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    AUSTRALIAN TIME ZONES

    by balhannah Updated Jan 10, 2014

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: In Australia, we have THREE DIFFERENT TIME ZONES

    THEY ARE....................

    Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)...

    New South Wales (except Broken Hill), Victoria, Queensland,Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory

    Australian Central Standard Time (ACST).....
    South Australia, Northern Territory, and Broken Hill in NSW

    Australian Western Standard Time (AWST)

    Western Australia

    Australia also has daylight saving, this is observed from the 1st Sunday in October, to the 1st Sunday in April, every year.
    To make life difficult, not all states have it. At the moment (2014), Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory do not move their clocks forward.

    Fondest memory: Check this website if you are unsure of the time zones.

    www.worldtimezone.com/time-australia24.php -

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    HOW MUCH MONEY TO ENTER AUSTRALIA ON WORKING VISA

    by balhannah Updated Jan 10, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Wanting to come and work in Oz and wonder how much money you will need?

    This is information is correct in 2013.

    "For your working holiday visa application you must demonstrate that you have access to sufficient funds to support yourself for the initial stage of your holiday. Generally, AUD5000 may be regarded as sufficient, but the amount may vary depending on your length of stay and the extent of your travel. You should also have a return or onward ticket or the funds for a fare to depart Australia. You may be asked to provide evidence including a certified copy of a bank statement and an air ticket out of Australia.
    For more information visit http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/417/

    So, if you can save more, all the better!

    Related to:
    • Backpacking

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    Sydney Fish Market

    by iandsmith Written Dec 30, 2013

    Favorite thing: In 1966, SFM moved from the Haymarket area of Sydney to its current location at Blackwattle Bay, Pyrmont. In those days, fish were sold using the labour intensive, traditional ‘voice’ auction system. This system saw buyers assemble outside the sales bay fence, where inside an assistant would hold up samples of fish from each box for buyers to bid until the highest price was reached.
    Sydney Fish Market Pty Ltd was formed on the 28 October 1994, when the NSW Government privatised the marketing of seafood. Since then two equal shareholders, the Catcher’s Trust of NSW and the Sydney Fish Market Tenants and Merchants Pty Ltd have jointly owned the company. Shortly after the NSW State government deregulated fish marketing over a two-stage, five-year period, as legislated monopoly was not acceptable under private ownership.
    The first stage of deregulation came in November 1997 when fishermen’s cooperatives were permitted to sell directly to Sydney buyers. Total deregulation followed in November 1999, when New South Wales catchers could supply direct to any buyer in possession of a Fish Receiver’s Permit. The result, SFM no longer holds a monopoly over the sale of seafood into the Sydney region.
    SFM introduced a computerised Dutch auction in October 1989, dramatically evolving the way fish was to be sold. Modelled on the ‘reverse’ auction system, which has been used for over 130 years to sell tulips in Amsterdam,
    SFM’s auctioneers set the price approximately $3 higher than the assumed market price. The clock then winds down at a rate of $1 per revolution and the price drops until a buyer stops the clock by pressing a button. The successful buyer then selects a number of crates from the ‘lot’.
    In February 2004, state-of-the-art digital video projectors were installed to enhance the auction clocks. These large screens face toward around 150 to 200 buyers each day. Through this reverse auction system, SFM can now offer buyers the fastest and most efficient method of trading seafood, whilst still ensuring the best possible price in open competition.
    Approximately 1,000 crates or 20,000 kg of seafood are sold every hour during SFM auctions. That’s an average of 2,700 crates, or 50 tonnes of fresh seafood, traded every day. In Australia, SFM’s seafood diversity is second to none with over 100 species offered at auction daily.
    In 1989 SFM established the Sydney Seafood School. The School now attracts 12,000 participants a year and hosts an enviable list of Australia’s finest guest chefs.
    In 2001, SFM launched it’s innovative new online-based seafood trading system, SFMlive that operates in addition to the Dutch auction. SFMlive now provides traders with advanced facilities for direct online seafood sales including wild harvest, aquaculture and frozen products, taking fish sales well into the future.
    SFM receives over two million local and international visitors annually and is one of Sydney’s great fishing and harbourside icons.

    Fondest memory: I last visited there on Christmas Eve, 2013 and, if you want to avoid crowds, this is not a good time to go. Having said that, the atmosphere is electric. There's an enthusiasm and positive vibe as crowds rush hither and thither around the various stall holders.
    In addition to fish you will find a delicatessen, fruit shop and other stores.
    To get there as a tourist, your best option is via the light rail from Central Station. You can't miss the Fish Market, it's the stop where the train empties 2/3rds of its passengers and it's well signposted anyway so you can't miss it.
    If you don't like sea birds you probably won't enjoy it either; the sight of a pelican wandering among the crowd still puts a smile on my face!

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Family Travel
    • Seniors

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    Currency, Commissions and Charge Card Fees

    by starship Updated Dec 2, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Unfortunately, the Summer of 2012 was not an advantagious time for those wishing to change US Currency to Australian dollars. Not only was the Australian dollar trading higher than the US dollar, but any commission fees took an additional chunk out of transactions and further impacted our travel budget.

    While checking out the currency exchange rate (July 19, 2012) at the Kingsford Smith Airport in Sydney, I found that not only was the exchange rate the worst that I would see while in Australia, but the commission fee charged was off the charts!! If you are forced to exchange any money at the airport, I suggest making it only enough to cover your most immediate needs. Also, if 2 or more people in your party also need to exchange money here, it is more advantageous to combine the amount, so that you are only charged one commission fee versus each person being charged the fee. Splitting the commission fee among 2 or more people lowers the expense for all.

    Banks gave a somewhat better rate of exchange, but still charged a commission fee based on the amount to be exchanged which was still quite high. ATM's of course, give you the currency of the country you are in, but the exchange rate will be calculated when applied to your checking/savings account or your credit card account. If you don't wish to carry large amounts of cash to be exchanged, ATM's seemed to be plentiful in Australia.

    CAIRNS: the cambios in the City of Cairns were the best place we encountered for exchanging hard currency. Not only did they give a favorable exchange rate, but NO COMMISSIONS were charged at any we saw!! In addition, they were open for business far into the evening.

    IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION: If you must charge anything in Australia, you will find that you will incur a 1.5% fee in addition to the amount you are charging, plus the exchange rate calculation. While this 1.5% fee applied to small charges is probably not too consequential, you will find that the fee added onto such things as plane/train fares, hotels stays, and large purchases certainly IS consequential when added up!! In some countries, this fee is absorbed by the business that accepts the charge card (or is reflected in a slightly higher price of the product/service) and considers it a cost of doing business -- but Australian businesses pass on the expense to the customer in this more direct way.

    Also be aware that the GST (goods & services tax), which I believe is charged on most things, is 10%!! (Thanks for this corrected information from TheWanderingCamel, Leyle).

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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    FIND WORK IN AUSTRALIA

    by balhannah Written Nov 21, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: I came across the book, "Workabout Australia," at a Tourist information centre in rural Australia.
    Once home, I looked into what the book is all about.

    It turns out it is a very handy publication if your in Australia on a working visa looking for part time, casual and seasonal employment.
    The book covers 200 locations in all states of Australia and has all sorts of jobs on offer.
    At the end of each chapter or state, a master guide indicates the month and location of the employment opportunities available.

    This reference guide includes general information, location, history of the area, the climate, transport details, work availability and how many people are required, time frame details and employment contact details where known. Details of the area's tourist attractions are also included.
    The book has tips and hints that may help in avoiding some of the difficulties of following the casual or seasonal employment trail.

    On the website, you can have a look at the book before buying, and then you can buy online.
    http://www.workaboutaustralia.com.au/Jobs/jobs-search-vacancies.html

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

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    FUEL PRICES IN AUSTRALIA

    by balhannah Updated Sep 26, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: In Australia, fuel prices vary from State to State, and day to day!
    It bears to keep this in mind when travelling, just top up while its expensive, and fill up when its cheap if in areas where plenty of Fuel Stations are around.

    Remember also

    In Australia
    GAS IS GAS!......or LPG
    PETROL - UNLEADED AND LEADED......Maybe what you call Gas!
    DIESEL IS DIESEL!

    Make sure you know what type of car your fuel takes when you hire or buy it!

    If you are travelling around Australia, by Car, Campervan, etc., fuel prices are more expensive in most cases the further inland that you travel.

    If you would like to get an idea of fuel prices for the areas you are travelling, check out this website...................

    www.motormouth.com.au

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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    FREE CAMPING IN AUSTRALIA

    by balhannah Updated Sep 26, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Camping with a Tent, Caravanning, Motorhome or Campervan.

    You can camp for FREE all over Australia.
    What you must remember, is that laws in different States of Australia vary.

    QUEENSLAND
    You are allowed to camp in designated areas, usually within a time limit of 48hours, but this does vary.
    Queensland enforce their laws, so do not be surprised if you are asked to move on, or fined if you are free camping where you shouldn't be.

    WESTERN AUSTRALIA
    You can camp in designated roadside rest areas for up to 24hours.

    Most other States are quite tolerant with Free Camping.
    Remember, FREE CAMPING means that there may be Toilets and Picnic Tables, and that is all.
    A few may have hot or cold showers

    FREE CAMPING SPOTS often start filling by 2-3pm. If only a small area, then they fill early.
    Others, like near Charters Towers in Queensland, where approx. 200 campers can fit, take longer to fill.

    The safe way to Free Camp is to be with others. In the Northern Territory, it is not advisable to camp in remote locations on your own.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Road Trip
    • Camping

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    HARVEST TRAIL FOR BACKPACKERS & OTHERS

    by balhannah Updated Sep 26, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: The harvest area usually rely on backpackers to help with their seasonal workload.

    The Harvest trail links jobseekers with harvest jobs Australia wide. It offers a great way for people to travel around Australia at their own pace while sightseeing ...

    You can download the info or you can pick up a booklet at our Centrelink offices when in Australia. I have a booklet and its a good book.

    The website for all your informations is......
    www.jobsearch.gov.au/HarvestTrail
    To see beforehand what fruits are in season when you arrive in Australia
    http://www.jobs4travellers.com.au/pages/BACKPACKER-HARVEST-JOBS-CALENDAR
    http://jobsearch.gov.au/documents/nationalharvestguide.pdf

    Related to:
    • Work Abroad
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

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    OZ EXPERIENCE

    by balhannah Updated Aug 29, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: If you haven't a hire car, then the "Oz Experience' is a good way to get around for a reasonable price. It's a flexible hop-on, hop-off travel package including, luxury coach travel with Greyhound Australia.
    You can even choose "package deals" with them, which are valid for travel in one direction between two pre-selected destinations. They include a range of tours, accommodation and more.
    It's a good and easy way to go up the eastern coast from Sydney to Cairns.

    There is lots of information on their page, so check out this website.
    http://www.ozexperience.com/

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

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    Coffs Harbour gem

    by iandsmith Written Aug 27, 2013

    Favorite thing: The map was as confusing as it was illuminating. The main road up from Coffs Harbour was a barely discernible stub in washed out colour so it took me some time to actually realise where I was; there being no “you are here” signage on the poster board.
    Eventually I figured I should head down to the Bucca Creek Picnic Area, park the motorhome, and trek uphill through the forest and return via the main road. As I later worked out, it’s not something those without a sense of space should attempt.
    By the time I reached Swans Road I assumed that had to be where I turned left but, there was no sign indicating the aforementioned picnic spot and the overhanging tree branches were a little too close for comfort with the motorhome’s tall profile so I returned to the main road and went further west until it became obvious that Swans Road had, in fact, been the correct road. So I returned, parked just off the main road and headed towards a creek somewhere and, lo, there was the picnic spot, set in a delightful spot beside the rushing water.
    I tarried a short while and then turned upstream on the forest track. When I stopped for a moment the peace of the rainforest immediately enveloped me. I could literally hear leaves falling, the stream gurgling and the whoop of the pigeons yet, combined, they conveyed an air of calmness and transmitted a feeling of wellbeing that nature lovers understand.
    The vegetation was impressive. High above the piccabeen palms that dipped their numerous toes into the water rose massive eucalypts. Stands of pristine white flooded gums stood out in the dark understory and then rose to meet the sumptuous blue of the winter’s sky. Elsewhere ancient figs had long ago strangled the life out of their hosts and made their own contorted presence felt in a jig saw of roots that twirled upwards to the canopy whilst on the floor their defeated hosts and other fallen giants rotted beneath mossy sheets.
    I trudged on over the carpet of decaying leaves and fingers of roots. The occasional vehicle roared by on the nearby road, sometimes within eyeshot, at other times invisible. I saw evidence that a logging road had once been a part of this vibrant bushland and recalled how, just down the road from where I parked, there had been a recent clear fell, a reminder of how man has used and abused the natural order of things for millennia past.
    The creek named Bucca had numerous pools with reflected images of the adjacent flora and tempting clear waters for a summertime dip. Here and there the waters were broached by vine encrusted logs, many of which had been toppled earlier in the year during a violent storm and now lay, awaiting their crop of fungi, lichen and mites as they decomposed to become nutrients for the next generation.
    I suddenly heard the sound of crashing nearby and was gripped by fear as I recalled the number of people killed by falling trees. Luckily it was only a large palm frond heading earthwards but the noise belied its relatively small size. It had caused me to look up momentarily though and soon after I was admiring the abundant birds nest ferns and staghorns flourishing just below the upper branches.
    Then I was at an intersection. It indicated two trails going one way or apparently I could keep going in the same direction. Since they weren’t named, only colour coded, I really had no idea and just stuck with the one closest the road and carried on until it veered away and downhill while the road went the opposite way and uphill. After 10 minutes it curved back again and allayed my growing concerns. Then it started climbing steeply until a set of stairs and collapsed railings heralded the end of the hike.

    Fondest memory: The substantial railings had been washed away during the deluges of early 2013 and were still awaiting repair. I stepped out onto the road and hoped to thumb a lift back to the motorhome but my luck was out this day.
    I was glad in hindsight because then I might never have noticed the Vincent Tree. When we visited late in 2012 the gum tree stood proud and nearly 70 metres tall; now it was but a remnant of its former self; the crown and all but one branch had collapsed and cleared the forest floor all around the base and the plaque with its history was much overgrown with Spanish moss so as to be undecipherable.
    Here I tacked into the scrub again to shoot a fallen giant that had broken its back across the river. Another 2 dozen shots later it was almost all over; the motorhome was just another 10 minutes down the road and soon I was aboard and thinking about what I would do the next time I visited as I headed back home down what used to be the route of the tramway that took the timber to a harbourside mill that burnt down in 1914.

    Related to:
    • Jungle and Rain Forest
    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Need Some Cash in Hand?

    by wise23girl Updated Jun 7, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Cash in Hand...Using ATMs

    So you meed to know where to look for a safe withdrawal of cash and by what name to ask if you cannot find one...in Australia we call the little beasts Automatic Teller Machines (ATMS) where as you might be used to Bankomet...or Cash Machine.

    Be aware of how much you can withdraw in a 24 hour period (usually 12mn to 12mn but be aware of Daylight Saving Time between states)
    And there are times when the machines are empty...waiting for a refill...so do not leave your withdrawal till the last minute especially in out of the way places and we do have out of the way places in Queensland and Australia.

    Probably the most widely accepted cards world wide are Visa and Mastercard...but look for the insignia that matches your card Cirrus or Maestro for example.

    Cash withdrawals are not free nor is currency conversion but you are better to be safe than sorry. Cashpassport cards are an even safer if more expensive option.

    You will find automatic teller machines in Shopping Malls...near banks, in the main street of a town in the CBD, at garages, at casinos but outside the gaming area,....and just recently I saw a portable one at a Saturday market....see photo

    I prefer one at MY bank but that is not possible for you.

    Fondest memory: Do obey the rules
    Choose an ATM in as safe a location as possible - a hotel lobby, airport lounge or well-lit shopping area would be best.
    If it's night time, don't go alone. If anyone acts suspicious, head for the nearest police station or crowded area (you can call from there). In fact, I wouldn't advise going to an ATM machine alone at any time of day.
    Most ATMs work the same way: put in your card, enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN), choose your currency and amount, take your money, and take your receipt. Sometimes, your card comes back first and in others, it is returned after your money is dispensed. Beware of this, and don't leave without your card!
    Shield your PIN number from everyone around you - just as you would do at home.
    Memorize your PIN - don't keep it on a piece of paper with your money, and don't keep it with your card, whatever you do!
    Write down the emergency phone number for stolen cards and keep it separately. If your card is eaten (by the ATM), lost or stolen, report it immediately.

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    AUSTRALIA ON A TOUR

    by balhannah Updated Feb 20, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: This tip is in reply to a Travel Forum Question wanting to know about website for tour companies in Australia.

    You shouldn't have a problem with Australian companies as they are reputable from the cheapest to the most expensive.
    Tour companies catering for young ones are.
    OzXposure more adventure and fun
    http://www.letstrekaustralia.com/
    Contiki tours
    http://www.contiki.com/destinations/australia/tours

    The below are a mix of tours, some for just one particular state.
    http://www.adventuretours.com.au/
    http://www.aptouring.com.au/Destinations/Australia
    http://www.aatkings.com/
    http://www.caseytours.com.au/
    http://www.topdeck.travel/australia
    http://www.oztourism.com.au/
    http://www.adelaidesightseeing.com.au/

    I come from Australia, so if you want to peruse my pages for areas you may like, this is the link
    http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/m/fa47c/

    Hope you have a great time in Oz!

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Singles
    • Road Trip

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    ABORIGINAL TOURS

    by balhannah Written Feb 11, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: In answer to a forum question on Australian tours, I came across the tour.
    EXPERIENCE ABORIGINAL AUSTRALIA
    http://www.aboriginalaustralia.com.au/

    I thought it was good that there are tours for those who want to experience Aboriginal culture and meet the people.

    This is the first Aboriginal tour I have found, there may be more. As far as I know, this is just developing.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Arts and Culture

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    AUSTRALIA'S GREAT TRAIN JOURNEYS

    by balhannah Written Feb 9, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Generally Train travel in Australia is simalary priced to other countries.
    My husband and I have done "special" scenic train trips around the world, and found they are usually more expensive........Well, in Australia it is the same.

    What I like here, is the FREE BOOKLET which is obtainable from some Tourist Information Centres.
    I think they may probably mail one to you if you rang the number.

    I thought it an excellent publication, for not only does it give details on each Train journey, but it includes the sightseeing from a 4 hour tour, and up to a 13day 12nights package tours.

    It covers journeys by the
    INDIAN PACIFIC -------- Sydney - Perth via Adelaide or the opposite way
    THE GHAN ------------- Adelaide to Darwin " " " "
    THE SOUTHERN SPIRT- Adelaide to Brisbane via Melbourne " " " "
    THE OVERLAND-------- Adelaide to Melbourne " " " "

    So, if you are planning one I these trips, I recommend the following book to you!

    To book your Rail Journey, call Great Southern Rail
    Package bookings 1300 132147
    Rail only bookings 132147
    Website.... www.greatsouthernrail.com.au

    Related to:
    • Trains

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    Our States and Territories.

    by wise23girl Updated Feb 1, 2013

    5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: ....................................photos:......... Border patrol ;.... Queenslanders...........................

    STATES OF AUSTRALIA

    Read on for an overview of each of our states and territories written December 2012.....

    "The states and mainland territories of Australia combine to make up the world's sixth-largest country by total area. Australia comprises six states and various territories; the Australian mainland is made up of five states and three territories, with the sixth island state of Tasmania to the south of the mainland. In addition, there are six island territories, known as external territories, and Australian Antarctic Territory.
    All states and two of the three internal territories have their own parliaments and administer themselves; all remaining territories are administered by the federal government, but with Norfolk Island having some degree of self-government"

    Australian Capital Territory
    Australian Capital Territory(Territory not a State), is the youngest of the Australian States and Territory legislatures. It is the home of the capital of Australia, Canberra....and thanks to wabat you now know that Canberra is The Bush Capital

    New South Wales
    New South Wales is home to Sydney one of the world's most beautiful cities. Known asTHe Harbour City. The state's boundaries extend from the sub tropical northern border with Queensland to the more temperate Victorian border and to South Australia. You will have heard of Sydney Opera House and The Sydney Harbour Bridge
    In NSW you will find a little place called Gunnedah known as The Koala Capital of the World and Scone famous as the The Horse Capital of Australia.
    And from wabat I learn that the town called Young is the The Cherry Capital...not to forget Broken Hill out there in the west and called The Silver City

    Northern Territory known as The Top End
    The Northern Territory (Territory not a State), capital Darwin which was bombed in World War2. Famous for Uluru, formerly known as Ayres Rock and bordered by Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia.

    Queensland... The Sunshine State
    Queensland is straddled by the Tropic of Capricorn. Brisbane, the Capital and one of the fastest growing cities in Australia. From Brisbane you can easily visit The Gold and Sunshine Coasts
    Visit my State of Queensland page
    According to tropicrd any place in Queensland is "God's Country" and of course we are banana benders

    South Australia
    South Australia has many attractions attractions . Its capital, Adelaide, is known as 'The City Of Churches'... ..and the people are sometimes called Crow Eaters

    Tasmania
    Tasmania the 'Apple Isle' possess magnificent lakes, mountains, beaches, rivers, waterfalls, and so much more. Richmond, Tasmania has the oldest existing bridge in Australia built in 1823. In the past Tasmania was sometimes missing from some maps and the people made sure this no longer happens

    Victoria...The Garden State
    Victoria is the smallest and most densely populated state in Australia. Melbourne the Victorian capital, dominated by trams, is a mixture of old European elegance and new-world style.
    The town of Ballarat in Victoria is fondly known as The Rat

    Western Australia
    Western Australia is the largest of all Australian states. Perth, "City of Lights, enjoys a Mediterranean climate and is surrounded by beautiful gardens and reserves which contrast with the Outback terrain lying beyond them.
    The people are known as Sandgropers

    Now learn about Hutt River Province surrounded on all sides by Western Australia.

    Do have a look at our The_Downunder_Mob page for Top Things To Do in Australia state by state and territory.

    Fondest memory: Territories of Australia....

    Australian Capital Territory ....see previous list

    Northern Territory ...see previous list

    Jervis Bay Territory....on the mainland of Australia
    The Jervis Bay Territory (JBT) y, approximately 200 kilometres south of Sydney by road.

    Christmas Island
    Christmas Island is located in the Indian Ocean 380 kilometres south of Java and 2650 kilometres north-west of Perth.

    Cocos (Keeling) Islands

    The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are located in the Indian Ocean 2950 kilometres north-west of Perth kilometres

    Ashmore and Cartier Islands

    Coral Sea Islands
    The Coral Sea Islands Territory is made up of the islands situated in an area of approximately 780,000 square kilometres of the Coral Sea extending from the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. .

    Australian Antarctic Territory

    Heard and McDonald Islands

    Norfolk Island
    Norfolk Island (NI) is situated in the Pacific Ocean about 1600 kilometres north-east of Sydney 3455 . To the south are two small, uninhabited islands: Nepean and Phillip.

    Indian Ocean Territories

    ALERT If you enjoyed this you will surely enjoy Mottos, Catch Phrases,and Slogans on My Queensland page

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