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Australia

Australia Guide: Spend (Much) Less, Do (Much) More

Welcome to Australia

From the tropical colors of the Great Barrier Reef to the red dirt heart of the outback; from the deep green old growth forests of Tasmania to the pristine heights of the Snowy Mountains, with pouched marsupials and bright crested parrots and birds like no other place - Australia is a natural wonderland. 

Met with its warm, multicultural people, who have settled to become Aussies from all over the World, blended with its natural background, rich colonial and indigenous history, this place is clearly both unique and awe inspiring, like no other place on the planet. 

So, regardless of your reason for planning to be here, prepare to kick back, wear your hat, put sunscreen on your face, close your eyes, soak up the atmosphere, and come to this place called “Down Under”.

And when you wake up, after your dreamtime trip, check out your Facebook/Social share pages, pinch yourself and you might just realise that you have been thousands of miles from anywhere. 

Now back to reality, where do you start?  Just make sure you spend less and do more.

Top Things about Australia

Discover the Aboriginal heritage and wildlife-filled forests, savannahs and plateaus of Kakadu National Park or wonder at the changing colours of the sacred monolith Uluru at sunset. Relax on the impossibly white beaches of the Whitsunday Islands or trek in the devastatingly beautiful Katherine Gorge. The other attractive beaches in the country include Bondi Beach and Manly Beach in Sydney, and of course the aptly named Surfers Paradise Beach, which is located in Gold Coast, Queensland. 

Drive along the Great Ocean Road to marvel at the rocky Twelve Apostles rising from the swirling sea or take the three-day desert train from Adelaide to Darwin right through the country's red centre. These landscapes have helped to make the country famous for its beauty. 

In terms of other attractions in the country, Sydney Harbour Bridge, the widest long-span bridge in the world, has long been a tourist destination that draws people from all over the world. This attraction is not far from the Sydney Opera House, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, which means that travellers seeking a romantic evening should not have a hard time planning one. Those visitors who are in the market for a more family-oriented day can check out the several theme parks located in Gold Coast. These theme parks include Dreamworld, Movieworld and Whitewater World. The fact that so many theme parks are located in such a small amount of space is quite unique and exciting for children. Of course, no matter how old or young the visitor is, they just might get a thrill out of the Sydney Olympic Park, which is located in New South Wales. This facility was created for the summer Olympics of 2000, but it continues to host sporting events.

Australia’s Hip Cities, Neighbourhoods and Nature

The above-mentioned activities are some of the best ways for you to spend a day in Australia. But 90% of Australian’s live in the cities. So come in from the wild to sample the world-class restaurants, cafes, pubs and hotels, parks and arts in Australia's cosmopolitan cities. 

The Gold Coast is probably the most tourist-oriented city in the entire country of Australia, with many activities geared toward families and other types of travellers. The cluster of theme parks previously pointed out certainly helps to make the city a prime spot for a family vacation. Because the area is also known for its conduciveness to surfing, those with an interest in water sports cannot leave without testing out the waves. 

Sydney is considered the brashest of them all, and it plays it’s style and urban beach culture to its inhabitants as much as it does for tourists. Several of the country’s major tourist attractions are located in this urban centre, which makes sense, since it is the country’s largest. As such, this city is home to a thriving nightlife. 

Melbourne with it’s cafe’s and arts is always the competing cousin to Sydney, claiming comparative sophistication, often stealing the show with its World class events, like the Melbourne Cup that stops the nation annually, as punters and racers alike, place their bets.

Adelaide, city of Churchs ; Hobart  in Tasmania with sandstone buildings, Brisbane in Queensland and boom town Perth. Each one might win the most liveable city in the World. 

Each one displays it’s own vibrant neighbourhoods, like St Kilda, Newtown and Fremantle to name but a few.

And these great cities spread across the island continent can be just a touch away from natural wonders, as a precursor to what you may find in one of the 15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Australia.

Though not as well known to outsiders of Melbourne and Sydney cities, snow caters to the sporting traveller in winter, between 2 and 5 hours drive out of the State capitals. Check out Thredbo in the Snowy Mountains, and Falls Creek. – You may see kangaroos in the snow. 

Events

If Rome has religion, Melbourne has AFL (Aussie Rules). Every winter weekend the city grinds to a halt as teams from across Australia compete, home and away with that strange shaped ball that looks like an emu egg.

As many people around the world know, there is quite a defined sports culture in this country. For example, rugby union is one of Australia’s most popular pastimes, with the battle of national rival Australia and New Zealand battling out the Bledisloe Cup. And its bigger cousin the Australian Rugby League or NRL produces games can be seen throughout the winter in any urban centre in New South Wales and Queensland. Those interested in a different kind of sport can seek out matches taking place within Cricket Australia. There are men’s teams as well as women’s teams, and each state in the country has a squad.

There are also other events taking place regularly, such as the Big Day Out festival, which is an annual musical event occurring in all of the big cities in the country. Ten Days on the Island is another arts festival that takes place across various locales, including Tasmania. 

And let’s not forget the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, where glamour glitz and trash get their rocks off for a night of revelry in Sydney’s east, around February time.

Big bands come to the cities from overseas, and there is never a shortage of a show or entertainment in any of the capitals. This place likes to live hard, play harder.

Local Cuisine and Wine

If you desire a drink or two, or maybe three the winery’s and vineyards of Australia will not disappoint . The Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley and Barossa Valley are just a few of the major wine growing areas.

People the world over drink Australian wine which has been producing quality wine for over 30 years, and wins numerous awards each year for their efforts along the way. 

One of the oldest wine producers in the country is Penfolds, with over 160 years under its belt. They are known for using fruit from a variety of sources for its wine, helping to ensure diversity throughout its catalogue. For tours, visitors can look into making arrangements by contacting the winery directly.

The culinary culture in Australia tends to focus on freshness. Located at Sydney Harbour, Pier is a good example of this aesthetic, as seafood goes virtually from the water to the plate. This establishment has previously won the prestigious Three Hats award from the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide. But don’t stop with just fresh – Australia with it’s creative chefs, multicultural culture, abundant natural foods, can offer and blend the taste of anything from anywhere in the finest of styles.

Culture

There are several examples of stunning architecture in Australia. The previously mentioned Sydney Opera House is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has one of the most distinct designs of any performing hall in the world. Another UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne – another great city to visit –, which was completed in 1880. This building is a classic example of 19th century European-style splendour in architecture. 

Place to Stay: Australian Hotels and Accommodation

Accommodation in Australia is scattered all over the country. Those who are travelling on business or leisure can seek out five star luxury stays in the big cities and popular tourist spots. Broader alternatives for lifestyle can be had in home away from in self catering and serviced apartments, hotels, resorts, B&B , hostels and backpackers. Families or executives looking for something more affordable and spacious, for a long stay will be able to do so in one of the many apartments or cheap hotels in Australia. Many are blended with a view of the mountains or many beaches outside the cities, but the cities themselves often provide great cityscape vistas. It all depends on what type of trip is being taken.

Take a deeper look at some of the options available around the country. Here’s some areas to whet your appetite, such as Tasmania, New South Wales and Victoria.

Getting around

Driving between the big cities involves long distances.  Driving shorter distances out of the big cities can also be very rewarding with a great many scenic experiences. 

Sydney to Melbourne: 8 h 46 min (878.2 km) via M31

Sydney to Brisbane: 9 h 57 min (922.8 km) via Pacific Hwy/A1 and Pacific Motorway

Melbourne to Adelaide: 7 h 48 min (726.5 km) via National Highway A8

Top Scenic Roads and Areas to Stay in Australia

There are many more than just these drives in Australia, but this sample might just inspire you to do more.

Victoria: Great Ocean Road - 243 km starting from Torquay just outside Melbourne. The 12 Apostles is just one of the features of this fantastic open air experience.

New South Wales: Greater Blue Mountains Drive – 278 km – starting from Sydney,  to Wentworth Falls, Leura, Katoomba, Blackheath, Mt Tomah, Kurrajong and back to Sydney.  Drive up into the Heritage Listed Blue Mountains, aptly named for its blue haze, overlooking Sydney in the distance. 

Queensland: Cairns to Daintree Rainforest, 68kms - stunning drive up the coast and into one of the oldest forests on the planet dating back to the dinosaurs with plants and an environment to match.

Western Australia: Margaret River Wine Region – 3 hrs south of Perth and only 110 kms north to south. Discover the breathtaking and diverse scenery and maybe stay in one of the many places on offer. 

Combine accommodation, driving and car rental

At Cheaperthanhotels and Cheaperthancars we have a wide range of car rental discounts at convenient locations and accommodation to meet all budgets and taste. We really do believe that the less you spend, the more you will have to do when you get there.

Your Cheaperthanhotels Team