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Australia Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Australia vacation


hobart
become a business - member
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Hello,
I'M tony Guerra, owner/manager of: Hobart's Accommodation & Hostel. in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.
Is there any possibilities to have my business listed with your site.

Warmth Regs
Tony Guerra


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AndreaLJC
Virgin Blue Holidays 4 stars
I'm a backpacker so it's extremely rare for me to go for a package holiday as I know that I can do it much cheaper, however, I had to leave Australia as my visa was running up so I looked into flight costs for Fiji and to my surprise, Virgin Blue's Holiday deals were $50 different to flights alone! That included a four star hotel, which actually saved on getting a hostel! I was really impressed at the price, however the photos of the hotel were nothing like the ones on the website, I wish I had done a bit more research into the hotel part, not that it was a bad hotel, just very quiet and boring (and I prefer to party!) They do deals all the time, sometimes are better than others but it’s worth a look if your planning on going somewhere.

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Edgey
Killing kangaroos 1 stars
They say it about vampires in horror books, but the same applies to Australia - DON'T GO OUT AFTER DUSK. The country's national symbol - the kangaroo - lurks in wait in the shadows. In wait with his friends. In wait for that rusty little morris minor bought on a street corner from a mate's mate in the last little town for a couple of hundred bucks. To jump into. Quite frankly, I have never seen anything like it since I played Lemmings on the Nintendo 64. If it hadn't been for the sharp-eyed drivers I was travelling with, the kangaroos would have had us breakfast, lunch and tea, because there was no chance we would have survived hitting a roo, in a Fiat panda. We would have been shitting royal jelly. As for a vegetarian swinging a baseball bat to finish off one of these kickers (me). I've no stomach for a kanga steak or a joey burger from a half-finished roo. Be warned. Even before daybreak these genetically upsized rabbits are capable of getting on the wrong side of the headlights of the odd car or two.

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Edgey
Talking the lingo - you c*nt 1 stars
I'm a girl, and hearing that word that begins with C makes me to shake at the knees with disgust. In the UK, this word is practically outlawed. It is reserved for only the most extreme of the extreme of the extreme circumstances - say someone murdered your mother. Men in the UK go so far as to apologise for slip ups during the footie in pubs, people correct themselves if their accents sound different for ''cant'', but in Australia - the outback of Australia - things are incredibly, incredibly different. My mother used to say, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. But in the land of the red dust, if you can't say anything nice, you still get airtime, you c*nt.

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Edgey
Joining a travelling carnival 5 stars
Do you have muscles of steel? An inability to wash? The capacity to sleep in a tent for 16 weeks? If the answer is yes, then why not join one of the many travelling carnivals down the West coast of Australia? I found mine when I was destitute - without farm work in the ''farming town'' of Kunnunarra in the Kimberleys. Carnie-crew, Mitro Enterprises, were recruiting a fresh swathe of backpackers into the fold (so I heard from the old crowd in the pub). At the time, I was so poor that no amount of tales about 20 hour working days, red soil diseases or crap food could dissuade me from taking what I saw as the chance of a lifetime - free accommodation and free transport for 500bucks a week for beer and food. With hindsight, however, I wish I had thought more about the veteran backpackers' views. The work turned out to be pretty damn hard, the accommodation, so grotty that I actually chose to sleep in a tent, and the food was anything you could rustle up on a rusty, open-to-the-flies barbecue. It was an experience, however. I met some good mates and saved a few bucks.

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Edgey
Red Soil Disease 1 stars
OK, so that's not the technical term, but it's not pretty. Imagine your hand seizing up so hard that you can only poke at things like a stick, and you'd be close to what a guy I worked with contracted. I was doing hard labour in the red dust with the all-male crew of a travelling carnival when we had the first outbreak. There were rumours these guys didn't have the best record of cleanliness - i.e. didn't wash their hands (but to be fair, I don't think any of us had seen a decent sink in weeks). The end result was rashes, sores and frozen fingers - and finding the source behind this was like trying to find the culprit behind the freaky goings on in Scooby Doo. In the end, we figured it must have had something to do with the red powder. The end of the story is that backpacker in question missed his flight to Perth to see a plastic surgeon. Rumour has it that his hand is still twisted into the shape of an over-enthusiastic rapper to this day. Be warned. It's not just necessary in hospitals. Red soil? Wash your hands.

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Moyleb33
Australia - Cheap Flights Website 5 stars
The absolutely best website for checking flight prices internally in Australia is...

www.iwantthatflight.com.au

You can't book through this site but it comapres all of the cheap suppliers ie: Tiger, Jetstar, Virgin Blue and even Qantas and lets you know the best deals for you to then book direct.

it's a great site if you are felxible with your dates and just looking for the cheapest day to travel. It saves you going onto four different sites - brilliant!


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anja78
Buying a car 4 stars
If you are planning to buy a car in Australia, your best bet is Sydney or Melbourne, simply because more people are selling here than anywhere else. In Sydney the place to look for backpacker cars is Kings Cross Car Market. It does, however, prove useful to look for flyers posted on the streets as well. Another good source for used cars is gumtree.com, where not only backpackers, but also locals advertise their used cars. A great option is to look for a dual fuel car (LPG and regular fuel) because LPG is still a lot cheaper than regular fuel at the moment and you will be saving loads on gas money.

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anja78
Upper-class Caravan Parks 3 stars
Big 4 Caravan Parks is a chain of high-class caravan parks that offer not simply camping, but a number of activities and service especially for Australian families vacationing in these parks. You can become a member of Big 4 which will get you a campsite for a few dollars less. The parks are always very clean and tidy and vegetated with palm trees and green lawns. On the other hand, even if you are willing to pay the extra money, I found them to be sterile and boring as they all look just the same.

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anja78
Working Holiday: Tax issues 3 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
If you are a European (excluding residents from Commonwealth countries) in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa, you will have to pay 29 percent tax, unless you can claim to be a resident for tax purposes. The major deciding factor in this is if you are staying in one place for six months or more. There is a questionnaire to determine this on the webpage of the Australian Taxation Office. (www.ato.gov.au) Many people I met thought they would get all their taxes back and then were facing a nasty surprise at the end of the financial year.

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anja78
Finding a job in Australia 4 stars
Although looking for work can be frustrating anywhere you are, I found that in Australia it is relatively easy. In the city your best bet are usually temp-agencies. If you apply with a handful of agencies you are likely to get a phonecall with a job-offering within a few days, especially if you have some office experience and speak good English. Office clerk jobs pay between 17 and 22 Dollars per hour, depending where you are and how lucky you are.

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Moyleb33
Australia - Budget Airlines 4 stars
The big names in cheap airfares are

JET STAR
TIGER
VIRGIN BLUE

They all have website offering discounted air fares around australia and asia.

It's worth knowing that they are all no frills airlines so there is no food or inflight entertainment included. The only reason I thought it was worth mentioning is that sometimes Qantas fares aren't THAT much more expensive and you do get a drink and a bite to eat. Worth considering if it is a slightly longer journey and you are going to spend money on food or buying a film (at $10 a go!)


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Master
How to get a visa for Australia 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
If you are a citizen from France, Germany, UK, the Netherlands, Italy (the list is longer), you should go to the website of the Department of Immigration and get a maximum of information about a Working Holiday Visa. This visa is valid for 12 months and gives you the change to work legally for one employer during 6 months. Once I applied online and paid 180 AU$, I received a positive answer from the Australian government after 48 hours. It just proves how easily you can get it. You will need your passport number and eventually a medical certificate of you have spent more than 6 months in an under developed country.

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Master
Opening a bank account 5 stars
Opening a bank account is quick and simple. The best banks for backpackers are Westpac and Commonwealth because they have the biggest amount of ATM in the country and they offer convenient services (as a free number to check the balance summary or internet banking). You should get an account during the firth 5 weeks form your arriving day in Australia because at this stage the procedure is easier. Apparently after this deadline, you will need to bring more documents which just make it complicated. Otherwise, you need to bring a passport and sign few papers. This shouldn’t take longer than 20 min.

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Master
Buying a car to have the best time in Australia 5 stars
Buying a car might take a while if you don’t know anything about vehicles. Backpackers who are leaving Australia and don’t need their car any longer post notices in hostels or newspapers. Be aware that Australia is a big country and most of those cars have driven thousands of km. I found my car from a local guy in Perth who advertised his offer in a newspaper. I think that any way to get one is good as long as you are lucky to find one which is working. You just need to be very careful while you are choosing. I met many travelers who bought a camper van which broke down after few days. Take your time then and avoid offers which are surreally low.

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anja78
Mobile phones - Vodafone or Telstra? 4 stars
On arrival in Australia one of the first things on the to do list is usually to get a mobile. The question then is: which provider do I choose? I had no idea and just went to the next cornershop and asked about the best option for travellers. I was recommended Vodafone. A big mistake as I quickly noticed. As soon as you get out of the city by just a few kilometers, you lose network reception. In the country, Telstra is by far the better option. Of course you have to keep in mind that in remote areas you won't be able to use your mobile regardless of the provider you have chosen.

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Moyleb33
Australia - Greyhound Buses Website 5 stars
I have just been on the Greyhound Bus website to book a trip from Sydney to Canberra. I found then when I searched for a return trip the bog standard prices came up but - when I split the journey into two single trips the site displayed little red stars next to some of the rates indicating the specials. Instead of being $38 one way, I got it for $25 - bargain!

They may do specials on the returns as well but just not on the trip I was looking at. It just seems it's definitely worth looking at the one-way prices just incase. www.greyhound.com.au

I'm off on my first greyhound bus trip tomorrow so I'll write a review later in the week.


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Moyleb33
Australia - Manly - Swimming 4 stars
There are no shortage of places to swim in Manly but sometimes the swell can be rough and it's not always easy to get some proper swimming done. If you love the sea but aren't always confident in the waves, try heading to the right of Manly beach to the smaller, Shelly Beach. It's a bit more relaxed here. Also between the two beaches there's a small pool in the rocks where you can have a proper swim. A nice place for kids to have a dip as well.


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Moyleb33
Australia - Accomodation 5 stars
If you are planning on spending a bit of time in Australia it is worth looking into house sitting. I found that it was actually cheaper to rent someone's flat for a week, then it was to stay in a hostel. A very good site is www.gumtree.com.au. Using this method I got a week in a beach front flat in Manly and a week in a 2 bed flat in Bondi for 10 days. Its usually homeowners who are off on holiday themselves that want someone to look after their flat/house and help out with the mortgage/rent whilst there away. Definitely receommended. These piccies are my view from the flat in Manly - cool eh!


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AndreaLJC
24 Hours with Countrylink 2 stars
I was on a budget and needed to get from Brisbane to Melbourne, so the cheapest rate I could find was with Countrylink who operate the trains but also have a few coach services. The journey was to take over 24 hours, which I wasn’t looking forward to! I checked my luggage in at Brisbane which was supposed to go all the way to Melbourne. There were track works so first I had to take a bus from Brisbane to Casino, then a train from Casino to Stratford, then a bus from Stratford to Moss Vale and then another train to Melbourne, it sounded like a mission before I even started! None of the bags were taken across to the connecting service like I was told they were but I didn’t find this out until the bus was about to leave to I had to run off an find them, staff were rude (unlike the lasty time I travelled with countrylink) and all of the connections were late, very late. The whole journey was a nightmare.

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