Backpack and Snorkel - Making Memorable Moments
search engine by freefind
index sitemap advanced
search engine by freefind

To help support the expenses of hosting this blog, some of the links on this website are “affiliate links.” This means that, if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive a small commission from the seller; there is no added cost to you.

Backpack and Snorkel Online Travel Store - Backpack and Snorkel Travel Guides - Purple Guides and more

Two Wonderful Weeks in Australia

Backpack & Snorkel Online Store

Pin these for later:

Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing Mossman Gorge in Daintree National Park in Australia
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing a beach on the way from Cairns to Daintree National Park in Australia
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing the Three Sisters rock formation in the Blue Mountains of Australia

Introduction

Australia is a dream destination for many people and, because it is so far away from the rest of the world, often a once-in-a-lifetime vacation trip.

 

Australia is the oldest, flattest, driest continent on our planet and has the least fertile soils.  Because it separated from other major land masses millions of years ago, much of the flora and fauna in Australia is unique.

Indigenous Australians inhabit the continent for about 65,000 years.  Dutch explorers spotted Australia for the first time in 1606 and England claimed Australia’s eastern half in 1770.

Since ancient times, the name Terra Australis (Southern Land) was used for a hypothetical continent south of the equator.  After the land was discovered and drawn on maps, the name Terra Australis was consequently used.  Due to the Dutch influence, the name Nieuw-Holland or New Holland became more popular, however. 

After his circumnavigation and mapping of the continent, British navigator and cartographer Captain Matthew Flinders used the name Australia because it was "more agreeable to the ear" than Terra Australis.  In 1817, the name Australia was used officially for the first time.

And, of course, there are more modern unofficial names like "Oz", "the Land Down Under" and "Down Under".

 

Since Australia is separated from other countries by oceans, many diseases and pests that are common in the rest of the world simply do not occur in Australia.  And the Australian government makes sure that it stays that way.  All planes that travel to Australia are disinfected on the inside before passengers board – until 2015 this was done after the planes arrived in Australia and while passengers were still inside the plane.  And it is prohibited to bring most foods into the country and fines for violations are stiff.  Please consult this website for up-to-date information:

https://www.abf.gov.au/entering-and-leaving-australia/can-you-bring-it-in

 

Other interesting tidbits:

  • Australia is the world’s 6th largest country by area
  • Population: 26 million
  • Capital: Canberra
  • Largest city: Sydney
  • Political system: federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
  • Currency: Australian Dollar
  • World’s 13th largest economy
  • Cars drive on the left
  • Country code: +61
  • Internet: .au
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing the Sydney Opera in Sydney, Australia
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia

What do you want to explore now?

Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing the Sydney Opera in Sydney, Australia
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing a historical building in The Rocks in Sydney
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing a koala bear at Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing the Three Sisters rock formation in the Blue Mountains of Australia
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing the Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains in Australia
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) in Australia
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing Kings Canyon in Australia at sunset
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing Aboriginals in Alice Springs in Australia
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing a "do not swim" sign in Cairns in Australia
Map showing Australia's Time Zones
  • Time zones

Australia is divided into 5 time zones which follow the state borders.  Only 2 of the time zones follow daylight savings time and two of the time zones are shifted by 30min instead of entire hours.

Best Time to Visit Australia

Australia is a large country with different climate zones and there is no single best time for every region.  So, if you only plan to travel to Sydney, or the Gold Coast or Uluru (Ayers Rock), then then select the time of year that is best for this region.

If, however, you are like many other travelers for whom Australia is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation in which you want to see the highlights of this beautiful country, then you will need to compromise.

Please remember that Australia is located in the Southern hemisphere and that means that summer in Australia is when there is winter in the Northern hemisphere.  Spring and fall are also reversed.

White Christmas is something that people in North America and Europe long for.  In Australia, Christmas happens in summer, so spending a day at a white sand beach will give you a different type of White Christmas.

 

Here is an overview of the best travel times for Australia and detailed information on the temperatures and rainfall in different regions.

The high season for travel is June-August, when it gets cold in the South and is comfortably warm in the North.

 

Generally, April through September is a good time to travel in the Northern part.

 

The Southern part of Australia has its best weather from October through March.  Unless you love scorching heat, avoid the interior of the country during that time.

 

The best overall times to tour the country are the months of May, September and October.

 

Below is the climate you can expect for different regions in Australia:

Map showing major cities in Australia

Climate in Sydney

Diagram showing the monthly temperatures in Sydney
Diagram showing the monthly precipitation in Sydney

Climate in Alice Springs

Diagram showing the monthly temperatures in Alice Springs
Diagram showing the monthly precipitation in Alice Springs
Diagram showing the monthly temperatures at Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Diagram showing the monthly precipitation at Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Climate in Cairns

Diagram showing the monthly temperatures in Cairns
Diagram showing the monthly precipitation in Cairns

Climate in Perth

Diagram showing the monthly temperatures in Perth
Diagram showing the monthly precipitation in Perth

Two Week Itinerary for Australia

It is simply impossible to see everything in just two weeks.  The itinerary below brings you to the top three major highlights:

  • Sydney and Blue Mountains
  • Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Alice Springs
  • Great Barrier Reef and Daintree National Park

Unfortunately, it skips Australia’s main beach destinations (e.g. Gold Cost, Whitsunday Islands) and wine regions near Adelaide and Perth and the “dugouts” or cave dwellings in Coober Pedy.

Date

Day

Night

Sun

Naumi Studio Hotel Sydney

Mon

Naumi Studio Hotel Sydney

Tue

Naumi Studio Hotel Sydney

Wed

Naumi Studio Hotel Sydney

Thu

Naumi Studio Hotel Sydney

Fri

Flight to Ayers Rock Airport; sunset at The Olgas

Sat

Sunrise at Uluru (Ayers Rock); drive to Kings Canyon

Kings Canyon Resort

Sun

Desert Palms Alice Springs

Mon

Desert Palms Alice Springs

Tue

Bay Village Tropical Retreat

Wed

Bay Village Tropical Retreat

Thu

Bay Village Tropical Retreat

Fri

Bay Village Tropical Retreat

Sat

Flight to Sydney;  flight home

Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing a fish in the Great Barrier Reef outside Cairns in Australia
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing a railcar of the Kuranda Railway in Australia
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing Cape Tribulation Beach in Daintree National Park in Australia
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) in Australia
Australia Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel showing a koala bear at Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney
Photo of the Panama Travel Guide by Backpack & Snorkel

Our Australia Travel Guide has detailed information about the individual destinations, links to their locations in google maps, reviews and websites (if available).

Please see the Backpack & Snorkel Travel Store for more information.