The best times to backpack around Australia and why

Backpacker about to slide into a water hole in the rainforest

If you’re planning to backpack Down Under, timing your trip right will likely impact that type of holiday you experience. Let’s be real; we all know one main reason that draws in backpackers from far and wide… our glorious golden stretches of the coast (and our personal favourite, the Gold Coast – completely unbiased!).

When deciding on the optimal time to visit Australia, there are several factors to take into account. Plus you will definitely need to ensure you choose the right hostel.

Here’s our top things to consider for your Aussie travel planning:


1. Know the Best Season to Travel to Australia, especially the Gold Coast

Sunset over Gold Coast beach
Sourced: Instagram Page

Along Australia’s East Coast, you’ll experience a wide range of temperatures, with the Gold Coast boasting a temperate climate, making it a year-round destination. However, for optimal weather and fewer crowds, aim for spring (September to November) or autumn (March to May). These seasons offer the perfect mix of sunshine and mild temperatures, ideal for beach adventures without the summer heatwave. Plus you will definitely need to ensure you choose the right hostel for your Gold Coast stay.


2. Check Stinger Season in Australia and the Gold Coast

Surfer riding a wave with Surfers Paradise cityscape backdrop
Sourced: Pinterest

Stinger season, typically from November to May, sees an increase in jellyfish activity in northern regions, though you will find closed-off swimming spots so you can still enjoy the water without the worry. While the Gold Coast isn’t a hotspot for stingers, it’s wise to check local advisories before hitting the waves. Not sure what a ‘stinger’ is, Surf Life Saving Queensland explain.

3. Is there a Busy Season in Australia?

Busy beach crowds in Sydney beach

Peak tourist season hits Australia during the summer months (December to February). Expect crowds and inflated prices, especially in popular destinations like the Gold Coast. To avoid the masses, consider travelling during the shoulder seasons (spring and autumn) for a more relaxed experience but still busy enough for your nights hitting the town!


4. Where to Explore on Australia’s East Coast

Backpacker about to slide into a water hole in the rainforest
Sourced: Pinterest

The East Coast offers a smorgasbord of experiences, from city escapades to natural wonders. If you’re short on time, three to four weeks should cover the essentials, including Sydney, the Great Barrier Reef, and Byron Bay. Extend your trip for a deeper exploration of gems like the Whitsundays and Fraser Island.


5. How Long To Stay on the Gold Coast

Budds hostel guest on the beach all standing behind a large surf board
Sourced: Budds in Surfers Instagram Page

While you can sample the Gold Coast’s highlights in a few days, a week allows for a more immersive experience. Surf legendary breaks, explore the hinterland, browse the local markets and dive into the local dining scene at Broadbeach; you’ll live with a memory bank full of everything! If you’re having a hard time planning your Gold Coast stay, we’ve handpicked our Bucket List Activities on the Gold Coast!


In a nutshell, spring and autumn are prime times to backpack Australia’s East Coast, including the Gold Coast. However, just ask any local or a Budds hostel guest and they’ll confirm that the Gold Coast is awesome all year around.  Remember to stay informed about stinger activity, think about ups and downs of the summer rush, and dive deep into the East Coast’s treasures.

If you’re travelling to the Gold Coast at any time of the year, book your accommodation with the Best Hostel in Australia 2024, Budds in Surfers hostel – your adventure starts here!