The beautiful, diverse country of Australia has more than 1,300 home exchanges, each offering the opportunity to discover Australia through a local's eyes. Even better, our vibrant community of home exchangers in Australia are welcoming and helpful, with lots of tips and suggestions to help you plan your trip.
Traveling shouldn't just be about ticking to-see boxes off, it should be about meeting local cultures, discovering unknown places and traveling as a participating guest, not as a spectator. HomeExchange has created a world map, The World Through a Local's Eyes, a collection of locals’ recommendations from all around the world. For more local tips in Australia and around the world, check out the map.
Seasoned home exchanger Linda, who lives in Western Australia, shared her tips for planning a vacation in Australia, along with beautiful photos of her country. Here's what Linda suggests travelers keep in mind.
When to visit Australia
"The most important thing to think about when planning an exchange in Australia is the weather— we are a big country with two separate climatic areas.
"If you want to visit the north (Queensland, Northern Territory, north of Western Australia) you should plan to visit between April and October (ideally June to August), as this is the best weather, hot and dry. If you visit December to March you may find most tourist attractions are closed, beaches are closed, roads are closed and the weather is very hot and wet with occasional cyclones.
"For the south of Australia, September to May has great weather (although the winter June to August weather in places like Brisbane, Sydney and Perth is usually very mild with a lot of sunny days, so don't discount traveling then).
"Also, the whole of Australia has school holidays from mid-December to end of January, so all holiday and tourist attractions are very busy and flights are more expensive then, so consider coming off season."
Getting around Australia
"When visiting Australia remember the distances are huge, but generally the highways are very efficient and fast, so it will only take 1 hour per 100km. (vastly different from traveling in Europe/ UK). Public transport is poor except in city centers."
Things to do in Australia
"Australia is all about the great outdoors — beaches, coastal scenery, forests and wildlife are the big attractions. Allow time to visit National Parks. I recommend planning several exchanges in different places, or a long exchange where you can do trips to other areas overnight or over a few days and book accommodation along the way."
Traveling to Western Australia
"Western Australia is often overlooked by travelers in favor of the big ticket items of the east coast, but in fact Western Australia has a lot to offer. Firstly, it is close to Europe so the flight length is shorter, and there are direct flights from London to Perth. Perth is the capital city and in reality the only big city in the state, which is a massive 2,500,000 km2, bigger than western Europe.
"The most popular tourist attraction near Perth is Rottnest Island, just 30 minutes by ferry. The world famous quokkas live here and are as cute in real life as they are in selfies! Rottnest has incredible snorkeling with crystal clear water, coral and limestone reefs all in a marine sanctuary. If you want to stay overnight at Rottnest, book early, as accommodation is limited.
"The most scenic region is the southwest corner of Western Australia, with amazing pristine coastlines, empty white sand beaches, wineries, surfing at the famous Margaret River, forests and top quality food and produce. Whale watching is seasonal and you can interact with wild dolphins at Bunbury.
"If you plan an exchange in Perth you should also plan a week or 2 exploring the South West from Bunbury through to Albany and all the coast in between. For those looking for adventure, head a bit further afield. The north of Western Australia is an experience for your bucket list if you want to see the real Australia—rugged, remote, untouched, uninhabited. From Perth, you can fly to Broome to experience the Kimberley region, or if you have time hire a motorhome in Perth and spend a few weeks driving along the coast to Kalbarri, Shark Bay and Monkey Mia, Coral Bay and Exmouth, Broome and Cape Leveque."
You can enjoy an authentic, welcoming, affordable vacation to Australia by home exchanging— here are just a few of the gorgeous homes waiting to welcome you.
Vacation homes in Australia
This home in a Cairns suburb is set high in the rainforest with gorgeous ocean views, surrounded by tropical gardens. You can enjoy a swim in the solar heated pool, use the yoga mats and exercise bike, and feel truly relaxed and enveloped in nature.
This relaxing family home in Queensland has beautiful views from the balcony, covered deck, and large windows. The welcoming home exchange even includes a swimming pool and a private pontoon boating jetty.
This 1950s luxury beach house is equipped with a small heated pool and is a short walk from the beach, playground, shops, restaurants, and cinemas.
This Western Australia home exchange is in a fabulous location and will make you feel right at home, with lounge areas, an open-plan kitchen, and study areas.
This penthouse is filled with natural light and has beautiful views throughout, with a wrap-around balcony. It is spacious enough for the whole family, with three bedrooms and two living areas.
For more local tips on Australia (or to contribute your own!), check out The World Through a Local's Eyes map. It features lesser known towns and villages you shouldn't miss, restaurant recommendations, and spots you won't find in traditional guidebooks.