What is backpacking?
Well, I’m only taking a really wild guess here, but I assume backpacking gets its name from the notion that you carry everything you need to survive your lengthy tour, in a bag, on your back.
Backpacking in Australia is hugely popular, probably because the weather is fantastic, the beaches are stunning and there’s plenty to see and do.
Top attractions include:
- The Great Barrier Reef
- Airlie Beach
- Uluru and Alice Springs
- Byron Bay
- Hervey Bay
- Fraser Island
- The Great Ocean Road
And then, of course, there are all the major cities; every one is worth a visit.
So who is backpacking for?
Young people, by and large. In fact Australia has a special visa called a Working Holiday Visa or WHV, which is available to those who…
- Are aged 18 to 30.
- Are not accompanied by any children.
- Have never had a WHV before.
- Are of good health and character.
- Do have some savings, I think $5,000 AU minimum.
- Hold a valid passport from any one of a list of countries, which includes the UK, USA, Canada and Ireland to mention just the English speaking nations. For a full list, see my post WHV.
There may be some other rules and regulations, but that’s the gist of it and good enough for this brief guide.
And the beauty of the WHV is that you are entitled to work while you’re here, so you can top up your holiday spending money as you go.
Do your research into that first though; work isn’t easy to get for everyone. Most jobs you’ll want to do will require some experience, or maybe even qualifications, before you can do them.
Currently, a WHV cost $270 and you can apply online.
Well, that’s how it usually is with backpacking, but there are exceptions. For example…
Backpacking in Australia is not for everyone.
Backpacking is mainly for students and younger visitors. But supposing you’ve lived in Australia all of your life? Supposing you’ve seen it all? Now let’s suppose you’re retired and have been for some time. Actually, you’re 95 years old, not 25!
You are not going to want to go backpacking in Australia, are you? But you sure can go backpacking everywhere else!
Meet Keith Wright.
Keith began travelling 10 years ago when he lost his wife and so far he’s been to 23 countries and 109 cities. Now he is about to begin a two-month trip around Europe. And he is going to stay in all the cheap hostels and backpackers haunts to keep the costs down.
How inspiring is this….