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Oz trip planning & Hostel discount cards

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1. Posted by marcdude (Budding Member 14 posts) 11y

marcdude has indicated that this thread is about Australia

Hey everyone.. .. this site is great, very helpful.

I'm planning to head to Oz end of novemeber / early december on my own to work and travel for 4-6 months (or longer.. depending on how much i love it out there! :D)

I've been pretty occupied over summer so I've only recently been able to start to planning my trip.. yes i am panicing a bit..
I've sorted my WH visa out, just waiting for that to come through before i book my flight to sydney.

Anyway, basically I am a little overwhelmed with all the things to do and see in Oz, to the point that i'm not sure what sort of route to take. Does anyone have any suggestions? I was generally thinking about starting in Sydney then heading up along the east coast towards Cairns and then across to Darwin and down to alice springs / Uluru and then back down towards adelaide, melbourne.
Does that sound like an ok plan? Doable? I'm not a very well travelled person (as you might have gathered ) so i'm kinda new to all this planning malarky.. and doing this trip is gonna be a pretty huge step for me... but damn, i can't wait!!

Anyways, I would appreciate any help / suggestions!
thanks
Marc

2. Posted by marcdude (Budding Member 14 posts) 11y

Oh yes, also.. does anyone have any suggestions for what Hostel cards to get? I found YHA, nomad, backpackers VIP cards but not sure which is best to go for..

Thanks again! :D
Marc

3. Posted by fimbria25 (Full Member 120 posts) 11y

yeah that sounds like a do-able route, that the route i took earlier this year, took me around 4 months....(without working).

Erm discount cards....depends what sort of hostel your looking for.... ? YHA are good, but a little more expensive and are a more normal hostel, whereas if you are looking for the party element, i would use a VIP or Nomad card, not that all these hostels are like that, but if you are looking for that i would have a look. I personaly used YHA..for most of my trip, then used a few VIP ones.

Just watch over the christmas/new year period that you have a bed sorted if you are gonna be somewhere like sydney etc....

If you need anymore help let me know.

Gaz

:)

4. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

In terms of a hostel card; I actually wouldn't bother... or I'd get something which allows for a good deal of discount on popular tours too, like the VIP card. The question before you actually get down there is going to be how much time do you actually end up spending in hostels that are going to give you a discount. If it's a big tour booking or something like that that would pay for the card in one go, why not buy it while you're already down there? With more and more hostel bookings happening online (like here on tp :) ), the added value for hostels to be a part of an organization like VIP are becoming less and less. YHA has nice hostels, but the card isn't worth it if you end up spending less than 20 nights at YHA properties. You can also save as you go with the YHA (paying a little bit more every night without a card, but receiving a card in the end)...

Regarding the route; personally I think that's a very nice route, but that might just have to do with the fact that it is IDENTICAL to the route I took in 1998/1999. I did it on a kilometer pass by greyhound (10% discount when you buy overseas I believe), but you could do it in a bought/rented car or with oz experience too. I met the new owner of oz ex a few weeks ago and the set up seems to be a lot more professional than in the past, with qualified tour guides actually doing the driving...

Hope that helps !

5. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

Quoting fimbria25

Just watch over the christmas/new year period that you have a bed sorted if you are gonna be somewhere like sydney etc....

Good point! Most of the decent hostels are already sold out for this period actually. Every year there are some really really dodgy places opening up as 'hostels' for a few weeks over this period of the year.... no fire safety etc.

6. Posted by marcdude (Budding Member 14 posts) 11y

thanks for your replies guys.. ;)

I must admit i didn't think about booking over christmas / new year.. that's annoying because i have no idea where i'm going to be or what i'm gonna be doing. ahhh! Seeing as i'll need to get a job perhaps it would be a better idea to share an apartment or something. Ugh so much to think about..

Sam - I just checked out Oz Exp. and Greyhound... they sound good. Would you recommend them as a way of travelling up the east coast over a spread amount of time? i.e 4-6 months.. Ideally i want don't really want to spend too much time in the main cities, i'm looking for some good adventure in this trip.. so perhaps these tour packages might be a good idea.

Has anyone gone to Oz and not really planned much? Sorta just gone over there with a general idea of a route and see what happened?

Marc

7. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

Quoting marcdude

I must admit i didn't think about booking over christmas / new year.. that's annoying because i have no idea where i'm going to be or what i'm gonna be doing. ahhh! Seeing as i'll need to get a job perhaps it would be a better idea to share an apartment or something. Ugh so much to think about..

This is actually only really a problem in and around Sydney. The rest of the destinations should be pretty okay.

Quoting marcdude

Sam - I just checked out Oz Exp. and Greyhound... they sound good. Would you recommend them as a way of travelling up the east coast over a spread amount of time? i.e 4-6 months..

They are perfect for this kind of thing. You usually buy some kind of pass that allows you to book a spot on the buss with short notice (depending on the time of year somewhat). The nice thing about the oz ex bus is that it is really really easy to meet other travellers. It's a real party bus (could be good; could be bad, depending on your preferences...).

Quoting marcdude

Has anyone gone to Oz and not really planned much? Sorta just gone over there with a general idea of a route and see what happened?

Tons of people; you will certainly not be alone and find it easy to meet others and plan as you go!!

8. Posted by marcdude (Budding Member 14 posts) 11y

awesome.. okay thanks a lot!

9. Posted by k8iejo1983 (Budding Member 49 posts) 11y

Quoting marcdude

Has anyone gone to Oz and not really planned much? Sorta just gone over there with a general idea of a route and see what happened?

Marc

Hey Marc!

I am planning to head to Oz in March 06. My WH visa was approved last week and now I'm researching flights etc. I have a general idea of where I'd like to go and what I'd like to see but no real timeframe mapped out. I will have 12 months to see it all - that's all I know at this point in time. Prob going to spend the first 3 months in Sydney settling in/earning some money before taking off. Don't know at this point which way I'm going to go round the country, clockwise/anti-clockwise? As you can see, I really haven't thought things through in any great detail yet! Ah well, still got 5 months before my departure - that should be enough time. Shouldn't it?!

Anyway, I figure any plan you make will no doubt go to pot anyway depending on who you meet once you're out there.

I'm just going to go with the flow and see where it takes me. I can't wait though!

  • Kate*
10. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4833 posts) 11y

Quoting Sam I Am

YHA has nice hostels, but the card isn't worth it if you end up spending less than 20 nights at YHA properties. You can also save as you go with the YHA (paying a little bit more every night without a card, but receiving a card in the end)...

Actually a YHA card pays for itself in just 10 nights (they give a much larger discount ($3.5) than most VIP/Nomad hostels) - and afaik the "automatically get a card after saving up ten stamps" thing has been discontinued. (Although they might have restarted it again.)