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===>Australia/New Zealand trip. Advice??

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Old 11-16-2011, 10:45 PM   #1
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===>Australia/New Zealand trip. Advice??

Hey all,

I'm traveling to Sydney and Auckland for work mid to late December through New Years. I know it will be later spring, early summer, and it does rain frequently.

I don't really travel much, and this will be my first time in both countries (Im 22 yrs old if that matters)

-Plenty of sunblock and bug spray

-I do have my passport in order

-I plan on buying a SIM chip in Sydney

-I need some sort of E-VISA???? Explain pls...

-Get some $$$$ exchanged from the bank

-Have a 32 gb chip in my camera with 3 extra batteries

-Packing a suit for work,casual clothes, 4 pairs of shoes (Flip flops, dress shoes, trail running shoes, sneakers)

-I am an EDC gear head so I'm trying to figure out what I can/cannot bring (knife [fixed and folding], multitool, saber red, plus GO-BAG gear (first aid kit, portable pharmacy etc...)) Any laws, rules, I need to know about?

-I haven't been to the gym since early June b/c of injury. I have been since cleared to return since August, but have been lazy. Planning on doing 4 weeks of HIIT (High intensity interval training) before the trip to get back into fighting shape.

I just need some advice on what to bring, how to prep well, on what I should expect.

Thank you!!
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:47 AM   #2
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This may be too late to reply, but ill give the info i can.

SIM Chip-You may need a quad band phone, most smart phones these days are quad band, if not you can get one in sydney for about 50$.

VISA-Can be purchased at customs in sydney for about 35$ unless that price has changed since I've been there.

$ Exchange-No need just call your bank and tell them you are traveling. I just used the ATMs there and it automatically calculates exchange rate and gives you AU $

Gear-A lot of American self defense stuff is considered illegal there, do your homework before packing that stuff. Personally I would not chance it.

For the most part Sydney is safe. They had a lot of drug issues though. Don't go to bar and order a Fosters, you will be criticized. Victorian Bitter is AU version of Bud Light. Good place to party is Kings Cross, Sydney. Keep this in mind waitresses DO NOT work for tips. So don't expect good service you almost have to be an asshole to get what you want. No need to rent a car, I did that and it never moved because there subway system is very good and cheap. If you like to play Pool learn there rules they are very different from ours. Trust me on this, THEY TAKE POOL VERY SERIOUS! When you go to a bar they will have one Q per table because otherwise it will be used as a weapon when they argue over pool matches.

Other than that its just another America with accents.

I this helps any.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:45 AM   #3
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Yo, how was the trip man? I really want to go to Australia soon.
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:37 PM   #5
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Hey guys. I got back January 1st. I'll lay out some pictures and some comments for ya as requested.

First. In Australia, get ready to get fucked over by the cost of everything. Exchange rate right now is 1 USD to 0.96 AUSD which is pretty much what I had to deal with.

For example:
a $5 footlong from subway is $7.50 in Australia
$3.80 for a 16oz bottle of coke
$1.80 for a can of soda
$8.50 for a big mac

Also, if you can buy it in the states, don't bother buying it in AUS. I was talking to people at a cafe about hiking and they told me they purchase all their gear from the US and just have it shipped to AUS b/c is its a lot cheaper.

My same pair of Salomon GTX hiking boots I got for $160 cost $340 there.
My Northface Medium duffle $110 here was double the price there.

Their cost of living is high, but their minimum wage is $16/hr is you're under 18 yrs old, and $25/hr if you're over the age of 18.

So I stayed in Sydney overlooking Darling Harbor. It is a perfect location because everything you can walk to in Sydney. Seriously, walk in Sydney. Its not that the taxi's are expenisive, its the fact that is TRAFFIC all the time so you get reamed in the cost through time, not distance.

Seafood is the cheapest thing there. Lobster was $7/kg
In order of increasing prices:
Seafood<Beef<Chicken<Lamb<Pork

Our Winter is their Summer, but when I went, it was cloudy, a touch rainy, and cool. Mid 70's all day. The sun did peak out for a bit on the last day and it got warm. It's the humidity that fucks you over. Wear plenty of sunblock.

Money exchange:
-Each of my family members got $200 AUSD from our bank before going, and exchanged the rest once in AUS. There isn't any commission fees at the exchange, but the rates do fluctuate from place to place. I found the rates best in the malls.

Do get your EVISA before going, it does save time at the airport. You can also buy it at the airport.
Fly Virgin Australia. We flew coach and we had individual touch screen TV's with 600+ hrs of movies and shows, no internet though. The service is top notch and they give you free wine with every meal, even in coach.

Do bring an unlocked GSM phone to use to communicate. I thought my cell phone was unlocked, it wasn't and T-Mobile wasn't every helpful at all. They said it would take them 60 days to unlock my phone. Fuck them. My brother had to buy me a phone, and they are expensive. I got the shitty senior citizen phone with the big ass buttons for $130 and that was the cheapest.

When you go to get your sim chip, don't go to vodaphone or a cell phone store. Go to an electronics store. JB HIFI or DICK SMITH are very prevalent there, but DICK SMITH had the best service and selection. You buy a $2 SIM, load it up with $30 worth of credit and that gives you 5gb data and $500 flex credit. It was free call and txt to an AUS #, but cost $4/min to call the states which is deducted from your flex credit. The YES OPTUS brand had the best package deal and coverage. 3G is the best coverage you're gonna get.

I visited the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Bridge, botanical gardens, martime museum, etc.. but what I found most impressive were the malls. 7 stories of just massive shopping covering several city blocks. Think of Crystals mall in Las Vegas by the Aria and make it 7 stories tall. The food was amazing, and they sure love their coffee.

Any specific questions, just shoot.
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:39 PM   #6
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Super jealous man! I really want to go to Australia!
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacoIII View Post
Super jealous man! I really want to go to Australia!
If you wanna save some money, go to Vancouver, Canada instead. I got the same vibe as if I was back in VC.

What made the city beautiful was the prepping for the Olympics. It's almost as if they had the same designer to update the city's looks.
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:01 AM   #8
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Thanks for the detailed info. Vancouver is on my list of destinations too. That one should be easy though, Australia's expensive, far, and has to be a longer vacation. Were people friendly? Does the surrounding look similar to the states? Are there any dirty parts? It looks like it's super clean everywhere.
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