I'm heading over to Melbourne in mid-December and staying there for two weeks with family, then it's up the east coast with the Greyhound Mini-traveller's pass. My question is...how long will I be able to to stay with 3000 Canadian dollars? I'm thinking a month, but I'd love it if I could stay longer. Also, I'm travelling with a friend and we're a bit nervous. We're both 18 and have never done anything like this before, so does anyone have any advice? Is this going to be dangerous for two 18-year-old girls? Are there any places that are must-sees? What are some activities we can do that won't drain our money in a week? What's the nightlife like? Are the hostels safe/clean? Sorry for all the questions, this is all very new to me. But I'm really excited at the same time. Any comments would be appreciated, thanks guys.
Not sure about anywhere else, but for Melbourne:
In terms of safety I think it's as safe as any large city. The worst you'd probably have to worry about is a lot of drunk people about in the city on Fri/Sat nights.
In terms of nightlife it's a bit spread out, but there are some main areas:
Fitzroy St in St. Kilda (bars/pubs/clubs)
Crown Casino (the clubs here are ok'ish but expensive, go for the casino atmosphere)
Flinders St/Little Collins St/Russel St area in Melbourne city area (bit of everything but a bit spread out)
Chapel St, South Yarra (some good clubs, some may have large european or asian crowds, as well as "aussie" crowds)
Brunswick St, Fitzroy (a bit more laid back, "hippy" like, crowd might be a tad older, some nice bars and a more casual crowd though)
Given you're 18 year old girls intersted in night life just be careful with any guys you meet etc., I'm sure most are just out for fun but there can be some dodgy ones as with anywhere else. Night life here is a pretty big money drainer, especially in the more upmarket clubs. A lot of people here have "pre-drinks" somewhere before they go out (at a home though as drinking in streets is illegal) to reduce the cost a bit.
As for other daily activities around Melbourne:
The Great Ocean Rd, a good drive, great beaches along here and some nice coastal towns. The start of this road is about 2hrs drive from Melbourne though.
Phillip Island (also 2-3 hrs away), coastal area pretty big on native wildlife and penguins etc., also for animals theres also Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne Aquarium, Healesville Sanctuary
Theres your usual museum/architecture type stuff, Melbourne is also pretty big on arts although i don't know much about this.
I've probably forgotten some daily activities, it may be good to get a tourist perspective on this (rather than a local), as well as the rest of the east coast
Have fun in Melbourne!
[ Edit: Edited on Nov 19, 2007, at 10:02 PM by Erik85 ]
3000 Canadian dollars is about 3400 Australian dollars. Minus the $392 for the bus pass leaves roughly AUD3000. With transport taken care of, if you stay in hostels and buy supermarket food to cook your own meals, you should be able to stick to spending an average of AUD50-60 a day, which thus should last you six to eight weeks. I'm assuming your friend will have a similar amount of money, in which case together you might be able to stretch the money slightly further still, mostly by lowering the food costs per person.
You'll have to pay close attention to how much you're spending in the first week or two though - get a routine, and make certain not to blow it all on parties and activities (daytrips add up in cost very swiftly), or you could find yourself without money after much sooner than that.
Excellent, thank you both! Erik, thanks for the information on Melbourne. Good to hear the clubs aren't filled with creepy older men. We probably aren't going to go clubbing too much anyways seeing as we'd like to save our money to stay as long as possible. My travel buddy has a friend on Phillip Island so we'll check that out, and I'll have to look into the Great Ocean Rd, I like the sound of those beaches.
Sander, that helps a lot, thank you. I hope I can stretch the trip to eight weeks so I can get as far up the east coast as possible. My goal is to get to Cairns and go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. My friend does have more money than I do, and she said she'd loan me some if I ran out early, so that'll help. 60 AUD a day sounds like a good budget, although I'm considering bringing a small tent and spending some nights in a campground, is that worth the trouble?
Sander, that helps a lot, thank you. I hope I can stretch the trip to eight weeks so I can get as far up the east coast as possible.
Do note that that bus pass you mentioned is only valid for 45 days. Although I see that the regular Travellers Pass (as opposed to the Mini Travellers Pass) is valid for half a year and barely costs more, so that won't be a problem after all. (Also, you can get a 10% discount on both if you have a backpacker card (YHA/VIP/ISIC))
My goal is to get to Cairns and go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef.
Unfortunately the wet season runs from December through March. I'd recommend spending as much time as possible south of Brisbane, as humidity is horrible that time of year, and then when you get further north, it turns into torrential rains. Also, I think rain usually means bad visibility at the reef.
60 AUD a day sounds like a good budget, although I'm considering bringing a small tent and spending some nights in a campground, is that worth the trouble?
I personally didn't think it would be (lots of extra weight for little benefit, and it seemed there weren't many campgrounds in convenient locations close to the city centers), so didn't do this. That means however that I have no actual experience doing this , so who knows, it might still be...
Hmm, that's too bad about the reef. I should've taken the wet and dry seasons into consideration. I'll have to reconsider that...I'll go do some research. And I think I might go with the regular traveller's pass since the price is only slightly higher. The tent will probably stay at home as you suggested...I don't think carrying it around will be worth it. Meh, it was just an idea. Thanks again Sander.