Single Girl Heading to Oz

Jan 13th, 2004, 12:16 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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Single Girl Heading to Oz

I am planning a month-long trip back to Australia this July. I'd like to hit Melbourne, Sydney, the Gold Coast, and the GBR (I would like to become scuba certified while there). I will probably be traveling solo. Any suggestions on itineraries? Where to stay, how to best get from place to place on a budget? I am an energetic, single, 30-year old, and wonder if a backpacker/hostel/bus hopping trip is worth checking into, or are most who do that more in the wild n' crazy 20-year old league? My goal is to have fun, see as much as I can, and meet lots of like-minded people.
LolaWagner is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 01:30 PM
  #2  
 
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It's not just wild and crazy 20 somethings who stay in hostels. I know two Australian couples (one in their 50s and one in their 40s) who have enjoyed staying in Canadian hostels.

I also know a Canadian woman, then in her 60s, and a Canadian family (parents in their late 40s together with children in their early 20s) who have been perfectly happy to stay in Australian hostels. The woman in her 60s got a combined bus-hostel package. The family bought a car, drove around Australia, stayed in hostels, and sold the car when they left.

The Canadian woman now is in her 70s, and has graduated from hostels to 2 star hotels.

I'm in my early 50s, and haven't stayed in hostels myself. I did an Internet search for a Melbourne hostel on behalf of my husband, prior to his recent trip there. He ended up not staying in paid accommodation after all, as he received an invitation from friends of ours to stay with them.

Anyway, to the extent that one can tell these things from the Internet, I got the impression that different Melbourne hostels had different "cultures." One hostel in St. Kilda, for example, seemed to have a vibrant party atmosphere. Another hostel, which was located near a hospital, said that nurses made up the majority of its clientele. The nurses evidently would stay in the hostel when they were new to Melbourne, while they were looking for more permanent accommodation. The website specified that, since most of the guests were working, the hostel maintained a quiet atmosphere.

So, I don't think all hostels are the same and, as I said before, I know that hostels don't attract only young people.

Australia's east coast is 5,000 km long. Doing it all by bus would mean a great deal of road travel. But, if you have a full month in which to do it, I believe it could be done. However, I'd rather leave that question to more experienced Australia travellers to answer.

Night time temperatures in Melbourne in July will be only just above freezing. Melbourne can be quite grey and drizzly in winter, but sometimes you can luck out and get some quite pleasant days. Sydney too can be pretty cool in winter.

I don't know for sure, but I suspect hotels are quite well heated. I don't know what the heating in hostels is like. My experience of Australian homes (July 1997 - January 2000) was that they were not nearly as well heated as Canadian homes are. Ironically, we were less comfortable in Australia's far milder winters than we are here in Canada, just because the heating in most Australian homes was so poor. My husband experienced this again as recently as late November / early December 2003. Summer sometimes is quite late in arriving in Sydney and Melbourne, and sometimes gets there as late as Christmas. This was the case during my husband's recent trip. He felt very cool in the home of our friends in which he was staying.

I think you would be well advised to take enough layers to ensure you'll be warm enough. You might even consider taking long underwear. Also, if the type of accommodation you'll be staying in requires you to provide your own sleeping bag, you'd be wise to take one that is rated for relatively low temperatures (say down to +40 deg F).

Once you get up to Queensland, however, you'll be looking at daytime temperatures in the 70s (Farenheit).

I hope I haven't put you off going to Melbourne and Sydney, two cities that I love. I just think your experience of them will be a lot more pleasant if you're prepared for local conditions.

Have a super trip.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 03:25 PM
  #3  
 
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Hi Lola - just a tip to save a few days - you say you would like to become PADI certified whilst in Oz - it's a good idea to do your 3 days theory at home if you can - do the practical 2 days on the GBR when you arrive - it saves 3 days of classroom theory and pool diving practice whilst on your holiday. Pro-Dive in Cairns is excellent for PADI certification.
pat_woolford is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 11:45 PM
  #4  
 
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Hi,

I backpacked Austrlia and New zealand and I am from New York City let me tell you that Australia & New Zealand is alot of fun and very very safe for anyone. I also would reccomend for you to travel the Gold Coast by BACKPACKER bus its called the ozzie exprience its a alot fun and you meet new people from all over the world(for New Zealand its called the Kiwi Exprience) Anyways now I am planing a trip to see an African safari the safety in Africa does not come even cle to Australia. Have a safe trip and hope this helps.
ual902 is offline  
Jan 17th, 2004, 04:03 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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My wife and I toured Australia for 6 weeks in November/December and were amazed at the singles doing the same. Everywhere we went we enjoyed meeting these single travelers, on tour buses, in restaurants, in tourist info centers, where ever. Go and enjoy.
John
John71cove is offline  
Jan 26th, 2004, 02:57 AM
  #6  
 
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G'day Lola.
There are heaps of cheap backpacker places in Cairns and surrounds (my area) but cant help much with rest of country. With the backpacker scene there are lots of deals with people driving cars - you help out with the fuel costs and you get a ride. Those 20-year olds dont seem very crazy at all - mostly quite sensible and just trying to save money. Cairns is probably best bet for all the thing your interested in because its a backpackers mecca with dozens of dive shops. Let me know if you need more specifics.
Chris.
Fish_Boy is offline  
Jan 27th, 2004, 12:00 AM
  #7  
 
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Lola - hey, I'm much older than u and usually travel solo and when I first came to Oz stayed in hostels all over. You meet some great people of all nationalities and if your desires coincide you can easily find a bunch of people who want to hire a car and go somewhere a little off the beaten track. I travelled on a greyhound bus pass (not as cheap as they once were) and to be honest, didn't even consider Oz Experience. Why?

(a) I would have been seriously out of place. You would be less so, but having been at a hostel when a group came in, it was obvious that it was mainly a "herd" sort of thing. Nowt wrong with that if you're young and a little uncertain and don't want to do the research and make the choices. And I guess there's be some pax on every trip who deviate!!

There are alternatives - eg. trips that go from Sydney to Byron (look up Ando's). And at all the usual East Coast stopping places there are outfits offering tours here ard there.

Usual Top spots are - Hervey Bay for access to Fraser Is (tho tours also available from Noosa which is a much more interesting place than HB). Airlie Beach for the Whitsundays.

alice13 is offline  

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