Thursday, 25 October 2012

Australia Help.

The countdown is really on now for Australia. In 19 days I will be there and for those who already know me, know how much of a planner I am! I think I have exhausted Google with questions on directions, best places to go, transport etc. 

I wish I could relax but I'd much rather plan it all now so when I am there I know what to do. In my own little world, that's how I best enjoy myself to 'be in the moment' once there!

However, there are still some niggling questions and things I would like to know from people who have been, know people out there or better yet live there!

1) The weather - it's approaching Winter here in the UK so my wardrobe is mainly winter wear. I know it will be Spring in Australia. What's the temperature like? The likelihood of rain/storms?

2) Palm Beach - I am a massive fan of Home and Away and I know the cast film here. I am going on November 15th. Does anyone know if they do set cast days? Probably not but no harm in asking!

3) Buses - I am getting the L90 bus from Sydney to Palm beach. I have to buy my ticket from a pre-pay station. Are these at the bus stops itself? or in buildings?

4) Koalas - I have booked Lone Pine Koala sanctuary for when Ii am in Brisbane. Do I get to hold a Koala? Or pay an extra charge?

5) Sydney - I have heard Sydney is expensive. Is the rest if the East coast like Cairns, Newcastle, Brisbane a little cheaper? Are there places to really avoid cost wise! I am on a budget.

6) Flying - Any tips on long haul flying? I am dreading the flight!!!!!!!! When we flew to California in March I really struggled with the 12 hour flight. How can I cope with 23 hours?

7) First day -  In Sydney we are staying on the harbour (Darling Harbour). We land in the morning and we need to make our best effort to stay up until at least early evening to settle in with the time difference. We don't want to do anything too strenuous (we'll be so tired!). Anything you recommend? Is Sydney easy to walk/navigate around?

8) Anything else? - We have sorted what we are doing in Brisbane and Airlie Beach. Sydney is planned too. But we are also visiting Newcastle, Cairns and Willis Island - any recommendations on what to do?


Joyce said...

Have fun!! Sounds like a wonderful trip!

laura anne said...

Weather - I went in the Autumn, and Queensland will likely be pretty hot by now. Sydney could be mixed - but very much like a British summer (and much better than a Scottish one). The rain tends to happen quickly, heavily and suddenly - I recommend taking a cagoule to have with you. I used to have a 'Kag in a bag' so I could stuff it in my bag and pull it out if needed!

Buses - Sydney have these pre-pay tickets you can buy in shops and they act a wee bit like Oyster cards but look like train tickets.

Koalas - you do have to pay extra for a hug. I think it was about $15 when I did it 5 years ago? You get a picture included, but they didn't mind me taking my own ones at the same time.

Sydney - I found it no different if not cheaper than UK. Obviously there are plenty of posh places you could spend a fortune in but my friends and I managed fine. In Cairns the only thing to spend your money on is getting out of Cairns itself.

Flying - Sleep as much as you can. Taking an antihistimine or 2 (the one's that are NOT non-drowsy) just before your flight can help. Avoid alcohol. Drink as much as you can. I did tactical queuing for toilets even when I didn't need to do some ballet stretches in the aisles! I took my journal, iPod and watched a few films. Take snacks...on the flight there they try to get you on Australian time and that's what killed me. Just remember not to take them off the plane in Sydney. I couldn't sleep for hunger and my stomach was none too chuffed by the time I got there. The flight back was a piece of cake compared to the flight there. Also have a small bag as my stopover in Singapore they didn't like you taking all your handluggage off the plane.

First Day - Darling Harbour is lovely to walk around. If I remember correctly it's where the Chinese Garden of Friendship is which is worth a visit. There are a few cafes around there too. it's also very easy to get a ferry round to Circular Quay where the Museum of Contemporary Art is (free to get in). On the ferry you get a great view of Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

Anything else - Cairns was about 30 C when I went there in April/May (nearly 'winter') so expect it to be hot and humid I think. There is a cool outdoor swimming pool. Also plenty of trips to see Great Barrier Reef from there.
Newcastle is meant to be a bit 'blah' too. But I think there is some good surf there - might be worth using it for surf lesson?

Recommend you getting the Lonely Planet guide to 'East Coast Australia'. It's not huge but it was basically my right arm when I was in Australia. Really helpful and easy to have in my bag.

Holly said...

I have absolutely no advice to give you, but I hope you have an awesome trip! :)

Caz said...

Sydney is quite hot at the moment. I think by the time you get here most days will be upwards of 30 degrees. That's dresses and thongs weather for sure. Sydney gets sticky hot and its very humid.

Sydney is a bit expensive but generally things aren't cheaper on the coast or anywhere else but it's not that bad.

Most buses are prepaid.

I think holding the koala would be extra.

Caz said...

At the bus stop it will tell you where to get the tickets normally.

Cairns is beautiful for rainforests and beaches.

SunnyToast said...

Let me just wait for your awesome pictures! enjoy oyur vacation!

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