Travel around Australia is often ruled by grey nomads. You’ve seen them: the older generation in their caravans, living a nomadic existence as they work their way around our Great Southern Land, with both time and money on their side.
But what if I told you Australia was actually a young person’s game? What if you’re missing all the amazing opportunities that come with domestic travel because you’re sitting on a 17-hour plane ride to explore exotic locations further afield?
Don’t waste any more time passing on your own fascinating homeland. Here are 18 great reasons to travel Australia while you’re young.
1. It’s not as expensive as you think
There’s a common belief that overseas holidays are cheaper than Australian ones. You take a $1,000 flight to Thailand so you can spend $50 per day over seven days for a $1,350 holiday. But what if you took your flight budget and put it toward a domestic trip? There are so many great hotel deals and airfares out there, so getting from A to B is cheaper than ever. Just the other day, I got a fare from Melbourne to Perth for $220 return! Sticking to my $1350 budget, that still leaves me $160 per day for a week’s holiday. And Australia has some of the cheapest sushi in the world, so you’re set for meals. 😉
2. The best things here are free
Australia’s most beautiful attractions are free. You don’t have to pay a cent for a drive on the Great Ocean Road, a swim in the crystal blue waters in the Whitsundays, a hike on Tasmania’s Overland Track, a walk down Melbourne’s graffiti alleys, or for pictures in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge – they’re all free (which means they’re kind to young wallets).
3. The plane rides are shorter
In case you haven’t noticed, Australia is pretty far from, well, most places. So why not spend more time on the beach or marvelling at stunning natural wonders instead of cooped up in an aircraft jetting across a dizzying number of time zones?
4. We now have more direct flights
Connections are no fun. Why waste hours in long layovers? Many bucket-list destinations (for example, Uluru, Kakadu, and Ningaloo Reef) are more accessible than you think – thanks to direct flights. In fact, you can now tick many of them off on long weekends, so you don’t even need to use any annual leave. No need to wait until you’re retired.
5. You may find the love of your life
Sure, you’re never too old to fall in love, but let’s face it: when you’re young, you’re usually looking a little harder and mingling a lot more. Falling in love overseas is filled with complications that make life hard. Fall in love in Australia and you could find The One in no time.
6. You won’t have to finance an entire family
We’ve already established that some aspects of Australian travel can be more expensive than in overseas destinations. But if you do it while you’re young, you only have to pay for you – not your partner or the four kids that could come along after you’ve fallen in love (see No.5 above).
7. You have the energy to make the most of it
Some of Australia’s best attractions are physically challenging natural wonders, so fully enjoying them can require some stamina and fitness. Like taking a 7km hike around the base of Uluru at sunrise. Or sandboarding down the Lancelin sand dunes, near the Pinnacles in WA. Or even snorkelling the world’s best reef, the Great Barrier Reef.
8. You’ll have more nerve
As we get older, our propensity for hair-raising adventures tends to diminish. Which is a shame, because you don’t want to miss Australia’s most essential adrenaline-packed experiences. Think abseiling the Kangaroo Point Cliffs in Brisbane, bungy jumping in Cairns, or tandem skydiving over some of the world’s best beaches, like Airlie Beach, Whitsundays.
9. You can enjoy all of it
While you’re young, you can make the most of bucket-list destinations like the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru. You can go on an adrenaline-fueled adventure in Cairns, rough it in the Great Aussie Bush, or go mingle at an all-exclusive beach-side resort. And then at the end of the day, you can head out and enjoy the nightlife too.
10. It will boost your confidence
Overseas travel can be a bit daunting, so why not practice locally? While you’re young, boost your confidence and independence with some domestic travel to prepare yourself for a big international adventure abroad.
11. Australia is diverse
Many young people travel overseas to experience something new. But why not become an expert on Australia first? Australia’s size makes its geography and ecology incredibly diverse, so you don’t need to go overseas to feel like you’re far away from home. We have snowy mountains, arid deserts, tropical rainforests, and everything in between. Our people are pretty diverse, too: One day you could be having a beer with a local trucker, while the next you could be learning a little about one of Australia’s unique Aboriginal cultures (there are almost 150 languages still in use today!).
12. Appreciate what you have at home
Seeing Australia while you’re young will give you a deeper appreciation for your home and all its beauty. Plus, if you’re a parent, taking the kids along for the ride will help them learn about the country’s history and geography firsthand, giving them an education their mates at school won’t necessarily have access to.
13. You’ll become a better traveller
They say the young don’t remember, so why travel with them? If you have a young family, travelling within Australia can open your kids’ minds to other people, places, foods, and cultures, preparing them to become global thinkers. It’s not just the memories that we can easily recall, but all of our experiences which shape us into the people we become. Set your children up for a life of adventure by making them comfortable enough to discover their own homeland.
14. You’ll become an expert
For the rest of your life, you’ll know all the great places to take friends, family, and overseas relatives. You’ll never be short on things to do and people will look to you as the Aussie expert.
15. You can be more flexible
Travelling in Australia while you’re young will let you be more flexible. You might randomly make a spontaneous trip to visit a friend for a long weekend. Or jump on an awesome last-minute deal just to discover somewhere you’ve never been. Plus, let’s face it, younger people tend to be more flexible when it comes to more, well, basic accommodation. So now’s the time to book that fun budget hotel or that cheap, small room so you can save a few bucks.
16. Boost your career
So many Aussies move from regional towns to cities for work (and sometimes vice-versa). While travelling Australia, you might find your dream job in another city or a small regional town. Yes, the same can be said for overseas travel, but visas and sponsors can be downright difficult. Imagine finding your dream career at home while having the travelling time of your life!
17. Avoid becoming a cliché
If you see Australia while you’re young, you can avoid becoming one of those grey nomads when you’re older. Avoid the cliché and say, “Been there, done that.”
18. Finally, you’re social media savvy
Want to document all your incredible experiences, or just make your overseas friends jealous of your life in beautiful Australia? Get them all flocking to our shores when you inundate social media with pics of you walking through Melbourne’s graffiti-covered lane ways. Or sunsets at the 12 Apostles. Or the Great Aussie Bush and the secret waterfall you stumbled upon.
“A child’s mind is not a container to be filled but rather a fire to be kindled.” – Dorothea Brande Walking the graffiti 🎨 art streets of 🇦🇺 Melbourne, Australia. Stoking the 🔥 fire in my kids. My kids 👩👧👦 have been to 64 countries. But we are loving exploring 🇦🇺 Australia. It's an incredible country. Have you been? #explorewitherin #gnomads #familytravel #visitmelbourne #familytravelblogger @wanderloud
"Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children." – Charles R. Swindoll Last night we watched the 🌅 sunset over one of 🇦🇺 Australia's most iconic landmarks. The 12 Apostles. It was magnificent. This phone 📷 photo barely required anything but a tiny brightening ☀️ in the darkest part of the screen. Have you ever been to the Great Ocean 🌊 Road in Victoria, 🇦🇺 Australia? It is spectacular. Double tap 💙 to show your love or leave a comment ⬇️ on the year you visited. #explorewitherin #gnomads #visitvictoria #12apostles #samsunglife Watch Instagram stories for more amazing shots.
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“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost Down a forbidden 🚫 path, over rocks and ⛰️ slippery slopes. Hands holding, excitement building, we found the Trentham 💧 waterfall. Beautiful to look 👀 at. Even more beautiful to shower 🌧️ under. Yes, I got very wet trying to get this shot, but what an absolutely incredible 📸 shot it is. Worth every water drop 💧 I collected. Take the road less travelled in 2018. You have no idea where it will lead. And what pot of 💰 gold you may find at the end of the 🌈 rainbow. #explorewitherin #gnomads #waterfall #trenthamfalls #samsunglife