Visiting and Travel: Trip of a lifetime to Australia! What are some of the things one must do while there?
- Realize before you leave the size of the country. It is roughly about 4000 km by 4000 km. In the higher build up areas at the coast lines expect at least 100 km minimum distance between villages (we call them towns). In the inland region the distance may be longer.
- Realize the climate zones of the country. In July you go snow skying in the south, and in the north swim in the open at the beach or other water places. You might not last without air-condition in your hotel in the north, while in the south you need your room heated. There is no such thing as an Australian climate. The north does not have four seasons, it has only two, namely the wet and the dry season.
- Make sure you do long distance domestic travel, otherwise you won't see the country. You must see Cairns in far North Queensland and the region and see at least one of the major capital cities such as Melbourne or Sydney. Also make sure you do some travel on the land (bus, car, train) to appreciate the atmosphere of the country. You will also learn to appreciate the size and distances of the land. Air fares from one part of the land to the other can take about 4 hours.
- If you intend to buy a car, for your duration, make sure it is a very reliable vehicle. Australia is not like Europe where you take your foot off the accelerator and you are at the next service station. Your next help may be 500 km away.
- Always carry emergency water bottles on your trips. A car break down in the outback may cost you life.
- Research Australia before you go. What would you like to see?
- The big cities with their diversity in culture and night life (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Cairns, Townsville) ?
- The Alpine Region with the Victorian Alps (interesting Gold Rush History) and the snowy mountain national parks? The great dividing range starting in the North East of Australia and running right many thousands of km into Melbourne? The cooler region of Tasmania? The Tropics from Rockhampton to Mackay to Townsville to Cairns? Or the flatter Darwin region? Australia's big National Parks? Gold Mining Towns such as Ballarat, Bendigo, Walhalla (near Moe in Victoria)? Coastal Regions, the more farming inner regions or the deserts? Some of the Australian Islands? - Find out what interests you.
- Make sure you are covered with a health insurance policy. Australian citizens and residence have Medicare, but as a foreign visitor you are not covered. Australia does not have a 24 hour government citizens insurance as many European countries do.
- Urgent Dental treatment is very, very, very expensive in Australia.
- Subsided medicines is only supplied by Medicare Card Holders, which as a visitor you cannot have.
- Don't come here if you are not healthy and you are short of funding for the unknown.
- Train services are 70 years behind Europe, but are interesting and can be more expensive than Airline Tickets.
- Be aware of weird Liqueur laws, such you cannot just drink a can of beer in the public park. You may not be allowed to have a drink on the train between certain hours of the day. This often depends on the States where you are. Also some States the government regulations will tell you when to go to bed (For example Sydney you go to bed at 2:30 AM), because the law tells you so.
- Australians are compared to Europeans prudish. While in Europe it is quite normal to sun back with your bra off, here you may be arrested. Don't go to the beach and go naked. You may be hunted down by the police if you are in their range. It may not be as bad as the USA, but is still stuck a bit in Victorian Times.
- Australia looks so different from other countries. The buildings, the towns, the plants, the fauna, the trees, the land, even the soil.
- Expect different Regions to have completely different fauna and plants. Because Australia has all climate zones that you can expect, each region has different plants and trees and faunas. In the south for example you see very big ferns and Eucalyptus trees while in the North you will find Palm Trees, Bananas, Sugar cane and so on. The regions even smells differently.
- Don't worry about tipping. People earn their salary from wages, not from tips. If you do tip, tip at least one dollar otherwise you appear weird.
- Be careful when you cross the road. Look at your right first, then to your left.
- If you intend to drive a car, be aware that each state has its own laws and become familiar with traffic laws. For example in Queensland you are not allowed to make U-Turns at traffic lights.
- If you book a domestic Airline Ticket, book it far ahead to make it cheaper. The price differences are really huge.
- Beware of the dangers of Crocodiles, Stingers, Sharks. Kangaroos are not domestic animals. Don't be afraid of snakes, but be aware of them. Very few people die of snake bites. Motor cars are a million times more dangerous.
- Be aware that in the far north you can get stuck if there is a cyclone (hurricane). It may delay your Airline departure.
- Expect Australia to be different from what ever you have seen before. It is a geographically isolated from the world continent, and what you will see will make an impression in your life.
Australia is a great country to visit and has attractions aplenty, so good choice for your vacation I must say!
The best time to visit Australia is definitely spring which falls between the months of September to November.
Alternatively, the fall in this country is also really beautiful which falls between the months of June to August.
A melting point of cultures, Australia displays a blend of aboriginals and colonialism influence through its cities. Dotted with multiple national parks like
Trip of a lifetime to Australia !!!
A must do would be to visit the The Great Barrier Reef.
One of the 7 natural wonders of the world. Largest living structure on the planet, so big it's visible from space. The Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system spread accross 900 islands stretching for over 2,300 kilometres . The reef is located in the Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland, Australia.
When I was planning for my Australia trip, wasn't sure if the Great Barrier Reef would match it's hype, Also, National Geographic had warned me that the Reef is pretty much extinct due to global warming. But my heart said, give it a try. For someone like me who had never even swam in the ocean, forget diving, it was a close call.
Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, 3 hours 30 mts flight from both Melbourne and Sydney.
I booked my trip through Reef Experience after a lot of homework. Top Deck Club tour on a Catamaran is the best way to see Australia's greatest natural beauty and Get the "Celebrity Feel" for AUD 200.
Cairns being a small town that even if you walk from any part of the town, Marlin Jetty from where the boat start for the Reef Trip would be less than 10 mts walk.
The boats are pretty spacious, maybe a 100 seater. Tour starts with a few presentations - pretty lively, ones-first on safety, then on marine biology, underwater photography etc. This was mostly the end of Jelly Fish season, but they still gave us wetsuits, if not from fishes lemme get some protection from UV rays. They provided sunscreen lotion and even sea sickness tablets. Wow ..now this is one perfectly planned tour.
The first reef site took about 1 hour 30 mts. I was expecting our boat to show up to a beautiful island with white sand as they show in movies, where we would swim through crystal clear water, and see colourful reef near the shoreline. To my big surprise, reefs are in the middle of the deep blue sea !! Not that I had any confidence or prior experience, but jumping off a huge boat into the middle of the dark depths of the ocean (not to mention in the pouring rain) did not feel like something anyone with a sane mind would wanna do....
Read more at Sail your way through the Heart Reef
Come to Perth...
Sure I may have lived there my entire life, so I'm a little biased but honestly it's a great place?
Why, you ask?
1. It's the Sunset Coast
Sydney Opera House: Shaped like huge shells or billowing sails, this famous building on Sydney's Bennelong Point graces the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is one of the world's great architectural icons.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park: Visible from outer space, the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef is one of the largest living structures on the planet.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park: Deep in the heart of Australia's Red Centre, Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock), is one of the most photographed natural wonders in the country.
Sydney Harbour Bridge: Along with the Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Australia's most famous tourist attractions.
Blue Mountains National Park: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, beautiful Blue Mountains National Park lies 81 kilometers west of Sydney and is a popular day trip from the city.
Melbourne: Australia's second largest city, is a popular stop on many Australian itineraries - especially for culture.
Bondi Beach: It is a great spot for a seaside stroll or picnic, and crowds of tourists and locals gather here to celebrate Christmas and ring in the New Year.
Great Ocean Road: Most top tourist destinations have spectacular driving routes, and for Australia, one of its best is the Great Ocean Road.