Originally Posted by Eric_tennis
I'm going to enjoy my vacation in Australia for 11 days from this weekend. I made last minute decision, so any tip would be helpful to me.
For now, I have several questions as follows. If anyone answers any of them, it would be greatly appreciated.
1. Any good web site for traveling in Australia? Or good hotel, rent a car, domestic flight reservation site which has better discount than yahoo?
2. I have five major interesting area : (1)Outback area (Alice springs or Uluru) (2) Melbourn area(Philip Island & Great ocean road) (3) Great barrier reef (Cairns) (4) Sydney (5) Tasmania.
But I think for 10days trip, I need to choose 2 or 3 areas only. So which would be worthy for a foreigner? (Which is more unique ) For your reference, I've been to most major European cities and major national park in US and Canada. But never been to Australlia before. My first time to under the equator.
It's exciting to go somewhere I've never been to and to watch the stars in the sky I've never seen.
3. Any dangerous area among above five due to crime or dangerous animal(with venom?) or virus infection?
I should have studied by myself, but it was just last minute decision just before my week long holiday + several day-off from office. So, I'll buy some travel guide and print out bunch,.. and going to read those on the plane. But I guess, those guides usually don't say Area A is better than area B, blah blah,.. they are just saying all are worthy to visit. But I have limited time for 11 days.
Thanks in advance. ( any comment or link to a certain website would be welcomed.)
I visited Australia for 11 days back in 2003 (saw Venus/Serena Oz final), and luckily enough, I had a friend in Canberra whom I was visiting, who picked me up at the airport in Syd and carted me around and made all the reservations (except for OzOpen tix). We saw Sydney for 3 days, Melbourne for 2, and the rest was spent driving around Canberra and out to the ocean, and the last night in Sydney before departure. I have to tell you, I didn't have enough time to see everything I wanted to see, and I would suggest that with only 10 days, you have way too much on your plate.
Australia is a HUGE country- most people don't realize just how big it is. It is every bit as large as the United States (without Alaska), and it will take you a long time to fly to Alice Springs, Melbourne, Sydney, Cairns, and Brisbane all in 10 days. You won't have any time for seeing anything- you'll be in the air the whole time and exhausted when you land. For example, it will take you over 10 hours to drive from Sydney to Melbourne alone (more like 13), and when you get there- to drive out to see the 12 apostles will take you a whole day of driving.
My suggestion would be to plan to only see the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru(it's late Winter/early Spring in Austrlia now, and the weather up North and in the center of the continent should be much warmer than Melbourne).
Another thing- you mention you've been to Europe, so I take it you are used to driving on the left- if not, keep this in mind when you rent a car, because it can be very disconcerting- especially if you decide on Melbourne, as the traffic there has weird patterns in the intersections where you can actually pull out in the middle and wait for the light to change. Lots of foreigners get hit as pedestrians because of the difference, and driving on the left on your own for the first time could be very dangerous in the cities.
Good luck- and enjoy the Australian people- they are one of the loveliest cultures on this planet- very down to earth and no-nonsense. They have a native thing called the "tall poppy syndrome" whereby if any aussie starts to develop an attitude or start to feel a little superior, the mob lops off the top of their poppy head in an instant. Once you learn to relax, you're home. Oh, and always remember- THEY LOVE THEIR BEER!!! Have fun, mate!
P.S.- While Australia has by far the largest number of venomous creatures on the planet- nearly all of them are more afraid of you than you need be of them (I love snakes), so don't spoil your trip worrying about getting bitten. Also- check out the huge Fruit Bats that fly over Sydney harbour every evening- magical!