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> First timer.... basic questions
losttom
post Jan 18 2008, 11:54 AM
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Im going on a 3 week holiday in March with my girlfiend staying in Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns this march i have decided that since im there i'll let her go home and i'll stay on a bit longer probably about 3 months. i've got a few questions and it would be great if i can get some help with them.

Where should i start my solo trip from cairnes or Sydney?
How long will 3k (GBP) last me in OZ
Is it a good idea to have a detailed plan of where im going or just go wheer i feel like?
Where are the best places to see at that time of year and in that time scale?
and
How do hostels work, how do you know where to find them once you in a place??

Cheers
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sianeth
post Jan 18 2008, 12:27 PM
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Okay, probably better to start in Sydney, as Sydney will get colder as the months go on, and the weather in Cairns will get less sticky but still nice and warm by the time you get up there.

I budgeted for a grand a month in Oz, and that worked out fine, I actually spent a bit less than that and ended up doing everything I wanted to and more. If you go and drinking/eating out all the time then it might cost you a bit more, but I'd say you should be able to get by on three K.

I'd say it'd be good to have some places you definately want to go to, such as Whitsundays and Fraser Island, but I wouldn't think about making any rigid plans, because you'll easily meet people when you're over there and come to like/dislike certain places more than others.

3 months is loads for this East Coast... if you've got the money, I'd get over to Alice Springs and see Uluru, The Olgas and Kings Canyon, but if not then I'd recommend spending time in the Northern Beaches (Manly etc) around Sydney, Byron Bay for a few days, Brisbane, Noosa for a few days (Australia Zoo aswell), and doing a trip to Fraser Island from Rainbow Beach, then the Whitsunday Islands, then Magnetic Island up the coast to Cairns.

For hostels, they're everywhere in places like Cairns - most of the places are quite small so they're not hard to find, but when you get over there you can pick up a magazine called TNT Down Under which has a list of hostels and all the best places to go etc. I wouldn't stress about anything, everything sorts itself out really easily when you get there. smile.gif
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andrea
post Jan 18 2008, 05:55 PM
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I'd agree with sianeth's opinion.

As far as a time line, use one for the things you cannot miss and have to book (ie a dive course or trip from Cairns) but I would travel pretty loosely apart from that.

It is easy to find hostels - use the lonely planet or look online. Many hostels also pick up from airports, trains, etc.

For transpo, I used Oz Experience (bus) which was a super fun and easy way to travel the east coast. It is a hop on, hop off bus service.

Happy trails!
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ScottWoz
post Jan 18 2008, 07:20 PM
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I wouldn't plan too much either. Australia'a far too travel friendly and you'll get to see loads as the trip naturally evolves. What I would say is make the most of the first 3 weeks with your partner and make sure you include the 'must do's' that you want to do together. Definitely don't worry about accommodation as you'll find them in abundance at the time. If you do want a taster up front though have a look at Hostelworld and do a fee searches on the areas you've mentioned..


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mothman
post Jan 19 2008, 02:50 PM
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In sydney you'll find loads of backpacker travel shops that offer good deals for the Whitsundays, Fraser island etc, and also sort out your hostels and transport if you want it.

We booked with http://www.oztravelbugs.com/packages.asp but there are plenty of other options, and it does save money, but keep an eye out for the extras.

Greyhound was cheaper when purchased in the UK, but might just have been because prices always go up over time.

Agree with others about seeing more than just the East coast, and 3K is easily enough as there are loads of backpacker specials on food and beer.

Enjoy!
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losttom
post Jan 21 2008, 06:30 AM
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thhanks guys thats helpful stuff.

I was planning on doing the east coast with my girlfriend then when she leaves maybe heading down to melbourne/adalaide/perth then if i have time heading back to brisbane/cairnes to do qanyhti9ng we didn't have time to. Not sure 3 months is enough time to do all that though.

Is alice springs something you can do yourself or is it better to go on a tour? I think that is something i definitely want to see.
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sianeth
post Jan 21 2008, 06:38 AM
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I think it depends on if you're the sort of person that likes tours, and having a guide and that. Personally, I prefered being able to drive around, and being on my own timescale, but if you don't have a vehicle then you probably have no choice but to go on a tour if you wanna see everything. I really recommend Kings Canyon and the Western MacDonnells though - if you go on a tour, make sure it doesn't just go to Uluru and The Olgas because then you'll be missing out some of the best stuff.
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ScottWoz
post Jan 23 2008, 03:33 PM
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I'd be doing it independently if I could, I love my freedom too much. There's also nothing worse than having to suffer idiots for a few days. That said you might meet some really great people on the tour, and a lot of guides can be absolutely spot-on - incredibly inspiration people.

As Sianeth said, it depends on what sort of person you are as to what you want and/or need out of it. Getting your hands on a car isn't that difficult, nor is sharing the ride with other backpackers (noticeboards in hostels/backpacker forums) who are planning the same trip. That way you'll get the randomness and the excitement of discovering things by yourself. It's all personal I guess. Words like 'tour' and 'organised' generally make me feel a bit claustrophobic. But that's me..


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cheli
post Mar 1 2008, 06:17 PM
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If you're planning on heading south-ish (Melbourne, Adelaide) then better to love and leave your GF from Sydney. I'll put in a vote for Melbourne and some of the outlying areas (goldfields, and great ocean road especially at that time of year) but from what I've heard Adelaides won't hold your attention for too long. I long to see the Flinders ranges though...feel free to swing me a message if you want any detailed info on Melbourne and surrounds as I'm born and bred smile.gif

As for tours - it entirely depends on how you're getting around. If you can drive and are willing to hire a car then definitely you can do Alice Springs on your own - make sure you see the Olgas as well as Ayers Rock though. Talk to tourist offices if you go it on your own - you'll miss a lot of the depth of human and geographical history there if you only read your guidebook. One tour you could consider is an Aboriginal run one - the money goes back into the community and you get to experience the local association with the place. If you're in the 'neighbourhood' anyway consider going further north to see Kakadu. Actually, it's a long drive away but this is the outback after all wink.gif

Depending on your speed of travelling I think you should actually be ok with 3 months as you'll have already done the Northern East coast already.


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