Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific

Discussions regarding holidays in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific region.
We simply overpaid the credit card so it was well in credit and used ATM's for cash as we needed it on a Nationwide card it worked well. As for excursions most companies want cash, we have found this with Travelsphere & Titan. Nobody seems to use travellers cheques anymore
Hi Glen
Any more updates on Australia??
we are due to go in two weeks-so any more info would be useful
Does anyone know the cheap way to call england via a mobile from the following countries;
New Zealand;
Australia and
Bangkok (thailand)
hi everyone.
sorry for taking a while to reply.

with regards to Cairns. The Hotel. An old colonial style building, only 2-minutes from the esplanade. Met up with friends, so did not eat in the restaurant here, but food did look fantastic - if you want to spend a night at the hotel. Otherwise plenty of bars, restaurants & takeaways, all very close to the hotel. One of my favourites is 'The Cock & Bull', about a 15-minute walk from the hotel, but well worth it. good food, beer and a great atmosphere (always packed with locals up until 9.30-10.00pm), and then seems to attract fellow travellers..

As for the excursions:-

Kuranda. not to be missed. a fantastic day trip. travelling on sky rail and train to the market up at kuranda. whilst there pay a visit to the koala gardens (hold & have your picture taken with a koala), feed the kangaroo's, also worth a stop at the butterfly gardens & birdworld.

the included barrier reef trip is always a great excursion (and it's included in the holiday price), take a boat/catamaran out to the reef. we spent the day at moore reef. don a wetsuit and swim with the fish, sharks and other marine creatures, and gaze in amazement at the coral.

Daintree Rainforest. Did not go on this excursion this year. Did it back in 2008, and although it was a fairly good day out, i personally did not think it offered value for money. (others did disagree), so guess it's a personal choice..

there are plenty of other excursions available, so take a look at the brochures, and pay a visit to the information centre located at the esplanade - where the boats depart..

Sydney. Travelodge Wynward. Located near The rocks, The Harbour Bridge & Sydney Opera House. Has a booking desk at reception, and plenty of leaflets to browse through. So much to see in Sydney, you'd need months to see everything.

Trip includes a morning sight-seeing tour, taking in the main sights, and giving you some bearings. Best place to take your pictures is at Miss Macquaries Chair, with the backdrop of the Opera House & Harbour Bridge behind you. Taste a pie-floater at the world famous Harry's Cafe de Wheels. Overlook Sydney from the Sydney Tower and take a leisurely stroll around The Rocks area.

Excursions:-Blue Mountains. A great day trip, with fantastic views. See the Three Sisters rock formation, look out and see the blue haze coming off the eucalyptus tree's. take the skyway overlooking the gorge, and take a ride on the scenic railway - the steepest incline railway in the world.

Featherdale wildlife park. see kangaroo's, koala's, dingo's, and all other sorts of animals native to Australia.

Take a ferry over to Manly, or pay a visit to Taronga Zoo.
Get together with friends or other travellers and charter a helicopter, and take a flight over the Opera House, The Bridge and the beaches.

You'll never starve or die of thirst in Sydney. There's pubs, clubs, cafe's fine restaurants everywhere. Loads of great pubs in The Rocks area - some with nightly entertainment. Numerous rstaurants - don't be afraid to ask the locals for recommendations (everyone in Sydney's friendly).

Bangkok. Royal Princess Hotel. A good hotel with good food, and nightly entertainment. You will need a taxi to take in the night markets of Patpong.(approx. a 15-minute drive, but should cost no more than £1-£2 for the taxi ride. BEWARE. if your travelling alone - find other people who are going to Patpong, and take a taxi their and back with them. If your alone, taxi drivers (including the limousine drivers at the hotel) will try to take you to the seedier side of Bangkok, and hawkers will grab your hand and try to persuade you into their 'clubs'..

Excursions. Bangkok is full of temples. So once you've seen a few you've pretty much seen them all. this said, some of them are spectacular, so it's well worth the included trip.

.Bridge on the River Kwai. Didn't really have time to do this trip, but did it back in 2000, and would highly recommend it.

Dinner onboard Cruise. Another trip i did not go on. This was through choice. Im not a big fan of Thai food. Others who went on the excursion said they really enjoyed it. So hopefully if anyone who was on the same trip is looking in, perhaps they could add some info..

Thonburi Klongs Tour. Everyone who went on this excursion really enjoyed it. See how people live on the river and pass temples and museums well relaxing on the cruise down the Chao Phraya River.

I hope that i have helped you all in some way, and hope you all have a fantastic trip. Don't forget to post your pictures, when you get home..

not too sure about using mobiles from the countries you've listed.
may be worth speaking to your network supplier about 'passport roaming'.

otherwise, a much cheaper option is to buy a phone card in each country.
they only cost about 5-dollars, and you'd be surprised, just how much talktime you get..

or i remember somebody mentioning buying a mobile phone in the country your visiting, and topping that up.
(don't really know much about this - but definitely worth asking the question.

best wishes,

P.S. :whoops

forgot to mention the Sydney Bridgeclimb.
think it cost about $200Aus, but worth every penny. (and includes entry to the museum/lookout)
(just rememer they do breath test you before the climb, and no refunds are given if you fail).
you can't take your own camera with you, but the guide/s take plenty of pictures for you.
they cost about $15/each.
Just read your full report- sounds like it was a fabulous holiday. Would love to do a similar tour but can't get away for time needed unfortunately. :(
Just followed Glenns reports and have to say there spot on.Me and the wife did the Go Touring trip in Jan/Feb this year.We've done several escorted tours in USA/Canada with other companies and I have to say Go Touring are as good if not better.Apart from the price difference the breakfast included arrangement is an absolute winner.The only minor thing I was'nt keen on is that on the NZ leg of the trip it is a driver/guide rather than having two people.This sounded to be common practice in NZ.As Ive said Ive been on several tours and your bound to get some people who dont/wont gel,but on the G.T.trip everyone joined in without any problems,which is brilliant considering your living with strangers for a month. All in all I would thoroughly recommend Go Touring.

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