Travel

** Australia Vacation ** Mega Thread - Places you must see, Things to do, Visa, Pets etc.

[OP]
Member
Jun 14, 2008
319 posts
156 upvotes

** Australia Vacation ** Mega Thread - Places you must see, Things to do, Visa, Pets etc.

Visiting Australia in July, here is my research until now, please add your comments, this will be helpful for me and others.

I am can not visit all places listed below, I have updated the first post on the basis of input from other great fellows on RFD, Thank you. This will help others in planning their trip :)

Sydney - Opera house, Harbour, go to Bondi Beach, take a speed boat ride, maybe hit the zoo., dinner cruise , Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Queen Victoria Building,
blue moutains

Cairns - Port Douglas, Great Barrier Reef

Melbourn - Phillips Island - Penguin parade, St. Kilda, Yarra valley vine tours, Mornington Pennisula

Great Ocean Road - Twelve Apostles, wild life.

Adelaide - Kangaroo island, Victor Harbor, Mount Lofty, Rocking Horse, whispering wall, wineries and wine tasting, dolphin explorer river cruise ,
south Australian museum, art gallery, conservation park, rundown mall, cleland wildlife park , St. Peter’s cathedral, St Kilda Adventure playground.
Beaches: Glenelg, Brighton, Henley, Semaphore, Port Noarlunga, Christies Beach and Moana.

Brisbane - Fraser Island, Surfers Paradise, Sunshine coast, Gold Coast

Tasmania
Cradle Mountain area
Pacific Islands (i.e. Fiji)

Uluru - Uluru / Ayer's Rock is not to be missed- tents
Coober Pedy

VISA REQUIREMENTS
Get Australian visa BEFORE you arrive in Australia.

It's ETA, information linked to your passport, no physical sticker. Airlines check this when you board the flight.
No ETA, you can not board flight.

Government website $20, If you are comfortable giving your information to private agents, private sites offer this for 10$, For me saving 10$ is not worth it.

Application link https://www.eta.immi.gov.au/ETAS3/etas

For most applications it takes 2 minutes, may take 12 hours or longer in some cases, apply at least 2 weeks before your trip.

TAKING YOUR PET WITH YOU
Australia's dog and cat import conditions are amongst the most stringent in the world. All the required information for exporting dogs and cats to Australia is available on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Australia website.
http://www.agriculture.gov.au/cats-dogs

Where to Cuddle a Koala in Australia
- Check timings and price before you go.

Australia Zoo, Sunshine Coast $40
Billabong Sanctuary, Townsville $24
Cooberrie Park, Cooberrie $20
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Gold Coast $79 with park entry
Dreamworld, Gold Coast $25
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane $Free
Paradise Country Aussie Farm, Gold Coast $45
Rainforestation Nature Park, Kuranda $18
Wildlife Habitat, Port Douglas $20
WILD LIFE Hamilton Island, Whitsundays
Cleland Wildlife Park, Adelaide Hills $30
Gorge Wildlife Park, Cudlee Creek $Free
Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, Kangaroo Island $15
Cohunu Koala Park, Perth $15

Speed limits are strictly enforced, many cameras in city and on highways too, 60 means 60 , be careful.

Before landing in Australia, airline will give you a form to fill.

On arrival, you need to go through immigration (you can use e-passport kiosk), collect baggage, go through customs, chances are that your baggage will be checked. Being an island country they have tight bio security rules, don’t bring anything which you are not allowed to (no fruits /nuts/ seeds etc.).
Last edited by dealguru99 on Jul 15th, 2018 9:33 pm, edited 13 times in total.
84 replies
Member
Mar 15, 2004
299 posts
35 upvotes
Toronto
I got my eta approved instantly when I applied for mine last month.
Going the first week of the new year.

I only have a week in Australia before moving on to other cities in Asia.
I'm planning to spend 2 days in Cairns to see the great barrier reef and the rest in Sydney and the surrounding areas.
Are there any place in or around Cairns where I can feed some kangaroos and/or hold a koala?
Member
Oct 24, 2013
210 posts
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BELLEVILLE
1. Sydney Opera house

2. The Great Ocean Road, Victoria (https://www.australiantraveller.com/aus ... australia/)
The route: One of the country’s most famous road trips stretches along its southern coast from Torquay to Allansford in Victoria.
Why is it one of the greats? Taking a trip along the Great Ocean Road is an Australian rite of passage. It winds 243 kilometres along some of Australia’s most stunning coastline, taking in rainforest, sunburnt cliffs, shipwrecks, and, of course, the famous Twelve Apostles – of which there are now eight.
[OP]
Member
Jun 14, 2008
319 posts
156 upvotes
Jereina wrote:
Jun 24th, 2018 9:53 am
Are there any place in or around Cairns where I can feed some kangaroos and/or hold a koala?
Updated in first post
Deal Addict
May 16, 2005
2734 posts
135 upvotes
One of the first tips for visiting Australia is that it a very large country with different climates. Don't try to plan too many cities into your itinerary.
Its like having 2 weeks and want to see all of Canada. ain't happening.

And I won't state that there is nothing to see in Melbourne.
Melbourne is such a great city, with so much art culture and food scene. A lot of people would prefer to visit Melbourne as oppose to Sydney, if given a choice.
Plus Melbourne makes for a great base to see some of the other sites in the area. For example, who can miss going to Phillips Island, and seeing the Penguin parade? And if you are going to drive the Great Ocean Road, Melbourne will be a great base to start or end the drive.
Other things to do from Melbourne include: St. Kilda, Yarra valley vine tours, Mornington Pennisula, etc..
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Feb 19, 2010
5327 posts
2138 upvotes
Good thread, OP. (Not sure why anybody would down vote it. :eek: )

Planning a lengthy trip to Australia and New Zealand late next year so will be watching closely...
Jr. Member
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Apr 2, 2015
187 posts
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Siberia
Sydney, try coodgie beach too.

Melbourn, go to Phillip island and see the penguins, you won't regret it.

Brisbane, drive upto Mt tambourine for cheese and wine and great sunsets.
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
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Ottawa
You are aware that July is Winter for Australia. The best weather (although fraught with rain and possible storms) is in the North. the south can be very cold and wet. it can and does snow west of Sydney quite often.
Being Winter months, the activities on the Great Barrier Reef will be limited. The water can be rough and comes up quickly so snokling and diving is sparse..
Fraser Island is not a place you visit on your own. You need special vehicle to get there and to travel the roads. https://www.travelonline.com/islands/fr ... raser.html
Urulu can be very cold at night in the Winter so, if camping, be prepared for that. Also, lots of critters and creepy crawlers there.
Coober Pedy is an interesting spot. Try and stay in an underground hotel. There is a pizza joint there that has amazing food. Can't remember the name but it is a small town with only one pizza joint. The opals are way over priced :)
The East coast beaches are quite rough during the winter. The water will be cold as well. Swim only in marked areas as they are patrolled and have shark watches.
Spent 8 weeks there driving from Sydney to Adelaide to Urulu/Alice Springs, up to Cairns and back down to Sydney.
In the 21st Century deleting history has become far more important than making it. Anonymous
[OP]
Member
Jun 14, 2008
319 posts
156 upvotes
Pete_Coach wrote:
Jun 24th, 2018 12:57 pm
You are aware that July is Winter for Australia. The best weather (although fraught with rain and possible storms) is in the North. the south can be very cold and wet. it can and does snow west of Sydney quite often.
Being Winter months, the activities on the Great Barrier Reef will be limited. The water can be rough and comes up quickly so snokling and diving is sparse..
Fraser Island is not a place you visit on your own. You need special vehicle to get there and to travel the roads. https://www.travelonline.com/islands/fr ... raser.html
Urulu can be very cold at night in the Winter so, if camping, be prepared for that. Also, lots of critters and creepy crawlers there.
Coober Pedy is an interesting spot. Try and stay in an underground hotel. There is a pizza joint there that has amazing food. Can't remember the name but it is a small town with only one pizza joint. The opals are way over priced :)
The East coast beaches are quite rough during the winter. The water will be cold as well. Swim only in marked areas as they are patrolled and have shark watches.
Spent 8 weeks there driving from Sydney to Adelaide to Urulu/Alice Springs, up to Cairns and back down to Sydney.
Great information, I wish I had 8 weeks :)
Deal Expert
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May 10, 2005
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dealguru99 wrote:
Jun 24th, 2018 11:09 pm
Great information, I wish I had 8 weeks :)
Had to work extra hours and save vacation days for a couple years to get the entire 8 weekends.
Anyway, what are your intentions? Maybe there is more information I can provide? Like I mentioned, it is Winter so there some shutdowns that time of year.
In the 21st Century deleting history has become far more important than making it. Anonymous
Newbie
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Oct 17, 2005
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Toronto
ETA can take up to 24 hours in my case in May this year, so be prepared and don't apply for it at the last minute
Deal Addict
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Jun 29, 2010
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The ETA surprised me a little - I thought all Commonwealth countries would be exempt.
I'm hoping to do a trip there in 2020 by motorcycle. It's a guided tour and the spots listed are

North Sydney, Royal National Park, Lakes Entrance, Ninety Mile Beach, Melbourne, Devonport, Freycinet National Park, Wineglass Bay, Port Arthur, Hobart, Strahan, Bells Beach, Great Ocean Road, Great Alpine Road, Australian Alps, Snowy Mountains, Canberra, Blue Mountains.

Sounds impressive until you look at a map and see just how small a region that covers.
Of course, you wouldn't want to take a bike into the Outback I'm sure.

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