Because it's a fantastic place to explore this way!
The Basics: Everyone speaks English (well, sort of!). The climate is good and predictable â you know when it's going to rain and when it's dry. Although you'll need to be sensible about wildlife (Australia has more animals that can do you major harm than any other continent!), it's generally a very safe place to stay and travel. The natives are friendly â they'll give you directions and possibly even a lift. Australians love visitors; they are hospitable and treat them well. Find friends early in your trip and club together to rent a car or van; travel together and save money while you have more fun. Even in the outback you'll find plenty of backpackers' hostels with cheap and clean accommodation â don't expect luxury, but if you're travelling as a backpacker, what the heck! There are hostel networks, so you can book ahead and travel in the knowledge you'll have a bed for the night.
It's the dream destination of a lifetime for hikers, with just about every type of scenery you could wish for. Take your pick, lace up your boots and off you go! Just one thing to be careful about: towns and even tiny communities are a long way apart in Australia, most of which is EMPTY, so make sure you always have plenty of water and something to eat before making any journey outside the big cities. Maps are a must if you're off-road!
Australia is a clean country, so be like the locals and take your litter with you for safe disposal. It's a superbly photogenic place and you'll have so many memories to take home and share! If you come across Indigenous people, give them respect and you'll get respect back â they may even show you some wonders of Aboriginal art from the times before the Europeans arrived!
Making your way around the coast is a great experience and the easiest way to see Australia as nearly everyone lives within 30km of the sea. Places to visit and stay are closer to each other and transport links are also better than inland where you will need to plan more carefully.
All of Australia's main cities are close to the coast too, so you can mix some wild scenery with some urban cool â even Sydney and Melbourne, famed for their cost of living, can be experienced on a tight budget and have lots of budget accommodation (including many of the world's cheap hotel chains). For food, check out the immigrant quarters such as Chinatown or the Vietnamese or Greek streets â always good value, always tasty and nutritious.