Australia really is one of the most wonderfully diverse and dazzling countries to travel in.
From the deserts of its red centre to the deserted white-sand beaches of its Western coast, so much beauty in the Land Down Under is found beyond the oh-so-popular city walls of Sydney and Melbourne!
Yet sadly, this is a fact that a whole heap of travellers to Australia fail to grasp!
Having actually spent most of my time in Australia outside of its 2 most famous metropolises, I can definitely confirm that the most astonishing parts of my time here have come from getting off the beaten track in Australia and exploring something a bit different.
So if you’re keen to do the same and get a real feel for the magnitude of this incredible part of the world, here’s 7 easy ways you too can get off the beaten track in Australia…
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#1 Get Yourself a 4WD
Ok, so maybe I’m a little biased here, having just travelled around Australia for 8 months in a Landrover Defender, but seriously, if you want to get off the beaten track in Australia, then I can’t recommend getting your hands on a 4wd enough.
They may cost a bit more than a campervan and regular car, but if you’re genuinely interested in seeing places lots of tourists don’t get to, then this is the only way to go and well worth it too.
4wd drives can be hired for shorter periods of time by companies such as Britz and Apollo which are great if you’re exploring for a couple of weeks only or undertaking a specific journey like the Gibb River Road in WA.
Otherwise, for longer trips, 4wd’s can easily and cheaply be bought through gumtree or backpacker Facebook pages.
Lots of travellers always need to see their vehicles before they leave the country, so this can be a great way to grab a bargain.
For more info, great destination tips and awesome itineraries, check out our great budget 4wd adventure around Australia.
5 ESSENTIAL PACKING ITEMS FOR AUSTRALIA
#1 Good Camera – You will be pretty much snapping non-stop in Australia and will need a good camera to do this gorgeous country justice. I highly recommend the Sony A6000, which I use for all my travels and love, not least because it’s light, compact and robust!
#2 Good Walking Shoes – There will be a lot of walking in Australia – from cities to national parks! Make sure your feet are comfortable therefore with a pair of New Balance Trainers. Perfect for stylish strolling, I love mine.
#3 Good Guidebook – I’m still a massive fan of the Lonely Planet Guidebooks and do think their Australia edition is well put together.
#4 Good Water Bottle – Travelling in hot old Australia can be thirsty work, so make sure you have a metal water bottle that you can refill as you go, because tap water is drinkable… and free!
#5 Good Sun Hat – And there’s no denying you’ll need a good sun hat for protection in Australia too. In my opinion, you can’t go past this Hello Sunshine one, which is both gorgeous and ideal for keeping the rays off your face.
#2 Make Some Mini-Stops
This may seem like a strange point to make, but you wouldn’t believe the amount of travellers I’ve met who just seem to hop from one major stop to the next when it comes to travelling through Australia.
Be it Melbourne to Adelaide or Brisbane to Cairns, there’s heaps of people journeying this great land that simply get on the bus at one major destination and disembark, albeit a few 1000kms later, at the next.
Rather than just sticking to the popular destinations everyone goes to however, why not give yourself a few extra days for your journey and take the time to explore some of the quieter, smaller towns along the way too.
Charleville in Queensland and Yamba on the way from Coffs Harbour to Brisbane are just 2 of the places where I tested out this way of travel and both rewarded me with idyllic off the beaten track Australia experiences I’ll never forget.
#3 Unwind, Island Style
Little did I know before I arrived in the Land Down Under just how many islands Australia has, so believe me when I say it’s tons!
From the slightly more popular Magnetic Island off the coast of Townsville to Great Keppel Island off the coast of Yeppoon, Kangaroo Island off South Australia and little-visited Abrolhos Islands off Western Australia, there really is an Australian island to suit every taste, climate and occasion!
I’ve been to many of them and, as an island girl by birth, I have to say there’s always something about being on an isolated smaller landmass surrounded by ocean that really appeals to me!
I’ve definitely gathered, however, that not everyone feels the same, so unwinding on some of Australia’s islands is a great way to get off the beaten track in Australia and away from the bigger crowds.
#4 Explore National Parks
Sticking with the theme of exploring some more remote places, one of my favourite ways to get off the beaten track in Australia is to make use of the country’s amazing national park network.
From hiking, wildlife watching and camping, to all nature of water and adventure sports, Australia’s national parks offer a heap of different options when it comes to enjoying yourself out in the wild!
Favourites of mine include Carnarvon Gorge (QLD), Kakadu (NT), Great Otway (VIC), Purnululu (WA) and Boodjamulla (QLD) – all of which have provided me with some remote, bush experiences that get to the heart of the quintessential Aussie experience.
With the scale of many of these national parks, it’s also very easy to get the feeling that no one else is around!
#5 Cruise to the Capes
In the top 2 corners of Australia’s north coastline lay 2 of its most amazing off the beaten track spots.
At the top of Queensland on the east coast is Cape York a 4wd haven and wealth of national parks and undisturbed wilderness.
Even if you haven’t got a 4wd, then the sealed road to Cooktown, Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest up here is a must if you’re looking to immerse yourself in some tropical jungle-like landscape.
Over on the West Coast, Cape Leveque (otherwise known as the Dampier Peninsula) above the town of Broome offers more off the beaten track Australia experiences, from camping among the red sand dunes, to exploring working pearl farms and seeing natural ocean wonders such as horizontal waterfalls.
This is one of the most spell-bounding places I have been in the world and you be hard pushed to find better when it comes to getting off the beaten track in Australia.
#6 Make Tracks to the Territory
Oh the Northern Territory, that fabled land of the distant desert, colourful characters and outback antics!
This massive section of Australia is, for the large part, barely populated, crazily hot and filled with inhospitable wildlife.
And such, it can be there perfect place to get away from the crowds!
Sure, there can be plenty of tourists at Uluru to keep you company, but outside of this, the vast distances and huge open landscapes of the NT often make you feel like you have the place to yourself.
National Parks here such as Keep River and Gregory (Judbarra) are particularly isolated spots, but even Alice Springs and the nearby McDonnell Ranges will take you far away off the beaten track in Australia most people stick to.
Plus, if you come to the Northern Territory in the scorching summer season that runs from October to April, you’re almost guaranteed to have the place to yourself!
Well, maybe there’ll be a few flies around to keep you company!
#7 Stay on a Station
Once you get away from the coast in Australia and start heading inland, life and landscape change very quickly.
Almost immediately, in fact, you find yourself in a much more pastoral place, where farms dominate, towns are small and time feels like it might have stopped.
This can really provide Australian travellers with a sense of relaxation and space away from the often cramped and hectic style of visiting or staying in the cities.
Getting away from the coast also gives you a great insight into a different sort of Australia and how locals inland live very differently to their coastal counterparts.
One of the best ways to get this sort of experience is to go and stay on a working station.
These huge properties generally herd cattle and can be as large as a small European country.
No joke I’ve driven past one the size of Belgium!
If you’re looking for work during your travels in Australia, stations can be great places to search for shorter-term jobs.
Otherwise, many provide guest accommodation on their property, which allows you to experience life miles from anywhere in the most sparsely populated country in the world!
Now if that’s not getting off the beaten track Australia – style, then I don’t know what is!
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So there you have it folks, 7 easy ways you too can get off the beaten track in Australia.
Have you travelled remotely in the amazing Land Down Under?
How did you get away from the crowds and what were your favourite places to do this?
If you looking any more ideas, then check out my post 7 unusual places to visit in Australia with your campervan or my article 7 off the beaten track places in Queensland you need to visit.