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Heading out to Cairns 8th December 2012 - East Coast

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Heading out to Cairns 8th December 2012 - East Coast

1. Posted by Izt85 (Budding Member, 58 posts) 22 Aug '12 04:55

Hi Guys,

Looking for help im by no means an experienced traveller especially on my own and i have a few questions (maybe a hundred). So if anyone could help it would be much appreciated. Also if anyone is heading out there simialr dates it would also be appreciated..

  • Do i need any kind of Visa to be in Australia for a month ?
  • Is this time of year a good time to go?
  • How much cash realistically do i need ? Does anyone recommend any cheap flight websites ?
  • Ive been recommended the Greyhound for travelling up and down the coast is this the best way to get around.
  • The big one for me is travelling alone - I've never been anywhere alone before so its a scary kind of excitign for me but is it easy enough to meet people out there ?
  • Looking to finish my trip in Oz in Sydney for New Years eve - Is it a good place to be ? And where would you recommend to be around X-mas ?
  • Also what are the Hostels like out there ? I dont mind a roughing it a bit but what can i expect ?

If anyone is travelling out similar time also be good to here from you. You can add me on Facebook Izaac Thaw - You should recognise me from the picture on my profile :)

Thanks for yoru help

Izaac

2. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru, 1722 posts) 22 Aug '12 07:55

You will need a tourist visa to go to Australia. Or a work visa if you plan on doing any work there.

Late in the year is a good time to go, though it can be quite hot in places.

Cash? Lots. Australia is often as expensive as staying in a big town in the UK.

kayak is good for flights. Search for: cheap flights australia on the internet. The later you leave it, the more you will pay.

Bus is a cheapish way to travel but Australia is a very big place and you can find yourself spending many hours on buses. Flights are better for longer distances but are cheaper if booked before arrival.

No problem travelling alone. Lots of others will be doing it too while you are there. It's the same as anywhere else for meeting people.

Sydney New Year is a good place to be but very, very expensive as so many others have the same idea. People were booking rooms months ago for this.

Use the accommodation link at the top of the page for hostels but don't expect very cheap, or even cheap in most places. Lots of choice. Get somewhere central or near public transport.

Try the Travel Companions section for others out there at the same time. You'll see the link on the right.

Do not take any food at all into Australia. Customs take it very seriously.

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4275 posts) 22 Aug '12 10:03

Quoting Cyberia

You will need a tourist visa to go to Australia.

This is not true, in that in Australian immigration terms, a tourist visa (subclass 676) is a specific thing with specific requirements and abilities (mostly this is used to extend a 3 month stay to a 6 months stay), and what you'd want to get to just stay in Australia for a month for tourism purposes is something else, namely an eVisitor or ETA.
Izt85: As a UK citizen (according to your profile), you need to apply for an "eVisitor", which is free, and easily applied for. Should take a few hours to (at most) a few days to be approved.

Quoting Izt85

* Is this time of year a good time to go?

For the east coast: not really. Brisbane and further north will be incredibly hot and humid, with frequent torrential rains. The "wet season" starts in December and last through March. It's generally perfect summer weather down in Sydney and Melbourne, though, so it's still good for the lower half of the east coast.

* Looking to finish my trip in Oz in Sydney for New Years eve

Book accommodation as soon as possible. Most decent places will already be booked solid, and you can expect to have long minimum stays or high costs for most of the remaining options.

* Also what are the Hostels like out there ? I dont mind a roughing it a bit but what can i expect ?

Hostelling culture in Australia is absolutely excellent. There's a very wide range in hostel quality, from dark and grotty places to shining beacons of modernity rivaling most hotels. Generally speaking you get what you pay for. In the better type of hostels, you can expect big fully equipped kitchens (with dozens of people cooking their meals there at any time; a prime location to meet fellow travellers), comfy lounges with couches and chairs filled with fellow travellers hanging out, reading their lonely planets before heading into the city (another good location to meet people), clean shared bathrooms, bunkbeds for 4-6 people to a dorm room (each bed with a big locker), sometimes a useful travel desk, and reception staffed most of the day (up to 24 hours) with very helpful and knowledgeable people, always full of advice for things to do.

[ Edit: Fixed up a quote tag ]

4. Posted by Dodger (Respected Member, 860 posts) 22 Aug '12 14:46

Quoting Sander

Quoting Izt85

* Is this time of year a good time to go?

For the east coast: not really. Brisbane and further north will be incredibly hot and humid, with frequent torrential rains. The "wet season" starts in December and last through March. It's generally perfect summer weather down in Sydney and Melbourne, though, so it's still good for the lower half of the east coast.

Not so true either! :) I guess hot, especially "incredibly hot" is relative, but to me it isn't that bad and the rains didnt really get started until March this year. Plus in that time of year its a great time to head to the creeks and up onto the tablelands. Of course if you come a bit earlier in November you can be here for the Solar eclipse Further south the weather will be even better.

I think breaking up your journey and riding on Greyhound is probably your best bet. There are just too many great places all down the east coast that have to be seen and a bus is probably the most affordable. Maybe even try to fit Melbourne in. I like it much more than Sydney. Just has more of a cool feel to it.

Hostels on the east coast or anywhere in Australia are to me a bit rough. There is a large amount of travelers that seem to be on a drinking binge and this then leads to dirty hostels. YHA hostels are a couple bucks more than the independents, but usually much cleaner and better run.

5. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4275 posts) 22 Aug '12 23:05

Quoting Dodger

I guess hot, especially "incredibly hot" is relative, but to me it isn't that bad and the rains didnt really get started until March this year.

I'm using "incredibly hot" by Dutch / UK measurements, since that's where both me and the original poster are from. I do fully acknowledge that if you're used to Southern USA summers, it probably isn't so daunting. And yeah, I'd heard about the rains this year; but there's no reason not to expect the rains this coming season to be that mild again. It was only two years ago Brisbane and surrounding had those really heavy floods after all (in early January, if memory serves).

6. Posted by Dodger (Respected Member, 860 posts) 22 Aug '12 23:53

Quoting Sander

Quoting Dodger

I guess hot, especially "incredibly hot" is relative, but to me it isn't that bad and the rains didnt really get started until March this year.

I'm using "incredibly hot" by Dutch / UK measurements, since that's where both me and the original poster are from. I do fully acknowledge that if you're used to Southern USA summers, it probably isn't so daunting. And yeah, I'd heard about the rains this year; but there's no reason not to expect the rains this coming season to be that mild again. It was only two years ago Brisbane and surrounding had those really heavy floods after all (in early January, if memory serves).

Well by southern US standards it's really mild, but it's generally excepted that the weather here isn't that bad until January and Feb. And floods come and go pretty quick here too. The late rains this year were made up in 3 weeks of solid rain in March! but its by no means monsoonal in Dec. Anyway either way, it's weather and you can never predict what its going to be!

BTW I was born and raised in the UK. I spent 20 years in the deep south, a few in NYC, some more in Florida and a few in California, but I still don't think I'm use to really hot weather.

7. Posted by Izt85 (Budding Member, 58 posts) 23 Aug '12 01:21

Guys thanks so much for all your advice very much appreciated and very useful.

Im pretty close to going ahead and booking now. Really nervous, scared and excited at the same time. Which i love !!!!

Hoping to book flights within the next week or so...

Weather wise im born and bread in the UK. Manchester too 'rainy city' so trust me i can handle the rain haha !!

Thanks Again

Izaac :)