Getting Around Australia

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    Cruising from and to Sydney

    by globetrott Written Dec 18, 2014

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    Cruising from and to Sydney

    Sydney is in my personal opinion one of the 3 most scenic and perfect cruiseports in the whole wold, togeather with New York and Rio de Janeiro.
    I started in Sydney for a cruise of 14 days to Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu onboard the Dawn Princess, a ship of 77.000 GRT and about 2000 passangers onboard plus 900 Crewmembers.
    When cruising from Sydney your ship will be docked eighter close to the Harbour Bridge (like the ship in my last Picture) , as there is space for 2 large cruiseships between the Harbourbridge and the Opera House plus lots of more spaces for large cruiseships next to Darling Harbour.
    I have read somewhere, that Sydney is the biggest natural port on earth.
    In order to go onboard I have first taken the hop-on&off-bus from Kings Cross to Darling Harbour and from there I took a short walk with my suitcase to the ship.

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    Sydney: The hop-on & Off-bus

    by globetrott Written Dec 18, 2014

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    The hop-on & Off-bus

    In Sydney the Hop-on & Hopp-off-bus is in my personal opinion a perfect way to explore the city and get a first overview of what might be worth to hop off for and take a closer look at. These buses with a hight of about 4 meters above the ground that gives you a different and sometimes unique angle to see the sights of a town.
    And at the end of my stay in Sydney I even took the hop-on & off-bus from my hotel in Kings Cross to Darling Harbour and from there I took an easy and scenic walk to my cruiseship, WHERE else in
    the world can you do that ?

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    What have they done to your Monorail, Sydney ????

    by globetrott Written Dec 18, 2014

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    Somewhere I have read that the Monorail was a " public transport ride without a purpose "
    I enjoyed my rides anyway and I also think that it fitted perfectly into the scenery of the city !
    What a shame the Monorail in Sydney does not exist anymore !!!
    It was built in 1988 and first it was called TNT Harbourlink, lateron: Metro Monorail and as I read now it went out of service in June 30th, 2013 in order to build another convention-centre there !
    The Sydney Monorail was mainly a way of transport for tourists, who wanted to enjoy a great view from above over Darling Harbour and some parts of the towncentre as well.
    In my pictures here you see some of the great constructions that were built in the centre of town in order to make the Monorail run through it. I think these constructions added some great and interesting features to a grown city, it even looked a bit "futuristic" !
    Maybe it did not bring enough money, maybe it did not get enough passangers, BUT I enjoyed seeing and riding it and I think it is a pity it is gone !!!
    The total length of the circuit was just 3,5km and it had 8 stations. The train could just go with 33km/h, as some of the bends were quite sharp and that is also the reason for the short trains that could take just 170 passangers on the total with 56 seats and the rest for standingplaces. The monorail was mostly built in a hight of 5,5 meters or more

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    oldfashioned, wooden bridges

    by globetrott Updated Dec 16, 2014

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    This was the very first wooden Bridge that I had to drive over in Australia and I really was not sure, should I or should I not ? I was driving through the countryside and landscapes of New South Wales, between Harden / Murrumburrah and Boorowa and all of a sudden I came to that oldfashioned wooden bridge and was not really sure if i could get across of it without any damage of my tyres or whatever.
    O also thought that These screws might damage the tyres of my car !
    Well, we european drivers have a different kind of thinking and I also felt a bit responsible for my rentalcar, that I had taken over with tyres that were in a condition that I (or our local police) would never accept them in Europe.
    So I stoped and waited some time for other cars to use that bridge and then I saw the local schoolbus taking that bridge and was sure, I could do it as well ! ;-))

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    rent a vintage-limousine in Canberra

    by globetrott Written Dec 13, 2014

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    This might be a funny idea for a Special Occasion or festivity when you get to Canberra, to Yass or other places closeby: rent a vintage-limousine or both of them !
    I saw 2 of these cars accidentally, when they were used for a wedding-ceremony in the garden of the Old Parliament House in Canberra. Maybe you will have a special event as well or you simply want to explore Canberra in a very elegant and sophisticated way, so you have some contact-details here in my link below ! My favorite would be the Packard Limousine of 1934 that has a capacity of up to 7 seats.
    Or the Buick of 1934 with a capacity of 4 seats.
    I am quite sure that these cars are available only with a driver.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Prices vary from 550 to 650 AUS$ for 3 hours
    A1 Classical Car Rentals
    34 Shumack St - Weetangera ACT 2614 (That is a suburb of Canberra)
    www.a1cars.net.au

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    Drive your own Bathurst 1000

    by globetrott Updated Dec 12, 2014

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    Where else on earth will you be able to drive with your own car around a racing-circuit and that even totally without a Charge : Bathurst 1000 is the Name of the famous annual racing-Event in Bathurst / NSW and during the rest of the year everybody will be able to drive this circuit him/herself, as these are partly just ordinary streets. Speed Limit is 60km/h anyway and they will make radar-controls as well, so be careful !
    I have done this circuit and it was really interesting and I also had some stress, fixing my camera for a Video, while driving...
    There are some great places to enjoy the panorama-view on that racing-circuit as well, after all it is called "Mount Panorama"
    No Need to pay an entrance-fee there, just follow the signposts and start driving the Mount Panorama !

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    trains in Australia

    by globetrott Written Dec 5, 2014

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    When you live in Europe you might be disappointed about this: Trains are in Australia not really an important means of transport for local people or tourists and you will find a lot of trainlines that are used only for transportation of goods and there are only a few trains per day or week. Lots of trainstations are un-manned, and you just might find a ticket-machine and a place, where you can speak with a supervisor over the telephone.
    Dungog was one of the few places that I have seen, that has its own trainstation also ment for the transport of people !
    Below you will find a link to the railaustralia-webpage and more Infos about the main Train-lines in Australia !

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    My motorhome was a "Spacecamper"

    by globetrott Updated Dec 5, 2014

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    "Spacecamper"

    When you want to explore Australia in an easy way renting a car is the best way you can do and you will also save a lot of Money against an ordinary car plus the expenses for Hotels.!
    I rented a so-called "Spacecamper"
    it was a funny experience with some disadvantages of that type of car:
    1) NO moskito-nets at the windows, although their brochures told me something like that in advance. The only part of the car that has moscito-nets is the extra "Rucksack" that you can fix at the rear of the car to gain some extra-space. BUT what is the sense of these nets, when at the same time there is enough space for moscitoes to find a way between the moscitonet and the car to slip in ?
    2) large windows around the car plus 2 large windows on top are a kind of craziness in a hot climate like there: while driving you might have an AC, as soon as you stand you live like in an oven, much too hot to sleep there inside. At around 03.00am it cooles down a bit. Open the windows and you will have the moscitoes inside, keep the windows closed and you cannot sleep because of the heat.
    ---
    The best I can say about this car is : the price is about half of the amount you have to calculate for a real motorhome: I payed 950 Euros for 14 days, an ALL-inclusive Insurance included !

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    Australian Roadtrains

    by globetrott Written Dec 5, 2014

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    Roadtrains

    You will have to share the Australian roads with giant roadtrains and in most cases they had been much faster than I wanted to drive myself through Australia. So I never had the problem how to overtake such a long vehicle, but if you are used to drive faster than 80km/h on these mostly quite lousy roads it will be a steady struggle with these extra-long trucks.
    Mostly the overland-roads will have just 1 track in each direction and maybe a narrow hard-shoulder here or there, BUT as soon as you come to even a tiny village the streets are wide enough for 1 track in each direction for driving plus a wide parking-area on each side of the road for cars that are shorter than 6 meters in length.
    So parking is really easy in every village, and also free of charge.
    I mostly spent the night on such places, somewhere in a sidestreet totally unharmed by local people or police, BUT of course I always stayed inside the car and did never picknick or sit next to the car !
    I think that is essential: stay in your car and you are just another cardriver, sleeping or not !
    When doing a picknick, drive to a picknick-place !!!

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    TRAVEL THE EYRE HIGHWAY

    by balhannah Updated Nov 2, 2014

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    ONE OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST ROAD ADVENTURES

    I'm talking about the Eyre highway that links Port Augusta, South Australia with Norseman, Western Australia via the Nullarbor Plain. It continues onto Adelaide and Perth under a different name. Its length is 1675kms.

    Years ago this road was dirt, today it is sealed and a good road to travel along. Before reaching the Nullarbor Plain, the scenery is crops and sheep.
    Once on the Nullarbor Plain, the world’s biggest single piece of limestone measuring 200,000 square kilometres, it changes to saltbush and Mulga.
    Short detours to the 70metre high cliffs and to the Great Australian Bight to see the Whales between July and October is well worth doing.
    There are cave systems, which are among the largest in the world, longest straight stretch of road in the world – all 146.6km of it, a Museum which is where I saw remnants of Skylab, a former space station that crashed to earth near Balladonia in 1979. Sometimes wild Camels are seen, Kangaroos at dawn and dusk, large Wedge tailed Eagles and Wombats - I only saw their burrows.
    Semi-trailers travel this road a lot, plenty of Grey Nomad Caravanners and a few cars, so not a real lot of traffic in a day.
    There are very few places inbetween so be well prepared with fuel and water so you can enjoy and experience this perhaps "once in a lifetime journey."

    Please click on PENONG TO TAKE A JOURNEY ACROSS THE NULLARBOR PLAIN TO NORSEMAN IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA.

    The journey includes scenic sights, whales, outback Australia and other points of interest.

    Eyre highway - Nullarbor Plain Scenery - Eyre Highway Scenery - Eyre Highway
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    THE LONGEST STRAIGHT ROAD IN AUSTRALIA

    by balhannah Written Oct 17, 2014

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    Do you want to travel the longest stretch of straight road in Australia?

    If you do, you will have to travel to Western Australia along the NULLARBOR PLAIN, between the towns of Caiguna and Balladonia to drive along AUSTRALIA'S LONGEST STRAIGHT ROAD

    Despite using metric measurement for quite along time now, this area is still referred to as "The 90 Mile Straight." In metric terms that translates into 146.6 kilometres.

    It's on this stretch of road where a sign says to look out for wild Camels, Emus and Kangaroos! This means slow down at dawn, dusk and during the night, you wouldn't want to hit one of these!

    90 Mile straight 90 Mile straight
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    CAMPERVAN/MOTORHOME RENTAL

    by balhannah Updated Oct 14, 2014

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    To travel around Australia and to see the sights that are "Off the beaten track" then it is best to hire a Campervan or Motorhomes

    There are many companies that hire these out, and they range from cheap to expensive, and come in all different sizes.

    The cheapest and the roughest is "WICKED CAMPERS," the one Backpackers mostly like.
    Website http://www.wickedcampers.com.au/

    Others companies are to name a few, there probably are a lot more.................

    http://www.britz.com.au/
    http://www.maui.com.au/
    http://www.jucy.com.au/
    http://www.hippiecamper.com/
    http://www.spaceshipsrentals.com.au/
    http://www.travellers-autobarn.com.au/
    http://www.autorentals.com.au/
    http://www.discovery-campervans.com.au/suppliers.php
    http://www.apollocamper.com.au

    Check the websites as they usually show the layout which helps a lot, especially with the number of beds and where they are located. Are they set up all the time, or are they a table during the day and a bed at night. Do you think you would be comfortable sleeping in the double bed area above the cabin - I know we weren't.

    In Australia, you are allowed to free camp in quite a few places. Check the signs in case its says no, and sometimes it will limit the time to 24 or 48 hours a stay.
    Often camping near a city has limits, as the Caravan parks are saying they are losing business through the people that are free camping.

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    LOW COST AIRLINES

    by balhannah Updated Oct 14, 2014

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    Australia does have a few Airlines that offer cheap flights.

    FOR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS, check out
    Air Asia, Jet Star, V Australia, Polynesian Blue, Pacific Blue and Tiger Airways.

    FOR INTERNAL AUSTRALIAN FLIGHTS, check out
    Virgin Blue, Jet Star and Tiger Airways.

    Tiger Airways often has problems and Jet Star has people that will never travel with them again. I haven't travelled with either, only seen the irate people on the Television news. I guess it's a chance you take with any budget airline.

    If you want to book flights at reasonable prices, then
    www.bestflights.com.au
    is the site for you. They also have a list of budget airlines.

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    Air Asia budget flights into Australia

    by angiebabe Written Jul 17, 2014

    fantastic bonus to have Air Asia flying into Australia air space as well as it has managed to keep afloat for a number of years and has a wonderful range of flights and destinations around Asia
    Including places such as Kota Kinabalu!..go see Borneo etc!

    Check out the route map for some excellent ideas!
    http://www.airasia.com/my/en/where-we-fly/route-map.page

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    Country Link

    by Arial_27 Updated Oct 20, 2013

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    Country Link is a railway services operated on the east coast of Australia; New south wales, Queensland and Victoria. I've made two trips with them; one form Sydney to a place called Griffith; an 11 hour commute total, and another from Sydney to Melbourne.

    Make sure you check in your luggage no less than 30 mins prior to the departure. I was a few minutes late, and they refused to take my luggage. It wasnt a problem for me, it just meant I had to carry it onboard with me. But if you're carrying a lot, make sure you give yourself lots of time to check it in.

    The trip itself however, was comfortable; food and drink for purchase and it was nice to see the surrounding scenery.

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