The Big Walkabout with Sailing (Start Sydney) 4AUG
15 Apr 2013 Bernat Andreu asked
This year I will be doing the The Big Walkabout with Sailing (Start Sydney) on the 4th of August 2013!
It would be nice to know if anyone else is also doing it ;)
- new south wales
- northern territory
- south pacific
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1 Sep 2013 Bernat Andreu said
I just finished my first Contiki tour and I can say it has been a good experience but my bank savings are gone… Australia is expensive! fucking expensive! you should remember that :)
You are going to wake up very early on the morning, stay in the bus a lot and have a limited time on the stops because there is a schedule you have to follow. I recommend you to bring some earplugs so you can sleep much better in the bus!
The good thing is that you will end up having an overall view of the east coast. There is always time to come back afterwards and go to the places you would like to stay more.
The people that you will travel with is going to make the most of your trip for sure, so open your mind, have fun and enjoy the ride!
What I would bring with me:
• Cash and a working Visa to pay the optional activities (be careful with Maestro, Mastercard… they don’t always work)
• I would buy a SIM card in Australia for Internet data (they cost around 30$) cheaper than what I did!! Roaming from Spain… the bill is big, very big. You will not find wifi and if you do you will have to pay quite a lot. Don’t get Vodafone! In Australia is horrible signal. Telstra is the best or Yes Optus.
• Music and speakers to play the music at the beach or any other place.
• You can also make an insurance for the trip for illness and repatriation cost thus include snorkeling, diving, rafting, skydiving, bungee jump… so in case anything happens you are fully covered and no need to worry about anything.
• If you want to buy things, don’t put too much stuff in your luggage or it won’t fit. You can clean your clothes during the trip so do not worry too much, bring the necessary for 10/15 days in a row and you will be fine.
• Sun cream.
Let’s start explaining a little bit of my experience and the optional activities I took:
I remember arriving only 30 minutes before the start of the trip with let’s say… some jetlag, but if I could and had more time off I would definitely go visit Melbourne two or three days (I haven’t been but there you can do the shark cage) and stay one or two days in Sydney before the start of the tour and visit Bondi Beach (take bus 380 or 333 from the Circular Quay in the Harbor area) and Palm Beach (they say is the best but it’s farther away) In Sydney there is the bus 555 that is free and you can take it to go to Darling harbor for example or around the city center if you come before the tour starts.
The tour starts in Kings Cross where you will go to the Blue Mountains, nice views if its not foggy and also quite cold so bring a sweater and walking shoes for the trip. For party that night they will bring you to a normal bar to have a drink, but we decided to move because we wanted to dance a little and went to the World bar and also in front of it in an open terrace. The hotel is very close so no need to worry about taxi.
I would do the Bridge climbing at night as an extra activity, nice views of the harbor but wear some warm clothes because is winter and quite windy sometimes. Don’t drink any alcohol before! (I almost did) because they will breath analyze you. Also the Opera tour is a must where they explain you about the history of the building and you get to visit the inside, very nice.
For party that night, maybe Scuba club (I couldn’t go inside because some long funny story) or the one next to it that I don’t remember the name. When I was by myself I really liked the Ivy bar, there are many ambient zones but I really enjoyed the Ivy pool at the 4th floor. The dressing code is quite elegant but I went sporty and no problem at all. Enjoy a drink and dance!
The Surf camp is a great place (remember to turn on the heater of the room or you will freeze at night) enjoy a dinner next to the fire and play the games! (What an experience we had…) Don’t forget to go to the beach at night to see the stars and the shooting stars, it is amazing to see it. (don’t worry there are no crocodiles there) Next day (very early as usual) a great surfing lesson is waiting for you that will seem short!
Byron Bay very nice and there are good chances to spot some whales and dolphins, most of us didn’t took the kayak tour, but I wouldn’t mind having done it.
Free time to go jogging or waking down the beach and don’t forget the sunset at the beach. Dinner and night time at the 3 Cheeky Monkeys was fun.
Gold Coast you will stop at Wildlife Currumbin Sanctuary, take a picture with a Koala and go to chill with the kangaroos! I really enjoyed being around with them while they are sleeping in the floor and you can pad them. Skydiving for sure! If you haven’t done it is a must! DO NOT TAKE the night tour 4WD+dinner+walk in the forest, when our tour manager explained this we all understood something different of what it really was. Just boring for me and you can spend 100$ in a good dinner and drinks with your mates. Surfers Paradise night time… the disco that is included with the tour is good, and for the next day maybe the Irish pub or any other around… there are many so you can choose.
Brisbane you will only be there for a couple of hours so grab something to eat like a sushi roll and go around the city (bridge, artificial beach…)
Noosa I also liked a lot, go have the included dinner and go out at the same place, they put live music. After a drink or two head up to the Nomad’s hostel where there is a good party also. The taxi to the hotel will cost you around 20$
Fraser Island very nice and the resort is good, bring a flashlight and if you go to the beach be aware of dingoes. Buy drinks and start the party at the deck while watching the sunset.
The Farm is Karaoke time and learning how to use the whip! You won’t have much time there and there is nothing around to go see.
Whitsunday islands are a great two-day sailing trip that you will really like and Whitehaven beach is just amazing. Maybe you can spot some whales while sailing.
In Cairns you must do the diving or snorkeling. If you have never done diving and want to give it a try, here it is a good place. I did snorkeling and I saw the same stuff as the non-professional divers so I saved some cash. If you are a professional diver, of course you will go down more and you will love it :)
Go eat Kangaroo and get the Cairns bar crawl you will have fun.
The rafting optional was also an amazing experience that I recommend to do in the tully river.
Hope I helped you a little bit, you will enjoy that trip for sure :)
If there is anything else just message me and I will be glad to help you out! Take care!
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1 Sep 2013 Flo said
WOW! Thank you so so much for taking time to write about your experience that has helped loads! It sounds amazing, def certain on the sailing option now as it does sound great plus the sky diving too which I was unsure of. Thanks again really really appreciate it :) :)
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