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Trip Report Outrageous food prices in Australia!

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We just returned from a great two and a half week trip 'Down Under.' We stayed in Melbourne, Ayers Rock, up on the Great Barrier Reef and finally, Sydney. We really enjoyed the people and the great spirit of Australia; however no one told us how expensive eating out in restaurants would be!! It even made the evening news while we were there. Everything is ala carte and easily twice what we normally pay for food eating out in the U.S. For example: $24.00 for a hamburger-not a cheeseburger just a plain ol' hamburger with nothing else. Sea food or a steak was $45-$65 a piece-again ala carte- if you wanted a salad that was another $15 (average) plus then something to drink. We figured that if we ate a normal breakfast, sandwich lunch and then a nice dinner, food costs would've run easily $250-$300 a day!! People ask if we bought souveneirs-no, we spent our money on food! We stayed in nice places and bought a box of cereal ($7-$10 dollars and milk for our breakfasts to keep costs down. Our travel agent was surprised when we told her this- she had been in Australia a few years back and said at that time she and her friends feasted on the inexpensive seafood and such-Has that new tax raised everything? What is to blame for these off the charts prices?

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