Hello, i'm going to Australia for 3 and a half months. I'm starting off at Sydney then hoping to go to the following place: Byron Bay, Brisbane, Cairns and Melborne.
Could anybody recomend the best route and what mode of transport would you suggest? Thanks a lot!
Depends on what you're doing. It is cheap to fly between Syd/Brisbane/Cairns etc (check out Jetstar.com.au)
If backpacking, ask around at the hostels...there is usually someone heading the same way where you can share/ hitch a ride etc... I sometimes fly, sometimes drive it??? Depends. Driving can be expensive so check out flights...
I think the best most adventurous option without an awful amount of backtracking would be if you land in Sydney, get a flight on Jetstar or Virgin Blue to Cairns. From there if you can't drive it'd be buses and trains all the way down south. If you can drive, hiring a car would be a more interesting option. If you are in Australia for 3 1/2 months and can drive it'd probably work out a bargain to buy an old car advertised in the newspaper or on the side of the road and then use that as your transport for the majority of your trip instead of having to hire a car which would work out very expensive over the course of 3 1/2 months
I don't know the rules for foreigners purchasing a vehicle in Australia, but even if it is a bit of a hassel it'd have to work out cheaper if you got a cheap old car that's recently been serviced, than hiring one very often over the 3 1/2 months.
If spending as little as possible whilst seeing all those places is your option, then the option of flying most the legs would be cheapest and then just rely on the city buses to get around the cities. I'm unsure of the costs involved in buses from Surfers Paradise-Byron Bay but they shouldn't be too expensive. So going Cairns-Brisbane (flight) train to Surfers Paradise bus to Byron Bay, Byron Bay back up to as far as Brisbane and then a flight to Melbourne would most likely be your cheapest option if you aren't too keen on hitch hiking. You could certinaly do a lot more than that in just 3 1/2 months. If you are not planning on working in Australia you really should try and see more.
[ Edit: Edited on Apr 12, 2007, at 4:52 AM by aharrold45 ]
No wanting to hijack the thread. But if you/I was to buy a car while in Australia. What way does the insurance work out? Need to get some there or would being fully comp covered back home have any bearing?
You'd most likely need to buy insurance in Australia I reckon, because you pay the insurance for your vehicle back in Northern Ireland and if you have an accident in your mates car in Australia that would come under his insurance policy. When purchasing a car that is registered, you already have some insurance in regards to if you were to run over someone and they were to purse legal action against you then the insurance that was included with the registration would pay for the payout the person would get. If you were to have an accident and nothing happen to you but just damaged your car, in that incident your car or the other persons car, that wouldn't be insured and you'd have to fix the problem out of your own money. (A travel insurance policy might cover some part of that, but you'd want to check with the isurer). I know that if you hire a car and have that rediculously high excess charge that's standard, most travel insurance policies will cover you for that excess. Maybe your travel insurance might pay out for something regarding a vehicle you buy, but I'm not totally sure.
If you think about it, when you purchase an insurance policy for your house in Northern Ireland, that will only cover you for the rebuilding of your house that's insured there. So if you went and purchased a house in Australia or were staying in your friends uninsured house back in Northern Ireland and it burnt to the ground, your Irish policy for your house wouldn't repair your uninsured friends house that you were staying in or the Australian house you just bought that you didn't buy a policy for. So if you purchase insurance for your car that's sitting back home in the garage and then decide to buy a car in Australia, it'd make sense that the insurance for your car sitting back home wouldn't cover the Australian car you just bought. You'd need to buy further insurance policy in Australia for the new car, like you would if you had two houses in two seperate countries. I'm not totally sure but that just seems logical.
Maybe someone might know a definite answer but I reckon what I said is the case and if not you may just want to ask you insurance company at home, because rules can differ from each insurance company.
IF you do buy a car in Australia on an extended holiday, make sure that the car has recently been serviced and also has registration for at least the time frame you are in Australia for. Registration isn't at all cheap so if you can escape without having to pay for it, you are doing yourself a big favour.
[ Edit: Edited on Apr 14, 2007, at 3:36 AM by aharrold45 ]