The most popular time to visit Australia is during summer, while the sun's shining, the skies are blue, and the locals are cheery!
Australia has a lot to offer during summer between beaches, dessert and mountain ranges (come back for the snow in winter, we're not joking its amazing!) However, you might have heard it super expensive? Well after plenty of years as a broke student we know all the best budget things to do in Australia! Here are some favourites!
17 Budget Friendly Activities to Experience Australia Like A Local!
Get Your Mates Together and Go Barefoot Bowling
Throughout Australia lawn bowls is typically enjoyed by the elderly but one night a week is barefoot bowls night. This is the night when the young and wild can enjoy a few beers (at prices from the 1970s) with friends over a game of bowls.
Some Sweet Treats
You will find plenty of sweet treats and bakeries in Australia and the goods are pocket friendly and delicious! Here three you should know about!
The first is the classic Tim Tam. Now, this is something that will most likely be life changing. Grab your Tim Tam and bite off two opposite corners. Grab a cold glass of milk, please don’t use anything hot! Dip in one corner, then use the other corner like a straw and suck. What you have is a delicious chocolate milk drink, then the biscuit turns into a fudgy chocolate bar.
The next two are best to get from a bakery. First is the lamington, every Australian grandma made these and we are thankful! It basically a fist sized piece of sponge cake filled with jam, rolled in chocolate and then coconut, sounds like a mess, and it is, so grab a napkin!
Finally, grab yourself a vanilla slice. The name might seem unassuming; however, the Vanilla Slice is an iconic treat. The slice has a crispy pastry bottom and top of thick, vanilla custard filling. Simple yet life changing, again thank us later!
Have a Classic Barbie (BBQ)
No matter the time of the year or temperature locals always flock to the beaches.
The locals complain its full of riffraff and overpriced coffees but it doesn’t stop them heading down. You will find a huge congregation of locals every Saturday and Sunday and well pretty most other sunsets to eat, drink and mingle. It’s an awesome chance with hang out with a cheery local and get some more local tips.
Australians don’t mind eating their emblem animal. And you shouldn’t either, grab a pack of Kangaroo steaks and contribute to the barbie. They can be a bit tricky to cook right, so make sure the internal temperature is bang on, or else you might end up with a bit of a sore belly!
Camp Amongst the Kangaroos
Camping in the outback is truly magical, you will see an array of new stars including the famous southern cross. Grab a swag, an esky (cooler) and some grub (food) and will you will all set for a night in the bush.
Hang Out in Byron Bay
Byron Bay, you might have heard of this idyllic town, that is now home to many famous people. But its reputation is rightly so, it is bloody beautiful! Azure blue water, the softest sand you’ve ever touched and a beautiful beachside village. It can be pricy in these types of spots, lucky there is lots of opportunity to house sit. It can be competitive so find out the best tips to getting started.
How About Some Shopping?
Melbourne is famous for its shopping. If you’re after cheap boutique finds head to Smith St in Collingwood or Greville St in Prahran. Both are streets are full of treasure troves of designers.
If you come at Christmas time, you have to head to Myer, they are famous for their beautiful window displays as well as stocking all the best brands! If you’re looking for some bargains, head to DFO. You wouldn't believe the location. It's set on the side of the Yarra River, with lovely restaurants overlooking it. The perfect place for an afternoon espresso martini, you can pick them up at happy hour for around $4.
Swimming Under a Waterfall
The Blue Mountains in rural NSW has some beautiful waterfalls. There are many tracks, so enjoy the bushwalk to a beautiful waterfall then strip down to your togs and jump in. The walking tracks are endless here so make sure you grab a national park map! There are also some great tours that explore this area, have a look on Viator.
Watch the Aus Open with The Locals
When January rolls around, all Melbourne can talk about is the Australian Open (and which beach they visited on the weekend). Everyone gets involved, and you can’t avoid the excitement!
Tickets for the main courts can get very pricy very quickly. Look for the ground pass, it lets you visit all the outdoor courts. If you go early enough in the tournament and you can watch the likes of Roger Federer playing.
Your next move should be towards the lawns. Here amongst the beautiful gardens are huge TV set up. As the days progresses you will be amongst the Aussies getting into the spirit. Before you know you will be cheering along with some new best mates.
Master the Art of Surfing
Surfing is more than a sport in Australia it is a lifestyle. Take a surf lesson, it may not be budget, but once you master it, it’s free for life! Try to stand, fall, try again, perseverance and persistence create grit which is a necessary personality trait for any Australian. Nothing beats the sense of achievement when you succeed. Bondi Beach is a popular spot to learn how to surf - book your lessons online here.
Get Lost on a Road Trip
Australia is best seen from the road. If you fly you miss out on all the best beaches and parks. Head off on a road trip, you can find looks of cheap/ free cars and campers via searching for relocation cars.
Go Cliffside for A Few Kms
The coastal track from Coogee to Bondi is a picturesque pleasure. Not only will it the 6km track help you burn off the excessive beers, lattes & seafood it is packed with so much to do. You discover hidden beaches, rock pools, parks & gorgeous places to stop for a picnic. Most of the track is a cliffside pathway, which allows for a perfect photo session to make all your friends jealous!
Get Down and Dirty Four-Wheel Driving
Go for a four-wheel drive, it’ll allow you to find things that you never could have explored on your own. You can see the Aussie bush find a waterhole and experience it all while going over bumps and through puddles that are comparable to a roller-coaster ride.
Snorkel While it is Still Here
Snorkelling is something typically enjoyed at the Great Barrier Reef and the Ningaloo Reef, but you can also enjoy it further down the coast as well. Just be mindful where ever you are of rips and sharks. The Aussie coastline is beautiful, but it can also be quite dangerous. Not only that the coral reefs in the Great Barrier Reefs are quickly declining, so make this a high priority. Don't miss out on snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef - book a trip online before you go.
Get an Ice Cream from Mr. Whippy
In summer there is a tune that is music to everyone's ears. That wonderful tune is that of Mr. Whippy. You will find him at the park, at the beach, and if you are lucky enough you will find him cruising down your street. He is the sound of summer. He is at times, a lifesaver.
No day at the beach is complete without an ice cream from Mr. Whippy. Your first time can be overwhelming, with a picture board with 20 - 30 different combinations and styles it's hard to choose. Do you go for the standard flake cone or go all out and get the banana split?
A local favourite is the standard flake cone dipped in a crispy chocolate layer. Do yourself a favour and see Mr. Whippy before the summer is out and he is parked up for the wintertime!
Start a Game of Beach Cricket
Head to the beach, meet some locals and invite them to play, enjoy some fun and some mateship all under the Aussie sun. This might sound too simple but if you head to the beach you will see dozens of games of beach cricket, Aussie love it and will be happy to join in your game.
Clean Up with a Property Bonfire
Bonfires are a big part of property clean ups, not to mention an awesome social gathering. Collect the wood, set it up, make sure it’s safe and let it rip. Having a bonfire on a property with marshmallows, laughter, and someone playing the guitar is an experience you won’t want to miss while you’re in Australia.
Eat Fish ‘n’ Chips
Having a ‘feed’ of fish ‘n’ chips is about as Aussie as you can get. However, the fish ‘n’ chips that are not the kind that comes served in an ironic serving basket for $35.99 at your local fine dining restaurant. We're talking about the real fish ‘n’ chips!
This is going to your local fish shop, ordering a $20 family pack and heading down the beach to eat it with your hands while watching the sun go down. Every fish ‘n’ chip shop has a $20 Family pack; however, they can differ from place to place. You will usually find they contain something along the lines of 4 pieces of crumbed fish, 2 scoops of chips, a couple of hot dogs & a small army or potato cakes.
This delicious pack of deep-fried goodness will always come wrapped in last week’s newspaper, which is used as your table at the beach! Always remember you can add tomato sauce and lemon to get the full experience.
There you have it, all the best things to do in Australia just like a local. Not only that, there won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
So, what are you waiting for?