Home Travel Top Destinations to Spend A Gap Year: Australia’s East Coast

Top Destinations to Spend A Gap Year: Australia’s East Coast

If you are finishing your education this year or simply thinking about taking a year out to take in some experiences of a lifetime, then one of the best places to visit in the world is Australia’s East Coast.

The East Coast is one of the most popular routes for backpackers and travellers wanting to find some sun, sand and surf. There are loads of fantastic places dotted along the coast that are a must see for the nomads and tourists.

Ways to Travel

There are lots of different ways to do the trip, either with an organized tour operator, hire your own car or van, or jump on the Greyhound buses for the cheapest way to travel. Due to the fact that they have good road links and there are towns to stop at after a few hours of driving, the East Coast can easily be done by road if you have enough time to drive. What you should be wary of when hiring a vehicle is that the insurance has clauses for driving at night if you strike an animal, which sounds unlikely but there is a reason why they put the clause in! There is a very high number of cases of animals causing accidents.

You will be able to pass through all of the best places without diverting away from the route but you should carefully consider where you might want to stay for longer before you book any accommodation.

You have the option of working up or down the coast and you may want to plan it around the time of year. For example, you might want to be in Sydney for an unforgettable New Year’s Eve or want to hit the best beaches at the best surf season.

The following places should be at the top of the list for places to visit on the East Coast:

Sydney – There are so many great experiences in Sydney, from the Harbour Bridge, to the Sydney Opera House to taking a trip to Manly Beach. If you can plan your NYE in Sydney then you are pretty much guaranteed the best way to ring in the New Year. The fireworks across the harbor are breathtaking and if you can get onto the boat procession then you will certainly have the best NYE of your life.


Surfers’ Paradise – This probably doesn’t take much explaining, as this is of course a very popular surfers’ destination. The Gold Coast has a stretch of beaches that you won’t believe until you see it with your very own eyes.

Airlie Beach – The beautiful Airlie Beach is a hub for travellers looking to have a great time and visit the Whitsundays. There are loads of great bars and restaurants to hang out, with a real thrill-seeker vibe with lots of different parties taking place. Be careful as this community-loving, partying atmosphere can lead to the need for some STD testing and treatment if you’re not careful!

Cairns – Right up at the top is Cairns, which people generally visit to experience the famous Great Barrier Reef. Whether you’re surfing or diving, this is the ultimate destination.

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