Australia in Jan 2012!

  • CarbGoggles

    Posts: 705

    Oct 03, 2011 12:41 AM GMT
    I'm taking 2 weeks of vacation time in Jan and I'm planning on going to Australia. I'm giving myself 2k USD to spend on hotel, food, entertainment and shopping. It looks like hotel alone is going to eat up 70% of my budget. I'm not at all interested in a hostel.

    I want my own space where I can sleep till 2pm undisturbed, nobody else farting up the room, and if I meet somebody I can bring them back to the room for the night.

    This tourist. Visa requirement is also taking away from my excitement a out seeing the land down under. Anybody have any suggestions for saving on hotels as well as things to do in Australia in Jan?
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    Oct 03, 2011 2:18 AM GMT
    OK, first of all, the tourist visa is ridiculously easy. All you have to do is go to the Australian Consulate's website, fill out a short form, and pay $20 (I believe that's $20 Australian, wich may be more like $22 US; I haven't checked the exchange rates this month). You tell them your passport number but they don't need to actually handle your passport. Everything is done electronically. When you arrive, they'll scan your passport and your visa will show up.

    Now, about hostels - most Aussie hostels and backpacker hotels have single or twin rooms as well as the 4- and 8-bunk dorms. Check em out online. They typically cost less than a room at a regular hotel, and you'll meet a lot more people than you would at a regular hotel. And, they're popular with people of all ages. I stayed in single rooms at hostels exclusively on my trip in July/August, met a lot of great people, and I typically was not the oldest one there.

    If you just can't bring yourself to stay at a hostel, many towns have "pub accommodations" - cheap rooms above a corner pub. They're also typically cheaper than a regular hotel, and can be a fun stay. I used to love staying at the Lord Nelson in Sydney - but, unfortunately, they remodeled and their rates skyrocketed a few years back.

    Now, for what to do in January - it's mid summer down there of course, and the height of the tourist season. But it's also the wet season up north, so I wouldn't go up to Darwin or Cairns - terribly hot, humid and wet, and always the threat of cyclones. Also poison jellyfish at the beaches. And the diving isn't so good that time of year; the rainstorms muddy up the water.

    At Ayers Rock it will be ungodly hot (but dry) and swarming with flies. Don't go. It's just a big red rock anyway.

    Sydney and Melbourne are great that time of year. If you plan on renting a car, a drive around the coast between these two cities is nice - but you have to like the outdoors; there are only very small towns in between. Near Melbourne, Wilson's Promontory National Park is a beautiful place with lots of wildlife roaming around (kangaroos, emus, etc). Just beyond Melbourne is the Great Ocean Road, Australia's version of Big Sur.

    If you have time, and if you're a little adventurous and outdoors inclined, you may want to hop over to Tasmania. It's a short flight or an overnight ferry boat from Melbourne. But be forewarned that the weather is very unpredictable. To the south there's nothing but open water all the way to Antarctica, and to the west, the next stop is Argentina, so storms can blow in from anywhere at any time.

    More specific questions? Feel free to send me an e-mail. I worked over there for a while, and have been back many times as a tourist.
  • CarbGoggles

    Posts: 705

    Oct 03, 2011 4:35 PM GMT
    Eeeek! Lol now I'm all excited about going. A single room in a hostel could work.
  • str8hardbody9

    Posts: 1519

    Oct 03, 2011 4:38 PM GMT
    go to


    It's better to stay in a condo or apartment than hotel no one will disturbed you. It;s cheaper & you can cook & do what u want.
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    Oct 03, 2011 4:43 PM GMT
    You'll find it to be slightly more hospitable than Kandahar.

    Having been to both places, I say this with 100% conviction.
  • Buns_n_ammo

    Posts: 12

    Oct 03, 2011 5:11 PM GMT is pretty awesome - Its staying in peoples apartments. But make sure you look out your getting the apartment to yourself, not just a spare room in somebodies place. But its significantly cheaper than a hotel and in some great neighbourhoods with all the locals, not a tourist trap.

    Jan is the perfect time to go visit Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. Its high season in the south, so prices will be up, but if you do want to try your luck with the wet season in the north, its amazing. Seeing Uluru (Ayers Rock) is like a whole other world - like going to Mars. The other guys right, its going to be stupidly hot, but im sure your used to it - 40+ degrees everyday. But it is wet season, so the desert will be flowering which is quite a sight. If you go, make sure you visit The Olgas and Kings Canyon too. I'd recommend Port Douglas over Cairns any day. Will be a cheaper time to visit because of the wet season, and really hot, but you could get lucky and have some beautifully hot (but humid) days and its right on the Barrier Reef and the rain forrest. But its a massive country and there is no chance you can fit all these things in just 2 weeks, so chose what kind of holiday you want before you go. You'll love Australia no matter what you do
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    Oct 03, 2011 5:21 PM GMT
    I realy love travel, and had the opportunity to live in Australia for about a year.. And what I remember is that they are very friendly... I did some couchsurfing around Europe, and I think it should be very cool to do it in Aus too... You meet people, go out with them... Was very interesting for me... So have a look at the website:
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    Oct 25, 2011 6:28 AM GMT
    You will love it , Aussies are warm , friendly , and helpful blokes . There are also more relax (even more so in the North) than Americans

    January is a good month to visit Sydney and Brissy , North Queensland (Townsville to Cairns is quite beautiful and the climate is the same than Florida in August , and you will be paying off-season rates . South Australia is interesting for his very renown wineries so if you are into tasting wines you will enjoy . Don't forget to get a taste of the Outback !!!!
    Have fun !!!
    PS : If you want to fly domestic cheap ,choose one of these , Jetstar , Virgin Australia , Quantas has also some very cheap domestic flights between larger cities
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    Oct 25, 2011 6:33 AM GMT
    I was planning one for January 2013. Be sure to hit me back on your trip!
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    Oct 25, 2011 6:39 AM GMT
    Depends what you want to do. Sydney or melbourne is better for night life kind of stuff. Clubs and bars etc.
    Queensland's the place for the clear blue beaches, Melbourne is great for shopping.

    Blue mountains has the caves you can go exploring either the tame version or the one where you have to crawl through holes and across crevices.

    Harbour bridge climb is okay-ish but the ayers rock climb will be awesome. Word of warning though Jan is very hot in australia so it will definitely make break a good amount of sweat.

    Other than that you can always try swimming and exploring the great barrier reef. Even swim with the sharks if you're daring although I'm not sure if you need some kind of scuba diving license.

    Hope this helps.