Tips for Travelers going to Australia
We are including some tips for fellow travelers based on our experience around the large country of Australia (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven) . It’s a vast country that we enjoyed exploring for two months and hope others make the most out of a trip down under!
Supermarkets / Grocery stores: Here is a quick rundown of the Aussie supermarkets: IGA is overpriced and doesn’t have a wide range of choices yet offers smaller vendors goods. Woolsworths has everything and is fairly priced; we compared it to Safeway in the NW USA. Coles is a step-down in price and quality from Wools; we compared it to Fred Meyers or Target’s supermarket. Harris Farm Markets carries the freshest produce and is expensive but offers high quality food; similar to Wholefoods in the NW USA. Harris was our favorite but we often shopped at Woolsworths depending on location.
Drinking and Hiking: Never try to out hike or out drink an Australian. The “difficult” hikes are truly physically demanding and will have bouldering sections and have you guessing where the trail markers are. Don’t get me wrong though, the national park trails are spectacular, well organized and always worth trekking. As for drinking… we will let that speak for itself. 🙂
Wildlife: The animals are amazing! Especially in Tasmania. We enjoyed heading to wildlife refuges instead of zoos and loved holding a wombat and petting a Tasmanian devil! It was also fun to explore the Daintree National Park with a local guide.
Speed Cameras: Driving on the left side of the road isn’t as tricky as watching out for traffic cameras. We received a speeding citation in Perth, but didn’t find out until my mom asked why we got mail from the Western Australian Police a month later. Luckily the ticket was for 5 km over the speed limit, but we were unaware throughout our trip in Perth.
Airline Info: Virgin Australia is a great airlines that offers a complimentary beverage of choice and nutritious snacks made with real food. The US could learn a thing or two. The bummer about entering and exiting the country is no passport stamp (ePassports). They use an electric system at customs that does away with collecting another ink print in your passport.
Public Transit in Sydney: The train system in Sydney is great, but the buses aren’t as reliable. Get an Opal card and the Opal app on your phone and you’ll be set to travel around the city car-free. The public transit in Perth and Melbourne and Brisbane are not as great so we used Uber to get around or rented a car.
Packing Tips: A few essentials to pack for Australia’s summer: good sunscreen and face stick, Telstra cell/data plan, bug spray, lightweight clothing, warm outfit for cool evenings, swimsuit, travel towel, boarding supplies if boarding, hiking sandals, hat, sunnies and a solid verbal use of “g’ day mate”!
Thats all the extra thoughts on Australia for now, g’day and g’adventuring mates!
Will & Jenny