I am trying to make holiday plans for the winter recess (well, the equivalent of your summer) and was hoping for some insight into the logistics of travelling to Australasia.
I was wondering about the following:
1. How much does rent typically cost in any major Australian city (I prefer flats to hotels)? What is considered 'reasonable' for a decent area in Sydney/ Melbourne? Is it comparatively more expensive to stay in New Zealand?
2. What is public transportation like over there? Is frequent inter-city travel spread out across a few weeks feasible/ cost-effective, or would I be better off sticking to Sydney/ Melbourne?
3. I've noticed looking at maps, &c. that 'suburbs' in Australia are still incredibly far from city centres. Does everyone typically drive back and forth, or is there a transport infrastructure specifically for that?
4. How exaggerated are reports of extreme weather fluctuations in Melbourne? I've always assumed it was fairly mild/ temperate, but I've recently heard disturbing stories.
5. Would I have a difficult time finding organic/ natural products (I'm referring more to foodstuffs here, as in groceries)?
6. Are there any weird limits on the amount of carry-on luggage allowed (I ask only because I learned the hard way that U.K. airports are far stricter than those of the U.S.)?
7. Would it be reasonable to expect Internet access in most flats, i.e.: would a landlord be peeved if I 'dared' request it or is it more of the norm for locals to frequent Internet cafes instead?
8. Kiwis, please do not take offence: what is there to do in New Zealand? Am I looking at mostly 'nature-oriented'/ hiking/ sport-related activities?
9. How late are banks usually open/ are there ATM's everywhere?
10. Any recommendations on currency exchange offices or should I just use credit cards/ go to fee-free ATM's?
11. Will it be overly touristy or dead during December? My query here is prompted by a negative past trip experience; should I expect shops to be closed for long periods due to Christmas or just limited hours for a few days?
12. What is the tipping etiquette?
13. How late do most shops stay open/ trains stay running?
14. I don't have much of an interest in the outback, but do love koalas... yea or nay? I've heard you can visit preserves and hold them like a proper tourist
I've got plenty more questions, but don't want to overwhelm you with my first post.
Thanks so much, in advance!
Hi I've already been and im going back in Nov 2009
You had alot of questions, and i know the answers to most of them
1) Hostel life is fun and costs about $200AUD a wk, if your living in a flat share its about $180AUD but be prepared to share with up to 8 people.
2) Transport in Sydney is great, never had a prob. Air con on buses. Didn't vist melbourne so not sure.
3) In Sydney the subs are spread out, but the transport system is very fast.
4) Never been
5) Not Sure
6) Depends on the airline. But as a seasoned traveller i would only take what you really need. Anything else just buy on the way. Stay well away from flight center!
7) Internet is everywhere, and internet cafes are on most streets.
8) Have to ask them
9) ATM's are everywhere, and banks from what i can remember are open until 16.30 and closed sundays.
10) AMEX travellers cheques. Good as cash and the bank credits your account right away. Commonwealth tried to have me "wait" for the money to be credited. And i kindly informed them its confirmed money, no waiting time! Apart from that no probs.
11) December is really busy so book your hostel in advance. I had to go to the counter everyday to get a room for each night over christmas 2007. Cause i spent so much time in the hostel they gave me a job
12) If your backpacking...don't tip!
13) Most shops are open really late, if not 24hrs. the main transport ends i think at 11pm, but there are late night bus services. There is this one irish bar open all night, but doors close at 4am. Also if you look drunk they will not let you in anywhere.
14) You cant hold Koalas in NSW its illegal. But in Brisban you can so ive heard. But remember they sleep for 20hrs a day so you will be lucky to get one awake
If you have any other questions let me know Just remember you will never have all the answers
Actually, I wouldn't be backpacking, which is why I was wondering about typical rent rates in major cities.
Also, I was told that Sydney was quite expensive compared to other areas, so I thought it might be cheaper to stay longer in Melbourne instead?
Yeah, but I'd most certainly like to try to plan ahead as much as possible. Had issues once with a realtor not showing up to meet me in Prague among other things... I like to avoid nasty surprises by doing all the research I can beforehand.
Any other suggestions/ tips?
Sydney is expensive, like major torist rates. In Sydney you will see lamp post covered in "rooms to let" or try http://www.gumtree.com.au
It has lots of listing for rooms, and jobs ect.
I really didn't plan much when i went to Australia last time, but this time i am, cause im going New Zealand as well.