Melbourne is where you go if you want a little culture with your Carlton Draught. Visit Fitzroy and you’ll be surrounded by some of the finest street art, dive bars and live music known to man.
Sydney is like Batman to Melbourne’s Joker, an epic intercity rivalry that stretches on into the ether. While Melbs probably wins on the creative front, where Sydney does undoubtedly win out is its beaches (and beachside bars).
Sydney’s beaches might be great, but they aren’t Byron Bay great. A surf town with cool, chilled hippie-alternative vibes, it’s something of an Australian party mecca.
It might not be the classiest of parties, but it sure is one of the biggest. The main party area is centred around the Surfer’s Paradise suburb of the city. There are countless clubs here, all open late and all playing the latest floor fillers, so as long as you like that kind of thing, picking one shouldn’t be hard. If you really want to push it to the limit, join one of the organised pub & club crawls, like Hangover Crawl orWicked Club Crawl.
While Airlie Beach is a party town in its own right, it’s the party cruise around the Whitsunday Islands that’s the real draw. The islands themselves are tropical perfection, with white sands and glistening turquoise water, all under Australia’s burning northern sun. With bars on the boats, pumping tunes and even a fun slide, this is the ultimate party that tours paradise.
Named for the magnetic effect it had on Captain James Cook’s compass back when he was busy discovering the great land of Oz, now the island pulls in countless party goers for its Full Moon Party. International and local DJs will spin tunes on the beach beside the Base Backpackers Hostel, attracting around 3000 revellers every month, who slap on the body paint and groove beside the fire twirlers until the sun comes up.
Located a little inland from Byron Bay, Nimbin is the ultimate hippie town. Although it can be a little sleepy at times, it really comes alive during Mardi Gras. The street are filled with people, colourful costumes and floats shaped like spliffs, as the music blares and the bongos drum. Most definitely worth a look if you’re around during the beginning of May.
Cairns has some of the best nightlife in all of Australia, especially for the backpacker or traveller on a budget. It’s always worth hitting one of the major hostel bars to start the night with some cheap beers and grub – Nomads, Calypso or Gilligan’s should cover this nicely. Then, when you’re sufficiently watered, head to Woolshed and dance on the tables.
Man, it is hot up here – a perfect excuse for a beer, I’d say. Like with most cities favoured by backpackers, it’s best to hit up the hostel spots first. Chilli’s Backpackers has a great, cheap bar and is always packed with travellers from all over the world.
Perth is no longer the isolated and sleepy small town it once was. Now it’s a bustling metropolis on Australia’s quieter but beautiful West Coast, the perfect kicking off point to explore the other half of Oz. Like all major settlements in Australia, Perth is geared perfectly for the backpackers and budget traveller crowd, with countless bars, clubs and backpacker hostels all over the city.