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Oz trip - advice needed

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Oz trip - advice needed

1. Posted by crombies (Budding Member 17 posts) 4y

Hi y'all,

I am planning my trip to Oz - so far I have decided to go from 1/12 - 1/3 so that gives me 3 months to do abit of travelling. I am a bit of a virgin to this kinda thing as I used to be a travel agent & I am so used to doing set package trips - so please bare with me.

I would like to fly into Brisbane, where I wanna go to the Steve Irwin Zoo & go to The Whitsundays. Then I'd wanna go down to Sydney & be at Bondi Beach for Christmas / New Year, then travel to Melbourne, Adelaide & fly back to the UK from Perth.

^^^^^ is this itinerary over ambitious for the 3 month time scale? I would love to go for longer but in order to keep my job to return to when I come back, I can only get 3 months off work (unpaid).

Also, would I need to work during this time in order to fund my travels or will I get away with saving my a*se off before I go to avoid working?

Would working make the trip better as I would meet people or would it take away from the travel element of my trip??

By getting answers to these questions, it will help me to decide which option to go for........or to jack in my job here & go away for longer!!

Muchos gracias :)

Charlotte x

2. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1818 posts) 4y

Don't give in your job here. If you find something much better out there, then you can do so.

A month would give you time for a look around Australia. Three months more so and in greater depth.

Some weeks ago I answered a post here from a lady who had booked Sydney already over the Christmas and New Year period. As so many go there for the big celebrations, rooms are very expensive for that period but fill up quickly despite this.

For work, you will need a work visa. Lots and lots of people from many countries think they can turn up in Australia and go fruit picking. It is hard work for little money so not surprisingly the Aussies leave it for "foreigners". Don't think you are going to do a few hours fruit picking then spend the rest of the day having a good time.

Cheap flights, try kayak. You may want to fly in Australia as it is a LONG way from one side to the other. Also Tasmania is a short hop away from Melbourne.

Cheapish accommodation, try: trivago, hotels.com, lowcostholidays, hostelbookers, etc.

Consider taking out insurance. Not too expensive and a number of companies in Saturday and Sunday's Daily Mail travel section. They also have a number of cheap flight companies.

It's a LONG flight to Australia and some stop on the way there and back, like maybe a few days or a week in Thailand (which is cheap, and no visa required for upto 30 days).

3. Posted by crombies (Budding Member 17 posts) 4y

Awesome, thankyou for your detailed reply. Job wise - if you have decent qualifications, am I right in saying that you have a better chance of getting a half decent job that doesnt require picking fruit?! I have NVQs level 2 & 3 in the Travel Industry so I'd love to do something in that field.

For 3 months, would I NEED to work? Or can I get away with going on a tourist visa & actually travelling around? If so, how much do you reckon I would need to save (not including flight prices) ?

That's cool, I expected that to be the case in Sydney over the festive period. May take a tent haha

I will defo look at Kayak. I've also heard that Virgin Blue are cheap too for domestic flights in Oz - is that true?

I would take out insurance. As a travel agent, I came across too many horror stories in cases where travellers had no insurance!

I would stop off for a few days both ways. A few years back when I booked flights for customers, Singapore Airlines used to be one of the more compeitive airlines & include free stop overs in Singapore but not sure if this is still the case. Thailand would be a great option considering how cheap it is over there but then I would be restricted to Thai Airways which could be more expensive than Emirates, Cathay, Qatar etc.

4. Posted by Chix (Full Member 114 posts) 4y

3 months is plenty of time to explore Aus. Having said that, it's such a vast place that you could just as easily spend 6 there! My fella and I spend 3 weeks travelling down the East coasts and although our pace was pretty brisk, we managed to fit in everything we wanted to do (Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, Magnetic Island, Whitsunday Cruise, Sydney, Melbourne etc.)

The East coast is all about relaxed beach-bumming. Noosa and Byron Bay were two of our favourite, chilled places. It's a shame you're not going any further North than Brisbane though as Magnetic Island is really cool (short boat ride from Townsville). If you've got all that time to play with, I'd probably start further Noth and bus it down the whole coast. That way you'd also be able to go to Fraser Island for a couple of nights.

Melbourne is lovely - again, very relaxed with plenty of arty areas and a cafe culture. We also explored some of the Great Ocean Road (South of Melbourne). My fella and I did three months travel back in 2006 and managed it without working - we spent most of the time in NZ & Aus (which are fairly pricey compared to other places) so it will be similar to your trip in terms of how much you'll spend, I imagine. To keep your budget in check, stay in hostel dorms - it's also the best way to meet people if you're travelling solo.

I did a free stopover (travelling with Singapore Air) in Singapore but it was a few years ago now... 2001! Hong Kong is another good place to stop en route - great shopping, great photo opps and really easy to traverse due to the fantastic metro system.

Enjoy! x

5. Posted by crombies (Budding Member 17 posts) 4y

Thanks Chix - Ah yeah, I imagine I could do a lot longer but if I wanna have my job to come back to, 3 months is my max for now! :(

If I like it, I will definately go back and do more of the North Coast.

I will stay in hostels, as I've heard these are the best places to meet people, especially if not working! And yeah, I will be travelling solo and wanna meet as many as I can and as diverse as possible :)

My plan is..... 1st Dec, leave UK, do stopover, then arrive in Brisbane. Then head down to Sydney for 22nd Dec-ish. Leave there for Melbourne after New Year & visit Tasmania whilst I'm in that region. Then drive the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide, leaving there around 10th Feb to fly to Perth for the last leg of my trip before flying home. Obviously this is a very rough plan but manages abit of time in each place to see places, meet people & have a laugh.

What kind of budget will I need for this kind of trip, not including my return flight & internal flight to Perth?? I.e for food, bus fares, food, car hire for G/O/Road & generally having fun. I'm not particulary extravagent with money - I just wanna have a blast

6. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 4y

I generally tell first time backpackers that over a long time, they can get by on a budget averaging AUD $65 per day, which allows them to stay in small dorm rooms in good quality hostels, buy supermarket food to cook their own meals, travel to the next destination by public transport about once a week, and do the occasional cheap activity.
You have a period of car hire, and will probably be travelling between destinations a bit more frequently, but I think if you budget AUD $80-$90 per day, that should be very workable. (At the current exchange rate, that's 4500-5000 GBP for the entire time, excluding the flights.) Obviously no guarantees, and it's really easy to spend way more money (wouldn't be a bad idea at all to have another 1000 GBP stashed away in case you feel like splurging on some restaurant meals, single rooms and guided tours along the way); but if you watch your expenses, then this should be doable.

Your itinerary sounds fairly workable and well-paced to me. Do book NYE accommodation in Sydney soon (within the next month if you want someplace halfway decent).

7. Posted by Elle11 (Budding Member 49 posts) 4y

There's quite a few of us in Sydney over christmas and New year. I think we are going to try and arrange a large meet up on Bondi Beach for xmas day party. So stay in touch :)

Elle xo

8. Posted by crombies (Budding Member 17 posts) 4y

Quoting Sander

I generally tell first time backpackers that over a long time, they can get by on a budget averaging AUD $65 per day, which allows them to stay in small dorm rooms in good quality hostels, buy supermarket food to cook their own meals, travel to the next destination by public transport about once a week, and do the occasional cheap activity.
You have a period of car hire, and will probably be travelling between destinations a bit more frequently, but I think if you budget AUD $80-$90 per day, that should be very workable. (At the current exchange rate, that's 4500-5000 GBP for the entire time, excluding the flights.) Obviously no guarantees, and it's really easy to spend way more money (wouldn't be a bad idea at all to have another 1000 GBP stashed away in case you feel like splurging on some restaurant meals, single rooms and guided tours along the way); but if you watch your expenses, then this should be doable.

Your itinerary sounds fairly workable and well-paced to me. Do book NYE accommodation in Sydney soon (within the next month if you want someplace halfway decent).

Thanks Sander. I was thinking about £4500 for spending money + £1200 for the flights. The only car hire I would want would be for the Great Ocean Road, other than that I am perfectly happy bussing it

I will book Xmas & NYE accom asap, I get paid soon so I will look at it then!

9. Posted by tripoholic1 (Inactive 7 posts) 4y

Short and sharp:

- 3 months is enough, but you might like it so much, you might wan to stay; cross that bridge when you get to it.
- In order to work, you need a work visa and a tax file number, (even if getting paid in cash as more and more, employers of casual staff don't want to run the risk)
- Australia is vast and diverse, think what you might want to do - surf, scuba dive, trekking, camping, partying, etc.
- Casual work may be easier within the big cities.
- If u want to save in car rental, Google something called "rent-a-bomb", oldish cars, but not as much hassle
- Think to travel by bus or train within Australia
- Virgin is cheaper than Qantas, but also look into Tiger Airways and Jet Star
- Accommodation in Australia can be expensive, look into shared accommodation/backpackers/house sitting agencies
- If opening a bank account, choose one of the 4 major banks (ANZ, Commonwealth, Westpac, NAB) as they have the wider range of ATMs

cheers,
Tripoholic
-snip-

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