Grand Aussie Trip - November -December 2012


#1

Hi! I was just wondering if anyone else was going on this tour? I’ve put my deposit down so will be going on the trip but really want to speak to other people who will also be going! Its my first experience of a big trip like this so quite daunting for me but I’m so excited!

Please reply to this or message me if you are on the same trip. :slight_smile:

Rachel xxx


#2

Hey, Rachel

I’m unsure what date to book yet, but was thinking about November. Did you book the flights before you booked the tour?

Alex


#3

Hey Alex!

I hope you decide to go in November the same time I go! Would be nice to find someone on the same trip! Lol. I booked my flights after putting money down for the trip…I booked them through STA Travel and will be staying at a hostel in Sydney from the 8th till the trip begins on the 10th.

Let me know if you decide to book on same one as mine :slight_smile: xx


#4

Hi Rachel…again :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the reply and info. I was also planning on staying in Sydney 4-7days before the trip started, so i could look around first (see the blue mountains, Harbour Bridge etc). I’m looking at Wake Up Hostel atm because of its location and cheapness, it also seems to have good reviews as well. I think I will book November trip, it’s a bit more comfortable knowing someone else who’s going!

I’ll let you know if/when i book the trip.

Alex :slight_smile:


#5

Definately let me know if you book :slight_smile: Would you be flying from Newcastle? I’m flying from Heathrow even though I live in Liverpool, but it was a lot cheaper to fly from London. I’ve heard a lot about this Wake Up hostel, so will probs book there soon!

Have you been on a trip like this one before? This is my first time travelling like this, so as you’d imagine, pretty scared but more excited than anything else!

Speak soon anyway, looking forward to hearing what you decide to do! x


#6

I’m currently looking at a direct flights from Heathrow to Sydney, I’ll probably just fly from Newcastle to Heathrow. I want to get to Sydney as quickly as possible with as little stops haha. Will you be flying back from Sydney or Darwin?

This is first time I’d be travelling alone, pretty daunting considering I’ve only travelled in Europe but it should be worth it. Dreading the flight more than anything else over 26hours! I’m also going to have to sort out skype so I don’t have expensive phone bills home!

I should have most things booked within the next month or so. :slight_smile:


#7

I’m just going to get the train from Liverpool to Heathrow, then onto Sydney from there. Will be going from Darwin on the way back though. The flight is going to be an experience in itself isnt it? The longest I’ve ever flown before is 9 hours and that was bad enough but it will be worth it, I’m sure!!

Can you get Skype on your phone? I was considering just downloading it on there and using that as my contact to home rather than calls. Best idea I think rather than huge bills!

Shall we try and get to know each other a bit more then seeing as its more than likely we’ll be travelling together? (assuming you definately book!) :slight_smile: How old are you? I’m turning 24 this week! Urgh! x


#8

I could get the train from Newcastle to London but its a lot quicker and its about the same price.

Yeah I’ve got skype on my phone, its free skype to skype so I’m going have to show my parents how to use it on the computer!

I’m 19, 20 in December. I think I’ll be the youngest person on this trip :)! Most people will probably be in their 20’s. I’m going to be finishing college soon and i’ve always wanted to go to Australia, so figured I should travel now before I get a full time job-or try and get at least!

Have you just finished Uni or something?


#9

I wanted to travel before uni but never managed to, and I finished uni 2 years ago now so I’m just working in a full time job now but they’ve allowed me the time off to go to Australia which I’m so pleased about. :slight_smile: I’m getting a new phone next month so what phones have Skype on?? I’m not sure but I do want it on my phone and like you will have to show my parents how to use it on my laptop lol.

I’ve never thought about getting a plane from Liverpool to Heathrow, may have to see what prices are like compared to trains! Not looking forward to the flight all on my own tbh! Going to be a long time! xx


#10

I have a samsung galaxy S2 which uses android, I think any phone with a android OS can use skype. I’m not sure if apple phones can. Most new phones should be able to use skype.

Which way are you flying back from Darwin? I’m guessing you’re going to have to transfer over before going to Heathrow? When I book my flights I might be able to get the same return flight-If you have the flight numbers.

If you want, you can add me on facebook. I’ll send you a Private message with my full name (don’t really want to put it on a open forum).


#11

I am looking at the Samsung Galaxy actually so that’s one of my options! I have a blackberry at the moment but had it for 2 years so time for a change! When you say which way am I flying back do you mean where do I change? It goes from Darwin to Singapore then straight back to Heathrow…I’ll give you my flight details e.g numbers if you’re wanting to book on the same one!

Got your pm btw, thank you. Will add you on Facebook asap :slight_smile: xx


#12

Hi Rachel
I am thinking of going in November to. What date did you book? Also why did you choose TopDeck as opposed to Contiki or any other?
Thanks
C


#13

Hey, Christina

I’ll tell Rachel to check the forum.

Tbh I haven’t even heard of Contiki until I seen your post and I did a lot of searching for these kinds of tours! I gave it a check to see the difference between the two tours and what I can gather is that Topdeck has a smaller group and Contiki is more for partying. Here’s a link with more info: http://forum.topdeck.travel/tours/11267/topdeck-vs-contiki

Alex


#14

Hi Christine, Nice to hear from you and glad to hear you are thinking of doing the same trip as me and Alex! I have never heard of that other travel company if I’m honest with you and the reason why I went with Topdeck is because my travel agent at STA travel suggested it :slight_smile: I was really impressed from the minute I looked at the brochure so I hope it lives upto expectations which I’m sure it will! Let us know if you end up booking won’t you? I’m going on the 10th November trip from Sydney, as is Alex but I’m arriving on the 9th. X


#15

Hey Guys,
I just signed up and I was looking through the Aussie tours just out of curiosity haha (I live on the Gold Coast Australia) and this is a very cool tour and I would even go on it (after living here my whole life) haha
And I just had to share some of my hints!
I grew up in a little town called Lismore, which is close to Byron Bay and now live on the Gold Coast but I’ve been to alot of different places.
I’d definately recommend arriving in Sydney before - theres so much to do, 5 days is barely enough sometimes, but you HAVE to see Circular Quay in Sydney and the opera house and harbour bridge it’s so pretty - if you get a chance catch a bus to Bondi - the BEST beach ever and awesome fish and chips. Catching a ferry to Manly is also a great trip and Manly is a beautiful little town - free wifi everywhere too! haha
When you get to Byron, I’m not sure how much free time you have there but if you get a chance take a bus to Lennox Head (15 minutes away) its a local favourite - one side is this big beautiful beach then theres a camping ground and cute little town and the other side is Lake Ainsworth - Its a freshwater lake which is red cause its naturally stained by the surrounding tea-trees, so it has tea-tree oil in it and when you swim in it, its so refreshing and lovely! And photos look awesome cause its red!
When you get to Noosa - I definately recommend Australia Zoo - the animals are all amazing
Ahh the Whitsundays! I would live there right now if I could afford it! Haha take every opportunity to do every tour and activity in Cairns and on the Islands cause it is such a magical place - and airlie beach is party central! And snorkelling the great barrier reef is one of my favourite memories! Ah anyway thats my reminiscing done!
Let me know if I can help with anything else or give other hints! Australia is awesome!

Cya!
Leah


#16

Hi Leah

Thanks for the info! I’ve been checking your suggestions out and they look good, you should work for Topdeck!

Have you been to the Blue Mountains? If so, is there any organised trip you would recommend? I was looking at a tour-andersonstours, which includes a ferry ride back to Sydney, which I thought would be a great way to see Sydney harbour.

Also have you done the bridge climb? I was looking at it the other day and it apparently take 3 + 1/2 hours to complete! I’m not sure if it would drag since you’re not allowed to take a camera!

I’ll defiantly try to go to Lennox head, it looks nice. Looks quite like some parts of England but nice weather! The tea lake looks good as well might go with a packet of biscuits to dunk in q:

I was planning to go to Australia zoo as well, I’ve always wanted to go ever since I seen Steve Irwin on the TV, I used to watch it all the time when I was younger haha.

Sorry another question, but the last…for now!

I wasn’t sure on doing the snorkelling/scuba or a boat trip to see the barrier reef. I heard snorkelling/scuba causes damage to the reef, but I wasn’t sure if its regulated to protect the reef? If it was I suppose I would do the snorkelling or scuba diving!

Thanks

Alex


#17

Thanks Alex. Yea I think your probably right. But just seen what rachel said and I am starting in Darwin not sydney! Have a wicked time both ifd I dont bump into you :slight_smile:
C


#18

[quote=37086]Hey Guys,
I just signed up and I was looking through the Aussie tours just out of curiosity haha (I live on the Gold Coast Australia) and this is a very cool tour and I would even go on it (after living here my whole life) haha
And I just had to share some of my hints!
I grew up in a little town called Lismore, which is close to Byron Bay and now live on the Gold Coast but I’ve been to alot of different places.
I’d definately recommend arriving in Sydney before - theres so much to do, 5 days is barely enough sometimes, but you HAVE to see Circular Quay in Sydney and the opera house and harbour bridge it’s so pretty - if you get a chance catch a bus to Bondi - the BEST beach ever and awesome fish and chips. Catching a ferry to Manly is also a great trip and Manly is a beautiful little town - free wifi everywhere too! haha
When you get to Byron, I’m not sure how much free time you have there but if you get a chance take a bus to Lennox Head (15 minutes away) its a local favourite - one side is this big beautiful beach then theres a camping ground and cute little town and the other side is Lake Ainsworth - Its a freshwater lake which is red cause its naturally stained by the surrounding tea-trees, so it has tea-tree oil in it and when you swim in it, its so refreshing and lovely! And photos look awesome cause its red!
When you get to Noosa - I definately recommend Australia Zoo - the animals are all amazing
Ahh the Whitsundays! I would live there right now if I could afford it! Haha take every opportunity to do every tour and activity in Cairns and on the Islands cause it is such a magical place - and airlie beach is party central! And snorkelling the great barrier reef is one of my favourite memories! Ah anyway thats my reminiscing done!
Let me know if I can help with anything else or give other hints! Australia is awesome!

Cya!
Leah

[/quote]

Hi Leah, and welcome to the forum! It’s so kind of you to give us all those suggestions as it obviously comes from someone who knows what they are talking about seeing as you live there! I will only have a day to explore Sydney on my own before the actual organised trip begins so I think I’ll definately go to see the Opera House & want to see Bondi Beach! That Manly place sounds cool, and I love how it has free wi fi, just what we like to hear!! :slight_smile: Australia zoo is a must for me, want to hold a Koala bear so bad!! Not sure what activities to do at Whitsundays yet but I will definately make the most of it! This may sound random but what sort of shoes do you recommend I wear out there? I was thinking of taking sandals with a good grip on bottom for walking and also a closed pair of shoes in case we walk in any mud or anything! Any tips you have would be most welcome!! xxx


#19

[quote=37098]Thanks Alex. Yea I think your probably right. But just seen what rachel said and I am starting in Darwin not sydney! Have a wicked time both ifd I dont bump into you :slight_smile:
C[/quote]

Shame you’re starting at Darwin rather than Sydney, but have an amazing time and who knows…may see you at some point! x


#20

Hey guys, glad I could help!

re: Alexander: No! I haven’t been to the blue mountains yet! Never end up staying in sydney for long enough haha but my friends live in sydney and I have friends who have been there with oztrek ( http://www.oztrek.com.au/ ) they are a friendly tour company and they offer your money back guaranteed if you don’t enjoy yourself! Which is awesome, and they pricebeat as well (they claim to be the cheapest out there)
We weren’t allowed to do the bridge climb when we were in sydney cause it was pretty much cyclonic weather (haha we were there in may), had strong winds etc but my parents have done it and they said it is their most favourite memory of anything in their life so far (considering its obviously beaten the birth of myself and my sister, the bridge climb must be a good memory hahaha). So yes she definately recommends it. It does take a while, but you get a photo taken when your up there! if you want to a pay a little extra. When are you going to be at the Sydney Harbour bridge again? Defs go for it.

Great Barrier Reef: it is sad how Exposure to the sun and bleaching (whitening of the coral) and pollution has always been an issue with the great barrier reef, but the local tour companies and the government have really stepped up with protecting this heritage listed site! They explain all this on the tours and explain how important it is NOT to touch the coral etc they are pretty passionate about it which is refreshing. Every tour operator has strict regulations, they can only go within a certain distance of the reef - so the boats propellers don’t disrupt the coral - so you have to swim a little bit to get out there which is fun!. They also have designated platoons which are netted so people only stay within certain areas on the reef and don’t disrupt to much of an area and protected from jelly fish. I noticed you guys will be there around nov - dec which is jelly fish season, so you guys will be given suits to suit up and cover up. If you have the extra money to scuba dive the great barrier reef, definately do it. Snorkelling is nice and you see lots of pretty fishes, but when you get down deeper you see turtles and beautiful big fish, and we saw a shark! A little reef one and it just swam around us and was so beautiful! Not harmful at all. The tour guides keep you all close together too.

RE Rachel: The whitsundays is all about relaxing! The water is stunning and the weather when you guys go there is absolutely devine! its so warm and the weather is always brilliant. Sunbake and swim all day, and live it up! Im so jealous of you guys haha. Usually have bright sparkling days and every now and then have spectacular storms in the night to cool it down! If that’s one thing to experience in AUS is a bad storm! Haha its definately an experience. Shoes-wise. Theres heaps of bush tracks and sand dunes so I honestly wouldnt recommend thongs (flip flops haha), I would def recommend sandals with grip or sandals with straps so they don’t fall off easily. Light enclosed shoes would be a good idea - if you do plan on walking in case you run into some friendly neighbourhood spiders or snakes (I loveeeee snakes) One of my favourite things about living in AUS. Pythons are beautiful! If you get the chance of seeing or holding one at australia zoo please do it for me! They are beautiful haha

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Leah