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Australia travel advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bulb66, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. marmalade

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 1,809

    Location: Victoria OZ /Germany/UK

    Always nice to be independent of public transport. I like to buy an old van one can also sleep in that on a foam mattress.- naturally one can sell this on leaving Oz. I like the southern corner of WA. Busselton and down to Albany. (Lockie Leonard was shot in Busselton another excellent Oz children's series)
    Getting there. Best airlines Etihad, Emirates, Sinkers and Malaysian - Naturally you will be looking for wifi check with the airline before booking.
    Keeping in touch: Take a mobile that is unlocked and get a sim card in OZ - look fpor free wifi spots to ring home - free.
    Don't forget its a long way from Wa to the Eastern states - across the Nullarbor Plain. If driving at dusk/night watch out for them Big Reds all wipe out the front of a car! roos get more hoppy at dusk! Getting a job is a good idea if staying longer- get to know the natives not just people like yourself transient backpackers et al.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  2. bulb66

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 12, 2005

    Posts: 1,498

    Location: Suffolk

    I did think is was a bit odd for there to be no pics, would be good to see them :)

    Can think of any question right now as i'm still trying to decide where to go and what to see, but i will get back to you, thanks.
     
  3. bulb66

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 12, 2005

    Posts: 1,498

    Location: Suffolk

    Thanks Fox,

    I've been looking at loads of info of credit cards, pre-paid cards, travelers cheques and it's confusing, lol.

    But I've read that the Halifax Clarity credit card is good and have applied for one today, thanks. Can you explain how this would work with regards to withdrawing cash from an ATM, is it basically like a purchase which i then pay off? and do you if most ATM's charge a fee? Thanks

    And thanks for the tip, will take a look at internal flights. is it worth booking anything now or wait until i'm there?

    Thanks

    J
     
  4. bulb66

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 12, 2005

    Posts: 1,498

    Location: Suffolk

    Will do :)

    Thanks will look at internal flights, any suggestions on who?

    Thanks, will check it out.
     
  5. bulb66

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 12, 2005

    Posts: 1,498

    Location: Suffolk

    Is that a youthamism and will i need the condoms while Scuba diving, lol

    I've already booked flights with Qatar Airways, at the moment it's just a 3 month visit, but i'm open to staying longer if i like it over there.

    J
     
  6. marmalade

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 1,809

    Location: Victoria OZ /Germany/UK

    Qatar is good - should be on the list.- one can't beat competition. Don't worry in respect of Oz women -not withstanding womanist ( lets not sully the term Feminist) OZ Prime minister Julia Gillard ( and most people hate her quite apart from being a politician) OZ Girls are amongst the most feminine and best looking in the World - don't get overwhelmed, take it slow they aint a goin away.
    Oh if interested in wind surfin/learning then Perth's Pelican Point is good - only up to the knee for a considerable way from shore!
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  7. MCMLX

    Gangster

    Joined: Feb 7, 2011

    Posts: 236

    Location: Dumfries

    I am a bit biased because I used to work there,but a visit to Fremantle Prison is definitely worth it,the night tour being the best.

    Fremantle is also a nice place in itself,a bit more "old oz" than Perth. Some nice outdoor cafe's etc.

    But you cannot go to Perth and not visit Kings Park. The views of the city and the Swan River are stunning and it's free.
     
  8. Mr_T

    Hitman

    Joined: Feb 7, 2006

    Posts: 728

    Location: Perth, Australia

    Some things to do around Perth:
    * Cycle, Perth has some fantastic cycle paths all through the city, it's the best way to see the place imo
    * Rottnest hire a bike & snorkle, just don't miss the ferry back ;-)
    * If you already have your dive qualifications or want to get them - diving with dolphindive fremantle is recommended.
    *Caversham Wildlife Park - if you want to get up close with some of the native wildlife (nothing dangerous)
    * Outdoor cinema at Kings Park - Experience Kings Park during the day too, best views of the city
    * Little Creatures in Fremantle for food & drink with mates

    North: I haven't travelled up North much but
    * Lancelin - lots of 4x4 tours across the sand dunes, sand boarding etc
    * Exmouth - Diving, fishing or from April onwards snorkling with whale sharks
    * Broome - I don't know much about Broome, but I hear it's a good party town
    * The Kimberly - Epic scenery, crocodile county & generally amazing wildlife

    South/West Coast:
    * The valley of the giants near Denmark (Tree top walks)
    * Wineries - Around Pemberton, this is the true wine country in WA
    * Esperance - The best beaches i've experienced in Australia, crystal white sand, emerald blue water
    * Margaret river - Tourist spot for wineries/breweries etc. There is a bushtucker canoe tour that you can do up the river which is good fun. And you get to have you own "I'm a celeb" moment if you each a Witchetty grub

    Things not really worth doing:
    * The pinnacles - a fair journey so see some spiky rocks in the sand, only famous because Billy Connolly danced naked around it.
    * Wave rock - Again an epic journey to see a rock in the shape of a wave - would be worth while if there was something else in the area, but there isn't.

    You'll probably spend the first week being constantly shocked at the prices of, well, everything. I've been here for nearly 5 years now and I still get shocked at the price of things.
     
  9. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 155,251

    The Halifax Clarity is a fee free credit card. Halifax will not charge you for:

    a) Cash Advances (ie, withdrawing cash
    b) Foreign transactions

    Nor will they apply foreign exchange rate loading (Everyone who offers you 'commission free' exchange does this - they dont charge commission, they just give you a crappy rate!)

    Essentially this means that whenever you buy something, or withdraw cash, you get the Mastercard base rate - pretty much the best rate a tourist can ever hope to get.

    The *only* 'catch' is that if you withdraw cash, you are charged interest at your stated APR from the day of the withdrawl (Whereas on purchases you only pay interest after the due date). On a car with a 12.9% APR this is basically about 1% per 30 days outstanding. In other words, a trivial amount.

    Set up a DD to pay the card, automatically, in full each month and its as close to totally zero cost, totally flexible and perfectly secure foreign travel cash as you are ever likely to get.

    When I was there, 2009, ATM's didn't charge me.

    Do a bit of research. Get a quote for a flight from, say, Perth to Sydney for 4 months time. Then get a quote for one next week. This will tell you if there is any benefit to booking in advance.

    The low fee airlines are Jetstar (This is Qantas low fare airline) and VirginBlue. I flew with VirginBlue from Cairns to Melbourne and it was fine.

    Do bear in mind that Oz is now very, very expensive for British tourists. The exchange rate has absolutely collapsed - previous when it was between $2 and $3 per £1 it made an expensive country just about acceptable. But now its $1.5 to the £1 it makes an expensive country even more expensive.
     
  10. bulb66

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 12, 2005

    Posts: 1,498

    Location: Suffolk

    Thanks Mr T,

    As you been there for 5 years can you suggest a £ figure i should be looking at for my 3 month visit? I'm staying with friends and have asked them to tell me how much i could give them for letting me stay but they haven't got back to me yet, lol. I like to have things like money planned out so that i can be prepared.

    And thanks for the list will look into them, thanks

    James
     
  11. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 155,251

    The problem with staying with friends is that Australia is massive and the distances between even 'local' places are huge. Therefore free accomodation in only one place isn't much of a benefit unless you don't want to see anything.

    As a guide, in 2009, I spent £3000 on my 7 week trip. Although this included things like half decent hire cars and hotel rooms, it's also taking into account the fact things like hotel rooms and cars I was able to split with my girlfriend. This also included the flight, which at just £500 was a lot cheaper than it is now. It was also at a more favourable exchange rate of $2:£1.

    Going now, for almost twice as long, I'd say £8k or so to enjoy the trip. If you are a single traveller, then:

    a) You can shave some of this off by using dorms in hostel
    b) But you'll need to be paying the entire room cost yourself for hotels.

    Staying in the same accomodation for 3 months because it's cheap or free might seem like a good idea on paper but you'll miss so much I'd question if it's even worth doing.

    3 months is enough time to enjoy almost everything the country has to offer. I did the entire East and South coast as far west as Perth and as far north as Cairns in 7 weeks so with twice the time you could easily do the Outback up to Darwin and the West Coast, too.

    And you'd absolutely love it and not want to come home.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  12. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 25, 2005

    Posts: 28,871

    Location: Canada

    Or get a train if you have time and want a different experience.
     
  13. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 155,251

    But do a load of research because trains in Oz are.. somewhat infrequent. Dropped a friend off at Rockhampton station so she could get a train to Mackay (It's the next city up the coast and only about 240ish miles) and there was one train a day, at 23:50 :D
     
  14. Amp34

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jul 25, 2005

    Posts: 28,871

    Location: Canada

    Well I was thinking more like Perth to Melbourne, I'd hope you wouldn't rock up to one of those!:p

    As for £8k I would say it depends on how you do it. My sister has been there a year and not spent that much. For 3 months buy a cheap car and camp (west coast seems far more a camping place than hotels anyway, you miss the wilderness/nothingness).
     
  15. Mr_T

    Hitman

    Joined: Feb 7, 2006

    Posts: 728

    Location: Perth, Australia

    It's probably easier if you say what your budget is, then I can give you a reasonable idea of what you could do on it. Also indicate if you are dead set on certain experiences, such as swimming with Whale Sharks? The fact you can stay with friends whilst in Perth will help a lot!

    As a rough guide take the price of things in the UK then double or triple it to get an idea of what you'll spend. The one obvious exception to this is Petrol which with the current exchange rate is probably similar to the UK.

    Beer will probably be the biggest killer to your budget, especially at bars.
     
  16. bulb66

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 12, 2005

    Posts: 1,498

    Location: Suffolk

    Well i'll be honest and say am treating this as more as a chance to relax, hang out with friends and enjoy the time away, then a must see everything of Australia trip.

    So far i've centered my trip around Perth and want to visit things like the art gallery of Western Australia, the Aquarium of Western Australia, kings park and Perth zoo.

    But i do want to visit at least one other city, maybe Sydney to see the bridge and Opera house. And i like the idea of going somewhere and camping.

    I'm not the sort of person who is interested is seeing a big rock in the middle of nowhere or going out every night and drinking.

    Now in terms of budget, i'd say around £2000-£3000.

    Thanks

    James
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  17. [TW]Fox

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 17, 2002

    Posts: 155,251

    2k budget for 3 months in Australia?! Your flights alone will take up almost half of that!
     
  18. bulb66

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 12, 2005

    Posts: 1,498

    Location: Suffolk

    Oh that's not including flights, lol.

    Flights are booked and paid for :)
     
  19. Hank_Marvin

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 12, 2005

    Posts: 3,579

    Location: Norwich, England

    Take 6months off and relax in England and get an Ipswich Season ticket and go home and away.
     
  20. bulb66

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 12, 2005

    Posts: 1,498

    Location: Suffolk

    Are you suggesting that my budget is to low or that my reason for going to Australia is not a good one?

    And i'd rather stick pins in my eyes than watch Ipswich play football if you can call what they do that, lol.