Budget accomodations?

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Sep 29th, 2003, 06:18 AM
  #1
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Budget accomodations?

We are 5 friends (all males) from our days at the university and we are doing our last trip together (as bacherlors). We will be visiting Australia for 18 days including Sydney, Cairns, Alice Springs and Uluru and Melbourne next month (between october 17 and november 5). We are travelling from Guatemala so our airline tickets are very expensive, so we are thinking in budget accomodations to compensate this costs. We would like to stay in hostel tipe accomodations for this purpose. If anyone can give us reccomendations on where to stay we would be gratefull. We have already some options and would like to know how good these are.

Sydney- Sydney Central YHA
Cairns- Cairs Central YHA
Alice Springs- dont have one yet
Uluru- Emu Walk
Melbourne- Queensberryhill YHA

thanks in advance for your help,

Edgar

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Sep 29th, 2003, 07:22 AM
  #2
 
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Hi, Edgar G!
As far as Sydney goes, you have been well-advised: the Sydney Central YHA is about the best hostel in Sydney, as it's well-located near Sydney Terminal Station, and it's in a quaint old building which has been nicely-restored. There is also a great YHA at Katoomba, and a beautifully-located hostel (not sure if it's a YHA) right at the wharf in Manly. You'd enjoy staying in all three, I am sure.
If you want to save money right from the word "go", learn NOT to eat in restaurants, but descend on the supermarkets (there are two underneath the station at Town Hall, one above Wynyard Station, and another on the corner of George and King Sts) and shopping-centre eateries just before closing time, when often the hot foods are reduced to half price. There's a good multi-booth eatery under Centrepoint Tower where, from around 5 p.m., you can get a plate of food for $4. There are two below-ground-level eateries in Chinatown (only four minutes' walk from the Central YHA)which also reduce their prices after the busy hour, and (in one case) allow you to fill your plate as high as you want for $6. For a splurge, hop a train to the suburbs and go to one of the Clubs: RSL or Leagues clubs, where, on some nights, you can keep coming back, until you are so heavy you can't walk, to a marvellous array of main courses and scrumptious desserts for $10 - $11. You can get by on the one meal a day from a place like this. The Blacktown RSL is particularly good for this, though it's a forty-five minute train ride from the city -- best chosen if you've already bought a Daytripper pass for $13.40 and you need to use it up after dark.
When you arrive at the airport, don't get the train ($10 each for a short ride to the city!) or a taxi (they won't take five of you, unless you get one of the big ones that slap you with a hefty surcharge), but grab the normal government blue-and-white bus (Route 400, I think)to Bondi Junction. It costs about $2.70, and from there you can catch the subway into Central Station (that's where you alight for the YHA) for around two dollars. Or, if you arrive early in the morning and you plan to start seeing the sights right away, ask the bus driver for a Daytripper Pass. This costs $13.40 and is good for all trains, government buses and ferries. Spend as much as it as you are able on the ferries; they're a great bargain, as you can do four or five trips a day, and it's a great way to see Sydney Harbour. You can even get a weekly pass -- I think it's $34 -- but I don't think bus drivers can sell you this, so it's not something to worry about on your first day.
Movies in Sydney are VERY expensive, but Tuesday (and sometimes Monday) is Bargain Day, when tickets go for the (still-steep-but-less-outrageous) price of $8.50. If you want to go to the Opera House, turn up a couple of hours before the performance and ask where to stand for last-minute returns or standing room tickets. You can also sometimes buy Limited Vision tickets cheap, although I must admit that I don't hear about these nearly as often as I used to, so I suspect the Opera House's policy nowadays is that all seats have good vision (which is, frankly, not so).
And if you can't afford a Bridge climb, the walk across the Bridge is free and the view is still great.
Have a great time!
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Sep 29th, 2003, 08:21 AM
  #3
 
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Hi Edgar_G,

There are a number of backpacker style accommodations in Alice Springs, the most centralised and the biggest is the Melanka Lodge and considering that you are a party of 5 guys then I think the Melanka is probably the best for you. It has its own nightclub and is basically next door to Bojangles saloon and restaurant.

Cheers

Paul_S
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Sep 29th, 2003, 08:33 AM
  #4
ALF
 
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The Ayers Rock campground at Yulara has a small number of cabins available, which are quite nice and rather economical for 5 people. You will need to book in advance, as the go pretty quickly.
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Sep 30th, 2003, 06:32 AM
  #5
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thanks for the ideas. Does anyone have a recomendation for Melbourne?
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Oct 3rd, 2003, 01:07 PM
  #6
 
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Just a reminder - Rugby World Cup is on at this time (I'm not sure how big Rugby is in Guatemala - they don't have a team playing). Sydney and Melbourne, especially, may be affected. Accommodation prices may be higher, although I'm not sure how this will affect YHA's. We're hoping for a lot of tourists (and a repeat win for Australia!)
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