Australia is an attractive vacation spot for the avid traveler. It may be farther away from many locations than an American traveler's trip to Disney in Florida or a European's visit to India, but the outback and city life of Australia are worth visiting if you can afford it. Instead of staying at a hotel, you can rent a house in Australia to get a real taste of Australian culture and lifestyle.
Obtain your passport and required visa. If you are entering Australia as a citizen of the United States, Europe, Africa or even New Zealand (to name a few), you must have a valid passport. You may also need some type of visa. United States citizens need an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) visa. If you visit from New Zealand, you don't need a visa to enter the country, but upon arrival into Australia you must apply for a Special Category visa by completing a passenger card. There is an excellent website listed in Resources below that explains the visa requirements for different countries of citizenship and gives links to other sites to apply for such visas.
Decide when you would like to visit Australia. Remember that the seasons in Australia are the opposite of what they are in the United States and Europe. When it is summer in the United States, it is winter in Australia. If you are going to visit Australia's tropical zone, including Queensland and the north and west parts of Australia, the best time to go is between May and October. During the Australian winter in January and February, the weather is sticky and very humid. If you visit the temperate zones of Australia, you can visit during any season and find mild temperatures.
Decide where you would like to rent a house in Australia. Perhaps you've always wanted to visit one of the major cities such as Sydney or Melbourne. Or maybe you're looking for a less-popular area to just kick back in. Keep in mind that you are better off staying in the more populated city areas for a few reasons. You will have more access to hospitals and police, and you will have less chance of coming face to face with a deadly scorpion or poisonous snake. You will also have less distance to travel to reach shops and attractions.
Decide on the type of home you want to rent in Australia, keeping in mind your budget. You might want a large four-bedroom house with a huge backyard. Or perhaps you want to rent a small dwelling that is more cost-effective. Be realistic.
Find a website that deals in home rentals in Australia. One such site is Rent Australia (listed in Resources). This website is a good pick because you can choose many different regions and cities in Australia in which to search for home rentals. You can also browse many homes in a short period of time by putting in the parameters you want, such as number of bedrooms. If you wish to deal privately with a homeowner, you can check out a website like Adpost, which shows private listings for home rentals available in Australia.
Browse the websites and search for the home you want to rent. You can generally search websites for free. Once you find the home you want to rent, fill out the required information and submit your request on the website. If you are responding to a private owner's ad on Adpost, contact the homeowner directly to make your request.
Complete the process to rent the home and get the details. Be clear about the rental terms, such as the price and length of stay, and your obligations while you are there (like grass mowing and plant watering). You also need to know how to make payment, where to get the keys and whether you will meet the homeowners personally at the beginning of the rental. Be sure to find out directions to shopping centers, hospitals and police stations.
Enjoy all that Australia has to offer. Depending on where you stay, there will be many attractions you won't want to miss. For example, if you stay near Sydney, be sure to check out the city. Find attractions of interest near the home you rent.
Take care of the home while you are there. The home should be in the same or better condition when you leave. Have respect for the homeowners and show appreciation for them letting you make use of their home.