Travel in Australia (under construction)
Not much here yet! I have spent quite a bit of time overseas but am yet to do much in Oz. I do share a dream in common with many other Aussies- taking a caravan around Oz for 6 months or so- but that will have to be after I finish studying and making my fortune! So for the moment, here are my favourites:
|Gold Coast QLD||Brisbane QLD||Sydney NSW||North East Victoria||The Bays-Melbourne and surrounds|
|Gold Coast, QLD|
|The tourist capital of Oz and I went
there expecting bright lights and all manner of expensive things. But the
reality was quite different. The Surfers Paradise area is actually a lot
smaller than I imagined but just as tacky! Lots of 70s looking buildings
and cheap souvenir shops mixed between exclusive international tourist
shops. The most surprising thing about Surfers was the racism against
Ozzies!! Many shops and restaurants cater for international clients,
particularly Japanese and aren't at all friendly towards the average
Ozzie. In some cases I was followed around by the store security guard and
made to feel very uncomfortable. In karaoke bars I was told in bad English
that they were 'busy' yet Japanese clients behind me were let straight in.
When I responded in Japanese I was always ignored.
Food in Surfers was cheaper than Melbourne and accommodation was plentiful and cheap. Go in winter- less crowded and much better transport/accommodation deals and still t-shirt/shorts weather. I did swim although the locals reckoned it was too cold (25degrees!). Watch out for the time share sales people- they are very pushy and before you know it you will be at a 'free no obligation' seminar- yes, I got sucked in!
|Theme parks- I
think I have been a bit spoilt after seeing some of the best museums and
attractions in the world. In comparison to Disney Land, the Surfers theme
parks are a real let down. The staff particularly are unhelpful and
unfriendly and dressed in very plain uniforms which certainly does nothing
for the fantasy aspect of the parks. Don't even bother with these parks
unless you have small children, then just go to one or two.
The park 'Wet and Wild' was especially awful, as a contact lens/glasses wearer it was a complete waste of time. I wasn't allowed to wear prescription goggles on any of the rides so gave up about half an hour in as I couldn't see to walk around!
The park 'Movie World' was really in need of a facelift. Also bad for glasses wearers, some rides don't permit you to wear glasses although this is not actually written anywhere. I was told this when already strapped in ready to go and had to hold up the ride to get off.
Sea World was quite good in comparison, lots to look at and a range of rides with reasonably priced food. Go here if anywhere!
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|A beautiful city with the river running right through it. Ferries are a major part of the public transport network. A lovely walk is near the botanical gardens and the location of the 1988 world expo. There are still buildings from that era and lots of interesting artwork. An inland beach is a popular feature.|
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|Australia's most flashy and most expensive city
although probably most popular with the international crowd. If you are a
history buff like me and love museums, it is a wealth of information.
After having read the series 'The Australians' by Vivian Stewart, based on
the settling of Australia, I was able to go and see the actual buildings
mentioned which have been beautifully preserved. Another excellent place I
have spent quite a bit of time in is the Powerhouse Museum in Darling
Of course for the more general tourist there are all the main sites within easy walking distance of the city centre. Darling Harbour is the place I would most recommend, plenty to do and see with China town close by for some great food.
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|North East Victoria|
|My home-town area so of course one of my favourites, though harder to appreciate the small towns if you haven't been
a resident. Here is the place I take my international friends to see
'real' Australia. The people are generally conservative but very friendly
once introduced- the strong accent is always a challenge to non-native
The Myrtleford/Bright/Beachworth area has a lot to offer in terms of relaxed sightseeing. Lots of places to eat with wineries being a major feature. All seasons are catered for, many rivers and lakes for summer and close to the snow fields in winter, with spring and Autumn festivals in between. The main industries are pine wood and tobacco.
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|The Bays-Melbourne and Surrounds|
For me, this side of the bay has a European feel. Lots of little beach huts, camping along the side of the road and cafes everywhere. The beaches are accessible both from the bay side and sea side catering to all types of users. The bay side has gentle slopes which are good for children and dolphins are often seen. The sea side is quite rough and very good for surfing.
There are an abundance of caravan parks and the are gets very busy in
summer. My favourite place is the Dromana drive in, one of the few left in
Geelong has had a huge facelift in the past few years. The main bay area now has a beautifully designed walkway with the not so beautiful Smorgys perched on the end of what was once a public pier. This side of the bay has a more 'Australian' feel with pubs and family owned fish and chip shops and wide stretches of exposed beach- none of the crowded cafe scenes of the other side.
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