Where to Backpack in Australia in 2013

Written by Isabel Clift

Want to know the top five places to go backpacking in Australia for 2013? See our picks below…

And for even more festival ideas, see our Top 10 Fun Events in Australia

1. Best for budget adventure: Cairns

As we covered in our guides to the Great Barrier Reef on a budget  and scuba diving in Cairns, this sunny north-eastern city is a Mecca for travellers on a shoestring. It’s also the gateway to exploring the world’s largest coral reef and the hedonistic Whitsunday islands.

Cairns has just been revealed as one of HostelBookers’ most popular cities (see our budget travel infographic for more), experiencing a whopping 57% growth in bookings with our customers last year. Why not join them in 2013? The best times to visit Cairns are the summer months – from January to March and again from October to December.

Hostels in Cairns start at €13.72pppn @ Nomads Cairns

2. Best for a short break: Sydney

You might’ve heard horror stories about steep rises in pricing in Australia, especially in commercial capital Sydney. We hate to be the ones to confirm bad news but yep, Sydney can be steep – if you don’t do your research. Soften the blow by following our guide to 10 things to do for $10 dollars, and book a Sydney hostel to save on accommodation.

It’s just come out of our budget travel infographic that you can spend five days in Sydney on a £100 accommodation budget, so use ‘em wisely: coincide your visit with Australia Day on January 26th to experience a carnival atmosphere with a rather mind-boggling program of events.

Sydney hostels start at €14.53pppn @ Maze Backpackers

3. Best for festivals: Adelaide

In March 2013, Adelaide will host three festivals: alternative arts at Adelaide Fringe, theatre, music and dance at Adelaide Festival, and world music at WOMADelaide. With Adelaide Fringe tickets starting at $25, it won’t break the bank – and you’ll get to enjoy internationally acclaimed plays, opera, a line-up of eclectic musicians, dance pieces, renowned writers and amazing visual arts displays.

Hostels in Adelaide start at €16.14pppn @ Adelaide’s Shakespeare International Backpackers H

4. Best for beach bums: Byron Bay

New South Wales’s Byron Bay was put into our top 10 beaches in Australia for a very clear reason: it’s got it all. Beach bar culture at Main Beach, quirky bohemian boutiques and coffee shops in town, and of course plenty of surfing! This culminates in the Byron Bay Surf Festival in October, but if you’re more into music Bluesfest runs over the long Easter weekend. This year’s line-up includes Jason Mraz, Paul Simon and Iggy & The Stooges.

Byron Bay hostels start at €20.18pppn @ Cape Byron Lodge

5. Best for another view: Perth

Perth isn’t the most obvious choice for backpackers, and that’s exactly why we’ve included it in our 2013 guide. Backpackers tend to follow a well-beaten path up and down the east coast, so shake things up a bit and head to the capital of Western Australia. Less international tourism and commerce (in comparison to the east) means lower prices for backpackers, and there’s plenty of exploring to do.

Wineries and micro-breweries dot Swan Valley, and you can catch some rays (and cool sculptures!) at Cottesloe Beach. Find pub ideas and tips for things to do in our Perth city guide.

Perth hostels start at €15.33pppn @ Victoria Park Lodge

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Thanks to Wojtek Gurak and Michael_Spencer for the images off Flickr. Please note, all Flickr images were held under the Creative Commons licence at the time of publication.

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