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Is living in Australia for a year so lots of travel reviews coming your way! Trying to read and rate as much as i can xx

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since 11/09/2003


General: Western Australia 04/07/2012

West is Best - the real Australia

General: Western Australia Most people tend to head to the East Coast of Australia but I am a strong believer that the west is best! Embarking on a epic adventure from Perth to Darwin, myself and three friends hired a 4 Wheel Drive and camping gear and set off for a month of amazing sights and experiences. Perth is a great city, much quieter than the other cities in Australia. It has a very charming and quaint feel to it and The Botanical Gardens are a must - offering great views over the city. Heading out of Perth we joined the aptly named ‘One High Way’, and found that the West Coast really is just one long road with driving distances between each sight very stretched out. You will drive about 6 hours a day and may not pass any vehicle in this time. It is important to make sure that you stay stocked up on food, water and of course fuel! I would also advise letting someone know the route you plan to take and how long you expect to stay in each place to ensure you stay safe. Our first stop on the High Way was at The Pinnacles, these are hundreds and thousands of limestone pillars around 4 meters in height. It really is a remarkable sight. You pay a small fee to drive around the national park and this takes a minimum of 2 hours. After this we headed to one of my personal favourites, Monkey Mia; we stayed at the Monkey Mia Resort which is a lovely getaway complete with pool and attractive grounds. The main attraction is the early morning dolphin feeding. For years a family of dolphins have been making ...

Darwin YHA, Darwin 16/06/2009

Bit of luxury for only $20 a night!

Darwin YHA, Darwin Darwin YHA Darwin YHA is in central Darwin walking distance from all the bars and restaurants. Rooms: We were very pleased with our room at the Darwin YHA, 6 bed female dorm room which came with its own fridge and en-suite bathroom. Bunk bed styles the beds where comfortable, Air conditioning was amazing and defiantly a necessity as it was so hot in Darwin. It was great to have our own fridge in our room as it meant we could have cold water any time we wanted and keep our entire food safe in the room. The En-Suite bathroom was also a luxury, it really made a huge difference for getting ready, no more having to walk down the corridor in a towel etc.. Facilities: This hostel had a great pool area, the pool it self was quite big and always very popular as it was so hot, around the pool area where plenty of loungers and picnic tables, this area was popular both during the day and night. The kitchen here is very small yet it never seemed to be busy which was good, one of the things I liked the most at this hostel was the fact that they also two sets of hobs and a BBQ Hot Plate outside. This was fantastic as in the hot weather it is so much nicer to cook in the open air. The TV Room is located on the 2nd floor and has some comfy couches for you relax on, DVD Hire is available from reception, and you just have to give a $20 deposit. This hostel also has a bar attached but we didn’t frequent it as their where many more bars and clubs to visit ...

Kimberly Klub YHA, Broome 16/06/2009

Hot Noisy Sweaty Nights

Kimberly Klub YHA, Broome Broome YHA – The Kimberly Klub Broome YHA is located in central Broome, walking distance from the town centre, it is about 20 minuets from the famous Cable Beach but the hostel to offer a free mini bus service to and from the beach. Rooms: Having stayed in YHA Hostels before I have to say we where a little disappointed when we saw the room, we opted for 10 bed dorm room this time to save some money but as it turned out we were the only ones in the room anyway which was a good thing. The bad things were that we had no real air conditioning apart from a fan which didn’t really help at all, it was very hot and humid in Broom and all the fan was doing was pushing the hot air around. Noise was also a real issue in the hostel, all of the big dorm rooms are next to each other and the walls in-between do not reach the top of the ceiling so you can see over into the next room and of course hear everything. We really struggled to sleep do to the noise and the intense heat. The bathrooms were ok, clean but not the nicest I have experienced. Facilities: The kitchen in this hostel was far too small for the amount of people staying and the heat in the kitchen area with everyone cooking was unbearable, we ended up eating out two of the thre nights we stayed. Like most YHA’s there was a bar and café so we treated ourselves to an $8 meal of Bangers and Mash, it was good. The TV room in this hostel was really nice with a big screen and great big comfy chairs ...

Perth City YHA Backpackers Hostel, Perth 15/06/2009

Great Hostel - Get what you pay for!

Perth City YHA Backpackers Hostel, Perth Perth City YHA Perth City YHA is in a great location, walking distance from the main shopping area and bars and restaurants. Railway and Bus services are close by. Rooms: Dorm rooms are available from 4 – 10 Bed, we opted for a 4 bed dorm room so that we could all stay together, and the room was a good size with two bunk beds. All linen is provided, lockers are available for use in the rooms but you will need your own padlock. The hostel had an overall feeling of cleanliness which was great and the female bathrooms where very nicely kept. We had been warned previously that this hostel could be noisy and that you can hear the trains going by at the railway, but we are pleased to say we never heard a thing. Facilities: The kitchen at this hostel has to be one of the biggest I have seen; there are also ample food storage places. If you can’t be bothered to cook then the hostel has it’s own bar/café down stairs. The food is very reasonable and they have different specials every day. This hostel also provides two TV/DVD rooms for you to relax in, also a reading room with a book swapping shelf. Outside is a large BBQ area and pool side, the pool is a great size and fantastic for cooling off in, the pool area also has a supply of sun loungers and picnic tables. One night we decided to join the hostel for a BBQ, this was $10 and the food was great, one large piece of steak and 2 Hot Dogs as well as several different salads. Internet: The ...

The Whitsunday Islands 11/06/2009

Paradise on Water

The Whitsunday Islands The Whitsundays The Whitsundays is one of Queensland’s main attractions, sailing around the idyllic 74 islands, White Haven Beach being the largest island is the most popular to see, snorkeling with turtles and watching the sunset out at sea what more could you want. Sailing trips depart from the main land, at a place called Airlie Beach; you will need a night before and a night after you sail in Airlie Beach. Airlie Beach: Airlie Beach is a gorgeous beach town; it is not a big place but has a lot to offer, various accommodations, bars, restaurants and a few shops. One of the beast things about Airlie Beach is the man made lagoon which is free for the public to swim in. It is beautifully laid out with palm trees and lush green areas for sun bathing on. Also the Airlie Beach nightlife is pretty pumping as many people bind whilst out on the sailing trips and of course want to carry on the holiday back on dry land. Accommodation: Airlie Beach has various accommodations for all prices ranges, for the budget traveler there are many hostels to choose from. Many offer very low rates but here is a word of warning for you, CHEAP HOSTELS HAVE BED BUGS! In my opinion it is worth paying a bit more to stay in the Airlie Beach YHA one of the only hostels known for NOT having BED BUGS. Also make sure that your accommodation offer luggage storage as you will be restricted with the amount that you can take on board the boats with you. Types of Boat: Again ...

Noosa Heads Break, Australia 11/06/2009

Nudes in Noosa

Noosa Heads Break, Australia Noosa Heads Noosa is a great place to stop and relax for a couple of days in-between Fraser Island and Brisbane. Noosa is known for its pristine beaches and for its amazing National Park which takes you along the coastline. National Park: The National Park is a definite must see, not only will you be getting to see some wonderful vegetation but also some stunning views of the coastal line. There are a number of different walks available all ranging in ability. I did the costal walk which took about 4 hours, this was very easy and well sign posted, the views where stunning as you can see from my photos. Part of the costal walk takes you over a beach, now here is a warning for you; this beach is in fact a nudist beach! I had no idea when I did the walk and I have to say I did have quite a shock, especially when I lost my way and had to stop and ask for directions. Everglades: Why not take a cruise on the Noosa River Everglades, day cruises include a BBQ Lunch and start from $69. Australia Zoo: Noosa is a great place to visit the Australia Zoo from as you can catch a courtesy bus to and from the park. Other activities: Noosa has a wide range of activities available, Kayaking, Surfing to bike riding, so for the more adventurous among you there are plenty of things to keep you entertained. Conclusion: Noosa is a really tranquil place to relax and unwind, the East Coast is full of commotion with so much going on so if you want to ...

Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort, Denham 04/06/2009

Magical Monkey Mia Dolphin Experince

Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort, Denham Monkey Mia Beach Resort The Monkey Mia Beach Resort was one of the many highlights on my recent West Coast Adventure; you can either stay at the resort or just visit for the day either way it will be an experience is not be too missed. The Resort: You have a wide range of accommodation choices at the Monkey Mia Beach Resort, from luxury cabins, dorms to camping. As we had our own tents we opted for the camping. At just $52 for 4 of us this was a real bargain as unlike most camp sites the facilities here are amazing. Included in the price is access to the gorgeous outside pool area and private beach front, a large fully equipped kitchen and BBQ area, bathrooms and toilets and washing facilities. The Resort also offers a beach side restaurant if you feel like splashing out or for those on a budget you can also dine at the resort bar/restaurant. We opted for the cheaper option and had a great treat with our $10 seafood basket and chips. The Dolphins: The main attraction at Monkey Mia is its Dolphins. Every morning from 7.30am about 15 – 20 wild Dolphins come into the bay for a free feed. The price to see the Dolphins is only $6 per person and this money goes towards Dolphin Conservation. The Dolphins swim right up to shore and are literally around your feet; it is incredible to see such magnificent creatures so close up. Of course you are not allowed to touch the Dolphins and conservation workers are on hand to ensure that they are not hurt in ...

Melbourne International Backpackers, Melbourne 04/06/2009

Great Central Hostel to see Melbourne

Melbourne International Backpackers, Melbourne The Melbourne International Backpackers The Melbourne International Backpackers is in a great location for the CBD. Located on Elizabeth and Franklin Street, the nearest station is Melbourne Central just 5 mins away and Flinders Street station is only (15 mins away). Rooms: Hostel dorm rooms are available from 4 – 10 bed, these are all priced the same, the winter prices are $24 a night or $143 for a week. You will need to give a refundable $20 deposit for your key card. All rooms are bunk bed style with free linen and blankets, all rooms have a full length mirror and lockers. Social Areas: This hostel has a large kitchen which was part of the appeal for me, clean and tidy with enough pots and pans for everyone. You can get a cutlery box from reception; you just have to make a $20 deposit which you will receive back when you return it. A large walk in fridge is supplied for food storage. This hostel has a large TV/DVD Room on the first floor next to reception; they also have another DVD room on the second floor. DVD’s are available from reception for a $10 deposit. Facilities: Included in the price of your accommodation is also a free breakfast, this is served from 8am – 10am daily down stairs in the bar area. Tea & Coffee toast and cereal is available. Laundry facilities are also available, $3 a wash and $2 for the dryer, you can purchase a Laundry card from reception, you will have to leave a $5 deposit for this. The bathrooms are ...

Serpent Hostel, Cairns, Australia 07/01/2009

Great Hostel with Free Bus service!

Serpent Hostel, Cairns,  Australia Serpent Hostel Cairns I have to admit this hostel was very good value for money, and although it is a bit far out the transport provided by the hostel made it just as convenient. Rooms: I was in a 14 bed dorm room and I have to say it was a real mess, I got the impression that a lot of people staying at this hostel where long term stays so they had stuff scattered everywhere. I understand from others that the smaller rooms with less people where very clean and tidy so perhaps I was just unfortunate. All rooms had air conditioning which is a brilliant as it is very hot and sticky in Cairns. No lockers though. Bath Room: Separate male and female bathrooms are available on every level, they were very clean and pleasant to use, with enough facilities so that queues where not a problem. Kitchen: The kitchen yet gain as in many hostels I have seen is not big enough, very small and crapped for the number of people staying. This being said the food served in the bar is cheap and good. Included in the price of your room is a free breakfast which is served from the bar area. You have a choice of cereal or toast and tea or coffee. This is served between 7am - 9am. In the evenings they always have a different meal of offer for $5 which is very popular, we had burger & chips one night a nd sausage & mash another and it was great value. Transport: This hostel offers a free bus to town every hour in the day time between 10am - 6pm and then again in the evening ...

Fraser Island Retreat, Great Barrier Reef 13/12/2008

Home of the Dingoes

Fraser Island Retreat, Great Barrier Reef Fraser Island. Fraser Island is a very popular destination on the East Coast for backpackers and tourists, many companies offer camping trips and tours to island and you can department from either Rainbow Beach or Hervey Bay. I decided to go for the camping experience, 3 days and 2 nights with a company called Koalas, bookled through Wicked Travel. What is Fraser Island? Fraser Island is a world heritage site, it is 123Km in length and 22 Km at it's widest, and altogether it covers 184,000 hectares. Things to see and do on the Island: Lake Mackenzie - This has to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, gorgeous clear blue waters and perfect white sand. We spent our first afternoon swimming in this delightful lake, posing for the perfect holiday photos to make everyone at home jealous! As there are many of the wild Dingos in this area you are warned not to take any food down to the lake and to only eat in the closed of picnic areas close to the car park. The Dingos are perfectly safe but if provoked they may attack so the best thing to do is follow the rules. Ship Wreck - Fraser Island is famous for ship wrecks and the remains of one of the most famous wrecks The Maheno still remains on the island. On our way back from India Heads we stopped to have a look and it really is a site to see. India Head - From the top of India Heads you will have great views and sometimes you can see sharks and whales swimming in the sea below. ...

Koalas Hostels, Australia 30/11/2008

Not the sort of Koalas you want to meet!

Koalas Hostels, Australia Over my 6 month trip I stayed in many hostels both big and small, some part of a chain and other independent so I feel I have had a far bit of experience now, and I have to say the worst hostels I stayed in where The Koala Beach Resorts on the East Coast of Australia. My Experience: I stayed in 3 of the Koala Beach Resorts while I was in Australia and I have to say they were all pretty much as bad as each other. The most disgusting kitchens I have ever seen, you have to pay deposits for everything which is a real pain and they are renowned for bed bugs. Location: There are several Koalas Beach Resorts up the East Coast, Noosa, Hervey Bay, Airlie Beach Cairns and Daintree. A lot of the accommodation they have is sold as a package including organised tours, this looks like a great deal as it works out so cheap, but believe me you really do get what you paid for, not much. Reception Staff/ Deposits: I was very unimpressed with the staff in all of these hostels, no information was given out to you voluntarily, and you either had to ask or find out from another guest. Deposits are required for everything in these hostels which is a real pain when you are not told when you first arrive. I was informed that I could pay a $5 deposit for a sheet but that they would take $1.50 from that as a charge to wash it so I would only get $3.50 back. None of the other hostels have charged us for washing sheets, and considering it only costs $2 to use the ...

Australia Zoo, Australia 08/11/2008

Amazing chance to meet Australia's Animals

Australia Zoo, Australia If you want to experience the wonderful wildlife that Australia has to offer then a trip to Australia Zoo is a great way to do it! I have to say it was one of the highlights of my trip. The Australia Zoo is very well known as it was created by the wonderful Steve Irwin, Steve has sadly passed away but his good work for conservation is still going on and he is has certainly not been forgotten. Price: Adult Ticket: $52.00 Pensioner Ticket: $41.00 Student Ticket: $41.00 Child Ticket: $31.00 Child is 3-14 years (Child Under 3 FREE!) - Family discounts are also available. Opening Hours: 9-5pm 7 days a week Location: The Australia Zoo is located in Beerwah, this is close to Brisbane but closer to Noosa. Complimentary bus services run from Noosaville, for more information on pick up spots and times please see the Australia Zoo website. The QR Citytrain has a service that runs between the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Beerwah. The Australia Zoo then runs a courtesy coach from Berrwah station to the Zoo. We decided to do a Day Tour to the Zoo, we booked this through our hostel, and you can also book through a travel agent. We went with a company called Croc Connections, the man that runs it used to work at Australia Zoo and is full of information, on the way to the Zoo we got to watch some of Steve Irwin's DVD's which was really interesting and insightful. The driver had thought of everything and even had a cooler with soft drinks in the back that we ...

Coffs Harbour Break, Australia 26/10/2008

Home of the 'BIG BANANA'

Coffs Harbour Break, Australia Coffs Harbour Coffs is a lovely little town that is worth a quick visit, I unfortunately had the most awful weather when I visited so didn't get to do much at all. It did nothing but rain the whole time and we even got flooded in one day with a power cut. On the one sunny day I had on Coffs Harbour I was taken to see the Big Banana, all over Australia they have 'Big' things like the The Big Mango and The Big Shrimp. Coffs Harbour is well known for growing bananas hence the Big Banana. It is also the most well know 'Big Thing' in Australia. We also decided to take a walk up Mutton Bird Island Nature Reserve; this was a nice walk to the top of the hill over looking the sea view. At the right time of year whales can be spotted from this point. As the Island name suggests this s a habitat for Mutton Birds, I did not get to see any that day but I could hear them hiding away. Coffs harbour is also very popular with those who enjoying diving, they offer lots of great days trips including Scuba Diving, rafting, Surfing and Kayaking. Another attraction is the Pet Porpoise Pool where you can pay to swim with dolphins; this costs $ 260 per person. Having seen them in the wild in New Zealand and getting the opportunity to swim with them in the sea for a lot less money the appeal just wasn't their for me. It was nice to stop for a few days to break up the journey from Sydney to Byron Bay but I if you are short of time then you are not missing much. ...

Premier Bus Service, Australia 19/10/2008

21 hour bus journey from HELL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Premier Bus Service, Australia Australia is a very vast country to travel around and there are various options available to backpackers; For those on a short trip with money to burn then internal flights are a good option, if you are travelling in a group then a car or campervan is a great option or if you are alone and have a long trip the hop on hop off buses a great way to get around. I opted for the last option and decided to travel by bus! I had two options Greyhound or Premier Bus. I was originally going to buy a Greyhound pass as I had heard a lot about them and new them to be good but when I got into the travel agents they told be all about Premier Bus. I was informed that the service is just as good as Greyhound just with slightly fewer buses per day and that the price was cheaper, well it sounded like a good deal so I went for it! Sadly it wasn't as great as I had hoped and I was left wishing I had spent the extra money! The 'Slightly Less' service ended up being just one bus a day, so you had no choice you had to get on that one bus. The times of the buses were not great either really early in the morning or really late at night, one bus arrived at it's destination at 2am which is really impractical for booking into a hostel. I was shocked at this especially when some of the travellers are young girls alone just being dropped off in the middle of nowhere. Greyhound however offer a about 5 buses a day all leaving and arriving a different times so you can chose the ...

Kaikoura, New Zealand 12/10/2008

Whale Watching Dream

Kaikoura, New Zealand Kaikora is a beautiful part of New Zealand; it is a great place to get up close and personal with nature. Sadly this lovely place is often missed out of people's itinerary as most fly on from Christchurch and don' have time to take a visit. Whales: The main attraction in Kaikora is the chance to go Whale Watching. Prices vary depending on the company you book with and how long you want to do it for. I decided to go for a two hour whale watching trip, this cost $95. We where taken out on a high speed boat full of whale tracking equipment. During in the 3 hours I am pleased to say we saw two Sperm Whales, it was amazing to see such amazing creatures so close up, and they really are enormous. Sperm whales go under the water to feed and this takes 40 minutes a time they then rise to surface for 15 minutes to breath before flipping their tales and heading down for more food. As this takes to long you are not always guaranteed to get the timing right so we where very lucky. Dolphins: As well as wale watching Kaikora is also a great spot of dolphin spotting and swimming. Again prices vary depending on if you have a full or half day. I did this in the Bay of Islands and can highly recommend the experience. Sea Lions: As well as Whales & Dolphins Kaikora is home to many a Sealion and if you take a walk down to the sea you are bound to see them showing off! Food: If you are fish fan then you will have lots of opportunity to indulge. You can get fresh ...
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