Saturday, June 9, 2018

14 Days in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth)

Travel when still able.
Living life to its fullest.
And that is what I am doing right now.
Last year I had my Japan tour for 13 days.
This tour is 14 days and I will be visiting 5 key cities in Australia.
Next month, the Europe tour for 23 days.

Day 1

Thanks again to Cebu Pacific for the discounted fare and I was able to have a direct flight from Manila to Sydney. The key is you have to book at least 6 months in advance. Prior to the booking, I did not yet have my visa but I was courageous enough to book it at least 9 months in advance. Fortunately, my travel agency has always facilitated my visa (Japan, Korea, China, Australia and Schengen and they are always multiple entry). Thank you Belle Horizon! =)

Belle Horizon  - 0949 994 9310 / 02 251 7099 / 02 688 8068 / 02 404 9628

First stop in the tour is Sydney. Good thing I arrived in Sydney past 10 am and it was easy for me to find my ride to my hostel. I boarded a shuttle bus (RedytoGo) to my hostel. Fare was 22 AUD. Going back to the airport was a lot cheaper (15 AUD). I arrived at the hostel and paid 76 AUD for the hostel for 2 nights stay. The name of the hostel is Jackaroo Hostel!

Tip - Never exchange your US dollar at the Sydney Airport. The exchange is not that good. I exchange my 1,000 USD and the exchange was only 1,052 AUD. While in Melbourne, 1,000 USD is 1,288 AUD. See the difference!

Prior to going to Sydney, my former student Kaye told me that she is working in Sydney and I just have to inform her of the exact date of my arrival and I did.

After check-in, I went to Hyde Park and spent a couple of hours at the park. 

Along the way, I also visited the St. Mary's Church
Thanks to the tip given by Kaye for my short tour.

After the stroll at the park, I went back to the hostel and asked for directions on how to go to Sydney Opera House. This time I had to buy the Sydney Opal Card. Minimum amount of the load is 10 AUD.  

From Kings Cross (Platform 1), I boarded the train going to Town Hall (2 stops). And then another train using Platform 6 going to Circular Quay (2 stops). And then walked to the Sydney Opera House. Going home, I boarded at Platform 1 and alighted at Town Hall and then boarded the train at Platform 5 and alighted at Kings Cross.

From the Sydney Opera House, you can have a majestic view of the Harbour Bridge

Good thing I had the perfect timing for my tour since it was the Vivid Light Sydney (May 14 - June 14 every year). There I met Kaye and Aison and they treated me to a sumptuous Thai dinner. Thanks Kaye and Aison! =)

Day 2

Weather in Sydney  was very sunny that day but it rained in the afternoon.

There was only one thing to do that day and that was the Big Bus City Tour or the Hop on Hop Off Tour in Sydney. Fee is 55 AUD and the there are 2 parts of the tour, namely the City Bus Tour (90 minutes) and the Bondi Beach Tour (90 minutes).  

The best part of the tour was going to Bondi Beach!

I did the City Tour in the morning and the Bondi Beach Tour in the afternoon. Good thing one of the stops of the tour is the Kings Cross or just about the door of my hostel.

I slept at the hostel after the 2 tours and went back to Sydney Opera House using the Big Bus Tour ride (its good for 24 hours). One of the stops of the City tour was the Sydney Opera House. And marveled anew at the sight.

And again, I enjoyed the Vivid Sydney Lights

Day 3
Melbourne (my favorite city in Australia)

This time I took the JetStar flight to Melbourne. 

Reaching the Melbourne Airport, SkyBus was the ride to the City. 
Fare was only 19.45 AUD.

It was a bit easy finding the hostel - Greenhouse Backpacker!
I paid 99 AUD for a 3-night stay. Thanks to for all my accommodations.

This time the food was mainly Italian dishes!
The scenery, the people, the food, and the attractions are totally different in Melbourne.
You can eat anytime at a variety of choices in the city and you even have your free transport using the tram in the key spots of the city. Hooray to Melbourne!

Day 4 

I have to see the city and the best way to do it is to have again the Hop-on, Hop-Off Tour. But this time I paid only 35 AUD. Again, it is composed of 2 tours, namely - the City Tour and St. Kilda Beach Tour.

The city of Melbourne was fascinating and breathtaking!

You will definitely love the city!

One of the best stops is at the China Town.
I took my lunch there inside a mall for 8 AUD (eat all you can).
After the tour, I went back to the hostel and packed my belongings. 

This time I have to meet my cousins who are working in Melbourne. I was fetched by my cousin Rona at the Flinders Street Station and we went to Queen Victoria Market for our lunch.

At Queen Victoira Market, we were united after so many years and I slept at their home at the suburb.

Arriving at their home, Momon and I consumed Corona beers and had steak and lechon for our pulutan! And also cheese cake! =)

Day 5

We went  back to Kilda Beach and toured the famous Brighton Bathing Box.

Thank you cousins Momon and Rona for Melbourne! =)

Day 6

Boarding the Tiger Air flight, I arrived in Brisbane. This time I boarded the Con-X-ion shuttle bus to my hostel. Fare is 19 AUD.

Initially, I was booked at Joe's Backpackers for only 76 AUD but after seeing it, I decided to transfer to its sister hostel - City Backpackers and paid 99 AUD for a 3-night stay.

From the window of my room, the view was superb!

The view was at its best at night!
Honestly, I liked the hostel but not the city.
I came from Melbourne and Melbourne already set the standards for Australia.
Good thing the hostel was near at Coles and the movie house!

Day 7
Gold Coast

Gold Coast is a must-see city in Australia!

From Brisbane Transit Centre, I boarded the train to Gold Coast. The fare is 15.80 AUD. I alighted at Helensvale and then took the tram to Surfers Paradise.

Using the tram, I alighted at Surfers Paradise and went immediately to the tallest building in Australia - SkyPoint. 

 I paid 25 AUD for the entrance and it was worth it!

Again, it is the tallest in Australia and the 6th tallest in the world!

The Surfers Paradise is the best spot in Gold Coast!

Day 8
Still in Brisbane

The best thing to do in Brisbane is to go to the Koala Sanctuary.

And so I had to go to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. I booked the tour for 31 AUD (discounted rate, should be 35 AUD). That morning I went to Bus Stop 4 at Coronation Drive at Cribb Street, Milton Road. I boarded Route 445 and paid 5.80 AUD. Bus ride was good only for 33 minutes.

I paid 19 AUD for holding the Koala bear for a couple of minutes for this photo op.

You have to buy the 2 AUD feed for the Kangaroo before feeding them.

Day 9

Actually, the flight to Perth via Virgin Australia was 5:30 pm and I just roamed South Brisbane in the entire morning then went at the airport past 1 pm.

Reaching Perth after 6-hour flight, I was fetched at the airport by Karlo and he was the one who brought me to my stay - Brittania on Williams. Fee was 125 AUD for 5 days.

Day 10
Northbridge, Perth

The following morning I toured the city by walking and went to the Visitor's Information and asked for directions. They have the City Bus Tour and the walking tours.

London Court became my instant favorite to hang out.

Day 11

Good thing Perth also has the Big Bus City Tour. I paid 40 AUD for this tour and again it was worth it! The best stops are Optus Stadium, Perth Mint and Kings Park!

 Best stop for me is at Kings Park.

In the afternoon, I went to Kelmscott to see my relatives, namely: Kuya Boy, Ate Marissa, John John, Karlo and Kat-Kat.

As always, the night will not be complete without the drinking spree of Budweiser and Asahi!

Day 12
Still in Perth (it's 5 days)

Kuya Boy and Ate Marissa were kind enough to tour me around the outskirts of Perth.

First stop was Fremantle!

Fremantle is the best spot to buy souvenirs and do tree hugging!

Next stop was Cottesloe Beach and then Scarboro Beach.

Final stop was at Hillarys Harbour!

Thank you Kuya Boy and Ate Marissa! 

Day 13
in the making =)

Things to know about Australia
1. You can enjoy a variety of food from Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Italian etc.
2. You must have the cards for transportation using the bus and train (in Sydney it is called the Opal Card).
3. You will use tissue papers at their toilets.
4. They value the pedestrian lane, so use it.Us the best mode of transport - train.
5. Australians are very helpful especially when you are lost.
6. Water is a bit expensive. It ranges from 2-4 dollars. The one dollar is normally at Coles.
7. Coffee is a bit expensive. One dollar coffee is in 7-11.
8. Breakfast is normally coffee and sandwich.
9. They have four seasons. Bring the proper clothing.
10. Apply for a visa at least 3 month in advance.

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