Travel

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

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Oct 25, 2009
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Moncton
Psychopathetic wrote:
Jun 25th, 2018 1:48 pm
The ETA surprised me a little - I thought all Commonwealth countries would be exempt.
Australia is so similar to Canada that the differences slap you in the face:

-There is a form to fill out to leave the country.
-Very expensive to change your money at the Melbourne airport thanks to the flat exchange fee
-The Melbourne Airport has free showers ground side of security.
-Even McDonald's charges $5 for coffee.
-At times (and places), surprisingly racist and backwards
-No tipping (10% in restaurants if feeling generous).
-Largely a cash free country
-Beer isn't cheap
-The adult minimum wage is $18/hr, double that on Sunday!
-Many prices are comparable to Canada (car rentals, hotels, grocery food)
-Foreign backpackers are an important part of the agricultural work force
Toronto is a very small part of Canada
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Aug 24, 2011
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Vancouver
One caution for those driving in Australia (particularly on the Great Ocean Road (near Melbourne). Speed limits are TIGHTLY enforced. We got a ticket in the mail (photo radar), for going 64 km/h in a 60 km/h zone. $200 AUD for 4km over. Not the postcard from Australia we wanted to receive. They also have mandatory breathalyzer stops in certain areas (everyone stopped must take the test).

Having said that, we hiked the Great Ocean walk- 104 km over 6 days (kind of like their version of the West Coast Trail), it was amazing.
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Thanks for the answers about the best time to go. Thinking of going for 3 weeks in October/November 2019 but still a long way to go as need to price up the things we want to do.
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ascguy wrote:
Jul 1st, 2018 2:22 pm
One caution for those driving in Australia (particularly on the Great Ocean Road (near Melbourne). Speed limits are TIGHTLY enforced. We got a ticket in the mail (photo radar), for going 64 km/h in a 60 km/h zone. $200 AUD for 4km over. Not the postcard from Australia we wanted to receive. They also have mandatory breathalyzer stops in certain areas (everyone stopped must take the test).

Having said that, we hiked the Great Ocean walk- 104 km over 6 days (kind of like their version of the West Coast Trail), it was amazing.
Good point. Speed limits are very strictly enforced in cities too. I also got a speeding ticket just north of Coffs Harbour. Thing is, I was very conscious about the speed limits and was always following traffic. I hope all the others around me got tickets too LOL.
By the way, if you are going to drive north of Alice Springs and the Northern Territories, there is not speed limit posted. It just says to drive to conditions....here I was with only a Rav4 :(
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limits_in_Australia
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Dec 31, 2017
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Visit one of the Whitsunday islands near Airlie beach. There are always same day vacancies (last minute) and you save half the cost. This is going back to 90's. These are all inclusive resorts. Worth the visit.
Nara Sea world resort in Brisbaine and there are Universal Studios also in Brisbaine.
If you are driving from Melbourne go East beside the 90 mile beach and up through the Snowy Mountains to Canberra. Worth visiting the Parliament and there is an old abandoned mine outside Canberra where kids can try their hands at panning for gold.
Most of the caravan parks/motor homes parks have a few permanent rooms. They have washers and dryers in those parks.

I am planning to go there in Oct/Nov and do Western Australia.
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Jul 20, 2004
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juggie wrote:
Jun 27th, 2018 11:07 pm
The stand out of the trip for me was 3 days 2 night sailing trip on a catamaran based out of Airlie Beach which included visiting Whitsunday beach. https://www.escape.com.au/holiday-ideas ... ef636c490d
We are visiting Oz for just under 5 weeks in mid October and I would be interested in your stand out trip......was this a catamaran you rented and piloted yourself or was it a tour with guide?
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Feb 29, 2008
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GTA
Pete_Coach wrote:
Jul 2nd, 2018 9:33 am
Good point. Speed limits are very strictly enforced in cities too. I also got a speeding ticket just north of Coffs Harbour. Thing is, I was very conscious about the speed limits and was always following traffic. I hope all the others around me got tickets too LOL.
By the way, if you are going to drive north of Alice Springs and the Northern Territories, there is not speed limit posted. It just says to drive to conditions....here I was with only a Rav4 :(
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limits_in_Australia
Also they have now installed "point to point" camera's where they measure your average speed over a distance and mail you a ticket if you were going to fast. Had to make a few pit stops when we thought we may have been speeding. Saw couple of these checkpoints driving from Brisbane to Sydney

Also noticed a few mobile radar detectors especially on detour routes.

Not many people speed in Australia due to high fines which is something we can totally do in GTA
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Jul 23, 2014
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Outaouais
So i was thinking about doing a one-month trip to Australia. Landing in Sydney and renting a car.

I'd like to do
Sydney (4 days)
Drive to Melbourne (1 day)
Melbourne (4 days)
Drive to Adelaide (1 day)
Adelaide (3 days)
Drive to Alice Springs and do Uluru (4 days)
Alice Springs (2 days)
Drive to Townsville (2 days)
Visit great Coral Reef (3 days)
Drive to Brisbane (2 days)
Brisbane (3 days)
Drive to Sydney (1 day)
Sydney (2 days)
for a total of 32 days and about 7800 kms of driving

Questions I have:
Feasible with 3 kids (aged 10, 7 and 7)? Or is it too much?
Anything that are must sees or must do in any of the places I'm travelling to?
Best cell phone plan to get while there? I'm plannign to get my own SIM card to make things easier
Things I need to know.
How much should I plan for food - breakfast, lunch or dinner? We'll try to grocery shop and cook as much as possible. How much is a bowl of a large Pho soup for example?
Any other advices?

Thanks

SH
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SuperHanuman wrote:
Aug 16th, 2018 9:37 am
So i was thinking about doing a one-month trip to Australia. Landing in Sydney and renting a car.

I'd like to do
Sydney (4 days)
Drive to Melbourne (1 day)
Melbourne (4 days)
Drive to Adelaide (1 day)
Adelaide (3 days)
Drive to Alice Springs and do Uluru (4 days)
Alice Springs (2 days)
Drive to Townsville (2 days)
Visit great Coral Reef (3 days)
Drive to Brisbane (2 days)
Brisbane (3 days)
Drive to Sydney (1 day)
Sydney (2 days)
for a total of 32 days and about 7800 kms of driving

Questions I have:
Feasible with 3 kids (aged 10, 7 and 7)? Or is it too much?
Anything that are must sees or must do in any of the places I'm travelling to?
Best cell phone plan to get while there? I'm plannign to get my own SIM card to make things easier
Things I need to know.
How much should I plan for food - breakfast, lunch or dinner? We'll try to grocery shop and cook as much as possible. How much is a bowl of a large Pho soup for example?
Any other advices?

Thanks

SH
Just a fair warning, your drives are very long and cannot be done in the times you have estimated. I have driven that route.
Adelaide to Urulu is 1600 very long kms and you need to plan very carefully out there. Gas stations are far and few between. Make sure your vehicle has a big tank. We had a Rav 4 and came very close to running out of gas a couple times.
Alice Springs is a day away from Urulu and then it is another 3 days driving to Townsville.
Again, to reiterate, speeding is some areas is controlled. They photo you at one point and if you get to another checkpoint too soon, you will be mailed a ticket. One good thing is that in certain areas of the Northern Territories, there is no speed limit.
Once out of Adelaide, there is little to no places to stop and eat so, have a cooler full of food and drinks for the kids. No Pho in the outback LOL. Food is very expensive in Australia.

It is very often more than 300 kms between stations.
https://www.traveldudes.org/travel-tips ... thing/1916
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g255 ... l.You.html

Oh and there is very often no cell reception on the roads so, you are very much on your own.

So "Feasible with 3 kids (aged 10, 7 and 7)? Or is it too much?" I think it is way too much. You will spend days and days just driving and then staying in dumpy hotels.

We drove, Sydney - Adalide - Coober Pedy - Urulu - Alice Springs - Cairns (with numerous overnight stops in small towns with not so nice motels) then back down to Brisbane (Sunshine Coast) and onwards to Sydney (again with a couple overnight stops). The East Coast highway has lots of traffic and trucks and the going is quite slow.If there is any information I can provide, please ask.
Oh and we took 8 weeks.
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Some of my friends just moved over to Australia to live. I believe to Sydney first and then they'll see where they go from there.

I may visit them sometime in the future. What are the top places to go in Sydney. And where are the best overall beaches in all of Australia?
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toronto
additional note on ETA it must be valid for date of entry, but doesn't have to be for full duration, but I recommend having the text at end to show the airline agent.


also note that for those doing NZ then Australia, you need your ETA before going to NZ, as entry to NZ require proof that you have ticket and right of entry to next destination.
Last edited by foreigncontent on Aug 19th, 2018 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dec 19, 2009
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Ottawa
Looking to rent a car in Australia for about 6 days in October. Can't seem to find anything for under $400. Seems pricey. Any tips?
It seems like the kicker is we would be dropping the car off at a different location then where we picked it up from....and of course there is a surcharge for that.
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mikek33 wrote:
Aug 18th, 2018 8:23 pm
Looking to rent a car in Australia for about 6 days in October. Can't seem to find anything for under $400. Seems pricey. Any tips?
It seems like the kicker is we would be dropping the car off at a different location then where we picked it up from....and of course there is a surcharge for that.
The dropping off at a different location is what will cost you the money no matter where you rent a car. They have to get the car back to the originating agency and that costs time, gas and lost of rental revenue, hence bigger cost to you.
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Dec 19, 2009
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Ottawa
Pete_Coach wrote:
Aug 19th, 2018 1:43 pm
The dropping off at a different location is what will cost you the money no matter where you rent a car. They have to get the car back to the originating agency and that costs time, gas and lost of rental revenue, hence bigger cost to you.
Ah. Rookie traveling mistake on my part. Could have avoided it if we flew into a different location and drove out to where we wanted to go and then just returned. Ah well!
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Dec 19, 2009
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Ottawa
Visiting Australia for 15 days in late Sept into early Oct.
Seeing: Sydney, Melbourne, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Brisbane.
Would love some first hand advice on things to do and places to see, particularly for Rockhampton and Bundaberg as they aren't as popular as the other locales.

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