Seeking travel advice down under.

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Seeking travel advice down under.

1. Posted by helenjlitt (Budding Member 5 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Any essential tips for that 12 month trip down under? Who to book with, accommodation, places to see? Am on a major budget! Any advice appriciated. First time traveller on my own and wanna get it right!

2. Posted by mim4schwiz (Budding Member 5 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

hey!... ur new! like me!
i can see no ones replied to ur q´s yet...:( doesnt that suck! i mean... usually theres some... "well respected traveler" or "travel guru" or "admin" guy/or girl who answers... but nooooo... stupid ppl (gann! lol, just kidding)) so yeh, ill try and help u, but really im only a first time traveler myself... 15, and yeh, my mum organised everything for me to come over here to europe... im having fun! but yeh.. back to u...
well, (actually i just realised, i havnt told u yet... im from aus:)!!).. so yeh, as i was saying, i can help u on the sight seeing bit... but i need to know what direction ur going in ... north , south, east or west australia, u see theres quite a..... shall we say... LARGE difference!!!!!!!
but yeh... i guess if ur there for a whole year, u might be planning to see the whole!... well thats kinda ambitious on a tight budget
so yeh... i come from the north, a tiny tiny town called katherine about 300km south of darwin and 1200kms north of alice springs.... quite remote... but yeh, if ur planning to come north:

+see ayres rock... and other stuff like that around alice springs :), its a kind of "must do" i guess, hehehe :)
+if ur going all the way up to darwin, try and stop in katherine, coz the gorge is pretty awsum... but id advice u to do the canoe trip, not the boat tour thingy, coz (im pretty sure) its cheaper and MUCH more fun!!!!
+ if u dont want to stop in katherine... at least stop in at edith falls... about 20km out of katherine (towards darwin) u turn right and then another 20km and ur at edith falls... theyre awsum for a swim and jumping off rocks and stuff. theres like a GIGANTIC lower pool and tons of "upper" pools (but u have to walk AT LEAST 10 minutes to get to them... and im lazy! so i stay in the lower pool!) ANYWAY! - useless, trivial info!!!!!!....
+and again! if u dont want to go to edith and just want to go straight to darwin... well thats ur prob! hehehe....
+a tip on darwin... sat morning is the parap market... very cool, sun morning is the nightcliff... not AS good, but cool... sun night and thurs night is the mindel beach markets... VERY cool!!
+kakadu/Litchfield decision, which to go to: im pretty certain (tho not totally sure) that litchfield is the better bet.. i mean ive been to both, and really kakadu isnt all its made up to be, so yeh

hope ive been helpful!:) u should write back and say WHERE u are going, coz i DO actually know about other places in aus (surprise surprise!) coz my family travels a fair bit... but im not gonna write about them ALL now!!!
so yeh... ciao!

3. Posted by helenjlitt (Budding Member 5 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!


Cheers for replying, has been really helpful. Guess i should try make my posts more enticing!

So where in Europe are you now? I have a couple of friends travelling Europe too in a camper van. Think they're in Rome right now.

Yeh, i do wanna see as much as i can but being on a budget and well aware i can't do everything i really want to know the best stuff to see and any tips. I know i'll probably learn a lot on my way but nice to have a head start. I'm not THAT skint and am not scared of a bit of hard work.

So anyway, i plan to start in Sydney and stay there over New Year then up the East Coast (probably where i'll spend the largest part of the trip) and the North. Do plan to head down West Coast and the South but not spend quite so much time doing so. Get the impression i won't want to stay in Melbourne all that long for example.

I know all the usual places to go but is helpful to get a bit of inside info before i go.

If i can afford to would love to go over to NZ also for two or three weeks. Have you been over there much?

Thanx for your help

4. Posted by mim4schwiz (Budding Member 5 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

hi! :)
im in switzerland, on exchange.... learning german is hard!!!!!
im in a permanent host family, so im not REALLY traveling but ive been to the alps and stuff... awesome!!!!!
welll... sydney over the new year, should be pretty cool, do u konw anyone there?
well ive been up the east coast (well actually down it) but i was heaps younger, so i dont remember much... but take note.. cairns is AWSUM , according to some heaps good friends, its heaven on earth (theyre movin back tehre next yr!)
how are u traveling? are u hitching or taking buses? do u have a working visa?
hey! ive just remembered, bill bryson... have u heard of him? hes an american... but hes an AWSUM writer... anywayz hes written this book on australia called "Down Under" (or "Bill Bryson Down Under") not sure, anywayz, THAT would b a VERY good book to read b4 u go! ... cept he only mentions katherine as a sleepy little town 300kms south of darwin.... so yer.... not very flattering of katherine! but thats only coz he didnt stop! (actually its a good thing he didnt, coz he might have been even more unflattering!, it really is quite a boring town!)
he is also unflattering about darwin, but that i cant forgive, coz darwin actually really is cool, he just met the wrong ppl and stayed at the wrong hotel... anywayz, soz, i gtg
write back... did u say u were going sa? coz if u are, thats pretty awsum too, i lived there for about 3 yrs

5. Posted by yearoff (Budding Member 7 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

heyyaaa... well, i'm a sydneysider... so i can give you a few tips... sydney is a great city and there is heaps to see, and i recommend also taking a side trip for a day or two to the blue mountains... very pretty and quaint etc.

so the east coast is great - there's a lot to see... first you should go to byron bay... although i would recommend trying to avoid the massive summer crowds - but if thats the only time you can get there - then thats fine too... oh, but just north of sydney there are some great beaches and stuff... should also hang out there.. e.g. avoca.

you can go to surfers paradise, but i find it really commercialised and spoilt... go further north to like fraser island and the whitsundays and if you can get as high as cairns.. and noosa as well... and sposed to be very beautiful... and if you are into bushwalking - there are lots of rainforests.

should also take time to go to melbourne...

i've heard AMAZING things about new zealand (never actually been there) - but its sposed to be phenomenal!

so... that was a bit of a patchy reply... can always ask more questions - and if i can help i will be happy to do so!

6. Posted by amethyst09 (Budding Member 2 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hey! I'm from Melbourne and have lived in Adelaide, Tasmania and North of Sydney too so I've been around a bit! If you're here for 12 months you should be able to see most of it. Australia is so diverse so it's best to see a bit of everywhere! Melbourne and Sydney are the two main cities - both have lots to see. Sydney is beautiful with Darling Harbour and the Bridge but I prefer Melbourne as a city to live in. Better atmosphere and more cultural I believe.
If you can, do a trip up the east coast. From Sydney, NSW to Cairns, QLD. Beautiful surf beaches, great atmosphere. I've never been to Western Australia but I've always wanted to, I heard it's really laid back and beautiful.
You also have to do the Outback trip - Ayres Rock, Darwin, Katherine.
If you have the chance make sure you go to Tasmania - everyone seems to forget about Tassie! It is one of the most beautiful places in Australia.
I hope I've been some help. If you have any specific questions - just ask!


7. Posted by helenjlitt (Budding Member 5 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the advice guys, have started reading Bryson. Great read!

I hope i get to see everything you suggested. I have my working visa so should be able to get the funds to do it all.

Plan on travelling by bus although tempted to hire a car if that's gonna work out cheaper and more convenient. Think it's a case of wait and see.

Does anyone know if i'm going to find it easy enough finding cheap accommodation when i'm visiting all these places. I'm getting myself booked up for the first week but then i'm hoping i can find stuff as i go along. Any reccommendations for places to stay? That goes for places to eat, drink and be merry too?



8. Posted by ddalet (Full Member 21 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Hi Helen,

I'm from New Zealand, so I'm biased, but I would say definitely allow yourself more than 2-3 weeks in NZ. You will chew through 3 weeks in one island, and both islands are really worth seeing. In the south you have mountains and glaciers and fiords and beautiful rugged coastline and whales and dolphins. In the north you have beautiful beaches and forests and geothermal activity and lake taupo... I've read lots of travel accounts from people who have travelled to NZ who say they wish they'd allowed more time.


9. Posted by helenjlitt (Budding Member 5 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Cheers Lisa,

Yeh i'd love to spend longer in NZ but it's going to be a case of how long i can afford. From people i've spoke to i know NZ would actually warrant a completely separate trip but, not wanting to miss it all together i will only be able to go for a few weeks. If i have the oppertunity to stay longer i definitly will. I am aware also that i may only get chance to see one of the islands so it'll be a tough choice.