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So, you want to travel to Australia? What next..

A good percentage of people here my Australian accent then bombard me with questions about how to travel, what to see, the list goes on :) The following guide is by no means the only one on the internet, but, I didn't want to recycle generic information so it is created using questions from a friend that is looking to plan a trip there. These are all answered from my personal experience, I now offer trip itinerary packages, for a free 30 minute travel consultation book some time in my calendar here.

Is it easy to road trip Australia?

It’s definitely on my own bucket list, I think it would be awesome to have the freedom of a van & the option to stay extra time in places you fall in love with. You need to make sure you have a valid driving license by applying for an international driving permit & also organising a van for your travels (seems obvious) then deciding on what route to take with a rough estimate on how long in each place.

 

There is a company called WICKED campers that cater to this exact concept! They are definitely aimed at millennials with their campers being decked out in fun, out-there designs. Prices vary depending on how many people you want it to sleep & added extras but ranges between $25-$50 a day. There is also a bond, insurance & a desert surcharge that you have to pay on pickup. When you split between a few people, however, it can be a good way to save on cost of accommodation. 

How hard is it to get a work visa?

*First of all, this is just research I have done – I have never personally applied for a work visa because... well I’m Australian*.

The website that I suggest that you use is the official home affairs government website you can find it at the below link.

https://info.australia.gov.au/information-and-services/immigration-and-visas/work-visas

To go through the visa application process, you can expect to spend around a $4,000 fee but this depends on the type of visa you apply for. There are also companies online that promise to help you get a visa, just do your research on their ratings.

The easiest jobs to apply for in Australia are definitely hospitality jobs, the turn-over is insane in a hotel. If you have experience in that field, it will definitely serve as an advantage. 🤗

Where’s the best place for a sun-soaked holiday?

In my opinion there are two equally great places to soak up some vit d. Either Byron Bay, New South Wales or any of the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. ***DISCLAIMER The sun is a lot hotter & more savage than you would assume & has roasted multiple European travellers without any remorse.

 

Byron Bay is located three hours drive south of Brisbane, but you can also fly there easily for fairly cheap. It is one of my favourite places because of the relaxed vibe of the place & the people. There is also a great balance of beach all day/party all night. Yes, there are 5million other tourists (okay, possibly a slight over exaggeration) but who doesn’t travel to meet amazing people? It is mostly certainly a 420-friendly destination, in case that’s your style. It’s a little more expensive but if you are smart with your money or budget well enough, it’s a great destination. It’s also mandatory to go to the lighthouse. It’s claim to fame is being the first place in Australia that the sun rises. It’s damn pretty & definitely worth the early morning wakeup so expect crowds.

Airlie beach which is an island just off the Great Barrier Reef also definitely has all of the beachy vibes & is full of international travellers. I met some of the sweetest people & wish I stayed longer than four days! Plus, who doesn’t dream of snorkelling the reef & hopefully bumping into nemo? Great Barrier Reef is an aquatic wonderland so Airlie beach itself is kind of dull during the day whilst everyone is out on day trips snorkelling, scuba diving, paddle boarding & jet skiing. But comes alive into a relaxed party environment every night! Most hostels along the main drive have extended happy hours.

How much would a week of travel in Australia be?  

Budgeting in Australia is a bit tricky as it depends on where you are going & what level of luxury you are searching for. I would budget $100 a day + $50 a night for a hostel & if you have left over $$, score! Brisbane would be slightly cheaper & Melbourne slightly more expensive considering that they have hipster surcharge added. 😛 **not really 

How to spend 3 days in Sydney

This is my go-to itinerary for anyone who comes to visit in Sydney & covers off all the major touristy hot-spots! 😉

 

Day One

1.Breakfast at any of the cafés along the harbour at ‘The Rocks’.

2.Spend time walking through ‘The Rocks’ ~ they have markets on every Friday, Saturday & Sunday which are worth a look.

3.Do the tour of the Opera house.

4.Lunch by the harbour ~ good luck with the seagulls. 🤣

5.Wander through the botanical gardens & over to Mrs Macquaries chair.  

6.Dinner & drinks at quay bar or James Squire bar.

 

Day Two

1.Walk across the Harbour Bridge ~ you can get an uber or a bus back if you don’t want to turn around & walk back.

2. Caffeinate & take a ferry to either:

- Manly beach to explore the strip & take a walk to Shelley Beach.

- Watsons Bay for either a picnic by the water or lunch & a cheeky aperol spritz at the Watsons Bay hotel. Keep in mind it can be hard to get seating for more than 2 people. Both of the ferries take around 30 mins & provide beautiful harbour views!

4.Head to Glenmore rooftop for sunset, you definitely won’t regret it.

5.Dinner at Mr. Wongs! They don’t take bookings but it’s a highly sought out restaurant for a reason.

6.Take a night stroll along Darling Harbour, it’s really quite beautiful at night with all of the city lights!

Day Three

1.Head to Bondi beach, there are 3 options to get there:

- Take the 333 from Circular Quay station,

- The train from Martin Place then a quick uber or

- You can just uber all the way there. It takes 30mins by public transport or 20mins by uber.

2.Once there, head towards the icebergs end of the beach & start the coastal walk. It’s truly one of my Sydney highlights. You can walk to Coogee & uber back, but just walking halfway is lovely as well.

3.Lunch at Bucket list Bondi, its right on the water & has a really good energy along with delicious cocktail jugs.

4.Find your way back to the city & hit up a museum if you so choose, Sydney has plenty of options, but the Museum of Contemporary Art is a fav!

5.Treat yourself & do a night climb of the Harbour bridge or do a quick google to find a fun event to see out Sydney in style.

Places you can interact with wildlife

In Queensland you can head to Australia Zoo, its truly the best & I suggest it even if you have to travel from Brisbane to go (you can actually get a bus that takes you there & returns you to Brisbane at the end of the day). Prices are $60. To hold a koala its $30 + photo price but obviously worth it for the little cuties.

In Sydney you can head to Taronga Zoo, which also has panoramic views of the harbour. Prices are $50. They don’t allow you to hold koala’s here, they do have finger monkeys though which are so cute they should be illegal. In North Queensland you can dive with sharks if you are adventurous enough. Prices are $795.  

What is the best place to celebrate Christmas/NYE in Australia?

It’s a pretty even tie between Sydney & Melbourne. Other big cities do have lots happening but on a smaller scale. The pricing for accommodation is definitely higher but that’s to be expected. If you are specific about fireworks you really can’t go past Sydney for NYE. If Christmas carols are your thing, Melbourne has the carols by candlelight that gets broadcast all around Australia, so yeah its pretty good. Both cities have huge trees in the city centre & outdoor cinemas as well as Christmas markets. In the end they are both good for their own reasons, it depends on your expectations.

  

What are some Australian phases you are likely to come across whilst travelling?

1. Bogan – The American version of a redneck, someone who speaks & acts in an unsophisticated way.

2. Fair dinkum – Something is excellent.

3. Thongs – actually footwear, also known as flip-flops in America.

4. Servo – Gas station.

5. Woolies – Abbreviation of Woolworths supermarkets.

Is it easy to travel around between cities?

Travelling in Australia is mainly done by cars/vans or planes. There is a greyhound bus that operates but it’s not as reliable as greyhound elsewhere in the world. Due to low demand some destinations only have one bus per day. The prices for an adult range between $25-$75. There is a train that runs from Melbourne to Brisbane, but it takes close to 2 days. There are a few budget airlines that operate in Australia. The most popular are Jetstar & Tiger airlines & they can sell flights on sale for as little as $11 but this excludes baggage. The easiest way to move cities is fly to a new destination & then hire a car so that you still have the freedom to leave the city centre.

 

If you travel to Melbourne, take a road trip to the great ocean road. There are tons of tiny towns along the way with delicious home-style cafes for breaks. It can be done in one day if it’s really necessary, but it’s a very big day. It is 500km & you have to leave Melbourne by 6.30am. It is iconic & definitely worth it, if you don’t want to drive you can also take a tour bus.

Final Top Tips

Best season to travel: Spring, it’s not as busy as Summer, the weather & the water is super nice but not overly hot & you can usually find discounts on accommodation easier.

Must try foods: Lamingtons, tim tam slams, beef & potato pies, surf ‘n’ turf – steak topped with seafood, pavlova, Kangaroo – be brave!

Important things to know before you go:  

1. You will need a visa to visit

2. Australian’s do not expect tips as they get a base wage however tipping for good service is always a good idea if you wish.

3. There are travel agents that are affiliated with popular hostels that are sat just next to the entry that can help you book tours, give out maps & ideas on what to see & do to fill your time. Hostels also notoriously plan the BIGGEST pub tours which is an awesome way to meet people & get drink discounts.

4. Brisbane, Sydney & Melbourne all have free walking tours.

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