6 Australia Travel Mistakes to Avoid

May 11, 2017

Australia Travel Mistakes To Avoid

Of all the trips I’ve ever taken, I’ve made the most mistakes while traveling in Australia, my home country. Having worked in the travel industry for several years, I’ve also seen other people make the same mistakes on their Australia trips as well. Some of these issues were just bumps in the road, while other problems were big enough to unravel their entire trip.

That’s why I’m here to educate anyone visiting Australia about the biggest travel mistakes to avoid so that you have an amazing time in this fine country.

1. Misjudging The Size of the Country

One of the biggest Australia travel mistakes that people make it that they often underestimate the size of the country.


For some reason, people often misjudge the size of Australia. I’ve spoken to a number of travelers seeking advice for their trips (by road or otherwise). They assume distances in Australia are very small when they are anything but. Perhaps this is because Australia is in the bottom corner of the world (in most perspectives), but Australia definitely isn’t as small as it appears. In fact, it is the sixth largest country in the world and is about as large as the continental US. So expect domestic flights to be expensive and drives to be long! If you plan on visiting Australia, check out how much it costs to travel around Australia for a month, by car.

2. Not Respecting The Sun

When you head to the beach, make sure you respect the sun. This is another HUGE Australia travel mistake.

The thing that Australia is probably most famed for is the very thing that you need to watch out for, the sun. Our lovely sun and long sunshine-filled days are fantastic for visitors, but the sun can be detrimental to travellers. Take a stroll through the hotel and hostel-filled streets of Sydney or Cairns and you’ll find more than a few people sporting a sunburn. But not just any sunburn. Aussie sunburns are harsh and the resulting combination of pain and skin peeling (as well as an increased risk of skin cancer) can make your holiday much harder to enjoy.

3. Not Researching the Seasons

The seasons in Australia are the opposite of the Northern Hemisphere, so prepare accordingly.

Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, so the seasons here are completely opposite of what you might expect in the United States, Europe and England. Therefore, summer is in December, while winter is in June and July for the southern states. In contrast, the northern states of Australia enjoy only two seasons: wet and dry. People often mistakenly assume that things will be the same in Australia as they are back home. As a result, they end up trying to navigate the country in the midst of either winter storms, or summer flooding. Do your research and make sure this isn’t you! You don’t want to be disappointed by your trip.

4. Underestimating Prices

There’s no way  around it, Australia is expensive. Yes, there are ways to decrease the cost on the road and save here and there, but if you haven’t looked into the price of anything before you arrive, that’s a HUGE mistake. Fuel here is measured by the litre, with prices soaring to well over $1.20 per litre. Food is also extravagantly priced, particularly in isolated areas. On the plus side though, there is no designated tipping system and tax is included in prices, so the price you see is the price you pay!

5. Being Reckless

Don’t make the Australia travel mistake of not planning ahead for any epic road trips across the country.

There’s one thing you definitely don’t want to do in Australia, and that is be reckless. People who head out on an Australian road trip without doing their research, or who go on a bushwalk without the proper supplies, or who swim at beaches without reading the signs, are asking for trouble. Australia is a big place, it can be isolated and there are many animals
out there that are uniquely designed to hurt you in ways that you didn’t even know you could get hurt. Read up on the region you’re visiting, know the rules, and understand what will keep you safe. Believe me, it’s worth knowing.

6. Not Allowing Enough Time

Australia is huge, so make sure you allow yourself enough time to see all the beauty that this country has to offer.

Probably the biggest mistake that people make during their trip to Australia is not allocating enough time for their journey. Australia is filled with so many unique locations, sights, people, and experiences, that you will always feel like you need just a bit more time. While I’m a big fan of one – very extended – trip, I know this doesn’t work for everyone. Before your trip, think about all the things you want to see, because I can almost guarantee that
Australia will provide!

What are some of the mistakes you made while travelling in Australia?

A big thanks to Oceana Setaysha of Mas and Mandalas, for all her hard work and expert tips on traveling in Australia. Please follow all of her adventures on Instagram and Facebook.


Nanny by day and travel blogger any other time.

I love writing and traveling and bearing my soul on the page.
I want to inspire others to face their fears and join me on an adventure.


  • maegan 10 months ago

    Great tips! The sun can be torturous when not prepared!

  • Miranda 10 months ago

    I’m super pale, so living in the US, even if I visit Texas or Florida I’m ALWAYS stocked on sunscreen! lol Though #4 definitely sounds like something I wouldn’t do and just wing it once I got there, lol. These are great tips, I can totally see people overlooking these!

  • Becky 10 months ago

    Great tips for people travelling first time. I would love to go back and explore more as I simply ran out of time. I underestimated how cold it got down south, you always think it will be hot which isn’t always the case!!!

  • Fumiko Umemoto 10 months ago

    Hello, thank you for information about Australia. I’ve never been there .But I really want to go to Australia.
    Your article is really helpful when I m planning to go to Australia.

  • Obligatory Traveler 10 months ago

    Great and useful information, especially about the sun, I always need reminders about that. I’ve been bing watching the show Dance Academy this week and it’s making me want to visit Australia more and more.

  • Amy 10 months ago

    This post is SO TRUE! being an Australian myself I cannot agree more, people definitely underestimate the size, prices and weather. Of everywhere I’ve been in the world there is really no sun like Australian sun!

  • Lillie 10 months ago

    I haven’t made it to Australia yet, but these are excellent tips for my upcoming trip. The big one for me, as an ultra-pasty burn magnet is respecting the sun!

  • Peter Korchnak 10 months ago

    I second all of these. Too little money and time were my biggest challenges in Australia. Tongue-in-cheek, I’d add “not anticipating how funny Aussie slang is (to an American)” to the list…

  • educational websites 10 months ago

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and the rest of the site is extremely good.

  • Jennifer 10 months ago

    This is a good list of things to keep in mind. Time spent travelling always seems to be longer than one would expect. I can’t imagine how horrible it would be to get stuck in the outback on a hike without water or protection!

  • online higher education 10 months ago

    Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  • Laura Lynch 10 months ago

    I would imagine not leaving enough time and underestimating the size of the country would be a big problem if you make your itinerary too tight, as we have a habit of doing. It’s pretty incredible how large Australia is.

  • kavey Favelle 10 months ago

    I’ve never been to Australia but that means I can take on board this advice before making those same mistakes. I hear you on distances, I’ve looked into some itineraries before and considered driving before seeing how far apart some of the places are and realising it would be better to fly! Huge and diverse country, never to be underestimated on any level!

  • Tami 10 months ago

    The only mistake I’ve made it not yet traveling to Australia! The more I read about it and see the photos, the more I want to go. Alas, it’s not going to happen any time soon. However, I can appreciate the tips you’ve shared here, as they also apply to many other locations. Even in the state of California, where I am, people underestimate how large it is and forget to use sunscreen.

  • Punita Malhotra 10 months ago

    Researching a country before travelling often prepares you for the specific sights and experiences but not insights like these. Such a useful post.

  • Natalie 10 months ago

    I definitely want to visit Australia one day, so this is a very helpful post! In a country the size of the continental U.S., you’d definitely need to work out transportation times–or be prepared to do a LOT of driving! 🙂 I think that a cross-Australian road trip would be so much fun if I had several weeks (and I’ll be sure to bring the sunscreen!). 😀

  • Reshma 10 months ago

    Some pretty useful tips here! I didn’t know that the sun can be very harsh, although again it depends on the time of the year and the place. I agree with the size of the country though. Definitely one of the biggest and the beautiful countries!

  • Australia zoo 2 months ago

    This post is SO TRUE! being an Australian myself I cannot agree more, people definitely underestimate the size, prices and weather. Of everywhere I’ve been in the world there is really no sun like Australian sun!

Leave a Reply