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Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Where to begin!

1. Posted by djac100 (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y

After being made redundant back in March 2009 I decided I wanted to fulfil a life long ambition to travel the world. My original plan was to set off in September 2009.

One of the reasons I didn’t stick to this plan was that my brother and his fiancé had arranged their wedding for April 2010. The other reason was that I was offered a contract job that I couldn’t pass up due to the experience and credit to my CV.

I’ve been in this job since June and it looks as if the work will last until May 2010, it could go on even longer if Swine flu sticks around! At the moment I’m loosely planning my trip to begin in September 2010 (the reason why I keep choosing September is because it’s the end of the British Golf season.)

Anyways, I was talking to a friend who’s well travelled about my plans and I mentioned some of the places I wanted to visit, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Australia, New Zealand, South America etc etc. He immediately recommended I just head out to Australia first and take it from there. He said I’d end up freaking out being on my own in some of the Asian countries. Now that I look at it, I tend to think he’s right. Anyone agree or disagree with this?

I was wondering if anyone else has gone about it this way too? How easy is it to work your way back over the world just booking flights and accommodation as and when needed? Is this more expensive this way?

Also what’s the ‘usual’ route through Australia and New Zealand (if there even is one!)

I’ve got a thousand questions about all this but I already feel I’ve written enough for one day!



2. Posted by trainrider (Full Member 95 posts) 6y

Hi...Yea, sounds like a plan! Ive recently returned from a similar trip. I flew to Nz and travelled/worked there for a year. Whilst there I had a daft idea to travel back overland from Thailand to the UK. I just booked a one way ticket to Bangkok and got on my first bus just planning as I went along. Its the best way to travel I assure you, especially trains!

It isn't more expensive to book as you go along but train travel is sometimes more expensive than flying! However it's worth it, there is no better way to see and experience the world.

Im not sure about Australia but It is cheaper to fly to Auckland than anywhere else in New Zealand. So best to start there. I would recommend a kind of figure of eight loop around both Islands if you've got the time and money! But really its up to you! Dont worry about "usual routes", sometimes its best to just leave things open to be spontaneous.

Looking at the countrys that you've mentioned above though I would ......

1) Fly to Beijing
2) Travel overland to Hanoi in Vietnam
3) Travel overland to Phnom Penh in Cambodia
4) Travel overland to Bangkok in Thailand
5) Fly to Australia from Bangkok
6) Fly to New Zealand from Australia
7) Fly to S. America from New Zealand.......

8) And back to the Uk I guess......

I would imagine that the above route would be the cheapest way. Once you've decided which capital citys you will travel between, you can start planning where you're going to visit on route between those citys. But of course you can allways change your mind!

So I guess that I disagree with your friend. As regards to "freaking out in some of the Asian countrys", Its not that scary once you're there. Sure you'll have nerves and feel apprehensive about it, who wouldn't? But once you're there you'll be fine, im sure. Beijing for example is actually a surprisingly mellow city, you would meet many other travellers in the same boat all more than happy to chat and help each other out over a beer at the hostel!

Hope this helps.

[ Edit: Edited on 03-Jan-2010, at 16:08 by trainrider ]

3. Posted by djac100 (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y

Thanks for the quick reply mate. I must admit that I am a little apprehensive travelling in some countries on my own, especially as it will be my first solo trip! My ideal approach to things would be to meet like minded people in Australia/New Zealand who I could then meet up with in the more isolated countries. Does this kind of thing happen?? As far as money goes, I should have around £8-10K for the trip (I’d like to make this last at least 18 months, or come home with some left in the bank.)

I would love to go away as a free spirit without too many plans and just take things in as and when I want, the thought of being laid on a beach for days on end with a cold beer and a good book really appeal to me at the moment. Am I being realistic with this thought or should I be planning my every move now? I do plan to do some work too, good way to meet people I would imagine?

As far as South America goes, I know I’d shit my pants doing that on my own! Or at least that’s what I think at the moment, maybes some time away will toughen me up for such experiences. I’m starting to sound like a right fanny now!

4. Posted by trainrider (Full Member 95 posts) 6y

No worries! I love travelling and planning it. At the mo Im resorting to getting a kick out of helping others plan there trip!!! Sad eh!?! What have I become!?! Ha ha

I updated my first post above before you wrote back. Like I said im sure that you'd be fine once you get there. You will meet like minded people in Asia I assure you.

I left with about the same money as you in the bank and returned 17 months later with about a £1000. It can be done. I did a bit of work in NZ. If you're less than 30 apply for a working holiday visa in NZ and/or Australia. Also I did some Wwoofing in NZ, where you volunteer on organic farms in return for a bed and food, this is a great way to meet people, experience real life in the country and save money. You can Woof in Australia too! Check out and

Absolutley, Its completely realistic to be a free spirit. It shouldn't be any other way. Thats what its all about really isn't it?

South America will be the toughest if you dont speak spanish. But once you've travelled through Asia and Australasia you should be confident enough to achieve it. Start learning some basic phrases now and in 18 months you'll be prepared. I think most people are surprised what they can achieve once they get out there. I was. I am much more confident in my abilities now than before I left!