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ITG 2014






FIJI 153


WHO TO BLAME: EDITOR Hugh Radojev CONTRIBUTORS Alex Harmon, Andrew Westbrook, Regina Neumeyer DESIGN & PRODUCTION MANAGER Lisa Ferron BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Tom Wheeler SALES Toby Llewellyn, Georgina Pengelly, Justin Steinlauf CHAIRMAN Ken Hurst CEO Kevin Ellis PUBLISHER TNT PUBLISHING PTY LTD, 126 ABERCROMBIE ST, CHIPPENDALE, SYDNEY, NSW, 2008, AUSTRALIA GENERAL + 61 2 8332 7501 EMAIL FAX + 61 2 9690 1314 WEB
While effort has been made to ensure accuracy, the publisher accepts no responsibility for loss or inconvenience arising from errors or omissions. Front cover photo credits; David Gordon, D-GaP Photos,, Tourism Australia, Perisher, Thinkstock.



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So, youre thinking about travelling to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and beyond? Thats marvellous! And we know that youll like this little (well actually, quite big) corner of the world. Trust us, its amazing!

Whats all this then?

Whatever you thought your Australisian adventure might be like before you arrived, however you pictured it in your mind, staring out from a desk at the falling rain in Blighty forget about it. If youve never been to Australia or New Zealand

before, then you cant really do these places justice before you arrive, no matter how many stories youve heard from your friends. Australia, New Zealand and Fiji all have incredible experiences to offer you from endless sunburnt stretches of beach, incredible party spots, adrenaline activities, beautiful native fauna and ora to ancient cultures and clean, modern urban centres that will excite and enthrall in even measure. We think this is one of the best places in the world, and we hope youll end up thinking that too.

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Who the bloody hell are we?

What qualies us to make such a bold claim? Well, were travellers ourselves, some of us did it your way jumped on a plane at Heathrow and headed across the equator; we picked fruit, drank goon in hostels, got sunburnt, lost in rainforests and in outback pubs. In short we never went home. Then there are others of us, Aussies born and raised whove done our own fair share of travel both at home and abroad and now call Sydney and TNT home. From our ofces in Sydney we release a monthly editor of TNT Downunder Magazine which you can also nd on our website tntdownunder. com. Our website is packed with stories, tips, advice, our latest magazines and much more. It is all this knowledge and experience that has been lovingly poured into The Independent Travellers Guide (ITG), which you are holding in your hands right now, you lucky thing, you!

Using the ITG

The ITG is divided into three main sections: Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. The rst section, Australia, details all you need to know about the vast sun-baked country; a state-by-state rundown on what

to see and do, everything you need to know about the major cities and some history and background on Australia. Thats immediately followed by Australia: essentials, which explores all your transport options, work opportunities, accommodation, visa choices and plenty more. New Zealand, the second section, looks at the seriously spectacular, adrenalin adventurers paradise across the Tasman Sea. It gives a brief background of the country, a thorough guide to what you can see and do as well as lots more information you probably didnt realise you needed to know, including tips on jobs, visas and where to stay. We then do the same for Fiji; a place to escape the crowds, soak up some intriguing culture and steal a little bit of beach heaven all for yourself. Plus, we also have sections on nearby destinations Samoa and Papua New Guinea. And lastly, we have a small before you arrive section about stop-off destinations, like Thailand, as well as tips on booking that all-important ticket. From all of us at TNT Magazine, we hope you enjoy your trip and hope our ITG helps a tiny bit to make your trip to Australia, New Zealand and/or Fiji unforgettable. See you in a pub nearby, friends.


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Why Australia?
Australia has something for everyone. It goes from tropical to chilly, transforms from gorgeous islands to desolate deserts and keeps you entertained with everything from pumping nightlife to the creation stories of ancient Aboriginal culture. Theres absolutely no chance youll get bored. The face Australia presents to the rest of the world is changing. From a backward void through the rough and raw territory of Crocodile Dundee, via faux civilised soap opera suburbia to the cuttingedge cities of the 21st century, its plain to see this is one prosperous, island nation making itself heard on the world stage. The best part is that all these Australias do exist. In one modestly-populated nation you can nd remote nowheresville towns, spectacular outback or rainforest landscapes, and ultra-hip nightspots and eateries. We love it here and we think you might do, too. if the TV is shocking and the radio is more graverobbing than groundbreaking? Youll be living life far too much to care. The main point of being Australian seems to be to enjoy beer, hang out on beaches and drink in the sunshine. Its a culture built on wide open spaces and great weather Aussies denitely work to live, not live to work. Oh, and then theres the countrys rich Aboriginal heritage only the oldest continuously-maintained culture on the planet. Oz is a travellers dream. The backpacker infrastructure works more or less like clockwork. Free bus transfers often meet you at transit centres. Hostels will book activities and onward journeys for you. They take credit cards everywhere, and magazines and guidebooks spoil you for choice on where to go and what to do. Its so easy.

Something completely different

The Australia you greet stepping off the plane into one of the major cities is reassuringly familiar. All the trappings and comforts of home make it easy to get it together, but in weird, parallel-universe kind of ways that you cant always put your nger on, its completely different. The transport, legislation, and public services are all pretty similar to home. And yet the trains are double-deckered, the pelican crossings sound alarming and the moneys all funny coloured (and surf-proof). Australians commute to the ofce on the decks of boats, go for a surf after work, take business trips to tropical paradises and cook their Christmas dinners on the barbie. There are public holidays for every occasion (including horse races), mind the wombats signs on the roadsides and some of the planets best cuisine.

A tale of two cities

In a six-month trip around Australia you could nd yourself snowboarding down crystal-white mountains, scuba diving amid the worlds most vivid coral and knocking back cocktails on an idyllic beach or two. One week you could be driving in an endless straight line across a sandy desert with the stereo pumping, the next jumping out of a plane, hanging out with hippies, or watching Mozart being performed at the Opera House. You can sleep underground in the subterranean opal town of Coober Pedy, hand-feed wild dolphins, kangaroos and lorikeets, and go clubbing in hip urban haunts. Youll experience the vibes of Uluru, line-dance in small country towns, play the didgeridoo on a lonely rocky outcrop, muster cattle in the red dust of the outback and work in a glass skyscraper overlooking Sydney Harbour. Australias cities are as diverse as its landscapes, from Hobart in Tasmania a small, historic city with lots of pretty English-style architecture and a homely feel right up to raucous Darwin, in the Top End, a multicultural frontier town on the tropical Arafura Sea with exotic inhabitants and famed night markets. Sydney, however, is the main port of call for most, and is Australias largest and most famous city.

Youth, freedom and shocking TV

Some joke that Australia has no culture, but thats rubbish. While the old world is beleaguered by the weight of propriety, politics and poetry, Australia is bolstered by youth, freedom and hedonism. So what

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The soaring skyscrapers of the CBD (central business district) are surrounded by harbourfront and beach suburbs, green parks and inner-city villages. Its the best bet for nding work, but the cost of living here is higher than in other parts of Oz. Sydney life is watery, boozy and cruisey, and the Pacic-rim metropolis boasts more than 30 sandy beaches. Melbourne is the second city (though Melbournians will bitterly dispute this), and has a reputation as the nations cultural centre, with the arts, restaurants, cool nightlife and caf society adorning its elegant streets and grungy back alleys.

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On your marks, get set...

The most popular route for visitors is the east coast run from Melbourne or Sydney and then north up the coast to party town Cairns (which is close to

the Great Barrier Reef). This well-trodden corridor has terrain ranging from the soaring canyons of the Blue Mountains, through to the unique, surf-pounded eco-system of Fraser Island, to the calm turquoise waters and coral reefs of the Whitsunday Islands. In short, the eastern seaboard is an absolute must-do. But if you want to get off the beaten track, an entire continent awaits. Try the notorious Nullarbor Plain or the remote yet wonder-strewn west coast. Dont miss the crocodiles of Kakadu, the Great Ocean Road, the waterfalls and mossy wilderness of Tasmania, the red dust, rock stars and spiritual vibes of the Red Centre, or the camels of Broome. Wherever you go, youll see some unforgettable places. You can go wherever you want and be whoever you want.


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About Australia

A rm favourite with independent travellers, Australia offers the opportunity to leave your comfort zone and try something new, or just indulge your passions for surng, diving or even simply exploring. Whether youre looking to spend a few months meandering up the east coast or challenge yourself to an adventure through the outback, one things for certain, you wont want to leave.

city. A whopping 40 per cent inhabit the eastern state capitals of Melbourne and Sydney.

Aboriginal people called this continent home for many thousands of years before anyone from the outside world knocked on the door. Ask most people who rst called round for tea and theyll answer that it was Captain Cook. But he was in fact the last in a rather long line of intrepid seamen who had been snifng around the mysterious southern continent for more than 200 years. The Portuguese were probably the rst Europeans to sight the coast of Australia during sea voyages in the rst half of the 16th century. During the early 1600s some Dutch sailors felt brave enough to land on Cape York and a few spots on the west coast, but decided the weather wasnt up to much and sailed back to Jakarta. In 1642 they sent a guy called Abel Tasman, who charted the coast from Cape York west to the Great Australian Bight and discovered a little island he named Van Diemans

The worlds largest island and smallest continent covers an area over seven million square kilometres, with nearly 60,000 kilometres of coastline. Australia is the size of the USA (minus Alaska), or 25 times the size of the UK. Its population, though, numbers approx 22.68 million about a third of the UKs. Most people tend to avoid the arid desert of the interior, with the majority of people living within 12 miles of the ocean and on the south-east side of the continent. Australia is the most urbanised country in the world, with more than 85 per cent of Aussies living in a town or




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Land now Tasmania but bafingly failed to discover the east coast. Forty years later the rst Pom, William Dampier, made a few explorations from Shark Bay on the west coast, and agreed with the Dutch that the whole place wasnt really much cop. And so it was that more than 70 years later, in 1770, our friend Captain Cook nally turns up, discovers the elusive east coast, decides its actually quite nice, and claims the whole place for Britain. The inhabitants didnt get a say in the matter. Up until then, Britain had been sending its prisoners over to America, but the War of Independence brought that to a halt. Faced with the prospect of actually having to keep convicts in their own country, someone had the idea of shipping them all to this wonderful new colony and in January 1788, the First Fleet arrived in Botany Bay. Unfortunately they didnt nd it quite as hospitable as Cook had described, but after a bit of scouting around the area, they discovered Port Jackson, a little to the north, and so the colony of Sydney was started. The rst years were incredibly hard, and starvation was never far away. But by

the early 1800s, the city had become a ourishing trading post. More people were coming over of their own free will rather than at his majestys pleasure, especially after gold was discovered in New South Wales and Victoria in the 1850s (indeed, the gold rush saw Australias population double within a decade and was integral to the rapid rise of Melbourne). The rst half of the 19th century also saw many expeditions set out to discover and colonise the rest of the continent. These expeditions met with varying degrees of success, but Perth was settled in 1829, and the rst overland expedition reached Darwin in 1862. By the 1890s most people wanted to bring the different colonies together as one big country, and federation was announced on 1 January 1901. For many years afterwards, Australia was still very much a British colony, but as the century progressed it became its own country. The republican movement became very vocal in the 1990s, and in 1999 there was a referendum to decide whether the Queen should be replaced by an Australian president. The republicans were narrowly defeated and, despite a slight resurgence while Kevin Rudd was



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Dont expect a white Christmas in Sydney or Melbourne. The festive season is usually spent lazing by the beach with an ice-cold drink. Ofcially, summer starts in December, autumn in March, winter in June and spring in September. Another thing to remember is that northern Australia is hot and humid (tropical climate) and the further south you go, the colder and greener it becomes. The only places it gets cold enough to snow are in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, the Alps of north-east Victoria (both of which have a snow season with fairly good skiing and boarding), plus in Tasmania. The centre of the continent is arid hot and dry during the day and cold at night. In the far northern parts of Australia there are only two seasons the Dry (May to October) and the Wet (November to April). Cyclones tend to hit northern Australia from July to August.

The states and the government

Canberra is Australias purpose-built capital. The city was selected in 1908 after arch-rivals Sydney and Melbourne couldnt decide on which of them should get the glory. Amusingly, the reason that Canberra got the compromise vote was that it satised the demands of both major cities, by being within the borders of New South Wales and yet over 100 miles from Sydney. Melbourne, cashed-up from the gold rush, stood in as national capital until Canberra was completed in 1927. Australia is divided into six states and two territories: State Capital city Australian Capital Territory Canberra Northern Territory Darwin Sydney New South Wales Queensland Brisbane Adelaide South Australia Tasmania Hobart Victoria Melbourne Perth Western Australia Australia has a similar system of government to the UK, with a two-tier parliament and a representative of the monarchy, the governor general, acting as head of state. The Federal Government is responsible for the national economy, immigration and defence, while the states/ territories decide on matters like health, education and transport. Laws differ from state to state and what will cop you a courtroom appearance in one state, may be waived in another. For example, the minimum driving age is 18 years in Victoria but its 17 years in Western Australia.

Sunbaking and swimming

The sun is a powerful beast in Australia and made even stronger by the thin ozone layer. To avoid the risk of getting skin cancer remember to always slip, slop, slap (slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat). For more info, see the health section on page 78. Swimming is something of a national pastime, but check with the locals rst, as some beaches in the north in summer can become full of deadly box jellysh. Also be aware of the fact that the ocean around Australia is a seriously dangerous one, and many people drown every year after being caught in rips (strong offshore undercurrents). To stay safe, avoid nonpatrolled beaches, and always swim between the ags. Other than rips and jellysh, theres not a lot to worry about. Oh, apart from crocodiles and sharks. Shark attacks are very rare. Ditto croc attacks. Obey warning signs in northern areas and youll be right, mate.

Culture and the people

Most people asked to describe an average Aussie would probably summon up an image of an Outback Jack, with corks on his hat, a beer in his hand, and a no worries, mate attitude. This stereotype is increasingly outdated as Australia becomes more multicultural. In the years after the Second World War, migrants came primarily from southern Europe, but since the 1960s there has been a huge inux of people from Asia. It is estimated that over a quarter of Australias population was born overseas.

The knowledge
While youre travelling around Australia, be sure to pick up TNTMagazine (tntdownunder. com), which isout every fortnight and is free. We cover all the big events, bring you the news and sport from home and have plenty of interesting features on everything from outback roadtrips to diving on the Great Barrier Reef. We also list job vacancies and have an accommodation guide. If youre not Down Under yet, you can head to the website to check out all the latest issues of the magazine in full



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Aboriginal culture
generation to generation. The time of creation is referred to as the Dreamtime, and describes the creation of people, animals and the land itself. The Dreamtime, or the Dreaming, can also be described as a sort of cosmic awareness, often inspired by the land itself. On a practical level, many of the songs contain geographical and seasonal references which are vital for survival. More modern songs and art tell of contact with Europeans, a complex issue which has not been a positive experience for most Aboriginal people. Their art today is also used as a means to express and preserve ancient Dreaming values and Aboriginal culture for communities and to gain worldwide understanding, awareness and acceptance. Theres lots of captivating Aboriginal art on sale in Australia, but if you buy some please ensure money is going back to the artist and their communities. At the time of the white invasion, there were several hundred Aboriginal language groups (or tribes). Unlike the New Zealand Maori, for example, each of these tribes had its own language. Even now, in some remote parts of northern Australia,English will be the third language of many Aboriginal people their own tongue and the language of a neighbouring tribe will come rst. Its generally easiest for travellers to get a taste of Aboriginal culture in the Northern Territory. The streets of Darwin and Alice Springs are full of shops selling indigenous art and didgeridoos, while tours to areas like Kakadu National Park and Uluru are often peppered with talk of Aboriginal Dreamtime stories and bush tucker (tukka). For the best insight into how Aboriginal people lived in more traditional times, visit one of the Aboriginal reserves, such as Arnhem Land, in the NT. They remain largely untouched by European inuences. It is vital to buy permits from the relevant land councils (such as at before entering these areas. Its not always necessary to go off the beaten track, however, as examples of Aboriginal art can be found literally all over the country, even right by Bondi Beach on the rocks and walkways.

Photo: Tourism Australia

The early white pioneers of Australia found out the hard way that going bush is no mean feat. They didnt have an easy time during those early expeditions many starved, others got lost and disappeared their bones bleached by the sun. They did, however, prove two very important things: Australia is a vast continent; and to understand its immense beauty one should consult those who have lived here the longest the Aboriginal people. Indigenous Australians are estimated to have lived in Australia for anywhere between 40,000 and 60,000 years. They have the strongest knowledge when it comes to Australias outback and its well worth picking their brains if you want a greater understanding of the way this continent really functions. Aboriginal Australians have a binding spiritual link to the land and explain its creation with songs, stories and pictorial art which are passed down from


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Aussie adventures

Photo: PADI

Sure, New Zealand has the reputation as the worlds adrenalin HQ, but the Aussies are no shrinking violets when it comes to scaring you stupid. In fact, theyll hear you screaming across the Tasman. For many, a visit to Australia includes much of the following: bungy jumping, skydiving, whitewater rafting, snowboarding, trekking through stunning wilderness regions, kayaking and all manner of watersports and/or becoming a qualied scuba diver. In other words, youre unlikely to be too restless DownUnder.

So you have decided to take the plunge with the PADI Open Water Diver course - taking your rst breath underwater and experiencing the thrill of weightlessness is a sensation most of us lucky enough

to dive will never forget. You can even start online at Over 22 million people have earned PADI certications since 1967. There are over 6,200 PADI Dive Shops worldwide and Australia offers some of the very nest scuba diving. Where? Queensland is known as the holiday destination of Australia - home of the Great Barrier Reef -with its individual reefs, islands and countless coral sand cays and shipwrecks, offering amazing diving opportunities. The SS Yongala near Townsville is regarded as one of the worlds top wreck dives, while the HMAS Brisbane - sunk near the Sunshine Coast - is becoming a favorite wreck for many divers. Further south lie the idyllic regions around the Whitsundays, Bundaberg and Lady Elliot Island which all offer amazing visibility, untouched reefs and

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boasts some of the finest weather and most pristine coastlines youre likely to find anywhere on earth, so why not take advantage of it? Theres a great deal to be discovered down under!

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unique marine life. Western Australia From Perth you can easily explore the beautiful dive sites of Rottnest Island or the popular local sites near Rockingham and Mandurah. Ningaloo Marine Park off the north west coast, is home to humpback whales, dolphins, a large population of dugongs and huge whale sharks. New South Wales offers a rich variety of year round diving with both warm and cold water currents spread along the vast coastline. Whether its exploring the pristine warm waters and marine life of the north coast, diving off the beautiful coastline of the exciting and vibrant city of Sydney, or exploring the untouched beauty of the south coast, the diving possibilities are endless. South Australia has a rich heritage which is equally matched by its natural beauty below the waters surface. Near the capital city of Adelaide you will be spoilt for choice with dive sites including Port Noarlunga Reef, Edithburgh Jetty and Aldinga Pinnacles to explore. Tasmania is a destination known for its natural and untouched beauty - with cooler water environments than most of Australia - visibility can

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seem endless and its home for many cooler water critters. You can access the best diving spots of Tasmania from Hobart, Launceston, Devonport and Eaglehawk. Victoria is packed with interesting attractions including incredible underwater environments. The Port Phillip Bay region in Melbourne hosts some truly amazing dive sites with stunning marine life including cuttlesh, octopus and sea stars. Rye Pier is another not-to-be-missed spot with its tranquil setting and underwater creatures. The ex HMAS Canberra, as well as the southern coast of Victoria, provide great dive getaway locations. For more information on taking your PADI Open Water Diver course in Australia, visit and locate a PADI Dive Shop.

Only kangaroos and boomerangs are more Aussie than surng. With surf being such a big part of Aussie culture its hard not to get caught up in it. Australia has something like a gazillion surf beaches, from world championship level to gentle little waves that even we can manage (just). We wont pretend its easy peasy, but its a hell of a laugh learning to surf. One-off lessons, surf schools and tours are cheap, operate all over the place and are usually great fun. Some surf tours will take you along the coast for several days, say from Sydney to Byron Bay, including your accommodation and transport. Serious surfers will want to head to Bells Beach (Victoria),MargaretRiver (WA) and the GoldCoast (Queensland). Everyone else can try pretty much anywhere along the bottom half of Australia.

Skydiving (tandem): Quite simply, you havent lived until youve needlessly jumped out of a plane. Your cheeks will be apping like youve stuck your head out of the window on the motorway at 300km/ hr, your head will be buzzing like youre on a drug better than anything illegal and youll probably be screaming. A lot. Where? Plenty of places. Wollongong just south of Sydney, for example. Up the east coast, legendary surf and hippie haven Byron Bay also has jumps. Mission Beach, in Queensland, is also a popular drop zone with spectacular views over the reef. Bungy: Bungy jumping is often considered scarier than a skydive. Firstly you can see the ground, and secondly, right up until the last moment you still have a choice... Where? Again the east is the coast with the most,

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A big part of any Aussie trip is meeting the bizarre and brilliant collection of creatures that call the continent home many of which cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. Top of many peoples lists will be cuddling a koala and hand-feeding a kangaroo, both of which are easily done in dozens, if not hundreds of places around the country. Also likely to inspire much ooo-ing and aahing are the surprisingly big and grumpy wombats, bizarre duck-billed platypuses, very cute echidnas, screeching Tasmanian devils and the giant, majestic cassowarys (one of the few birds known to have killed a man!). Many of the most rewarding wildlife experiences, however, are to be had underwater. You can swim with dolphins and dive with sharks in multiple places across Oz, while swimming with seals just off the Nullarbor is a much under-rated alternative. But top of the list, for pure awe factor, has to be swimming with the Ningaloos whale sharks and braving South Australias great white shark cage dives.

such as at Cairns, Surfers Paradise and HerveyBay. Whitewater rafting: So theres this river growling angrily at you as it nonchalantly churns up trees and rocks.Most people would simply turn and walk away.Australians, however, like to pump up a little dinghy, grab all their mates, a couple of paddles and head off over the rst waterfall. Its one helluva ride... Where? The Tully River in northernQueensland has world famous rapid-riding, but there are other spots too, like the Murray River (Victoria) or the purpose-built (for the 2000 Olympics) arena inSydney. The big daddy is Tasmanias remote Franklin River, where rafting trips last 5-10 days. Water sports: Other water sports practiced with aplomb by the locals are wakeboarding, waterskiing, sailing, kayaking and kite surng. For obvious reasons its an exuberant outdoor culture here and that doesnt just mean lazing on the sand. Where? Pretty much wherever theres water (and remember 85 per cent of Australians live by the coast). Best of the rest: There really is something for everyone. Rock climbing and abseiling opportunities are excellent and abundant. Australia has some superb walking trails, the best of all being Tasmanias stunning 80km Overland Track. Its not the greatest snow in the world, but its there and you can still have a whole heap of messy fun in the highlands on the NSW-Victorian border (kangaroos in the snow whod have thought?). Plus, for something a bit quirkier, try zorbing on the Gold Coast or get the hump by jumping on a camel for a ride in Broome and various other spots.







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This is the real Australian adventure. Just you and a couple of close mates, some top choons on the iPod, an esky full of beer and the enticing tarmac of the great open road stretching endlessly before you. With such a scarce population and such transxing landscapes, no place lends itself to a long roadtrip like this sun-baked continent does. Crossing the Nullarbor Plain (roughly between Adelaide and Perth) will earn you much kudos and any drive through the middle of Oz brings the rewards of the amazing rock formations in the Red Centre. Taking a 4WD adventure through the Kimberley or up to Cape York are other options, but not for the faint-hearted or unprepared. Ultimately, the very best way to experience this vast country is to do the complete circuit off your own steam buy or rent a campervan.

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Events calendar

Photo: Moonlight Cinema

Sydney Festival: Art, music and theatre. Theres something for everyone, much of it free, at this massive three-week festival (9 26 January). Australia Day: Australias national day (26 January) is a public holiday with events and celebrations going on absolutely everywhere. Big Day Out: Huge one-day music festival featuring international and local acts. Tours ve Aussie cities. Headliners this year include Arcade Fire and American grunge gods Pearl Jam. (Jan 17 Feb 2). The Taste Festival (Hobart): A celebration of Tasmanias lifestyle, showcasing gourmet food and wine on Hobarts waterfront (28 Dec 3 Jan). Australian Open Tennis (Melbourne): One of the four Grand Slams, the Australian Open attracts the worlds best players (13 26 January).

Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras: The biggest gay and lesbian festival in the world. It ends on 1 March with the famously extravagant parade along Oxford St and one helluva party. Festival of Perth: A three-week festival of arts and culture that attracts the nest talent in the world (7 Feb 1 Mar). Adelaide Fringe Festival: The worlds second biggest fringe festival, after Edinburgh (14 Feb 16 Mar). Melbourne Food and Wine Festival: (28 Feb 16 Mar) Delicious food and wine from around Australia.

Australian Formula One Grand Prix (Melbourne): First round of the F1 World Championships (13 -16 March).

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waterless regatta held in the dry riverbed of the Todd River (16 August). Melbourne International Film Festival: Australias largest and most prestigious lm festival.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival: The best comedy acts from around the world (26 Mar 20 Apr). This years lineup yet to be announced. Future Music Festival: One of Australias best dance/ crossover festivals. Tours ve cities (1-10 March). Acts this year include Cut Copy, Phoenix, Gesaffelstein, Rudimental and Macklemore. WOMADelaide (Adelaide): Renowned world music festival (7-10 March).

Football grand nals: The Aussie rules football and rugby league grand nals. These events are the equivalent of the FA Cup nal. Birdsville Races: Thousands descend on this tiny Queensland outback town for some dusty horse races. (5 6 Sep). Brisbane Festival: Three weeks of performances and events, starting with the dramatic Riverre reworks extravanganza (7 28 September).

Bluesfest (Byron Bay): The East Coast Annual Blues &Roots Music Festival runs all through the Easter long weekend (17 21 April). Acts include John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band and John Butler. Anzac Day: A national public holiday (25 April) to honour the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, in particular those who fought at Gallipoli in WWI. Mindil Beach Markets (Darwin): A must-do in Darwin during the dry season (April 26 to October 25). Every Thursday and Sunday watch the sun set into the ocean while having a good feed and picking up some souvenirs.

Melbourne Festival: Showcases some of the nest international arts (11-27 October). Deniliquin Ute Muster: Parade of classic utes combined with a music festival and loads of entertainment (4-5 October). Sydney Adventure Travel and Backpackers Expo: Get travel deals and advice from the experts (TBA October).

Mardi Grass (Nimbin, NSW): The Southern Hemispheres largest Cannabis Law Reform festival (3 4 May). Adelaide National Career Expo: Adelaide is the leading platform for organisations to present real jobs, career pathways and further education opportunities.

Melbourne Cup: Annual horse race that famously stops the nation its even a public holiday in Victoria. Betting, getting dressed up and partying galore (4 November). Moonlight Cinema: Outdoor cinema in the parklands until March (Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney). There is also a season in Port Douglas throughout July. Gold Coast Sevens: Catch two days of rugby action at the Australian stint of the nine-leg IRB Sevens World Series.

Queens Birthday: A national public holiday held on the second Monday in June (later in the year in WA). National Rugby League State of Origin: Watch the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues go head-to-head in one of Australias biggest rivalries (Sydney, June 4; Brisbane, June 25; Sydney, July 16).

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race (Boxing Day): Jump on a ferry to watch the spectacular start. Homebake (Sydney): Annual rock music festival of the best homegrown talent. Boxing Day Test (Melbourne): Traditional cricket and beer fest at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Christmas and New Year: Places like Bondi Beach and Fremantle go off on NYE. Shore Thing (Bondi Beach, NSW): International acts are common at this NYE festival on Australias most famous beach. Falls Festival: One of Australias best multi-day festivals where you camp out and rock out (Marion Bay, TAS, Lorne, VIC and Byron Bay, NSW).

Camel Cup (Alice Springs, NT): The biggest race in the Aussie camel-racing calendar (12 13 July). Beer Can Regatta (Darwin): Boats made of beer cans trying not to sink (6 July). Yulefest (Blue Mountains, NSW): Celebrate a traditional Northern Hemipshere Crimbo in the middle of Aussie winter.

Mt Isa Rodeo (Mt Isa, QLD): Three days of outback rodeo fun (8-10 August). Henly-on-Todd (Alice Springs): The worlds original


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New South Wales


Photo: Tourism New South Wales

First things rst... New South Wales is where the majority of Australias population lives, and for good reason. Not only is it home to Sydney, but also mountains, wine country, a beautiful coastline and even some outback. Its called the Premier State for a reason. A popular place to settle and nd work, you could easily while away your time in Australia here without ever crossing a state border (though thatd be a great shame) and never get bored.

Arriving in Sydney
Visitors ying into Sydneys International Airport will nd themselves not too far from the heart of the city, with numerous ways to get there. It only takes 15 minutes via the Airport Link train into the city, which connects with Sydneys CityRail train network. The train isnt cheap, however, and if theres a few of you it might actually be cheaper to get a cab. The airport information desk, on the ground oor of the International Terminal, is a good place to get advice and book accommodation.

Its pretty likely that Sydney already features on your Australian itinerary and for good reason. Sydney is a city boasting fantastic weather, beautiful beaches and a bustling cultural scene. Anyone who has own into Sydney on a bright, sunny day will tell you its a sight quite unrivalled the sheer cliffs of the Heads, the sparkling harbour, plus the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Its a living postcard and, aside from a snog from Kylie or Hugh on the airport tarmac, its the best welcome to the Australia youre likely to get.

Getting around Sydney

Public transport in Sydney is pretty good, and travelling by train and bus gets you wherever you want to go. Locals commute to the CBD from the north by harbour ferry possibly the prettiest way to get to work. Visit for all bus, ferry and rail info. There are a number of public transport ticket deals to help you save money so ask at the local CityRail station. CountryLink ( gets you around NSW on its rail and coach network.

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Sydney accommodation
There are loads of hostels in Sydney, so whether you want to stay in the centre of town, by the beach in Bondi, Manly or Coogee, beside the boozer in Kings Cross, close to the cafs in Glebe, Surry Hills or Newtown, or in Central close to all the action and where there are most backpacker beds youre sure to nd a hostel that suits your needs. Dorm rooms usually range from about $25-$40 per person, per night, depending on season. If youre planning to stick around, youll probably prefer share or rental accommodation. You can nd classied ads for long-term stays in the local papers, while websites like au also have plenty of options. The Sydney Morning Herald has a real estate section with rental and share accommodation listings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and at The Daily Telegraph runs classieds every day (


Malin Lindren, Sweden

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN IN NSW? Just Sydney now, but Ive been to all the tourist places: the central city, the opera house, Bondi Beach, and Manly Beach. We dont have a lot of beaches in Sweden, so Im trying to soak up as much of the sun as I can at the moment. FAVOURITE NSW NIGHT SPOT? I havent been out much here yet, but the Opera House is beautiful at night. Some of the bars near where Im staying in Kings Cross are fun as well.

Around town
Darling Harbour: One of Sydneys top tourist attractions, offering shopping and eating facilities, parkland, and a boat-lled bay. Site of superclub Home, the worlds biggest IMAX cinema screen and restaurant-bar-crammed Cockle Bay Wharf, its the golden child of Sydneys after-dark scene. Easy access by ferry, bus or on foot. Check out for info. Royal Botanic Gardens: Situated between the Opera House and Mrs Macquaries Chair. Walking through the gardens is a good introduction to Australias natural beauty and gives a great view of the harbour. Details at Sydney Harbour Bridge: This world-famous Sydney landmark (sometimes known as The Coathanger) gives a spectacular view of the city. Head to the top of the southern pylon or walk across to Milsons Point. You can also do the BridgeClimb, complete with full-body boilersuit, for top views of the city. Sydney Opera House: Its as impressive in the esh as on any postcard. Home not only to opera, theatre and dance, but numerous cafs and a few top notch bars. Free and paid-for concerts are also regularly held on the forecourt throughout summer. For more information check out Sydney Tower Eye: One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of Sydney is from the observation deck of one of the tallest buildings in the Southern Hemisphere (304m). Sydney Aquarium: Fantastic aquarium with over 11,000 aquatic animals in its care. Check out the crocs, seals and sharks in the oceanariums. Wildlife Sydney Zoo: Home to more varieties

of native Australian plants and animals than anywhere else. Taronga Zoo: Arguably has the best views of any zoo in the world and its home to 2,000 different types of animals. The Rocks: This is the oldest bit of Sydney and it has been beautifully restored to incorporate many shops, markets, restaurants and great pubs. Check for more info at Watsons Bay: Hang out with Sydneys posh people and taste some scrumptious seafood at the famous restaurant, Doyles. Or just have sh and chips on the beach.

Sydney beaches
There are more than 30 ocean beaches to choose from in the Sydney metropolitan area, with the two most famous being Bondi, in the eastern suburbs, and Manly in the north. Many tourists head for the relative glamour of Bondi. The wide range of restaurants along Bondis Esplanade will also deal with any hungry punters.


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the corner from the George Street cinemas (cheap tix on Tuesdays). Theres a small but superb selection of Spanish restaurants here. Shopping in town isnt cheap, but if you must, head for the stately Queen Victoria Building on George Street, the pedestrianised Pitt Street Mall with its sparkling Westeld shopping centre, the absolutely massive Westeld at Bondi Junction, the shop-lined Oxford Street or Paddys Markets near Chinatown for all the usual ea market stalls.

Inner West suburbs

Glebe and Newtown, two of Sydneys most interesting suburbs, are the hub of the inner West. Newtown is where the alternative meets the urban. It used to be Greek, now its everything. It has many pubs that have scarily liberal opening hours. Glebe is very cool with something of a crusty edge think organic cafs and feminist bookshops. Its also a backpacker centre, with lots of cheap eats and plenty of cafs and pubs. It also boasts the grungier, more alternative of the markets in town (Saturdays in the schoolyard on Glebe Point Road).

Many travellers also make their Sydney home at Coogee, a more laidback, smaller beach.The beach boasts ocean pools at both ends for those not game to face the surf. Other eastern beaches include Bronte, Tamarama, Clovelly and Maroubra and they can all be taken in on the coastline walk from Bondi. City suburbs For one of the best views of the harbour, hop Its said some things happen to you when youre on a ferry to Manly, where youll nd more sand, ready for them. Well, get ready, cos in Oxford Street sun and surf. The beautiful peninsula is surrounded and Kings Cross things happen pretty fast. Twentyon three sides by the sparkling ocean and Sydney four hours a day, seven days a week, Harbour. Manly has 18 beaches some for surng, these areas are an eternal Saturday night. some for swimming and snorkelling dive sites, Oxford Street is the gay nexus of Sydney. enticing hidden coves and inlets, pretty The Cross is Sydneys most famous national parks, Aboriginal sites and red-light zone, but has much more even penguins. Manly is also home to offer travellers with a variety of to an oceanarium where, if youre If youre hoping to stay in Sydney eateries, pubs and clubs. The city feeling brave, you can don your over XMAS or New centre and northern Sydney also scuba gear and jump in the tank Years its imperative offer a range of pubs and clubs. with the nurse sharks. that you book your The northern suburbs are where Sydney scene accommodation in Sydneys afuent people hang out, advance! Sydney has a live theatre scene with more than 20 beaches dotted and a bustling nightlife wherever you along the coast up to Palm Beach, may go. For shows and events, pick-up where famous Aussie soap opera a free copy of TNT Magazine, Drum Media (for live Home and Away is lmed. bands), The Brag and 3D World (for clubbing and Sydney CBD dance) from pubs, hostels, cafs etc. The daily papers, George Street runs through the heart of the CBD The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily (central business district). The Central Station end has Telegraph are also a good source of information. had a facelift and effectively become the travellers Lesbians on the Loose and the Sydney Star Observer quarter, with swanky hostels, cool cafs, big boozy offer news, info and entertainment for Sydneys pubs and an internet caf on every corner. Pitt Street, large gay and lesbian community. running parallel to George, is also home to many a Country Capital budget hostel. One of the oldest established areas in the Chinatown on Dixon Street has cheap eats galore. country, the Country Capital region combines the The Spanish Quarter on Liverpool Street is around




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vitality and energy of its cities with the tranquillity of an established rural landscape. Close to Sydney and wrapped around Canberra, it is set in one of Australias most handsome landscapes a fascinating mix of heritage towns and villages, stunning country gardens and beautiful waterways.

At the heart of the Illawarra regions lies Wollongong, the states third-largest city, which has reinvented itself in recent years as a great weekend escape. The Illawarra as a whole is made for outdoor adventures. The small coastal villages around Wollongong boast excellent surng beaches, and Lake Illawarra offers a choice of sailing, waterskiing, canoeing and shing.

New England
Also referred to as Big Sky Country because the stars seem to touch the earth, the New England north-west region is Australias big outdoors. Off the beaten track for most tourists, its a chance to take the road less travelled and enjoy great country hospitality. With cool summers in the tablelands, the glorious colours of autumn, romantic reside dinners in winter or the clear, fresh air in spring, you wont be disappointed. There are national parks and wide stretches of farmland to explore, along with excellent shing opportunities throughout the region.

Byrons famous landmark

all its worth, but the captivating post-apocalyptic feel of the landscape explains why the area was used for much of the lming of Mad Max 2 and why the crew are expected to return for the long-awaited fourth installment. Aboriginal artworks, some 30,000 years old, can be found at sites in Mutawintji National Park. At Mungo National Park, the remains of Mungo Man and Mungo Woman date back 40,000 years, making it the worlds oldest known ceremonial burial.

Northern Rivers & Byron Bay

As far as tourism icons go in this country, Byron Bay wouldnt rate too far behind the big three the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru. The eastern-most point of mainland Australia, Byron has long been the source of fascination for locals and tourists alike. Beautiful beaches, great climate and a fertile hinterland make this the ideal travelling destination. Make sure you also head inland to discover subtropical beauty, glorious natural features and lovely little towns like Bangalow, Federal, Murrumbidgee and, of course, the hippie capital of Nimbin.

Blue Mountains
Situated about a 90-minute drive west from Sydney, the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains are a favourite escape for Sydneysiders, with the main gateway town being Katoomba. Once youve experienced the spectacular bluehazed beauty, dramatic cliffs and deep canyons of the Blue Mountains, youll come away refreshed and invigorated. While bushwalking in this wilderness area is a favourite pastime, the region is also famous for its full range of accommodation, ne food and wines, arts and crafts, and, of course, welcoming pubs. A string of townships form a vibrant cultural

Outback & Broken Hill

Harsh but surprisingly fragile, the rugged natural beauty of outback NSW has been appreciated by the regions Aboriginal inhabitants for millennia. Broken Hill was founded in 1883 and was nicknamed Silvertown as it had the largest lead, silver and zinc deposits in the world at the time. Of course, a lot of the mining has moved on after clearing the land for

community where artists, musicians and writers ourish. Its also become the place to go for a Northern Hemisphere-style festive season, by celebrating a mid-winter Christmas in July.

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Central Coast
Fancy getting away from it all for a relaxing mix of rural and beachside lifestyle? The Central Coast could be the answer. The gateway to The Hunter region and its beautiful wineries, and located just over an hour north of Sydney, the Central Coast is popular on the tourist front, both domestic and international. The areas main hub is Newcastle, a one-time industrial powerhouse that has transformed into a laidback and sophisticated surf hotspot that boasts more artists per capita than anywhere else in Oz. To the surprise of many, not least the unassuming locals themselves, Lonely Planet even named Newcastle as one of the worlds top 10 cities to visit in 2012, in one of their annual Best in Travel book. The Coast also has a large number of beautol beaches and laid back towns that are great for a weekend (or longer) away from the big smoke of Sydney. Terrigal is one of the Coasts bigger settlements (other than Newcastle) and is worth a visit, as is Avoca one of the regions most famous beaches.

and West Wyalong. The regions history can be read in its architecture, from humble slab huts to the lavish hotels and mansions built during gold and farming booms. Strung along every highway and road, exploring these townships makes for a perfect driving holiday. The region has several national parks featuring pristine wilderness, spectacular geological formations, river systems, wetlands, caves, ancient rock art and wildlife of all descriptions.

Murray Region
The mighty Murray River, lined with 600-yearold river gums, drowned trees, paddle-steamers and houseboats, forms the border between NSW and Victoria. From the citrus fruitbowl of Mildura, nestled amongst the borders of not only Victoria and NSW, but also South Australia in the top western corner of Victoria, all the way down to the twin cities of Albury-Wodonga, which actually straddle the Murray, this region is largely agricultural and a wonderful view of the real Australia.

From some of the nations best food and wine, to the widest, most breathtaking horizons lled with wonderment, the Riverina is just waiting for you to discover it. With national parks, picnic grounds, unique wildlife, heritage buildings, festivals, art galleries, historic trains and planes, walking trails, country music, haunted houses, botanical gardens, agricultural shows, museums, farmers markets, rivers and ancient Aboriginal culture, tourists are spoiled for choice. This area is best viewed by train as well, trust us, we know.

Central NSW
An agriculturally rich region, Central New South Wales boasts many attractive and interesting towns well worth exploring. From Sydney, Bathurst is the gateway to the region, and from there you can turn north-west through Orange and Dubbo (with the brilliant Dubbo Zoo) or south-west through Cowra

Jump on a ferry to Manly or Watsons Bay to get million dollar views for just over a fiver. Rocky road Take the cliff-top walk from Bondi to Coogee, two of Sydneys most iconic beaches. High times Chill out on the north coast. Byron Bay is famously laidback while Nimbin hosts a Mardi Grass festival. Escape to the mountains The Blue Mountains have stunning canyons and hilltop towns. Saddle up Head to cowboy country to learn how to ride, shear a sheep and wear a silly hat. Mad Max territory In the same state as the harbour city youll find the outback-tastic Broken Hill, where the Road Warrior once called home. Enjoy the wet stuff Whether its sea-kayaking in Byron, swimming with dolphins in Port Stephens or surfing in Sydney, youve just got to get wet.

Sydney in summer With outdoor festivals, sunny beer gardens, the beach and the harbour, Sydney really is the best summer city in the world. Harbour sights

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luckier people keep their holiday homes amongst the motels, camp sites and adobe beach huts. Tourism is the areas major industry but that doesnt mean its all small surng towns. Port Macquarie is a bustling township which boasts one of the states best up and coming food scenes.

Snowy Mountains
If its adventure activities youre after, from winter sports to cycling, caving, rafting, kayaking, horse riding and bracing mountain walks, the Snowy Mountains will suit you down to the ground. Australias highest mountain, Mt Kosciuszko, looks down on sub-alpine snowgum woodlands and tall forests of alpine ash and mountain gum. In winter you can go night skiing, downhill or cross-country skiing, snowboarding or tobogganing. In summer the Snowies are perfect for a touring holiday. Take in historic country towns, mountain owers, grazing wallabies and grand scenery.

Hunter Valley
First and foremost the Hunter Valley is a wine region with more than 120 wineries and cellar doors from the areas of Pokolbin and Rothbury, to the heights of sunny Mountview and the beautiful Wollombi Valley. The region is well-known for its Semillon, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Verdelho wines, so pretty much any taste buds are likely to leave satised. Drive yourself or take one of the many guided tours on offer with transport ranging from mini bus, to chauffeured Pontiacs and limousines, horse drawn carriages and mountain bikes.

South Coast
The Illawarra region, just a short drive south of Wollongong, features some of the most unspoilt natural beauty of the southern coastline of New South Wales. Marine mammals, including pods of dolphins and migratory whales, take pride of place as they cruise past white-sand beaches, and seals thrive on Montague Island. There are two marine parks here at Jervis Bay and Batemans Bay. The former is something of a treasure, which attracts Syndeysiders on long weekends. People come to camp amongst surprisingly friendly kangaroos, walk barefoot on the squeaky-white sands and watch whales. Pebbly Beach is another spot, worth calling in at, if only for a classic roo on the beach photo.

North Coast
The North Coast of NSW includes some of the states most picturesque seaside towns, including Coffs Harbour, Grafton, and Forster. From mountain ranges to expansive beaches, the region offers the perfect 365-day outdoor holiday location. If you fancy something more energetic, try bushwalking, mountain biking, horse riding or golf. At the coasts southern tip, making it a popular Sydney getaway, is Port Stephens, actually a string of coastal towns along a large natural harbour. Its a good place to get out on the water and go whale watching or swimming with dolphins, otherwise you can head inland to quad bike over dramatic sand dunes.

Dolphin Swim Australia

Swim with wild dolphins in Port Stephens NSW

Mid North Coast

Stretching from the beautiful holiday hotspot of Seal Rocks to the sleepy surng town of Woolgoolga a distance of over 300 kilometers of pristine coastline and bustling provincial towns. Life in these parts is dominated by the water, with little communities growing up around beautiful beaches like Boomerang and Blueys where some of Sydneys

Jump into the wild world of oceanic dolphins and become part of their pod for a once in a lifetime experience

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Aus. Capital Territory


Photo: Tourism Australia/Geoff Lung

Canberra: majestic from any angle

Lets get down to business... The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), dominated by the modern city of Canberra, is much more than just the national capital. For starters, it looks a whole lot different. Canberra was planned from the start, as evidenced by the circles, triangles and green spaces. Apart from the grandiose buildings of state, most of the ACT is national park and forest, with an abundance of bushwalks. Visit for more info. culture and, of course, politics. Plus, many of its main tourist attractions are free. Parliament House forms the symbolic and geographical heart. Just down the road is Old Parliament House, now a museum with the Aboriginal Tent Embassy out the front. The best of the rest are the National Gallery of Australia, home to Sidney Nolans iconic Ned Kelly paintings, the incredible and vast Australian War Memorial, the National Museum of Australia, the National Zoo & Aquarium and Questacon (National Science & Technology Centre). Space enthusiasts should gape in awe at the giant satellite dishes at Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex. Sports fans will enjoy being given a tour of the Australian Institute of Sport by one of their elite athletes, while bushwalkers have no chance of getting bored, thanks to Namadgi National Park covering about 40 per cent of the ACT.

Getting to & around Canberra

Only a short ight from Sydney or Melbourne. By car, Canberra is about a three-and-a-half hour drive from Sydney. You can also get to Canberra by coach or train. The main coach terminal is in the Jolimont Centre in the city. For timetables, go to Canberra is also ideal for cycling around as its mostly at.

Canberra accommodation
There are plenty of good quality, reasonably priced hostels in central Canberra. Places to look for any kind of long-term accommodation are The Canberra Times ( on Saturday, online at or university noticeboards.

Out on the town

Believe it or not, the national capital does have a somewhat lively nightlife, mainly thanks to the citys student population. Academy is the main den of iniquity in this part of the world, while Dickson is Canberras version of Chinatown, offering cheap eateries and taverns. Canberras other nocturnal party nexus is Civic, but there are many other great watering holes around town, so keep an eye on the local street press.

Things to do
As the epicentre of the federal state, Canberra is the hub for much of Australias most important art,

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Photo: Tourism Queensland

Right, lets do this... From the Great Barrier Reef one of the seven wonders of the world to the glitz of the Gold Coast and everything in between, there are many breathtaking sights in Queensland. The Sunshine State has a population of over 4.5 million, with about 2 million living in Brisbane, the state capital and surrounding areas.

Getting around Brisbane

The Brisbane Transit Centre on Roma Street has a helpful Backpackers Information Desk, which will provide you with information on transport and accommodation, If youve booked a hostel, call ahead as they may pick you up for free.

Queenslands capital has all the trappings of a big city, plus the laidback style which epitomises this state. Its the third-biggest city in the country, but a million miles away from Sydney and Melbourne in lifestyle. Built along the Brisbane River, its a clean, attractive city, and is worth staying to explore for a few days. Its also a great base for touring south-east Queensland. The holiday centres of the Gold Coast (80km south) and the Sunshine Coast (100km north) are accessible by bus or train.

Things to do
More detailed information can be obtained from the Brisbane Visitors Information booth in the Queen Street Mall. Abseiling: Take a leap of faith off Kangaroo Point on the south bank of the Brisbane River. As you make your way down the cliffs, make sure you pause to take in the great view of the city behind you. Castlemaine XXXX Brewery Tour: Youve drunk the beer, now see with your own eyes just how XXXX is made. If youre nice they might even let you try some of the amber nectar at the end. Woo hoo! Queensland Cultural Centre: It has been suggested that Queensland is a little short on culture, but an afternoon in here will set you straight. Fortitude Valley markets: Open every Satuday and Sunday in Brunswick Street Mall is the Valley Markets, hosting talented young clothing and jewellery

Arriving in Brisbane
Brisbanes international airport is only about 30 minutes from the city centre, so a cab isnt too pricey. You can also catch the Airtrain, which runs every 30 minutes, or a shuttle bus.

designers as well as racks full of stylish second-hand wares. Live music will help you fossick through the second-hand book and CD stalls. South Bank: On the river, South Bank hosts a few pubs, restaurants and cinemas just a footbridge away from the city. Jump in the man-made lagoon nearby to cool down. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary: The oldest and one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Australia is just 11km south-west of the city and has more than 100 koalas and other native animals. Take a bus or river cruise to get over there. Mt Coot-tha Park: Great for a stroll in the botanic gardens, Mt Coot-tha also has a lookout with stunning views to Moreton and Stradbroke Islands and mountain ranges to the north and south.

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bars to mix with the friendly locals. The Valley is also the hub of Brisbanes enviable live music scene.

Brisbane daytrips
30 minutes drive from Brisbane, the nearby Moreton Bay and Islands region offers an array of beaches and spectacular blue waters perfect for swimming, surng, snorkelling and sailing. The bayside villages of Cleveland, Victoria Point and Wellington Point each offer unique dining experiences and a range of boutique shopping, art galleries, museums and heritage sites; and are the stepping off point for the surrounding islands. The largest of the bay islands, Moreton Island is great for the wilderness lover. A bit like Fraser Island but without the crowds, its a great place for 4WDriving down the beach and giving sandboarding a go. You can even feed the friendly dolphins. The island is renowned for its beaches, lakes and wildlife, and popular with campers, bushwalkers, shermen, and naturalists who like its undeveloped nature. South of Moreton, North Stradbroke Island (Straddie) is the worlds second largest sand island and has some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in Australia. With rugged cliffs and kilometres of

Out on the town

The free inner-city weekly newspaper, Time Out, publishes a Whats On guide, as does Saturdays Courier Mail. Rave Magazine has details on the alternative live music scene. Brisbane isnt as big a party place as the Gold Coast but there is plenty to do and plenty of places to drink, dance and eat out. Fortitude Valley is where youll nd most of the good pubs and

Your beach camping adventure begins on North Straddie @straddiecamping #welovestraddie

Photo: Straddie Camping

Ph 07 3409 9668 North Stradbroke Island, QLD

Feel the spirit of Quandamooka Country

Pristine beauty as far as the eye can see on Stradbroke Island




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Take to the sky for a stomach-churning view of the Gold Coast

white sandy beaches, the island combines pristine natural beauty, with a wide range of adrenaline activities. Fresh water springs and lakes and magnicent hiking tracks can be found inland, with many sites having special signicance to the Quandamooka Aboriginal People. Straddies three townships provide a relaxed village atmosphere with a variety of galleries, cafes and restaurants popular with locals, surfers and sunbaked tourists. Theres no time to be bored with fun stuff like 4WDrive adventure tours, snorkeling, scuba diving, sea kayaking, shing, sand boarding, whale watching and some of the best surng in the state. Straddies accommodation options include hotels, rental homes, holiday units, bed & breakfasts; as well as campgrounds in each of the townships, and 500 no frills back-to-nature beachfront camping sites. North of the city, along Steve Irwin Way is the Crocodile Hunters very own Australia Zoo.

Gold Coast (Surfers Paradise)

Queenslands southern-most coastline, the Gold Coast, is like the Miami of Australia. The area is a tourist

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screaming there are loads of rollercoasters. Sea World: The grandaddy of Australias theme parks and one of the best. It has great rides, dolphin and sea-lion shows and water-skiing displays you can even snorkel with sharks at Shark Bay. Wet n Wild Water Park: At Oxenford, this splashhappy spot has a permanent one-metre swell in the giant pool plus thrills and spills on the many other slides and pools. Theres even dive-in movies.

haven but is very backpacker-friendly, and enjoys a subtropical climate that attracts travellers all year round. The Gold Coast is a 42km uninterrupted string of beaches from Coolangatta in the south (which has an airport) to Southport in the north. The surf at Kirra Beach and Burleigh Heads is legendary and many top surng carnivals are held there. Its also a great place to learn to surf. The increasingly-popular area also offers skydiving, scuba diving, shing, whale watching and golf. Currumbin is another gem, with the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary being the main attraction. The most famous and busiest of the Gold Coast beaches is Surfers Paradise, where theres always something going on, from volleyball to craft markets. Considered the centre of the Gold Coast, travellers ock to Surfers for the activities, shopping, restaurants and pumping nightlife. The area has a reputation for being Australias party capital and as the sun rises the party-goers can usually be seen making their way home after a wild night out. The area hosts a variety of events. One of the biggest is Octobers V8 races, when racing cars screech through the streets, Monaco-style. If partying takes its toll, head for the hills. The Gold Coast Hinterland is one of the most understated parts of the area. The rich mountain range towers over the Gold Coast, and is great for those seeking the green behind the gold. The Gold Coast offers a range of good hostels, cheap eats and an almost endless menu of activities. Check out for Gold Coast Tourism.

Out on the town

There are more clubs, pubs, eateries, karaoke nights, theme nights, parties and fun activities along the Gold Coast than you can shake a stick at. From treasure hunts during the day to glitzy, cheesy nightclubs going on till the early hours, theres no end of choice when it comes to having a big night out. The place to head in Surfers is Orchid Avenue, the main strip with all the bars, clubs and restaurants.

Sunshine Coast
A beautiful area north of Brisbane with yet more wonderful beaches and spectacular hinterland is the Sunshine Coast. Although not as developed as the Gold Coast, Noosa, Maroochydore and Caloundra are still thriving holiday resorts. The Sunshine Coast offers a unique mix of tourism and adventure pursuits with a lifestyle that is so laidback you may have to give the locals a nudge just to check theyre still breathing. Thats when theyre not plunging into the waves: its also one of the last really good surng locations on the Queensland coast as you head north. Finding a hostel shouldnt be a problem, but be careful during peak periods it can get very busy. Heading north from Brisbane, the Glasshouse Mountains dramatic peaks welcome you to the Sunshine Coast. Bizarre yet striking, these strangelyshaped rocks jut out from the lush forests. At the southern end of the coast, Caloundra used to be the biggest tourist resort in the area, but these days it has been overtaken by Noosa and Maroochydore. Its still a good place to take cruises to Bribie Island and see the Queensland Air Museum at Caloundra Aerodrome its also one of the top places to skydive and land on the beach. Maroochydore is one of the main resort towns, also comprising Mooloolaba and Alexandra Headland. These towns each have great beaches, with Mooloolaba and Maroochydore offering the best nightlife and restaurants. A fashionable resort with some very expensive areas, Noosa attracts most visitors to the Sunshine Coast, yet still maintains plenty of charm.

Things to do
Bicycle tours: Enjoy a relaxed and different way of seeing the sights around town. SuperBank: This sandbank stretching across three beaches, from Rainbow Bay to Kirra, is a surfers playground. Have a go or just watch the locals. Dream World: Try out their thrill-seeking rides and get up close to Aussie animals. Gold Coast Arts Centre: Culture vultures should head for the banks of the Nerang River for classical music, theatre and ballet. Lamington National Park: Rainforest area with mountains, gorges, waterfalls, wildlife and 260km of walking trails. A great daytrip by car, or you can camp overnight in the park. Learn to surf: Coolangatta has a great surf break, making it an inviting spot to learn to surf. At some point while youre in Oz, youve just got to take to the waves. Movie World: Hollywood comes to the Gold Coast at this Warner Brothers extravaganza. Start your

The easy breaking waves in crystal clear waters are perfect for learning to surf. Set around a spectacular cape, the Noosa National Park has some great walks and scenery. From beachfront Hastings Street, take the boardwalk and dont forget to look up as theres a good chance youll spot a koala. With a lot of cool (but pricey) eateries, Hastings Street is the place to go in the evening. If the coast is too hot for you, head inland to pretty Mary Valley and rent a kayak and paddle along secluded rivers. Or rent a mountain bike and cycle through the cool forests.

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Fraser Coast
The Fraser Coast region encompasses the areas of Fraser Island, Rainbow Beach, Hervey Bay, Maryborough, Tiaro and the Great Sandy Strait. The mild year-round climate means visitors can enjoy a subtropical haven. The diverse Fraser Coast region provides the opportunities for whale and bird watching, 4WD, shing, retail therapy and a variety of adventure activities. World Heritage-listed Fraser Island has some of the most spectacular scenery in the entire country. Home to endless white sandy beaches, pristine rainforest, freshwater lakes, bubbling streams and mosaic-coloured sands, Fraser is the worlds largest sand island and is a must see for anyone travelling the east coast. There arent too many places in the world like this, so move heaven and earth to get there. Luckily, you dont have to. From Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach you can book one, two or three-day tours with any number of operators, or you can do it yourself, and hire your own 4WD with a few mates. We strongly recommend going for three days as any shorter trip will mean having to skip some of the sights, and this is one place you really dont want to miss anything. You will need a national parks permit and you need to adhere to the regulations on the island take only pictures, leave only footprints. Be especially careful when driving on the sand dunes Fraser is the only place in the world to have a beach which is also a national highway and airstrip and be wary of the dingoes (native dogs). They are not afraid to steal food and have attacked people in the past. Some of the highlights include beautiful Rainbow Gorge, the cobalt blue waters of Lake MacKenzie, Lake Wabby and the amazing walk along the sand dunes to get there, Cathedral sandcliffs and the Maheno shipwreck. Indian Head at the north of the eastern beach has a lookout to spot sharks, rays, whales and other sea life. Champagne Pools are

just a short walk away and great for a salty bathe. As the closest access point to Fraser Island, Rainbow Beach is popular with independent travellers, but this laidback seaside town has plenty of attractions in its own right. There are spectacular coloured sand cliffs which gave the town its name freshwater lakes, rainforests and a shipwreck to explore. Local adventure activities include skydiving, parasailing, hang-gliding, canoeing and surng. Nearby Tin Can Bay is a great place to do a spot of dolphin-watching. Also nearby is the Cooloola National Park, which stretches more than 50km down from Rainbow Beach. It is a wilderness area with mangrove swamps, lakes, and heaths with an abundance of native animals. Hervey Bay is a hub for travellers, and the place most people stop before heading over to Fraser Island. It also draws tourists for its own merits, being home to excellent sailing, diving, snorkelling, skydiving and jet skiing. You can even book a scenic ight to take you over Fraser for a fantastic aerial view. However, Hervey Bay is most famous for its whale watching. Between July and November, humpback whales are on their annual migration from Antarctica to the warmer seas of eastern Australia and back again. Many operators run boats out to see the massive mammals in their own habitat. Its truly a privilege, especially when the whales breach. If youre really lucky you might also catch sight of the dolphins, turtles and dugongs who hang out in the bay. West from Hervey Bay are Queenslands Central Highlands rugged sandstone cliffs and fern-lled gorges set amid arid Outback cattle country. A series of spectacular national parks offer great bushwalking and lots of wildlife.

Famous for its rum (an Aussie institution), Bundaberg offers harvest work prospects, pleasant beaches and nearby national parks. See turtles nest from November to February and whales pass through between August and October. Bundaberg is also a major departure point for both Lady Elliot and Lady Musgrave Islands, which are both near the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef and boast some of the best opportunities Down Under for snorkelling or diving with turtles and manta rays.

Capricorn Region
The stretch of land that covers the central Queensland coast is known as the Capricorn region,

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Photo: Tourism Queensland

One of the great wonders of the world

Yeppoon is a cosy town 45km east of Rockhampton and is the stop-off point for the surrounding islands. Beautiful beaches, great spots for diving and spotting turtles, laidback atmosphere and well-priced adventure activities mean theres plenty to keep you busy. There are many shing and diving charters around the 32 islands of Keppel Bay, so lots of tasty seafood. You can feed kangaroos and see koalas at the nearby Cooberrie Park. Around 800km from Brisbane is one of Queenslands nest national parks. Carnarvon Gorge is 30km long with 250m-high cliffs and fern-lled side canyons, including the awesome amphitheatre, only accessible by a high, steel ladder. Wildlife is abundant at the campsite, where kangaroos graze by your tent.The gorge also has two of the most extensive Aboriginal rock art sites in Oz.

for its position across the Tropic of Capricorn. A popular destination for travellers for not only the fun but the funds, theres loads of fruit-picking and harvest work here. From Childers to Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Great Keppel Island and further aeld, there is plenty to do and see on the Tropic of Capricorn. The rst stop for many northbound travellers are twin settlements Agnes Water and Town of 1770. The highest point you can surf on the coast, the area has stunning beaches, crazy motorbike tours, and is another launchpad for Lady Musgrave and Lady Elliot islands. About 40km from the coast, Rockhampton is the largest city on the Tropic of Capricorn. The Beef Capital of Australia, Rocky is a great place to enjoy an Aussie steak. Drop by the Great Western pub, watch a rodeo and holler with some of the local cowboys. This area is also a great place to do a farmstay, where you can learn how to throw a lasso, crack a whip and muster cattle. From Yeppoon harbour take a boat over to Great Keppel Island a classic tropical island with crystal clear water, secluded beaches, watersports, reef snorkelling and nightlife. There is a Contiki resort on one part of the island, leaving plenty of wilderness and 19 other stunning beaches to explore. If youre prepared for a bit of a walk, you can nd one all to yourself.

Great Barrier Reef

Undoubtedly one of the worlds top travel destinations, the Great Barrier Reef is a living phenomenon and as iconically Aussie as the Sydney Opera House or Uluru. It stretches for more than 2,000km along the Queensland coast from Bundaberg to Cape York and parts of it are more than 18 million years old. The ecosystem that allows the reef to thrive is extremely fragile, and as a result, tourism is controlled. The reef was proclaimed a national park in 1979 and a management programme

tries to balance the interests of scientists, tourists, divers and shing enthusiasts. While there, take care to stick to the rules which allow this underwater wonderland to survive. There are many tour operators offering boat or diving/ snorkelling trips. Unfortunately global warming and increasing carbon dioxide levels are seriously damaging the reef. See it before it fades away for good.

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There are many different operators offering these cruises so shop around and ask your hostel and other travellers to nd the one that suits you best. The mainland base for exploring the stunning Whitsundays, Airlie Beach is backpacker heaven. The main street is lined with pubs, shops, pubs, restaurants, palm trees and pubs. Its a party town with a massive range of activities. In cane-growing country halfway between Hervey Bay and Cairns, Airlie has excellent budget Whitsunday Islands accommodation and the main street comes alive at A spectacular chain of islands with the best night. If you can make it out of bed in the morning, cruising grounds for all types of boats. All 74 theres plenty to keep you busy sailing, islands in the Whitsundays are accessible from Airlie game shing, learning to dive, bungy Beach. Each of the islands is covered in sub-tropical jumping, skydiving, land sailing, reef rainforest and pine trees and surrounded and island tours, and whale-watching by glorious, sandy beaches and fringing (July-September). coral reefs. Although Airlie doesnt exactly The most popular thing to do is have a beach as such, you can cool Dont rush! You to jump on a boat from Airlie and down at the lagoon, a man-made should spend a explore the postcard-perfect area. You pool which is free from stingers minimum 3-4 weeks can do a daytrip, but the most popular (jellysh), complete with BBQs and travelling from traveller option is a three-day, twogazebos a great place to chill-out in Cairns to Sydney. night cruise. the sun. There is also a wildlife park (featuring the original Croc Dundee), national parks and rainforest tours. Nearby Cedar Creek Falls has a beautiful freshwater swimming lagoon. Airlie Beach a mecca for travellers where youll meet like-minded people who you may become even closer to on a Whitundays sailing trip. The more popular Whitsunday islands include THE RIDE OF YOUR LIFE! Brampton, Whitsunday, Lindeman, Hook, Hamilton, South Molle, Hayman, Long and Daydream. The most famous icon of the Whitsundays, however, is Whitehaven Beach, boasting stunningly white silica sand and endless photo opportunities. Just 30km further east is the Outer Great Barrier Reef with some of the best coral and marine life at places like Bait Reef Marine Park, Hardy Lagoon, and W HI T S U N D AYS Hook, Line and Sinker Reefs. Hamilton is one of the most developed islands on the coast with a huge 3 DAYS IN ONE... Whitehaven Beach, marina, shops and banks. Hook Island is renowned top snorkel destinations & island bushwalks. for its breathtaking underwater observatory, which P: 07 4946 6848 gives you a great view of the reef. The island is 90 minutes by boat from Shute Harbour. Mackay, just south of the Whitsundays, is the CA P E T R IB U L ATION sugar-producing capital of Oz. There are some amazing animals in the surrounding area as a Ask about our 2 trip special deal with our sister company OCEAN SAFARI - result of the sub-tropical rainforest being isolated Great Barrier Reef - Half Day Snorkel Tour for thousands of years, and you may even spot a platypus near the Broken River camping ground. Visit nearby Cape Hillsborough National Park, 40 minutes north, and youll most likely see




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The Whitsundays picture perfect Whitehaven Beach

kangaroos, wallabies, turtles and sugar gliders (those ying possums with a soft spot for honey).

Townsville & Magnetic Island

Halfway up the Great Barrier Reef, Townsville is the largest city in Tropical Queensland. Its surrounded by both rainforest and outback, being one of those rare places where the dusty interior meets the Coral Sea, and is known as the sunshine capital of Australia, because it hardly ever rains. Most travellers come here to pay a visit to Magnetic Island, a laidback tropical paradise just a swift ferry ride from town.

Billabong Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can feed kangaroos and get up-close to local animals like koalas and crocodiles.

Magnetic Island
Known fondly as Maggie, Magnetic Island has wild koalas, 5,000ha of national park, secluded and barely-accessible beaches, wreck diving, beachy nightlife, action adventure, great seafood and beach bumming galore. Maggie is also popular for its full moon parties, regarded by some as one of the east coast nightlife highlights. Theres a good choice of hostels here. Getting around the island is best done by renting a bike or in a Mini Moke. Stay at Base Backpackers for their legendary Island Bar home of the only Full Moon party in Australia.

Out in Townsville
Much of the nightlife is concentrated around riverside Flinders Street but there are also pleasant alfresco bars over the river at Palmer Street. If theres a US ship in port you can be sure the town, which has a big military base, will be partying extra-hard. Dont miss Reef HQ during the day a living reef aquarium experience, the IMAX Dome Theatre and the modern, fun, interactive Museum of Tropical Queensland. Just out of town is the popular

Further aeld
Via Townsville you can visit outback Charters Towers and Ravenswood, historic towns from the gold mining era. Drive to Wallaman Falls (100km north of Townsville), Australias highest single-drop waterfall in thick mountain rainforest. Watch the water rush down a 300m gorge and into a large swimming hole.

Based across the road from REAL beach, with activities including Tully white water rafting, skydiving onto the beach, rainforest, islands, reef and so much more.

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Music, people, atmosphere. Cos thats how we roll.

PLUS Local jobs! Fruit Picking, Labouring, Hospitality...

Proudly family-run hostel for over 25 years offering clean and comfortable back-packer accommodation in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. 1800 665 567 (Free Call) General Enquiries: (+61) 07 4068 8676 76 Holland Street, Mission Beach, Queensland, 4852
recommendation by Lonely Planet 2014


Tropical north & Cairns

The tropical region of northern Queensland is the place for budget, big-town partying in tropical Cairns, or if you prefer, rainforest magic at Cape Tribulation. But dont neglect the coast along the way. Hinchinbrook Island is the second-largest national park island in the world all 642km are protected. There are no roads, no shops, and no accommodation on the island. Just camping spots and beautiful creeks with fresh water. It has bushwalks, secluded beaches and mangrove everglades. The Thorsborne Trail stretches for 32km and is the main reason that many people, especially serious bushwalkers, visit Hinchinbrook. Between Townsville and Cairns, there are also several towns that are perfect for picking up harvest work. Tully, for example, is popular for fruit pickers and a great spot to try whitewater rafting. Mission Beach, where the rainforest meets the reef, is a special place with a real village feel. Once an Aboriginal mission and a hippie hang-out, its now home to budget accommodation. Enjoy 14km of secluded beaches and pretty rainforest areas. Its also developed a reputation for its love of

adrenalin. Mission is one of the best places to do a skydive, admiring the reef before landing on the sand, while the area is also good for less crowded dive sites and daytripping to the Tully rafting. Just off Mission Beach, Dunk Island is a must for daytrips or a few days camping. Famous for its sunsets, its home to 150 species of birds and the air is thick with iterring butteries. At the time of going to press, Dunk Islands resort was still sadly still closed due to suffering severe damage in last Februarys Cyclone Yasi. Innisfail offers plenty of harvest work. Most of the hostels in town help organise work, and some even sort out transportion to the farms. One of the most popular destinations in Australia, Cairns is well known as the backpackers party and adventure capital. Many travellers end up spending a fair bit of time here diving, working, soaking up the beauty and taking advantage of the nightlife. Cairns tropical climate means it offers perfect swimming weather (apart from stinger season which runs between October and May), and while every hostel worth its salt has a pool, the town has also a very picturesque man-made lagoon. Want to jump out of a plane or go bungy

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jumping? No worries. Want to learn to dive on the worlds largest living reef system? Not a problem. Fancy meeting some of the worlds biggest crocodiles? Its possible. Cairns is that sort of town. Cairns is the gateway to some of Australias most spectacular natural wonders The Great Barrier Reef, the Atherton Tablelands and the Daintree Rainforest.

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Arriving in Cairns
Cairns airport is only a 10-minute drive from the city centre. Theres a shuttle bus into town, but call ahead as many hostels offer a free pick-up. See for more info.

for a hostel or long-term accommodation, they offer impartial advice. They can also help you with many other things, including car rental, camping and tours. Email them at Look in TNTMagazine for accommodation options. If youre thinking of sticking around for a few weeks, there are some good share accommodation options too available at (

Things to do in Cairns
ATV/Quad biking: Take a four-wheeled bike out into the rainforest. Check out the wonderful scenery as you hoon around you can even rustle horses like a futuristic cowboy! Bungy jumping: Feel like hanging around or want to get the old adrenalin pumping? Try bungy jumping at the AJHackett tower. You can also try something called the Minjin Swing, where you lie in a harness, are lifted up 40m into the rainforest, then released to swing back and forth till you stop. Mountain biking: Cairns could be the mountain biking capital of Australia, boasting two World Cups. A wild way for adventurers to explore the rainforest. Scuba diving: For very good reason, Cairns is a

Getting around Cairns

Lake Street Transit Mall is the transportation centre of the city. From there you can catch the Cairns Red Explorer Bus for a tour of the city. The public transport in this area isnt too bad for a regional centre all things being equal.

Cairns accommodation
A great place to start is the Tourism Tropical North Queensland Visitors Centre. Whether youre looking

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hotspot for all fans of the sport, with everything for beginners through to pros, including liveaboard PADI courses (where you stay on a boat on the reef). See dive shops for more information. Snorkelling: If youre not a keen diver, you can still experience the wonders of the reef with just a snorkel. All the dive schools offer a snorkelling option, where you explore the reef that sits near the top of the ocean. Cairns Zoom and Wildlife Dome: Want to get up close to nature, while getting the thrill of your life too? Visit this unique wildlife park in the heart of Cairns where you can zipline over the top of Goliaths Crocodile Territory. There are also more than sixty-ve different crossings over two height levels, including a climbing wall, log bridges, tunnels, swinging beer kegs, skateboards, seesaws, cargo nets. The lagoon: Those nasty jellysh used to make it near impossible to swim in Cairns in the summer until the opening of the lagoon, right on the Esplanade. Whitewater rafting: An exhilarating way to see the rainforest along the Tully, Barron and Russell Rivers. Half, full-day, overnight and extreme trips are available so, naturally being readers of ours youll be going for the extreme trip.

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the beach or through the rainforest. Northwards from here its pretty much dirt roads all the way, and once past Cooktown there are only small communities. Beyond Cooktown lies the remote Cape York Peninsula, at the northernmost tip of Australia (it is only 150km from Papua New Guinea.) It is still one of the wildest and least populated parts of Australia. Getting there can be quite an adventure as the roads are all unsealed. Plus its croc country. A 4WD is a must. If youre not too hot on your mechanical knowledge its probably best to join one of the camping tours on offer. However, itll be far from gentle on your wallet.

West of Cairns
In the heart of sugar country, Babinda lies at the foot of Mt Bartle Frere, Queenslands highest mountain. There are incredible rainforest walking tracks too. Take a daytrip by car, a tour or catch a bus to the Atherton Tablelands from Spence Street, Cairns. They rise from the coastal plains and are home to some stunning bushwalking country. Mungalli Falls Outpost is at Millaa, which has whitewater rafting and horse riding. The quiet town of Yungaburra is a good base for exploration and has a picturesque old pub. Kuranda is a quiet village just west of Cairns. Its well worth a visit on market day and is a gateway to the Atherton Tablelands. Arrive via the Kuranda Scenic Railway, which provides a spectacular ride for cheap, or skyrail, the treetop cable car.

Out on the town

From blues bars to English-style pubs, live music venues to budget backpacker meal deals, there are innumerable party places, packages and people in Cairns. Nearly all offer cheap (and often free) meal deals to go with that rst jug of beer, so you shouldnt go hungry in Cairns.

Western Queensland
Those wanting to experience a true outback town can make the 737km trek to the historic town of Charleville. Swimming and gold prospecting head the list of things to do, other than meeting the locals. Budget accommodation and camping are available. The remote town of Birdsvilles annual claim to fame is the Birdsville Races, which are held each September. Folk ock from miles around to join in the fun. Its worth visiting if you have time. Away from the coast youll nd a diversity of landscapes. Darling Downs is one of Ozs richest agriculture areas. Beyond that theres Cunnamulla, a classic outback town. But past Charleville is the desolate south-west corner and the Channel Country. Only well-prepared 4WDs can venture that far. Toowoomba is an inland city and has beautiful architecture, plus horse trail rides, an adventure park and botanical gardens. Not too far away are Warwick, a major farming are, and Goondiwindi, famous for surrounding bushland.

North of Cairns
As well as being a haven for the odd US president, the upmarket, pretty resort town of Port Douglas is perfectly positioned by the reef and is fringed with stunning white beaches. The town has a great atmosphere, holding an annual carnival, open air cinema season, loads of live music and a nightlife full of top-notch restaurants and bars. . The World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park is a fantastic setting for a few days relaxation and environmental awareness. The Daintree River is one of the best places to take a crocodile tour the famous Gummy is king of the river, and with luck you might just spy him sunning himself on the banks of the river. Cape Tribulation is situated at the northern end of the Daintree with pristine rainforests and beaches. Its gobsmackingly beautiful. Backpacker accommodation is available on the beach or in the forest. This is an ideal area to go horse riding along

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Northern Territory

Photo: Tourism NT

Coming to the pointy end... The Northern Territory is wild, from the croc-infested waters to the eagles over-head. But for all its massive expanse, a mere 230,000 people live up here. Darwin, the NTs capital, is a multicultural city with a taste of Asia, as Indonesia is on its back step. You can also expect to hear some of the oldest languages in the world as Australias rst people still speak in their native tongue and English can often be their third or fourth language. Kakadu National Park, Katherine Gorge, Arnhem Land and, of course, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in the Red Centre all deserve some time. There are plenty of travellers through the territory because adventure is around every corner.

Darwin is a truly tropical city. A bloody long way from anywhere, its the type of town that attracts people who are really trying to get away from it all, and those lured by the stunning scenery right on

the citys doorstep. The prevailing vibe is part far-ung outpost, part tropical resort. Its an unusual town and one that you shouldnt miss. Due to its unique and at times rather unfortunate history Darwin is perhaps Australias most modern city, having been rebuilt practically from the ground up in the mid1970s in the wake of Cyclone Tracy which struck the city on Christmas Eve 1974, destroying everything in its path. Darwin is the centre of the NTs tropical Top End, which essentially experiences only two seasons: the Dry from May-October and the Wet from November-April. The Dry is peak season, the most pleasant and busiest time to visit the tropical north. However, the Tropical Summer (a fancy, tourist-friendly name for the Wet) brings its own attractions. Darwins diverse population and proximity to Asia means that the city has more than 50 different nationalities. Another event which has largely shaped


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displays. Well worth a visit, even for those fresh from the reef. Mindil Beach Sunset Markets: The thing to do while youre inDarwin. These evening markets (Thursdays and Sundays) get absolutely packed during the Dry. Theres every type of food imaginable, great music and even the chance to try cracking a whip, all with the backdrop of the beautiful sunset over the ocean. Museum of Arts and Sciences: Natural history, Aboriginal culture and art. Free. Wharf Precinct: With great sh and chips, weekend entertainment, jet boating and even a pool with a wave machine, this newly redeveloped part of the city is rapidly becoming one of its most popular corners. Deckchair Cinema: An outdoor cinema on throughout the Dry season, features alternative and Aussie movies, with booze on sale. Bring a picnic. Darwin: the city was the Australian frontline in WWII when many bombing raids were made by the Japanese. Of course, for many travellers, Darwin is mainly a gateway to two of Australias biggest attractions: Kakadu and Litcheld National Parks. Tours to these two places are available from every hostel and travel centre in town.

Out on the town

The citys reputation as a hard drinking town is well-earned but perhaps a little out-of-date. These days, the only people who drink the famously massive Darwin stubbies are tourists, but thats not to say the locals dont like their brew. Theres no doubt the heat makes you crave a cold beer like nothing else. Darwins boozing scene is a combination of big, old-style pubs with wrap-around verandahs (like the Victoria Hotel, or Vic), swish new minimalist bars and laidback outdoor drinking spots (the sailing and ski clubs). Darwin is a backpacker-friendly town, which means the jugs are cheap and you can be guaranteed to get cheap meals every night of the week.

Arriving in Darwin
You can get an airport shuttle to your accommodation one-way (check beforehand to see if your hostel does free pick-ups).

Getting around Darwin

Darwin is a relatively at city and its easy to nd your way around on foot. Buses run regularly (the main city terminus is on Harry Chan Ave, near Smith St) and most hostels offer cheap or free bike hire.

Darwin daytrips
Adelaide River Bridge Crossing: 66km east of Darwin, its the site of the famous jumping crocs which leap a full body-length out of the water. Howard Springs: 26km south of Darwin on the Stuart Hwy. Crocodile-free swimming hole in a rainforest. Avoid on weekends, as it gets very busy with locals. Berry Springs: Less than an hour south of Darwin and less crowded than Howard Springs. Mt Wells: Historic tin mining area. Spectacular 100km wilderness view, nine billabongs, rare bird species, wild horses and a high concentration of freshwater crocs. Lake Bennett: Great hostel and camping area beside safe swimming lake, with abundant bird and animal life.

Around town
Aquascene: Everybody goes to feed the sh here. Times vary with the tide, so check at your hostel Botanic Gardens: Walk along the coast to the NT Museum, with great examples of Aboriginal art and natural history. Free. Cage of Death: At Crocosaurus Cove you can jump in an acrylic cage and come face-to-face with a giant saltwater croc. Not for the faint-hearted. Diving: All-year wreck diving in the harbour from WWII, Cyclone Tracy and refugee boats. East Point Reserve: Has nice views, plus walking and cycling tracks, wallabies to feed at sunset and safe swimming in Lake Alexander. Indo-Pacic Marine: Quality, interactive marine

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brisbane to darwin melbourne to alice springs sydney to alice springs

Litcheld National Park: Smaller than Kakadu but still worth checking out. Pristine wilderness and mostly croc-free. Waterfalls, swimming holes, monsoon rainforest and great bushwalking. Camping available (permit required). Territory Wildlife Park: Set on 400 hectares of bushland, this attraction features a 25m high walkthrough aviary and an underwater viewing tunnel. Tiwi Islands: Bathurst and Melville Islands are 30 minutes by air from Darwin. They are Aboriginal-owned and run and offer a unique opportunity to experience the history, culture and environment of the Tiwi people.

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well as freshwater billabongs. Home to the biggest concentration of saltwater crocodiles in the world, the area is also well-known for its birdlife.

Arnhem Land
An area of more than 94,000 spectacular square kilometres, Arnhem Land is Aboriginal-owned, home to many different clan groups and is a cultural stronghold from which the didgeridoo originates. Access is available through a limited number of tours and safari camp operators as well as visits to community art centres.

The North
Truly the Top End, to the east of Darwin is the beautiful Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land. Largely uninhabitable and lled with swamps, wetlands, waterfalls, ancient culture and angry crocodiles, exploring these areas is a great privilege and the greatest respect for the land, its native owners and the wildlife must be given. Get too close to the wrong creek bed and you may end up as lunch. However, with a guide, this rugged land is an Australian must-do experience, as much of an icon in many peoples minds as any other part of OZ, up there with the Great Barrier Reef and 4WDing on the sands of Fraser Island.

Katherine Gorge
The crossroads of the south, north, east and west, Katherine is your last stop before venturing into the great red unknown that links Darwin and Alice Springs. Crossing from Broome and the Kimberley youll hit Katherine too after a lack of civilisation. A town with all the mod cons, make sure you stock up before moving on. Your main reason for visiting, however, is the Katherine Gorge. Enclosed in Nitmiluk National Park, this is one of the NTs Big Three along with Kakadu and Uluru. There are over 13 gorges with more than 100km of walking tracks set in rugged terrain, just outside of town. You can explore the spectacular surrounds by canoe or cruise boat, foot or helicopter. The canoe is your best bet, getting intimate with nature. There are freshwater crocodiles in the water and swimming is reasonably safe, but be careful not to go to the beaches where the crocs have made nests for their eggs. Check with the rangers to see if any salties have been spotted in the area before you take the plunge. Start at the information centre. One of the two major centres between Darwin and Alice Springs, Tennant Creek is well situated for a break from the road. An important place to stock up on fuel and munchies, its a gold mining area, although major open-cut mining stopped in 1985, and you can still fossick in limited areas with an inexpensive Miners Right. Further down the track towards Alice Springs, youll stumble across the Devils Marbles, bizarre boulders in the middle of a at landscape with Aboriginal signicance. Stand in the middle of the split rock or hilariously pretend to be pushing one down the hill. Its one to add to the comedy photo collection.

This Aboriginal-owned, jointly-managed World Heritage area is listed for both natural and cultural values and has immense scenic beauty. Its sandstone escarpments most famously at Ubirr (where some of Crocodile Dundee was lmed) house some of the worlds greatest rock art dating back over 20,000 years. And youll be hard pressed to nd a more stunning place than Jim Jim Falls a massive waterfall accessible only by 4WD and trek by foot. Twin Falls is another popular spot a white beach beneath a double cascade waterfall. Also, some of the Aboriginal owners now work as rangers and there are a number of Aboriginal tours. Theres an entry fee to get into Kakadu which contributes to the upkeep of the park. Look for a tour that goes off the beaten track, as well as taking in the major sights. Nearby Jabiru has all the services youll need. Crocs are abundant, so stay away from the water unless you know its denitely safe. Mary River, the vast wetlands 170km east of Darwin, are among the most beautiful in the Top End. The Window on the Wetlands Interpretative Centre provides an ideal introduction to this area. Theres barramundi shing in the Mary River, as

Alice Springs
When you make it to Alice, its time to stop for a while and soak up the atmosphere. Try hot air

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Photo: Tourism NT

ballooning across the outback its breathtaking stuff at sunrise, with unbelievable views, or go camel riding and watch the sun set over the town.

Around Alice Springs

The scenery around Alice Springs is dramatic. To the east, the Eastern MacDonnell Ranges are easily accessible by car and have some good walking trails and picnic areas. The Western MacDonnells have an array of spectacular gorges and ancient landforms. They can be explored by hiking the Larapinta Trail, by bicycle on a specially developed cycle track or by road.

Getting around Alice Springs

The town centre is walkable, although some places are a little further aeld. ASBUS, the public bus service, is useful for those staying in outlying camping areas.

Out on the town

Once the sun has set behind the ranges, this little town comes to life, with a number of lively little pubs, populated by everyone from real-life cowboys to footloose and fancy-free travellers, in the Todd Street/Mall area. Best of the bunch include Bojangles (a packed, cattle-station-style restaurant and nightclub), The Rock Bar (crammed with backpackers boozing after their Uluru tours) and the Todd Tavern (a locals pub, often with live music). To nd out whats on when, check out The Alice Springs News (

Uluru-Kata Tjuta
Another dont miss national park, as iconic to Australia as the Sydney Opera House and kangaroos, is UluruKata Tjuta NP. Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (also referred to as the Olgas) are the heart of the Red Centre of Australia, attracting thousands of travellers each year to check out their intriguing shapes and how they got there. On seeing the sheer size of Uluru, you may well be dumbfounded by its enormity no matter how many times youve seen pictures of it on tacky souvenirs.


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Photo: Tourism NT

The Rock has a circumference of 9km and towers more than 300m above the at and desolate surrounding scrub. It is believed that two-thirds of it is still beneath the sand. At sunset, the Rock changes from a series of deep, dark reds through to an unusual grey. Many people dont realise this spectacle is just as amazing in reverse at sunrise its worth getting up early to view. The entire place has deep signicance to the Anangu people of the region, who own the area and jointly manage it as a World Heritage area. Please respect areas that have been fenced off as sacred sites and refrain from photography where asked. There are excellent walks around the base

including Aboriginal guided walks. The Uluru/Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre explains many of the natural and cultural features of this monolith as well as explaining why you dont climb to the top. Visitors can technically climb Uluru (weather permitting), but the local Anangu people, who consider the Rock their most sacred site and as such dont climb it themselves, ask tourists not to. Anyone with the slightest inkling of respect for Aboriginal culture should do likewise and not climb. Spending some time walking around its base is an experience you will not forget quickly. It is easy to be astounded by this mysterious phenomenon, with its changing colours, its immense caves and

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Theres nothing like seeing Uluru up close and personal

Aboriginal legends. As Uluru and the Olgas are within the Uluru/Kata Tjuta National Park, you can only stay at the Ayers Rock Resort at Yulara, so expect the prices to be accordingly high. Kata Tjuta, also known as the The Olgas, is a collection of weathered domes bubbling out of the desert, dominated by the 546m Mt Olga, and form an amazing contrast against the surrounding desert. Lots of walking tracks like The Valley of Winds are worth checking out. Kings Canyon, or Wartarrka, is 310km south of Alice and is one of the regions most dramatic geological features and is many peoples favourite

destination in the Red Centre. Full of surprises, the eerie weathered rock domes of the Lost World sit in stark contrast to the breathtaking views from the 300m high canyon rim nearby.

The South
The barren desert makes up the majority of the Northern Territorys south end. Heading to South Australia youll come across the odd outpost like Eridunda, where you turn right for Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. As you drive down the Stuart Highway youll see the absolute vastness of the Simpson Desert stretch away to your left. Where it keeps going and going and going.


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Western Australia

Photo: Tourism WA

The best spots in the west... From the sunset camel rides in Broome in the north to Margaret Rivers surf region to the south, diving with whale sharks on the Ningaloo Reef or spotting southern right whales off the Eyre Highway, Western Australia has plenty to offer the nature enthusiast. Meanwhile the capital, Perth, is a laidback city, where the locals enjoy a strong music scene, a great beach life and cruisy caf culture.

Perths fabulous Indian Ocean beaches and chilled-out atmosphere make it a relaxing place to stop over and spend a few days. Although its one of the most isolated cities on the planet, visitors can enjoy an active nightlife, a fresh club scene, plenty of attractions and museums, a buzzing caf culture and a renowned live music scene.

Situated on the banks of the Swan River, Perth is a modern, lively, youthful city, much like a smallerscale Sydney. Over 80 per cent of WAs population lives here and you dont need a fat IQ to see why. Boasting an impeccable year-round climate with more sunshine than any other Australian capital city

Arriving in Perth
Perths main airport is 12km north-east of the city centre. If your budget wont stretch to the cab ride, an airport shuttle operates between the international and domestic terminals and the city and hostels. Cheaper still is the public transport option with a standard bus service. See for more info.

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For info on local pubs and gigs, check out Thursdays West Australian newspaper Revue section or X-press a free weekly music magazine. Some of the nest music in Australia is coming out of WA, so make time to tune in. Its been said Perth has more restaurants per head than any place in the world. True or not, theres certainly plenty of eateries to choose from and a bewildering choice of cuisines: from Thai and Vietnamese to Spanish and Mexican, all tastes (and budgets) are catered for. Superbly restored, the cosmopolitan port of Fremantle is a 30-minute train or bus ride from Perth and is an unmissable spot. Freo comes alive on the weekends and at night, when people meet at the many outdoor cafs, pubs, clubs and restaurants. Worth a visit are the Fremantle Museum, Fremantle Prison Museum and the Western Australia Maritime Museum. Saturdays also boast a bustling market on South Terrace. This little town has an absolutely fascinating history starting out (like much of Australia) as a penal settlement in the early 19th century. It wasnt until 1897 that it became a serviceable sea port Book online or call 08 9274 7464 (1800 226 339 free call W.A only)

Getting around Perth

Like most Australian cities, Perths suburbs are rambling, but its centre is relatively compact. TransPerth (Ph: 13 62 13, runs frequent train, bus and ferry services, radiating from the train and bus stations in Wellington St. Worth noting is the Free Transit Zone in the citys centre, which allows passengers to travel fare-free around the area. Particularly useful is the free Blue CAT bus service, which runs in a loop from Barrack St Jetty to Aberdeen Street in the citys top backpacker spot, Northbridge.

Perth accommodation
Finding a hostel in Perth is no problem. If you want to nd a room to rent, the best way is to check out hostel notice boards. Accommodation sections in local newspapers and the citys free press. Northbridge is the suburb that attracts most independent travellers. As a consequence, excellent room and dorm deals are found here and in neighbouring Leederville, not to mention one of the best sh and chip shops in Australia (in the eds opinion anyway).

Things to do in Perth
Art Gallery of WA: The states premier gallery, exhibiting national and international works of art. AQWA: Explore over 12,000kms of WAs coastline in just one day with a visit to this spectacular aquarium at Hilarys Boat Harbour. Open daily from 10am. Beaches: Scarborough Beach is the most popular and is only 15 mins from the city. Theres great nightlife here as well. Dont miss the other beaches close to the city centre, like Triggs, Cottesloe and City. Diving: You may well spot seals or dolphins as you dive around WAs reefs and wrecks. Or try your luck at catching a lobster or netting prawns at night along the Swan River. Kings Park: Over 400ha of beautiful parkland overlooking the city. Catch the CAT or exert yourself and take a 25-minute walk from the city centre. Northbridge: Five minutes from the city, Northbridge is known as the liveliest and most cosmopolitan suburb in Perth, home to outdoor cafs, buskers, pubs, clubs and restaurants. Perth Zoo: Home to native and African wildlife.


Out on the town

Northbridge alone could keep you busy for days, but try to venture into other suburbs to see some great local pub bands, especially near the beaches for legendary Sunday Sessions. Subiaco and Leederville are other suburbs worth spending a night out in for a different avour.

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and, in turn, became a veritable Gateway to the West serving as the disembarkation point for many people heading to make their fortune on goldelds out in rugged the eastern deserts. Fremantle is still, technically Western Australias chief general port, despite Pilbara getting far greater haulage from its iron-ore ports. Only a short ferry trip from Perth or Fremantle, Rottnest Island is a popular holiday destination for locals, surfers, divers and beach lovers. Cars are banned on Rotto, so everyone gets around by bike (cycle hire is available on the island). As well as cycling, you can enjoy the unspoilt beaches, go diving or snorkelling, sample tasty goods from the excellent bakery, and relax at the pub. At night, the islands famous residents, quokkas (like small wallabies), wander around looking for food. Greedy swines. Rotto has cheap accommodation and camping. You can catch the Rottnest Express from Fremantle to the island. The journey is a leisurely 25 minutes and when youre there, you have the option to jump onboard a 90 minute Rottnest Adventure Tour or afternoon Whale or Seal Encounter and explore the Island by sea. A couple of hours drive north of Perth, Nambung National Park is home to the legendary Pinnacles. These ancient limestone pillars rise out of the earth in stunning contrast to the yellow sand dunes, explaining why these geographical oddities are such popular destinations.

The east
North-east of Perth are the goldeld towns of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Coolgardie, an interesting stop-off on the gruelling drive across the outback to Alice Springs, a trip that should only be undertaken by the most prepared adventurers. Despite its remote location, Esperance is one to mark on your route. Its a lively, fast-growing resort town, set amid rolling green hills and farmland, offering great shing, white sandy beaches and stunning coastal scenery. If you have your own wheels, make The Great Ocean Drive. The Nullarbor Plain links the west coast with the return of civilisation in Adelaide with a roadtrip that at 3,900km is just 80km shy of London to Moscow and boasts the longest completely straight stretch of road in the world at 178km long. It is also the worlds largest single piece of rock. Like a honeycomb underneath, it is also the longest underwater cave system, which attracts divers from across the globe. Youll see soaring cliffs, remote beaches, caves, seal colonies and from June to October, southern right whales and their calves (for more information

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contact Nullarbor Traveller, Ph: +61 8 8687 0455, About 550km north-east of Perth are the Kalgoorlie, Boulder and Coolgardie goldelds. Imposing public buildings in Kal on the broad tree-lined streets are a testament to the short-lived goldrush of the 1890s. Today, mining is limited but the area has a busy tourist trade. Some 150km south of the Perth-Kalgoorlie Hwy is the spectacular vision of Wave Rock in Hyden. This 15m high rock formation, striped with coloured bands, is in the shape of the surfers ultimate wave. Nearby are other curious natural formations such as Hippos Yawn, some ancient Aboriginal rock paintings and a wildlife sanctuary.

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National Park has some brilliant coastal views. About 60km east of Denmark is the town of Walpole, famous for the Tree Top Walk in The Valley of the Giants an eco-friendly, 40m high walk through the canopy of a Karri forest. Also take a cruise or walk through the breathtaking Walpole Nornalup National Parks and Wilderness Area. Another settlement worth seeing is Pemberton, a pretty timber town, and Kingdom of the giant Karri Tree Forest. Climb Gloucester Tree, at 60m the highest re lookout tree in the world, via a winding metal ladder.

Central coast
A wild and adventurous roadtrip, heading north from Perth will give you an insight into just how its one of the most isolated cities in the world. On your way to Broome and beyond youll come face to face with not only dolphins but whale sharks, gaze in awe at the worlds largest single rock, or stand on a beach more than 100 miles long. The Central Coast is about long drives and a good radio, with unspoilt landscape and photo opportunities around every corner. One of the major stops northward is Shark Bay. This is actually a couple of bays encompassed by two narrow peninsulas. The areas main attraction is the small settlement with the big reputation: Monkey Mia, a world-renowned spot for getting friendly with the local dolphin population, who come into knee deep water to be fed every morning. We can tell you that feeding dolphins is a properly enjoyable experience. Denham 25km towards the other side of the peninsula is really the areas main town, and is much cheaper than Monkey Mia for picking up supplies. The tropical fruit-growing area of Carnarvon, 904km north of Perth, sits at the mouth of the Gascoyne River. The area is known to attract travellers looking for work, particularly in the farming and shing industries with jobs from fruit picking to net shing. The rugged coastline nearby is famous for seasonal whale sightings during sh-feeding frenzies, when sharks herd anchovies against the cliffs. Try a camel trek, safari or visit Mt Augustus, the worlds biggest rock (twice the size of Uluru). Whatever else you do in WA, dont bypass Exmouth, famous for the breathtaking Ningaloo Reef, the closest fringing coral reef in Australia. It runs 260km on the western side of West Cape. The reef is smaller than the Great Barrier Reef but is more accessible. Exmouth began in 1964 as a naval base, when the Americans came in to set up huge submarine communication towers (which are still active) and ew 3,000 servicemen in to work on the now disused base.

South coast
WAs south-west is dotted with giant trees, lush hills, world-famous vineyards and gorgeous surf beaches. Its said this is some of the oldest land in the world. From the second largest town in WA, Bunbury, to Margaret River, renowned for both its surng and wine (not recommended together however) to the chilled-out Denmark and all the national parks, the south coast is denitely worth the venture. Bunbury is a coastal city easily accessible from Perth. Set in a rich, green farming region, the towns main attraction is the Dolphin Discovery Centre at Koombana Beach. The friendly mammals swim right up to the beach. An equally beautiful south-western destination is Margaret River an alternative lifestyle town, and favourite with surfers, sailboarders and, perhaps more recently, wine buffs. This is Western Australias premier wine region, producing some deliciously crisp, dry white wines like Semillon Sauvignon Blancs. Its an excellent location, with easy access to picturesque forests. Ensure you taste the produce of this acclaimed wine-producing region. Margaret River is bang in the middle of Capes Naturaliste and Leeuwin, the latter being the place where the Southern and Indian Oceans meet. Pop into one of the show caves that dot the cape region youll never look at a stalactite the same way again. Over 200km south-east from Margaret River is WAs rst European settlement, Albany, overlooking some of Australias most spectacular coastal scenery, where its possible to snorkel with seals. Nearby Torndirrup National Park, the Stirling Ranges and Porongurups (said to be the oldest hills in the world) offer excellent bushwalking, mountain scenery and also camping areas if you want to stay overnight. Close to Albany is happy, hippie-inuenced Denmark, a back-to-the-land, arts-and-craft town, with a ourishing reputation for good wine. William Bay

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meteorite crater, Wolfe Creek Crater (yes, from the lm), is 146km south of Halls Creek. Take care on the Tanami Track to reach this 853m-wide and 50m-deep spectacle. One of WAs key attractions is the World Heritagelisted Bungle Bungle (Purnululu) National Park. Reachable only by 4WD vehicle. In the wet season (November-March) the area is inaccessible. These ancient, rounded, orange and black-striped sandstone formations of the Bungle Bungle are truly one of Australias most spectacular sights and well worth the effort. This is one of the best areas to take a scenic ight to appreciate the absolute enormity of the landscape stretching away beneath you. Near the border of the Northern Territory is one of the last settlements of WA on the map, Kununurra. Established in the 1960s, its a fairly modern town, renowned as an adventure destination. Much of Baz Luhrmanns lm Australia, starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman was lmed in and around the town. Not that we really liked the lm so much, its more just a fun fact. Its also a popular spot for backpackers heading to Darwin, with fruit-picking work available around May/June.

Walk out from the beach and see over 250 corals, 500 species of sh, manta rays, turtles, dugongs and the placid, toothless, whale shark (April-July is the season) at about the size of a bus, its the worlds largest sh. Seriously, seeing whale sharks in their natural habitat is one of things that should be on your bucket list. Just south of Exmouth is picture-perfect Coral Bay, resting on a marine park, which also provides great access to the majesty of Ningaloo Reef and its famous whale shark residents.

Broome & The Kimberley

The northern tip of Western Australia is wild, often wet and for the most part devoid of all humans thanks to the Kimberley and its various national parks on the top side of the Great Northern Highway and the Great Sandy Desert on the southern side. Historically an old pearling town, Broome is brimming with Asian and Aboriginal culture, fantastic eateries, impressive sunsets and pristine beaches. Cable Beach on which you can book camel trips for the sunset ride of your life [pictured] is known as one of the worlds most beautiful coastal stretches. As the biggest stop on the long trip between Perth and Darwin, Broome is a popular hangout for travellers. Its probably worth saying that if youre thinking about going to Broome (which you denitely should) try and avoid travelling in the wet season it can get rather uncomfortable, ie its extremely hot and sticky and full of mosquitoes. About 250km inland is Fitzroy Crossing, a small town which acts as a convenient base for exploring the area. About 20km north-east of town is the stunning Geikie Gorge. Also worth a look are the nearby remains of an ancient ocean reef. Other breathtaking features in the region include Bell and Windjana Gorges and Tunnel Creek a 1km water-lled tunnel with an idyllic billabong at the other end. Its a long way from anywhere, but its well worth the trek its very beautiful! The next service town inland is Halls Creek, about 350km from Kununarra. Check out the old deserted goldrush township, 15km from town. Australias largest




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South Australia

Photo: SATC

How cute is this little dude totes adorbs!

Welcome to the deep south.. This much under-rated state is still something of a travellers secret. It offers vast salt lakes, crazy outback towns, a capital which always seems to be throwing a festival, and amazing wildlife experiences, such as those found on Kangaroo Island. And ironically, Australias driest state is also famous for its wet stuff wine. airport. The main coach terminal is on Franklin Street. (Contact the Info Centre, 18 King William St, Ph: 1300 383 783.) Useful to know about are the city loop buses (the 99c) and the Adelaide Connector, which are both free and run every day. You can also get free city bikes. You just have to leave some ID as a deposit.

For a state capital, Adelaide feels small, but it is uncrowded and attractive, priding itself on its culture, ne food, relaxed lifestyle and ace collection of festivals, including the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Fringe Festival and WOMADelaide. There is also a number of good beaches in the suburbs, the most famous being Glenelg, which boasts a lively caf scene and nightlife. In the city, the hip spots are concentrated on Rundle Street lled with cafs, nightclubs, pubs, wine bars and shops and Hindley Street, with its motley crew of revellers.

Adelaide accommodation
The city and Glenelg are the most popular spots to stay. Both are well serviced by good hostels and transport.

Around Adelaide
Botanic Gardens: Very tranquil with plenty to explore. Glenelg: Glenelg has a pleasant beach and promenade. Attractions include shops, eateries, an interesting local history museum, and an amusement park. Adelaide Central Market: A colourful and eclectic fresh food shopping experience. SA Museum: Natural and cultural history displays with excellent Aboriginal content. Entry is free.

Getting around Adelaide

Skylink buses run between the city and the

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Tandanya: Aboriginal cultural institute with art and craft and performances. Open Monday-Sunday.

Out on the town

Adelaide has a lively nightlife, a cool caf scene and a mind-boggling variety of excellent nosheries. For friendly pubs try Rundle Street, EastTerrace and Jetty Road, Glenelg. For information about gigs, check out Rip It Up (, Adelaides free music paper.

Wine country
South Australia produces the majority of Australias wine, including the ubiquitous Jacobs Creek label. If you do any wine-tasting tours in Australia, do it here. The Barossa Valley is about 70km from Adelaide. Its a very picturesque patchwork of vineyards, wineries and German townships. The Barossas main town is Tanunda, while the original German settlement is Bethany. To get to the Barossa you can join wine-tasting day trips from Adelaide. The Clare Valley is another very pleasant winemaking area to explore, with picturesque hills, high quality wine, ne old stone buildings and orid gardens. Half-an-hours drive south-east from the city, the Adelaide Hills are home to some of the states major vineyards. With rolling hills and market gardens its a real contrast to the city. You can also cuddle a koala at Cleland Wildlife Park. Over 50 vineyards can be found along South Road from Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsula and the Wine Coast. The Fleurieu is like an antipodean Tuscany which doubles as an excellent whale watching area (June to September).

Kangaroo Island
Once considered the most lawless and vicious place in the British Empire, Kangaroo Island now offers a wonderful mixture of natural ora and fauna to experience as well as great things to do. Perfect for a two or three-day side trip from Adelaide, this isle is a complete gem and one of Australias must-dos. The countrys third-largest island is a wild, windswept, world of giant sanddunes, turquoise bays and ancient forests, perfect for exploring by quad bike or kayak. But most of all, its about the wildlife, which is both abundant and easily visible. Koalas, kangaroos, penguins, seals and echidnas wander around happily and without fear, making for some great wildlife photos. Many shipwrecks lie offshore, which, together


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with the seals and other marine life, make for some pretty adventurous diving. There are some 230 species of sh living in the shallow waters off the islands coastline and with large coral formations and 60 odd shipwrecks to explore this is a divers paradise. Kingscote and Penneshaw are the islands main towns. Penneshaw has a large fairy penguin colony and the little birds can be seen waddling through the streets after dark.


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Getting to Kangaroo Island

The most popular way to get to KangarooIsland is on a tour from Adelaide. An alternative is to take your car on the ferry, or hire one on the island, and explore yourself. There is no public transport.

Around Kangaroo Island

Flinders Chase National Park: See the Remarkable Rocks huge granite hulks sculpted by the elements into weird shapes. Also check out Weirs Cove and the Admirals Arch fur seal colony. Little Sahara: Test your nerve and satisfy your inner adrenalin junkie by sandboarding down the giant dunes. Pardana Wildlife Park: A sanctuary for orphaned and injured wildlife. Seal Bay: A must. Take a ranger-guided walk right through the colony of hundreds of sea lions.

Call +61 8 8202 8678 Email bookings@kiadventuretours.c Visit

*Conditions apply, Price valid until 31 March 2014.

Drive yourself around

North (Coober Pedy)

The northern region of South Australia covers a massive 80 million hectares. The area offers magnicent natural landscapes in national parks including Mount Remarkable, Flinders Ranges, Lake Eyre and Vulkathunha Gammon Ranges National Parks. About six hours drive north of Adelaide, the Flinders Ranges are some of the worlds oldest and most amazing mountains. And huge; 500km long, 250km wide and surrounded by vast salt lakes. There are tours from Adelaide that will take you through the mountains. The gateway town for the Flinders is Port Augusta. At Port Augusta, Wedlata Outback Centre and the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden offer the perfect introduction to the region. Rawnsely Bluff is spectacular on the Ranges south-eastern edge. Wilpena Pound is a huge natural amphitheatre with great bushwalking. Roughly halfway between Adelaide and the Red Centre, Coober Pedy is a hot, barren and surreal town based around opal mining. Most of the population lives underground to escape the desert heat. Set in a dusty moonscape, the town is popular for lming


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Pull up a little rock and take in the view on Kangaroo Island

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movies set after an apocalypse or on hostile planets, such as parts of the Mad Max lms. Unique spot!

Around Coober Pedy

Breakaways Reserve: Bizarre sandstone range with spectacular colours, just 30km from town. Buy opal: Seeing as so much of the worlds opal is mined here, you wont get better value than at Coober Pedy. Coober Pedy Tour: Entry to the mineelds is prohibited without a licence, unless youre on a tour. Lookout Point: Above the Opal Cave. People climb up here each evening to see the sunset. The Mail Run: Head out into the desert on the mail truck to meet outback characters, visit Aboriginal communities, plus have a beer before endless horizons and under a star-lled desert sky.


North-east (Riverland)
One of the worlds great rivers, The Murray dominates this beautiful and diverse region. Waterbased recreation such as houseboating, shing, waterskiing, bushwalking and gliding are the key themes. Many parts of South Australias Murray Basin still highlight the rivers once great majesty one can still ride the steam powered paddleboats, which have cruised up and down the Murray for the best part of two hundred years.

Alan Gallagher, Ireland

WHERE YOU BEEN? Adelaide, Glenelg, Kangaroo Island, Barossa region, Bordertown and on the Indian Pacic to WA that was an amazing, incredible experience! TRAVELLERS BEST TIP If you like animals then you denielty shouldnt miss out going to Kangaroo Island its so good.

The river also provides some great shing spots where anglers can try and catch the readily abundant schools of European carp. Wakeboarding and waterskiing are popular water activities. There are many nature opportunities based around birdlife, wetlands and conservation such as Riverland Biosphere Reserve and Gluepot Reserve.

Eyre Peninsula (Nullarbor Plain)

Stretching from Port Augusta at the top of the Eyre Peninsula, along the Great Australian Bight is the extraordinary, treeless Nullarbor Plain. The 2,400km Nullarbor stretch of the Eyre Highway contains the worlds longest, straightest, attest road. Crossing the Plain is an incredible off-the-beaten track experience. There are some amazing sights along the way; soaring limestone cliffs, beautiful remote beaches, astonishing cave systems and southern right whales and their calves (June to September). You can also swim with friendly seal colonies and dolphin pods or go deep sea shing. Theres even the chance to take to the water with tuna and cage dive with great white sharks in the spot where much of the original Jaws was lmed. Ceduna: This shing town at the eastern end of the Nullarbor, with nearby Cactus Beach, is renowned for world-class surf. Inland, the region offers rolling hills and remarkable rock formations.

Take a stroll in sundrenched Glenelg

Conservation system. The area is also one of the up and coming wine producing regions in Australia, particularly in the production of Sauvingon Blanc.

South-east (Limestone Coast)

The region offers a range of natural attractions such as Coorong and Canunda National Parks and Little Dip and Beachport Conservation Parks. It is also home to World Heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves, which are great for caving. Elsewhere, the mysterious Blue Lake in Mount Gambier forms part of the water aquifer system that sustains the regions outstanding food and wine production. Bordertown and Keith are good bases for 4WD experiences in the Ngarkat

Port Lincoln
Port Lincoln is located on the South Australian coast. It can be described as a blue water playground for yachting, scuba diving, shark cage diving, water sports and tuna shing in particular. It is also known as the Seafood Capital of Australia. Along with seafood, Port Lincoln offers wine tasting tours at local wineries including Boston Bay and Delacolline




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Memory Cove. It is also rich in lm trivia, with some of the scenes from Jaws lmed nearby.

South Australias is known colloquially around Australia as The Festival State a name the government liked so much they printed it on their number plates. The nickname is well earned though, with South Australia featuring some of Australias most colourful and interesting festivals. The biggest and the best and one that was briey touched on earlier is the Adelaide Fringe Festival which, for 24 summer days and balmy nights during February and March, features a huge number of acts both international and local. In the last three years, the Fringe has expanded more than 60 per cent, drawing in 1.5 million visitors to Adelaide in 2012. The Fringes huge success lies in its openness both in terms of its acts as well as its venues, which are spread throughout Adelaides CBD. WOMAdelaide in March is another big festival event on the annual calendar in the states capital, an internationally renowned music festival. With a wonderfully relaxed vibe and great lineups the festival which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2012 has become one of the nations most loved events.
Photo: SATC

One small step for man, one giant leap in the SA outback
Estate. For the outdoorsy-type there is Lincoln National Park, where you can engage in activities such as bushwalking, camping and shing which covers the southern tip of the Eyre Peninsula. It also has an abundance of birdlife and native animals, scenery along with a 4WD track which leads to

Yorke Peninsula
If you want to get out of the city in search of sun, sea and sand, the Yorke Peninsula is the place to go. Being just over an hours drive from Adelaide, the postcard worthy beaches will take your breath away. With a distinctive 700 kilometres of coastline, its easy to nd the perfect beach spot and let your worries melt away. The Yorke Peninsula can also brag about having some of Australias greatest surng beaches.

Go flat out Cross the notorious Nullarbor Plain. Why? Because its there. First class Visit Coober Pedy, where most things happen underground. The white stuff Visit the salt lakes for the decidedly weird sensation of walking barefoot on crunchy white stuff. Test your taste buds Hit the wine trail and test your swirling techniques. Aboriginal culture Learn all about Aboriginal culture at Tandanya. Flinders Ranges Spectacular landscapes firmly off the beaten track. All aboard Take a great train journey. The Ghan heads north to Darwin, and the Indian Pacific passes through Adelaide, from Sydney to Perth. Local delicacies Eat a pie floater: a meat pie floating in pea soup. An Adelaide delicacy sold to drunk people.

Meet the locals Walk amongst seals, koalas and roos on Kangaroo Island (and go sandboarding while there), or, erm, cuddle a great white shark off the Eyre Peninsula.

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Photo: Tourism Victoria

Where the ocean meets the road...

Here we go... Despite being Australias smallest mainland state, Victoria is full of enough excitement and natural beauty to mean it more than holds its own against its larger neighbours. For starters, Melbourne is the most European of Australias cities and has been heralded by many as the best place to shop and drink in Oz. Plus, for those who crave open spaces, the Great Ocean Road [pictured] winds its way along the coast, theres bushwalking in the Grampians and the Gold Country to the north. Dont forget to go little penguin spotting at Phillip Island or, if you cant make it there, along St Kildas pier.

pastimes football (were talking Aussie Rules, mate). Players are even more famous here than any Neighbours stars, which also happens to be lmed in the city. Home to the worlds second largest Greek population, Melbourne has a fascinating range of markets, delicatessens and restaurants. Whatever your favourite cuisine Greek, Kosher, Italian, Maltese, Vietnamese, Thai youre sure to nd excellent budget choices here.

Arriving in Melbourne
To get to the city from Melbournes international airport at Tullamarine, you can grab a taxi or jump on a Skybus coach, which will take you to the heart of the Met; Melbournes public transport system. Avalaon is a slightly cheaper option for arriving and is a great gateway to Torquay or for going on to

The Victorian capital oozes culture. Art, music, theatre and comedy acts abound, along with live bands, great shopping and friendly cafs. Melbourne is also home to the Aussiest of Aussie


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more information or to get you myki ticket.

Melbourne accommodation
There is loads of backpacker accommodation in Melbourne, much of which is centred around two areas: the city centre (convenient and bustling) and St Kilda (cheap and grungy). During the summer season many of the popular hostels are packed solid, so youll need to book ahead if you dont want to end up on the streets. Prices range from about $25-$30 per night. Check TNT Magazine for hostel listings. For share accommodation and rentals, check hostel notice boards and pick up The Age on Wednesday and Saturday or The Herald Sun, which has classieds every day, with a real estate supplement on Saturday. the Great Ocean Road and further west.

Around town
City Circle Tram: Save a few bucks by taking this free tram (the burgundy and gold coloured one) which runs every 10 minutes from 10am-6pm. The Melbourne Cricket Ground: Includes the National Sports Museum. Take a tour to explore the sights and sounds of the 1956 Olympics and a history of the home of Australian sport. Dating back to 1853 (making it 70 years older than the original Wembley), going to an AFL game at the G is the most Aussie of sporting experiences. The Melbourne Museum: State-of-the-art museum housing everything from Aboriginal artefacts to contemporary art. Aussie Rules Football: If youre around from March to September, make sure you watch a game or two of this hilariously nonsensical sport. Septembers Grand Final (played at the MCG) is the biggest event on Australias domestic sporting calendar. See Australian Open: January gives you a chance to see the worlds big tennis hitters up close in one of the four world Grand Slams. See Australian Grand Prix: For petrol heads or simply lovers of big events. March 15 to 18. Melbourne Aquarium: It has four levels and environments including rock pools, billabongs and oceanarium. Victorian Arts Centre: Melbournes cultural hub with concert venues, the National Gallery and the Performing Arts Museum. Melbourne also has a great selection of contemporary art at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in South Yarra, the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Fitzroy and the Museum of Modern Art. Federation Square: Located right next to Melbournes main hub, Flinders St Station, Fed Square is the beating heart of the city, home to

Getting around Melbourne

Melbourne has an excellent transport system, which enables visitors to switch between tram, train and bus on one myki ticket (, so getting around is pretty cheap. Go to for

Flinders Street station



Space Hotel is all about comfort and freedom. Our range of facilities are designed to ease your journey with plenty of spaces to enjoy and make your own. Stay fit and healthy in our work out space, sun tan on the open rooftop deck, cook in the kitchen, organise a BBQ, watch a movie in our cinema space, chill out, hang out or drink coffee or tea that is available at no extra charge on every level while you wait for your laundry to dry.

Our rooms have an array of facilities to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Ipod docking station HD Digital TV Lockable Lockers WiFi Quality Bunk Beds High quality mattresses
380 Russell St, Melbourne 1800 670 611


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Gina Legg, Ireland

WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE DAY SPOT? I had an amazing time at the Great Ocean Road the beaches are really nice and the rock formations just stunning! AND NIGHT SPOT? The St. Kilda beach bars, cool live music and drinks every night! FAVOURITE VIC NIGHT SPOT? We went down to St. Kildas pier and spotted some cute penguins who were just waddling around really close to us, it was amazing!

free events on a weekly basis, as well as giant screens whenever theres a major sporting event on. Its also where youll nd the excellent Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). Eureka Skydeck: The tallest ofce building in the Southern Hemisphere, with an observation deck on the 55th oor. Wicked 360 views. Neighbours: You can actually visit Ramsay Street, aka Pin Oak Court, Vermont South, if you venture into the suburbs. You can also attend one of the hugely popular Neighbours quiz nights in St Kilda, where the stars turn up to mingle with their fans. The night is generally topped off by Alan Fletcher, aka Dr Karl Kennedy, playing a gig with his band. Shopping: Melbourne is a complete shopping experience. Take your credit card to Prahran, Acland Street (St Kilda), Chapel Street (South Yarra), Toorak and Brunswick Street (Fitzroy). For bargain shopping, check out the factory outlets in Richmond along Bridge Road and Swan Street. St Kilda: This beachside suburb is something of a cross between Soho and a fun resort. Luna Park and

the Palais Theatre, where acts such as Kylie Minogue have played, are relics of great days gone by. These days it is a hip beach haven where you will nd some of the coolest hostels, pubs and music venues. Acland Street, the main street of St Kilda, is chock-full of cheap eats and funky shops. Markets: Melbourne has a great range of markets, including Camberwell Markets, Queen Victoria Markets (corner of Elizabeth and Victoria streets), the states biggest market, selling almost everything check out St Kilda Markets (artists pavement stall), Preston Markets (corner of High Street and Murray Road), Prahran Market (Commercial Road, South Yarra; great fruit and veg) and the Pipeworks Markets (Campbelleld, with 750 stalls). Lygon Street: North of the CBD, Little Italy has heaps of restaurants, delicatessens, boutiques and arty shops. Brunswick Street: Full of caf creatures, enticing shops and good band venues. There are also some good, free private galleries in which to mooch around. Parks and Gardens: Melbourne boasts some wonderful parks and gardens. The jewel in the crown is the Royal Botanic Gardens on the banks of the Yarra River, 2km from the city centre. Check out the Kings Domain on the south side of the river adjoining the Botanic Gardens. It contains the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, where outdoor concerts are held in summer. Further south is the Shrine of Remembrance, which is a tribute to Australias ghting forces. Close by are the Alexandria Gardens and Queen Victoria Gardens. Fitzroy Gardens near Parliament Station has a miniature Tudor village, and Captain Cooks Cottage from the UK. Beaches: Albert Park, St Kilda, Middle Park and Williamstown beaches are close to the city centre. Melbournes beaches are on Port Phillip Bay, so for surf youll need to head to the coast on Phillip Island, Wilsons Prom, or around Torquay and Bells Beach. Street art: Melbournes famous laneways are worthy of exploring not just in the hope of discovering the citys latest bars, but because they are home to some of the worlds best street art. Some of the most famous work can be found opposite Federation Square, in Hosier Lane, while areas such as Smith Street, in Collingwood, also have plenty to see. Tours are available.

Out on the town

Melbourne has a world-class entertainment scene with some of the coolest pubs, slickest bars and best clubs in Australia, plus all the comedy you

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Only in Melbourne can you paint on the walls



could ask for and tons of theatre-type stuff. Try St Kilda, Northcote or Fitzroy for bands, comedy and cheap drinks, South Yarra and Prahran for trendy clubs and the gay scene or the City for something more mainstream. For info on whats on, have a look in TNT Magazine or check out the The Age newspaper. For pubs, clubs, music and comedy, have a look at the street press Beat Magazine and InPress. Melbourne Star Observer and Brother Sister have the goss on the gay scene. For cheap tickets to the theatre, concerts and comedy, try Halftix in the Bourke Street Mall, which sells half price, same-day tickets for cash only. Also, beer is sold in weird cups here...

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Around Melbourne
South of the city and forming the eastern shore of Port Phillip Bay, youll nd the gorgeous Mornington Peninsula. Historic properties, walking trails, adventure activities, trail rides, seal and dolphin tours as well as diving are available. Get there by bus via Frankston (take the Met from Melbourne) or by ferry from Queenscliff. If you like bits of land that stick out into the ocean, youll love Wilsons Promontory National Park. Its the most southerly point of Australias mainland and its special features include outstanding coastal scenery backed by granite ranges, and an abundance of wildlife which can be seen on 20 walking tracks. The best view is from the Mt Oberon walking trail. Home of the famous nightly penguin parade (the animals, not the chocolate biscuits) in which hundreds of fairy penguins venture in from the ocean and march up the beach to their nests, Phillip Island is one of Victorias must-sees. There is also an

interesting koala sanctuary, seal colony, unique land forms and good surf beaches. Located about an hours drive east of the city, the Dandenong Ranges are scattered with little towns and lush eucalyptus bush. Visit one of the many tea houses and craft shops. The Dandenongs are easily explored with a rented car or you can catch the historic Pufng Billy Steam Train from Belgrave to Emerald Lake. Another natural gem near Melbourne is the Brisbane Ranges National Park. This ancient, forested escarpment is a refuge for koalas and renowned for its wild owers. Hanging Rock is a place of natural beauty and mystery as it was the setting for the classic Aussie movie Picnic at Hanging Rock, which tells the story of the Twilight Zone-like mystery of a group of girls who went missing from there in 1901.

South-western Victoria
Heading west from Melbourne is one of Australias most famous drives, the Great Ocean Road. Ideally youll be winding by the sandstone escarpments, with the Southern Ocean next to you, in a green convertible MG with Miranda Kerr in the passenger seat. More likely youll be in a campervan or tour group, but thats a suitable second. From the surf capital of Australia, Torquay and the nearby Bells Beach, which was famously name-checked but not actually used in the classic surf lm Point Break. Indeed the beach is one of Australias top surf spots, having been the sight of one of the well respected of all international surng competitions the RIp Curl Pro. Onwards then to beautiful little resort town of Lorne and beyond that to Port Campbell and Warrnambool, its a fantastic

March of the penguins Every night hundreds of unbearably cute little penguins waddle out of the ocean on Phillip Island. Football Aussie style Head to the MCG and shout yourself hoarse at the Aussie Rules. St Kilda Stroll through the super cool St Kilda and take on Luna Parks rides. What everybody needs Go on, we know you want to get Karls autograph at Pin Oak Court, aka Ramsay Street from Neighbours. Plastic fantastic Shopping resign yourself to a life of credit card debt. Go for gold Gold panning in Ballarat is one way to try and top-up the beer budget. Head south Get away from it all on the beaches and bushland of Wilsons Prom, Ozs most southernly tip. The life aquatic Swim with dolphins, learn to surf and dive, or just enjoy the scenery at Mornington Peninsula.

Head for the hills Bushwalking and wildlife go mad for it in the Grampians. Follow the Apostles Check out the gob-smacking scenery on the Great Ocean Road.

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an hours drive from the snowelds is Bright, a picturesque alpine town with heaps of adventurous activities to enjoy, including horse riding, cave exploring, abseiling and hang-gliding. For you history buffs out there, make sure you head to famous Australian outlaw Ned Kellys country including the towns of Euroa, Glenrowan and Beechworth, which has Kates Cottage museum and a multi-media Kellyland (the outlaw larrikin would be rolling in his grave to know hes got a theme park named after him).

drive along some beautiful coastal roads. The main attraction are the 12 Apostles, large sandstone outcrops that rise from the ocean, weathered by years of wind and surf. Slowly theyre dropping away so dont miss them. Nearby is the equally photogenic Loch Ard Gorge. Pop down and dip your toes in.

Western Victoria
With everything from mountains and lakes to farmland and bushland, Western Victoria has something for every traveller and adventure-seeker. No wonder the area is such a popular day trip for many a local. Starting in the Wimmera region, take yourself off to Little Desert National Park. Despite its name, it is actually full of ora and fauna, and its got some great walking tracks and camping areas. If youre not afraid of heights, consider heading to Mount Arapiles. This world-renowned rock climbing challenge has over 2,000 ascents, with many levels of difculties. Climbing is taught on a daily basis. While youre in the area, visit Natimuk Lake, which offers watersports, shing and accommodation. Also nearby is the Coonawarra wine region, home of some of the best Aussie red wines. The Grampians are arguably Australias most dramatic mountain range and a great spot for bushwalking. Halls Gap (250km from Melbourne) is a good place to base yourself. The rock climbing here is rated as some of the nations best.

South-eastern Victoria is a huge area of unspolit terrain, referred to as Gippsland. It has some beautiful wilderness areas such as Errinundra, Alpine and Croajingalong National Parks, serviced by good roads and interesting towns. Beautiful and off the beaten track, explore High Countrys gold towns and snow elds, the coasts stunning Ninety Mile Beach, the Buchan Caves, unspolit Mallacoota, and some National Parkland.


Northern Victoria
Forming the border with New South Wales, the Murray River is Australias largest river, with a history of riverboat travel and agriculture. Relax along its banks or join in a number of outdoor activities. One riverside town worth visiting is Mildura, which is famous for fruit picking, especially oranges. If you are after fruit picking work, you shouldnt have much trouble nding some here. Further downstream youll nd Echuca, a large paddle-steamer port with some good water-skiing, swimming and house-boating.

Suzanna Hamsik , Slovenia

WHATS YOUR FAVOURITE DAY SPOT? On Phillip Island you can observe penguins, seals and heaps of birds in the beautiful nature! AND NIGHT SPOT? Up on the Eureka Skydeck because of the beautiful views it offers of Melbourne at night. WHERE TO NEXT? Myself and some people Im travelling with are going to go and climb Mt Kosciuszko in New South Wales. It should be fun, we might even go mountain biking as well.

North-eastern Victoria
Exploring the north-east of Victoria will get you high in the Victorian Alps and the rich Gold Country of Bendigo and Shepparton. The Victorian Alps are ideal for snowboarding, cross country and downhill skiing at Falls Creek, Mount Hotham and Mount Buller, all of which have park terrain for the adrenalin seekers. Book ahead. Its also worth looking into job opportunities on the ski elds. About




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Photos: Tourism Tasmania

The exquisite Wineglass Bay

The awesome Apple Isles... Australias very own Emerald Isle, Tasmania has a very different avour from what locals call the North Island. More than 20 per cent of the island state is World Heritagelisted national park. Its a magical wilderness of mossy forests, rugged mountains and cascading waterfalls, and home to many a rare and unique species. Natural wonders aside, Tassie is renowned for its colonial history. Sandstone relics still stand proud and picturesque today. The state is easy to cover, and with super-friendly locals, backpackerfriendly prices and few tourist crowds its rapidly becoming de rigeur among travellers in the know.

operates services to Burnie and King Island, with special deals for backpackers (see Sea: Theover-sea route to Tassie from Melbourne is covered by two superfast ships, Spirit of Tasmania I and II. These vessels offer an overnight service in both directions to Devonport seven days a week, year round, with additional daytime services in the high season (December-January). The ferry also takes cars over for $89, motorbikes for $64 and bicycles for $6. Check

Getting around Tasmania

Coach services link all the main towns (some services close during winter), as well as bus tours geared for independent travellers. Cycling is an option for t legs. See If you dont have much time but want to see it all, Fun Tassie Tours do three-seven day tours at very reasonable prices. See:

Getting to Tasmania
Tasmania is well serviced by air, and the Spirit of Tasmania ferries run from Melbourne to Devonport daily; you can also take vehicles across on the ferries. Your arrival point could be Hobart, Launceston or Devonport, depending on how you get there. Air: Shop around for the best price. Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia all y from the Australian mainland to Hobart and Launceston. Qantas also has connections to Devonport and Burnie through Qantaslink. For schedules and prices, see au,, or tigerairways. com. Regional carrier, Regional Express (REX),

Australias most picturesque city has a rich heritage, Georgian architecture, an expansive harbour and beautiful nearby areas to visit. With sandstone wharves, yachts, Antarctic icebreakers, quaint streets and a vast harbour all nestling under the protective slopes of Mount

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Wellington, Hobart has to be one of Australias bestlooking cities. Its also the countrys second oldest, having been founded as a convict settlement in 1804. That heritage is perhaps more alive here in Hobart than anywhere else in Australia and often makes for some fascinating insights.

Getting around Hobart

The airport is 26km from the city. The Airporter shuttle meets every ight and can drop you to your hostel. Head to for more info. See for info on city public buses.

Hobart accommodation
There are several good hostels in central Hobart; see TNTMagazine and tourist info centres for more info. If youre staying a while and want to nd a at, try The Mercury newspaper, which has a rental accommodation section. Though accommodation varies across the state, most towns have backpackerfriendly options, from caravan parks to campsites to shared beach chalets. population almost doubles in size. During this time there is also The Taste Festival, incorporating the Hobart Summer Festival and the famous Taste of Tasmania one of the large wharf buildings becomes a huge food hall where all the states nest restaurants and providores (not to mention beer and winemakers) sell samples direct to the public. Its a fabulous time to be in Hobart. Kayaks: Get out on the harbour and paddle across the yacht race nishing line. Mountain bikes: A great way to see the sights you can even cycle at breakneck pace down Mt Wellington. Mt Wellington:Stunning views of Hobart and the Derwent River. Take the No 48 Fern Tree bus from Franklin Square to the base. Usually covered with snow during winter, theres a road all the way to the top. Salamanca Place: A row of old Georgian warehouses which now house shops, restaurants and galleries. Also home to the famous street market where you can pick up Tassie treats, from books, fruit and vegetables to second-hand goods and antiques. Its on every Saturday from 7am to mid-afternoon. Museum of Old and New Art (MONA): Since rst opening its doors in 2011, this huge gallery conceived as the brainchild of an eccentric millionaire has become Tasmanias single largest tourist attraction. MONA (, described as a subversive adults Disneyland is a three level monolith hewn into the living rock around the Berriedale peninsula, and is almost a work of art in itself. Inside, the art is predominantly showcased underground, where ancient antiquities rub shoulders with new works from young. A truly world class attraction.

Out on the town

The area around the docks and Salamanca Place houses many historic pubs, including the oldest in Australia, licensed in 1804.You can even take a tour of them to learn more about their history while sampling the beers. Salamanca in particular has a lively nightlife, with clubs and backstreet parties strewn among the old sandstone pubs. Sandy Bay is also popular with Hobarts young things. East Hobart is excellent for a lively mish-mash of Thai, Mediterranean and boutique eateries and bars.

Around Hobart
Battery Point: A pretty village of early 19th century cottages, some of the oldest in Australia. Can be reached by climbing the historic Kelly Steps from Salamanca Place great for a wander around. Bonorong Wildlife Park: See baby wombats, Tasmanian devils and the Bush Tucker Shed. Botanic Gardens: Huge collection of English and Tasmanian plants. Cascade Brewery: See how the local beer is made (and then try a few) in this still-working 1824 sandstone brewery. Bookings essential. The Docks: Along the waterfront from Salamanca lie Old Wharf, Victoria Dock and Constitution Dock, which houses all the yachts that come in for the Sydney to Hobart and Melbourne to Hobart yacht races. These famous races are held between Boxing Day and New Year every year, and Hobarts

Southern Tasmania
The Tasman Peninsula sits on the south-east corner of Tassie, and is a sparsely-populated


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Choice also known as Granny Gibbons jam factory on the coastal road between Geeveston and Dover. The often-overlooked and unspoilt FarSouth is very pretty too; with Antarctic winds whistling across lonely beaches, its a great spot for those nding yourself moments. Nearby Bruny Island is actually two islands connected by a narrow isthmus and is a fave with the locals, offering delicious seafood. Theres also penguin watching, surng, bushwalking, swimming and shing.

North-east (Launceston)
Centrally located Launceston is Tassies secondlargest city and the countrys third oldest. Surrounded by imposing mountains, it has earned its title of Garden City and has an interesting history. Its main attractions are the nearby Cataract Gorge, colonial gardens, tea shops and old mills. Its 14km from the airport to the city centre. The city is easily explored on foot, but there is good public transport. Adventure activities: Central Tasmania offers a range of soft or challenging adventure activities, including kayaking, caving, bushwalking, climbing and abseiling, all accessible from Launceston. Cataract Gorge: Excellent walks, views and swimming just ve minutes walk from the city. Floodlit until 9pm nightly. City Park: Has an open-air enclosure of entertaining Japanese macaque monkeys and lots of lovely gardens. Penny Royal World: Nineteenth-century watermills, windmills, gunpowder mills and model boats. You can take a ride on a barge (a restored tram) or cruise up the lovely Cataract Gorge by paddle steamer. Trowunna Wildlife Park:A very popular animal sanctuary in Mole Creek. There are also limestone caves nearby. The famous Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park consists of some 126,025ha of mountain peaks and alpine moorlands, south-west of Launceston. Cradle Mountain sits amid bare, rugged peaks littered with boulders, streams, marshes and sheltered woods. Pay a visit to Waldheim, the restored mountain chalet of the parks Austrian founder, Gustav Weindorfer, which sits on the edge of a forest overlooking the windswept moors. At the other end of the park is Lake St Clair, Australias deepest, with a backdrop of forest-clad mountains. Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair NationalPark is also the home of The Overland Track, Tasmanias best-known bushwalk and reason enough to visit the island. There are no roads through the park, so you need to be fully prepared for ve to seven days of

Beautiful Port Arthur

wilderness area and home to historic Port Arthur. Port Arthur was once known as Hell on Earth for convicts between the 1830s and 1870s, and today is a partly-ruined relic of Australias violent colonial birth. Its actually a strangely peaceful and pretty spot, though it has some spooky vibes. You can make the most of them on a ghost tour. Mount Field National Park is home to spectacular Russell Falls, only a 10-minute walk from the entrance, plus the refreshing Tall Trees Walk, an easy wander through tall, slender, moss-covered forests inhabited by shy pademelons (small wallabies). On the banks of the Coal River, 24km from Hobart, Richmond has the feel of an English country village thanks to its many 19th century buildings. Its also famous for its much-photographed bridge, which was built by convicts in 1823 and is Australias oldest road bridge. There is an old convict jail here and, for those wanting to lose an unwanted travel buddy, a maze at the nearby tea rooms. South of Hobart, The Huon Valley is the real core of the Apple Isle and its unlikely youll have chomped on tastier ones before. Theres also whitewater rafting, jet boats, waterfalls and farming. If you like fresh scones and jam you must visit Emmas

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shores of Great Oyster Bay with views of Freycinet National Park, a craggy, foresty wilderness with stunning beaches. The park is made up of the Freycinet Peninsula and Schouten Island. Its the highlight of the east coast and arguably the most beautiful spot inTasmania. Red granite mountains, great coastline, lagoons, beaches and 27km of walking tracks, plus the utterly gorgeous Wineglass Bay, home to one of Australias best beaches. Maria Island National Park is a nature lovers wonderland where you can spot all types of animal, including forester kangaroos, Cape Barren geese and emus. This peaceful island has spectacular scenery, including fossil-lined sandstone and limestone cliffs. Theres also a semi-ruined village, originally a convict settlement, which adds an air of quiet history to this trafc-free haven. It has good diving, with loads of marine life. You can stay in the old penitentiary.

walking. There are only camping sites and basic huts along the route, with no cooking facilities and no res allowed (bring a camp stove). Walkers must be completely self-sufcient. There are also camping grounds with facilities at either end of the park. You must register with the rangers before setting out, even on day walks.

North (Devonport)
Devonport is on the north coast, in a major vegetable-growing area, and is the closest entry point to Melbourne. The Spirit of Tasmania ferries dock at the mouth of the Mersey River; shuttle buses operate from Devonport airport, 8km east of the city. Devonport is an excellent place to prepare for your travels, with a range of specialist backpacker services, particularly if youre planning on visiting the famous Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, 80km to the south. Buses leave daily. Devonport is also another great place for cycling. Deloraine is a charming historic town with many restored buildings just off the highway, 149km south-east of Devonport at the foot of the Great Western Tiers. Explore the stunning natural beauty of this region with its waterfalls and walking tracks. Gunns Plains is the home of hop growing, and offers limestone caves and rural scenery. The historic township of Latrobe is an easy 9km bike ride away, along Mersey River. Talking of rivers, Port Sorell is nestled on the beautiful Rubicon River Estuary. Visit Asbestos Range National Park, home to 80 species of animals, or the gorgeous coastal town of Stanley. Its west of Devonport and is the home of the famous Nut, Tassies own Uluru a giant volcanic plug that can be tackled in a number of fun ways. King and Flinders Islands are unique destinations in Bass Strait. King Island is famous for great dairy products and shellsh. It also has an eerie, calcied forest, shipwrecks, penguins and beaches.

West coast
Queenstown is an old mining town with bare hills it looks a bit like a lunar landscape. The locals fed all the foliage into their furnaces decades ago and are now weirdly fond of the lifeless terrain. Pronounced Strawn, Strahan is a historic convict town which is today a charming harbourside resort and gateway to the mirror-like Gordon River. Take a cruise down the Gordon to appreciate its beauty. Tullah sits on the shores of the recently-dammed Lake Murchison, which is full of platypuses and drowned forests. Horse riding along the shore is stunning, as are twilight canoe trips to platypus-spot. At Arthur River, by Marrawah, Tassies northwest tip, you can cruise through rainforest to the conuence of the Arthur and Franklin rivers. Explore the protected areas beaches, waterfalls and lagoons. Fossil Bluff at Wynyard is the area where Australias oldest marsupial fossil was found by Hollywood hero Errol Flynns dad, no less.

East coast
The east coast gets the best of Tassies weather, being generally much drier than the wild west. Its a string of long beaches, small shing villages, marshland and aquatic wildlife such as penguins, seals and whales. Nestled in Tasmanias north-east is the Bay of Fires, an idyllic sweep of icing sugar white sand, dotted with ame-coloured boulders. A great spot to set up camp. Bicheno is a quiet shing town with a top beach, penguins, coastal walks and an explosive blowhole. Its also the centre of Tassies scuba diving area. Swansea is a beautiful historic village on the

One of Australias most remote wilderness regions and a World Heritage area. This is really a place for intrepid adventurers and requires experience and careful preparation. There are few roads and access is limited (the area hasnt even been fully mapped). Lake Pedder and Lake Gordon cover more than 500km and form Australias largest freshwater storage area. Theres some great trout shing. Experienced bushwalkers might try the tracks leading to Port Davey and the south coast through the South West National Parks beautiful cold rainforest, which is part of Tassies World Heritage wilderness area.


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Australian essentials
In Australia you can even take your car and drive it on the beach: were not joking

Photo: Tourism Australia

You should open an Australian bank account if youre planning on doing anything more than a bit of travelling Down Under, especially if that includes working. Most Australian banks charge for using their competitors ATMs, so it makes sense to go with one of the big four, who have the most machines. They are Westpac, Commonwealth, ANZ and National Australia Bank (NAB). Some banks require you to deposit money when you open the account, so make sure youve got a couple of extra bucks up your sleeve just in case. Also take note that many Australian current accounts

come with a monthly charge of a few dollars. Its also worth applying for a MasterCard debit card with whoever you open an account with. This will allow you to pay for things online with your Aussie earnings, rather than having to rely on your credit card from home.

Australias currency is decimal and based on the dollar ($), which is made up of 100 cents (c). Notes come in $100, $50, $20, $10 and $5 denominations. Coins used are 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2. Exchange facilities are available at international airports.

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Most credit cards are accepted in Australia. You may nd some difculty using them in country areas and small retail shops. Cards generally accepted are MasterCard (Access), Visa, American Express, Bankcard and Diners Club. MasterCard and Visa are the most widely used.

Foreign currency and travellers cheques can be changed at most bank branches. To transfer money easily between international accounts or after earning money during your working holiday, Atlas Currency ( au) can be of assistance.

Make sure you bring ID with you such as a drivers licence, as this and your passport are the only acceptable forms of ID in many places, including pubs which are very strict on ID in Australia.

Allowance: Visitors aged over 18 are allowed to bring 50g of tobacco products (ie. 50 cigarettes) and 2,250ml of alcohol into Australia. General goods, such as perfume, to the value of $900 may be included in your duty free allowance. If youre under 18 the limit is $450. Quarantine laws: Australia has very strict quarantine laws which prohibit people from bringing in fruit, veg, egg products, seeds, fresh and packaged food, animal and some natural products. The laws are intended to keep Australia free of diseases such as foot and mouth and rabies. Bins in customs halls allow you to dump anything which may contravene the law. Youre also required to declare any goods at customs. If youre not sure (souvenirs from Asia, for example, may well be made of prohibited substances) ask, because if youre caught bringing in something dodgy it will be conscated and you could be slapped with a large ne. Worse yet, you could make it onto one of those customs TV shows! Bags are scanned at customs for organic material, making it easier to detect forbidden substances.

The dialling code for Australia is +61 (then delete the 0 at the start of the area code). Dialing out of Australia its: 00 11 before a country code (as well as deleting the rst 0). There are many different phone cards which offer a variety of very cheap international calls so shop around for the one that suits you best. Basic information numbers include: Directory enquiries: 1223 Reverse charges: 1800 738 3773 Overseas operator: 1225 Emergency: 000

Mobile phones
All the major communication companies (Vodafone, Optus, Telstra and Virgin) have pre-paid mobile packages, saving you the hassle of signing up for lengthy contracts. The choice of phones is pretty good, and many allow you to bring your own handset from home and just purchase the Australian SIM card so make sure you check the card is compatible with your mobile.

Getting there
Australias busiest international airports are Sydney and Melbourne, but it is also possible to y into Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin or Perth.

There are loads of internet cafs across Australia, so youll have no problem keeping in touch with friends and family. Prices range from $2-6 per hour. Many hostels also offer free internet as part of their service. Free wi hotspots are also becoming increasingly common in Aussie cities..

Departure tax
There is a departure tax from Australia which is usually included in your ticket price, but check with your travel agent or online just to make sure.

Disabled facilities
Australia is constantly improving its facilities for disabled people. Make sure you give advance notice to airlines, hotels and transport ofces so they can make any special arrangements. Information on facilities is available from Nican (

Post Ofces
Australia Post shops are open 9am-5pm MondayFriday and some major post ofces are open on Saturday mornings as well. Poste Restante can be sent to any post ofce in Australia and collected within a month by producing suitable identication.

Australia uses two or three-pin power plugs and sockets which are different from those used in other sockets which are different from those used in other

Credit cards

countries, so you will need to bring an adaptor if you want to use any electrical items from home.

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Australia has very similar drug laws to most Western countries. Most recreational drugs are illegal, and if you get caught bringing any amount of drugs into the country you could face serious federal charges. Cannabis has not been decriminalised here, and although you may get away with a caution if you are caught in possession of a small amount, larger amounts and harder drugs will result in much tougher punishment.

There arent too many health hazards in Australia, but if you do become sick or injured, it is not difcult to get medical help. Having said that, it is important to make sure you have travel insurance and that your policy will cover your whole trip. Hygiene standardsare high. It is safe to drink tap water, other than in exceptional circumstances such as oods or severe drought. Medicare: If you hail from the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Italy, Malta or Belgium, then youre in luck, as reciprocal agreements means that Australias healthcare system looks after you best. Head to a Medicare ofce once you arrive and you can apply for a Medicare card. This means that for the duration of your stay in Oz, you get free emergency treatment at public hospitals, subsidised prescriptions, and necessary medical care from your local doctor. The card doesnt get you everything though. You will still have to pay for elective surgery, dental, optical, chiropractic, treatment in a private hospital, and, most importantly, it doesnt cover ambulance transport. Go to for more information. Travellers from Ireland and New Zealand arent quite so lucky, although those countries do still have reciprocal agreements with Australia. This means that despite not getting a Medicare card, you do still get free emergency treatment, subsidised prescriptions and necessary medical care. If you are visiting Australia on a student visa you are not covered by Medicare and will need to take out Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Medication: Visitors are permitted to bring in reasonable quantities of prescribed medication. With large quantities, it is advisable to carry a doctors certicate. Local chemists can ll most prescriptions, but keep in mind that these must be written by an Australian-registered doctor.

Vaccinations: These are not required unless you have come from or visited a yellow fever-infected country or zone within six days prior to arrival. HIV/AIDS is as big a problem in Australia as anywhere in the world, so all the safe sex rules apply. Skin cancer:This is the medical condition Australia is best known for, and one which visitors should take very seriously. Australias rate of skin cancer is the highest in the world as a result of an outdoor lifestyle and strong UV rays. Make sure you are always well protected, even if youre not going to the beach. A slogan you will hear often is Slip, Slop, Slap, which is short for slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat. Skin cancer should be taken seriously so avoid sunbathing between 11am-3pm and make sure you use a sunscreen with a high protection factor.

Luggage storage
Ask at airports, trains and bus stations about luggage storage. Many independent travel specialists also offer luggage storage facilities.

Liquor laws
Regulations vary from state to state. General pub opening hours are 10am-12am Monday-Saturday, Sunday hours vary (usually 12pm-10pm).However, in big cities you will nd that many pubs have rather, erm, exible opening hours. Many dont close until 4am and some are open 24 hours. We like those ones. The minimum legal drinking age is 18. Many restaurants are licenced, but many do not sell alcohol and welcome you to bring your own. A Bring Your Own (BYO) restaurant can make for a cheap(ish) night out, although you may have to pay a small corkage charge. Drink driving: There is a national 0.05 blood alcohol limit (which is a half-pint less than the UKs 0.08 limit), and random breath testing is widespread, especially in summer. If you hit something or someone while driving in NSW, Victoria, South Australia or the Northern Territory and end up at the hospital, youll face a compulsory blood test. If you fail the test you risk having your drivers license removed right before your eyes, be slapped with a ne or jail time. Basically, dont be stupid by drink driving!

Australia has some of the worlds toughest antismoking laws. Sparking up was banned in all pubs and clubs in 2007, although many pubs have beer gardens and outdoor smoking areas. Smoking is also banned in ofces, restaurants, cafs, cinemas and on public transport.

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If you want to work while youre in Australia, make sure you get yourself a Tax File Number (TFN). If you dont get one, the government will take a staggering 47 per cent of your earnings in tax. So apply online at the Australian Taxation Ofce (ATO) website as soon as you arrive. For tax refunds, Peterpans have a service that makes the process seamless, pretty much guaranteeing youll get a fat cheque at the end of it. (Actual cheque not guaranteed. More likely a bank deposit). See for details.


Time difference
Australia is divided into three time zones. Eastern Standard Time (EST) covers Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania, and is nine hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Central Standard Time (CST) operates in South Australia and the Northern Territory and is nine-and-a-half hours ahead of GMT. Western Standard Time (WST) operates in Western Australia and is eight hours ahead of GMT, two hours behind EST and one-and-a-half hours behind CST. In summer it becomes really confusing, because not all states operate daylight saving (summer time). In Queensland, WA and the NT, they dont do daylight saving. The other states advance their clocks by one hour from October to March each year. Unfortunately, they dont all change at the same time. And dont forget British Summer time is one hour AHEAD of GMT from April-October.

Rachel Parsons, Ireland

WHAT WORK ARE YOU DOING? My current role is at YM Salon as a beauty therapist. I took a shift here and have since been offered more shifts on an ongoing basis. Before then I worked as a kitchen hand and briey in admin. WAS IT HARD FINDING A JOB? A lot of companies want you to sign contracts which is very hard when you plan on setting off to travel around. I was lucky that I found work with a bunch of companies who were exible with their hours so that I could travel.

Australia is well serviced by public transport. Distances are often huge so planning is essential. Getting your own transport or buying a jump-on, jump-off bus ticket is a good way of travelling, as you can explore stop-overs along your route. Taxis: Metered cabs can be found in most towns or cities, and ranks can be found around CBDs.

areas. However, as anywhere, it is still possible to do things and see places on the cheap.

Cooking for yourself is clearly going to be far kinder to your wallet than eating out every night, so if your hostel has a kitchen, use it! The major supermarkets are Coles and Woolworths.

Weights and measures

Australia uses the metric system. Distances and speed are both measured in kilometres (km). Weight and volume in kilograms (kg) and litres (L). Temperature in degrees Celsius (C).

Drinking beer by the glass in pubs can be expensive depending on the pub, although happy hours will save you money. The cheapest way to buy beer tends to be in big 750ml bottles (long-necks). The cheapest wine comes in two and four-litre casks (nicknamed goon) and vary in price, depending on (usually pretty low) quality. Spirits are often more expensive by the bottle compared to Europe. Try not to have a whinge about it to the guy at the bottle-o though trust us, they dont care.

Living expenses
With the Aussie dollar soaring high and the economy still doing relatively well, theres no denying that Oz can now seem quite a pricey place, especially when it comes to things like alcohol. Australian cities, especially Sydney, are way more expensive than rural


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Australian visas

Before you do anything, youre going to need one of these

You will need a visa to get into Australia. Most young people travelling to Oz fall into two categories of visa applicants: those who want to work and need a Working Holiday Visa (WHV); and those who simply want a holiday and so require only a Visitor Visa. There are, of course, many other visas linked to employment or study. Your rst stop should be the website for Australias Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) at, which explains all the visa options and has the application forms to download. Whatever visa you choose to apply for, make sure you sort it out before you nalise your travel plans. If you have a health condition or criminal record, you may be required to get medical or police clearance. Or you may discover that you dont qualify for the type of visa you require. Planning ahead can save you a lot of tears and money in the long run. Bear in mind that visa rules can be subject to

change at frustratingly short notice, so keep yourself informed by visiting the website regularly.

Working Holiday Visas

The WHV enables holders to travel and work their way around Australia for 12 months. But the popular visa gets even better. You can stay for an extra year, at least if you dont mind picking a few strawberries. The WHV is intended for those who need to work to nance their travels. You are not however allowed to work for any one employer for more than six months. A year in Australia not enough? The good news is that if you complete three months (88 days) of specied work in regional Australia and, if you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a second Working Holiday Visa. The denition of specied work includes the following areas: construction, harvest work, mining, plant and animal cultivation, shing and pearling, and tree farming and felling. Doing certain volunteer

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does not have access to the ETA system, then you can apply for a Tourist Visa. Youre not allowed to do any kind of work on this visa and you must be able to show that you have sufcient funds to support yourself. This visa allows you to remain in Australia for up to 12 months and there is no age restriction for people applying for it. A Tourist Visa costs AU$110 and can be applied for from both within and outside the country.

work also qualies towards a bonus 12 months. Regional Australia refers to the rural areas, usually away from the big cities, which often suffer from labour shortages as Aussies ock to the bright lights. Head to for a full list of eligible postcodes. Absolutely check this before signing up for a job you wouldnt want to do three months in a eld only to discover it didnt count. For more information on extending your visa, see Extending the WHV on the next page. As long as youre aged 18-30 at the time of your application, entry into Australia can be up to one year after the visa is issued and it does not matter if you turn 31 in the interim period. Citizens of the following countries can apply: the United Kingdom, Canada, the USA, the Netherlands, Japan, Ireland, South Korea, Malta, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hong Kong, Finland, Cyprus, France, Italy, Belgium, Estonia, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Argentina and Chile. The exact details do change slightly, however, depending which country youre from. So, again, visit the all-important to nd out more.

Tourist Visa extensions

In some cases, it is possible to have your Tourist Visa extended. Bear in mind that it is within the immigration ofcers rights to refuse you an extension, so dont make any rm plans until you know it has been granted. A total period of 12 months in Australia is allowed on a Tourist Visa unless there are exceptional circumstances.

How to apply for a visa

The simple and secure, not to mention fastest, way to apply for your WHV is online, via a scheme called eVisa found on DIACs website ( au), where you can also download and print off application forms should you be unable to apply online. Forms can also be obtained from any Australian Consulate, Embassy or High Commission (see list at the end of this section). By post: If youre not eligible to apply online, there are other options. You can send an application to any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. If doing it by post, its best to send your application by recorded delivery, enclosing a large, stamped and self-addressed envelope for return of your documents. Allow at least three weeks for your visa to be returned. In person: You can apply for a WHV in person at many Australian Embassies, High Commissions or Consulates, and they often issue the visa on the spot. But you can no longer apply in person at the Australian High Commission in London. The processing fee for a WHV application (at time of print) is a non-refundable AU$280. You will also need any medical information or evidence required by the Australian government and evidence of sufcient funds in your bank account. Generally, AU$5,000 in addition to funds for a return airfare is regarded as sufcient to cover the costs of the initial stages of the working holiday. Along with your application form, you should send or take to the embassy your passport, application fee and all other required documentation. There are several other visas available which may enable you to work Down Under for a period of time,

Electronic Travel Authority

An ETA is a multiple entry visa valid for 12 months that entitles you to spend up to a maximum of three months in Australia each time. Visit to apply online. In many parts of the world (including the UK), you can obtain a visitors visa when you book your travel, as thousands of travel agencies and airlines are now linked to Australias Electronic Travel Authority (AETA) system which processes the visa immediately. ETAs are free, but you will be charged a processing fee. If you apply online at the DIAC website the cost is AU$20 (while travel agencies in, say the UK, will charge you around 20).

eVisitor visa
If you are lucky enough to have a European passport, there is another visitor visa you can apply for online and it is free. The same conditions apply as for an ETA. You can spend a maximum of three months at a time in Australia over the 12 month validity period, but this visa is only valid to European passport holders. Check for a list of inclusive countries.

Visitor visas
If you want to stay in Oz for longer than three months, or if youre from one of the countries that

usually depending on your profession. Again, check the DIAC website, for further details. Applying outside your home country: You can lodge an application for your rst WHV online or by post from anywhere in the world, except Australia. However, applications by passport holders of certain countries must be submitted by post, fax or hand to the overseas Australian government ofce in their own country. Travellers with no choice but to use this method are those from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malta and Cyprus.

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Extending your WHV

Unlike the rst time you apply for a WHV, you can apply for your second one from within Australia. You can apply from overseas as well. However, just like with the rst WHV, any time spent outside Australia while your second visa is valid cannot be recouped. You must provide evidence you worked for a minimum of three months (or 88 days they can be cumulative) as a specied worker while on your rst visa. To prove this, youll need an employment

verication form (1263); this can be downloaded online at or picked up from a Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) ofce. Get this form before you start seasonal work as each employer you have must sign it. The form only has enough space for ve employers so if you work for more than this you will require additional forms. Other acceptable evidence of seasonal work for your application may be pay slips, group certicates, tax returns or employer references. Applications for an extension can be made on the DIAC website and cost $280. You are also required to undergo a medical so keep in mind that you will have to pay for chest x-rays.

Requirements for second WHV

Along with your application form, you should send your passport, evidence of your specied work in regional Australia, any medical information or evidence required by the Australian Government ofce where you intend to lodge your application, fee payment, and evidence that you have sufcient funds in your bank account, such as your bank statements receipts from ATMs are not acceptable. Generally, AU$5,000 in addition to funds for a return airfare may be regarded as sufcient to cover the costs of your second working holiday.


Sponsorship visas
You might land a great job while on your WHV and want to stay longer than that visa allows, but fear not. What youll need is the 457 Business Visa, or what is more commonly known as sponsorship. A company/employer (who is an approved business sponsor) will sponsor you to work on a visa valid for up to four years. You need to have an ofcial skilled occupation and be earning above the specied minimum salary (which is currently AU$49,330 p/a). The 457 visa ties you to the job you are sponsored for, but this can be transferred between jobs as long as your new employer wishes to sponsor you too. Go to pdf for a comprehensive booklet. This also lists the occupations for this visa. Booklets for Skilled Migration applications can be found on under forms and booklets. Note: Information about visas is accurate at time of going to press. We strongly recommend you check the DIAC website ( regularly as the rules, fees and application forms for visas are constantly changing.

Gabriella Lahti, Sweden

WHATS YOUR JOB? Im working in promotions. I hand out free stuff to people; chocolate, alcohol, dildos... I just got it through the internet. Theres about ve million promotion agencies in Australia who are looking for outgoing people, so its not hard to nd a job as long as you look presentable and know how to scream: Its free! DO YOU ENJOY IT? The money and the short shifts are good. Plus all my work mates are good looking AND nice.



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Photo: Getty Images

Australian High Commission, Australia House, Strand, London, WC2B 4LA. +44 20 7379 4334 Mon-Fri 9.00am-11.00am


4 Rue Jean Rey, 75724 Paris, Cedex 15. +33 1 405 933 00




Wallstrasse 76-79, 10179 Berlin. +49 30 880 0880 (also in Frankfurt)

Suite 1100, South Tower, 175 Bloor Street, East Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3R8. +1 613 236 0841 (also in Ottawa and Vancouver)



Australian Embassy, Fitzwilton House, Dublin. +353 1 664 5300 Note: There is no visa office here, refer to the Australian High Commission in London.


Via Antonio Bosio 5, Rome 00161. +39 06 852 721

Australian Compound 1/50G Shantipath, Chanakypuri, New Delhi 110021. +91 11 4139 9900 (also in Chennai and Mumbai)

Level 7 PriceWaterHouse Coopers Tower, 186-194 Quay Street, Auckland. +64 9 921 8800 Also: 72-76 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington. +64 4 473 6411

19th Floor, Kyobo Building, 1 Chongro-1-Ka Chongro-Ku, Seoul 110-714. +82 2 2003 0111 (also in Busan)



Australian Consulate Mitchell House, 5 Mitchell Street, Edinburgh, EH6 7BD. +44 131 538 0582

Level 24, Torre Espacio, Paseo de la Castellana 259D, 28046, Madrid. +34 91 353 66 90


Jalan H.R Rasuna Said Kav C 15-16, Jakarta, Selatan, 12940. +62 21 2550 5555 (also in Bali)



Klarabergsviadukten 63, 8th Floor, Stockholm. +46 8 613 2900


Guimard Centre, Rue Guimardstraat 6-8 1040 Brussels. +32 2 286 0500 (refer to Paris embassy for visa applications)


Carnegielaan 4, The Hague 2517 KH. +31 70 310 8200 (refer to Berlin embassy for visa applications)

2-1-14 Mita, Minato-Ku, Tokyo 108-8361. +81 3 5232 4111 (also in Fukuoka, Nagoya, Osaka, Sendai and Sapporo)

25 Napier Road, Singapore 258507. +65 6836 4100



37 South Sathorn Road Bangkok, 10120. +66 2 344 6300

SES Quandra 801, Conjunto K, Lote 7, Brasilia. +1 905 280 1437

6 Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, Kuala Lumpur 50450. +60 3 2146 5555 (also in Penang, Sabah and Sarawak)




1601 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington DC NW 200362273. +1 202 797 3000 (also in many of the large cities) Visit for full embassy listings.

Dampfaergevej 26, 2nd Floor, Copenhagen. +44 20 7856 1563

Ruben Dario 55, Col Bosque De Chapultepec, Mexico City. 1101 2200




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Getting around

Photo: TNT images

Australia is a massive country. Really massive. So dont be surprised if you nd yourself driving for hours when travelling from one city to the next. In fact, driving from Perth to Sydney is roughly the same as driving from London to Moscow. And halfway back again. So, its important to know how you will travel around the country to make the most of your trip. Also, by planning a little in advance, you can take advantage of some great travel deals before you leave home.

off the beaten track. Standard long-distance coach amenities include air-conditioning, on-board toilets, comfortable adjustable seats and in some cases DVDs.

Budget transport
Independent coach networks provide a unique budget travel option. They link you to Australian cities and out of the way places. They specialise in trips as exible as the passengers themselves, and delight in discovering places far off the traditional tourist map. All offer the option of getting off and on when it suits. Some combine ights with bus travel.

Many independent travellers use coach services when travelling Down Under. Coach routes cover a surprisingly large amount of the country and offer a great deal of exibility. There are various passes, such as hop-on, hop-off options, or unlimited travel for a certain time. Travelling by coach also gives you a great chance to take in Australias vast terrain, while many backpackers opt for overnight buses, thereby saving on accommodation costs. The big coach lines like Greyhound, Premier Motor Service and Firey will take you to most of the major towns. The smaller operators can take you

Budget tours
These give you the chance to explore Australia with an experienced guide. As well as luxury coaches, you can do outback adventure tours in 4WD vehicles or even surng safaris. The tours usually include transport, accommodation and most meals. Nights can be spent in comfortable motels, hostels, bungalows, cabins or even tents. Various companies specialise in accommodation and camping tours for young travellers. Most offer exible deals, allowing passengers to create their own itineraries.


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By air
Australia, in case we havent mentioned, is quite big. Sydney and Melbourne, for example, may look close on the map, but are a good 12 hours drive from each other. So if you spend a year in Oz, its highly probable youll take to the skies at some point. Domestic ights are surprisingly cheap and can save a hell of a lot of time. Virgin Australia, Qantas, Jetstar and Tiger Airways are the main airline services around Australia. The healthy competition makes fares good value and Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tiger are favourites among travellers, as they are consistently cheap. Virgin Australia has some good deals, especially targetted at those who book ights before they get to Oz. See for more. Visit,, and for more info and bookings.

By train
Australia has an extensive rail network with some legendary train journeys. These include The Ghan (Adelaide to Alice Springs and Darwin) and the

Indian Pacic. The latter rail journey operates twice a week between Sydney and Perth (and vice versa) and is something of an epic, taking four days and three nights. One of the worlds great train rides, it travels over 4,352km and takes some 65 hours to reach its destination. These journeys are not cheap (although theyre often cheaper than ying) or particularly time efcient trains are not especially fast and there is much ground to cover. Most backpackers travel in the surprisingly comfortable daynighter seats. However, you may nd a night in a sleeper is well worth the money after travelling for days sleeping upright in a bus. After all, these journeys are primarily about the people you meet and the experiences you have while getting from A to B. There are a range of discount passes available, such as backpacker and student cards, which dramatically reduce the prices. You can save up to 30 per cent on advance purchases, and independent travel agencies both in the UKand Australia will assist you in booking tickets.

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You can also book directly through Country Link, they offer a variety of rail passes covering New South Wales and the entire east coast. These include the Backtracker Rail Pass (Melbourne to Brisbane, back and forth as many times as you like) and the East Coast Discovery Pass (between Melbourne and Cairns or shorter sections in one direction). There are more than 350 Country Link rail and coach destinations to choose from between Melbourne and Brisbane and throughout regional New South Wales. Visit for the info. International Rail is the appointed UK agent for Rail Australia, enabling you to buy rail passes before leaving home. Some special passes can only be purchased from outside Australia and are usually pretty good deals. Australian Rail passes can be booked through your local travel agent or International Rail. Visit for more information.

By car/campervan
Many travellers say the best way to see Oz is

by driving around the country yourself. Because of the sheer size of Australia, some of the countrys best places tend to be off the beaten track and there is nothing more exciting than discovering your own deserted, breathtaking beach, beautiful national park camping ground or secret, peaceful swimming hole. Many travellers are tempted to purchase or hire a car or campervan, which, apart from the initial outlay for the vehicle, can be cost-efcient in the long run. Having your own wheels also means you have a mobile bed, and you can save on costs by sleeping in the car. Once again it is worth emphasising the size of Australia. Dont think you can drive from Melbourne and be in Cairns for opening time at the pub the next day. Take your time and enjoy the experience. Roads are very different from those in Europe. Some major highways are dual carriageways, but many are only single carriageways. If you are lucky, there wont be too many potholes. Deep in the outback, you will sometimes nd that the standard of the roads deteriorates.


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Having a campervan is basically like have a home with wheels on

Long distances mean long hours, so dont drive if youre tired. The phrase Stop, revive, survive is aimed at reminding drivers to take regular breaks sometimes you even get free cups of tea! Outback roads also have their own share of dangers; road trains and wildlife. Road trains are massive trucks, which can be up to 50m long. They travel at great speeds and arent too keen on slowing down. Theres not much that would stand up to being hit by one of these monsters. Driving at night, especially at dusk, can also be a bad idea; its when most of the native animals come out and, mesmerised by your headlights, will happily stand right in your path until you hit them. This may not sound dangerous (for you at least), but hitting a six-foot kangaroo or an emu can do a lot of damage. If you do decide to drive, always make sure you have a working spare tyre, extra fuel and water. If you break down in the middle of the outback you could be waiting a long time before you get help. If you do get stuck, never leave your car its the safest and easiest place to nd you. can be problematic because of the money involved, so consider these points before you take the plunge. Auctions: Not recommended for novices, because you cant start or drive the car before you buy. There are many astute buyers, including professionals, so you wont get a bargain thats worth the risk unless you know your stuff. Auctions are an option for selling your car, though it is more expensive than selling privately or via car markets. Buy-back option: Another option is to purchase a car from a company with a buy-back deal. Usually you can pick up the vehicle in one city and drop it off in another for an additional fee. But some companies offer low buy-back prices and you may be better off selling it yourself. Car dealers: This gives you security of ownership, assistance with paperwork, and generally the vehicles have been mechanically checked. It is the dealers responsibility to guarantee that the vehicle is legally registered, roadworthy and free of any nancial encumbrances. Second-hand cars are easy to nd and some dealers specialise in vehicles for independent travellers. These dealers will give you a guaranteed buy-back price when you want to sell the car at the end of your trip. Car rental: There are many car rental companies

Buying and renting

A car is certainly a exible and exciting way to travel around Oz. However, buying and selling

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know the rules. You should only buy a vehicle with a valid pink slip, telling you it is roadworthy (a black slip lists any faults yet to be xed), and registration documents. The validity of NSW registered cars can be checked on the Roads and Trafc Authority website Have the registration, engine and chassis numbers to hand. They will tell you whether there is any money owing or outstanding nes on the vehicle. A vehicle must be registered in its home state or go through inspections and paperwork to transfer between states, which may be best avoided as this can be both costly and time consuming. Cars can be difcult to sell outside their home state so bear this in mind when planning your travels. For Motor Registry contact details, check and then choose the relevant state. Mechanics: You will be covering long distances, so buy a vehicle you can trust. When youre stuck in the searing heat in the middle of nowhere having to hitch to the nearest town, youll wish you took the trouble not to get eeced. Some hostel noticeboards advertise mechanical services. Auto Associations inspect vehicles for about $100 and will list all faults, but keep in mind the price of the vehicle you are buying when you see the report. You must be a member to arrange an inspection; membership of most international organisations gives you automatic membership with AAA/RAC. Motorcycle hire: Long open roads and the sunny climate make Australia a motorcyclists paradise. Large capacity machines are the best bet (750cc and up), considering the distances involved, while trail bikes will allow you to enjoy some great offroad riding. Plus, from what weve heard, the girls love bike enthusiasts. The police? Not so much.

with good deals such as weekend rates for car/ camping packages, accommodation packages and stand-by rates. The major rental companies (Avis, Hertz, Budget, Thrifty etc) are easy to nd at airports and railway stations but most are in city centres. There are also companies which cater to independent travellers and will be exible in terms of one-way rentals and good rates. To rent a car, drivers must be over 21 (25 with some companies) and you will need to show your driving licence (a photocopy generally isnt good enough). An excellent way to get around cheaply is to ask hire companies about relocations. This is basically when someone has hired a car for a one-way journey, and the hire company needs a vehicle returned to their ofces. All you have to do is ring up and ask youll often get rates as cheap as $1 per day, and the only condition will be the time frame in which the vehicle needs to be returned, but this is exible. Campervan & motorhome hire: This can be a more economical way to travel, especially for groups of three to four. Campervans have two to three berths, while motorhomes have between four and six. Four wheel drive (4x4) hire: 4WD vehicles are an ideal way to see some rugged areas. However, they are more expensive than your average car plus fuel and a big deposit, so they are not exactly cheap. Car markets: There are a few car markets operating in Sydney specialising in cars for travellers. Station wagons are perfect for all the bits and pieces you collect during your travels as well as for sleeping in. Some have cheap campervans and 4WDs and even offer buyback services and free pick-up services. They will arrange insurance and often have a good range of interstate registered cars, which is handy if you intend to sell interstate. Buying privately: Check hostel noticeboards and newspapers. In the past, backpackers bought and sold cars on the streets of Kings Cross and Cairns. However, this is now illegal and there are harsh nes to recover your towed away vehicle. Be sure to check the registration details match with a photographic licence or passport. Insurance: Vehicles with valid registration are covered by compulsory third party (CTP) insurance. In NSW, proof is a green slip issued by a private insurance company and/or a valid certicate of registration. When a vehicle is bought or sold the CTP transfers to the new owner until registration expires. You are strongly advised to take out extra cover for damage to another vehicle or property. This is called third party property cover. Legalities: Check state laws relating to registration and inspections to make sure you




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Catch a wave in beautiful Coffs Harbour

Drive Now Vehicle rental. +61 3 9095 7460, Greyhound Australia Buses around Australia. 1300 473 946* Great Southern Rail Overland Rail Journey Hippie Camper Vehicle rental. +800 3260 5466 Jucy Rentals Vehicle rental. +61 7 3236 9882, Kings Cross Car Market For buying and selling vehicles. 1800 808 188* Mighty Campers Vehicle hire

Premier Transport Group Buses along the east coast. 13 34 10, Queensland Rail Travel Backpacker Rail Fares 1300 853 090 Relocations 2 Go Car/campervan relocations from $1 per day Fun Rentals Car and Moped Hire Great value car rentals from $1 per day Travellers Auto Barn Vehicle rental. +61 2 9360 1500 Virgin Blue Airpass Multi-flight deals. +61 7 3295 2296

Adventure Tours Australia Australia-wide tours. +61 8 8132 8230 Oz Experience Hop on-hop off Australiawide tours. +61 2 9297 7000 Padi Asia Pacific Scuba diving courses. +61 2 9454 2888,

Manly Beach. 02 9977 6977, Maritime Museum Darling Harbour. My Sydney Detour Unique city tours. Oceanworld Manly West Esplanade. OutBackPackers Outback farmstays. +61 2 6842 8200 Powerhouse Museum Darling Harbour. Sydney Olympic Park 8 Australia Ave, Sydney. Sydney Tower and Skytour 100 Market St, CBD. Sydney Harbour Bridge The Rocks.

Dolphin Swim Australia Port Stephens, NSW. +61 4 3844 4500 East Sail Yacht Charter Sydney sailing. +61 2 9327 1166 Mojo Surf Sydney to Byron surfing tours. +61 2 6639 5100 Manly Surf School


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Plenty of sunshine in far north Queensland

The Rocks. Sydney Aquarium Darling Harbour. Sydney Wildlife World Darling Harbour. Taronga Zoo Mosman. Waves Surf School Skydive The Beach Sydney skydiving. 1300 663 634 Australia Zoo Glasshouse Mountains, Tourist Drive, Beerwah. 07 5436 2000, Cairns Dive Centre Great Barrier Reef tours. +61 7 4051 0294 Cairns Zoom Wildlife dome & zip line. +61 7 4031 7250 Cool Dingo Tours Fraser Island tours. + 61 7 4120 3333 Down Under Dive Great Barrier Reef tours. +61 7 4052 8300 Heli Charters Australia North Queensland tours. +61 7 4034 9000 Dreamworld Theme park. Dropbear Adventures Fraser Island 4wd Camping Tours *1800 061 156 Down Under Dive and Cruise Great Barrier Reef at its best! +61 7 4052 8300 Get Wet Surf School Gold Coast surfing lessons. Freephone: 1800 438 938* Gold Coast Adventure Travel Group Travel deals. +61 4 0533 2098 Gold Coast Big Night Out Surfers Paradise Pub Crawl. Jungle Tours & Trekking Cape Tribulation tours. +61 7 4041 9440 Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours Cape Tribulation tours. +61 7 4098 0043 Mission Beach Dunk Island Water Taxi Dunk Island tours. +61 7 4068 8310 Ocean Rafting Whitsundays tours. +61 7 4946 6848 Overlanders Queensland motorbike tours. +61 4 2742 5509 Prodive Cairns Dive courses and trips. +61 7 4031 5255 Raging Thunder Adventures Whitewater rafting. 07 4030 7990, Ride on Mary Budget Bush Sunshine Coast kayak trips. +61 400 297 678, RnR White Water Rafting North Queensland rafting. +61 7 4041 9444

AJ Hackett Cairns Bungy jumping. +61 7 4057 7188 Awesome Adventures Oz Whitsundays packages. + 61 7 4946 4662


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Making friends off of KI

Sealink QLD Magnetic Island Ferry. +61 7 4726 0800 Skydive Mission Beach North Queensland skydiving. +61 7 4068 9291 Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Rainforest Canopy experience. +61 7 4038 5555 Riverlife Adventure Centre Kayaking & rock climbing. Lower River Terrace, Kangaroo Point. 07 3891 5766, Story Bridge Adventure Climb 170 Main St, Kangaroo Point. 1300 254 627, au Seaworld Theme park Wet n Wild Water World Theme park Warner Bros Movie World Theme park Walkin On Water Gold Coast surfing lessons. +61 7 5534 1886 XXXX Brewery Tours Brewery tours. Cnr Black & Paten St, Milton. 07 3361 7597, Zorb Adrenalin activity 07 5547 6300 Adventure Bay Charters Swim with tuna, sea lions & great whites. +61 (08) 8682 2979 Calypso Star Charters Great White Shark cage diving tours +61 8 8682 3939 Haighs Chocolates Factory tours. 153 Greenhill Rd, Parkside 1800 819 757, Heading Bush Adelaide to Alice Spings outback tours. +61 8 8356 5501 Kangaroo Island Adventure Tours Kangaroo Island 2 day adventure tour. *13 13 01 Nullarbor Traveller Tours between Adelaide and Perth. +61 8 8687 0455 Temptation Sailing Dolphin swimming, Glenelg. 04 1281 1838

Alice Springs Desert Park Larapinta Drive. 08 8951 8788, Alice Springs Reptile Centre Meet and hold lizards. 9 Stuart Terrace. 08 8952 8900, Crocosaurus Cove Crocodile park and cage of death. 58 Mitchell St. 08 8981 7522, Deckchair Cinema Jervois Rd, Darwin Waterfront. 08 8981 0700,

Adelaide Oval Home to the Donald Bradman collection. 08 8300 3800 Adelaide Zoo Frome Rd. 08 8267 3255,



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Plenty more sh in the sea in Monkey Mia
Fannie Bay Gaol Heritage prison. East Point Road, Fannie Bay. 08 8941 2260, Mulgas Adventures Red Centre tours. +61 8 8952 1545 Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 19 Conacher St, Bullocky Point. 08 8999 8264, Oz Jet Boating Stokes Hill Wharf. 1300 135 595, Outback Ballooning Hot air balloon rides. 1800 809 790, Royal Flying Doctor Service Base Museum and operations room. Stuart Terrace. 08 8952 1129, School of the Air Long-distance schooling museum. 80 Head St. 08 8951 6834, Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise Adelaide River. 08 8978 9077, Wave Lagoon Waterfront Precinct. Territory Discoveries NT ideas. +61 8 8951 8544 The Rock Tour Red Centre tours. +61 8 8953 1008

Aquarium of Western Australia 91 Southside Drive, Hillarys. 08 9447 7500, Aussie Wanderer WA tours. +61 8 9438 2070 Cape Dive Diving Dunsborough, WA. + 61 8 9756 8778 Kings Park & Botanic Garden Ningaloo Blue Whale shark tours, WA. +61 8 9949 1119 Nullarbor Traveller Tours between Perth & Adelaide. +61 08 8687 0455 Rottnest Express Ferries Express ferry to Rottnest

Island. +61 8 9432 0890 Perth Mint 310 Hay St. 08 9421 7223, Perth Zoo 20 Labouchere Road, South Perth. 08 9474 3551, Integrity Coach Lines 554 Wellington Street. 08 9274 7464,

Australian Centre for the Moving Image Federation Square. 03 8663 2200, Melbourne Aquarium Cnr of Flinders St & King St. 03 9923 5999,




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Get amongst Hobarts Salamanca Markets

Melbourne Museum 11 Nicholson St, Carlton. 13 11 02 National Gallery of Victoria Federation Square. Old Melbourne Gaol 377 Russell St. 03 8663 7228, Official Neighbours Tours 570 Flinders St. 03 9629 5866, Skydive the Beach Melbourne 1300 798 843 Tourism Victoria Backpacking ideas. Wildlife Tours Australia Specialising in Victorian tours +61 3 9314 2225

Cradle Country Adventures Tasmanian tours. 1300 656 069 Fun Tassie Tours Value for money Tassie tours. + 61 03 6339 2114 Cascade Brewery 140 Cascade Rd. 03 6224 1117 Cataract Gorge Centre for Beer Lovers Boags Brewery Tours 39 William St. 03 6332 6300, Devils at Cradle Tassie devil sanctuary. 3950 Cradle Mountain Rd. 03 6492 1491. Jump Tours Tasmania Newtown +61 422 130 630, Mt Wellington Descent Bike tours. 03 6274 1880 Museum of Old & New Art

(MONA) Gallery 655 Main Road, Rosetta 03 6277 9900 Overland Track Six-day walk Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery 2 Invermay Rd & 2 Wellington St. 03 6323 3777, Salamanca Markets Every Saturday, Salamanca Place. Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery 5 Argyle St. Tasmania Zoo 1166 Ecclestone Rd. 03 6396 6100, Under Down Under Tours around Tasmania. + 61 3 6228 4255 Water by Nature Extreme Multi-day Whitewater Rafting. 1800 111 142

* From within Australia

TRAVEL SERVICES Whitsunday tours & information *1800 677 119 Peterpans Adventure Travel Backpacker travel agent Free call within Aus 1800 669 424 Gold Coast Travel information Backpack travel information Tasmania travel information Northern Territory travel information Tourism Victoria Backpacking ideas. YHA Australia Hostels nationwide.

Cradle Coast Tours Tasmanian tours. +61 3 6425 5854



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Finding jobs in Oz
If youre planning on spending an extended time Down Under, theres a fair chance you will push your nances to the limit, so you will need to earn some extra money. But fear not, because getting a job on your travels need not be the tiresome necessity you imagine. As well as the nancial benets, working is a great way to get to get to know the locals and experience the famous Aussie lifestyle. Plus, if you dont want to leave the land of Oz, there may even be chances for sponsorship.

Other places to nd jobs

TNT Magazine: There are heaps of jobs listed in our mag every month and contact details for all the best recruitment companies. You can also sign up for our weekly e-newsletter, which is full of jobs aimed specically at backpackers. Visit Newspapers: Newspapers in the capital cities are normally full of job ads, as are regional papers in the country. On the web: All the recruitment agencies are online nowadays, plus many companies may only advertise jobs on their own websites. Hostels: Hostels offer good local information on jobs and can sometimes even arrange work, especially in harvest areas. Ask at reception or check noticeboards. Recruitment agencies: Usually the quickest way to nd ofce, computer or nancial work. Sign up with a number of agencies to increase your chances of nding work.

Who can work?

The only people who can legitimately work while travelling are those holding an appropriate visa, which in most backpackers case, is a Working Holiday Visa (see visas section on page 88). Anyone caught working illegally faces being deported and potentially never being allowed back to Australia.

Job hunting
There is nothing more frustrating than nding your dream job, which you have all the qualications for, then realising that all evidence of your experience is in the bottom drawer of your desk at home. Or missing out after showing up to the interview wearing a t-shirt. Its worth sorting out your CV, references and maybe even scanned copies of your certicates before you leave. The best thing to do is email them to yourself so you can always get easy access. If youre in a profession where a police check might be needed, like teaching, its also worth getting that sorted before you leave. If youre after ofce-based work, then perhaps its worth packing a set of smart clothes. You will be able to buy work clothes in Australia of course (and save yourself having to lug them around the world), but thats quite a lot of beer money.

Types of jobs
Seasonal work: The warm months (OctoberApril) are the prime time for harvest jobs but there is seasonal work all year round. The work isnt easy, but you can potentially earn good money. And an added bonus is that anyone who undertakes three months of seasonal work (such as fruit-picking) will be eligible to apply for a second Working Holiday Visa. Most hostels in fruit-picking areas can arrange work and often offer special accommodation and transport for harvest workers. (Get more info from the National Harvest Labour Information Service, Au pair and childcare: If youre good with young uns, and have experience and references, there is plenty of work through specialist agencies. Banking and nance: Australia rode the global nancial crisis with relative calm, meaning jobs are available in the banking, nance and accounting industries, especially for temps to cover peak periods. Make sure you wear good clothes to the agency and all interviews.

Where to look for work

Hit the streets: In many instances (especially in retail and hospitality), youll nd that simply walking in to a place you want to work and asking for a job is the most effective way of landing one.



Education: If youve got the qualications and security checks, teachers are in high demand across Australia and you can earn a good wage. Farm work: Another great Aussie experience is to work on a farm as a jackaroo or jillaroo, but these jobs can be hard to nd. Mechanics, builders, tractor drivers, domestics, welders, cooks, horse riders or those with a heavy vehicle drivers licence will nd farm work easier to come by. Hospitality: This industry could have been made for travellers, with decent pay and exible hours not to mention the lively social scene. In most states however you need a Responsible Service of Alcohol Certicate. This requires a one-day course that costs from $50. Nursing and medical: Australia is suffering from a shortage of qualied nurses, so if youve got the right qualications and registration, you shouldnt have too much trouble nding work. Hospitals regularly hire casual staff through nursing agencies. Theres also a demand for doctors, and other medical professionals such as physiotherapists, especially in rural areas.

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Ofce work: There are ofce temping jobs available for anyone with general ofce skills, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, and the pay is reasonable. Resort work: Most jobs are word-of-mouth, but some are advertised in newspapers and Employment National (the Governments Job Network) ofces or on the website. Queensland (especially the Whitsundays) has the most job opportunities. Ski season work: Believe it or not, it does snow in Australia, and during the ski season there are plenty of jobs to go around. Jobs are normally advertised in the major papers around April, or keep an eye on websites for resorts like Perisher and Thredbo. Creative: Though tough, its not impossible for designers, journalists and others with experience in creative elds (advertising, print publishing and internet) to nd work. Afterall, we managed it. Sales and marketing: Theres lots of contract work available in the sales industry plus marketing and promotions. Contact recruitment agencies to see which jobs best suit your skills. Telemarketing: Telemarketing is not for everyone, but can pay well. Check the phone directory and newspapers for companies as there is a high turnover in these jobs.

A great way to get off the beaten track and see more of Oz. WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms, info at can help you nd work across the country. If you want to help the environment, consider Conservation Volunteers Australia (

The tax system

A Tax File Number (TFN) is essential if you plan on working while youre in Oz. Most Working Holiday visa holders can apply online at When you start a job, your employer will ask you to complete a TFN declaration you have 28 days to provide it. When you leave an employer, make sure you get a payment summary showing your total income and amount of tax withheld. You must lodge a tax return before you leave Australia. Failure to do so can incur a ne and affect your chances of returning. On the plus side, travellers often receive a tax refund in excess of $1,000 come tax time, which is better than a poke in the eye with a burnt stick. If youre planning on being self-employed, youll also need an Australian Business Number (ABN). See for info.

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MediCall Placements Healthcare agency. +61 2 9412 4900 Mondial Fundraising Telesales. +61 2 8001 3001 National Harvest Labour Information Service Farm work. 1800 062 332* Perisher Blue Ski Resort Ski resort work. Randstad Education Teaching agency. 1300 360 014* Regional Nursing Solutions Healthcare agency. +61 7 5473 7900 Seek All sectors job listings. Teach.NSW Public Education Teaching opportunities. 1300 300 498*

24/7 Nursing +61 2 9314 7744 Access Nursing Agency +61 2 9326 3988 Australian Nursing Agency (Swing Shift Nurses) +61 3 9481 7222 Australian Nursing Network +61 2 9009 5120 Centre for Clinical Studies Get paid for medical trials. + 61 3 9076 8900 Cox Purtell Office work, accounting, marketing, finance agency. +61 2 9231 3300, Drake Australia Healthcare agency. 1300 360 070*

Edway Group Training Bar & construction training. +61 2 9357 6544, First Choice Care Healthcare agency. 1300 307 241* Global Advantage Recruitment Services Healthcare agency. 1800 009 292* Healthcare Australia Healthcare agency. +61 2 9212 5544 Job Shack Recruitment agency. +61 8 8923 9774 Legal Personnel Legal, corporate agency. +61 2 9252 0345 workingholiday
TNT Magazine All sectors job listings.
Q-Pharm Get paid for medical trials. +61 7 3845 3636
Visit Oz Farm work. +61 7 4168 6106
Workstay Backpacker jobs.
*From within Australia

WORK STAY PLAY in the Northern Territories

The Job Shack specialises in assisting Job Seekers nd work in the entire Northern Territory. Free from the hustle and bustle of the big cities and only a 4 hour ight from Asia accommodated by various airlines such as Jetstar, Virgin, Silk Air and many more. Explore what Darwin has to offer from amazing landscapes, tropical climates, untouched National Parks and spectacular sunsets. The NT has unlimited opportunities for those seeking the Work, Stay & Play Experience. Whether its just a weeks work or 6 months work, The Job Shack can help you.

Employment Opportunities Include:

Hospitality Tourism Construction Various Trades Pearling Farm Work Office/Admin roles & much more The Job Shack helps you with everything from accommodation, getting work ready and importantly nding you a job!! Check out our Work Travel Packages on our website for more information!


So if youre chasing the sun and love a tan, PLUS you want to earn some good cash, then The Northern Territory is the place for you!




T: 08 8923 9774




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Studying in Australia
With 39 universities, plenty of private and government institutions for vocational training, a booming English language industry and worldwide recognition of qualications, Australia can hardly be called an undesirable place to study. But the real benets of studying Down Under are the comparatively cheap fees, the alluring backdrop of sun and surf and the great year-round climate which fuels the famous outdoor Aussie lifestyle. And yes, if you want, you really can do your homework down on the beach, just like in Home and Away. Just because you havent heard of many Australian colleges or universities doesnt mean the institutions arent top notch and, generally speaking, the quality of Aussie courses is comparable to some of the worlds best. In order to apply for a student visa, theres some basic stuff youll need to get organised. Firstly (and rather obviously) youll need to be accepted onto a course. You have got no chance of being granted a student visa until you have been sent that ofcial letter of conrmation. Next you need to look into health insurance (Overseas Student Health Cover), which is compulsory for students to have for the duration of their course. You wont get a student visa without OSHC. Youll also need to prove that youve got sufcient funds to support yourself and pay for your studies, and that youre prepared to comply with the conditions of your visa. And if your rst language isnt English, youll also need to show that youve got the appropriate level of English. However, if youre only planning on doing a short course, then there may be no need to apply for a student visa, as youre permitted to study for a maximum of four months on a Working Holiday Visa. When it comes to applying for a student visa through the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, bear in mind that not all nationalities are created equal. Countries are divided into different levels according to the risk of nationals from these countries overstaying their visa, with Level One being the lowest risk category and Level Five the highest. These categories may change depending on the course youre applying for, so make sure you nd

Photo: Thinkstock

Make friends and get an education

out what category your country is in, as it will affect your application in a number of ways, including the length of time it will take to be processed. For instance, Level One nationals can apply for student visas online, as well as in Australia (provided theyre already there on another valid visa such as a Visitors Visa). All other nationalities must apply offshore, and may not be able to apply online either. Visit for more details. The good news is that a student visa allows you to stay in Australia for a month before and after your course, plus you can also work while youre studying, which is a bonus if youre planning on frequenting the student bars or doing some travelling. You have to apply for the right to work once youve arrived in Australia and you are only allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours per week, except during ofcial study breaks when you can work unlimited hours. Better yet, the government changed the laws last year so that foreign graduates who complete a bachelors degree Down Under can now stay and work in the country for up to two years after they nish, without any restriction on the type of job. Visit to nd out more about applying for student visas. Check out for more information about studying in Australia. Have a look at to search courses and institutions.

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Where to stay

Nothing quite like the great outdoors

Whether youre looking for a quirky outback pub, modern inner-city hostel or simply a shack by the beach, Australia has a huge range of accommodation for budget travellers it just depends on what you want and what you can afford. Competition for your dollar is erce so prices are good and quality is ever increasing. Plus all sorts of incentives are often thrown in, such as free pick-up, drink vouchers, internet use or discounted tours. Check the listings in TNT Magazine when you arrive to nd one that suits your needs. Those wanting to stop-off and work, or just relax in one place for a few weeks or months, are well catered for too, with share accommodation and other good rental options. Those with a taste for the outdoors will be able to nd plenty of space to pitch a tent. Another great option is a campervan the most exible and cheap way to travel and sleep. If youre in the bush you can give the old-fashioned Aussie pub a try, or get in amongst it on a farmstay.

The range of hostels in Oz is excellent. From beach huts and tree houses in Queensland to mountain cabins in Tasmania, youll be amazed that youre actually staying in budget accommodation. Many of the hostels, although in many cases individually run, are part of one of the big backpacker chains Nomads, Youth Hostel Association (YHA), Base and VIP, for example. All provide self-catering accommodation in a warm, relaxing atmosphere, with friendly staff who have a knowledge of the local area. You can become a member of any or all of these organisations for a small fee, and receive discounts on accommodation and tours when you book with them. The hostels that are not part of any of the above chains are not necessarily inferior in any way, you just dont get the advantage of the group benets. The cheapest beds in hostels are usually bunks in dorm rooms, where you share the room and amenities with others (they can be as small as four-bed dorms, up

to as large as 16-bed dorms). Most hostels will have double and single rooms too, and sometimes the option of ensuite bathrooms. Some may even have self-contained units. Many hostels now also have swimming pools, bars, pool tables, BBQs, bicycles, surfboards for hire (sometimes for free) and more. Larger hostels often arrange lots of social events too and run their own tours. If youre travelling alone its no problem meeting like-minded types. Most hostels have a shared, self-catering kitchen (which means you have to clean up after yourself) and many have courtesy shuttle-buses that greet travellers when they arrive in town (though you sometimes need to call ahead to arrange pick-up). Youll constantly bump into people who have been to where youre going, so ask around to nd the best places.

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the process, with many people sub-letting their room while travelling themselves. Most renting requires a bond a downpayment of at least one months rent, which is used as a caution deposit and is refundable when you move out unless youve damaged the property. Rent prices vary from location to location. Sydney would be the most expensive for example, as is being near the beach generally though being near the sand is still possible.

Gay & lesbian

There are many hostels that cater for gay and lesbian travellers, especially in the bigger cities, notably Sydney. Most tourism boards have some form of gay and lesbian travelling handbook with a directory of accommodation, bars and clubs. There is also a Rough Guide to Gay & Lesbian Australia which may be of help.

Most hotels will be above a budget travellers price range. However smaller motels can be surprisingly cheap, especially if youre getting a room for a few people.

Australia presents great opportunities for campers. The countryside and weather are perfect for pitching your tent and experiencing the land at its most natural. There is nothing quite like getting back to nature, gazing at the stars at night and sitting next to a roaring re (if you can get over the whole shitting in a hole thing). Tents are easy to buy (check out hostel noticeboards). Better yet, adopt the Aussie tradition and buy yourself a swag, a canvas sleeping bag complete with built-in foam mattress that allows you to sleep out under the Milky Way. Remember that permission is needed to camp on private property and there may be local regulations or restrictions against camping. It is advisable to carry portable stoves or gas cookers, as open res are often banned due to the risk of bushres. Always make sure you have a supply of fresh water. National Parks: Australia has 516 national parks and over 2000 natural reserves and wildlife sanctuaries, which can make camping really special. National parks allow camping in designated areas (from as little as $6 per night) and some allow bush camps for a small fee. If spending extended periods in national parks, make sure you let the ranger know your plans. Some of the parkland is vast and we wouldnt want to lose you! Camping Tours: For those who dont have their own vehicle or equipment, an alternative is an organised camping tour. Its a great way to see the country without having your head stuck in a map, and many of the tour guides prove to be the most outlandish characters you could ever hope to meet.

Share accommodation
If youre keen to meet people, or are craving a little bit of normality during your adventure around Australia, share accommodation is another great option. For a low price you can rent a room in a furnished at, sharing the facilities with other travellers. There are several good agencies specically designed just for backpackers. For a similar price to a hostel, you can have your own private room with bills included (though you usually have to commit to staying for a few weeks). An agency will ensure the house is well maintained, provide rental receipts and references (handy for renting later) and so forth.

Private share houses can be cheaper, but not always as well maintained. Make sure you inspect the property rst and insist on receipts before handing over cash. One of the best ways to start looking for a place to stay is on the various notice boards around town and in the backpacker travel centres. This informal way of nding a home can prove to be the cheapest, as most people will only ask for a couple of weeks rent up front and usually waive the hefty deposit. Private renting can be tricky as most places are unfurnished. Youre better off looking for house shares, in the paper, on hostel noticeboards or at This can also be the best option for nding a short-term solution, and meeting Aussies in

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See our Queensland section for more details (p32). Farmstays mean you can get involved with the farmwork (and maybe even earn some extra cash) and homestays allow you to live with Australian families. Check out for more info. If youre a little short on cash, consider taking part in the Willing Workers on Organic Farms programme, where youll get a free bed in return for a couple of hours work a day. So-called wwoong also often counts as the regional work youd need to do if hoping to extend your Working Holiday Visa for a second year. See for more info.

Caravan Parks: Australia has an extensive network of caravan parks. Most cost between $20-30 a night and tend to have basic amenities and barbecues for cooking, although some have recreational facilities. On-site vans: These are a relatively cheap alternative to carrying a tent, especially if theres a group of you. Theyre found at most caravan parks.

For many of the smaller outback towns this is the only accommodation option. They are not unlike British B&Bs. Rooms are unsophisticated with just a bed, sink and a communal toilet and bathroom down the hallway. A cooked breakfast is usually included, but self-catering kitchens are rare. A great place to meet true blue Aussies.

Booking ahead
The natural inclination for most independent travellers is to not plan too far ahead. However, its a good idea to pre-book the rst few nights of your trip, especially if youre arriving in peak periods (Christmas and NYE in Sydney for example should be booked months in advance). Most places allow you to book rooms online via their websites. It is also a good idea to be aware of special events taking place (see p20) for example, the Australian Open in Melbourne during January may affect availability of rooms.

Farmstays & homestays

Another great way to meet locals, these cost more than hostels but can be worth the money. Guests choose whether theyd like to spend their days relaxing on the verandah, shing or bushwalking, or getting their hands dirty with hands-on farm jobs: riding, gathering cattle, grooming horses, riding quads or motorbikes.

Campervan or Kombi t your mates and your guitar in


Australian Backpackers 132 Bourke St, Woolloomoolo Base Sydney 477 Kent St. CBD. Big Hostel 212 Elizabeth St. CBD. 790 George 790 George St, Sydney Bounce Budget Hotel 28 Chalmers St. CBD Central Perk Backpackers 611 George Street, Sydney City Resort Hostel 103-105 Palmer St Woolloomooloo Easy Go Backpackers 752 George St. CBD Sydney Central Hostel 428 Pitt St, Sydney Home Backpackers 238 Elizabeth St, Sydney Maze Backpackers 417 Pitt St. CBD. Sydney Central YHA 11 Rawson Place. CBD Sydney GDay Backpackers 153 Forbes Street, Woolloomooloo Sydney Harbour YHA 110 Cumberland Street, The Rocks. Sydney Railway Square YHA 8-10 Lee St. CBD Westend Backpackers 412 Pitt St. CBD Wake Up! 509 Pitt St. CBD

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Woolbrokers Hotel 22 Allen St. Pyrmont Woodduck Boomerang Backpackers 141 William Street World Square Hostel 640 George Street, Sydney Sydney Backpackers 7 Wilmot St, Sydney

Backpackers HQ 174 Victoria St, Kings Cross Boomerang Backpackers 141 William Street, Kings Cross. Blue Parrot Backpackers 87 Macleay Street, Potts Point. Brados Backpackers 34-36 Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross Chilli Blue Backpackers 144 Victoria Street, Kings Cross Dlux Hostel 30 Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross. Evas Backpackers 6-8 Orwell Street, Kings Cross Jackaroo Hostel 107-109 Darlinghurst Road, Kings Cross Jolly Swagman Backpackers 27 Orwell Street, Kings Cross Kings Cross Backpackers 79 Bayswater Road, Kings Cross The Funk House 23 Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross Zing 156 Victoria Street, Kings Cross

Billabong Gardens 5-11 Egan Street, Newtown

Blue Mountains YHA 207 Katoomba St, Katoomba. Blue Mountains Backpacker Hostel 144 Bathurst Road, Katoomba bluemountainsbackpackerhostel. com Katoomba Backpackers Lodge 31 Lurline St, Katoomba The Flying Fox 190 Bathurst Road, Katoomba

Glebe Point YHA 262-264 Glebe Point Road. Glebe.

Bondi YHA 63 Fletcher Street. Tamarama. Bondi Shores Level 1. 283 Bondi Road, Bondi Lamrock Lodge 19 Lamrock Ave. Bondi. Lochners Guesthouse 8 Gowrae Ave. Bondi. +61 2 9387 2162 Noahs Bondi Beach 2 Campbell Parade Surfside Backpackers 35a Hall St. Bondi.

Newcastle Beach YHA 30 Pacific St, Newcastle. Terrigal Beach YHA 9 Ocean View Dr, Terrigal. The Entrance Backpackers 2/56 The Entrance Road. Meleleuca Backpackers 2 Koala Place, Boat Harbour melaleucabackp

Samurai Beach Bungalows 2 Robert Connell Close, Anna Bay

Aegean Low Cost Student Accomodation 40 Coogee Bay Rd. Coogee. Clarks @ Clovelly 272 Clovelly Rd, Clovelly. Coogee Beach House 171 Arden St, Coogee Coogee Beachside 178 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee. Surfside Backpackers 186 Arden Street. Coogee.

Boardrider Backpacker Rear 63, The Corso, Manly. Manly Backpackers 24-28 Raglan St, Manly. Manly Beach House Accommodation 179 Pittwater Rd, Manly. The Bunkhouse 35 Pine St, Manly.

Aquarius Backpackers 16 Lawson St. Backpackers Holiday Village 116 Jonson St Backpackers Inn 29 Shirley St Granny Farm, Nimbin 112 Cullen St, Nimbin

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Nomads Bush Village Backpackers Resort 2 St Martins Rd Nomads Airlie Beach 354 Shute Harbour Rd 57-89 Grafton St Global Central 9 Shields St central Global on the Waterfront 67 The Esplanade Globetrotter International 154 Lake St au JJs Backpackers 11-13 Charles St Koala Beach Resort 137 Lake St NJOY! Travellers Resort 141 Sheridan St Nomads Beach House 239 Sheridan St Nomads Cairns 341 Lake St Nomads Esplanade 93 The Esplanade Nomads Utopia 702 Bruce Hwy, Woree Reef Backpackers 140 Grafton St Shenannigans Hotel Cnr Sheridan & Spence St The Jack Backpackers Corner Sherdian and Spence Streets The Northern Greenhouse 117 Grafton St Travellers Oasis 8 Scott street, Parramatta Park Tropic Days Backpackers 28 Bunting Street, Westcourt

Byron Bay YHA 7 Carlyle St. Cape Byron YHA Middleton Street Nomads Byron Bay Lawson Lane. Ballina Beach Village 440 Ballina Beach Rd, South Ballina.

Balmoral House 33 Amelia St, Fortitude Valley Base Brisbane Central Crn Edward & Ann St Base Brisbane Embassy 214 Elizabeth St Brisbane Backpackers Resort VIP 110 Vulture St Brisbane City Backpackers 380 Upper Roma St Bunk Backpackers 21 Gipps St Brisbane City YHA 392 Upper Roma St Nomads Prince Consort Backpackers 230 Wickham St Somewhere to Stay Cnr Brighton Rd & Franklin St The Palace Backpackers Cnr Anne & Edward St Tin Billy Travellers 462 George St

Federal Backpackers 221 Bourbong St

Great Southern Backpackers 13 Chandos St, Eden.

Bohemia Resort 231 McLeod St Cairns Beachhouse 239 Sheridan St Cairns Girls Hostel 147 Lake St Cairns Sharehouse 17 Scott St Cairns City Backpackers 274 Draper St Cairns Waterfront Backpackers 83 The Esplanade cairnswaterfrontbackpackers. Cairns Central YHA 20-26 McLeod St Calypso Backpackers 5 Digger St, Castaways 207 Sheridan St Caravella Backpackers 149 The Esplanade Corona Backpackers 72 Grafton St Dreamtime Travellers Rest 189 Bunda St Geckos Backpackers 187 Bunda St Gilligans Backpackers

Coffs Harbour YHA 51 Collingwood St Harbour City Holiday Park 123 Pacific Highway Hoey Moey Backpackers 80 Ocean Pde Plantation Backpackers 88 Grafton Street Surfaris Retreat 271 Loftus Rd, Crescent Head

Ozzie Pozzie Backpackers 36 Waugh St Port Macquarie YHA 40 Church St

Adventure Island Resort South Molle Island Airlie Waterfront Backpackers The Esplanade Barefoot Lodge Long Island, Whitsundays Beaches Backpackers 356-362 Shute Harbour Rd, Bush Village Budget Cabins 2 St Martins Rd Magnums 366-374 Shute Harbour Rd

Canberra City YHA 7 Akuna St Dickson Backpackers 4/14 Woolley St

Cape Trib Beach House 7 Rykers Rd


Daintree Crocodylus Village Lot 5 Buchanan Creek Rd PKs Jungle Village Cape Tribulation Rd Cool Dingos Rainbow Beach 20 Spectrum St Flashpackers Hervey Bay 18 Spectrum Ave, Rainbow Beach Frasers On Rainbow Beach 195 Torquay Terrace, Torquay, Kingfisher Bay Resort River Heads Road, Fraser Island Koalas Hervey Bay 408 The Esplanade, Hervey Bay Fraser Coast Top Tourist Park 21 Denmans Camp Road, Scarness, Hervey Bay Fraser Island Backpackers Cathedral Beach, Fraser Island Frasers on Rainbow 18 Spectrum Av, Rainbow Beach The Friendly Hostel 182 Torquay Rd, Hervey Bay Woolshed Backpackers 181 Torquay Road Scottys Beach House 167 Reid Rd

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Jackaroo Hostel Mission Beach Frizelle Rd, Bingil Bay Mission Beach Retreat 49 Porters Promenade

1770 Southern Cross Backpackers 2694 Round Hill Rd

Emu Park Resort 92 Patterson St, Emu Park Rockhampton Backpackers YHA 60 Macfarlane Street, Rockhampton

Aquarius Backpackers 44 Queen Street Backpackers In Paradise 40 Peninsula Drive G C International Backpackers Resort 28 Hamilton Ave Islander Backpackers Resort 6 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise Nomads Islander Resort 3128 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Sleeping Inn Surfers 26 Peninsular Drive Surf & Sun Backpackers 3323 Surfers Paradise Blvd Surfers Paradise Backpackers Resort 2837 Gold Coast Hwy au Trekkers Backpackers 22 White St

Mooloolaba Backpackers VIP 75 Brisbane Road

Tangalooma Wild Dolphin Resort

Manta Lodge & Scuba Centre 1 Eastcoast Rd

Dolphins Beach House 14 Duke Street, Sunshine Beach Nomads Noosa Backpackers 44 Noosa Dr Noosa Backpackers Resort 9-13 William St

Cotton Tree Beachouse 15 the Esplanade Caloundra City Backpackers 84 Omrah Ave, Caloundra

Adventurer Backpackers 79 Palmer St Civic Guest House Backpackers Hostel 262 Walker St au Foreign Exchange Accommodation - Beachside 19 Eyre St, North Ward Orchid Guesthouse 34 Hale St

Ride On Mary Budget Bush Retreat

Geckos Rest 34 Sydney St

Codge Lodge 63 Rankin St Crown Hostel 25 Ernest St (07) 4061 2266 Innisfail Budget Backpackers 125 Edith St

Dougies Backpackers Resort 111 Davidson St Global Port Douglas 38 Macrossan St port-douglas Parrot Fish Lodge 37 Warner St Port OCall YHA 7 Craven Close

Base Magnetic Island 1 Nelly Bay Rd Bungalow Bay Koala Village YHA 40 Horseshoe Bay Rd

Banyan View Lodge 119 Mitchell St Chillis Backpackers 69a Mitchell St Darwin YHA 97 Mitchell St

Barefoot Lodge Long Island Colonial Village YHA 820 Boat Harbour Drive, Urangan, Hervey Bay

Absolute Backpackers 28 Wongaling Beach Beach Shack 86 Porters Promenade

1770 Beachside Backpacker 12 Captain Cook Drive

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Central City Backpackers 138 Collins St Pickled Frog 281 Liverpool St Tassie Backpacker @ The Brunswick Hotel 67 Liverpool St Transit Backpackers 251 Liverpool St College Lawn Hotel 36 Greville St, Prahran Claremont Guesthouse 189 Toorak Rd, South Yarra City Centre Budget Hotel 22-30 Little Collins St United Backpackers 250 Flinders St Elizabeth Hostel 490 Elizabeth St Exford Hotel 199 Russell St Flinders Station Hotel 35 Elizabeth St King St Backpackers 160 King Street Discovery Melbourne 167 Franklin St Lords Lodge Backpackers 167 Franklin St Melbourne International Backpackers 204 Punt Rd, Prahran Melbourne Metro YHA 78 Howard St Melbourne Oasis YHA 76 Chapman St Nomads Melbourne 196-198 ABeckett St Space Hotel 380 Russell St The Greenhouse Backpacker 228 Flinders Lane The Spencer City Central BP 475 Spencer St The Nunnery 116 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy Urban Central 334 City Road, Southbank

Dingo Moon Lodge 88 Mitchell St Elkes Inner City Lodge 112 Mitchell St Frogshollow Backpackers 27 Lindsay St Gecko Lodge Backpackers 146 Mitchell St Melaleuca on Mitchell 52 Mitchell St The Cavenagh Motel and Backpackers 12 Cavenagh St

Adelaide Travellers Inn Backpackers Hostel 220 Hutt St Backpack Oz 144 Wakefield St Blue Galah Backpackers Hostel Level 1 / 62 King William St CBD Hostel & Backpackers 23 Hindley St Majestic Minima Hotel 146 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide Our House Backpackers 33 Gilbert Place Tatts Backpackers 17 Hindley St tattersallshotelandbackpackers. The Guest House 132 Wakefield St Shakespeares Backpackers 123 Waymouth St

Bicheno Backpackers Hostel 11 Morrison St, Bicheno

Alice in the Territory 46 Stephens Rd Alice Springs YHA Cnr Parsons St & Leichhardt Tce Alice Lodge Backpackers 4 Mueller St Alices Secret Travellers Inn 6 Khalick St Annies Place 4 Traeger Ave Desert Rose Inn 15 Railway Terrace Haven Backpacker Resort 3 Larapinta Drive

Arthouse Backpackers Hostel 20 Lindsay St Batman Fawkner Inn 39 Cameron St Launceston Backpackers 103 Canning St Lloyds Hotel Backpackers 23 George St

Barossa Backpackers 9 Basedow Rd

Rawnsley Park Station Wilpena Rd, Hawker

Huon Valley Backpackers 4 Sandhil Rd, Cradoc

Palm Court Kookaburra Backpackers Cnr Third & Giles St

Dudley Villa 4958 Hog Bay Rd, Penneshaw Kangaroo Island Central Hostel 19 Murray St, Kingscote Vivonne Bay Lodge Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo Isl

Beachside Retreat 253 Stanley Highway

Adelaide Central YHA 135 Waymouth St

All Nations Backpackers 2 Spencer St Back of Chapel 50 Green St, Windsor

Adelaide Motel and Backpackers Berri Backpackers 262 Hindley St Stuart Highway adelaidemotelandbackpackers. com


Victoria Hotel Backpackers Victoria Hotel, 380 Victoria St

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Backpack City and Surf 41-43 Money St Billabong Resort 381 Beaufort St Britannia on William 253 William Street, Northbridge Beatty Lodge 235 Vincent St Cheviot Lodge 30 Bulwer St Coolibah Lodge 194 Brisbane St Easy Perth Backpackers 4 Francis Street, Northbridge Globe Hotel & Backpackers 561 Wellington St Grand Central Hotel Backpackers 379 Wellington St (08) 9421 1123 Hay Street Backpackers 266-268 Hay St Aberdeen Lodge 79-81 Aberdeen St, Northbridge Mountway Holiday Apartments 36 Mount St Ocean Beach Backpackers 1 Eric St, Cottesloe Perth Beach YHA & Indigo Net Cafe 256 West Coast Hwy, Scarbrough Planet Inn Backpackers 496 Newcastle St The Shiralee Hostel 107 Brisbane St, Northbridge

Old Swan Barracks 2-8 Francis St, Northbridge, Wickham Retreat Backpackers 25-27 Wickham St East Perth (08) 9325 6398 Witchs Hat 148 Palmerston St YMCA Jewell House 180 Goderich St 1201 East Backpackers 195 Hay St

Bunbury Backpackers 16 Clifton St, Bunbury

Back of Chapel Backpackers 50 Green St Base St Kilda 17 Carlisle St Coffee Palace Backpackers 24 Grey St Habitat HQ 333 St Kilda Rd, Oslo Hotel 38 Grey St The Ritz for Backpackers 109 Barkly St St Kilda Beach House 169B Fitzroy St

Dunsborough Inn 500 Dunn Bay Rd InneTown Backpackers 93 Bussell Highway Margaret River Lodge YHA 220 Railway Tce Surfpoint at Preveley Backpackers Riedle Drive

1849 Backpackers Peels Place (08) 9842 1554 Albany Discovery Inn 9 Middleton Beach Rd Bayview Backpackers 49 Duke St

Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort 40 McDonald St


Chill House 8 Watchorn Rd, Phillip Island Surfside Backpackers Corner Great Ocean Road & Gambier Street Port Campbell Hostel 18 Tregea St

Beaches of Broome 4 Sanctuary Drive, Cable Beach Cable Beach Backpackers 12 Sanctuary Rd, Cable Beach Roebuck Bay Backpackers Carnarvon St The Kimberly Klub 62 Fredrick St


The World Bar 24 Bayswater Rd, Sydney Blackbird Cafe Balcony Level, Cockle Bay Wharf, Darling Harbour The Penny Black 420 Sydney Road, Brunswick Asian Beer Cafe Level 3, Melbourne Central The Chippendale Hotel 87-91 Abercrombie St, Sydney thechippendalehotel Lucky Coq Chapel St, Windsor Pig n Whistle 123 Eagle St, Brisbane

Mildura City Backpackers 50 Lemon Avenue

Petes Exmouth Backpackers YHA Cnr Truscott Cres & Murat Rd

Riviera Backpackers YHA 669 Esplanade Echuca Backpackers 410 High St, Echuca

Old Firestation Backpackers 18 Phillimore St

Grampians YHA Eco Hostel Halls Gap.

Kalbarri Backpackers YHA 51 Mortimer St

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Why New Zealand?

It used to be you could count the clichd images of New Zealand on one hand. One of the mighty All Blacks running the length of the pitch; lots of sheep and a few snow-capped mountains. But with the release of The Lord of the Rings trilogy and now The Hobbit, the country gained much more exposure and quickly became the destination of choice for a new wave of travellers. And were not just talking about Ring geeks on the hunt for hobbits and orcs.

City life
The big three cities are Auckland and Wellington on the North Island, and Christchurch on the south. Each has its own characteristics but they are all urban enclaves surrounded by rugged country, and are traditional launching points for seeing the rest of the country. Auckland is New Zealands largest city, with only around 1.4m inhabitants, and the result is a sprawling mass of suburbs and a city that has a sophistication and style to rival any Southern Hemisphere metropolis. A healthy smattering of cafs, bars and restaurants gives the impression of an ever-developing area that can keep you busy for more than just a couple of days. Wellington is the countrys capital and boasts one of the worlds most beautiful harbours, as well as many of NZs coolest bars and cafs. It was no great surprise when Lonely Planet named it the worlds fourth best city to visit last year, in their Best in Travel book. Top for a bit of culture is the superb Te Papa museum, where its very easy to lose a day. Christchurch is the most European of the countrys cities and has a slower vibe than its northern cousins. Its set on the Avon River, and there are loads of walks and museums to enjoy, as well as plenty of activities in the surrounding areas to keep you busy. The vibrant, student town of Dunedin is a short scenic drive south. But you dont really come to New Zealand for the cities. Its the natural landscapes that will make your time worthwhile.

Diamond geysers
It may merely look like a broken, upside-down Italy on the map, but New Zealand is quite simply one of the most beautiful countries in the world. It boasts mountain ranges that rapidly ll your memory cards, boiling hot geysers exploding into the air, vast glaciers, raging rivers that suck you down in a ash and then spit you out just as quick, and cities which are growing quicker than sightings of Lindsay Lohan making a tit of herself. If youve seen The Lord of the Rings movies and if you havent, customs wont let you in youll have an idea of the kind of country youll be visiting. And no, there werent many special effects to make Middle Earth look that good its almost all natural. The rst thing that hits you is the power of the land. Nowhere are you more privy to the Earths ebbs and ows. Whether its through traditional Maori tales of gods moving mountains with thunderbolts, or just through plain old observation, youre given a real sense of the Earth being a powerful, living thing.





Adventure and adrenalin are big in New Zealand. Whitewater raft down knee-trembling rapids, throw yourself off a 320m Sky Tower in the middle of a city, jump out of a plane while spooning a complete stranger and jet boat through a canyon, close enough to see the moss growing on the walls. Queenstown, on the South Island, is the place to be for all sorts of shenanigans. Short of inserting an IV of pure adrenalin into your arm, its where its at for excitement.

You beauty
From the beautiful Bay of Islands in the north to the stunning Fiordland National Park in the south not forgetting Rotorua, Taupo, Waitomo, Abel Tasman National Park, Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier and the Otago Peninsula in between theres a good chance you wont have experienced or seen anything like it before. If youre going to travel halfway across the world, youd be missing out on something special if you dont get that NZ stamp in your passport.



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the New Zealand Way

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Photo: Tourism New Zealand

About New Zealand

Contrary to popular belief, there is more to New Zealand than bungy jumping, kiwi fruit and 60 million sheep. In fact, the biggest mistake anyone can make is to underestimate New Zealand and expect it to be just like Australia. Apart from residents of both countries possessing funny accents, they couldnt be more different! With dashing snow-capped mountains, endless glaciated valleys, steaming volcanos, tropical beaches and wild gushing rivers, New Zealand is profoundly beautiful. Its a place where you can actually go swimming in the morning and skiing in the afternoon. and friendly. The folks who farm the land and those who work in the industries servicing the rural sector are, as anywhere, salt of the earth. They lead quite a life. For a small country theyve got a great attitude. While New Zealand boasts a melting pot of cultures, it is predominantly European. The native Maori population and the growing inux from the South Pacic islands and Asia help to give life in New Zealand a unique avour. Maori account for about 14 per cent of the countrys population and their cultural inuence is everywhere.

The locals
With only four and a half million inhabitants on a landmass close in size to Great Britain, New Zealand is clearly not an over-populated nation. It is made up of the North Island, the South Island, Stewart Island and various small islands. New Zealanders (or Kiwis and its not offensive to call them that) are generally relaxed, outgoing

Maori legend has it that the South Island of New Zealand was the canoe of the great sherman Maui and the North Island was a sh he caught using a hook. The island didnt like being pulled from the sea and writhed around a lot, which is why the North Island is so mountainous. Legend also tells of the Maori arriving in New Zealand about 1,000 years ago. They came in a eet of canoes from a land called Hawaiki, a mythical

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remarkable accuracy, and made observations of the Maori and the plant life of the country. He returned twice more, and by 1790, the European exploration had begun. Sealers and whalers were the rst to take advantage of the abundance of wildlife, then the timber millers arrived to fell the giant kauri trees in the north, ideal for shipbuilding. The bulk of British settlement of the new colony occurred after the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, an agreement between the Maori chiefs and Queen Victoria that gave the crown sovereignty in exchange for continued Maori rights to sheries and the like. The treaty was mere political expediency in 1840, and has largely remained so in the 160 years since, with European settlers riding roughshod over Maori rights. Recent years have seen an attempt to balance the equation, with mixed results. Climate As far as weather goes, summer (December-March) is the best time to visit New Zealand if you fancy taking in lots of barbies, beer and wine drinking, outdoor sports, festivals, beach-going, lake and river swimming. But make sure you apply plenty of sunblock. Winter (June-October) is the best time to visit New Zealand if you like your snow. Most ski resorts open in the rst week of June, weather and conditions permitting. Spring (September-November) and autumn (March-June) are excellent times for engaging in bush walks, mountain biking, and other activities where you can admire the natural beauty the two seasons bring to the fore in a mild climate. These seasons are also great times to visit because there are generally a few less people about, meaning youre more likely to get that mountain to yourself. Rugby fans should make the trip in autumn. Many of the cultural festivals in the larger cities like Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland are also held at this time. Generally it gets cooler as you travel south. Maximum summer temperatures average from 30C in the north to 20C in the south, while average winter maximums range from 15C in the north to 10C in the south. Overnight, particularly in the south, it often dips below freezing in winter. It rains a lot, even in the summer, but most of the rain falls in the west, and areas tucked into the mountain ranges can be dry, and sometimes even hit by drought.

place that is mentioned in many Polynesian cultures. Historians have doubts about the great migration theory, but there is no doubt that at least some immigrants arrived in NZ from Polynesia 1,000 years ago or more. With them, they brought a rat, a dog and a sweet potato called kumara. The rat, the dog and a couple of species of bat were the only mammals on the land when the rst white explorers turned up. The rst European sighting of NZ was apparently back in 1642 when a Dutchman, Abel Tasman, sighted the north-western portion of the South Island. He didnt go ashore and withdrew out of Golden Bay (or the less alluring Murderers Bay, as he called it) after a clash with local Maori saw the death of four of his men. Bad weather then forced him north to discover Fiji and the Tongan islands. It is assumed that the name New Zealand is a hangover from Tasmans early explorations, which amounted to little more than a squiggle on the map of the world. Captain James Cook came across NZ in 1769, at a spot not far from Gisborne on the North Island. He circumnavigated the country, produced a chart of


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Maori culture

Photo: TNT Magazine

Traditional Maori war canoe (waka) during Waitangi Day celebrations

Celebrated and embraced with passion, the Maori people are the indigenous people of Aotearoa (New Zealand). Archeological evidence indicates they discovered the country some time between 800-1,000 AD, on one of the last deliberate voyages of colonisation across the Pacic. Originating from South-East Asia some 5,000-7,000 years ago, they are thought to have arrived in waka hourua (voyaging canoes) from their ancestral homeland of Hawaiki more than 1,000 years ago. Today, about 14 per cent of NZs population claim Maori descent (most live in the North Island) and their language and culture has a major impact on Kiwi life. Maori culture is rich and varied, including many elements from traditional spiritual and philosophical beliefs, right through to the active preservation of traditional and contemporary arts carving, weaving, kapa haka (group performance), whaikorero (oratory) and moko (tattoo) are practiced throughout the country. Practitioners who follow in the footsteps of their tipuna (ancestors) continue to use the same techniques from hundreds of years ago, yet also

develop new ones. Today their culture includes art, lm, television, poetry, theatre and hip-hop.

How to immerse yourself

Visit a marae: This ornately carved meeting house is found in almost every large NZ community. Sacred to the Maori, certain etiquette must be used when entering. Welcome speeches, songs and a paying of respects to ancestors are observed on a marae and once protocol has been satised, youll be spoiled by Maori hospitality. Waitangi National Reserve: The Waitangi National Reserve is where the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the Europeans and Maori leaders. The treaty is controversial as the promises made to the Maori regarding land rights and protection were changed in the translated English version, leading to the Maori Wars in the late 1840s. The reserve is beautiful, and includes a stunning marae, a 35m Maori war canoe and the treaty house where the document was signed. Museums: Many of the museums in New Zealand boast excellent Maori exhibits, ranging from wakas


and carvings to weapons and traditional songs. The Museum of New Zealand in Wellington Te Papa (our place) has Mana Whenua, a presentation on the Tangata Whenua people of the land and the Te Hau ki Turanga, one of the oldest meeting places in existence. The Auckland Museum has daily performances of Manaia, a look at Maori culture through narrative, song and dance. It also houses the largest and most signicant collection of Maori treasures in the world.

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Maori tourism
The Maori have been involved in tourism since 1870, when the Tuhourangi people south of Rotorua owned the eighth wonder of the world, the Pink and White Terraces impressive and beautiful layers of thermal pools. Visits to them were operated on a commercial basis. Despite its destruction by the eruption of Mt Tarawera in 1886, Rotorua has become a hub for Maori tourism, taking advantage of the many geothermal elds and attractions of the central volcanic plateau. Maori entertainers can be seen at many venues performing a concert for the entertainment of tourists. Some of these performances are accompanied by a hangi a meal steam-cooked in a traditional Maori way.

interpretation is fast becoming more widely accepted as the people who are the land. Spirituality: Maori people see things in terms of physical and spiritual realms. A simple example would be a rock Maori believe a rock has a physical being but also a spiritual essence. This spirituality is expressed continuously and implicitly throughout Maori culture. Ancestors: The Maori believe they carry their ancestors on their shoulders in everything they do. They believe that we are not individuals but the result of the collective knowledge and experience of all who have gone before. Therefore, knowing your genealogy is important to Maori. They also believe that genealogy connects humans to every living thing through Papatuanuku the original mother. Under this philosophy, humans and trees share ancestors and are therefore related.

Maori language
Many NZ place names are of Maori origin and it takes time to gure out how to say some of these seemingly-impossible-to-pronounce names. But Maori language has a logical structure, and (unlike English) has very consistent rules of pronunciation. Maori consists of ve vowel sounds: a e i o u (a as in father; e as in pen; i as ee in feet; o as in fort and u as oo in boot). Many Maori pronounce the wh sound similar to our f. The ng is like our ng sound in a word like sing, except that words can start with ng.

Maori values
Land: The Maori acknowledge the beauty of land and refer to themselves as tangata whenua, loosely translated as the people of the land. This

Photo: Tourism New Zealand/

The All Black have made the traditional Maori haka internationally famous

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NZ adventures

Haast River jet boating

To say that Kiwis are outdoor types is a gross understatement. While travelling around New Zealand you will meet locals who get up in the morning for a surf, then squeeze in a spot of rockclimbing at lunch-time and maybe paddle off for a sea kayak at sunset. At the weekend they will be stufng their packs and heading into the mountains for some serious trekking and camping adventures. When you go to New Zealand and get an eyeful of the scenery, youll understand why the desire to spend as much time outside as possible is in the blood of your average Kiwi. Of course, its not just about checking out the view. New Zealand is the adrenalin capital of the SouthernHemisphere they cant stop inventing new ways to scare the hell out of themselves and you. Its the birthplace of commercial bungy jumping after all, but it doesnt stop there. Most adventure activities can be booked through tourist information ofces, at your hostel in NZ, or directly through commercial operators. Backpacker hostels will have info on local attractions, and may

offer discount rates for guests. If outdoor trekking or tramping is more your vibe, then look out for the Department of Conservation (DOC) ofces in all major centres. Visit for more info.

Canoeing/kayaking: Canoeing (in open, twoperson canoes) and kayaking (in narrow, one-person crafts) are widely available. Ride the heaving rapids or cruise sedately down tranquil water. Where? All over the country. Canyoning: Abseil down sheer cliffs next to crashing waterfalls, shoot down polished rock chutes and into deep pools a high-adrenalin way to explore the rugged outdoors. Where?Auckland, Wanaka and Christchurch are just three of the many areas you can give it a go. Diving: New Zealand boasts some awesome diving for the enthusiast. The Poor Knights Islands (Tutukaka), off the coast of Northland, are one of the top 10 dive sites in the world, according to Jacques


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Tramp the Routeburn Track, go on, you know you want to!
Cousteau. The diversity, density and colours of subtropical and temperate sea life among caves, tunnels and arches is amazing. There are also plenty of centres around NZ where you can learn to dive. Where? The most popular sites include Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve (Whangarei), the Wreck of the Rainbow Warrior (Bay of Islands), volcanic White Island (Bay of Plenty), plus Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sounds (Fiordland) for their uniquely shallow black coral. Dolphin swimming: Frolic with dolphins in their natural environment with operators who have so far remained eco-friendly. Where? Bay of Islands, Bay of Plenty (North Island), plus Kaikoura and Akaroa (South Island). Fishing: From big game shing, to trout shing, to dangling a line off the end of a wharf, shing is popular and widely available. The best months are January-May (boat shing March-November). Where? The east coast of the North Island, including Tutukaka, Whangaroa, Whitianga, Major Island, Whakatane, The Bay of Islands (big game), Lake Rotorua, Lake Taupo and Southern Lakes (trout). Horse riding: An opportunity to get out into the back blocks (middle of nowhere). Where? Kaikoura, Westland, Wanaka, Taranaki, Taupo, the Coromandel and more. Mountain biking: A great way to see the country, you can stick to the roads or head off into the national parks and off-road tracks do not, however, ride on the national parks walking tracks. Where? Everywhere. Sailing: Kiwis love the water just look at Aucklands double harbours any Saturday or Sunday for evidence of that. The Bay of Islands is another popular sailing spot, but almost every coastal town will have an active yacht club and charter operator.

Hitch up with a local yacht club and crew for free, or charter a boat for a day. Where? Auckland, Northland, Tauranga, Hauraki Gulf, Lake Taupo, Marlborough Sounds and plenty more. Sea kayaking: A very popular and peaceful way of enjoying the stunning scenery of the sounds, ords and peaceful bays. You can kayak for halfdays, full days and even overnight trips. Where? Bay of Islands, Coromandel, Abel Tasman National Park, Fiordland. Skiing: New Zealand has the best skiing in the Southern Hemisphere and many snow bunnies from the north head toNZ for summer. Many small, cheap club elds operate in the South Island while the larger commercial operators include Whakapapa and Turoa in Tongariro National Park, plus Mt Hutt, Coronet Peak and The Remarkables in the Southern Alps. Smaller than European elds, they are up to international standards. Heli-skiing and glacier-skiing are popular (but expensive) options for intermediate to advanced skiers. Many backpackers pick up work on the major ski-elds, but you need to be early. Where? Central North Island, Taranaki, Nelson and the Southern Alps. Whale watching: Get close to a sperm whale, orca (killer whale) or any of a number of other species off the coast of Kaikoura. Weather is a complicating factor, so allow two or three days if youre determined to spot one of these majestic beasts. Where? Kaikoura, South Island. Team sports: Every weekend and at the end of most working days, Kiwis head for the sports elds to indulge in everything from rugby and football to touch rugby (huge in summer), beach volleyball and netball. Settle for more than a week or two and youll be able to hook into a team easily enough. Where? Everywhere. Windsurng: Like sailing, it is popular on all lakes and around the coast, sheltered or not. Where? Lake Taupo, Auckland, Bay of Islands and just about everywhere else.

Bungy jumping: Welcome to the home of bungy. Famous Kiwi AJ Hackett launched his rst commercial bungy jumping operation in Queenstown, but the activity is now available countrywide. NZs bungy operators are safe and reliable you can always ask the local tourist ofce to recommend one for you. Your choices include the serenely stunning Taupo Bungy, the terrifying Nevis (out of a cable car) in Queenstown, and even a plunge fromAucklands iconic Harbour Bridge. Where? Queenstown has a concentration of jumps

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world standards (the highest, Mt Cook, is 3,754m), many are technical and the capricious weather means the mountains should not be underestimated. This is where Sir Edmund Hilary practiced for Mt Everest. Where? South Islands Southern Alps offer numerous opportunities for various levels of expertise. Hiking: NZ has some world class walks. In Kiwi land hiking is generally referred to as tramping and is something of a national pastime. The popular tracks generally sport well-maintained paths equipped with huts which provide bed space and cooking facilities for a minimal fee. In summer months the huts are often full, so taking a tent is advised. Tracks range from gentle strolls to more strenuous ones.

of various heights; see also Hanmer Springs, Taupo, Rotorua, Taihape, Mangaweka and Auckland. Blackwater rafting: Tube down underground rivers through glow worm-lit caves in rubber rings. Where?Waitomo, North Island. Caving: Adventure caving tours involving abseiling, squeezing through small holes and splashing through underground rivers are fun. Where? Waitomo, Westport, Nelson and elsewhere. Jet boating: Invented in NZ, jet boats power through narrow, spectacular gorges in just centimetres of water. From Queenstown, jet boating can be combined with helicopter and raft trips. Where? Queenstown, Taupo, Whanganui River, Waimakariri near Christchurch, Rangitaiki River and Waikato River below the Huka Falls. River sledging: The search for a new rush is endless. Ride polystyrene sleds down the countrys wildest rivers with just a wet suit and helmet. Where? Rangitaiki River, near Rotorua, and Kawarau River, near Queenstown. Rock climbing: Rock climbing is a popular sport, pursued in quarries and up articial walls, as well as mountains. Indoor climbing is also popular, and a great way to learn the ropes (arf) before heading out to the cliff face. Where? Anywhere there are mountains and cliffs, really, including Auckland, Te Awamutu, the Southern Alps, the Darrans. Skydiving: A most incredible rush, tandem skydiving is available all over NZ, giving you tremendous views while scaring yourself stupid. Where? Queenstown and Rotorua are home to two of the countrys biggest skydiving operations, but you can take the leap all over the country, in places such as Taupo, Wanaka and Paihia. NZs highest tandem jump, at 18,000ft, can be found at Franz Josef Glacier. Surng: NZ surfers are a hardy bunch and can be found riding the waves all year round. Where? Auckland (east and west coasts), Gisborne, Taranaki, Dunedin, Kaikoura and the West Coast. NZs most famous break is at Raglan, near Hamilton. Whitewater rafting: Extremely popular and loads of fun. Choose from a half-day trip to a three/fourday adventure. Rivers are graded from one (easy) to six (unraftable), according to difculty, and this changes with weather conditions and water levels. Where? Queenstown, Rotorua, the Whanganui River, Rangitata (Canterbury) and more on the North Island. Zorbing: Ever seen those plastic balls for exercising hamsters? Well, some crazy Kiwis invented one for humans. Youll roll downhill in a clear, inatable ball. Where? Rotorua. Mountaineering: While NZ peaks are small by

The seven great walks

Tongariro Crossing: Recognised as the best day walk in NZ, the crossing takes in the Emerald Lakes, Blue Lake and the Ketetahi Hot Springs and live volcanoes. Access from Whakapapa Village. Waikaremoana Lake Circuit: A three or four-day circuit within Te Urewera National Park, with beech forest and spectacular lake views. Access from Tuai or Wairoa. Abel Tasman National Park: This popular coastal track takes three to four days, passing through bush and over gorgeous, golden sandy beaches. Access from Nelson/Motueka. Heaphy Track, Nelson Forest Park: A four to six-day walk, including a coastal section watch out for sand ies. Access from Nelson or Collingwood. The Milford Track, Fiordland National Park: Worldfamous, this four-day walk is open from NovemberApril. Numbers are regulated, its very popular and you must book in advance. Queen Charlotte Track, Marlborough Sounds: Extends for 67km. Its a comfortable three to four-day walk through native forest and offering great views of the waterways. Routeburn Track, Fiordland National Park: An alternative to the Milford, so it can get crowded. Takes three to four days, passing a variety of beautiful scenery, through rainforest and subalpine terrain. Access from Queenstown or Te Anau.

New Zealands bush

Easily accessible with no special training, many visitors are lulled into a false sense of security by NZs temperate climate and the accessibility of the bush. Weather conditions can change very quickly be well prepared. Contact the local DOC to book, and for excellent safety advice:


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North Island
Getting it done on top... The majority of New Zealands population lives on the North Island and its also where youll get to experience the most Maori culture. The largest city, Auckland, is probably where youll y into and from there you can either head north to the Bay of Islands or start your journey south to the astounding volcanic scenery of the Tongariro National Park, the sulfuric vents of Rotorua and nally windy Wellington, your gateway to the South Island.

Otherwise known as the City of Sails, New Zealands largest city sprawls for 50km between two large harbours, the Waitemata and the Manukau. Chances are, you will y into Auckland and nd theres plenty of information on accommodation and activities. With a population of 1.4 million, Auckland covers a signicant land mass, but its scenic setting and spirit often exceed expectations. Many people from

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Photos: Thinkstock; RST/Ian Brodie; Waitomo Adventures

New Zealands neighbouring Pacic Islands have settled here, and it now has the largest concentration of Polynesians in the world. The city is concentrated around the southern shore of the Waitemata Harbour and part of this area has been renovated into an attractive district for tourists, with interesting restaurants, shops and bars. The nice thing about Auckland is its close proximity to so many natural escapes. A mere 45-minute drive and you can be on one of several beautiful, uncrowded beaches or, in other directions, among sheep and cattle on a New Zealand farm. The possibilities here are endless.

will drop you off right outside. The citys bus system is reliable, comprehensive and usually runs on time.

Auckland accommodation
Hostels are dotted all over town, so you should be able to pick and choose your suburb and nd a place to stay no problem. TNT New Zealand has a big list of up-to-date hostels to choose from. If youre looking for a houseshare or apartment for a longer stay, youre best to get a hold of the New Zealand Herald on a Wednesday or Saturday, and Trade and Exchange on Thursday or Saturday. Both have extensive accommodation sections.

Arriving in Auckland
The best way to get into the CBD (21km from the airport) is the Air Bus, which runs every 15 minutes. If staying in one of the major hostels in town, the bus

Around town
Auckland Museum: A brilliant display of Maori history, lifestyle and culture plus a 25m war canoe. There are also displays of South Pacic


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by the Maori. Unfortunately the tree is no longer there. It was cut down in 2000 due to old age. Shopping: Try Karangahape Road for record stores, second-hand and retro clothing and lots of offbeat independent shops. Victoria Park Market and the China Oriental Market: Two interesting and colourful markets. Victoria Park has outdoor cafs and entertainment on weekends.

Out on the town

Auckland boasts just about every type of cuisine you can think of, at very affordable prices. The cheapest way to nd lling food is to head for the food courts that adjoin the larger shopping malls, such as the Downtown Food Court in the Downtown Shopping Centre on QEII Square. Hitting the bars and clubs is also a popular pastime for the locals. Auckland Central Backpackers has a cool basement bar, but if you fancy venturing further, Queen Street and the roads running off it are the best places to start. Youll nd comedy clubs, Irish, English and Scottish bars, plus trendy watering holes, many offering deals. The Karangahape Road or as it is more affectionately known to Aucklanders, K Road is NZs nearest thing to Kings Cross in Sydney or Soho in London. Bars and clubs are set among the bustling red light district of Auckland. Either start early and end late, or never stop. Youll nd clubs with everything from 24-hour drinking and pool, to trance and hardcore hip-hop. Auckland Viaduct is also worth checking out. Its a beacon for beautiful people and cute yachties, and the pubs are certainly lively when the sailors are in.

items. Admission is by donation, free, with $10 being the suggested amount. i-Site Auckland Visitor Centre: Atrium, Skycity, corner of Federal and Victoria streets has excellent information on Auckland and the surrounding areas, and can also book tours and accommodation throughout New Zealand. For more info, visit Sky Tower: Head to the viewing platform on this 328m tower to take in the amazing views over the city. For a serious adrenalin rush, do the 192m Sky Jump off the tower, or try the Vertigo Climb 38m up the inside of the mast for the best view in Auckland. Auckland Harbour Bridge: Follow the sound of the screams to the jump pod, and then bungy. Harbour cruise: This is the City of Sails, and your trip wouldnt be complete without a cruise from the waterfront. There are also plenty of sailing companies to take you to the nearby islands. Kelly Tarltons Underwater World and Antarctic Encounter: View New Zealands sealife and stay dry at the same time. You can also experience the Antarctic without freezing your bits off in the Antarctic Encounter section, a unique replica of the chilly environment, with Scotts 1911 snow hut and a penguin colony. Mt Eden: By far the best volcano cone in the area (196m), with spectacular views. At the top of the cone you can look 50m down into the crater. One Tree Hill: This small, extinct volcano (183m) was once the largest Maori pa settlement. It has excellent views of the city from the top and you can still see the terracing and dugout storage pits used

Day trips
A restored area near the city centre, Parnell has become a hip, young area with lots of restaurants, shops and galleries. Take a short ferry ride to the popular Devonport area on the North Shore Peninsula. Walk along the waterfront promenade with a view of the city, to Cheltenham Beach and the two volcanic cones, Mt Victoria and North Head, that were both Maori pa settlements. Muriwai Beach, on the west coast, is a popular surng spot with black volcanic sand, sweeping ocean and rugged coastline, plus is home to a gannet colony. Mission Bay has a long stretch of pretty coastline. You can hire kayaks, take a ferry over to Rangitoto, rollerblade along the promenade or go for a dip. Then check out the many cafs and restaurants across the street. And like all good promenades the ice-cream is amazing.

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Aucklands Sky Walk, a great hangover cure!

From Takapuna Beach on the North Shore to Long Bay there are a handful of excellent beaches with calm waters, grass areas and park benches to sit down and picnic with some hot sh and chips or a packed lunch. There are also BBQ areas for hire. Otara Markets are a Saturday morning affair. Mostly old bric-a-brac as well as clothing and food. A lively atmosphere awaits you, packed with people from the Maori and Pacic Island communities of South Auckland. There are plenty of islands to see in the Hauraki Gulf, off Auckland. Do day trips or stay at some of the more popular islands, such as the beautiful Waiheke (with wine trails and nice places to eat) or Great Barrier Island. Peninsula, Orewa is a popular spot for local holidaymakers. Wenderholm National Park, 8km north of Orewa, has great bushwalks, swimming and views. A 15-minute drive from Orewa are Waiwera Hot Pools, with pools of different depths and temperatures, as well as hydro-slides and movies. Warkworths highlights include Sheepworld, a rather hilariously but obviously-named theme park, and nearby Kawau Island, which boasts stunning beaches and walks. Gateway to the north, Whangarei is Northlands only city. Founded on the edge of a deep and sheltered harbour, the city rivals Auckland as NZs city of sails and is a popular watersports centre with its warm and sunny weather. Whangarei Falls is a beauty spot not to be missed. Deep-sea shing, caving, tramping and horse trekking can all be done here. Youll nd plenty of leaets at the Whangarei Information Centre on Tarewa Road. Scuba enthusiasts should head to the Poor Knights Islands, a dive site once labelled as one of the worlds 10 best by Jacques Cousteau, a man who should know. Northlands most popular tourist resort, the Bay of Islands, attracts visitors from all over the

The winterless Northland is a tourists playground. Two hours north of Auckland, this beautiful peninsula stretches for more than 300km, boasting a climate similar to the Mediterranean. The jewel in the crown is the Bay of Islands, a hotbed of water sports, scenic sailing and dolphin encounters. At the northern base of the Whangaparoa

world and rightly so. Its NZ at its best. With quiet coves, soft sandy beaches, sparkling waters and an interesting history, the Bay of Islands is a must-see. Situated 257km north of Auckland, this irregular and spectacular coastline has 144 remote and uninhabited islands bathed in sunshine year-round. Its the perfect place to do a skydive, an overnight cruise, scuba dive, kayak or take a shing trip. Often referred to as the nations birthplace, the region is steeped in history, from the Waitangi Treaty House, where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840, to some of NZs oldest pubs in Paihia and Russell. The buzzing tourist centre of the Bay of Islands, Paihia is the take-off point for the many boat tours which cruise the islands for pleasure, shing and sightseeing. Paihia Wharf is a great place to soak up some atmosphere, dream of owning a yacht, meet fellow tourists and swap travel stories. Swim with dolphins in the bay, paddle a sea kayak out for the day, take a powerboat out to the Hole in the Rock, go shing or hire a jet ski. Its a clich but it really is a place you wont want to leave. Biggest of the islands, and home to the beautiful Otehei Bay, is Urupukapuka, which is serviced daily by several boats, making it an easy starting point for exploring some of the many Maori fortresses or just relaxing on the beach. Once a fortied Maori settlement, Russell is now a quaint, colonial town. Home to the beautiful Pompalier House and Flagstaff Hill, its where Maori leader Hone Heke famously felled the British agpole over half a dozen times in 1845. Russell is New Zealands oldest settlement and rst capital, until the honour was shifted rst to Auckland, and then to Wellington. The most historic of the Bay of Islands towns, Waitangi is where pen was put to the Treaty of Waitangi paper. Its a great place to be on New Years Eve or New Zealands national day, Waitangi Day, on 6 February. Other highlights include historic Kerikeri with NZs oldest stone building; Whangaroa for fantastic game shing, or a tour on the highly recommended Snowcloud; and Doubtless Bay for its many islands and tiny coves. Matauri Bay is a well-kept secret with great beaches and views to the Cavalli Islands. It is Maori land, home to the Ngati Kura people and is also where the bombed Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior is situated, which you can explore with a scuba tank. Although actually more like 90km long, 90 Mile Beach is well worth a visit. There are good walking tracks, great campsites and stunning beach views edged by the pine forest that covers most of the western side of the peninsula. Kaitaia is the nearest

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town and a good place to stay when exploring Northland. Further south is Hokianga Harbour, far less touristy than the Bay of Islands, and offering amazing views, bushwalks and wildlife reserves.

A popular holiday destination for Kiwis, in particular Aucklanders, the Coromandel Peninsula boasts scenic bushland, superb beaches and cosy villages. While there is a huge summer pilgrimage to the Coromandel about an hours drive south-east of Auckland theres plenty of room for everyone. Its worth sampling a bit of everything the Coromandel has to offer, right to Fletcher Bay, New Zealands Lands End. Whitianga, the largest township on the peninsulas east coast, was the landing site for the great Polynesian adventurer Kupe in AD 950. Choose from diving and sailing to taking a day-walk over to the famous Hot Water Beach and learning the art of bone carving. Lying further down the east coast of the peninsula, Waihi and Whangamata beaches are renowned surng spots. Whangamata is a surfside town that prides itself on its summertime nightlife, while the Waihi area has rich history as one of NZs rst goldmining settlements. The western gateway to the Coromandel, Thames race meetings during the Christmas and New Year period are legendary. The township of Coromandel itself is seductively laidback spot with some good bushwalks, nice cafs, hostels and bars.

Rotorua & the Bay of Plenty

Rotorua is the North Islands tourist capital and the drawcards are its famous Maori culture and its lake and geothermal attractions, including bubbling, hot mud pools, geysers and natural hot springs. The sulphur in the atmosphere from the geothermal activity gives Rotoruas air, er, a distinctive smell (a bit like rotten eggs but you soon get used to it). The thermal area of Whakawerawera is Rotoruas busiest tourist attraction. Known as Whaka, everyone heads there and so should you. The famous Pohutu geyser erupts at least once an hour, shooting hot water up to 30m in the air. This area is great for taking in some rafting, zorbing, jet boating, or trying the ultimate a bungy jump. Other popular activities include the luge and the mud baths. Whaka has an art gallery, Maori arts and crafts centre, replica Maori village and kiwi house, plus a Maori concert is held daily. Tourism Rotorua,, has info on all Rotorua activities.

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Mt Ruapehu crater lake

Captain Cook named the Bay of Plenty, extending from the Coromandel Peninsula to the East Cape, in honour of both the regions fertility and the friendliness of the local Maori. Their inuence remains strong today and is most visible in the East Cape, where Maori councils own a quarter of the land. To the west of the bay is the rapidly-growing seaside resort of Tauranga, a port where locals know how to play hard. Water sports are popular and you can go swimming with dolphins or snorkelling. At night the town has plenty of bars, pubs and clubs to keep the sure crowd partying. Taurangas twin town, Mt Maunganui, is a beach resort that has one of the nest surf beaches in the country, as well as hot saltwater pools at the base of the famous mountain. Another great sight is Whakaari (White) Island volcano, located some 50km offshore from Whakatane. This 200,000 year-old island is made up of three volcanic peaks one of which is an active, smouldering volcano. Its also another renowned dive site.

Taupo & Tongariro

Nestled amid the mountains, Taupo is one of NZs top tourist resorts, built by a beautiful lake and looking down on the beautiful snow-capped peaks of Tongariro National Park.

These days Taupo also has a reputation for offering great adventure, with impressive bungy, jet boating and skydiving facilities. If it involves adrenalin, Taupos got it going on. The beautiful scenery can serve to take your mind off the scary activity you are about to partake in. Lake Taupo, New Zealands largest, is one of the easiest places in the country to catch a decent trout. You can also get into water sports, and the nearby bubbling thermal pools at Wairakei Geothermal Park are internationally renowned. A quick drive south from Taupo and youll come across Tongariro National Park. From smouldering volcanoes (Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngaruahoe) to idyllic Lake Taupo, the Volcanic Plateau is one of the most scenic and otherworldly areas in the North Island and has action-a-plenty all year round. In winter, bring your snowboard and hit the slopes on Ruapehus two main ski-elds, Whakapapa and Turoa, which are both well run. The more adventurous might like to climb Mt Ruapehu (also known as Mt Doom), preferably not when its having one of its semi-regular eruptions. Its quite a trip to the summit, but is well-worth the aching legs afterwards, with truly wonderful views.

The Waikato province is named after NZs longest


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river, the mighty Waikato River which bisects the DOC about your tramping intentions before you set off. regions centre, NZs largest inland city. With a Locals boast that the regions diversity allows you population of 140,000 the city has a burgeoning to ski and surf in one day. In the summer, the beaches nightlife which belies its reputation as an overgrown are as good as any in the country. The tramping farming town. Waterskiers and rowers use the elsewhere in Egmont National Park is superb, Waikato and lush parks ank its banks. offering multi-day tramping tracks. The city of New The nearby town of Te Awamutu, is home Plymouth in the north is a good base for outdoor to two lots of New Zealands dignitaries being pursuits. home to the the Maori Monarchy (Ngaruawahias Gisborne Turangawaewae Marae) plus the The East Cape, the easternmost tip birthplace of Kiwi rock royalty of NZ, is a long way off the beaten Neil and Tim Finn of Crowded House. track and the drive itself is a real West of Hamilton, youll nd When launching your assault on the mission narrow and winding but Raglan, NZs most famous surng Tongariro Crossing, its worth it. Out here people still get spot, while Pureora National Park stay in National about on horses and when the sun is atrampers playground. One Park so that you shines the beaches are wondrous. of NZs last remaining and most have the maximum Climb the East Cape lighthouse at important rainforests, Pureora is a walking time Te Araroa and be the rst person in largely untouched treasure. Theres the country to see the sunrise that day. even the odd dinosaur to be seen Gisborne is where Captain James Cook tuatara (big lizard) roam the forest rst landed in NZ (on 6 October 1769). He stayed in search of insects, though youll be incredibly lucky just long enough to take formal possession of the to spot one. country in the name of His Majesty King George III, The Waitomo Caves and their glow worms shouldnt before rushing off to formally discover the rest of be missed. Ten minutes north of Otorohanga, the NZ. caverns are one of NZs natural marvels. Waitomo Gisborne is known as the countrys unofcial caters for just about everyone, with a selection surng capital, a city largely based on beach culture. of adventure tours such as abseiling, caving and Relaxed and friendly with great summer weather, climbing. theres plenty to see and do and some good cafs Taranaki and bars too. The regions two main attractions are a massive Wairoa, at the north end of Hawkes Bay, is the mountain (called either Mt Egmont or by its Maori gateway to the Te Urewera National Park and is the name, Mt Taranaki) and a rugged coastline, making proud owner of a 120-year-old lighthouse. In 1988 it a good place to take advantage of New Zealands a disaster, in the shape of Cyclone Bola, struck this great outdoors. small community, and swept away the Wairoa Bridge. It is possible to climb Mt Taranaki and return The damage has been repaired, but the legend of to civilisation in one day. However, the weather is when ol Bola came to town lives on. notoriously changeable and you must always notify the With very few people, remote, gorgeous lakes,


Become part of the legend with New Zealands original Black Water Rafting company. Experience the exhilarating world of ancient caves, rivers, waterfalls and breath taking glowworms. Climb, leap and oat with the Black Labyrinth or descend into the black, bottomless depths with the ultimate caving tour, the Black Abyss. Or try our newest adventure, the Black Odyssey, a caving and high wire ropes tour, that will push you to the limit.

BOOK NOW! 0800 228 464


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and discover just why the Whanganui is the longest navigable river in the country. Its advisable to take a change of clothing trips can last for up to ve days. For something more active, the trek along the Matemateaonga Walkway is recommended, but takes four days. The Mangapurua Track is equally impressive, runs for 40km, and can be covered in three-and-a-half days. A shorter walk is the 45-minute jaunt from the Mangapurua Landing to the Bridge to Nowhere. This is a part of New Zealand that goes largely undiscovered but shouldnt be missed. The best way to see the east coast is to hire a car and drive, stopping at your leisure along the way. The beaches here are some of the best in NZ.

numerous rushing rivers, bubbling streams and lush primeval bush Te Uruwera National Park is simply spectacular. A trampers haven and a shermans dream, the national park surrounds the beautiful, eerie Lake Waikaremoana. The Lake Waikaremoana Track is one of New Zealands great walks and nearby Frasertown has a popular hostel for walkers.

Looking like its been lifted straight from the pages of a scenic picture book, Wanganui (using the Maori spelling unlike the park and river) is a small town precariously placed on the banks of the powerful Whanganui River. The major attraction of the Whanganui National Park is the Whanganui River, which snakes its way through some highly picturesque scenery. You can hire a canoe and explore this natural wonder at your own pace or book a berth on the MV Wakapai

Predominantly a rural community, Palmerston

Down time: dropping into Waitomos Lost World


North is enlivened by the presence of a large student population. Only an hours drive from Wellington, the Kapiti Coast has good beaches, friendly locals and an eastern mountain range worth exploring. Paraparaumu Beach, which can be reached by bus from the Paraparaumu train station, is a favourite with the locals and overlooks the impressive Kapiti Island. The island was once home to the warrior chief Te Rauparaha who dominated much of the North Island from his base there. Today, the island is a bird sanctuary and can be visited with permission from the Department Of Conservation (DOC). Some 74km north of Wellington, Otaki is a lovely, small community with a rich Maori history.

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surfers not the stoned ones for the best beaches.

New Zealands capital city is probably the most interesting and appealing city in the country especially if you hit it on a good day when the sun dances on the harbour and the city comes alive with Wellingtonians lunching and jogging along the waterfront. Much smaller than Auckland, the city is set on steep hillsides that surround a magnicent harbour. Some people liken the landscape to a small San Francisco. Others claim it has the perfect combination of Sydneys looks and Melbournes vibrant feel. Wellingtons sheer vibrancy and colourful character make it the countrys centre for culture and the arts. Te Papa, the national museum, is here and its sensational. The citys nightlife, food and caf culture is world-class, young and cool. There are more cafs per head than New York.

Hawkes Bay
A fertile and temperate region, Hawkes Bay is famous for its wine and climate. A great place to enjoy sea breezes and bright sunshine, Napier is a beautiful seaside town famous for its art deco buildings, a legacy of the rebuilding which followed the devastating 1931 earthquake. Theres good nightlife in town too, with plenty of lively cafs ranging from standard to gourmet dining, and a dose of Irish pubs. The Hawkes Bay Aquarium is the largest in Australasia and has sharks and turtles, as well as NZs living dinosaur, the tuatara. South and north of Napier, beaches stretch for miles along the isolated coast of Hawkes Bay. Hastings shared the same fate as Napier in the 1931 earthquake the whole town had to be rebuilt, with art deco again a feature. It is a at, provincial city with a number of attractions, including several good wineries and numerous orchards open to the public for tastings. Hawkes Bay is the oldest established winegrowing region in NZ and contains some of the countrys most famous vineyards. Wine from the region has won several international awards, and is generally inexpensive. With more vineyards in the region than Bordeaux (France), the wineries are a major attraction to the area for both Kiwis and tourists alike.

Arriving in Wellington
The Airport Flyer goes from the airport to the CBD every 30 minutes.

Getting around Wellington

The city has a regular and comprehensive bus service. For more information, see

Wellington accommodation
Mt Victoria has good hostels and is a clever place to base yourself, as it is only a short walk into the town centre. If youre looking for long term accommodation, then pick up the The Dominion (Wednesday and Saturday), or Trade and Exchange (Thursday and Saturday).

Around town
The Beehive and Parliament: NZs parliament complex, including the famous Beehive, the wing of Parliament that looks (unsurprisingly) like a beehive. Cable Car: Fabulous views of Wellington on this historic cable car dating back to 1902 (dont worry it was reconstructed in the late 1970s). Its a lovely walk back down through the Botanic Gardens, a variety of picturesque gardens and 26ha of native bush. Mt Victoria: For the best view of the area. Car and bus access via Alexandra Road while walking tracks start from Oriental Parade and Majoribanks Street. Old Government Building: Located near the Beehive, it is the worlds largest all-wooden building. Old St Pauls Cathedral: A ne example of wooden Gothic architecture. Otari Native Botanic Garden: Catch a bus to Wilton and walk around the lush native gardens.

Heading into the capital, the Wairarapa is a lovely, green, tree-lined region north-east of Wellington, famous for both its expanding wine industry, olive groves and large sheep population. The regions bestknown and largest wine centre is Martinborough, which boasts more than 20 boutique wineries. The area has also become a popular escape for Wellingtonians. Its a great surf spot, too. Ask local

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Oriental bay & boat harbour, Wellington

Shopping: The best shopping spots are Lambton Quay and Willis Street (a mixture of chain and boutique stores), Cuba Mall (more alternative clothing, funky street wear and antique and second-hand shopping), and Manners Mall and Courtenay Place (mainly food and drinking establishments). The James Smith Markets, on the Corner of Manners and Cuba streets are also a good place to pick up unusual clothing, jewellery, and gifts. Staglands Wildlife Reserve: Akatarawa Valley, Upper Hutt. Includes a recreation of an early settlers village, 10ha of native forest, and a caf. Te Papa, The Museum of New Zealand: From virtual reality rides to a living Marae (Maori meeting house), stories of the rst Pakeha settlers, interactive natural history exhibits and art galleries. You could spend a week in here and still have things left to see. A must visit destination when youre in Wellington. The Weta Cave: Welcome to Wellywood. Thanks to local genius Peter Jackson, and his Weta studio, Wellington is now the worlds go-to place for stateof-the-art special effects. This small, free museum in Miramar has props and displays from some of Wetas lms, like Lord Of The Rings and Tintin. Zoological Gardens: Founded in 1906, Wellington Zoological Gardens is New Zealands oldest zoo. It is home to a large and exciting collection of native and exotic animal.

Out on the town

Wellington is a place for serious lounging. Most cafs are set-up with loang in mind, with big sofas, plush cushions, trendy magazines, and the obligatory chill-out albums. Head to Cuba Street or Courtenay Place for the best in bean culture. The choice of food here is wide and varied. Asian cuisine is the most popular in the capital, and is of a very high standard. Malaysian, Thai and Chinese food dominate and its easy to nd places that do budget-friendly banquets during the day or cheap eats in the evening. Courtenay Place, Cuba Street and the Manners Mall-Willis Street area is the best area to head for fresh seafood, caught and cooked locally. Oriental Parade is where to go for the best in town. Wellingtonians love a good party and most have a reputation for going on well into the early hours. The bar and club culture is strong here, and the sleepy exterior of much of the town belies a going hard attitude. The locals are a fashion-conscious bunch, but very friendly at the same time. Music policy reects the youthful, vital atmosphere of the city. Everything from hip hop and pumping techno to house and salsa can be heard emanating late into the night.


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South Island

Photo: Tourism New Zealand

Welcome to the deep south.. Ask any Kiwi a human, not a bird where you should go in New Zealand, and nine out of 10 will tell you, the South Island. Just a 17km temperamental strait separates the North from the South, but the lower island boasts the lions share of all that makes New Zealand so magical; stunning scenery, great outdoors, peace, quiet and fresh air. Many of the main tourist attractions are here, from adventure sports to whale watching, whitewater rafting, skiing and snowboarding, to exploring the fearsome glaciers and tramping many spectacular treks. You might nd the locals a different breed as well. They call their island the mainland and have little time for the pretensions of their city cousins up north. And there are far fewer of them less than a third of NZs population live down south, and the sheer vast emptiness of the place is one of the South Islands main appeals.

Tucked away at the top of the South Island, Marlborough is often overlooked by visitors rushing to the attractions of the far south. A secluded corner

of the country, the Nelson and Marlborough regions offer a mild and sunny climate virtually year round, brilliant beaches, vineyards, delicious food, scenic boat cruising and national parks, plus some of the countrys best eco-tourism attractions. A taste of things to come can be had on any one of the ferries from Wellington, as they cruise through the fabulous Queen Charlotte Sound to the picturesque ferry port of Picton. The best reason to stay in town is for the regions wonderful bushwalks. Many travellers pass straight through Picton, but its an attractive place and the surrounding Marlborough Sounds make it worth staying on for a bit. The Marlborough Sounds, which comprise Queen Charlotte, Pelorus and Kenepuru Sounds, were formed when the sea overowed into a network of river valleys at the top of South Island. The Sounds are a mixture of private land and maritime park. Many prosperous Kiwis have baches (holiday cottages) dotted about the many bays and coves often accessible only by boat. The Sounds road system is still fairly rudimentary, so the best way to get about is by boat. The lack of good roads means many bypass the Sounds, leaving it peaceful

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Kiwi gastronomes to be seen but most people just go there to get plastered on really good wine.

Envied nationwide for its climate and location, Nelson is a laidback coastal town with so much to offer. It is perfectly situated for the adventurous traveller to the east lie the Marlborough Sounds, the Abel Tasman National Park is to the west, and south of the city lies Nelson Lakes National Park. Numerous golden, sandy beaches lie within easy reach of the city, which is also noted for its prolic local arts and crafts scene. Further around beautiful Tasman Bay from Nelson youll nd Motueka, a small town supporting the local market gardens, hop and tobacco farms, and sheries. Motueka makes a handy base for journeys into Abel Tasman National Park and to Kaiteriteri Beach a beautiful golden sand beach, with crystal clear water and islands just off the shore. At certain times of the year the region is home to seasonal fruitpickers coming from all around the world. A major South Island attraction, the Abel Tasman National Park houses one of New Zealands favourite walkways, following a tranquil coastal path through lush native forest and around beautiful, golden, sandy bays. As well as walking the track, you can go swimming with seals or paddle around bays in hired sea kayaks. The bays are generally sheltered and tranquil and seals and dolphins are regularly sighted when the waters are calm. Kayakers can pull their craft up on a beach and camp free, or alternatively doss down in one of the huts used by trampers. The options of what to do in the national park are varied. There are three to ve-day walks, three to ve-day (guided) kayak/trekking packages as well as day trips, which will drop you at several points around the track. Even if time is short, go for at least a couple of hours along the park. Its well worth it. Just west of Abel Tasman, the alternative crowd have well and truly found a home in Takaka, transforming the town into somewhat of a hippie, artistic shrine. Take a peek into their cultural forays at the Artisans Shop, join them for a swim at Pohara Beach or have a beer with them at the Mussel Inn (live music venue in the summer). Also visit the Pupu Springs, one of the worlds largest freshwater springs. Arching east from the top of Golden Bay, Farewell Spit is a sand-encrusted valley of epic proportions, home to some of the largest sand dunes in the world and some of the most amazing bird life you are ever likely to see (more than 90 different species have been spotted here).

and tranquil for those who make the effort. Things to see and do include sailing (the area is NZs second-favourite sailing area, after the Bay of Islands), sea kayaking, camping, tramping, mountainbiking, shing, diving, dolphin-spotting and day trips where you can learn about industries such as mussel and salmon farms. Among the variety of wildlife are terns, shags, blue penguins, dolphins and seals. The Queen Charlotte Track is an alternative to the crowded Abel Tasman Coastal Track, and is a three to four-day track from Ship Cove to Anakiwa, an outdoor adventure centre. The walk passes through lush coastal forest, around coves and inlets, and along skyline ridges with breathtaking views of the Queen Charlotte and Kenepuru Sounds. Blenheim is not only the largest town in Marlborough but also the source of some of the nest wines in the country. The town lies 29km south of Picton and is universally known as the sunshine capital of New Zealand. Outdoor activities include visiting the open-plan zoo and whitewater rafting on the Wairau River. Perhaps the most important thing to do in Blenheim, though, is to visit the wineries. The area has so many to choose from, it can be daunting at rst look, so its good to search out someone in the know. You can either join a tour, or grab a map and see as many as you want. One of the annual events to keep an eye out for is the Marlborough Food and Wine Festival in the second week of February, which is a huge outdoor party, famous beyond NZs shores. A celebration of local wines and produce, the festival is the place for

The Spit has also been the scene of several mass whale beachings and one of the main attractions here is a giant collection of beached sperm whale bones. Being a wildlife sanctuary, the only way you can visit the Spit is in the safe hands of a tour guide.

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This is where many visitors start and/or nish their Kiwi experience. A large farming and wine area, Canterbury includes the long, empty beaches of the Pacic east coast, vast plains bisected by broad, ribbon-like rivers and the looming peaks of the Southern Alps. For skiing, rafting and tramping, you cant beat Mount Cook National Park. If youre driving to Christchurch from Nelson through the beautiful Lewis Pass, make a quick detour into Hanmer Springs. Hanmers thermal springs are its main attraction, where you can relax in the hot pools bliss on a cold Canterbury day. The area also boasts bungy jumping (Thrillseekers Canyon), skiing, rafting and jet boating. Kaikoura is New Zealands eco-tourism hotspot, boasting the countrys most rewarding wildlife experiences. This once-depressed shing town is now booming, thanks to numerous species of marine life, particularly dolphins, seals and whales a unique topography has made Kaikoura arguably the prime whale-spotting location in the world. Kaikoura is the place to go swimming with dolphins, for what many describe as the near-mystical experience of swimming with the dusky dolphins found in the area. Operators take you south by boat, where its typical to share the water with pods of 300 or more animals. However, as a warning to bad sailors, the water can get very choppy so take your sick sickness pills. Several NZ fur seal colonies bask on the rocks of the tiny peninsula. You can dive, snorkel and kayak with the inquisitive giant slugs, or simply take a walk and watch them sunbathing. Kaikoura means to eat craysh in Maori, so be sure to try some of the local delicacy, which can be brought from roadside stalls. Other local specialities include grouper, cod, mussels and paua (abalone). Often described as the most English of New Zealands cities, Christchurch is the centre for the South Island. Christchurch, The Garden City, is just a little smaller than Wellington and is set in one of the driest and attest areas of NZ, known as the Canterbury Plains. One-third of Christchurch is devoted to sports elds, parks and reserves notably Hagley Park in the centre of town. The city has had a tough time of late, with much of the centre being devastated by a massive 6.3

magnitude earthquake last February. As a result, as we went to press, an area of about seven blocks called the Red Zone, including Cathedral Square and nightlife hubs like Licheld Street, remain out of bounds while emergency services make safe or knock down an estimated 300 damaged buildings. The earthquake damage, however, should not put you off a visit. While witnessing the scene of the destruction itself is uncomfortably fascinating, the city is still very much up and running, as are nearly all the regions attractions and activities. The airport, campervan rental companies and many of the hostels were largely unaffected, while suburbs like Merivale and Riccarton have seized the opportunity to develop thriving afterdark scenes of their own.

Arriving & getting around

The international airport is very close to the CBD and the best way of getting into town is to take the regular airport bus.

Christchurch accommodation
As with most major cities in New Zealand, travellers are spoilt for choice of hostels to stay in, but it is advisable to book at least a couple of days in advance during peak season (Dec-Feb). TNT Magazine New Zealand has an extensive up-to-date list of hostels in its accommodation section. For more longterm stays, look in The Christchurch Press.

Around town
Air Force World: Well-presented exhibitions on the Air Force and its history. Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park: Next to the Avon River is 30ha of greenery and gardens which are great for a mooch around. Canterbury Museum: Housing more than two million priceless items of NZs cultural and natural heritage. It has an interesting gallery, Iwi TawhitoWhenua Hou (Ancient People-New Land), which features displays of the early Maori settlers. International Antarctic Centre: See the visitor centre at the administration centre of the NZ, US and Italian Antarctic Research programmes. Entertaining and informative display of the Antarctic. Mt Cavendish Gondola: For great views of the area take a Gondola bus to the Heathcote Valley terminal, then be whisked up 945 metres for some great views of town. You can mountain-bike or paraglide back down (expected to reopen early 2012). Port Hills: Hire a car and drive up the nearest hill range to Christchurch for spectacular city views. Punting on the Avon River: Take a relaxing punt down the calm river or hire a canoe.

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descend on the place during the season, especially the August school holidays, so plan your visit well. Mt Hutt, which is about an hours drive from Christchurch, has the best facilities in Canterbury and regularly boasts the longest ski season in the country. Apart from the basic downhill approach, you can try snowboarding, telemarking and racing. Lake Tekapo is a handy resting place on the road to Queenstown, but the view is so great youll have a hard time dragging yourself away. Snowcapped mountains stand majestically at the far end of the lake, which is a milky turquoise colour suspended in the water. Even in summer the lake contrasts brilliantly with the bare, brown hills. There are a number of walks to be done around Lake Tekapo, while shing, boating, kayaking and horse trekking are other options. Continue south from Tekapo to the equally beautiful Lake Pukaki, then turn north for the spectacular drive to Mt Cook Village through the Mount Cook National Park. The tallest mountain in the park, and in the whole of Australasia, is Mt Cook at 3,754 metres. It lost some height during 1991 when a huge chunk of the east face fell away in a dramatic avalanche. Incredibly, no-one was hurt, but experienced international climbers meet their end on the dashing mountain every year. Mt Cook remains a climb for experts only it was the training ground for the likes of Sir Edmund Hillary. Call into the Department of Conservation (DOC) Mount Cook Visitor Centre for info on the park itself, which sports more than 20 mountains over 3,000 metres tall. The Tasman Glacier is also in the Mount Cook National Park and its on the eastern side of the divide, unlike its cousins Fox and Franz Glaciers, which hang on the western side. You can travel up to the glacier by coach, but the view is a lot better from the air in winter theyll drop you off on the glacier and you can ski down. There are a number of rewarding walks from there and if you fancy a night in the mountains, surrounded by magical snow-capped peaks, ask the DOC about staying overnight in the Mueller Hut. The weather is extremely changeable, so before you make the trip, call the visitors centre the most beautiful view in the world is worthless if you cant even see it. Travelling south follow the SH1 across the river into the Waitaki Valley. Apart from the spectacular landscape the region has an impressive collection of ancient Maori rock art dating from 1000-1500 AD at Takiroa. Most of the land here is privately owned so you must get permission before you wander around

Skiing: There are a number of ski elds in the vicinity which are popular with Christchurch skiers seeking a quick day or two on the slopes. Smaller than the larger commercial elds to the south, theyre nevertheless worth a visit. Craigieburn (advanced skiers only), Mt Cheeseman and Porters Heights all lie between Christchurch and Arthurs Pass. Other smaller ski elds in the region include Broken River, Mount Lyford and Temple Basin. Swimming, surng or bathing: Look out for Sumner Beach, Taylors Mistake and Brighton Beach. New Brighton has reconstructed the old pier and it is now becoming a popular tourist hang-out complete with a bungy rocket.

Around Christchurch
Just south-east of Christchurch and standing proudly next to Canterburys sweeping plains is the beautiful Banks Peninsula, an unspoilt region brimming with wildlife, mountains and stunning coastline. About 12 million years ago the peninsula was an island, separated by 50km of sea from the closest landmass. This island had a large volcano on it, and the two harbours youll nd there today, Akaroa and Lyttelton, are actually the craters of this once-magnicent volcano. Lyttelton is a quaint township situated just 15 minutes from central Christchurch. With ne old buildings, churches and Victorian cottages, it is also a busy commercial port. The charming harbour town of Akaroa is a pleasant daytrip from Christchurch. The French chose it as the site of a French colony in 1838, but when the rst settlers arrived two years later, they found the British had beaten them to it. A small European inuence remains, adding to the settlements charm. If youre lucky, you may spot some of the 4,000-odd tiny, rare Hectors dolphins, the worlds smallest penguins (the white-ippered little blue penguin), yellow-eyed penguins or seals who call the harbour home. Inland from Christchurch, Arthurs Pass is on the road to the west coast in the Arthurs Pass National Park. The drive across the Alps provides some of New Zealands best panoramic views. At 924 metres, Arthurs Pass settlement is as high as youll get by car beyond it youll nd yourself in Westland. A base camp for those walking, climbing and skiing in the mountains, Arthurs Pass has a very good national parks Visitors Centre. This is an alpine region, so care must be taken when tramping stick to the ski elds during winter. South of Christchurch and inland lies Methven, a ski town at the base of Mt Hutt, one of the countrys most popular ski elds. Locals and North Islanders

(contact the Oamaru Visitor Information Centre). Also near Omarama are the amazing coloured Clay Cliffs. For such a small place it is also quite impressive that Omarama can claim to be one of the best hang-gliding spots in New Zealand.

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West coast
Lonely Planet says a drive down the west coast is one of the worlds great roadtrips and we agree. Populated by no-nonsense coasters, it is a ruggedly beautiful strip of land perched on the western ank of the Southern Alps. An air of isolation is made charming by the peace and quiet, the bush and spectacular scenic attractions. A note of warning though; beware of sand-ies in summer. And pack a good waterproof mac as theres plenty of rainfall, any time of the year. Westport is a mining town at the top of the coast, and is a good base from which to enjoy a few outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting, horse trekking and jet boating, plus theres a seal colony 12km away at Tauranga Bay. A good selection of caves in the area also make caving and blackwater rafting (paddling through glowworm-studded caves) popular activities. South of Westport lie the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki. So-called because of their resemblance to great piles of pancakes, these remarkable limestone formations in the sea are denitely worth a stop, especially when high tides force thunderous geysers up through the blow holes. Greymouth is 101km south-west of Westport and is the largest town on the coast, with a population of 11,000. Today, coal and timber are Greymouths main interests but 130 years ago the town was smitten with gold fever and people arrived from all over the world in search of their fortune. Greymouth is also one of the few areas in the South Island that retains a strong Maori inuence. The town was once the site of a Maori pa (fortress). The Grey River is the main attraction here as well as the famous Shantytown, which is a replica of the gold-mining towns of the 1880s. A highlight of New Zealands scant rail network is the spectacular TranzAlpine Express route, connecting Christchurch on the east coast with Greymouth on the west coast, traversing the Southern Alps. About 40km south of Greymouth, Hokitikas existence used to depend on gold, but these days its the abundance of greenstone which attracts the tourists. That and the surrounding countryside. Pick up a greenstone tiki (Maori pendant) and explore the region via some of the excellent local walkways. The west coasts main attraction however is

Westland National Park, home to Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers unique in the world for their location in the midst of a rainforest and so close to the sea. In fact there are around 60 glaciers in the park, but Fox and Franz Josef are the most famous and accessible to the traveller. Walk up to these frozen rivers of ice and youll be struck by the creaks and groans emitted, caused by the glaciers continual movement (at a rate of almost one metre on a good day). As well as walking up to the glaciers, you can walk on them, y or skydive over them, and go rafting and canoeing on the surrounding rivers. Boasting jumps from 18,000ft, Franz Josef also offers New Zealands highest tandem skydive. South of the glaciers, SH6 continues through Haast Pass to Wanaka and the Southern Lakes. A long but spectacular drive, the road takes you through ancient rainforest and provides panoramic coastal views before heading inland and up into the magical Mt Aspiring National Park. In Haast itself youll nd penguins, seals and bird life. An area thats suffered from logging activity in the past, Haast is now turning more towards tourism as an economic alternative.

Wonderful Wanaka is the rst big town you come to if youre driving south past Haast Pass and, as you enter, you cant miss the eccentric buildings of the unique attraction Puzzling World. With the winding waterways of Lake Wanaka and snow-tipped peaks of nearby Mt Aspiring National Park, its a beautiful setting. Locals will tell you its the quieter version of neighbouring Queenstown. You could just sit and gawp at the scenery all day, but there are a crazy array of activities to try out. The nearby national park provides an outdoor playground par excellence, with great hiking and mountaineering options. Plus you can sh, waterski, windsurf, go canyoning, jet boating, rock climbing, skydiving, kayaking, rafting, horse trekking etc. For some downtime you can enjoy local awardwinning vineyards, great cafs and enough bars and restaurants for each day of the week. In winter, Wanaka becomes a ski town, serving Treble Cone and Cardrona elds.

People ock from all over the world to enjoy the vast array of outdoor activities available in and around Queenstown. The town is located by 77km-long Lake Wakatipu, the second largest in New Zealand, and rises up to the aptly named Remarkables. It is one of the most picturesque and

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way you want (backwards, head rst, with a bin on your head, in a kayak...), you freefall for yonks then swing out across the canyon. Ask them about the gimp from Hollywood position, if you dare. Jet boating: A true New Zealand experience. Hoon around on a jet-propelled boat, caressing the ragged mountainside and spinning around more often than Kylie in the process. Skiing: Queenstown is a winter paradise and one of its main attractions is skiing in winter that is. Just 28km out of town, The Remarkables are, well, remarkable, with three lifts, ski hire and lessons. But the best run can be found at Coronet Peak (18km from town), a 600-metre freefall down a stainless steel toboggan track. Skydiving: Queenstown is also a great place to indulge in one of New Zealands other favourite pump-action adrenalin activities: skydiving. Freefall thousands of feet over the Remarkables. Trust us, its bloody spectacular. Whitewater rafting: One of the best places to go rafting in Queenstown is on the powerful Kawarau River. All the rivers are graded from one to six, according to their level of difculty, with one being

exciting towns in the world, and only a complete halfwit would neglect to see Queenstown.

Around town
Your adrenal glands wont know what hit them after a visit to Queenstown. Youll spend half your time wandering around nervously thinking about the next hair-raising activity youre going to do, and the other half on a natural high about what you just did. Whatever you choose, you wont forget your time in Queenstown. Bungy jumping: The Kawarau suspension bridge was the worlds rst commercial bungy site and dangles precariously some 43 metres above the river below. Theres an observation deck from which you can watch others risk life and limb and take the plunge. Then theres the Ledge, from the top of the gondola, with a great view over the town, and the Nevis, a 134m plunge from a suspended cable car. Anyone who says theyre not scared of this one is a liar liar pants on re. If youre still feeling jumpy, theres also a Nevis Arc Swing. Canyon swinging: This is an extremely fun alternative. You can leave the platform any which


easiest and six unraftable. Kawarau is a four and the nearby Shotover River a ve. Walks: Just out of town is Glenorchy, which has some of the best walks in the area. The Routeburn Walk is more of a challenge three days long, locals say it outshines the Milford Track.

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Out on the town

The only thing to match the rush during a days activities in Queenstown are the nocturnal antics. Famed for its nightlife, there are loads of backpackerstyle bars with cheap drinks, pool tables and cheesy music. The clubs carry on after the pubs close, with DJs spinning their wheels of steel till the early hours. From Queenstown kitchens waft the tantalising smells of Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Lebanese, Thai, Korean, American, and of course, Pacic Rim New Zealand cuisine, not forgetting the towns legendary Ferg Burgers. In summer, adding a distinctly continental ambience to the resort, streets and balconies are crowded with alfresco diners, catching the last of the days rays or enjoying the warm evening air.

Around Queenstown
A well-preserved little gold mining town which appears to be stuck in a time warp, Arrowtown is 20km north-east of Queenstown. The old sycamore trees dropping their leaves on the quaint little houses

and shops on the main street are a picturesque sight in autumn. Dont miss the former Chinese Settlement, featuring some of the miners preserved huts. South-west of Queenstown, Fiordland National Park offers yet more stunning scenery, plus a chance to get away from it all. Endless miles of unspoilt bush offer some of the best tramping in the world. Walks on offer include the world-famous Milford Track, the Holyford, the Routeburn and the Kepler among others. The Milford Track is considered to be the nest in New Zealand, if not the world. The track winds on for some 51km and is revered for the views it provides every step of the way. However, you should be thoroughly prepared when tramping in New Zealand weather conditions are extremely changeable and unprepared people do die in the bush. Sandies and rain plague Fiordland too, so take a coat and repellent. You can check on conditions and obtain maps and information from the DOC Fiordland National Park Visitors Centre. Milford Sound is perhaps the most beautiful sight anywhere in New Zealand its certainly the most photographed. More than 300 inches of rain fall here every year and the result is a majestic tapestry of tree-lined mountains, bushy trails and... erm, water. Boat cruises run all day on the Sound, and the views are some of the best youll see in your time away. Theres a good chance youll see dolphins, seals and, if youre lucky, penguins too. If Milford Sound sounds (sorry) too busy for your liking, check out neighbouring Doubtful Sound. Though arguably less dramatic, its more isolated, much bigger and a whole lot quieter. To appreciate its full majesty, you can even stay overnight on a boathouse.

Settled by Scots, this area depends on farming and tourism for its livelihood. The main city in the Otago province, Dunedin, is a city of Scottish heritage (Dunedin is Gaelic for Edinburgh). Its New Zealands oldest city, and possesses a unique combination of cultural riches, ne architecture and world-famous wildlife on the Otago Peninsula. Dunedin has almost been taken over by the 15,000 students who study at Otago University. The town has the best of both worlds, with winter skiing and summer surng. Theres quite a bit to do in Dunedin. Any selfrespecting local will direct you straight to Speights Brewery in Rattray Street. There you can see how they make the souths most famous tipple and you even get to try some. If youve got the munchies after, you may be tempted to take a mosey into Cadbury World to



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nibble on some tasty samples. Culturally, the Otago Museum has a good collection of Maori and Pacic artefacts, especially southern Maori culture. It also has exhibits on world archaeology, maritime displays and New Zealands natural history from the penguins to the extinct moa. Baldwin Street is the worlds steepest and if you dont believe us, ask Mr Guinness to show you his book. The annual Baldwin Street Gutbuster is part of the Dunedin Summer Festival. Challenge yourself by joining the race to the top. When youve nished, spare a thought for those who live at the top. Finally, make sure you scope out some of the lovely local beaches, such as St Clair and St Kilda. Don your winter wettie though as it gets colder the further south you go. Extending south of the city for 33km, the Otago Peninsula is a beautiful stretch of land which houses a fascinating collection of rare and native animals plus the glorious Otago harbour. Keep an eye out for the extremely rare yellow-eyed penguin and the magnicent royal albatross. New Zealand fur seals, whales and orcas are also spotted in the area. Taiaroa Head, at the edge of the peninsula, is the place to see the albatross colony. North of Dunedin, on the road down from Christchurch, youll nd Moeraki Beach. The attractions are the bizarre spherical boulders tossed along the sand like giant stone marbles, said by legend to have been washed ashore from a Maori canoe. The geological explanation is that the boulders emerged from the mudstone cliffs behind. Between Invercargill and Dunedin lie The Catlins, the largest remaining area of native forest on the South Islands east coast and an area of great natural interest. Highlights include Nugget Point (with its large seal colony), sea views from the lighthouse, waterfalls, a fossil forest, Cathedral Caves (accessible at low tide), Jacks Blowhole, and Waipapa Point. Owaka is The Catlins main town, with a population of less than 400. Owaka has a Department of Conservation ofce, a museum and a few places to stay. The nearby Curio Caves are the site of a fossilised forest thought to be 160 million years old. Some of the species found here are believed to conrm that the islands of New Zealand were once part of the ancient continent of Gondwanaland. Cathedral Caves are accessible from Waipati Beach at low tide. Also look out for the Matai and Purakaunui Falls, Jacks Blowhole and the walking tracks in the Catlins State Forest Park. The southernmost city in New Zealand, Invercargill, 187km south of Queenstown and


Damian Hall, UK
WHERE IN NZ HAVE YOU BEEN? Six week circuit in a campervan with some friends and weve gone all around the South Island. FAVOURITE SPOT? In no particular order canyoning and skydiving in Wanaka, the Nevis and Canyon Swing in Queenstown, Lord of the Rings tours in the same region, hiking in Mt Cook and Mt aspiring National Parks, the west coast in general, seal swimming in Kaikoura and not forgetting Golden Bay and the Farewell Spit.

Sounds spectacular See the giant, silent Milford and Doubtful Sound just stunning. Ice, ice, baby Pretend to be an Antarctic explorer in the wondrous ice kingdom of the Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. Walk the walks Answer the call of the wild and take on a tramping track. Arguably the best are in Fiordland. Are you Abel? Kayak with seals and try the the sun-blessed tramps of the Abel Tasman National Park. Scream town Fling yourself off cliffs, out of planes and down rushing rivers in Queenstown, the worlds adrenalin capital. Visit Orc-land Glue hair to your feet and run around The Lord Of The Rings Middle Earth. Whale of a time Kaikoura offers rewarding interactions with whales, dolphins and the much under-rated seals. Right royal booze-up Enjoy a night out in South Island party capital Queenstown.


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Stewart Island bridge


Bluff, is the jumping-off point for those wishing to visit Stewart Island, 30km across Foveaux Straight (reachable by ferry or aircraft).

Stewart Island
Floating off the bottom of South Island, Stewart Island is well off the beaten track and attracts visitors keen to know what getting away from it all really means. Separated from the South Island by the Foveaux Strait, Stewart Island is inhabited by around 400 hardy locals. There is only one settlement, the town of Oban, on Halfmoon Bay. Much of Stewart Island is uninhabitable, not surprising given that the island contains 1,680 square kilometres of thick, unrelenting bush. Indeed most of the islands inhabitants live in the main town of Oban. The tough terrain makes for excellent yet challenging walks. The best begins in Oban and ends up in Lee Bay, Observation Point or Thule. Unspoilt beaches, bush and an abundance of rare ora and fauna make exploration rewarding. There are plenty of huts, but they can be crowded in summer, when you may want to carry a tent. Ulva Island is an unspoilt 260 acre bird sanctuary. The quiet is disturbed only by birdsong and photographers will be in their element rare birds come much closer than they would on the mainland. Summer is the busiest time for taking a tour. You can join trips to Ulva Island and Ocean Beach. There are shing trips and, for something unique, a rare kiwi-spotting trip. Some tour operators double as water taxis for travellers, so getting around is easy.

Danilla A-Tkaj, Netherlands

YOUR BEST NZ DAY? Ive got to say two things. First, the Tongariro Crossing. The walk is eight hours but so worth it! Also, Franz Josef Glacier (pictured). It feels as if youve landed on another world, surrounded by ice! AND THE BEST NIGHT OUT? I went crazy in Queenstown, dancing on the tables! I had an amazing time there. If made to choose, its the one place Id revisit. However, be careful, its easy to spend a lot of money there.


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Kiwi essentials

Banks are open Monday to Friday and automatic teller machines (ATMs) are widespread. If youre staying for a while, call into one of the nationwide banks to open an account and obtain an ATM card (take your passport).

New Zealands currency is in dollars (NZ$) and cents (c). Notes come in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 and coins in 10, 20, 50 cents, $1 and $2. Currency exchange is available at all banks, foreign exchange ofces and at the airports.

Emergency: 111 Internet: As with most places in the world, internet cafs have sprung up all over NZ. Post ofces: There are post ofces in most communities. But if not, stamps and postal services are usually provided by at least one shop in town. Every centre has a GPO with Poste Restante.

Credit cards
All international credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club) are accepted in NZ.

Allowance: Visitors aged over 17 are allowed to bring 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco or 50 cigars, 4,500ml of wine or beer and three bottles each containing 1,125ml of spirits or liqueur into New Zealand. General goods, such as perfume, to the value of NZ$700 may be included in your duty free allowance. Quarantine laws: New Zealand has very strict quarantine laws which prohibit people from bringing in fruit, veg, dairy products, seeds, fresh and packaged food, animal and some natural products. Bins in customs halls allow you to dump anything which may contravene the law. Equipment such as

The dialling code for New Zealand is +64 (then delete the 0 from the start of the area code). Dialling out of New Zealand its: 00 before the country code. Direct dialling is available from almost all phones. Many pay phones are card-operated and the cards are available from bookstores, newsagents, petrol stations and other retailers. Some phones accept credit cards, but few take coins. Basic information numbers include: Directory enquiries: 018 Overseas operator: 0172


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America. The socket is the same as Australias. Most hotels provide sockets for electric razors.

Medical facilities are listed in the front of the phone directory and you do not have to register with a doctor rst. Medical services, except in case of an accident, are not free, so medical insurance is recommended. However, visitors are covered for personal injury by accident, irrespective of fault, under the NZ Accident Compensation laws. This includes medical and hospital expenses, but not compensation for loss of earnings outside New Zealand. Medications: Some drugs sold over the counter in other countries may only be available in New Zealand on prescription, so check with your doctor before departure. Visitors planning to bring large quantities of pharmaceuticals into the country should carry a doctors certicate to avoid customs problems. Vaccinations: None are required, but a tetanus shot might be a good idea, just in case. Sun: Its erce, made stronger by the hole in the ozone layer. Always wear sunscreen with factor of at least 15+. Even on cloudy days you can quickly turn an amusing yet alarming shade of bright pink.

David Higson, England

YOUR BEST NZ DAY? Black water rafting in Waitomo, which involved a mixture of abseiling, rock scrambles, jumps and a ying fox beneath a milky way of glow worms. It was well worth it though - a great experience! AND THE BEST NIGHT OUT? Queenstowns denitely got the best nightlife of anywhere in New Zealand. Although, at a push, Aucklands not too bad for a couple of beers down by the harbour or in the CBD.

Liquor laws
The legal drinking age is 18. Most restaurants and many cafs serve alcohol and, of course, there are also pubs, bars and nightclubs. Opening hours vary, but most pubs and bars are open from 11am to 1am and nightclubs usually stay open until very late (or very early, depending on which way you look at it). Most bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafs can serve alcohol seven days a week. Bottle shops (offlicences) are also open seven days (serving beer, wine and spirits), plus you can get beer and wine from supermarkets any day of the week. However, alcohol is not sold on Christmas Day, Good Friday or Easter Sunday. We dont approve, but what can you do?

camping gear must be declared on entry. If youre unsure (souvenirs, for example, could be made with prohibited substances) check (, otherwise you could be ned.

Disabled facilities
NZs building codes require minimum standards of accessibility for disabled persons, but those laws have only been in force for a few years so many buildings do not conform yet. Travellers with disabilities are advised to phone ahead to their chosen accommodation. All of the major carriers have excellent provision for disabled passengers but all prefer advance notice of particular needs. By law, guide dogs may accompany you anywhere there is public access. However, NZ has very strict animal importation laws and no animal may pass into the country without a six-month quarantine period.

Goods and services are subject to a 15 per cent goods and services tax (GST, like the UKs VAT), included in the price. Goods purchased from duty free shops (at airports and major tourist spots) are exempt from GST on presentation of travel documents.

You will need to use an adaptor if you are taking any electrical appliances from Europe or North

Driving: There are a few things you need to remember in New Zealand: Drive on the left-hand side.

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would pay 75. Canadians pay CAD$120 and citizens of the USA get them free, as long as they apply outside NZ. Visit for the fees for other countries.

Speeds and distances are metric, meaning road signs will be in kilometres. Speed limits are 100km/h on the open road and 50km/h in built-up areas. When turning left, give way to trafc turning right. You can drive in NZ for up to 12 months if you have a current drivers licence from your home country or an International Driving Permit. Most rental rms wont rent to anyone under 21.

A popular option for travellers, volunteering is a good way to see the best of what this beautiful country has to offer. WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) can help you nd work across the country, where, for a few hours work, you get bed and board. Visit for more details. Farm Helpers In New Zealand ( is a network of farms offering free accommodation and food to those willing to work four to six hours a day. No experience is necessary and the work depends on the type of farm you choose. Its an excellent way to extend that holiday for a few more weeks or months for next to nothing. The Department of Conservation is also worth a peek. Although doing volunteer work for DOC may actually cost you money, you may get to experience a unique part of New Zealand (for example, look for jobs working on offshore islands). See for more info. Conservation Volunteers (conservationvolunteers. also have plenty of great options. The bad news is that the Department of Immigration does consider some types of volunteering (especially when food and accommodation is exchanged for labour) to be work, so you may need a WHS.

Tourist visas
Youll struggle to nd a more visa-friendly country than New Zealand. UK citizens can stay in the country as tourists for six months, without applying for a visa in advance, while citizens of another 56 countries (including Ireland, the USA, Canada and most of Europe) can stay for three months without a visa. That said, all tourists are required to prove onward travel plans and sufcient funds for their trip. Except for some unusual instances, you are not allowed to do paid work on a tourist visa. For more information, and application forms, visit the government website, Then theres the excellent Working Holiday Scheme...

Working Holiday Scheme visa

There are other visa options, especially for those looking to migrate permanently, but a Working Holiday Scheme visa (WHS) is the best bet for most young people. For UK nationals the WHS is valid for 23 months 12 months for other nationalities. Visitors on this visa can work for any one employer for up to 12 months. To be entitled to apply for the WHS you must be 18 to 30-years-old and a citizen of one of the following countries: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK, the USA or Uruguay. Youre entitled to only one WHS visa in your lifetime and applicants from most countries can apply online. Travellers from eligible countries can even apply for a WHS visa online while they are in New Zealand. So in effect you could enter the country on a tourist visa, have a nose about and see it you like the place, then apply for a WHS visa. The processing of these online applications is very fast, with most electronic visas or permits being approved and issued within 48 hours. That said, for a 23-month visa, youll need to do a medical and provide an x-ray certicate. The cost of WHS applications varies, but a UK or Irish citizen applying from their own country

A rising number of international students choose to study in New Zealand universities, with English language courses especially popular. Its difcult to think of a better way to escape exam stress than with a short dash to play with dolphins in the sea or disappear amongst the mountains and ords. Website has links to New Zealand universities and information on obtaining a student visa. While in the Land Of The Long White Cloud, WHS visa holders are also entitled to enrol for one training or study course of up to three months.

NZ embassies
UK: Immigration New Zealand, Mezzanine Floor, New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4TQ, +44 20 7930 8422. Belgium: 7th oor, 9 - 31 Avenue des Nerviens, 1040 Brussels, +32 2 512 1040. France: 7ter, Rue Leonard de Vinci, 75116, Paris, +33 1 45 01 43 43. Germany: Friedrichstrasse 60, 10117, Berlin, +49 30 20 62 10.

Netherlands: Eisenhowerlaan 77N, 2517 KK, The Hague, +31 70 346 9324. Australia: Level 10, 55 Hunter Street, Sydney 2000, +61 2 9223 0144. Thailand: M Thai Tower, 14th Floor, All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Road, Lumpini, Bangkok 10330, +66 2 254 2530. USA: 37 Observatory Circle, Washington, NW DC 20008, +1 202 328 4800. Canada: 99 Bank Street, Suite 727, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 6G3, +61 3 238 5991.

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which gives an ofcial mark of quality for hostels, activities and transport across New Zealand. Kiwi hostels range widely in size from about 10 to 300 beds, mostly in shared rooms (dormitories), with single-sex dorms available on request. Prices start at NZ$20 for a dorm room. Double, twin and single rooms are usually also available.

There are no deadly animals in NZ. The only venomous insect is a very rare spider, the katipo, which is endangered. Mozzies and sandies can be a bloody nuisance though. They carry no disease however and can be controlled with insect repellent.

Getting there
Most international routes from North America land in Auckland, as do ights from Europe (which usually go via the USA). That is the route taken by the national carrier, Air New Zealand, which is rated as one of the worlds best airlines. It has regular ights from the UK and Ireland to New Zealand, usually via the US. It can take up to 25 hours and there are also services via the South Pacic islands. Many people travelling to NZ do so via Asia and Australia on a round-the-world ticket with Auckland or Fiji as a stop-off point. If, after you arrive in Australia, you decide to venture across the Tasman, there are many ights available. Qantas, Air New Zealand and Emirates y regular routes between most Australian cities and Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Also check discount carriers such as Virgin Australia and Jetstar.

Sixty per cent of New Zealands export earnings are from agriculture and horticulture, so customs regulations are strict to prevent the importation of disease and pests. There are about 3.5 million dairy cattle in New Zealand, mostly in the North Island and all are pasture-fed. Sheep outnumber people 20 to one (another thing Aussies tease Kiwis about), the national ock being some 60 million-strong.

English is the common language of New Zealand and Maori is also an ofcial language, although you are unlikely to hear it spoken, except in rural communities in the north and east of the North Island. One phrase worth knowing however, is kia ora which means both hello and welcome.

The major international gateways to New Zealand are Auckland and Christchurch. Dunedin, Wellington and other cities do receive international ights, but not usually long-haul. Flying across the Tasman Sea from Australia, however, does widen your options.

National parks
The country is scattered with beautiful national parks, forest parks, historic parks, maritime parks and protected areas which are open to the public free of charge. Permits are needed to hunt or sh in the parks. There is a small charge for the use of huts and other facilities.

There are plenty of great hostels to choose from in NZ. Most offer nice, clean, perfectly liveable budget accommodation, usually with 24-hour access, fully-equipped communal kitchens, laundry and internet facilities, communal TV/living rooms, and many also offer services like travel tips and booking, recruitment services and courtesy buses. Most hostels are individually owned and operated, but many are part of one of the larger backpacker networks. There are several hostel networks across the country, such as BBH, YHA, Base, VIP, Nomads etc. Membership of one of these networks usually offers several benets, including discounts at member hostels. Also keep an eye out for the Qualmark logo,

Time difference
One of the rst places in the world to see the dawn each day, New Zealand is 12 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). In summer the clocks are moved forward one hour (to GMT+13). Daylight saving runs from the rst Sunday in October to the third Sunday in March.

Visitor information
You will nd a Visitor Information Network ofce in almost every town. Theres always a good selection of leaets and iers for hostels and tours and a bunch of helpful smiley staff.

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Base Backpackers BBH World Traveller Accommodation Nomads VIP Backpackers NZ YHA New Zealand

Legendary Black Water Rafting Waitomo caving tours. +64 7 878 8228 NZONE Skydive Queenstown & Rotorua skydiving.+64 3 442 5867 Royal Albatross Colony Otago albatross tours. +64 3 478 0499 Shotover Canyon Swing Queenstown thrills. +64 3 442 6990 Sky Jump NZ Auckland high wire jumps. +64 9 368 1835 Skydive Lake Wanaka +64 3 443 7207 Tamaki Maori Village Rotorua cultural experiences. +64 7 349 2999 Tandem Skydive Wanaka +64 3 443 7207 Taupo Bungy +64 7 377 1135 Taupo Tandem Skydive +64 7 377 0428

AJ Hackett Queenstown & Auckland bungy jumping. +64 3 450 1300, Auckland Museum +64 9 309 0443 Awesome NZ New Zealand-wide tours. +64 9 402 7421
Destination Rotorua +64 7 348 5179 Dive! Tutukaka Poor Knights Islands diving. +64 9 434 3867 Dive White Island +64 7 307 0714 Explore NZ Auckland & Bay of Islands tours. +64 9 359 5987 Fiordland Cruises Doubtful Sound cruises +64 3 249 7777 Fox Glacier Guiding +64 3 751 0825 Franz Josef Glacier Guides +64 3 752 0763 Helistar Taupo helicopter tours. +64 7 374 8405 Huka Falls Jet Taupo jet boating. +64 7 374 8572

Hire a kayak and go exploring...

Overland NZ New Zealand-wide tours. +64 7 542 2762 Relocations 2 Go Car/campervan relocations from $1 per day Spaceships Vehicle rental. +64 9 526 2130 Great value car rentals from $1 per day Stray Hop on-hop off New Zealandwide tours. +64 9 526 2140
Peterpans Adventure Travel Backpacker travel agent Free call within Aus 1800 669 424

Escape Rentals Vehicle rental. +64 2 130 9444 Jucy Rentals Vehicle rental. +64 9 374 4360 Kiwi Experience Hop on-hop off New Zealandwide tours. +64 9 336 4286 Magic Travellers Network Hop on-hop off New Zealandwide tours. +64 9 358 5600 Mighty Campers Vechile hire Naked Bus New Zealand-wide buses & tours.

Addstaff Employment +64 3 442 4307 Greenpeace +64 9 630 6317 New Zealand Job Search +64 9 357 3996 Randstad +64 9 336 0399 Seasonal Work NZ TNT Magazine All sectors job listings.

Backpackers World Travel +64 3 379 8153 Base Travel +64 9 358 4874 i-Site Auckland +64 9 367 6009


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Getting around NZ

Photo: Julian Apse

Unlike its big, fat neighbour Australia, New Zealand is nowhere near as challenging to navigate. More compact and easier to handle, at 268,000 square kilometers, the country is bigger than the UK, smaller than Japan, and is pretty easy to get around.

By bus/coach/budget tours
New Zealand has several bus companies which will whizz you around both islands at your leisure. There are a variety of smaller transport companies operating too, plus a plethora of tour operators offer alternative transport options. Often guided, including food, accommodation and activities, they are a good option if your time is limited and/or youre keen to meet other travellers. They combine the convenience of express bus passes with the independence of hop-on, hop-off trips. Some operators give travellers the option of taking their bikes and surfboards along too.

Jetstar ( are the main domestic airlines, and there are a few smaller airlines such as Great Barrier Airlines & Air Coromandel and Mountain Air. Buy your ticket before you arrive and youve already saved 12.5 per cent as NZs GST (Goods and Services Tax, charged on almost everything you buy in NZ), is not charged when you buy outside the country. If you have a YHA card, a VIP card or an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) you are entitled to discounts, including 50 per cent off standby ights. Booking in advance is also a great way to score cheap deals. For airport shuttles, contact Super Shuttle ( on +64 9 522 5100. There are a variety of air passes available to overseas visitors. Some passes operate on a coupon system the more coupons, the more domestic ights. Contact the airlines for details and prices.

By ferry
The Interislander Ferry: The Interislander is a yearround passenger and car ferry service across Cook Strait linking the North and South Islands. There are three passenger ships in the Interislander eet and all provide a wide range of onboard facilities and entertainment, as well as comfortable lounges and decks from where you can take in the magnicent

By air
While it is by no means necessary to y around NZ, if time is limited or you are repeating a journey, ying can be quicker, easier and even cheaper than ground travel. Air New Zealand (airnewzealand., Virgin Australia ( and

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Cathedral Cove, New Zealand


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or van, hiring one is a good, cheap option. The roads in NZ are good and well signposted, trafc is light and distances short. It has to be said, theres no better way to enjoy New Zealands unique countryside than independently. As good as public transport is, nothing quite matches the freedom of having your own vehicle.

Buying & renting

Travellers with more time and money at their disposal may be tempted to purchase a car or campervan, which, apart from the initial outlay, can be cost-efcient. You can recoup some of the purchase price by selling it at the end of your trip. Auckland is the easiest city to buy in, as its where most tourists buy and sell and the city is full of second-hand vehicles. Christchurch is also often ushed with people trying to buy and sell. Buy-back: Theres a good buy-back system in NZ. You buy a car from a dealer who guarantees that theyll buy the car back from you. You wont get a large percentage of the purchase price (maybe half if youve had the car for a long time). Some car dealerships will also give you the option to sell it elsewhere but guarantee to buy it from you if you cant. This way you can try to sell it privately for a higher price, but if you cant or youre in a hurry, at least you know youre going to get something from the buy-back people. Buying privately: People sell their cars through local papers and ads, car marts and auctions. The New Zealand Herald carries car ads every day but has a motor section on Saturdays. Theres also the Trade and Exchange and the Auto Trader, specialist car-sale publications. You can also look for cheap cars on the notice boards of hostels, internet cafs and in supermarkets. For around NZ$3,500 or less, you should be able to pick up something pretty mechanically reliable. There are a number of websites to help you nd that diamond in the rough. Getting it checked by a mechanic when you take it out for a test drive is a good way to ensure youre getting value for money. Car rental: There are plenty of options for renting vehicles in NZ. Have a look on the internet and shop around to make sure you get the best deal. The longer you rent for, the cheaper the daily rate becomes. Another tip is to look for relocation bargains. Many travellers hire a vehicle in Auckland and say au revoir to it in Queenstown or Christchurch but the rental companies need their vehicles back and have special rates for those willing to bring their wheels back to them. Going against the tide could save you a lot of cash.

views on the three hour journey over the Strait. Visit to book the Interislander. Bookings can also be made with Tranz Rail agents in New Zealand, which include over 450 travel agencies, visitor information centres and other agencies. Ask at your Wellington or Picton hostel.

By train
Travelling by train gives you the chance to soak up the scenery, but the rail network in NZ is far from comprehensive. The following routes apply: Auckland to Wellington, Christchurch to Greymouth and Christchurch to Picton. The Auckland to Wellington leg, the Overlander, can be done in a day (operates Friday to Sunday only). Visit for TranzScenic Rail timetables, routes and fares.

By car/campervan
Time and money allowing, travelling by campervan is the best option. New Zealand is a small country and if you dont feel the length of your trip or the depth of your nances warrant buying a car

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Finding work in NZ

Photo: Thinkstock

Working in New Zealand is unlikely to make you a millionaire, but the laidback lifestyle and gorgeous scenery are worth taking a bit of a pay cut for. The government is keen to steer working holiday-makers into seasonal and unskilled work and theres a good deal of it about. However, with some experience and/or qualications you have a good chance of nding an ofce job or gaining employment in the hospitality, teaching and healthcare industries. Theres already a large unskilled workforce, so visitors with qualications will have an advantage.

When it comes to interviews, be prepared. Research the company you are applying to, wear suitable clothing, bring your passport and your IRD number (thats your tax le number, apply at ird. and show up on time.

Where to look for work

The labour market is diverse and different regions of New Zealand offer quite different opportunities (and its the kind of country where a place might be so beautiful that you dont mind washing dishes in order to linger for a few months). However, as the country is more used to higher unemployment, theres still an understandable Kiwis rst attitude in some places, so securing a good job in some smaller towns may be awkward. For ofce-based roles, the larger the town or city the better chance there is of employment (Auckland being a signicantly better bet, followed by Wellington and Christchurch). Its worth registering with the relevant agencies. The tourism industry always needs willing workers during peak periods, so nosing about in holiday hotspots could turn up trumps (especially if you speak a second language). Most tourist centres can prove

Who can work?

It is illegal for travellers to work in New Zealand without a valid work visa (see page 139).

Job hunting
You may be on holiday, but when it comes to nding work you need to approach it with a professional attitude. Never underestimate the power of a good CV. Keep it as concise as possible. Generally speaking, two pages is more than enough and make sure its relevant to the job or agency you are applying for. Include your DOB, contact details in New Zealand and a suitable email address.

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dropping. Ask at hostels for the best leads. Agriculture/volunteering: If you are interested in doing some farm work (either paid or in return for board and lodging), there are several organisations which can help you nd a placement. Try the International Agricultural Exchange Association at; WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) at; Conservation Volunteers New Zealand (conservationvolunteers.; or Farm Helpers in New Zealand ( Harvest work: A wide range of fruit and veggie crops are grown in the fertile soil of New Zealand which means there are loads of jobs for travellers. The main areas for this kind of work on the North Island are outside Auckland, Kerikeri and Paihia (Bay of Islands), Gisborne (Poverty Bay), Tauranga (Bay of Plenty), Napier and Hastings (Hawkes Bay). On the South Island, Nelson, Motueka, Blenheim, Tapawera, Alexandra, Roxburgh and Christchurch are the main areas to head to. Prime times for harvesting can vary between areas. Make sure you negotiate a rate of pay before you start. Youll need some old clothes, plenty of sunscreen and a pair of sturdy boots. Harvest times: Grapes (January-April), apples (January-May), Kiwi fruit (May-July), planting and pruning (October), apricots, berries, citrus (November-December), nectarines, plums, apple thinning (NovemberDecember), melons (December-February). Check out for more information.

successful work stop-off points, from hospitality at the ski elds to working in a bustling Rotorua hostel. The ski season (June to October) offers the fun of the slopes with a permanent party atmosphere. Restaurant and bar staff, cleaning and numerous other positions are on offer, especially if youre a qualied ski instructor. But get those CVs in early (most resorts begin hiring at the start of March). New Zealand is farming country and there are often extra labourers needed, making harvest work the classic travellers job. It can be tough and it wont make you millions, but working in the sunny outdoors, surrounded by jaw-to-the-oor beautiful scenery can often beat a stuffy ofce. Its available all year round (though December to May is the main picking season), in numerous spots. Hostels in the main fruit-picking regions will often help working holiday-makers nd work, offer cheap rates for accommodation and arrange transport. The Immigration Department website has a good guide to which work opportunities are available in each region (

Types of jobs
Ofce jobs: For temp/ofce work, youll need to be well organised, with a good CV, references and suitable clothes not boardshorts and jandals (the quite brilliant Kiwi word for ip-ops). Check out national and local newspapers and dont forget to sign up with several temping agencies. Accountants, bankers, clerks, computer wizards and receptionists are always in demand during peak periods. Sales, promotions and telemarketing jobs are often advertised on hostel notice boards. Medicine: Theres always demand for nurses, doctors and physios in New Zealand, but you may nd it necessary to undertake extra work in order to match the countrys qualications. And be prepared to jump through several hoops for registration (however, once you have it, it often opens doors to working in Australia as well). Au pair and childcare: If youre experienced with children and have good references and qualications, it should be easy to sign up with a specialist agency. Hospitality: Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Nelson, Queenstown and Dunedin all have a busy nightlife year round so there are plenty of hospitality jobs up for grabs, but keep in mind that Kiwi students may also be chasing these jobs. Often the most effective ways of landing a job is to walk in to a place you want to work. Chefs are usually in great demand due to a shortage. You may also be able to nd work operating ski-lifts, working in hotels or leaet-

Employment websites
TNTs job website ( is crammed with opportunities, covering all sectors and areas, especially backpacker jobs. The main site ( also has plenty of stories tips about visas and nding work, plus interviews with travellers already working in New Zealand. Also head here if you want to sign up to have TNTs weekly jobs email alert delivered straight to your inbox. Companies and organisations offer employment services and information at National newspaper The NZ Herald (nzherald. publishes online employment classieds. One of New Zealands biggest internet employment sites is New Zealand JobSearch ( covers everything from construction work to IT support jobs. If youre looking for short-term roles, especially on the NZ Harvest Trail, head to Southern Doctor ( is for nding medical jobs in New Zealand and Australia. If youre after a snow resort job for the winter, is your best bet.

Base Bay of Islands 18 Kings Road, Paihia. Bay Adventurer Backpackers 28 Kings Rd, Paihia. Bunkdown Lodge BBH 23 Otaika Rd, Whangarei. Capn Bobs Beach House BBH 44 Davis Cres, Paihia. Centabay Lodge BBH 27 Selwyn Rd, Paihia. Coastal Cow Backpackers BBH 299 Molesworth Drive, Mangawhai Heads. Endless Summer Lodge BBH 245 Foreshore Rd, Ahipara. Ferry Landing BBH 395A Aucks Rd, Okiato Point, Russell. Globetrekkers Lodge BBH 281 SH 12, Omapere. Relax a Lodge BBH 1574 Springbank Rd (SH10), Kerikeri Kahoe Farms Hostel BBH 1266 State Highway 10, Kahoe. Kerikeri Farm Hostel BBH 1574 Springbank Rd (SH10), Kerikeri. Little Earth Lodge BBH 85 Abbey Caves Rd, Whareora. Mainstreet Lodge BBH 235 Commerce St, Kaitaia. Mousetrap BBH 11 Kings Rd, Paihia. North Wind Lodge Bps BBH 88 Otaipango Rd, Kaitaia, Henderson Bay.

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Okopako Lodge Farm Hostel BBH 140 Mountain Road, Opononi. Peppertree Lodge BBH 15 Kings Road, Paihia. Pickled Parrot BBH Greys Lane, Paihia. Pukenui Lodge Hostel BBH Cnr SH1 & Wharf Road, Pukenui. Saltwater Lodge BBH 14 Kings Rd, Paihia. Seabeds BBH 46 Davis Crescent, Paihia. Sunseeker Lodge BBH Old Hospital RD, RD1 0478, Whangaroa. The Coast Road Farm BBH 3632 Russell Road, Whangaruru. Greenhouse Backpackers BBH 15 Gordon Street, Dargaville. The Tree House BBH 168 West Coast Road, Motukaraka, Kohukohu. Travellers Lodge BBH 64 Jellicoe Rd, Ruawai. Wainui Lodge BBH 92D Te Wahapu Rd, Russell. Waipu Wanderers BBH 25 St Marys Rd, Waipu. Whangarei Falls Backpackers BBH 12 Ngunguru Rd, Whangarei.

BK Hostel BBH 3 Mercury Lane. City Garden Lodge BBH 25 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell. Freemans Backpackers BBH 65 Wellington St, Freemans Bay. Frienz Backpackers BBH 27-31 Victoria St, Auckland. Hekerua Lodge Backpackers BBH 11 Hekerua Rd, Oneroa, Waiheke Island. Jandal Palace BBH 38 Glenesk Rd, Piha. JJ House Backpackers BBH 4 Mac Murray Rd, Remuera. KR City Travellers BBH 146 Karangahape Rd. Lantana Lodge BBH 60 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell. Malolo House BBH 10 Commercial Rd, Helensville. Marco Polo Backpackers Lodge BBH 2D Hammond Ave, Hatfields Beach, Orewa North. Pillows Backpackers Lodge BBH 412 Hibiscus Coast Highway, Orewa Beach Nomads Auckland 16-20 Fort St. Nomads Fat Camel 38 Fort St. Oaklands Lodge BBH 5a Oaklands Rd, Mt Eden. Pentlands BBH 22 Pentland Ave, Mt Eden. Ponsonby Backpackers BBH 2 Franklin Rd, Posonby.

Shekinah Farm BBH 122 Punga Punga Rd, Tuakau, Pukekawa. The Brown Kiwi, BBH 7 Prosford St, Posonby. Uenuku Lodge BBH 217 Ponsonby Rd, Posonby. Verandahs BBH 6 Hopetoun St, Central. Waikatoa Beach Lodge BBH 8 Centreway Rd, Port Waikato. Yaping House BBH 79 Owens Rd, Auckland. YHA Auckland International 5 Turner Street.

Anchor Lodge BP BBH 448 Wharf Rd, Coromandel Town. Tairua Backpackers BBH 200 Main Rd, Tairua. Black Jack Lodge BBH 201 State Highway 25, Kuaotunu. Cats Pyjamas BBH, 12 Albert St, Whitianga. Coromandel Town Backpackers BBH 636/732 Rings Rd, Coromandel Town. Colville Farm BBH 2140 Colville Rd, Colville. Fernbird BBH 24 Harsant Ave, Hahei. Gateway Backpackers BBH 209 Mackay St, Thames. Golden Owl BBH 3 Moresby Rd, Karangahake. Lions Den BBH 126 Te Tiki St, Coromandel Town.

Airport Skyway Lodge BBH 30 Kirkbride Rd, Mangere. Bamber House BBH 22 View Rd, Mt Eden. Base Auckland Level 3, 229 Queen Street.

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Blackcurrant Backpackers BBH, 20 Taniwha St. Rainbow Lodge BBH 99 Titiraupenga St. Tiki Lodge BBH 104 Tuwharetoa St. Urban Retreat Backpackers 65 Heuheu St. YHA Taupo 56 Kaimanawa St. Front Lodge BBH 6 Wi Neera St, Raglan. Rap, Raft N Rock BBH 95 Waitomo Caves Rd, Waitomo. Riverstone Backpackers BBH, 222 Tautahanga Rd, Turangi. Shekinah Farm BBH 122 Punga Punga Rd, Tuakau. Ski Haus BBH Carroll St, National Park Village. Solscape Raglan 611 Wainui Rd, Raglan. Station Lodge BBH 60 Thames St, The Junction, Ohakune. The Park Travellers Lodge, BBH 2-6 Millar Street, National Park Village. Wades Landing Lodge BBH, 29 Kaitieke Rd, Raurimu. Waikatoa Beach Lodge BBH, 8 Centreway Rd, Port Waikato.

On the Beach Backpackers YHA, BBH 46 Buffalo Beach Rd, Whitianga. Seabreeze Holiday Park BBH, 1043 SH25 Tairua-Whitianga Rd, Whenuakite, Hot Water Beach Sunkist International Backpackers BBH, 506 Brown St, Thames Tatahi Lodge BBH Grange Rd, Hahei Beach, The Pinnacles Backpackers BBH 305 Main Road (SH25), Tairua. Tidewater Tourist Park BBH 270 Tiki Road, Coromandel Town. Tui Lodge BBH 60 B Whangapoua Rd, Coromandel Town. Whangamata Backpackers Hostel BBH 227 Beverley Tce, Whangamata. Wolfies Lair BBH 11 Firth View Rd, Thames.

Just The Ducks Nuts BBH 6 Vale St, Tauranga. Karibu Backpackers BBH 13 Landing Rd, Whakatane. Kingfisher Backpackers Lodge BBH 122A Work Road, Katikati. Kiwi Paka Backpackers 60 Tarewa Road, Rotorua. Loft 109 BBH 9 Devonport Rd, Tauranga. Mount Backpackers BBH 87 Maunganui Rd, Mt Maunganui. Opotiki Beach House BBH 7 Appleton Rd, Waiotahi Beach, Opotiki. Pacific Coast Lodge & Backpackers BBH 432 Maunganui Rd, Mount Maunganui. Rotorua Central Backpackers BBH 1076 Pukuatua St, Rotorua. Rotorua Downtown Backpackers BBH 1193 Fenton St, Rotorua. Seagulls Guesthouse BBH, 12 Hinau Street, Mount Maunganui. Spa Lodge Backpackers BBH 1221 Amohau St, Rotorua. The Windsor BBH, 10 Merritt St, Whakatane. YHA Rotorua 1278 Haupapa St, Rotorua.

A Plus Samurai Lodge BBH 41 Iwiheke Place, Turangi,. Casara Mesa BBH Mangarino Rd, RD 6, Te Kuiti. Eagles Nest Backpackers BBH, 937 Vicotra Street, Hamilton. Extreme Backpackers BBH, 26 Ngawaka Place, Turangi. Forty Winks BBH 267 River Rd, Hamilton. Howards Mountain Lodge BBH 43 Carroll St, National Park Village. Js Backpackers BBH, 8 Grey St, Hamilton. Juno Hall BBH 600 Waitomo Caves Rd, Waitomo. Kiwi Cave Rafting BBH 95 Waitomo Caves Rd, Waitomo. National Park BPs BBH Findlay St, National Park Village. Plateau Lodge BBH 17 Carroll St, National Park Village. Raglan Backpackers & Water

A1 Backpackers BBH, 122 Stortford Street, Hastings. AJs Backpackers Lodge, 122 Stortford Street, Hastings. The Art House BBH 259 Marine Parade, Napier. Aqua Lodge BBH 53 Nelson Cres, Napier. Archies Bunker BBH 14 Herschell St, Napier. Stranded in Paradise BBH 21 Potae St, Tokomaru Bay. Criterion Art Deco Backpackers BBH 48 Emerson St, Napier.

Astray BBH 1202 Pukuatua Street, Rotorua. Base Rotorua 1286 Arawa Street. Bell Lodge Motel & Backpackers BBH 39 Bell St, Tauranga. Central Oasis Backpackers BBH 30 King St, Opotiki. Funky Green Voyager BBH 4 Union St, Rotorua. Harbourside City Backpackers BBH 105 The Strand, Tauranga.

Base Taupo 7 Tuwharetoa Street. Berkenhoff Lodge BBH 75 Scannell St.

Flying Nun Backpackers BBH, 147 Roebuck Rd, Gisbourne. Glenross Lodge BBH 11730 Route 52, Pongaroa. Lochlea Farmstay BBH 344 Lake Road, Waipukurau. Otapawa Farmstay BBH 255 Haunui Road, RD 3 Tiraumea. Stables Lodge BBH 370 Hastings St, Napier. The Rotten Apple BBH 114 Heretaunga St East, Hastings. Toad Hall Backpackers BBH 11 Shakespeare Rd, Napier. Wallys Backpackers BBH, 7 Cathedral Lane, Napier. Waterfront Lodge BBH, 217 Marine Parade, Napier. Sunflower Lodge BBH 33 Timandra Street, New Plymouth. Tamara Backpackers BBH, 24 Somme Parade, Wanganui. Taranaki Accommodation Lodge BBH 7 Romeo St, Stratford. Wheatly Downs Farmstay BBH 484 Ararata Rd, Hawera.

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1873 Wanderer BBH 24 Evans St, Timaru. Albatross Backpackers Inn BBH 1 Torquay St, Kaikoura. At the Right Place BBH, 85 Bealey Ave, Christchurch. Bad Jelly Backpackers BBH, 11 Churchill St, Kaikoura. Bon Accord Backpackers BBH, 57 Rue Lavaud, Akaroa. Buscot Station BBH Rapid No 912, Omarama. Chester Street Backpackers BBH 148 Chester St East, Christchurch. Chez La Mer BBH 50 Rue Lavaud, Akaroa. Chillawhile Backpackers & Art Gallery BBH No. 1 Frome St, North End, Roberts Park, Oamaru. Dolphin Lodge BBH 15 Deal St, Kaikoura. Dorset House BBH 1 Dorset St, Christchurch. Double Dutch BBH 32 Chorlton Road, Akaroa. Drifters BBH 408 Gloucester St, Christchurch. Dusky Lodge BBH 67 Beach Rd, Kaikoura. Empire Hotel Backpackers BBH 13 Thames St, Oamaru. Foley Towers BBH 208 Kilmore St, Christchruch. Halfmoon Cottage BBH 5849 Christchurch-Akaroa Rd, Akaroa.

Jailhouse Accommodation 338 Lincoln Rd, Christchurch. Kiwi Basecamp BBH 69 Bealey Ave, Christchurch. Jack in the Green BBH 3 Devon St, Hanmer Springs. Lyell Creek Lodge BBH 193 Beach Rd, Kaikoura. Mt Hutt Bunkhouse BBH 8 Lampard St, Methven. Old Bones Backpackers BBH 468 Beach Rd, RD 150, Oamaru. Olive Grove Lodge BBH SH1. Oamaru Waianakarua. Onuku Farm Hostel BBH 89 Hamiltons Rd, Akaroa. Rata Lodge Backpackers BBH, State Highway 73, Arthurs Pass. Mountain House Main Rd, Arthurs Pass. Rawhiti House BBH 27 Hewlings St, Geraldine. Redwood Lodge BBH 3 Wayne Place, Methven. Rucksacker Backpacker Hostel BBH 70 Bealey Ave, Christchurch. Sunrise Lodge BBH 74 Beach Rd, Kaikoura. Swaggers Backpackers BBH 25 Wansbeck St, Oamaru. Tailor-Made-Tekapo Backpackers BBH 9-10-11 Aorangi Crescent, Lake Tekapo. The Lazy Shag BBH 37 Beach Rd, Kaikoura. The Marine Backpackers BBH, 26 Nayland St, Christchurch.

Barnacles Seaside Inn BBH 3 Marine Parade, Paraparaumu Beach. Base Wellington 21-23 Cambridge Terrace. Downtown Backpackers Wellington BBH 1 Bunny St. Lodge in the City BBH 152 Taranaki St. Moana Lodge BBH 49 Moana Rd, Plimmerton. Nomads Capital 118-120 Wakefield St. Rosemere Backpackers BBH, 6 Macdonald Cres. Rowenas Lodge 115 Brougham Street The Cambridge Hotel BBH 28 Cambridge Terrace. Trek Global BBH 9 OReily Ave. Wellywood Backpackers BBH, 58 Try Street. Worldwide Backpackers BBH, 291 The Terrace. YHA Wellington City 292 Wakefield Street.

Braemar House 2 Plymouth Street, Whanganui EcoInn BBH 671 Kent Rd, New Plymouth. Ducks & Drakes Hotel BBH, 48 Lemon St, New Plymouth. Egmont E Lodge BBH, 12 Clawton St, NewPlymouth. Grandmas Place BBH 146 Grey St, Palmerston North. Pepper Tree BBH 121 Grey St, Palmerston North. Seaspray House BBH 13 Weymouth St, New Plymouth. Shoestrings BBH 48 Lemon St, New Plymouth.

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Paradiso BBH 42 Weka St, Nelson. River Inn BBH 20 Waitapu Wharf Rd, Takaka. Shambhala BBH Hwy 60, Takaka. Shortbread Cottage BBH 33 Trafalgar St, Nelson. Somerset House BBH 10 Gibbs Rd, Collingwood. Tasman Bay Backpackers BBH, 10 Weka St, Nelson. The Barn Backpackers BBH 14 Harvey Rd, Abel Tasman. The Bug BBH 226 Vanguard Street, Nelson. The Customhouse BBH 252 Haven Rd, Nelson. The Green Monkey BBH 129 Milton St, Nelson. The Innlet BBH 839 Pakawau Main Road, Collingwood. The Laughing Kiwi BBH 310 High St, Motueka. The Palace Backpackers BBH 114 Rutherford St, Nelson. The White Elephant BBH 55 Whakarewa St, Motueka. Trampers Rest BBH 31 Alton St, Nelson. YHA Nelson Central 59 Rutherford St, Nelson. Aspen Lodge BBH 11 Gorge Rd, Queenstown. Barnyard Backpackers BBH, 80 Mt York Rd, Lake Te Anau. Base Queenstown 49 Shotover St. Base Wanaka 73 Brownston St. Billy Browns BBH 423 Aramoana Rd, Port Chalmers. Bob & Maxines Backpackers BBH, 20 Paton Place, Lake Te Anau. Bungi Backpackers BBH Cnr Sydney & Stanley Sts, Queenstown. Bunkers Backpackers BBH 13 Argyle St, Stewart Island. Butterfli Lodge BBH 62 Thompson St, . Queenstown. Chalet Backpackers BBH 296 High Street, Dunedin. Central Backpackers BBH, 243 Moray Place, Dunedin. Deco Backpackers BBH 52 Man St, Queenstown. Elm Lodge BBH 74 Elm Row, Dunedin. Empire Hotel BBH 13 Thames St, Oamaru. Freestone Backpackers BBH, 270 Hillside Rd, Lake Manapouri. Happy Inn Backpackers BBH 11 Shakespeare St, Milton. Hippo Lodge BBH 4 Anderson Heights, Queenstown. Hogwartz BBH 277 Rattray St, Dunedin.

The Old Countryhouse BBH, 437 Gloucester St, Christchurch. Vagabond Backpackers BBH, 232 Worcester St, Christchurch. Waipara Sleepers BBH, 12 Glenmark Drive, Waipara. YHA Christchurch 5 Worcester Boulevard, Christchurch. YHA Kaikoura 270 Esplanade, Kaikoura.

The Grapevine BBH 29 Park Terrace, Blenheim. The Villa BBH 34 Auckland St, Picton. Tombstone Backpackers BBH, 16 Gravesend Plc, Picton. Watsons Way BBH 56 High St, Renwick.

Abba Lodge BBH 11 Awaroa Bay, Abel Tasman. Accents On The Park BBH 335 Trafalgar Square, Nelson. Almond House BBH 63 Grove St, Nelson. Annies Nirvana Lodge BBH 25 Motupipi St, Golden Bay. Aurora Backpackers BBH 161-163 Trafalgar St, Nelson. /hd921 Beach Hostel BBH 25 Muritai Street, Nelson. Edens Edge Backpackers BBH 137 Lodder Lane, Motueka. Golden Bay Barefoot Backpackers BBH 114 Commercial St, Golden Bay. Happy Apple Lodge BBH 500 High St, Motueka. Hat Trick Lodge BBH 25 Wallace St, Motueka. Honey Suckle House BBH 125 Tasman St, Nelson. Hu Ha Bikepackers BBH State Highway 6, Glenhope. Kanuka Ridge BBH 21 Moss Rd, Abel Tasman NP. Kiwiana BBH 73 Motupipi St, Golden Bay.

Anakiwa Backpackers BBH 401 Anakiwa Road, Marlborough Sounds. Arrow Backpackers BBH 107 Budge St, Blenheim. Atlantis Backpackers BBH 42 London Quay, Picton. Bluemoon Lodge 48 Main Rd, Havelock. Copperbeech BBH 73 Maxwell Rd, Blenheim. Hopewell BBH 7204 Kenepuru Rd, Marlborough Sounds. Koanui Lodge & Backpackers BBH, 33 Main St, Blenheim. Leeways Backpackers BBH 33 Lansdowne St, Blenheim. Sequoia Lodge Backpackers BBH 3 Nelson Square, Picton. The Buccaneer Lodge BBH 314 Waikawa Road, Picton. The Jugglers Rest BBH 8 Canterbury St, Picton.

Absoloot Value BBH 50 Beach St, Queenstown. Alpine Lodge BBH 13 Gorge Rd, Queenstown.

Hollys Backpackers BBH 71 Upton St, Wanaka. Kinloch Lodge BBH 862 Kinloch Rd, Glenorchy. Kiwis Nest BBH 597 George St, Dunedin. Lazy Dolphin BBH 529 Curio Bay Road, Catlins. Manor House Backpackers BBH 28 Manor Place, Dunedin. McFarmers Backpackers BBH, 774 Portabello Rd, Otago Peninsula. Milford Sound Lodge BBH State Highway 94. Mountain View Backpackers BBH 7 Russell St, Wanaka. Nomads Queenstown 5-11 Church Street. Old Bones Backpackers BBH, 468 Beach Road, Oamaru. Olive Grove Lodge BBH, SH 1, Waianakarua. On Top Backpackers BBH Cnr Moray Place and Filleul St, Dunedin. Penguin Paradise Holiday Lodge BBH 612 Niagara Waikawa Rd, Catlins. Pennys Backpackers BBH 6 Stafford St, Dunedin. Pinot Lodge BBH 102 Barry Ave, Cromwell. Poplar Lodge BBH 4 Merioneth St, Arrowtown. Possum Lodge BBH, 13 Murrell Ave, Lake Manapouri.

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Rosies Backpacker Homestay BBH 23 Tom Plato Drive, Lake Te Anau. Scallywags Travellers Guesthouse BBH, 27 Lomond Cres, Queenstown Southern Comfort BBH 30 Thomson St, Invercargill. Southern Laughter: Sir Cedrics BBH 4 Isle St, Queenstown. Steamers Beach Backpackers BBH 77 Manapouri-Te Anau HWY, Lake Te Anau. Surat Bay Lodge BBH Newhaven RD1, Catlins. Stafford Gables BBH 71 Stafford Street, Dunedin. Swaggers Backpackers BBH, 25 Wansbeck St, Oamaru. Te Anau Lakefront Backpackers BBH 48 Lakefront Drive, Te Anau. The Black Sheep 13 Frankton Road The Flaming Kiwi BBH 39 Robins Rd, Queenstown. The Last Resort BBH 6 Memorial Street, Queenstown. The Split Level BBH 9 Waikawa Rd, Catlins. Villa Rose Backpackers BBH, 79 Scotland St, Roxburgh. Wanaka Bakpaka BBH 117 Lakeside Rd, Wanaka. Wrights Mill Lodge BBH 865 Tahakopa Valley Rd, Owaka. YHA Dunedin 71 Stafford St.

YHA Wanaka 94 Brownston St, Wanaka. YHA Queenstown Central 48 Shotover Street, Queenstown. YHA Te Anau 29 Mokonui St, Te Anau.

Riverview Cabins BBH 154 Kaniere Rd, Hokitika. Royal Hostel BBH The Strand, Okarito. Te Nikau Retreat BBH 19 Hartmount Place, Punakaiki. The Lazy Cow Accommodation BBH 37 Waller St, Murchison. The Old Slaughterhouse BBH, State Highway 67, Hector. TripInn BBH 72 Queen St, Westport. Wilderness Accommodation BBH, Pauareka Rd, Haast.

Beaconstone Eco-Lodge BBH Birds Ferry Rd, Westport. Birdsong BBH 8-10 Cron 124 Kumara Junction Highway 6, Hokitika. Chateau Franz: Sir Cedrics BBH 8-10 Cron St, Franz Josef. Duke Hostel BBH 27 Guinness St, Greymouth. Drifting Sands BBH 197 Revell St, Hokitika. Global Village Backpackers BBH, 42-54 Cowper St, Greymouth. Glow Worm Cottages BBH 27 Cron St, Franz Josef. Hu Ha Bikepackers BBH State Highway 6, Glenhope. Ivory Towers BBH Sullivans Road, Fox Glacier. Montrose Backpackers BBH 9 Cron St, Franz Josef. Mountain Jade Backpackers BBH 41 Weld St, Hokitika. Neptunes Backpackers BBH 43 Gresson St, Greymouth. Noahs Ark Backpackers BBH, 16 Chapel St, Greymouth. Punakaiki Beach Hostel BBH, 4 Webb St, Punakaiki.

Altitude Bar Base Queenstown Basement Bar, Base Wellington Element Bar, Base Taupo Globe Bar, Base Auckland ACB The Lava Bar, Base Rotorua Pipi Patch Bar Base Bay of Islands Saints and Sinners Bar Base Christchurch Mint Bar Base Wanaka Mint Bar Base Wanaka

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Introducing Fiji

The happiest place on Earth... This archipelago of hundreds of islands, with their thousands of beautiful beaches overowing with the welcoming bula spirit of the friendly locals, is the sort of destination you think you can only dream of visiting when planning a budget trip. It may sound clichd, but Fiji is as close as it gets to being in a tropical paradise. However, this is one tropical paradise with a difference. Not solely the domain of fancy resorts for the super-rich, Fiji is highly affordable, making it one bit of heaven that every backpacker can grab. While you mightnt grasp the entire native tongue, we guarantee youll leave knowing bula means more than just hello. Indeed, its howdy, cheers and welcome from the most relaxed set of pearly whites youve ever seen. Whether youve come to snorkel amongst the Yasawa Islands, party on Beachcomber Island, surf world class reef breaks such as Frigates Passage, dive with tiger sharks or just laze on a deserted beach, the bula spirit will be with you on these tropical islands, in its culture, foods and experiences, and it will stay with you long after the kava has worn off.

About Fiji
The Republic of the Fiji Islands is made up of about 333 islands (but only about 105 permanently

inhabited) in the South Pacic, north of New Zealand and parallel to Cairns, Australia. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, are home to 87 per cent of the 850,000 population with a demographic of indigenous Fijians as well as Fijians of Indian, Chinese, European and Polynesian descent. While Fijian and Hindi are spoken by the locals, English is spoken everywhere. The country gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1970. Since then Fiji has seen four coups in the past two decades, the most recent in 2006. Elections will not be held in the country until 2014, a decision which led to Fijis full suspension from the Commonwealth in 2009. While you should exercise caution in the cities, youll probably be spending most of your time on the islands and in the villages, which have been largely unaffected by the political upheaval. As with all travelling, however, the best bet is to check on the current situation with your countrys foreign ofce. Suva is located on Viti Levu and is the largest urban area in the South Pacic outside of Australia and New Zealand. May to October is Fijis dry season, with less humidity and milder temperatures, so for a traveller its the ideal time to visit. Alas, with the perfect weather comes slightly inated prices.


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Food is plentiful for village feasts, while kava drinking is still an important ceremony. In case youre wondering, kava is a muddy-looking drink, created from the kava plants root, which leaves your mouth feeling numb. Most aspects of the Indo-Fijian lifestyle and culture have comfortably co-existed with the indigenous Fijian way of life. The mix leads to a great variety in food.


Fiji adventures



Fiji culture
Fijian villagers live in extended family groups under the inuence of hereditary chiefs. Traditional arts and crafts such as wood carving and weaving, along with dancing and music, remain an important part of life in the villages. There is also a strong oral storytelling tradition.

The Ultimate Tropical Adventure...

Stunning views of Islands & Reefs. Beach or Resort Landings. Professional, internationally licensed instructors.

Scuba diving: Fiji is renowned as the soft coral capital of the world, meaning that, whatever your level, there are plenty of sites with warm deep water, teaming with life and exquisite colours. Theres also the shark dives off Mana Island or Beqa Lagoon. Diving is possible all year round at most island resorts and beach properties on the main island, Viti Levu. Surng: Fiji is world famous for surng and recent law changes have meant that budget travellers, not just those staying at fancy resorts, can now access the best breaks. Most legendary is Cloudbreak, off Tavarua, by Viti Levu. Also excellent are Frigates Passage, Sigatoka Rivermouth and Daku. For almost twenty years Cloudbreak and Restaurants were exclusively enjoyed by guests of Tavarua Island. But now the young Fijians are tearing up these waves. Snorkelling: A must for all water lovers. See the underwater beauty as you oat in the sun. Available at every resort or hotel on a beach. Other water sports: Waterskiing, parasailing, kayaking, sailing, kite surng are all popular. River rafting: Several operators have exciting river rafting trips that pick up and drop off from Nadi. Mountain treks and village tours: There are several operators providing inland sightseeing tours, mostly full day trips. Visit a pottery village, enjoy a BBQ lunch and Fijian-style cooking, plus experience a traditional Fijian kava ceremony. Island day visits: Various well known boat operators provide day trips, mainly from Nadi. Visitors can swim, snorkel and enjoy great food and beverages at reasonable prices. Skydiving: This must-do nerve-testing activity includes spectacular views of islands and reefs, with island or beach landings. All jumps are with experienced divers. Hot air ballooning: Enjoy stunning views of the islands at a slightly more relaxing pace.

Island by island guide

The different islands offer a variety of facilities, trips and activities from Nadis many services to the budget traveller destination of the Yasawas. Viti Levu: Starting with your arrival at Nadi
PH: +679 6728166

International Airport, there are a number of good backpacker hotels and hostels. Two hours drive north from Nadi are the spectacular Nananu-I-Ra Islands lying a few kilometres offshore. Beautifully hilly, they are surrounded by white sand beaches and mangroves. There are lots of beachside budget resorts and great diving. From Nadi, the Queens Highway takes you on a scenic stretch south to Suva along the Coral Coast, where different types of resorts dot the numerous beaches. Suva is Fijis political and administrative capital and home to almost half the population. There are a number of small budget hotels here and visitors can easily spend a couple of days visiting the sights and shopping. Yasawa Islands: The main budget backpacker properties are situated in the Yasawa Islands, northwest of Nadi. Some 24 properties operate over 20 rugged islands, with crystal blue lagoons and great beaches. The islands are serviced daily by the Yasawa Flyer, a large and fast catamaran. Mamanuca Islands: Lying close to Nadi, there are 20 islands in the group renowned for their natural beauty. Many support resorts and large villages. Great diving and snorkelling is available and various backpacker resorts are serviced daily by boat. Vanua Levu: Fijis second-largest island with its two major towns Savusavu and Labasa is worth a visit. There are many small budget hostels and regular ights are scheduled from Nadi, plus some shipping operators service the island. Taveuni: Called the Garden Island due to its lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls and a profusion of owers. The main activities are diving and snorkelling. Flights and boats operate from Viti Levu. Kadavu: Fijis fourth-largest island lies 100km south of Viti Levu. On its north coast is the Great Astralabe Reef, a famous diving spot. Local airlines have daily return ights from Suva. A ferry operates from Suva on a regular basis.

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competent medical services are available at a low cost. Water on the mainland and some offshore resorts is drinkable but its always best to check. As far as your wallet goes, Fiji is cheaper than most other Pacic countries, but it is however, more expensive than South-East Asian nations and islands like Samoa. Budget travellers can expect to pay around US$60-90 a day for accommodation, food and transport, while ashpackers and mid-range travellers may spend about US$180, and couples US$120/day per person.

Fiji is the crossroads of the South Pacic. Many ights from the west coast of the USA stop over in Fiji. If youre travelling from Australia or New Zealand, Air Pacic, Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand all have student-type airfares. To visit Fiji from the UK and Europe you must travel via Australia or New Zealand.

Getting around
Buses: The privately owned bus operators provide cheap travel on the main islands and you can enjoy a great experience travelling on local open buses. The major tour bus operator is Feejee Experience, a hopon, hop-off bus which circumnavigates Viti Levu. Taxis: These are numerous and inexpensive. Car Hire: Avis, Budget and various local operators provide vehicles for hire. The cost can be expensive in comparison with Australia and New Zealand. Planes: Visitors seldom need to travel by plane. However, Air Pacic operates domestic services between key cities. Boats: A major New Zealand company has established operations from Port Denerau, Nadi. Fast catamarans service the islands west of Fiji to resorts in the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. Other tourist boats operate to specic islands, including Beachcomber Island.

Fiji essentials
There are currently no working holiday programmes in Fiji. However a free, four-month visa is granted automatically on arrival to tourists from more than 100 countries (including the British Commonwealth, North America and Western Europe) and this can be extended to six months. To gain it, you will need an onward ticket, a passport which is valid for at least six months and sufcient funds. As tourism is a major industry for Fiji, modern-day civil liberties like bank machines, major credit cards and fast internet are all available, as are phone cards with Vodafone the major mobile network. Doctors and medical facilities are listed in the phone directory

There are many establishments offering inexpensive accommodation for the independent traveller. Dorms are priced from US$13 to US$19 with private rooms from US$42 to US$97, with island resorts tending to be more expensive than the mainland. This segment of the much larger local tourist industry has developed extensively over the last 10 years and increased competition has led to a dramatic improvement in standards. If you fancy kipping in a bure on one of the islands, its advisable to phone individual resorts in advance to make sure theres space when you jump off the boat.

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Adrenalin Fiji Diving, surfing, hot air ballooning & more. +679 675 0061, Skydive Fiji Fijis only skydive operation. Based in Nadi. +679 992 4079, Zipline Fiji Ziplining in paradise. +679 6669735, Long Beach Backpackers Resort +679 666 6644 Manta Ray Island +679 672 6351 Nabua Lodge +679 666 9173 Oarsmans Bay Lodge +679 672 2921 Octopus Resort +679 666 6337 Safe Landing Resort +679 623 0309 Sunrise Lagoon Resort +679 666 6644 Wayalailai Island Resort +679 672 1377 White Sandy Beach Dive Resort +679 666 4066

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Aquarius Pacific Hotel +679 672 6000 Beach Escape Villas +679 672 4442 Cathay Hotel +679 666 0566, Horizon Beach Resort +679 672 2832 Nadi Bay Resort Hotel +679 672 3599 Nadi Down Town Backpackers Inn +679 670 0600 Nadi Hotel +679 670 0000, Nomads Skylodge Hotel +679 672 2200 Saweni Beach Apartment Hotel +679 666 1777 Smugglers Cove Beach Resort +679 672 6578 Travellers Beach Resort +679 672 3322

Seashell Cove Resort +679 670 6100 Tabukula Beach Bungalows +679 650 0097, The Uprising Beach Resort +679 345 2200, Tsulu Luxury Backpackers & Apartments +679 345 0065, Vilisite Place +679 650 1030

Morrisons Beach Cottages +679 669 4516 Safari Lodge Fiji +679 669 3333, Volivoli Beach Resort +679 669 4511,

Beachcomber Island Resort +679 666 1500 Bounty Island Resort +679 666 6999, Rau Kinis Hostel +679 672 1959 Funky Fish Beach Resort +679 628 2333 The Resort Walu Beach +679 665 1777

Bayside Backpacker Cottage +679 885 3154, Hidden Paradise Guest House +678 885 0106 Naveria Heights Lodge +679 851 0157 Savusavu Hot Springs +679 885 0195

Colonial Lodge +679 92 75248 Lami Lodge Backpackers +679 336 2240 Leleuvia Island Resort +679 331 9567, Raintree Lodge +679 332 0562, Royal Hotel +679 344 0024, South Seas Private Hotel +679 331 2296, Tailevu Hotel +679 343 0028

Beachouse +679 653 0500 Mango Bay Resort +679 653 0069 Pacific Safaris Club +679 345 0498 Rendezvous Dive Resort +679 628 4427, Robinson Crusoe +679 629 1999

Bibis Hideaway +678 888 0443 Matei Pointe Tovu Tovu Resort +679 888 0560,

Awesome Adventures Fiji +679 675 0499, Coconut Bay Resort +679 666 6644, ext. 1300, coconut Anchorage Beach Resort +679 6662099 Korovou Eco Tour Resort +679 666 6644, ext. 2244

Alberts Sunrise +679 333 7555 Matava Resort +679 330 5222, Nakuita Island Resort +679 362 6319


Bethams Cottage +679 669 4132, Macdonalds Beach Cottages +679 669 4633

Bea hea adv Lau tea, pric nan


All meals and local beers and wines inclusive

All meals inclusive THE PARTY ISLAND

enquiries@funkyshres 9996360 Ph: 679 6661500 cell: 679

Accommodation to suit all budgets! Ph:679 6661500 cell: 679 9996360

35 acres of Virgin rainforest, allweather walking track, a triple tiered waterfall, rapid-fed swimming pools and a daring zip line course hovering over the jungle. All day passes include unlimited zips, lunch and refreshments Ph: 679 6662099 cell: 679 9992099

eachcomber is a slice of paradise situated on a marine sanctuary in the art of Mamanuca Group of Islands and is a haven for sun, sand, fun and venture. Its mere 19kms from Port Denarau (Nadi) & 15kms from utoka. Full and day trips are offered with island Bbq lunch, afternoon a, snorkeling, fish feeding, coral viewing, turtle feeding at $149p/p & half ice for kids (4-12yrs). Motorized water sports such as parasailing, bana boat and jet skiing etc are at additional cost.

Free pick up from Denarau Island or Nadi. 30 minute Drive from Nadi International Airport.

h+ 679 6661500 Ph:679 6661500 cell: 679 9996360

Zip through Nature + Feel the rush

Ph+ 679 6669735 Cell 679 9996360



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Stopover destinations

Photo: Thinkstock

Thailand: perfect for that well-needed rest

While the ITG is a guide to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, here are a few ideas for places you might want to see on the way. Talk to your travel agent about potential stop-overs included in your ticket. to Sydney, nine hours. For more? Check out Thaintro, a company that takes the stress out of arriving in a foreign land. Youll be picked up from the airport and given a group tour including cooking classes, elephant treks, island tours and more. See:

Probably the number one stopover for travellers heading DownUnder, Thailand is likely to head your Iwant to go there! list. A mix of natural beauty, fascinating culture, great food, friendly people and erm, lots of other travellers, make a Thailand stopover de rigeur for many. Most of the backpackers hang out on the sublime islands of Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan, where theres a kicking beach-party scene thats denitely worth a look. But if you want to get off the beaten track there are hundreds of other tropical islands to choose from, plus a mainland dotted with golden temples, rainforests, elephants, hospitable hill tribes and ancient ruins. Where will I land? The insane capital Bangkok. Where will I stay? Generally beach huts on the islands or hostels in the urban areas. How long will it take? From London, 12 hours;

From the hi-tech gadgets, best sushi imaginable and neon-clad skyscrapers of Tokyo to the fascinating culture and stunning mountains of the wider country, Japan has to be seen to be believed. Tokyo is one of the most exciting, completely alien and endlesslyinteresting cities you could hope to visit. Expect to nd yourself taking several million photos. Japan is also home to some of the worlds best ski slopes. Beware that English is barely spoken and that you may have difculty using your bank cards. Where will I land? Tokyos Narita International. Where will I stay? Theres plenty of hostel options, with dorm beds generally costing US$20-25. For a real Japanese experience, however, pay a little more and stay in a ryokan, a traditional inn complete with

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Where will I stay?There is a wide range of budget accommodation in Bali and Lombok. Much of it is pretty good. Beach huts are popular at resorts. How long will it take? From London, 16 hours; to Sydney, seven hours.

futons and mat ooring. How long will it take? From London, 12 hours; to Sydney, 10 hours.

China/Hong Kong
From the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong to truly iconic sights like the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors, via one of the worlds oldest cultures, China should make it onto every intrepid travellers itinerary at some point in their lives. Leave plenty of time to sort out a visa. Where will I land? Most likely Hong Kong or Beijing. To avoid confusion, make sure you have your accommodation name written down in Chinese. Where will I stay? There are more and more budget beds turning up in the major cities. A trip can cost under US$20 a day. How long will it take? From London, 10 hours; to Sydney, 12 hours.

A country of two halves divided by a few hundred kilometres of ocean Peninsula Malaysia is the bit below Thailand, while East Malaysia comprises the island of Borneo. Peninsula Malaysia is more accessible and offers delights such as the Perhentian Islands, as well as some of the best food in Asia. Make the effort to get to the eastern states and youll be rewarded with pristine rainforest, orangutangs, longhousedwelling tribes and some of the worlds best diving. Where will I land? In Kuala Lumpur (or KL). Where will I stay? On the mainland you will nd backpacker hostels, complete with dorm rooms. On the islands youre likely to be kipping in a beach hut. How long will it take? From London, 12 hours; to Sydney eight hours.

There are few countries that will confront you like India. Overowing with energy and people, its cultural and geographic diversity will undoubtedly make you look at life in a different way. From the madness of Delhi to the breathtaking sacred sites scattered throughout the countryside, this is what backpacking is all about. Winter is probably the best time to visit, from September-January, when the heat is most bearable. Beware that several areas, like Kashmir, are still prone to conict. Where will I land? Probably Delhi. From there you can book a pre-paid taxi to the city but make sure the driver takes you where you want to go. Where will I stay? There is cheap accommodation everywhere in India, usually US$2-3 a night. Prices go up in the winter high season. How long will it take? From London, nine hours; to Sydney, 18 hours.

This multicultural city state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula boasts a diverse blend of environments. Most stop-off visitors brave the fearsome humidity just long enough to take advantage of the enviable shopping opportunities, but those staying longer should escape into the surrounding jungle or even beyond into Malaysia. Where will I land? The efcient Changi Airport. Where will I stay? Many hostel beds are US$15-20. How long will it take? From London, 13 hours; to Sydney, eight hours.

The United Arab Emirates might be a relatively new destination, but theres no denying its impact on the world stage. Both Bahrain and the UAE have established themselves as major stop-offs and have gone about trying to build the biggest of everything, anywhere, as quickly as possible. As a result, sleepy old shing villages have transformed into slick cities. Well, almost. Much of Dubai is still a building site. Theres no doubt that whats nished is impressive, although those of you craving a bit of culture might struggle to keep themselves entertained. Where will I land? The main hubs of Bahrain, Dubai or the worlds richest city Abu Dhabi. Where will I stay? Some budget hotels have rooms as cheap as US$30, but dont expect anything pretty. How long will it take? From London, seven hours; to Sydney, 15 hours.

A chain of more than 13,000 islands, the major ones are Java (home to capital Jakarta), Sumatra, Borneo and the famous pleasure island of Bali. Bali is renowned as a tourist paradise with its famous beaches and nightlife in Kuta. Take note that Kuta is top of the list for young, partying Aussies, sort of the equivalent of the Costa Del Sol for Brits. Away from the bright lights and busy beaches youll nd stunning volcanic mountains, waterfalls and lakes to explore, and more temples than you can poke an incense stick at. Some regions are still potential terrorist targets so check warnings ( Where will I land? Probably in Denpasar, Bali.

Quarantine Stopover destinations Travel insurance Why Australia? AUSTRALIA Accommodation Adelaide Airlie Beach Albany Alice Springs Arnhem Land Ballarat Barossa Valley Batemans Bay Bendigo Bicheno Birdsville Blue Mountains Bondi Brisbane Broken Hill Broome Bruny Island Bunbury Bundaberg Bungle Bungles Byron Bay Cairns Canberra Cape Naturaliste Cape Tribulation Cape York Peninsula Coffs Harbour Coober Pedy Cradle Mtn/Lake St Clair Daintree National Park Dandenong Ranges Darwin Devils Marbles Devonport Dunk Island Embassies Esperance Exmouth Falls Creek Fitzroy Crossing Fleurieu Peninsula Flinders Ranges Fraser Island Fremantle Freycinet National Park Gippsland Gold Coast 77 160 161 6 6 99 58 38 54 48 45 70 60 29 71 75 44 27 25 31 27 56 74 54 37 56 27 39 30 54 44 44 28 62 74 44 70 45 48 75 40 83 52 55 71 66 60 61 32 51 75 71 34 Grampians, The Great Barrier Reef Great Keppel Island Great Ocean Road Hervey Bay High Country (Vict. Alps) Hinchinbrook Island Hobart Hunter Valley Jervis Bay Jobs Kakadu NP Kalgoorlie Kangaroo Island Katherine Katherine Gorge Kings Canyon Kununurra Kuranda Lady Elliot Island Launceston Litcheld National Park Mackay Magnetic Island Margaret River Maria Island Melbourne Mildura Mission Beach Monkey Mia Moreton Island Mornington Peninsula Mount Arapiles Mount Buller Mount Field NP Mount Hotham Murray River New South Wales Nimbin Ningaloo Reef Noosa North Stradbroke Island Northern Territory Nullarbor Plain Olgas (Kata Tjuta) Perth Phillip Island Pinnacles, the Port Arthur Port Douglas Port Macquarie Queensland Rainbow Beach 71 38 38 70 37 71 39 72 29 29 95 45 52 60 48 48 49 57 44 38 74 46 39 38 54 74 65 71 40 55 32 70 71 71 71 71 71 24 27 50 35 32 45 62 48 52 70 52 74 44 29 31 36 Richmond Rockhampton Rottnest Island Shark Bay Snowy Mountains South Australia Stanley Sunshine Coast Surfers Paradise Sydney Tasmania Townsville Transport directory Tully Uluru (Ayers Rock) Victoria Visas Whitsunday Islands Western Australia Wilsons Promontory NP

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74 38 52 55 29 58 75 35 35 24 72 39 79 40 48 65 80 38 50 70

Methven Milford Sound Moeraki Beach Motueka Mount Cook NP Napier Nelson North Island Northland Otago Otago Peninsula Paihia Palmerston North Punakaiki Queen Charlotte Track Queenstown Raglan Rotorua Ruapehu Russell South Island Southland Stewart Island Taranaki Taupo Tauranga Tongariro National Park Waikato Waitomo Caves Wanaka Wanganui Wellington West Coast & Glaciers Whangamata & Waihi Whangarei Whitianga Work Visas FIJI (Hostels directory) Coral Coast Kadavu Mamanuca Islands Nadi North Viti Levu Suva Taveuni Vanua Levu Yasawa Islands

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NEW ZEALAND 118 Abel Tasman NP Accommodation Akaroa Arthurs Pass Auckland Banks Peninsula Bay of Islands Bay of Plenty Canterbury Catlins Coast, The Christchurch Coromandel Peninsula Dunedin Egmont NP Farewell Spit Fiordland NP Fox Glacier Franz Josef Glacier Gisborne Greymouth Hamilton Hanmer Springs Hastings Hawkes Bay Hokitika Invercargill Kaitaia Kapiti Coast Kerikeri Kaikoura Lake Tekapo Marlborough Sounds 129 160 131 131 118 131 122 122 130 128 130 122 134 124 129 134 132 132 124 132 124 130 126 126 132 135 122 126 122 130 131 128

Little Desert National Park 71


tures * n e v d A i ij F *


Island hopping packages and passes - party, snorkel, kayak, swim and dive or just laze on pristine white sandy beaches. 5 day Bula Pass FJD$377pp

Whitsunday Adventures

Explore the superb coral reef and be stunned by colourful tropical sh at Australias Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Go diving, snorkelling, sailing, visit Reefworld, chill-out or stay on a tropical island. from AUD$189pp

under the stars

Sleep under the stars on our Great Barrier Reef pontoon. Also enjoy two fantastic days snorkelling, diving and exploring the colourful underwater world. 2 days plus 1 night under the stars experience from AUD$399pp

For info or bookings on our extensive range of packages see your travel centre or contact us: