Month long trip to Australia

Feb 1st, 2010, 07:17 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3
Month long trip to Australia

Hello all!
I am looking for some advice on an upcoming trip my friend and I are going on in November 2010. We are both pharmacy students and have arranged one of our 4th year rotations (like an internship for 4 weeks) right outside of Melbourne, Australia. We will be leaving the US on October 28th most likely, and will probably have to go straight to Melbourne, since we are leaving from the East Coast of the US, and will have to start work on November 1st. I have been to Australia before for 2 and a 1/2 weeks in 2007, but my traveling buddy has never been. I spent lots of time in Sydney, a few days in Melbourne, drove the Great Ocean Road, visited the Gold Coast, and went to Cairns to visit the Reef on my previous trip. This time I really would like to see Uluru and Perth, and of course we would need to visit Sydney again because my friend has never been there and because it is such an amazing city! The problem is that we will have to work at least Monday- Thursdays at the internship and will only be able to travel on the 4 weekends of November.
So question # 1 is: If you had to choose four destinations to spend a weekend in Australia where would you choose?
Secondly, we need (affordable!) housing for a month near Tullamarine (right outside of Melbourne to the NW? I think). We have considered staying in a hostel for the entire month because of the opportunities to meet people, but this will add up and be pretty pricey. Question #2 is: Does anyone know of any other housing options that would be more affordable that would be available for a month?
Lastly, we have to return to California for a conference around December 7th, so we will have approximately a week to travel around after the internship is over. We both would love to visit Thailand AND New Zealand but doubt we should split this extra week between the two. Question #3 is: If you had an extra week to travel around the Pacific/Australia, where would you go? Should we spend it in Australia since we only have weekends open? Or should we go to one place such as New Zealand, Thailand, Fiji, etc.? Or split the week between several places (if we can afford the airfare)?
Thanks in advance!
starshapedleaves is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 825
Tullamarine is the location of the airport and is about 25mins. on the freeway from the Central Business District. This is a good agency if you are looking for an apartment.
Sydney would make an ideal weekend also in Victoria I would suggest the Great Ocean Road with a couple of nights at Lorne or Apollo Bay. Daylesford, Bendigo and the Goldfields area is another thought. The Outback and Uluru are really too far to go for a weekend and I would suggest that visit during your extra week.
DownUnder is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,018
4 Weekends away

1 Tasmania, fly to Launceston and hire a car to take you to Cradle Mountain

2 Adelaide and the Wine County (Melnq8 has a excellent trip report on this, search using the box above).

3 Victoria Alps--very lovely in Spring and Summer

4 Mornington Peninsula or another coastal area of Victoria
Susan7 is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 03:27 PM
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A Melburnian might like to comment, but living anywhere near Tullamarine and having a convenient, enjoyable time in Melbourne seem mutually exclusive. The airport is situated in outer suburbia and about what you'd expect from most airport locales. Apart from longer-term house rentals and airport hotels I can't think of anything at all.

Unless I'm missing something it's also a long way from any university campuses - which university are you looking at? You may like to check their website for short-term accommodation options.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 06:40 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Neil is right, sadly, about Tullamarine!

So,with apologies to anyone who lives there:

Tullamarine (Tulla to the locals) is a not very attractive suburb divided by a lot of wide freeways, with light and heavy industry, and frankly pretty boring new housing estates.

Hardly renowned for infrastructure, the public transport options are few and far between and as it's about 18k from the centre of Melbourne you'd definately need a car. It's certainly no where near any University's main campus, although there is a very small campus of the Victorian University of Technology about 10 k's away.

In fact there's not much of anything besides the ubiquitous quick build housing estates and of course a large and noisy international airport.It's also on a flat , windy and very hot basalt plain, so the weather is "tough" in the summer and equally bleak in the winter...

I would not choose it for "affordable" student housing.The distances, lack of infrastructure and location on the outskirts of Melbourne make it very dificult to get around and it's hardly a hot bed of fun!

Affordable student housing there would be rare indeed.I don't know what to recommend for such short term stays, but assume you have communicated with your pharmacy contacts? If you let us know where you need to be, someone may be more able to advise...

For example I live in an area in the eastern suburbs renowned for international student housing and with fantastic public transport and very close to a freeway to the City,but I don't know what your chances might be to find somewhere here for such a short term stay and after the school year has commenced. A hostel may be a better, cheaper idea?
Libretto is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2010, 07:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3
Thanks for everyone's input so far! As for the housing situation...we are not going to be associated with any university in Melbourne. The internship is just set up through our university here and the pharmacy there. We didn't choose the site, unfortunately, and we know it's probably not the prime location to have to go work everyday, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit Australia for a month. We know that there aren't too many options around the actual work site and were already prepared to commute from Melbourne to the internship each day, so I guess I should have been more clear about any ideas of where to stay in or around Melbourne for a month. The other problem we have with a hostel is that we will be gone Friday-Sunday each weekend to travel around the country and wouldn't be able to leave any of our stuff behind, so it would be much more convenient to have a apartment for the month or a rented room in someone's house.
Still looking for weekend travel ideas/ideas for the first week of December. Keep them coming guys! You are all a ton of help.
starshapedleaves is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 04:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 49
Re Housing
Accommodation may be available at university halls of residence because our universities are finishing the year in November. Suggest that you check for accommodation at Latrobe University campus at Bundoora (north of Melbourne but reasonably easy access to Tullamarine by car)or Melbourne Uni (in centre of city). There may be some share houses available in Nov when the students have left them to go home for the Xmas holidays. Find on internet search.
I wouldn't recommend Tullamarine area as a place for young people to stay -- better off closer to city where there is more entertainment. You would need a car to get to Tullamarine each day.

Weekend places to visit:
There is plenty to see in Victoria so suggest that you choose a different place each weekend. Not enough time to travel interstate and visit other places because your travel times and getting to airports wll use up your weekend.
Phillip Island penguins - stay overnight at Cowes so that you can be there late
Great Ocean Road - Visit the nearby national parks and go walking
Pt Nepean National Park on Mornington Peninsula - walk to the end
Ballarat (provincial city) - Sovereign Hill
Victoria has a wonderful collection of national parks ranging from the alpine region (Mt Buffalo National Park), rainforest areas, NW Vic desert parks, high-energy coastal parks and extensive beaches as in Wilsons Promontory National Park.
Drive through the quaint little country towns of Victoria
Spend time exploring our City of Melbourne and its culture - wonderful museum and galleries.

If you get bored with all of that, take one of the suggestions from the other respondents and go to Tassie - Fly to Launceston and go via Lake St Clair, Stachan and other beautiful places to Hobart, Port Arthur, Maria Island.
Fly out of Hobart.
olivetta is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2010, 04:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 81
There is so much to do and see in the Melbourne area I agree with others. Enjoy your weekends in the immediate area so you can go home with knowledge of this great part of OZ. On my last trip in March 09, I did day trips to Ballarat (the Gold Mine area) and the Mornington Peninsula. Both were WONDERFUL and I'm sorry my plans did not include time to enjoy several days in both locations (specially the Mornington Peninsula). There are so many wonderful little towns on the Peninsula I could have spent days there. If you must leave the Melbourne area on a weekend, Tasmania is also wonderful. Enjoy your stay!
Bgale is offline  
Feb 10th, 2010, 07:06 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4
I think it's great that you get to do a rotation in Australia. They didn't have anything like that when I was in school. Which school is it if you don't mind my asking. It's very interesting how certain drugs over there that are OTC are Rx here and vice versa.
wrldtravler30 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2011, 10:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 728
sydney, this a year old thread!
Libretto is offline  
Feb 9th, 2011, 01:18 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,518
You could look for house sitting opportunities. Apparently there are lots of sites for this.

Contact Lions and/or Rotary and see if they a have a connection here that could billet you. Likewise if you are in Scouts or Guides.

Perhaps the pharmacist you are going to work for has a spare room, or knows someone who does. Offer to pay of course. The pharmacist probably belongs to Rotary anyway.

You could try a cabin at a caravan park.
Here is one I found on google. I haven't been to it so can't comment on it. But we have stayed in similar places with no problems. There seems to be quite a few caravan parks in the area.
peterSale is offline  
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