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AUSTRALIA PLANNER

v3.0


Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

Welcome Hi there! Thank you for downloading our Australia Planner and for using gapyear.com. We hope that you find this planner useful to help organise your trip to Australia, either as a solo journey or as part of a round-the-world trip. As a reminder, this planner interacts with sections on gapyear.com and is part of a series of FREE downloadable planners that we produce for you. Our route planners can only be improved through your feedback – we’re listening – so send us an e-mail to community@gapyear.com if you have any feedback (good or bad), or any suggestions to change the site.

Tom Griffiths

Founder of gapyear.com

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My first trip to Australia was part of a round-the-world ticket. I’d wanted to go there since I was 11 when my brother stuffed his worldly belongings into a backpack, disappeared for a few months, and then came back with photos and tales of a country that sounded a whole lot better than England.

And so, aged 18, I landed in Sydney and my dream came true. And what a dream! Australia is just the most amazing country you could ever imagine. I went from Sydney up to Cairns, doing a number of activities along the way such as bungy jumps, rafting, a tour of Fraser Island, sailing in the Whitsundays, diving on the Barrier Reef … I then headed up to Darwin, into Crocodile Dundee country, down to the Red Centre to check out Alice Springs, Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kings Canyon and the Olgas, and then over to Perth in Western Australia. I had a wicked time and have so many amazing memories and photos. In hindsight my only regret was not doing enough on the west coast – Perth all the way up to Darwin. While the east coast is great for adventure, parties and opportunities you’ll never see again, the west coast, if you take the time to see it, is what Australia is really about. Everyone should visit Australia once in their life. Many now do it two or three times. I bet you can’t wait to get on with it – so I won’t hold you up any longer. Have a brilliant time and make sure you send us a postcard (details below) as we’d love to hear all about your adentures and that you are living the dream. Cheers Tom Griffiths Founder of gapyear.com

Contents Introductions

Welcome ............................................................................................................ 1 How do I get there? ...................................................................................... 2 Visas for Australia ............................................................................................ 3 Australia basics ................................................................................................ 4

Life, work and travel in Australia What’s happening? ........................................................................................ 5 Sights to see ..................................................................................................... 6 The Northern Territory .................................................................................... 7 Kakadu National Park ...................................................................................... 7 Getting around ................................................................................................. 8 Recommended hostels ................................................................................ 9-10 Money-saving vouchers ............................................................................... 11 Working in Australia ....................................................................................... 12 Harvest trails ..................................................................................................... 13 What things cost... ......................................................................................... 14 Adventurous activities ................................................................................. 15

Useful information Travelmates ....................................................................................................... 16 Keeping in Touch ............................................................................................ 16

Plan your trip Journey planners ..................................................................................

17-20

Route builder maps ....................................................................................... 21-22 Send us a postcard to: Gapyear.com, 2 Chalfont Square, Ipswich, Suffolk, UK. IP4 2AJ or email a photo and some words to community@gapyear.com

Full route builders .......................................................................................... 23-24 Notes ................................................................................................................... 25 “Build Your Own” Around the World Trip! ............................................... 26


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Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

How do I get there?

Darwin

Well, the simple answer is ‘you fly’, but in reality it’s a bit more complex than that. The sort of flight you get will depend on how much you want to pay, the type of visa you’re applying for, and the length of time you intend on spending in Australia.

Cairns

I just want to see as much of Australia as possible on a three month tourist visa Your two basic options are to buy a simple return ticket or to include Australia as part of a round-the-world trip. There’s surprisingly little difference in price between the two. It depends on when you want to go, and what you want to do, but it’s definitely worth looking into a round-the-world ticket and seeing some other countries on the way. Even if you’re on a simple return ticket, you’ll probably be able to stop over for a few days in Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. If you’re looking something a little bit different then look into flights via Seoul in South Korea – it is a place where east meets west, offering the best of both. I want to extend my round the world trip by working in Australia It varies on how much use you want to get out of your working holiday visa. The key problem is that round the world tickets are valid for a maximum of 12 months and your working holiday visa also lasts for 12 months. If you only want to work for six months or so then this is not a problem, but if you are planning on working for much longer then you will need to look for alternative flights.

Brisbane

Perth Adelaide

A lot of travellers now fly direct to Australia, and book flights as and when they are needed. You need to decide which is the best route for you, and whether it is better buying a round-the-world ticket or single flights. Budget airlines, such as Jet Star (www.jetstar.com) and Virgin Blue (www.virginblue.com.au), have an extensive network within Australia, and you can always pick up cheap flights with these providers to travel around the country.

SOUTH KOREA

Sydney Melbourne

MAIN ARRIVAL AIRPORTS

JAPAN

Via Seoul INDIA

Via Bahrain

SRI LANKA

Via Los Angeles

PHILIPPINES

THAILAND

BRUNEI MALAYSIA MALAYSIA SINGAPORE

Via Bangkok

Via Osaka

INDONESIA

Via Singapore

Via Fiji

Via Dubai FIJI

Via Auckland NEW ZEALAND

FLYING IN FROM A STOP-OFF AIRPORT

I want to spend as much time in Australia as I possibly can Australia has a working holiday visa programme with a number of countries to encourage cultural exchange. This means you can live and work in Australia for up to 12 months! Most travellers stay anywhere between one month to a year, mixing travelling and working. Flights Flight prices have increased recently because of rising fuel prices and surcharges, but you can still get some good deals. A lot of people fly one-way to Perth, Melbourne or Sydney. We’ve found some pretty cheap flights by shopping around. AirAsia flies direct from London to Perth (£475) and Melbourne (£540). The cheapest flights are on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, with Friday being the most expensive day to fly. If you do not have an outbound flight you will need to prove that you have sufficient funds to live in Australia. The Australian government recommends that you have $5,000 (£3,115) in your bank account, and you may need to prove this with bank statements. Backpackers who overstay their visas make up a large proportion of Australia’s illegal immigrants, and the authorities are keen to discourage overstayers. Beware ...

FOR MORE INFO GO TO:

gapyear.com/rtw_flights

CALL OUR SPECIALIST TEAM ON:

0844 372 2341

gapyear@rtwexperts.co.uk


Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

Visas for Australia

Whatever you’re doing in Australia, you’re going to need a visa. All visas must be used within 12 months of issue. You may apply online, by post or by person at the embassy, but the majority of people apply online. It is very easy to do: we managed to get a tourist visa in 20 minutes. There are some health requirements too, but if you are flying from the UK or another major western country then you will have no problems. Visas can take up to two weeks to process and will be recorded electronically – there are no card visas – but you will need proof of your visa, so print it out! Check out www.immi.gov.au/visitors and www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-bycountry/asia-oceania/australia There are lots of types of visas, but you’re probably interested in a tourist visa, a working holiday visa or a student visa.

Tourist visa Up to three months If you’re visiting purely as a tourist for three months or less, an Electronic Travel Authority or ETA is the easy alternative to a visa. It doesn’t cost much, only a $20 (£12.50) administration fee – your travel agent or airline can sort one out for you, or you can go online and do it yourself . If you decide once you’re there that you want to stay a bit longer, you should be able to extend your ETA to last you an extra three months. To do this, go to an immigration office in Australia. Three to six months If you want to go for three to six months, you’ll need to apply for a long-term tourist visa. You can apply online, or download a form to be sent to your nearest Australian High Commission.

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Visas for Australia

You’ll also need to pay $105 (£65), and send various documents, including proof that you can support yourself in Oz (for example, a bank statement).

Working holiday visa The UK and many other countries have reciprocal agreements with Australia so any citizen aged 18 to 30 can get a working holiday visa. They cost $235 (£146) and allow you to work for 12 months from the date you arrive in Australia. You can extend that and obtain a second-year working holiday visa if you can provide evidence that you undertook 88 days of agricultural work (for example, fruit picking) in Australia during your first year. However, you can’t work for the same employer for more than six months. Australian authorities check one in four visa applications so don’t run the risk of applying in the hope of being overlooked. To be issued a working holiday visa you need proof that you can support yourself: $5,000 (£3,115) is advised. You can apply online for a working holiday visa and it can take a few hours to complete. You can leave and re-enter Australia using this visa as many times as you like during your year. However, if you permanently leave Australia without staying for the full 12 months you cannot go back, say, a year later and use the remaining months of your visa. Once you have been approved you will be told what you need to do after that. Basically, your passport will be stamped when you arrive and you have a year before you have to leave. Simple really. Everything is tagged electronically so there is little paper-work to worry about.

Student visa If you want to study to study (where better to do marine biology than on the Barrier Reef?), the Australian government operates an overseas student program (OSP) that allows people who are not Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents to study in Australia. Anyone who is not an Australian resident may apply to study in Australia under the OSP. If you want to study under this program, you’ll first need a student visa. You can only get one of these if you wish to undertake a registered course or part of a registered course on a full-time basis. You can’t go out to Oz and then look around for courses. Before you apply for an Australian student visa, you’ll need a letter of offer or electronic confirmation of enrolment from your education provider. Types and prices of student visa vary, but there are various requirements you’ll need to fill (including being ‘of good character’ ). The visa is easy to apply for and again can be done online. Student visas last for two to four years and cost $480 (£300). You can work on a student visa too but you need to be in edcuation for a least four months of the year. Many UK universities also offer placement years in Australia.

FOR MORE INFO GO TO:

gapyear.com/visas


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Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

Australia basics

There are six states in Australia – New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia – and two major mainland territories – the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Each has its own parliament and state capital – and each is worth visiting Australian Capital Territory The capital of Australia is Canberra – a purpose-built city scattered around a lake with lots of green spaces. You can tour the parliament buildings and visit impressive memorials and museums. New South Wales The capital of New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, is Sydney – and you’d be crazy to go to Australia and not visit. It’s the biggest conurbation in Australia, with 4.5 million inhabitants, and without a doubt one of the world’s most exciting cities. It has dazzling architecture – including the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge – and fantastic beaches. Just outside town you’ll find the richly forested Blue Mountains. In Jindabyne in the south you can gaze at Mount Kosciuszko and hike or bike around glacial blue lakes. In the north of the state, you can explore sub-tropical rainforest and go riverkayaking in the Barrington Tops National Park and sample the products of the Hunter Valley wine region. Byron Bay, on the coast in the far north-east, has brilliant beaches and camps where you can learn to surf.

Northern Territory The Northern Territory is vast and sparsely populated – with just 230,000 people living in an area about the same as France, Italy and Spain combined. It is home to many of the most spectacular natural attractions in Australia – the sacred monolith Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the amazing rock formations of Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and Karlu Karlu (The Devil’s Marbles); the stunning valleys of Kings Canyon and Katherine Gorge, the fantastic beaches and Kakadu National Park – Crocodile Dundee country – in of Arnhem Land. The state capital, Darwin, is a vibrant city and a great base for exploring the north. Head south and you get to the town of Alice Springs, slap-bang in the middle of the continent and the best starting point for exploring the Red Centre, including Uluru. Queensland Queensland boasts not just the laid-back city of Brisbane – Australia’s third biggest, with warm, sunny weather almost all year round – but some great places for serious outdoor adventure. Visit some of the 155 islands off Moreton Bay, prized for their

or plunge into the outback where you’ll find tiny, remote towns, traditional outback pubs, aboriginal history and, if you’re lucky, an opal or two in the mining town of Coober Pedy. Drive through spectacular Parachilna Gorge and take in aboriginal rock art at Yourambulla Caves. At Rawnsley Park there’s a working sheep station, set in the scenic Flinders Ranges.

Darwin

Cairns

NORTHERN TERRITORY

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Alice Springs

QUEENSLAND

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Brisbane

NEW SOUTH WALES

Perth

Sydney

Adelaide

Canberra

VICTORIA Melbourne

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

Tasmania You’ll find rainforests, mountains, prehistoric plants and animals galore. The island is home to Tasmanian devils, spotted-tail quolls, fairy penguins, wombats, echidnas, platypuses and loads of other wierd species.

TASMANIA

South Australia The state capital of South Australia, Adelaide, is a vibrant cultural centre with loads of brilliant bars and restaurants. You can spot wildlife on Kangaroo Island

Victoria Victoria has one of the world’s most stunning coastal drives, the Great Ocean Road, which hugs the coastline for 106 kilometres. In Melbourne, the state capital, Australia’s second city and a thriving cultural centre, visit the Neighbours set and meet the

TROPICAL

VERY HOT

Hobart

white sandy beaches and quiet camping spots. Go to Cairns and snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef. At Cape Tribulation, 100 kilometres north of Cairns, the rainforest meets the reef: you can walk

When to visit…

It’s not hot all of the time in Australia. Remember that the seasons are the opposite to Europe, so summer summer runs from Janurary to March, with the rest following suit. Expect the hottest temperatures in December and Janurary.

from the jungle straight on to the sand. Further south, party at Airlie Beach before sailing around the beautiful Whitsunday Islands, or drive a 4x4 on Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island.

TEMPERATE

Summer Average max: 28C Average min: 17C Rainy days a month: 12 Don’t forget: sun cream Winter Average max: 15C Average min: 8C Rainy days a month: 11 Don’t forget: warm top

Summer Average max: 30C Average min: 23C Rainy days a month: 17 Don’t forget: waterproofs Winter Average Max: 25C Average Min: 13C Rainy days a month: 9 Don’t forget: tropical quilt

Summer VERY HOT Average Max: 35C Average Min: 24C Rainy days a month: 6 Don’t forget: sun hat Winter Average Max: 27C Average Min: 7C Rainy days a month: 2 Don’t forget: sleeping bag

stars, then ride the lift to the top of Rialto Towers, the tallest office building in the southern hemisphere, for a great view. The magnificent Grampians National Park has great hikes and wonderful scenery, including MacKenzie Falls. The Snowy River National Park is beautiful and mountainous. In the far south of the state is the Wilsons Promontory National Park, which boasts spectacular granite rock formations, native wildlife including emus and wombats, and gorgeous beaches. Western Australia With surreal rock formations, endless expanses of beach, friendly dolphins and diving to rival the Barrier Reef, this is Oz’s most under-rated state. Its state capital, Perth, is the sunniest in Oz and has 19 beaches – all of them excellent. Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef covers more than 5,000 square kilometres and is just a short swim from the beach, making it an easy place to scuba dive and snorkel.

TROPICAL

TEMPERATE


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Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

What’s happening? Darwin

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Cairns Broome

Exmouth Coral Bay

Alice Springs

Brisbane

Coober Pedy

Byron Bay

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Perth

Adelaide

4 9 1 Melbourne 5 6 Hobart

5 – Australian Grand Prix

10 – New Year’s Eve

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Sydney

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

14-28 January – Australian Tennis Open The first of the four grand slams and marks the start of the tennis year. If you’re into tennis, Melbourne is the place to be.

26 January – Australia Day Parties across the country to celebrate the founding of the nation. Wear your Aussie gold with pride, grab a beer and make some noise.

18 February-13 March – Adelaide Fringe Festival This is an arts festival held annually in the South Australian capital of Adelaide. It is the southern hemisphere’s largest arts event and the second-largest fringe festival anywhere. 19 February-6 March – Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras One of the biggest gay pride events in the world, its centrepiece a huge street parade. Don your feather boa and join the party.

24-27 March – Australian Grand Prix The start of the F1 season kicks off in Melbourne this year with Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull looking to dominate. Head to Melbourne if you’re a petrol head. 9-30 April – Rip Curl Pro Surfing This year Rip Curl Pro Surfing will be celebrating its 50th anniversary at its home in Torquay, Victoria. Can’t surf? It doesn’t matter. Just go and watch how the pros do it. 25 April – Anzac Day A national day of remembrance in Oz and NZ to honour members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who died in honour for their country. 10 July – Darwin Beer Can Regatta It’s a great party atmosphere with plenty of live music. Oh, and boats made entirely out of used ‘tinnies’ (beer cans).

1 November – Melbourne Cup The race that stops a nation is a thoroughbred horse-race over a distance of 3,200 metres. The Aussie equivalent of the ‘Grand National’. Go on, take a punt… 31 December – New Year’s Eve fireworks Sydney Harbour does one of the best New Year’s Eve fireworks displays and can challenge even Times Square in New York for popularity.


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Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

Sights to see Darwin

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Daintree

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Kakadu National Park Ningaloo Reef

Cairns

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Broome

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Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Exmouth Coral Bay

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Whitsundays

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Alice Springs

Great Barrier Reef

Fraser Island

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Brisbane

Coober Pedy

Byron Bay

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Perth Adelaide Kangaroo Island

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Uluru – aka Ayers Rock It’s big, it’s red and it’s the most obvious symbol of Australia. It is listed as a ‘world heritage site’ and is one of Australia’s top attractions. It’s about 335 kilometres away from Alice Springs.

Sydney Harbour

3 BlueSydney Mountains Melbourne

Fraser Island Tthe world’s largest sand island, full of lakes, dingoes and natural beauty. Drive over it in a 4x4 and camp out under the stars. Leave from Harvey Bay in Queensland. Blue Mountains Hiking in the Blue Mountains is not only easy, but cheap too. Enjoy day walks in one of Australia’s best mountainous region, and get up close and personal with the ‘Three Sisters’. Kakadu National Park ‘Crocodile Dundee Country’. A brilliant wilderness and a great place to see crocodiles, waterfalls and spectacular scenery. The national park is the size of Slovenia. The Great Barrier Reef The largest living thing on earth, it can even be seen in outer space. It runs along the east coast up to Cairns and is one of the most popular dive sports in the world. Daintree Rainforest One of the oldest rainforests on the planet. Reassuringly full of weird noises, weirder plants and the super-weird cassowary. Head up to Cape Tribulation and stay in a jungle lodge. Sydney Harbour Walk across the famous bridge and take a tour around the harbour by boat. And don’t miss the Sydney Opera House, one of the wonders of moddern architecture. Kangaroo Island Spectacularly beautiful – and stuffed with amazing wildlife, including – surprise, surprise – kangaroos.

Hobart

The Whitsundays A group of breathtakingly gorgeous paradise islands off the coast of Airlie Beach in Queensland. See them on a three day sailing trip! Whitehaven Beach is so sandy you can use it to clean your jewellery.

8 – Kangaroo Island

6 – The Daintree Rainforest

Ningaloo Reef Not as big or as famous as the Great Barrier Reef, but it’s equally beautiful and much less busy. Coral Bay and Exmouth are both good places to start.


Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

The Northern Territory

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Kakadu National Park

About the Northern Territory

About Kakadu National Park

The Northern Territory is arguably the most beautiful and most impressive part of Australia. Everyone who has visited talks of its amazing colours, smells and sheer vastness. If you want to experience the real Australia then the Northern Territory is the place to go.

If you’re going to visit the Northern Territory, you really must take in the Kakadu National Park. It’s one of the most popular backpacker ‘things to do’ and most people take a tour from Darwin.

The Northern Territory houses Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), Kings Canyon, Karlu Karlu (The Devils Marbles), Arnhem Land, Katherine Gorge and Kakadu National Park – all the stuff you go to Australia to see. The direct descendants of the first Aboriginal inhabitants are still around today to show you their backyard, which has remained pretty much the same since the dawn of time. Rock art looks amazing in photos – but it’s breath-taking from ten feet.

This is where Crocodile Dundee was filmed. If you thought it looked great in the film, just wait until you’re standing there, breathing in the air, experiencing the colours and living it for real. Nowhere on earth looks, feels, or sounds like this place. Everything about it – the crocodiles, the aboriginal rock art, the beaches and the waterfalls – is as it has been for thousands of years.

Sunrise over Uluru / Ayers Rock

The biggest towns are Alice Springs and Darwin, from where you can access backpacker tours to all the famous sights. But some of the best places to visit are the small towns where you’ll get a real taste of life in the outback. It’s one thing being able to hop on a bus into town for a night out. It’s another having to drive for six hours just to get to your nearest neighbour. The Northern Territory is vast. It has everything from arid deserts in the south to tropical wetlands in the north. You’ll see kangaroos the size of houses and crocs the size of buses (well, not quite, but they are big), strange lizards, birds you never knew existed and all the other extras from Crocodile Dundee. Where else would host a boating regatta on a river bed that dried up a few thousand years ago? Katherine Gorge, Northern Rockhole, Nitmiluk National Park

If the Northern Territory sounds exciting – well, that’s because it is. As a backpacker you’ll come home with photos of the Opera House and countless golden beaches. But the outback is where the lifelong memories and the stories you’ll tell your mates will come from.

Kakadu and Arnhem Land Region

Best way to see Kakadu As a backpacker there are two ways to see Kakadu: you can drive or take a tour. The tours that run from Darwin are the most popular because they’re the easiest – you get picked up, fed, taken places, shown stuff and dropped off – you are even given a group of friends. The tours are geared towards backpackers rather than older holidaymakers. Many offer great deals and, above all, they’re a great laugh. If you drive or sort out your own trip you generally get a more relaxed, ‘back to nature’ experience. Because your time is your own, you’ll be able to spend longer in the area than you would on a tour. Our only advice is to team up with someone who has a little bit of experience of camping. If you’re looking for a lift and someone to camp with, check hostel notice-boards in Darwin. People put up messages looking for people to split car costs. Make sure you feel safe with your driver and any other passengers.

The Northern Territory is one of the most visited Australian states on the backpacker trail. Make sure you put enough time aside to see it properly. Country Guides: Australia A Guide to the Northern Territory By Gapyear.com I N A S S O C I AT I O N W I T H :

Thinking of visiting the Northern Territory? You should really check out our guide to the Northern Territory! The guide contains tons of useful information on all aspects of travel in the Northern Territory, including its wildlife, terrain, climate, culture, language, art and National Parks. Download our guide to the Northern Territory: www.gapyear.com/articles_downloads/gycg_0008-guide-to-the-northern-territory.pdf

Country Guides: Australia A Guide to Kakadu National Park By Gapyear.com I N A S S O C I AT I O N W I T H :

Thinking of visiting Kakadu National Park? We’ve got the perfect guide for you. Our guide to Kakadu National Park contains just about everything you need to know, including how to get there, where to stay and what to see and do. Download the gapyear.com guide to Kakadu National Park: www.gapyear.com/articles_downloads/gycg_0007-guide-to-kakadu-national-park.pdf


Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

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Getting around

As we may have mentioned before, Australia is massive. If you’re British, it’s almost incomprehensibly large. You need to put some serious thought into how you’re going to get around the place. All the same, travelling around Australia is easy and hassle free. It has excellent bus and train links throughout the country and they are very efficient. Most travellers either drive or use a bus pass to get around Australia ... but there are alternatives ...

Rail

Darwin Cairns

Road

Alice Springs

Bus

Most backpackers in Australia use bus passes enabling them to see as much of Australia as they want. Backpacker tour buses are popular. They cost a little more than a simple bus trip, but you get to see more of Australia. It’s easy to meet likeminded people and there’s also a bunch of free activities, discounts, help with accommodation and so forth if you get a bus pass. The most popular passes are with Greyhound (www. greyhound.co.au) and the most popular route is from Melbourne to Cairns at $445 (£271) on a 90-day travel pass. OzExperience offers the same as Greyhound, but is slightly more expensive at $520 (£317). You will probably meet more backpackers, but there really isn’t much difference. Check ‘em out and see what you think at www.ozexperience.com.

Car or campervan

Darwin Cairns Alice Springs Brisbane Perth Adelaide

major roads

Sydney Canberra Melbourne Hobart

An alternative to the bus is hiring or buying a car or camper van. Car hire will set you back $40 (£24) a day off-peak (May and June) and $55 (£33) a day in peak season (December and January). If you’re buying, you should be able to pick up a reliable car for around $3,000 (£1,830) – but it will have 120,000 to 400,000 kilometres on the clock. Common backpacker car choices are the Holden Commodore and the Ford Falcon. They’re affordable, have got plenty of space for luggage and are cheap to service. Check out hostel noticeboards, particularly in Cairns or Sydney.

Brisbane Perth Adelaide

Sydney Canberra Melbourne

Trains are a good, affordable way to get yourself from place to place in Australia. There are two long-distance journeys that are particularly worth a look – the Ghan, which runs north to south from Darwin to Adelaide via Alice Springs (and vice versa), and the Indian-Pacific, which runs east to west from Sydney to Perth via Adelaide (and vice versa). A standard seat ticket from Adelaide to Darwin on the Ghan will cost you $330 (£201); Sydney to Perth on the Indian Pacific is $300 (£183). Check out fares (including rover tickets) at the Rail Australia website, www.railaustralia.com.

main rail lines Air There are two main budget airlines that serve most of Australia’s major cities, Virgin Blue and Jet Star. They’re affordable and a better experience than their European counterparts. If you book four to six weeks in advance, Sydney to Melbourne will set you back between$39 and $69 (Jet Star), Sydney to Cairns between $139 and $154 (Jet Star) and Perth to Sydney between$169 and $198 (Virgin Blue). Virgin Blue is generally slightly cheaper when flying from the west coast; Jet Star is marginally cheaper on the east coast.

Darwin Cairns

Broome

Alice Springs

Brisbane

Perth Sydney

Adelaide Melbourne

internal flights

Hobart


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Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

Recommended hostels

Recommended Hostels

1 – Sydney, Australia: Wake Up! Sydney Central

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Address: 509 Pitt Street, Sydney, Australia

About Wake Up! Sydney Central

Wake Up! is budget accommodation, without the budget smells, sounds or grime! Conveniently located right next to Sydney’s Central Railway Station, Wake Up! has four, six, eight and 10 bed spacious dorms; some mixed, some femaleonly. It also offers twin and double rooms for a little bit more moolah.

3 8 9 5

10

Wake Up! Sydney Central boasts... ●● Free beer on arrival

7 4 6

12

1

●● Free linen ●● Help finding a job ●● 24-hour reception and 24-hour internet access ●● Personal lockers in every room ●● Cafe and side bar – with parties every night and frequent cocktail promotions ●● Colour-coded levels so it’s easy to find your bed after a night out ●● Discounted postage service – send your unwanted stuff home on the cheap! ●● Heavily discounted boat trips and sightseeing tours

Rates

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Expect to pay around £12 a bed for a 10 bed dorm, £14 for an eight bed, £15 for six beds and £16 for four.

What gapyear.com members say...

“This is the most popular hostel in Sydney because it’s new and modern... They have a massive bar in the basement which is a great place to meet people.” – Chris Cookies

best places to stay

“We stayed in the Wake Up Hostel... it was within easy walking distance of everywhere and it was a really friendly place, the rooms were nice and it was just good all round!” – Sam Jones

Hostels and accommodation Australia has a mixture of unusual, bizarre, breath-taking and ‘I’ll never stay in a place like that again’ accommodation. Most of the accommodation for independent travellers are hostels (or “backpackers”). There is a massive choice of hostels so you’ll find it very difficult to turn up somewhere and not find a place to stay. The choice you’ll have is whether to choose the one in the rainforest with the hammocks, the one on the beach, the one that used to be a train station (the dorms are old carriages), the one in the middle of Sydney’s red light district or the one that takes you on free trips to see stuff. Quite often you’ll just go to the one that offers you the free breakfast or one of the ones that we recommend where you get free beer on arrival!

GOOD FOR THE GIRLIES

GET 2 FREE BEERS

FREE NIGHTLY MEAL

Gapyear.com says...

Wake Up! Sydney Central is backpacker heaven – wicked location, clean comfortable dorms and chill-out areas, loads of promotions and a massive downstairs bar crammed with other travellers night after night. Plus they take personal safety seriously and are dedicated to ensuring you see the best that Sydney has to offer.

Wake Up! Sydney Central says...

Finally a hostel which lives up to the hype, wake up! Sydney’s best budget accommodation is where any fun loving backpacker should be bedding down. So now that you’ve found us, relax, chill out, have some fun and wake up! with someone new...


Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

Recommended hostels

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Recommended Hostels

2 – Melbourne, Australia: Nomads Industry

8 – Magnetic Island: Base Backpackers

Gapyear.com says...

We say...

If you are heading to Melbourne, you need to book a bed in Nomads Industry. We love it because it's new, it's trendy, it's clean and they know how to make it a favourite amongst gapyear.com members – by giving you guys free food and beer! Plus it's in a great location, makes security a top priority and has huge variety of room types to choose from…

Fantastic location, with a bar, swimming pool and sun deck that opens out right onto the beach (it claims to be the only beachfront hostel in Oz). The dorms are clean and cool and there are a range of activities and things to hire on site. The bar is one of the liveliest around, with DJs most nights.

3 – Cairns: Gilligan’s Backpackers

9 – Mission Beach: Scotty’s Beach House We say...

We say... Ideal location, top facilities, a great pool and helpful staff have all helped make Gilligan's Backpackers one of the top hostels in Cairns. Plus their philosophy is to provide a little luxury to the budget traveller – which is fine with us (especially the spa and massage bit!) Enjoy a lively, friendly atmosphere in a comfortable and popular hostel...

4 – Brisbane: Tinbilly Travellers

Mission Beach is where you'll stay if you fancy white-water rafting or skydiving. Scotty's is friendly, three seconds from the beach and has one of the best layouts of any hostel in Oz. It's basically a load of little self-contained cabins clustered around a swimming pool. If you get bored, which you won't, you can even hire a TV and video for a quiet night in. Oh, and the bar does excellent kangaroo.

10 – Alice Springs: Annie’s Place We say...

We say... Brand spanking new and literally just across the road from the main Brisbane Transit Centre (where all your buses arrive and leave from), this is easily your best choice in Brisbane. It's huge and all very clean, modern, spangly and friendly and just a few minutes walk from the centre of town and from the South Bank…

5 – Airlie Beach: Beaches Backpackers

If you've been travelling through the Outback for days, it's great to see a friendly face – and the folks at Annie's Place will really look after you. There's something here to suit all budgets, from cheap dorms to swanky, en suite doubles. And if you want to cool down after a hot and dusty day, the swimming pool is a treat...

11 – Darwin: The Cavenagh We say...

We say... There are three main aspects to Beaches. Accommodation is spacious and features en-suite dorms, some with balconies and all with air-con, TVs and fridges. The bookings office is large and professional and will sort you out for everything you need in the Whitsundays and well beyond. Finally, the bar is the most popular in town (with both backpackers and locals, which is always a good sign)…

6 – Byron Bay: The Arts Factory Lodge

We like this place because it caters for everyone – from the backpacker keen on saving pennies and sleeping in dorms to the traveller who would rather splash out on a little bit more luxury. Their separate motel and backpacker-style rooms mean that you get a wide variety of people staying and enjoying the great facillities at The Cavenagh. Their pool is huge, the bar has a great vibe and it's close to the shopping and clubbing districts too. What more could you want..?

12 – Perth: Underground Backpackers We say…

We say... We love The Arts Factory because of its lively atmosphere, great selection of rooms, funky activities, amazing facilities and top location. Plus with lockers in every room and female-only dorms, they are safety-conscious too and we like that a lot. It's all you could ever look for in a hostel and more...

There's nothing we love better than a great hostel in a cracking location with a buzzing bar. Well that's not strictly true... there is something we love better. A great hostel in a cracking location with a buzzing bar, free linen, free breakfast, a 24 hour reception and swimming pool! With its party vibe and super-friendly atmosphere, Underground Backpackers is the place to stay in Perth.


Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

11

GET FREE BEER / GRUB AT OUR RECOMMENDED HOSTELS As gapyear.com knows, there’s nothing like a cold, cold beer when you’ve arrived in a new place. For this reason, we’ve decided to offer all gapyear. com members not one, but two free beers when they check in at our selected recommended hostels. Just present your voucher at the reception and you’ll be entitled to two beers – that’s one for you and another to help break the ice with a fellow backpacker.

TWO FREE BEERS! For gapyear.com members who stay at

Wake Up! Sydney Central, Sydney Enjoy two free beers courtesy of your good friends at gapyear.com. As you’re sipping your complimentary drinks, please spare us a thought! Remember we always want to hear from you guys, so why not email us a photo of you and your beers to community@gapyear.com? We’ll then put you up on gapyear. com for all to see. Have fun and travel safely...

What better way to make friends in a new country?

TWO FREE BEERS!

TWO FREE BEERS!

For gapyear.com members who stay at

For gapyear.com members who stay at

Nomads Industry, Melbourne

Nomads Industry, Melbourne

Enjoy two free beers courtesy of your good friends at gapyear.com. As you’re sipping

Enjoy two free beers courtesy of your good friends at gapyear.com. As you’re sipping

your complimentary drinks, please spare us a thought!

your complimentary drinks, please spare us a thought!

Remember we always want to hear from you guys, so why not email us a photo of

Remember we always want to hear from you guys, so why not email us a photo of

you and your beers to community@gapyear.com? We’ll then put you up on gapyear.

you and your beers to community@gapyear.com? We’ll then put you up on gapyear.

com for all to see.

com for all to see.

Have fun and travel safely...

Have fun and travel safely...


Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

Working in Australia Work requirements

To work in Australia you need: ●● Australian Tax File Number (TFN) ●● Australian bank account (e.g – ANZ, Commonwealth, Westpac) ●● A working holiday visa ●● A good sense of humour So long as you stick to the conditions of your visa, you can do any job you like in Australia. Minimum wage in Australia is a dream. It is at AU£15 (£9.25) per hour, but most fruit picking jobs pay AU$17 (£10.50). One gapyear.com member worked as an extra on a film; another worked on a ranch herding cows. However, they are the exception. Most backpackers work in one of the following areas…

Fruit-picking From grape harvesting in Berri, to mango picking in Darwin ... each year thousands of travellers become fruit pickers to bring in the fruit and vegetable harvests. There is always fruit to be picked somewhere. Ninety per cent of travellers get their second-year working holiday visa by fruit-picking. You need to clock-up 88 days, all signed off by a farmer, to apply for a second-year working visa. It’s hard, physical work, but there can be a great sense of community: you’ll be working with other backpackers and locals. You’ve got one thing in common – you need the money. Jobs are advertised on backpacker notice-boards or specialist websites. Check out jobsearch.gov.au/harvesttrail and www. pickingjobs.com. For an idea of what’s ripe, where and when, see the map on the next page. Contracts are often casual, so make sure you confirm your working hours and wages in advance with your employer. You will either be paid by how much you’ve picked or by the hour. The hours are long and hard, often working in the baking sun. An average week can be anything up to 10 hours a day, seven days a week. A lot of people can’t handle the heat/hard labour and quit after a day or two. Appropriate taxes are to be paid on all earnings by you, usually at 13 per cent. The rate will be determined by your background and the current working arrangements. These are collected by the farmer and submitted to the Australian Taxation Office. If you fail to provide a TFN you will be taxed at the highest rate of 49 per cent. Working hostels will go through the paperwork with you to make sure you don’t get taxed at the highest rate.

12

Working in Australia Ranch work

Ranch work is a little bit niche and not all that easy to sort out for yourself. There is a demand for ‘jackeroos and jillaroos’ as they’re known, but it’s hard, skilled work and not for the absolute beginner. Companies such as Changing Worlds do offer supported work placements if you are not completely confident of finding a position by yourself.

Factory work This is another popular choice for backpackers – it’s not hard to find short-term, casual work on a production line or in a packing room. The work itself won’t be very stimulating, but you don’t need any experience or qualifications, and if you’re working with a good bunch of people it can be a laugh. You’ll find work through agencies, local newspapers or backpacker notice boards.

Work for bed and board If you plan to stay in one place for a bit, a great way to cut down on your costs is to do a few hours work a day in exchange for somewhere to sleep and something to eat. Tasks can involve anything from manning the front desk to making the beds, but it’s nearly always a key to a pretty easy life. You won’t make yourself rich this way, but it’s a good way of extending your trip.

Bar and restaurant work From hip bars in Sydney to tiny pubs in the outback, there are plenty of jobs available for bar and waiting staff across Australia. Most will require you to have some experience. You’ll be much more employable if you know a Castlemaine from a Cosmopolitan. You’ll also need a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) certificate, which you can only get once you’ve arrived in Oz. This involves taking a one-day course (4 hours), which will teach you not to serve alcohol to toddlers or unconscious people, and sitting a written exam. The course will set you back $70 (£44). No-one ever fails.

Construction work If you’re a dependable, hard worker with some construction experience, why not work on a building site? You’ll need a health and safety ‘Green Card’, for which you’ll need to do a one-day course costing around AU$100 (£62.50). Green Card holders can generally find well-paid work lasting anything from one day to several months – it’ll help if you have your own work boots. Approach labour hire companies or enquire at building sites or Irish bars.


Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

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Harvest trails

This map is here to give you an idea of how to plan your trip around Australia if you want to follow the harvest work.

Darwin (Mangos) (September to November)

Remember, at the end of it you will have another year in the sun!

Tully (Bananas) (November To February)

Ayr (Vegetables) (June to August) Bowen (Tomatoes) (April to June)

Coffs Harbour (Blueberries) (August to October)

Moree (Cotton) (April to July)

Dubbo (Cotton / Grain) (February to April)

Adelaide Hills (Apples / Pears / Grapes) (February to March) Mount Barker (Strawberrys / Cherrys) (December to January)

Chasing the sun around Australia

Limestone Coast (Grapes / Citrus) (February to April)

Adelaide To Cairns By Bus

Bendigo (Apples) (February to April)


Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

What things cost…

Costs There’s never a firm answer to the question “How much money will I need?’’ But it is possible to work out a rough budget for yourself. Australia represents many and varied opportunities for lightening your wallet, but here’s a rough idea of what to expect. Most travellers budget £1,000-£1,500 per month, depending on what type of traveller you are, how often you are drinking (this is where a lot of money magically disappears) and how many activities you do. Accommodation In Australia the majority of travellers spend the night in hostel dorms. Prices maintain the same throughout the whole year but availability becomes much more difficult over public holidays, especially Christmas, New Year and Australia Day. It is advised to book in advanced for these time periods. The average price for a shared dorm room (mixed) is around $20 ($15 – $25) . New, flash hostels may be anything up to $35. If you’re driving, campsites are an excellent alternative. Pitches cost around $30 with facilities, and that’s split between you. Food and drink Food and drink are surprisingly expensive. Home produce, like meat, and certain fruit and veg, is relatively cheap, but most other foods have to be imported. Supermarket food costs as much as in the UK, and the quality isn’t as good. The two main supermarkets in Oz are Coles and Woolworths. Coles ‘smart buy’ and Woolworths ‘basics’ are what you’ll be buying, and a weekly shop can cost about $60 per week (nearly £40). Eating out is cheaper than the UK, with a main costing anywhere between $12-20 (£10). There are lot of backpacker deals on eating out, and you can pick up the occasional meal for as cheap as $5. Alcohol prices are the same price as the UK, though good wine is much, much cheaper. Backpackers always steer towards cask wine, also known as ‘goon bags’. They cost $15 for 4 liters of wine (if you can call it that). It is an acquired taste… Tap water is safe to drink, and keep a bottle or two to hand for emergencies: it is very easy to get dehydrated. Nightlife Australian nightlife is hectic, so be prepared to spend a lot if you’re a clubbing fan. Always look into other things other than just clubbing. It���s often a lot of fun to simply explore your surroundings at night. Surfers Paradise might be a miserably commercial resort city, but its neon glow looks particularly spectacular from the beach in the dark. Failing that, there’s always the pub. Australia has a big drinking culture, and you should never find yourself too far from a bar. Beer measures are slightly different in Oz – pints don’t exist in a lot of places. Instead, depending on the state, you get half-pints, ‘glasses’ (around seven fluid ounces) and ‘schooners’, which hold three-quarters of a pint. Unless you’re British or Scandinavian, booze is going to seem expensive.

14

Rough costs chart

Our conversion rate was £1 (GBP) to $1.60 (AUD)

Product

Price in £

Price in AU$

Loaf of sliced, white bread

£1.60

$2.50

Big Mac meal

£3.75

$6

A ’glass’ of beer (in a bar)

£1.90

$3

A crate or ‘slab’ of beer (from a bottle shop)

£22

$35

1 litre of bottled water

£1.25

$2

1 litre bottle of milk

£0.90

$1.50

6 pack of Coca Cola (375ml cans)

£3

$4.99

Bag of pasta (500g)

£0.40

$0.66

Chocolate (Mars bar)

£1.20

$2

Shampoo (Pantene ‘classic’ 400ml)

£5.80

$9.30

Bus ticket for a 4 hour journey (eg Brisbane to Byron Bay)

£23

$37

Bus ticket for an 18 hour journey (eg Sydney to Byron Bay)

£71

$114

One day’s car hire (if you’re hiring for over a month)

£21

$34

One day’s car hire (if you’re hiring for under a month)

£27

$43

One day’s camper van hire (low season)

£25

$40

One day’s camper van hire (peak season)

£53

$85

One litre of petrol

£0.90

$1.40

Single flight – Sydney to Cairns

£93

$149

Single flight – Sydney to Perth

£124

$199

Oz Experience Pass – Sydney to Cairns

£496

$795

Single train ticket – Sydney Airport to Central Station

£8

$12.50

Entrance to a nightclub

£6.25

$10

A night in a hostel dorm

£12.50

$20

Three day surf camp (with dorm accommodation)

£87

$140

Bungy jump (AJ Hackett, Cairns)

£62

$99

Tours and activities Hostels are a fantastic place for information on tours and activities. They also offer some of the best deals and if you’re travelling on your own then it is a great way to meet like-minded people. However, Tourist Information Centres are even better. They are always welcoming and offer unbelievable deals that under-cut the hostels.

One day reef diving trip

£75

$120

1 day Cape Tribulation tour

£87

$140

Whitsunday sailing trip (3 day, 2 night)

£212

$340

Obviously, the quickest way of losing money when travelling is by doing every activity and tour on offer,. It’s a great idea to plan what you want to do before you get there. You’ll find yourself bombarded by different tour posters in every hostel you stay at. Allways ask if there are deals on, or whether it is cheaper to book in a group. You’ll be surprised at how often this works.

Uluru, Olgas, King’s Canyon tour (3 ½ days)

£212

$340

‘Neighbours’ tour

£18.70

$30

All price conversions are approximate and are advisory – don’t blame us if they’re slightly wrong!


15

Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

Adventurous activities

Australia is a thrill seeker’s paradise. You’d worry about a nation that’s put this much thought it scaring the crap out of visitors if they weren’t just so damn nice about it. What’s there to do though? Where can

8 3 1

10

2 9 4 5

4 5 6 7

7

1

you do it? Can you fit it into your trip? Bungy jump – Cairns The most famous extreme sport of them all. Attach yourself to a giant rubber band and throw yourself off somewhere inadvisably high. AJ Hackett is the original bungy company and still the best in the world. The spectacular tropical setting just adds to the mind-blowing rush.

2

Ocean rafting – Airlie Beach The traditional way to see the Whitsunday Islands is over three days on a sailing boat, but if you’re short on time (or patience) you can whizz around them on a half-metal, half-inflatable craft.

2

8 9

Zorbing – Gold Coast Surfer’s Paradise is as good a place as any to organise your zorbing. Get into a giant hamster ball and roll down a hill. Simple really. Can’t believe it took so long for someone to come up with the idea.

Surfing – Byron Bay You can’t say you’ve been to the east coast of Australia if you haven’t at least had a go at surfing. There plenty of great spots between Sydney and Brisbane, but Byron Bay is best for beginners. There are plenty of surf schools about, so the prices are pretty reasonable. Skydiving – Byron Bay There are lots of places to skydive in Australia – but the views at Byron are the best.

6

Jet boating – Sydney Harbour You can jet boat here, or up in Cairns, it just depends what you’d rather turn into a stomach churning blur... The basic premise is that you get into a very high-powered boat and hoon around the place with a driver who lives to scare the hell out of backpackers. Scuba diving – Great Barrier or Ningaloo Reef The Great Barrier Reef is enormous and stretches most of the way down the east coast. The Ningaloo Reef is a bit smaller, a lot quieter and off the coast of Western Australia. Both are marine paradises, excellent places to learn to dive and full of opportunities for experienced divers.

10

4x4ing – Fraser Island Organise your trip from Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach. The standard self-drive trip is three days, two nights and you’ll generally be in a vehicle with seven other backpackers. Just hope they’re nice... Fraser Island is probably the highlight of most people’s east coast trip.

10

Camel rides – Broome Nothing like taking a camel safari along a seemingly endless, pristine beach as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean. OK, it’s only going to get the adrenaline going if you’ve a fear of camels, but it’s a nice way to end the day...


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Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

Travelmates

The trouble with Australia is that, no matter how appealing it sounds, it’s a long way away and it does take a lot of effort to get there. Although you may start with a few of you who are dead set on taking a gap year in Australia, lots of less committed souls will fall by the wayside. It’s very common for one person from a group to be left thinking their travel plans are in ruins because their mates have pulled out with not long to go. If that sounds like you, don’t panic. For the last four years we’ve been running a very successful find a travelmate service for the people in your situation.

Keeping in touch Mobile phones

As with most things, apart from maybe decent tea and cheddar cheese, they have mobile phones in Australia too. If you just want to make calls within Australia, then you can take your phone from home (make sure it’s unlocked) and buy an Australian SIM card when you get there. Telstra Mobile seems to have the best network coverage on the east coast, but Vodafone is almost as good. For $25 you get $150-worth of calls – easily enough to last a whole month. If you want to use your mobile to call home, or if you want a mobile you can use everywhere on your round the world trip, then you should look into buying a backpacker’s SIM card. We think that the best one is from go-sim, but you should shop around to see what suits you best.

Find the perfect travelmate

Cheap international calls 1. Post a message

Travelmates works on the messageboard system. You post a message telling people who you are and where you’re going. While there are loads of people on there for you to choose from, the chances are that your new best friend is just browsing the boards too and hasn’t posted already. Don’t be shy.

2. Upload a photo

Uploading a photo to your profile means you’ll have a much better chance of being contacted by an ideal travelmate. Our statistics show you’ll improve your chances by, oh, let’s say about a billion per cent. It’s so much easier to send a message to someone if you know what they look like. Once you’re a member of the site you can do this easily from your profile.

3. Be clear about where you’re going and what you want to do

Whatever you do, don’t post vaguely looking for a travelmate when you haven’t even decided where you’re going. It just looks like you’re lazy as hell and are looking for someone to organise your whole trip and drag you around Australia by the ear. In essence, you’ll sound like a complete nightmare. Work out where you want to go and be clear about the sort of things you’ll want to be doing. It all gives you a better chance of finding the sort of travelmate who’ll help to make it a trip of a lifetime.

4. Be sensible

All gapyear.com members are wonderful people, and we want to hold your hands and skip carefree along the beach. However, you should always exercise a bit of caution when meeting up with somebody off a website, however wonderful that website may be. It’s all quite simple: just make sure somebody knows where you’re going, who you’re meeting and when you expect to be back. Oh, and if you do have a lot of fun and decide to stay a bit later, let that person know…

FOR MORE INFO GO TO:

gapyear.com/travelmates

International calling cards can be bought in each country to make international calls, but with more and more people travelling with smartphones there are even easier ways to keep in touch. How these work is that you / your parents / your friends set up an account which you can access through your home phone. Using Planet Talk as an example again – when you sign up you have to put a minimum of £10 in the account. You are then issued with a prefix number that you dial from your home phone before you dial the international number e.g. 1833. Calls are then charged at a cheap rate e.g. calls to Australia at about 5p per minute. You may be charged a small connection fee on each call, so read the small print.

Communicate online Skype is an international calling service that is free to computer-to-computer, and even offer some of the cheapest rates when calling a landline. You can use it from most internet cafés. If a computer doesn’t have Skype, Microsoft Live Messenger can be used instead to chat with a web-cam. There’s nothing better than speaking live to mates who are working or studying while you are in an internet café near an Australian beach.

Useful tips Send yourself emails full of useful info, such as addresses, dates, phone numbers, insurance details and details of valuable stuff that might get damaged or stolen. Take time to set up your email address book properly with birthdays, addresses and so on. Clear space now while you’re not paying internet café rates. Save important stuff on your home PC.


Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

17

...now plan your route...


Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

Route planner – road

18 Cape York

Most backpackers in Australia use bus passes enabling them to see as much of Australia as they want. Backpacker tour buses are extremely popular. They cost a little more than a simple bus trip, but you get to see more of Australia. You meet like-minded people and there’s also a bunch of free activities, discounts, help with accommodation and so forth. The most popular passes are with Greyhound (www.greyhound.co.au). with the most popular route being from Melbourne to Cairns at $445 (£271) on a 90-day travel pass.

Darwin

Cape Tribulation

Cairns

OzExperience offers the same as Greyhound, but is slightly more expensive at $520 (£317). You will probably meet more backpackers, but there really isn’t much difference. See what you think at www.ozexperience.com. An alternative to the bus is hiring or buying a car or camper van. Car hire will set you back $40 (£24) a day off peak (May and June) and $55 (£33) a day in peak season (December and January). If you’re buying, you should be able to pick up a relatively reliable car for around AU$3,000 (£1,830) – but it will have 120,000 to 400,000 kilometres on the clock. Check out hostel notice-boards, particularly in Cairns or Sydney.

Mission Beach Airlie Beach

Broome

Townsville

Cloncurry

Exmouth Coral Bay

Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Alice Springs

Notes

Rockhampton Charleville

_____________________________________________________________________

Hervey Bay

Brisbane

Coober Pedy

Byron Bay

____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________

Perth Sydney

Adelaide

____________________________________________________________________________

Canberra

Kangaroo Island

____________________________________________________________________________

Melbourne

____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________

major roads

____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________

Journey times – bus or car Perth- Sydney 43hrs Perth-Adelaide 29hrs Perth-Darwin 44hrs Adelaide-Sydney 16hrs Adelaide-Darwin 35hrs Adelaide-Alice Springs 17hrs Alice Springs-Darwin 19hrs Sydney-Melbourne 10hrs Sydney-Canberra 3hrs Sydney-Cairns 29hrs Sydney-Darwin 47hrs Sydney-Brisbane 12hrs Cairns-Darwin 34hrs

Hobart


Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

19

Route planner – rail

Trains are a good, affordable way to get yourself from place to place in Australia. There are two long-distance journeys that are particularly worth a look – the Ghan, which runs north to south from Darwin to Adelaide via Alice Springs (and vice versa), and the Indian-Pacific, which runs east to west from Sydney to Perth via Adelaide (and vice versa). A standard seat ticket from Adelaide to Darwin on the Ghan will cost you $330 (£201); Sydney to Perth on the Indian Pacific is $300 (£183). Check out fares (including rover tickets) at the Rail Australia website, www.railaustralia.com.au.

Darwin

Cairns

Forsyth

Notes

Townsville

Mount Isa

_____________________________________________________________________ Alice Springs

____________________________________________________________________________

Longreach

____________________________________________________________________________

Rockhampton

Charleville

Brisbane

____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________

Perth

____________________________________________________________________________

Adelaide

____________________________________________________________________________

Sydney Canberra Melbourne

____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________

main rail lines Darwin

____________________________________________________________________________ Alice Springs

Journey times – rail Perth- Sydney 68hrs Perth-Adelaide 43hrs Adelaide-Sydney 24hrs Adelaide-Darwin 52hrs Adelaide-Alice Springs 25hrs Alice Springs-Darwin 25hrs

Perth Adelaide

the ghan

Adelaide

the indian pacific

Sydney


Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

Route planner – air

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There are two main budget airline companies that serve most of Australia’s major cities, Virgin Blue and Jet Star. They’re affordable and a much better experience than their European counterparts. If you book four to six weeks in advance, Sydney to Melbourne will set you back between$39 and $69 (Jet Star), Sydney to Cairns between $139 and $154 (Jet Star) and Perth to Sydney between$169 and $198 (Virgin Blue). Virgin Blue is generally slightly cheaper when flying from the west coast; Jet Star is marginally cheaper on the east coast.

Darwin

Cairns

Broome

Alice Springs

Notes _____________________________________________________________________

Brisbane

____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________

Perth Sydney

Adelaide

____________________________________________________________________________

Melbourne

____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________

internal flights

____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________

Journey times – air Perth- Sydney 7hrs Perth-Adelaide 5.5hrs Perth-Darwin 10hrs Adelaide-Sydney 2.5hrs Adelaide-Darwin 10hrs Melbourne-Alice Springs 3hrs Alice Springs-Darwin 2hrs Sydney-Melbourne 1.5hrs Sydney-Canberra 1hr Sydney-Cairns 2hrs Sydney-Darwin 5.5hrs Sydney-Brisbane 0.5hrs Brisbane-Darwin 4hrs

Hobart


Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

Route builder map (example)

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Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

Route builder map

Cape York Darwin

Cape Tribulation

Broome Cairns

Mission Beach Airlie Beach

Exmouth Coral Bay

Alice Springs

Fraser Island

Hervey Bay Brisbane

Byron Bay Coober Pedy

Perth Sydney

Adelaide Kangaroo Island

Blue Mountains

Melbourne

Hobart


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Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

Date 9th January

Location Must do Cairns

Jungle Swing

2011

Full route builder (2011)

JANUARY

For how long

Costs

1 day

$100

Notes Dad to buy as a gift (example)

S

M

T

FEBRUARY

W

T

F

S

S

M

1

T

W

T

F

S

1

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MAY

JUNE W

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S

M

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W

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S

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JULY

AUGUST

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31

SEPTEMBER S

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OCTOBER W

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S

M

NOVEMBER S

M

DECEMBER

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W

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24

Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

2012

Full route builder (2012)

JANUARY

Date 9th January

Location Must do Cairns

Jungle Swing

For how long 1 day

Costs $100

Notes Dad to buy as a gift (example)

FEBRUARY

S

M

T

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12

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26

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29

S

M

T

MARCH

APRIL

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T

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M

T

W

T

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1

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3

1

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29

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T

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S

M

1

2

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4

5

MAY

JUNE T

W

T

F

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1

2

6

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3

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M

T

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2

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7

JULY

AUGUST W

T

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1

2

3

4

8

9

10

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14

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8

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21

12

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28

19

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26

27

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31

S

M

T

S

M

T

W

T

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S

1

2

3

4

5

6

SEPTEMBER W

T

OCTOBER F

S 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

9

10

11

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25

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29

28

29

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31

M

T

T

F

S

S

M

T

1

2

3

30

NOVEMBER S

W

DECEMBER W

T

F

S 1

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

11

12

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17

9

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16

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18

19

20

21

22

25

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28

29

30

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31


Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

Notes

25

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Australia Planner v3.0 (more online: gapyear.com/australia)

Build your own around the world trip Plan your travels on gapyear.com...

26

Trip planning tools

At gapyear.com we are dedicated to bringing you the very best information in the best possible way. That is why we have created a series of trip-planning tools for you and set up a home for them on www.gapyear.com. If you are looking for help planning your trips, the planners section is a good place to start. There you will find a series of downloads featuring most of the information you should know before departure. To explore our planners go to www.gapyear.com/planners In addition we also have a vast number of user guides and articles. Some are written by us, but most are supplied by travellers just like you. To explore the user guides and articles go to www.gapyear.com/articles

New Zealand Planner 1. First head to www.gapyear.com/rtwflights/

2. Explore the round the world routes

New Zealand is a strange land, many miles away with towering, craggy mountains and a strange impenetrable language. Want to know what ‘fush and chups’ is? Want to know what it will cost? Well, we’re here to help! The New Zealand Planner is the perfect accompaniment to our Around the World Planner and also works neatly with the Australia Planner. Find it in the planners section and download it for free now.

Around the World Planner Organising a trip around the world isn’t as hard as it seems, but there’s lots to think about and it can seem daunting at first. That’s why we have created this planner, it takes you step-by-step through everything you need to sort out, points you in the right direction at every turn and generally makes life easier. 3. Read our user’s recommendations

4. Start planning your travels

No pressure or anything, you don’t have to download it, but, well, we did make it especially for you. You’ll find it in the planners section of gapyear.com.

Around the World: Beginners Guide to RTW Tickets Written by our staff at gapyear.com, this short guide is the simplest way to get a grasp of what round the world tickets and how they work. They may look a bit complicated at first, but they are easy once you understand them. Be sure to read on for a quick run-down. This guide can be found the User Guides and Articles section under “Around the World Guides.”


Gapyear Australia planner