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143: Australia Tips and Advice for Travellers

Gary Bembridge's Tips For Travellers

Release Date: 06/30/2014

I Test Oceania's New Ship To See Why Cruisers Are So Unhappy (Podcast #488) show art I Test Oceania's New Ship To See Why Cruisers Are So Unhappy (Podcast #488)

Gary Bembridge's Tips For Travellers

Oceania Cruises is one of my all-time favourite cruise lines, and so I was incredibly excited to try their new class of ships. Until I did. I went on Vista, the first of this new class, and despite many great things, that I will tell you about, there is (for me anyway, and some others I spoke to) one deal breaker that means I will be sticking to their older ships unless something changes. Become a Tips For Travellers Patron: and get exclusive Patron-only content, downloads and livestreams Visit my Tips For Travellers YouTube: 

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So Many Caribbean Cruisers STILL Get These 5 Things Wrong (Podcast #487) show art So Many Caribbean Cruisers STILL Get These 5 Things Wrong (Podcast #487)

Gary Bembridge's Tips For Travellers

I’ve just returned from back-to-back Caribbean cruises on two very different ships, the massive 6,000 passenger Symphony of the Seas and the smaller 1,200 passenger Oceania Vista. And on both, despite their dramatic differences, I was amazed how many people were still getting the same five things wrong that I’ve seen on every Caribbean cruise I’ve done over the years. I want to warn you about them, so you can avoid them. Become a Tips For Travellers Patron: and get exclusive Patron-only content, downloads and livestreams Visit my Tips For Travellers YouTube: 

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Too Many Cruisers Are Missing Out On These Incredible Journeys. Are You? (Podcast #486) show art Too Many Cruisers Are Missing Out On These Incredible Journeys. Are You? (Podcast #486)

Gary Bembridge's Tips For Travellers

Anyone close to cruising knows that cruise lines are incredibly involved with trains and train travel. Some even own and operate them, including some of the most famous and iconic ones, as you will hear. That’s why they really want us to do three things: book train travel before cruises, during cruises as excursions, and after the cruise. Welcome aboard. I'm Gary Bembridge, helping you to get cruising right, including those train trips and excursions your cruise line really wants us to do and why. Become a Tips For Travellers Patron: and get exclusive Patron-only content, downloads and...

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5 Cruises You Should Stay Away From These Days. And Why (Podcast #485) show art 5 Cruises You Should Stay Away From These Days. And Why (Podcast #485)

Gary Bembridge's Tips For Travellers

I told my friends not to book the cruise as it was one that I keep warning cruisers to stay well clear of as they almost always disappoint. But they insisted and sadly, three days before they were due to depart, what I feared would happen did. It was cancelled. I’m Gary Bembridge and I’m here to warn you about this and 5 cruises I suggest you NEVER book, along with tips of what to do instead - or how to reduce your risk if you really do want to do them. Become a Tips For Travellers Patron: and get exclusive Patron-only content, downloads and livestreams Visit my Tips For Travellers...

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I Put The 5 Leading First Class I Put The 5 Leading First Class "Ship-In-Ships" To The Test (Podcast #484)

Gary Bembridge's Tips For Travellers

Although most cruise reviewers say there are five, there are strictly speaking only two cruise lines that truly have a “ship-within-a-ship”. A fully self-contained world where passengers paying at least $500 per person a night for a suite are given the special entry card to a door that lets them step out of the regular cruise ship and into an exclusive VIP (Very Important Passenger) one. I have stayed on all 5 of them though and review and rank them. Become a Tips For Travellers Patron: and get exclusive Patron-only content, downloads and livestreams Visit my Tips For Travellers...

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I Cruise Silversea To See If Its New Owners Have RUINED It (Podcast #483) show art I Cruise Silversea To See If Its New Owners Have RUINED It (Podcast #483)

Gary Bembridge's Tips For Travellers

Four years ago, Royal Caribbean, best known for huge, good value resort ships, surprised many by buying Silversea known for ultra-luxury small ship cruising. Having cruised on it before the takeover, I decided I should return to see if the online reviews from other pre-takeover cruisers saying things like, "Not the same Silversea” and “Before it was sold, we thought Silversea was superb, well run, with delicious food. Not now” were right or not. So, I booked myself on Silver Spirit for a two-week cruise, and this is what I found. Become a Tips For Travellers Patron: and get exclusive...

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5 Things You Won't Be Able To Do On Cruises This Year! (Podcast #482) show art 5 Things You Won't Be Able To Do On Cruises This Year! (Podcast #482)

Gary Bembridge's Tips For Travellers

There are five things I took for granted last year as a cruiser that have unexpectedly disappeared this year, the first massive one I experienced first-hand on a recent cruise. I was on the first leg of Silversea Silver Spirit’s 62-night Grand Voyage from Cape Town to Athens via the Seychelles, Dubai, and the Suez Canal. Find out what that was and the 4 others. Become a Tips For Travellers Patron: and get exclusive Patron-only content, downloads and livestreams Visit my Tips For Travellers YouTube: 

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6 Things 6 Things "Polite" Passengers Do That Drive Cruise Crew Crazy! (Podcast #481)

Gary Bembridge's Tips For Travellers

I used to think of myself as a considerate cruise passenger, trying to be polite and help make the crews’ jobs simpler, easier, and more pleasant. But I’ve had to reappraise what I was doing after a crew member discreetly told me on this cruise that I am on that some were having the opposite effect, and could get them into trouble with their boss, affect their ability to get a promotion, and even whether their contract would get renewed. Surprised by this, I asked the cruise director, waiters, shore excursion staff, guest services, guest entertainers and speakers, and of course my...

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I Put Cunard's Controversial Class-Based Cruising To The Test (Podcast #480) show art I Put Cunard's Controversial Class-Based Cruising To The Test (Podcast #480)

Gary Bembridge's Tips For Travellers

Cunard has the reputation of being the most class-based cruise line sailing today, keeping alive the tradition of grand old ocean liners from the Titanic era had of giving First-Class passengers, or what Cunard now call “The Grills”, a more rounded and top-notch experience vastly superior to that of all other guests.But is that the reality. I reveal what it is really like and why Become a Tips For Travellers Patron: and get exclusive Patron-only content, downloads and livestreams Visit my Tips For Travellers YouTube: 

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So Many Repositioning Cruisers Get These 5 Things Wrong (Podcast #480) show art So Many Repositioning Cruisers Get These 5 Things Wrong (Podcast #480)

Gary Bembridge's Tips For Travellers

Cruise lines charge less per day for repositioning cruises than ANY of their other cruises, making them some of the most inexpensive and appealing to many cruisers. But I’ve met so many people on them discovering too late that being inexpensive alone is not a good reason for doing them, as they’d been caught out or fallen into some traps. The same ones I see repeatedly. Become a Tips For Travellers Patron: and get exclusive Patron-only content, downloads and livestreams Visit my Tips For Travellers YouTube:   

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

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Highlights of the show includes:

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

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

Some observations:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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