Drive Safely in Australia
My plan here is to gather links from all my reviews related to driving in one place so you can find them more easily.
But please remember we drive on the LEFT side of the road and our cars have right hand drive.
Also there are some differences in State laws so if you hire a car do check . We have driven in most states at one time or other without difficulty but just be aware....
Now here are the reviews related to driving:
Driving in the Top End (Northern Territoy)
Mind The Level Crossings
Radar Speed Cameras and Road Rage
Just Mind the Round-a-bouts
Know Your Traffic Lights
Gateway Toll Bridge (Queensland)
Know Your Exit Number (Queensland examples)
And please do go to our group The_Downunder_Mob page and find more information on DRIVING and especially Driving in the Outback - Comprehensive Advice by VT member 1+1.....and with so much more other info about Australia
And the Queensland Traffic GuideRelated to:
- Road Trip
We love train travel and have been on a few train journeys in Australia. So for an overview of what is available, (including a few fun journeys) you might be interested in this link to an album on my profile page.
Train Journeys in Australia....you need to follow this link!
Not mentioned in my write up is Puffing Billy a 2f.6" gauge line opened in 1900. It was one of 5 narrow gauge lines (one horse drawn). Another still operating in part is Walhalla Rail. Puffing Billy runs from Belgrave ...near Melbourne.Victoria.
We have been on The Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin and on The Sunlander from Cairns to Brisbane and on Puffing Billy and The Rattler you will read about here or in the links..
Be aware that some of our services are not frequent nor are they high speed trains. If you are from Europe or Asia you will find train services in Australia much less frequent than in your country. We do have THE TILT TRAIN going north to Cairns from Brisbane.
We do have ordinary every day trains as well in all our States. Trains to the suburbs...trains to the country and some underground city circle trains as well.
Each state has its own system and even different gauge tracks.
I haven't included particular information on local trains but here is some info on Travel in Queensland.
If you find this interesting read more about train history between Queensland and NSW and the different gauges in Queensland and NSW, and of course Victoria.
SPECIAL TOURIST AND MUSEUM INFO
RAIL SERVE gives a comprehensive view of Tourist Rail and MuseumsRelated to:
Brisbane International Airport
Brisbane International Airport is located at The Circuit just outside the city limit. It is the third busiest airport in Australia after Sydney and Melbourne international airports. It has two passenger terminals, i.e. international terminal and domestic terminal. It handles approximately 15 millions passengers annually. You may e-mail to the following address for further information regarding the departure and arrival schedules;- firstname.lastname@example.orgRelated to:
- Family Travel
Brisbane River Cruise
Kookaburra River Queens are popular sight-seeing tour paddle wheelers anchored at Eagle Street Pier along Brisbane River in the heart of the city of Brisbane. They offer among others buffet lunch and dinner cruises with entertainment to private persons, local and foreign tourists. The paddle wheelers were made entirely of Australian timbers between 1986 and 1988. Each of the two paddle wheelers is approximately 30 meter long and can each accommodate between 300 and 400 visitors.
Kookaburra River Queen has been named after a popular Australian bird. The buffet lunch cruise is highly popular with local and foreign tourists. Lunch cruise costs approximately A$40.00 with spectacular view of the city skyline. It is available between 12.30 p.m. and 2.00 p.m. Evening dinner cruise is more romantic as the city along the river bank is beautifully illuminated at night.
Kookaburra River Queens also cater for private functions including wedding receptions, parties, special functions, corporate meetings and conferences. You may e-mail to the following address for booking or more information regarding its cruises:- email@example.comRelated to:
- Family Travel
Swan River Cruise, Western Australia
Take a leisurely cruise between Perth and Freemantle along the Swan River which is the largest river in Perth, Western Australia. This is a popular activity for local and foreign tourists arriving in Perth.
Most Swan River cruise depart from Barrack Street Jetty in Perth and Port Freemantle in Freemantle. A roundtrip lasts approximately three hours and costs approximately US$30.00 per adult without meals. One of the popular cruise operators is Captain Cook Cruises. You may purchase cruise packages which include lunch or dinner.
The boat will cruise along Millionaire's Row where you will be able to witness large mansions, villas and bungalows along the banks of Swan River. The boat will cruise through other areas such as the Lucky Bay, the Freshwater Bay and numerous inlets. Swan River flows directly through the City of Perth.Related to:
- Family Travel
Hop-on hop-off bus, Sydney
An excellent way to explore the city of Sydney and the famous Bondi Beach is by boarding the open top hop-on hop-off double decker bus. The bus departs approximately every twenty minutes. There are approximately 30 stops from downtown Sydney to Bondi Beach. A round trip takes approximately one and half hours. The main stops include such popular tourist attractions as Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay, The Rocks, Town Hall, Botanical Gardens, Darling Harbour, Star City Casino, Parliament House, Aquarium, IMAX and the Central Station. Commentaries are conducted in several languages and you may board the hop-on hop-off bus as many times as you like. Tickets are valid for either 24 hours or 48 hours.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Australia’s main airlines are Qantas and its discount subsidiary Jetstar, and Virgin Blue.
Qantas is mainly a “full fare” airline, but does provide some discount seats. Jetstar was created primarily to match the arrival of Virgin Blue and operates to all major cities except Canberra, plus quite a few holiday destinations: it is very much a ‘budget/minimum service’ airline and operates, at some destinations, from secondary airports. Virgin Blue began as a discount airline and still provides some good discount seats for early bookings, but has moved toward the mainstream airline category: they are noted for their friendly (often humourous) cabin staff. The main regional airline is Regional Express, usually just known as "Rex".
A new discount airline, Tiger Airways is commencing operations within Australia in late November 2007 - it is owned by Singapore Airlines, Ryanair and others, and promises to make a substantial difference to the Australian airline scene. It is based in Melbourne, will connect with discount international Tiger flights, and already is scheduling flights to Canberra, Newcastle, Hobart, and a host of tourist destinations. I expect the State capital cities will be added later.
Unlike many other countries, Australia requires airlines to quote fares within Australia inclusive of all taxes and charges – so the fare you see is essentially what you will be expected to pay (apart from minor “add-ons” such as seat booking fees). In all cases, the best discounts will be obtained by booking on the internet, usually well in advance (NB though, that many discount tickets carry restrictions, such as not allowing changes of bookings).
Here are the links to the airline websites:
Regional ExpressRelated to:
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
The interstate trains of Australia.
There are three famous interstate trains in Australia.
(1) The Indian-Pacific, which runs trancontinentally between Sydney and Perth. The 4 day trip passes Broken Hill, Adelaide, Port Augusta, Cook, and Kalgoolie. Between Cook and Kalgoolie, the I-P travels on a straight section of track 478 km long...the world's longest )
(2) The Overlander, a short run between Melbourne and Adelaide, passing though Ararat, Horsham, Dimboola, Bordertown and Murray Bridge.
(3) The Ghan, which runs from Adelaide to Darwin, by way of Alice Springs. (Note, the Ghan goes between Adelaide and Alice twice a week, but only once a week does it snake on up to Darwin) Between Darwin and Adelaide, the Ghan passes through (in addition to Alice Springs) Tarcoola, Tennant Creek and Katherine.
All three trains offer various levels of service. On all three, sleeper berths are available, bot h in Gold Kangaroo (first class) and Red Kangaroo (coach). The Red Kangaroo sleepers are all singles, whereas the Gold Kangaroo has both single and double sleeper compartments. On the I-P and the Ghan, there is also one Gold Kangaroo Deluxe Cabin, which has a wide lower bed and a 2nd pull down berth, ensuite shower, comfortable chairs, a mini-fridge and a TV. There's also free champagne.
At the lowest end of the pay scale are Red Kangaroo "Day-Night Sleepers". Basically, they're seats that "kind of" recline. If you consider coach class airplane travel to be a good place for sleep, then the Day-Night area is your ticket. :^/
Prices vary a lot, obviously. A Red Kangaroo Day-Night sleeper chair on the Ghan to Alice Springs is about A$215, whereas a gold Kangaroo double compartment is about A$890 per person. If you're lucky and persistent enough to get the DELUXE cabin, add about 25%.
WE rode the Ghan from Adelaide to Alice Springs, and it was truly an adventure. I'm so glad that we chose to ride the rails, rather than to fly. We met so many interesting folks, and just had a ball traveling with a nod to yesteryear. :)
Sydney International Airport
Sydney International Airport is located at Mascot approximately 10 kilometres from downtown Sydney. It is also known as Kingsford Smith Airport. It is the busiest airport in Australia handling approximately 30 millions passengers per year. It is one of the oldest airports in the world. The Sydney International airport has three passenger terminals, i.e. T1 (international terminal), T2 (domestic terminal) and T3 (Qantas terminal). It has three runways.Related to:
- Family Travel
Planes, trains and automobiles
You won’t see a great deal from 10,000 metres, but flying is the most efficient way between Australian cities. I know I keep beating the drum about distances, but consider this. From Melbourne to Sydney is about 900 km by road following the most direct route (allow two days without time for any sightseeing): then it is another 1000 km from Sydney to Brisbane. But Brisbane is only at about the midpoint of the eastern coastline, so you would still be facing another 1700km drive to Cairns!
Maybe you have plenty of time and would like to experience the drive and see the country? That’s a reasonable thing too, just be sure to allow plenty of time for sightseeing and relaxing – too many visitors from overseas are caught unaware by the demands of long drives.
On the other hand, driving from Melbourne to Cairns will take a week, preferably longer. If you add up the accommodation, fuel and hire car costs for that trip, it soon becomes apparent that a discount airfare is very cost competitive and that flying is far more realistic if you have limited time. It’s even further going west to Perth from the eastern States! I’m sorry to say it, but long distance trains in Australia are not really competitive on cost, frequency or travel times.Related to:
- Family Travel
- National/State Park
- Road Trip
car is good
make sure you're prepared, good tyres, radiator not leaking, sparetyres of course if you planning going off the beaten path.4X4 THE choice of transport.
if you do that, make sure enough water, food, and tell someone what your up too..then you'll be fineRelated to:
- Road Trip
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.
Others companies are to name a few, there probably are a lot more.................
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.Related to:
- Road Trip
Virgin Blue Airlines...the new kid in Oz' skies
Most informed travellers are well-informed regarding Virgin Atlantic Airlines, and their mercurially brilliant owner, Sir Richard Branson. Sir Richard has an enterprise going in the skies Down Under as well, going by the name "Virgin Blue".
Virgin Blue is a discount airline. You will basically be taken from point A to point B, per your ticketed request. There's no FREE cabin food or drink service. You buy what you want....or if you're smarter, you BRING what you'd like to eat on board.
No complaints on the food thing, though. The cabin crews are very attentive and friendly....and they appear to be well trained. They're a little more likely to "loosen up" a bit with you as well. Defining the difference between Qantas and Virgin Blue cabin crews is kind of like comparing a prima ballerina (Qantas) to Vegas showgirl (Virgin Blue). Both can dance, but the show girl is much less regimented. Whereas the Qantas crews are very NICE, the Virgin crews are very friendly. See the difference?
Virgin Blue has fewer amenities than Qantas, but their fares are lower. And, they've absolutely embraced the computer age. It's that adult versus teenager playing the video game analogy again. Summing up Virgin's superiority over Qantas in the game of electronic travel, let's just say this..... Virgin Blue airlines has probably NEVER owned a typewriter. : )
Virgin sells only e-tickets, and the best place to buy them is on the website, www.virginblue.com.au
There are three different categories of pricing. There IS no business or first class, the price differences come from ticketing flexiblity....ie can you get a full refund, can you make changes, etc. Just read the descriptions of the various classes of ticket on the website.
And, for domestic travel in Australia, I'd go with Virgin Blue ANYTIME that their schedule meets your needs. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip from Sydney to Adelaide.
Also, I like the little "flying babe" art and names on the front of the planes. I think our plane was called the "Moochie Maroony". :)
Qantas (aka the "Red 'Roo"), the national airline
Almost all knowledgeable travellers are familiar with Qantas, the Australian national carrier. The sleek white planes with the red and white kangaroo tail (hence, the "red 'roo") tails are a common site in the world's great airports.
Traveling to and from Australia is Qantas' forte. Who could possible BE more or KNOW more Australia than Qantas? From the moment you step on board, you KNOW you're in Aussie hands. Even the seat belt announcements sounded like Aussie speak.
......and please keep your seat belts done up right, low and tight. : )
Qantas is a world airline, and their reputation is solid and well-deserved. Many in the airline world know that in their entire history, Qantas has NEVER had a passenger fatality due to an accident. (And I hope I never have to edit this tip, either.) Qantas planes are new and well-maintained. Crews are well-trained and professonal.
The only negative I will say about Qantas is this.... sometimes, I think they're still a little uncomfortable with the new world of airline travel. Many of the OLD things Qantas does are great....they still give you food and drinks on almost every flight. They give you nifty gift packs and such. And, they treat you with very attentive service. But..... they still have paper tickets in their arsenal. Sure, they do e-tickets, too. But, God help you if THEY think they've issued a paper ticket and YOU think you have an e-ticket. Let's just say that we had some anxious moments in the Los Angeles airport on June 15th. : )
In many ways, Qantas reminds me of an adult playing a video game. They may become good at playing, but they just don't have the knack that the kids have. Qantas sometimes seems this way with their computers and web approach. Just MHO.
But, I recommend flying Qantas. They're excellent.
Flying Virgin?? Hit the Blue Room.
If you're flying Virgin Blue Airlines (see tip), you might want to ask about "The Blue Room" at the larger airports in Oz. The Blue Room is Virgin's version of the private exec club room. (You know, like the Delta Crown Room, the US Air Club, American Airlines' Admiral Club, etc.) Some people have memberships in this Blue Room thing, based on paying a yearly fee, etc.
But, you are also welcome to enter for the totally reasonable fee of A$5. For this price, you'll get a comfortable and quieter place to sit, video games for the kids, laptop ports, free snacks, reasonably priced sandwiches and beverages and even a masseuse.
So at the risk of being risque, if you're riding the Virgin in Oz, you might want to swing into the Blue Room, too.
22 Central Avenue, Manly, 2095, Australia
Good for: Couples
A luxurious setting, conveniently close to the city centre without the hubbub. You can have it both,...more
Panoramic city views are breathtaking from this ideal location on the famous South bank Promenade....more
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