Finding cheap flights in Australia isn’t always easy, especially if you don’t know where exactly to look or how to utilise some of the best resources to find them! Not to worry, though, as we have accumulated some of the most unique and tried-and-tested tips to ensure you will find the most affordable flight rates in Australia.

1.   Search for Flights & Book Them During Off-Season

If you are in search of cheap domestic flights in Australia, plan to search for flights –  and book them if possible – in Australia’s off-season. Australia’s off-season happens to be during the months of June – August or when it is winter time in Australia. Searching for flights using comparison sites during these months will offer some of the lowest rates as there isn’t as high of a demand, and thus not as competitive rates as in summertime, also known as the peak travel season for Australia. The months of December – February is when school is out for kids in Australia, and therefore when most Australians make and take a vacation, leaving airlines to price their rates more competitively. Booking cheap flights in Australia in the wintertime doesn’t mean you need to travel then, it is simply your best bet for getting the rates you hope for!

2.   Utilise Fare Aggregator Platforms

Fare aggregator platforms like Kayak, Skyscanner, and Momondo will allow you to see an overview of rates for exact dates, and see the most cost-friendly option. They are different from flight booking engines like Travelocity and Expedia in that they scour these engines, and other platforms on the web, to bring you the best possible rates you can find. Sometimes these include extensive layovers, stops in intermediary cities, or a difference in selected flight dates. For example, if you want to travel on the 31st of August, but flight costs are exorbitant on that day, fare aggregator platforms may automatically modify the date to be the 1st or 2nd, in order to bring you the most affordable rate. So, it’s important to double-check the flight information, and the policies, prior to booking your flight.

Additionally, some fare aggregators can initially bring you the cheapest flight, but as you click through, getting ready to book, you may have a sudden price increase. Moreover, some flight aggregator sites may deem a flight as direct, when in reality, the flight may actually land at an airport but doesn’t require you to get off the plane. Some airlines do this for fuel refills. Still, it is important to make a note of it as it is flight time added to your itinerary.

Below you can find some of the top 5 best flight aggregator platforms in regard to their rate results, user experience, quick search time, and showing otherwise “hidden” costs.

A side note: South West Airline prohibits its flight results from being shown on the above-mentioned aggregator platforms, so, it is always best to direct search your dates and times of arrival and departure on the South West Airline website, as they are known for their cheap flights.

4. Clear Your Browser Cookies

You have probably heard it before, but clearing your browser cookies can really help your chances of finding cheaper flights. This is because airlines can utilise your browsing history – when you accept their permission to do so upon selecting ‘I agree’ at the pop-up on the bottom of the page – to change the flight rates you are shown if the said airline partakes in dynamic pricing.

Not to worry, though! You can simply clear your browser cookies by doing the following if you are a Chrome user:

  • Open Chrome
  • At the top right, click the vertical 3 dots
  • Select ‘More Tools’ → ‘Clear Browsing Data’
  • You can then select the preferences you wish to clear data for

If you are a Safari user and want to clear your cookies, proceed by doing the following:

  • Open your Safari application
  • Open Settings → Privacy → ‘Manage Website Data’
  • Select the websites you wish to clear browsing data from

Be sure to only clear the cookies unnecessary cookies, as some cookies enable a better user experience by remembering passwords to sites, for example. So, if you have the time, it is best to manually select the site you wish to clear cookies for (such as the booking site you are using at the moment or intend to use).

If you don’t feel like going to the trouble of clearing cookies automatically or manually, you can avoid doing so by using the incognito mode on your PC. If you are using Chrome, simply click on the 3 buttons at the top of your screen and select ‘new incognito window.’ Happy private browsing!

5. Use a VPN

Similar to clearing your cookies, but with a bit more efficacy, utilising a VPN to find and book cheap flights in Australia can be beneficial. You can purchase a 2-week free trial of many VPNs like Express VPN, Surfshark, Privado, CyberGhost, and Proton, and use it for the time needed.

A VPN works by encrypting your IP address and its activity, so it is hidden from the internet service provider and anyone (or site) monitoring your connection, and location. To get the best use out of a VPN to find cheap flights in Australia, you should connect your VPN location to be inside of Australia, and therefore access flight rates that are only available in that geographical area, which will also be cheaper than from buying from a country outside of Australia.

7. Follow Australian Domestic Airlines on Social Media

If you have social media, utilise it to aid in finding cheap domestic flights in Australia. Domestic airlines Australia often take to social media to announce last-minute deals and promotions they are running. They also provide exclusive discounts that aren’t published on the website because they want to attract people to their social media accounts and increase their following. Below are a few domestic airlines in Australia to follow on social media to have a chance at scouring one of their running promotions when the time comes that you want to book a flight!

  • Virgin Australia
  • Jetstar
  • Qantas
  • Rex

8. Book your Domestic Australian Flights, Airport Parking, & Hotels in Advance for Ultimate Savings

If you want to travel on a budget through and through, and are already looking for cheap domestic flights and airport parking in Australia, say from Melbourne to Sydney, it is reasonable to book Melbourne Airport Parking around the same time you purchase your airline tickets, if not then, at least 3 weeks to a month in advance to get the best rates for airport parking in Melbourne. The same goes for your accommodation. Why? The more advance you book, whether it be for flights, airport parking, or accommodation in Australia, the better rates you will acquire.

As a general rule, you should book your domestic flights in Australia at least 4 weeks to 3 months in advance. Similarly, the best time to book your hotel in Australia is 91 days, or approximately 3 months, in advance, especially in major cities like Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane where prices tend to skyrocket the closer you get to the reservation date. By booking your reservations online and in advance, you can save up to 45% of the average accommodation costs that you can otherwise spend on your actual vacation!

By now, you have just about everything you need to score the cheapest flights possible whilst travelling in Australia. Of course, there are dozens of additional tips you can follow, and don’t hesitate to try them out (with caution and consideration, of course), but above are some of the best tips you can utilise to save money on transportation costs, so you can spend more time on the things you love doing.

The weather’s getting hot and you’re ready for some fun outdoors! Whether you want to relax by a campfire after a long day of exploring or just take in some fresh air, Brisbane is the perfect place to go camping. 

From lush national parks that offer plenty of seclusion to sprawling lakeside resorts with all the comforts of home, this vibrant city has exactly what you need when it comes time to pitch your tent and set up camp.

Let’s have a look at what this beautiful region has in store for all those keen on an adventure!

Overview of the Best Campgrounds Near Brisbane

Here are some of our favourite campgrounds near Brisbane that offer beautiful scenery and outdoor activities:

  • Neurum Creek Bush Retreat
  • Lake Somerset Holiday Park
  • Amamoor Creek Camping Area
  • Mount Barney Lodge
  • North Stradbroke Island
  • Moreton Island
  • Cotton Tree Holiday Park

Neurum Creek Bush Retreat

Neurum Creek Bush Retreat is a unique camping destination just 75 minutes drive from Brisbane, situated in the stunning D’Aguilar National Park. With incredible mountain views and plenty of opportunities to explore the native bushland and wildlife, this picturesque campsite is perfect for nature lovers of all ages. 

For those looking to camp out under the stars, Neurum Creek offers both tent sites and caravan sites as well as a range of self-contained cabins for more comfort. Those staying in one of these cabins will have access to running water and power points for charging electronic devices. 

The surrounding national park is well known for its spectacular bushland and diverse wildlife, ranging from birds to wallabies, echidnas and numerous other species. There are also many walking trails to explore with plenty of lookouts over the valley. For those who prefer something more adrenaline-filled, you can consider mountain biking or rock climbing. 

Lake Somerset Holiday Park

Lake Somerset Holiday Park is a popular camping destination located about 90 minutes drive from Brisbane, boasting stunning lake views and plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. With a range of camping options, including tent camping sites, caravan sites, and self-contained cabins, there’s something for everyone at this well-equipped campground. There are even several large group sites available to accommodate larger groups.

The campground’s prime location on the shore of Lake Somerset makes it the perfect place for water lovers, with plenty of opportunities for fishing, boating and water skiing.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed holiday experience, there are leisurely strolls along the lake or you can simply lounge in the sun with a good book. During school holidays, kids will also be kept entertained with mini golf, basketball and other special activities available. 

Nature enthusiasts will also appreciate its close proximity to several national parks like D’Aguilar National Park and Mount Mee Forest which offer plenty of beautiful nature trails as well as wildlife spotting opportunities. 

Amamoor Creek Camping Area

Amamoor Creek Camping Area near Brisbane is the perfect place for a peaceful getaway. Located in the Mary Valley, only two hours from Brisbane, this campground offers a unique natural setting and plenty of exciting outdoor activities. 

At the campground, you can find tent camping sites with basic facilities such as toilets and hot showers, as well as fire pits to build a cosy campfire. Campers need to provide their own water and firewood though.

The Amamoor State Forest that surrounds the campground offers an incredible glimpse into Australia’s bushland with plenty of wildlife to spot. 

Visitors can ignite their adventurous spirit at Amamoor Creek Camping Area with activities such as hiking, bird watching, and fishing.

The park is close to several walking tracks and water holes, making it easy to explore the area further. It’s also close to other attractions in the Mary Valley like Imbil State Forest which is popular with mountain bike riders too. 

Mount Barney Lodge

Mt. Barney Lodge country retreat

Mt. Barney Lodge country retreat

Mount Barney Lodge campground is an idyllic getaway only 90 minutes drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Situated within the Mount Barney National Park, a protected area in Queensland, it is known for its picturesque surroundings that offer a unique camping experience. 

The campground has a range of sites available for tent camping, as well as small camper trailers and caravans. There’s plenty to do here, from wildlife spotting to hiking on one of the many trails that wind through the national park.

With its diverse flora and fauna, you might be lucky enough to spot koalas, wallabies, or even rare platypus! This is definitely a place worthy of pulling your caravan out of storage.

If you’re looking for an adventure off the beaten track, mountain biking is also available in some areas – just make sure you stay on the designated trails.

North Stradbroke Island

Point Lookout, North Stradbroke Island

Point Lookout, North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island, located just a short two-hour drive from Brisbane, is an idyllic beach camping destination. Home to the Quandamooka people, the island has over 27 kilometres of stunning beaches with warm waters, fringed by thick rainforest and eucalypt woodlands. 

This island boasts some of the best campsites in the area, offering both powered and non-powered sites for tents, vans and trailers as well as plenty of cabins to choose from. 

Popular beaches include Adder Rock, Home Beach, Adams Beach, Bradbury’s Beach, Flinders Beach and Cylinder Beach. Take your pick and spend days swimming, kayaking, fishing or simply soaking up some sun.

There are also plenty of exciting activities such as quad biking, sand boarding and horse riding available on the island. 

Moreton Island

The famous Tangalooma Wrecks, Moreton Island

The famous Tangalooma Wrecks, Moreton Island

Moreton Island, located 40 kilometres northeast of Brisbane, is another paradise for beach campers. Popular for its long stretches of pristine beach and clear lagoons, visitors can enjoy camping and exploring the highest sand dune in the world which reaches 280 metres above sea level. 

There are several campgrounds on Moreton Island that allow visitors to enjoy the beauty of the island up close. These campgrounds include Tangalooma Resort, Blue Lagoon Beach Campsite and NorthPoint Campground.

They offer a range of accommodation options from powered sites to tents and cabins. Each campground contains a variety of amenities such as hot showers, BBQs and toilets for guests to make use of. 

There are plenty of activities available on Moreton Island ranging from swimming in its crystal-clear waters and exploring its many coastal trails to spotting humpback whales or getting up close with some wild dolphins.

For those who prefer something more adventurous, there is also sand tobogganing down the giant sand dune.

Cotton Tree Holiday Park

The Cotton Tree Caravan Park at Maroochydore is right on the water and very popular with families at this time of the year.

The Cotton Tree Caravan Park at Maroochydore is right on the water and very popular with families at this time of the year.

Cotton Tree Holiday Park is a perfect choice for a weekend getaway near Brisbane. Situated right on the banks of the Maroochydore River, this campground offers idyllic scenery and plenty of family-friendly activities.

There are plenty of accommodation options available at Cotton Tree, including 93 powered and 29 non-powered tent sites, as well as 280 powered van sites and a range of cabins.

The Cotton Tree Holiday Park is conveniently located 1.5 hours from Brisbane. The surrounding area boasts an abundance of recreational activities including fishing, kayaking, beaches for swimming or sunbathing, walking trails for enjoying nature’s beauty and cafes offering delicious treats. 

The nearby Aquatic Centre has freshly renovated swimming pools – both 25m and 50m options – so you can keep your exercise regime up while on holiday!

Best Campgrounds Near Brisbane – Final Thoughts

After exploring some of the best campgrounds near Brisbane, you now know there is no shortage of options in the area. From spectacular mountain views and beachfront camping, these campgrounds offer all types of holiday experiences for everyone.

Whatever your choice may be, prepare to be amazed by all that these campsites have to offer.

Hiking is one of the best outdoor activities in Brisbane! If you are ready to enjoy some fantastic views and get some exercise at the same time, then get ready – we’re about to run you through the best hikes near Brisbane!

Brisbane is best known for its unique position – close to both incredible coastline and sandy beaches, yet also a short drive from lush green rainforests and 12 national parks! The rainforest is home to some incredible animal species and unique plants to observe on your hikes. 

Hikes in the Brisbane area range from leisurely walks on wooden paths to challenging 10 hour mountain top climbs. Waterfall hikes around Brisbane are especially popular, and you won’t even miss the beach as you jump into these picturesque streams.

To ensure you have a great hiking experience in Brisbane, be sure to get the AllTrails app before you go. The app has an extensive list of the best trails for hiking in Brisbane, with reviews from other hikers to keep you up to date on the latest trail conditions. You can filter by trail difficulty, length, and suitability and download trail maps to help keep you on track even when you’re offline.

Without further ado, here are the best hikes around Brisbane for your next adventure!

Summit Track, Mt. Coot-tha

The Summit Track at Mt Coot-tha is the most iconic Brisbane hike. Just 15 minutes from the city centre, it is located within Brisbane and easy to reach. Hiking the Summit Track is a great way to get some steps in and enjoy the fresh air without travelling far from the city.

The highlight of this hike is definitely the view over Brisbane. Once you reach the summit, you get an incredible birds-eye view over the city. The hike is especially popular at sunrise and sunset.

There are many trails to reach the Summit Lookout, so you can hike again and again without getting bored. The most popular one, starting from J.C. Slaughter Falls, is relatively easy. It is about 2 km long and takes 30 minutes to an hour to complete.

Box Forest Circuit, Lamington National Park

The Beech Forest in Lamington National Park near Brisbane

The Beech Forest in Lamington National Park near Brisbane

The Box Forest Circuit within Lamington National Park is one of the most scenic hiking trails around Brisbane, featuring 4 waterfalls in total. 

You’ll hike through the lush rainforest and pass by several waterfalls along the way – Elabana Falls, Boxlog Falls, Darragumai Falls and Nugurin Falls. It’s recommended to walk this trail in a clockwise direction, so you reach the waterfalls towards the end of the hike.

There is a popular picnic spot along the trail, conveniently named Picnic Rock. The trail is well-marked, so there’s no risk of getting lost. 

The whole circuit is about 10km long and takes around 4 hours to complete. Allow some time to swim in the waterfalls, you’ll be tempted by the time you reach them! The hike is moderately challenging, due to the length.

Wild Horse Mountain Lookout

The View From Wild Horse Mountain Lookout

The View From Wild Horse Mountain Lookout

Wild Horse Mountain Lookout is the perfect hike for those who want to enjoy the stunning mountain-top views without hiking for hours.

The trail leading to the lookout is very steep and not shaded at all. If you’re planning on tackling this walk in summer, avoid midday!

As it is a quite short and straightforward hike, it is a great place to enjoy sunset views over the mountains. On a clear day, you can even see Brisbane city in the distance!

This is a short 1.4km circuit hike, and it will take you about 30 minutes to complete. But don’t let the short distance fool you, it is straight uphill making it slightly more challenging than you might think!

Mount Tempest, Moreton Island

Unlike other hikes on this list that are all on the mainland, the Mount Tempest hike is on an island!

What makes this hike unique is that you’re actually climbing a sand dune!  Mount Tempest is noted as the world’s highest naturally formed sand dune at 285 metres above sea level. 

The peak offers 360° views of the area. On a clear day, you can see all the way from the Gold Coast to Sunshine Coast.

Hiking on Moreton Island is a great idea if you’re used to hiking in the rainforest. You’ll get to see some unique plants and a completely different ecosystem on the island.

Mount Tempest walking trek is just about a 2km return. However, you’re climbing the stairs all the way uphill, making it a short but tough walk. 

Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park

Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park near Brisbane

Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park near Brisbane

Springbrook National Park is home to some of the best waterfall hikes around Brisbane, with the Natural Bridge hike being the most unique. 

Natural Bridge is a picturesque rock formation formed by the force of the waterfall that created a hole in the ceiling of the cave. It has ethereal vibes and looks like a scene from a storybook.

You’ll hike through the ancient trees, and see many protected and rare animals living in this park. It is forbidden to swim in this waterfall, so if you want to take a dip, either make your way to the nearby Twin Falls or save it for your landscaped pool at home.

The true magic begins when the sun goes down, and the cave starts to sparkle. This little cave is home to thousands of glow worms. These unusual and fragile animals can only be found in Australia and New Zealand, and this is Australia’s largest population of glow worms in their natural habitat.

The Natural Bridge hike is relatively easy, and the short circuit is only 1km long.

Mt Barney, Mt Barney National Park

Mt Barney over the fog from Lillydale

Mt Barney over the fog from Lillydale

Climbing Mt Barney is not a hike for beginners. In fact, it is the most challenging hike in the Brisbane area. So, if you’re an experienced hiker ready for a challenge, it should be on your list. The views from the top are incredible!

The trail starts through dense bushes and takes you through hard-to-make-out, unmarked trails to the top. Once you reach the summit, you’ll see why people come here. The view is out of this world beautiful, and you feel like you can see the whole state!

Mt Barney is a challenging hike, suitable for those with a high level of fitness, experience and skills in rock scrambling. The trail is about 12km long and takes 8-10 hours to complete, so make sure you fill your hydration pack before setting off.

Come prepared, as rapid changes in temperature and weather are common.

Boondall Wetlands Bikeway

Finally, we have Boondall Wetlands Reserve, a compromise between a hike and a nature walk. It is an option for those who want to hike without actually having to climb a mountain. This trail is almost completely flat!

The hiking trail is a 13km long wooden boardwalk taking you through mangroves, forest and dry bushland. As you walk through the wetlands, you’ll get to observe different birds living in the reserve and other animals.

This is also a bike trail if you’re looking for a fun cycling opportunity close to the city.

Boondall Wetlands is a flat and easy hiking trail. The longer route is about 13km long, but you can opt for a shorter 2km trail. The trail is dog friendly, as long as you keep your dog on a leash.

Summary: Best Hikes Near Brisbane

And there you have it! A list of the best hikes near Brisbane whether you’re on holiday, exploring for the weekend, or backpacking in Australia.

Lush green rainforests will protect you from the sun on most hikes, so you can enjoy a day out in nature, even on a hot summer day. You don’t need to choose whether you want to hike or swim in a waterfall with hikes like the Box Forest Circuit. 

From leisurely nature walks in Boondall Wetlands to climbing steep mountain peaks like Mt Barney, there is something for everyone!

The immigration process in Australia is a complex and multi-faceted system that is designed to manage the movement of people into and out of the country. There are a variety of different visa categories and pathways available to individuals who wish to migrate to Australia, each with its own set of eligibility criteria and requirements. 

One of the first steps in the immigration process is to determine which visa category is most appropriate for your circumstances. There are several different types of visas available, including temporary visas, permanent visas, and student visas. The type of visa that you apply for will depend on your specific circumstances and the reason for your travel to Australia.

Once you have determined the most appropriate visa category, you will need to complete an online application form and submit it to the Department of Home Affairs. The application process typically involves providing a range of personal and financial information, as well as supporting documents such as proof of identity, employment history, and any relevant qualifications or skills.

After you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed by an immigration officer who will assess your eligibility for the visa. If your application is successful, you will be granted a visa and will be able to travel to Australia. If your application is unsuccessful, you may be able to appeal the decision or reapply for a different visa category.

If you are granted a permanent visa, you will be able to live and work in Australia indefinitely. Permanent visa holders are also entitled to certain benefits and entitlements, such as access to healthcare and education, and may be able to sponsor family members to come and live in Australia.

There are several factors that can affect the success of an immigration application, including your age, English language ability, employment history, and any criminal history. It is important to carefully consider these factors and to seek the advice of an immigration lawyer or registered migration agent if you are uncertain about your eligibility or the requirements of the immigration process.

Overall, the immigration process in Australia is designed to ensure that the country is able to manage the flow of people into and out of the country in a controlled and orderly manner.

Getting professional help from immigration experts

Immigration lawyers in Australia are professionals who are qualified to provide legal advice and representation to individuals and businesses who are seeking to migrate to, or work in, Australia. They are an important resource for anyone who is considering applying for a visa, as the immigration process in Australia can be complex and confusing.

There are several different types of immigration lawyers in Australia, including registered migration agents, solicitors, and barristers. Each type of lawyer has a specific role to play in the immigration process, and it is important to choose the right professional for your needs.

Registered migration agents are individuals who are registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) and are able to provide immigration advice and assistance to clients. They are required to adhere to strict codes of conduct and are subject to ongoing professional development requirements.

Solicitors are lawyers who are qualified to provide a wide range of legal services, including immigration law. They are typically based in law firms and are able to provide advice and representation to clients on a range of legal matters.

Barristers are specialized lawyers who are qualified to represent clients in court. They are typically engaged by solicitors to provide legal representation in complex or high-stakes cases, and are usually based in barristers’ chambers.

Immigration lawyers in Australia can assist clients with a wide range of immigration-related matters, including:

  • Assessing eligibility for different visa categories and pathways
  • Completing and submitting visa applications
  • Providing advice on the requirements and conditions of different visas
  • Representing clients in immigration tribunals and appeals
  • Advising clients on their rights and obligations as visa holders
  • Providing assistance with obtaining permanent residency or citizenship

If you are considering applying for a visa to live or work in Australia, it is a good idea to seek the advice of an immigration lawyer as early as possible in the process. They can help you to understand your options and guide you through the application process, and can provide valuable advice and representation if your application is refused or if you encounter any other difficulties.

Immigration lawyers in Australia are an important resource for anyone who is seeking to migrate to or work in the country. They provide expert advice and representation to help clients navigate the complex and often confusing immigration process, and can help to ensure that your application is successful.

People go backpacking for any number of reasons. The genre really got off the ground in the late 1960s when hippies headed east in search of spiritual enlightenment, and by the 1980s, taking a year off to explore Australia or Latin America became almost a rite of passage.

Recent years have seen the rise of more niche backpacking trips, including long-distance hiking, visiting historic sites such as battlefields and especially sports. Every year, for example, thousands of English cricket fans follow their team to exotic destinations such as the West Indies, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, combining their sporting passion with exploring distant lands on the cheap.

The same goes for hardcore horse racing fans. The Sport of Kings boasts a long history not just in the US and the UK but around the world, and fans are willing to travel long distances to see the best races while at the same time poking around the towns and cities which play host to them.

We’ve picked three examples of great travel locations which boast classic horse racing along with plenty of other things to do and see to keep backpackers occupied during their short stay there.


Lexington Kentucky, a famous destination for horse racing fans

Let’s start close to home and Lexington, Kentucky. Imagine combining history and horses in one short trip! They have been distilling bourbon, a type of corn whisky which takes its name from a French royal family, in the region for almost 150 years now, and Lexington sits at the very heart with a large number of distilleries to visit. The Buffalo Trace Distillery on the Kentucky River is one of the oldest in the land and even stayed open during prohibition. As for history, take time to visit Mary Todd Lincoln House, one-time home to the wife of Abraham Lincoln, before a peaceful stroll around the peaceful Lexington Cemetry, home to three lakes, 179 species of birds and more than 200 types of trees as well as being the final resting place of many a famous Kentuckian.

Then there are the horses! Whether it’s horse farms, museums, studs or the world-famous Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, in nearby Louisville, the equine world runs through the Kentucky DNA. Closer to Lexington itself is Keeneland which frequently plays host to the Breeder’s Cup, one of the biggest events on the US racing calendar. This year, Medina Spirit will be hoping to improve on second place in 2021, and put the disappointment of Ketucky Derby disqualification in the


Melbourne's Central Station

Melbourne’s Central Station

As mentioned earlier, there is a long tradition of backpacking in Australia. The vast distances involved, the natural beauty and the relative ease of getting around continue to entice travelers from around the world looking for an adventurous or sporting break. As the capital of the state of Victoria, Melbourne’s cosmopolitan population has left its mark on the city’s dining options, with Greek, Italian, Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants proving to be very popular. Then there are its natural attractions, including the spectacular Great Ocean Road with its beaches and bays as well as the Twelve Apostles, stunning rock formations jutting up from the ocean.

But Melbourne is also sports-daft! It hosts the Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Australian Open in tennis and its own local games; Australian Rules Football often attracts attendances in excess of 60,000, while the official website Visit Victoria lists many other orthodox and less orthodox activities. But everything comes to a halt on one day in November when the Melbourne Cup hits Flemington. With many of the Covid-19 restrictions now behind us, race organizers can be looking forward to crowds of 80-90,000 returning for the biggest horse racing event in the Southern Hemisphere. And those crowds will be witnessing the favorite in the Ladbrokes horse racing odds, Loft, attempting to secure the $4.4 million prize. Whilst his stable will be expecting the win, the Melbourne Cup often serves up a shock, especially in 2009 when Shocking won, and it is this uncertainty which makes the race so special.


Check out some horse racing near historic Windsor Castle

Check out some horse racing near historic Windsor Castle

Ascot, a small, nondescript town just outside of London, sits in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, and it is that regal link which explains its worldwide fame. A short drive up the road sits the impressive Windsor Castle, nigh on 1,000 years of British history lies behind its thick walls and the expansive Windsor Great Park, originally laid out as a private hunting ground for the folks in the castle but now a delightful place for a walk. On the opposite bank of the River Thames is the elite Eton College, where future politicians and inheritors of royal seats receive their expensive education.

Ascot comes alive every June for the Royal Meeting, one of the highlights of the British social calendar. Britain’s pomp and ceremony vie for attention with the racing as each day of the meet starts with the Royal Procession when the Royal Family arrive and take their place in the exclusive Royal Enclosure. But away from the pageantry and the dressing up, the meet offers up some of the finest races in the world, including the prestigious Gold Cup and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and the most budget-friendly place to watch these races is in the Windsor Enclosure, which provides a more informal environment. After witnessing the British all dressed up, head back to Windsor and enjoy a meal on the Thames as the sunsets on another exciting day out.

Backpacking started off as a cheap form of travel where interacting with local communities was just as important as visiting a museum. Themed trips such as those mentioned above continue that fine tradition.