Lydia Riley, 24, from Bournemouth, England “I don’t refer to myself with any label, I’m just here on holiday. I have a backpack, but I don’t consider myself a backpacker. If others see me as that, that’s okay. It is what it is: young people travelling around Australia and doing it on the cheap. It doesn’t concern me what people call me and I don’t think backpacker is a negative phrase.”

Jackie Clarke, 25, from Southampton. England “I don’t consider myself a proper backpacker, I haven’t even got a backpack, my bag is on wheels. I think backpackers did it best in the ’70s – broke and camping about. Travelling now seems to be geared towards coming to cities and finding jobs. Most travellers have skills now and want to work. I call myself a traveller but I don’t find the term backpacker offensive.”

Donnacha Enright, 26, from Kerry, Ireland “Do I consider myself a backpacker? Yes and no. I’ve travelled a lot and at times, I’ve definitely travelled like a backpacker in big groups on the cheap. It’s different now for me in Sydney. But I don’t care what people call me. I’m just travelling the world and everyone has a right to do that any way they want to.”

Una McGarrity, 26, from Ireland “Sometimes I think people treat you differently when they see you as a backpacker. Tour operators often seem to want to try and get as much money from you when they know you are travelling as a backpacker. I don’t like being treated like a backpacker – like an 18-year-old. I would say that I am professional, as opposed to just a backpacker. Most of the people I have met are professionals anyhow. They have had full-time jobs and are usually taking a break to travel. I’m a teacher.”

Warren Richards, 29, from Fareham, England “It doesn’t bother me at all. But I’ve only been here two days and already I’ve heard about the 18-to 30-year-olds who head to the east coast to party. For them it might be about getting pissed and having a shag fest. That might be what backpacking has come to mean for a lot of people, but not for me. I say I’m a traveller.”