My favorite place in Australia was Tasmania, which is the tiny island on the southeast end of the country. It was an incredible time and I couldn’t recommend it enough. Tasmania is one of the wildest places on Earth, and is certainly just as beautiful as it is wild. I was there with the intention of being outdoors, although it was quite cold by the time I made it over there (end of March/early April is about as late as I would recommend going). I went to Hobart solo with no plan except for a booked hostel. When I arrived at The Pickled Frog (my accommodation) I instantly knew I’d made the right decision. Everyone there was so friendly and from everywhere, and all of them were seasonal workers. Because of this, I easily met people who had cars and we went to visit Bruny Island and the Tasman Peninsula. Both of those places are absolutely stunning, even if you have bad weather like we did. The people I met were so incredible and we had an absolute blast together. I also met a local who was living out of their car, and we went and camped for three nights up at Cradle Mountain to do some of the hiking and exploring around there. Absolutely stunning! I left Tasmania and my friends there with a heavy heart; one week was easily not enough time and I made it a goal of mine to return for a long while someday in the future!
A lot of people visit Melbourne while they are in Australia as well. I personally liked Melbourne more than I liked Sydney as a city, but there is much less accessible nature so it’s much more confined in that sense. The food, coffee, and nightlife are better but equally as expensive so it may be a good thing that I didn’t stay there instead of Sydney (I don’t have enough money to be spending everyday on food and drink). Overall it was worth visiting, and I really like the hip neighborhoods and the places we visited.
I think that doing trips along the east coast is a must. I did a long trip along the coast at the very end, which is made easy by affordable hostels and a Greyhound bus pass. Since the Great Barrier Reef is dying, it was a goal of mine to visit it and go snorkeling. A lot of people will take diving courses there as well, which sounds amazing but is a good deal more expensive. The snorkeling/freediving I did there was amazing, I saw turtles and sharks and was worth every penny. I would recommend going to Cairns (but not for more than one or two days, there’s not much to do in Cairns itself), Airlie beach, Noosa, Brisbane, and Byron Bay and Nimbin. Those are the places I enjoyed most and was able to do a lot and meet people. Byron bay and Brisbane were my two favorite places; Byron is a hippy town with lots of great surfing, cool funky people, and tons of live music. Brisbane was a cool city and I really enjoyed the vibes there, although it may be because it is similar to Denver and at this point of my trip I was fairly homesick.
Regardless of where you visit in Australia, go with good people (or alone) and don’t take things too seriously. Just see where life takes you!
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Stella is currently a mechanical engineering student at the University of Colorado Boulder, where her goal is to always have at least one foot out of her comfort zone. When she is not on the engineering grind, she is passionate about playing guitar, backpacking, climbing, dancing, or really anything that will get her outside and soaking up the sunshine. Being raised in a French/English bilingual household, she grew up with an appreciation for other cultures and traveling. As she continues on her journey toward adulthood, she hopes to keep experiencing the unfamiliar and become an increasingly global citizen.