This guide to Australia travel destinations tells it how it is - after all it is about your experiences and adventures!
Please tell us something about your experiences of travel within
Australia? Whether you were backpacking or enjoying a luxury travel
vacation we would love to hear about it via the form below. If you have a
favourite photo or if you were sketching as you travelled, please
upload that too.
The best photos or sketches/paintings/drawings that have an Australian character (ie landscape or lifestyle) will be made into an australia travel guide slide-show for all to enjoy.
Did you have a hilarious experience that you would like to share?
A friend of mine, many years ago, was travelling with her husband across the Nullarbor Plain at night, their trusty caravan following along behind. My friend was tired so she persuaded her husband that, as it was such a flat, straight road, it would be OK to sleep in the caravan for a couple of hours.
Now this is strictly a "No -no" so don't ever do it. They knew the rules but took the risk (after all, who would know?). Some time later the husband stopped for a call of nature, his wife, my friend, waking up and deciding to follow suit.
Imagine her horror, as she watched from behind a bush, to see the
vehicle and caravan pulling off and fading into the distance, despite
her hysterical screams!
So she did the only thing that she could, waving down an enormous freight truck (they are called road trains here). The driver would have been surprised to see a frantic nightie-clad woman pulling him over, don't you think?
But that was nothing to the astonishment on her husband's face when the truck driver overtook him and he saw his wife waving from the passenger's seat! This is a true story but I understood why, when when word of the incident got out, my friends wished to remain anonymous!
No photo, sorry.
Planning your Australia travel destinations can be an interesting
experience, even before you leave home. Become a virtual traveller so
that you know whether you would like to explore the Australian outback,
scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef or if your interests are more
cultural so that you head for Sydney Opera House, art galleries, museums
Perhaps you would like a balance between city life and explorations of the Great Southern Region or of Northern Australia. Cruise Sydney harbour and visit the opera one week, go fishing, find aboriginal rock paintings, camp in the many National Parks or laze on a tropical island beach the next?
Unless you live in Australia you will need to allow plenty of
time to arrange your passport and then an Australia travel visa, which
may be for a short term (up to three months) or longer term (up to
twelve months). It is also possible to organise a business visa, which
allows repeat visits for business purposes or a work visa for young
people, subject to various conditions, of course. This can all be
arranged online – more information at the Department of Immigration and
the Australian Visa Bureau websites.
Travel in Australia is made easy for visitors because of the usually high quality of services on offer and the friendliness of the people. The roads are generally good so hiring a car or motor home makes good sense, but keep in mind that distances between towns are great. It may take you a while to get used to driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, too! Air services reduce travelling time of course and train travel in Australia could also be an option.
Most good maps of Australia show distances between towns and
indicate the condition of roads. Hire vehicles, including motor homes,
are not permitted to drive off the bitumen unless they are
four-wheel-drives. Even then, if you do decide to go ‘off the beaten
track’ be sure to take plenty of water, food and petrol as well as spare
tyres and a satellite phone in case of break-downs or medical problems,
as mobile phone reception is mostly limited to town areas. It is also a
good idea to tell a responsible person where you are going and to check
in with them on your return.
There is also the choice of travelling to your Australia travel destinations by sea. There are some wonderful cruises on offer, although they tend to be rather expensive. On my personal wish-list is a cruise from Cairns in North Queensland, across ‘the top’ to Broome in Western Australia.
Freighter travel in Australia was, in years gone by, reasonably common but is very difficult to find these days.
However, last year I had a most enjoyable trip on the cargo boat, Trinity Bay, from Cairns to Thursday Island in the Torres Straits. It was fascinating to be part of a working boat ruled by tidal movements and the amount of freight to be loaded or unloaded at various remote ports or at sea. One dark night we met a 'mother ship' in the middle of nowhere and took on board dozens of huge containers of frozen prawns destined for southern and overseas markets (throw another prawn on the barbie?).
A highlight of our trip was a tour that we took to the tip of Cape York and on to the site of the first European settlement in the area, Somerset. Strong ocean currents separate the ruins and sad graveyard from Albany Island, a short distance away, where a pearling farm now operates.
It seems to me that deciding on Australia travel destinations
involves an element of discovery but also evokes a sense of history as
one explores abandoned gold mining settlements, turtle soup factories or
whole townships left to the destruction of the elements.
Stories are everywhere and one can easily imagine pioneers pushing heavy wooden wheelbarrows laden with their possessions, food and water to the gold-fields, hundreds of miles away or the horror of floating in tropical seas after your ship had hit a submerged rock or was attacked by pirates.
Australia is an ancient country, as you will appreciate when you fly over thousands of kilometres of interlocking dry river beds tracing pathways across the land and reminding one of the song-lines by which aboriginal people travelled the land in the footsteps of their ancestors’ dreaming.
But there is also plenty of luxury on the Australia travel destinations list for those so inclined, from five-star resorts to luxury camping, bed-and-breakfasts and everything in between. Be pampered with a massage in rain-forest settings, enjoy fine dining under the stars then dance the night away – or curl up with a good book. The choice is yours!
Each state has its own government funded tourism body that you could investigate. For a start see the Tourism Australia site, also the Eco-tourism one. Your travel in Australia is more likely to be enjoyable and fulfilling if you have done a reasonable amount of research. Who knows, we may meet up on one of your adventures somewhere in this ‘ wide brown land’?
It would be of great interest and help if you are able to pass on your experiences of Australia travel destinations to first-time visitors. Please share your good times, funny stories, and any warnings.
There's room for a photo too! All photos accepted, which are clearly of Australia or some facet of Australian life, will be made into a web slide-show for all to enjoy.
If you would like to ask questions about Australia travel destinations I
am sure that someone will be able to provide up-to-the-minute
information to help you.
This is the page to share your stories with other travellers and would-be visitors. We would love to hear of your adventures.