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The Tips For Travellers podcast helps you make the most of your precious vacation time and money with first-hand travel inspiration, advice and tips from travel expert, author, blogger and YouTuber Gary Bembridge.

Jun 30, 2014

Gary Bembridge of Tips for Travellers shares his observations, tips and advice about Australia.

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Highlights of the show includes:

Vast country and had not really digested how different and extreme the climates were. Like being transported to different worlds with the arrid centre to tropical cyclones in north with a range of time zones (including half hour ones !)

Provinces and territories 
Northern Territory - Darwin
Queensland - Brisbane
New South Wales - Sydney and Canberra
Victoria - Melbourne
Tasmania - Hobart
South Australia - Adelaide
Western Australia - Perth

Some observations:

  • All major cities on Coast with between 70 & 90% of population live on Coast
  • Long history of Sydney vs Melbourne rivalry while Canberra was created as capital in early 1900s
  • Mix of American influence and feel with a dash of British colonial features. It is increasingly Asian.
  • Aboriginal history and issue is an uncomfortable topic for Australians.
  • Australian English is different to both American and British English. Enormous "Aussie" pride
  • Expensive country to tourLost most of backpacker trade to Asia with some big impact on certain regions
  • Fires and floods are a major challenge.
  • Unique wildlife like kangaroo and wallabies with big risks from crocodiles and jelly fish and imported creatures slike camels and cane toads
  • Outdoor lifestyle everywhere with casual and informal dress, they are very sun risk aware and sports mad
  • Australians seem to really like chocolate and sweet things

Convict beginnings: after USA independence the Uk faced over-crowded prisons and so sent 750 convicts, 210 marines and 40 women and kids to establish a penal colony. But most of population roots are from non convict immigration especially post World Wars
WWII history was huge surprise and really interesting including the bombing of Darwin and submarine attacks on Sydney. General MacArthur was based here to command war the Pacific War.
Federal government and part of the Commonwealth with the Queen as head of state.

Getting there
Long flight with connections via Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong into most major cities
Cruising there is an option as most major lines sail there

Best time to visit
Summer Southern Hemisphere - Oct to March
Avoid the rainy season in North in early part of year

Getting around
Consider the train option - great train iconic journeys - the Ghan - Indian Pacific - - but expensive
Flights - price compare across Virgin, Qantas and JetStar. There is very frequent connection between cities
Cruise around the whole of Australia - all key cities are on the Coast so really good option.
Good infrastructure in cities for getting around

Time: you need lots of time as it is a vast country. Every time change location assume a lost day travel
Don't over schedule: my rough rule is allow 3 - 4 days in each place and 1 day travel time
Plan on the assumption will have another trip there
Do the Eastern side one visit and Southern another

See the Icons
Sydney with the famous bridge and opera house and surfer beaches of Bondi and Manley
Melbourne & Great Ocean Road
Alice Springs / Uluru Rock
Great Barrier Reef (from Hamilton Island or Cairns / Port Douglas / Yorkey's Knob)
Gold Coast (Theme Parks and beach)
Darwin - Katherine Gorge

On your second trip:
Blue Mountains
Adelaide and wine lands and kangaroo island (explain)