When arriving in Australia I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the country. In France I could travel from top to bottom in around 13 hours. Over here in Australia 13 hours of travelling will get you to the next gas station (okay slight exaggeration but you get the idea). With so many attractions to visit, staying in one city for your whole stay is not a favourable option. Travelling around is a must.
Every traveller will choose a different mode of transport and believe me when I say there are a lot of different options. Some options are better than others depending on your time scale, the destinations you are visiting and the size of your group.
1. Buy your own car: The majority of people choose to travel with friends and sometimes the best option is to buy a car. This option gives you lots of freedom to stop off wherever you want and can be a great way to reduce costs. The problem with buying a car though is you have to have the money to do so in the first place, you also run the risk of having car problems down the route. Hopefully though at the end of your trip you will make it to your destination and sell the car on for a good price making your money back :)
2. Take the Bus: Greyhound / Premier and buses like Oz Experience are a great way to meet people whilst taking in all the main sites. Busses like this will stop off at all the major cities and destinations and run regularly making it easy to get from place to place. The major benefit of taking the bus is that you do not have to worry about anything except showing up on time. Busses are great if you are on a shorter time frame as passes are available for as little as one week all the way up to 6 months. Perfect if you have your entire trip planned out but also very flexible if you don't. The Greyhound also has some great discounts when travelling with Nomads and becoming a Nomads Member.
3. Rent a Car / Campervan: Renting vehicles is a great way to have the freedom you want without having the worry of car troubles. Big companies such as Jucy and Spaceships are a great alternative to buying a car. Hiring is a great way to travel around Australia or can be combined with other modes of transport. You can simply hire a vehicle once you have reached your destination to see what the local area has to offer. Renting cars / campers is not that expensive when you have a friend to share the costs, and the experience with.
4. Take flight: Booking flights is clearly the fastest and most efficient way to get from place to place, but this luxury also comes with a hefty price tag. Booking in advance can mean you get some great deals but usually flying is the more expensive option. The downside to flying is that you can miss key attractions out, things that you would only experience by driving. The benefit is that within a few hours you can be in a new place and with the size of Australia sometimes flying is the only option.
5. Train: For some reason this is not a popular choice amongst backpackers, however I believe it is a great one. Most major cities have a train station with regular stops. The train is also a great way to take in the sights which flying does not allow. Taking the train, like flying does not give you the luxury of freedom but is a great, quick way to get around.
It is very difficult to choose your mode of transport and most people will not stick to one for their entire trip. Combining different ways of travelling is a great way to make the most of this amazing country and ensure that you see all that it has to offer. When thinking about travelling take into account what you want to see and the budget you are on and I am sure you will have a very successful trip.