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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 2004, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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Need help for vacation in Australia

Hello, all.

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.)
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 2004, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, one more question.

I'm going to rent a car. I'm wondering which rent a car company has GPS navigator equipped like Hertz in US&Canada?
I also like to experience train and domestic flight. Any recommnend regarding the transportation to access above five areas?
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 2004, 05:15 PM
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hmm for flights I guess www.jetstar.com.au or www.virginblue.com.au

Tasmania is really beautiful and I'd really recommend that you go there as one of your places. As for hiring a car... I don't know much about that sorry!

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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 2004, 05:17 PM
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oh and about taking the train: DON'T! Seriously, well at least the train from Syd-Melb is shite, I dunno about the train to Alice Springs (outback lol) But it also takes a looooooooooooong time and if you only have 10 days, it's really not worth taking a train anywhere!

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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 2004, 05:52 PM
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You should probably see Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef, everyone who comes to Australia comes just to see those. They would be the most unique.
I havent been to any of these places besides Great Ocean Road, i dont think thats really that special. Sydney doesnt sound that special either, its like most normal cities in the world.
Jetstar and Virgin Blue are good for cheap domestic flights. But apparently Jetstar has a bad reputation for service, and you have to sign in 30 mins in advance, and if you even come 5 mins later than that they wont let you on the flight. So maybe Virgin Blue might be better.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 2004, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_tennis
Hello, all.

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!

There is nothing more beautiful than Evonne Goolagong in full flight moving across a tennis court.

Last edited by alfajeffster; Sep 22nd, 2004 at 06:55 PM.
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2004, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inkyfan
hmm for flights I guess www.jetstar.com.au or www.virginblue.com.au

Tasmania is really beautiful and I'd really recommend that you go there as one of your places. As for hiring a car... I don't know much about that sorry!
Thank you so much, inkyfan.
The discount flight company info would be really helpfull for me. Whenever I search flight deal on Yahoo, they only show Quantas airline.
I'll try to visit Tasmania cause I'm gonna arrive Australlia through Melbourne.
As for the train trip, I bought a travel in Australlia DVD, and watched it last night. They showed several railway service (from East coast to Perth, to Alice Springs (Ghan? ), and some others. I mainly showed 1st class cabin, it looked good but most of the passengers were seniors.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2004, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Experimentee
I havent been to any of these places besides Great Ocean Road, i dont think thats really that special. Sydney doesnt sound that special either, its like most normal cities in the world.
Thanks a lot.
I'm somewhat disappointed to hear that Great Ocean Road is not that great. I expected kind of drive way like US californica coastal road from Pebble beach to Bir Sur.
I'm not going to visit Sydney unless I have enough time available. But whenever I think of Australlia, Opera house of Sydney just popping up in my head. So if I can afford to go there, I take some photo shots.
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2004, 04:32 AM
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alfajeffstar, you sound like the perfect guy to do a commercial for the Aus Tourist Board! Glad you enjoyed Aus

Eric_tennis, I agree with everything this guy said!
If you've only got a few days you prob won't want to bother with trains and it's not necessarily going to be cheaper either. Go to www.qantas.com.au, www.virginblue.com.au or www.jetstar.com.au and you can't go wrong.

Like most Australians I haven't seen most of these tourist destinations (apart from cities) so going to Great Barrier Reef and Uluru are pretty unique.
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2004, 04:38 AM
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there is a town called "fucking" someone where in austrialia you could visit that place steal a sign! lol

http://www.snopes.com/photos/austria.asp

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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2004, 04:41 AM
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2004, 05:07 AM
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Have fun !!

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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2004, 05:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Searchlight
there is a town called "fucking" someone where in austrialia you could visit that place steal a sign! lol

http://www.snopes.com/photos/austria.asp
I meant Australia not austria.
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2004, 07:18 AM
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If you can, I suggest that you try and spend a few days in Sydney.
I know you are short on time, but there is a lot you can do in a few days that will give you a good taste of what the city is about.

Take a ferry rip around the harbour...whether it be to Manly or to the Zoo. Both trips are short and well worth the effort.
Walk the Bridge from the city to the North side...spectacular views (and if you feel adventurous do the climb for about $120).
Catch a show or performance at the Opea House one evening....last minute tickets are very reasonable and even if it is just the symphony playing, it is a nice way to spend an evening.

Visit the Eastern Suburbs beaches (about 10 minutes from the City)...there is a great coastal walk between Coogee and Bondi (round trip of about 2 hrs depending on how fit you are feeling). Again, the scenery is amazing and there is a nice Cafe spot at Bronte beach along the way, were you can refuel and maybe take a swim.
Dining out in Sydney is one of the least mentioned aspects... Sydney has a wide range of wonderful food, notably Asian influenced. Some of the finest Thai restaurants can be found in Newtown ( % mins from the City and nice and casual also) and the suburb of Leichardt (about 15 mins West of the city has a fabulous range of Italian eateries (in Norton St).

A few posters above have mentioned that many travellers under-estimate the size of the country. By plane...it is an hour between Sydney and Melbourne, about an hour and 15 mins between Sydney and Brisbane or Gold Coast (add a further 45-50 minutes if you are travelling further North to visit the Barrier Reef), Sydney to Perth is just over 4 hrs.
Aviod the trains...you do not have enough time.

Domestic flight prices within Australia vary greatly....I would start checking now...QANTAS, JETSTAR (Qantas owned) and VIRGIN are your local carriers.
I am unsure when you plan to visit....if your trip coincides with the school vacations then flights are notoriously more expensive. The October break starts tomorrow and runs for 2 weeks. The next break will begin around a week prior to Christmas.

If you have any questions PM me.

Last edited by bionic71; Sep 23rd, 2004 at 07:55 AM.
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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2004, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athenaeum
This site is not working to me. Maybe my office network admin blocks it...? I'll try it when I get home.
Thanks anyway.
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