Far North Queensland boasts some of the most majestic scenery on earth, from the Mossman Gorge to the Great Barrier Reef. It is home to the saltwater crocodile, the cassowary, and the flying fox. Traveling around this paradise of diverse delights is something every traveler should experience. Good news is that it shouldn't cost you an arm or leg to bop around a bit, so long as you take these tips to travel on a budget.
Brisbane -- The Gateway
There is a reason they call it "Far North" Queensland -- it's far away from the big cities of Australia. Brisbane is the largest and closest city in Queensland and is the home of a large international airport, sitting about 1,100 kilometers to the south. From BNE airport, look to Australia's budget carriers to take you north and always book online for the best prices. Tiger Air and Jetstar both run affordable flights to Cairnes, bu Jetstar also runs flights to Airlie Beach, Daydream Island, Hayman Island and Townsville.
Regional Air Service
Once you get up to Far North Queensland, you'll a few budget-friendly regional carriers that will zip you on short flights around the peninsula in no time. Small airlines like Regional Express, Hinterland Aviation, and AirNorth run limited-seat prop planes out of a surprising number of small market airports around. Enjoy the ease of budget air travel to places like North Peninsula, Prosperpine, and Palm Island airports.
Greyhound, Sun Bus, and Trans North Buses
The towns of North Queensland are connected by bus, as well. While travel time on a bus is generally longer, you can make multiple stops along the way. And you can look for deals that allow you to make an unlimited amount of trips on the buses of North Queensland during a certain amount of time or between two destinations. These hop-on, hop off deals are perfect for the traveler who is intent on seeing it all.
The youth hostel culture of Australia is outstanding. Hostels are generally well taken care of, safe, popular and a great place to meet travelers from around the world. Most hostels in North Queensland offer shared dorm rooms with community bathrooms. It may not be the most comfortable way to spend a night, but it sure is affordable. You may even be able to work a few hours a day at the hostel for a bed.
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The Camper Van
One of the most epic ways to see the country is in a camper van. Companies like Jucy and Wicked have locations in Cairnes. These minivans act like a compact RV, complete with a kitchen, a fridge, and a running sink. Many of the models sleep up to four people, so you can stuff one like a burrito with your mates and hit the road while splitting the cost. You won't be at the start-and-stop will of a bus route and you'll have much more freedom to roam than if you fly. Plus, your transport is also your accommodation; saving you heaps of money.