sight-seeing and cultural parts of a trip may fall by the wayside. Hop on hop off privileges do make getting around nice and convenient, but know what you’re getting yourself into before booking.
- Train travel is fun and provides a great way to see the country, but it’s much slower and usually more expensive. Comfort levels can be better than buses, though, and if you aren’t on a time crunch and enjoy the opportunity to just sit back and relax while watching the country go by, consider taking the rails for a leg or two of your trip.
How Similar To Australia Is New Zealand?
There are certain similarities between the two, but there are also some differences. Renting a car or campervan is certainly the best option which gives you the most freedom, but because of the small size, you can easily get around to the same places by bus. Backpacker buses are also offered in New Zealand, and the same environment can be expected as in Australia.
Train travel is not as extensive as Australia, but there are other similarities. It’s usually more expensive and slower than bus travel, but some of the routes are absolutely stunning.
It’s also a good idea to read up on the FAQ’s for specific information on overland travel in each region of the world:
FAQ – Overland Travel In The Americas
FAQ – Overland Travel In Africa And The Middle East
FAQ – Overland Travel In Europe
FAQ – Overland Travel In Russia And Central Asia
FAQ – Overland Travel In India
FAQ – Overland Travel In China And Southeast Asia
Next up in the RTW Planning Guide, we discuss various accommodation options. Be sure to keep reading along, as we cover all there is to know about planning a RTW trip.Next RTW FAQ-Accommodations »