It’s Australia, mate!

Australia trip - Sydney - Sydney Harbor YHA - Australia banner

‘Hey, there’s a promo in Garuda to Australia! Let’s watch Australian Open. The price is really a bargain.’

‘Hey why don’t we start it from Sydney then go to Melbourne, so we fly back from Melbourne?’

That’s something myself and Yudhi talked about in April 2012. Yes, it was a long time ago. Even Yudhi got a better deal as he could divide the payment into 3 installments by using his credit card :o)) FYI, the price was almost half compare to the regular price! Plus it’s a direct flight. Plus we got the 20kg baggage free. Plus we got meal and the service! Ahumm … 😉

How about the flight from Sydney to Melbourne? Well, luckily Australia has budget flight, so we chose Tiger Airways. We bought an additional of 20kg baggage, just in case we needed it.

Australia trip - Sydney - The official Sydney guide

The official Sydney Guide

We still had many months to go to prepare until January 2013, especially the budget (look at the exchange rate here AUD1 = IDR10,050 per 25 January. It’s even higher than the USD. Yikes!), and the itinerary. Ehm … the itinerary? We planned it in a very last minute haha! In this trip, we didn’t want to exhaust ourselves with so many activities in a day, and it should be flexible. We just wanted to enjoy this as this would be my first Australian trip (third time for Yudhi). As we moviegoers too, we squeezed in the plan to watch movies!

How about the visa? I (with my family) did apply for Australian visa a few years ago using a travel agent, but apparently it took a very long time to process it until we had to cancel our trip. This time, I applied it by myself. Previously Yudhi also applied the visa by himself, and based on his experience, it only took a few days to get the result! So we applied the visa on 14 December 2012, and we got the result on 19 December 2012. You can either asked them to send the notification by SMS (with a fee), or check at the website (of course this one is free), to see whether the visa process has finished or not. The result? Well, we couldn’t check the result online though. By the way, to apply the visa, we needed to submit the visa application to the representative of Australian Embassy in Plaza ABDA (Plaza Asia) 22nd floor. The difference between the new visa and the old visa is the visa itself. Now they don’t glue it on the page of your passport. They just give you a piece of paper that you should bring along when you travel to Australia.

Australia trip - Melbourne - Melbourne Central YHA

Melbourne Central YHA

Finding a place to stay was another thing that we should take care long time before January, but still we booked the place in December haha! We did many research and asking peoples about the places in Sydney and Melbourne. We went to Agoda, Airbnb, and many hotels/hostels website, and finally we decided to stay in YHA (Youth Hostel Association)! I did stay in YHA when I visited China, and it’s a nice place to stay.

There are a lot of YHA in Sydney, but we chose the one in The Rocks area, which is Sydney Harbour YHA.

Why?

It’s easy. The view from the rooftop was great, it was built on the top of archaeological site, and the location is quite strategic 🙂

How about in Melbourne?

There are only 2 YHA in Melbourne, but Melbourne Central has a suitable location for our plan!

Well, one of many things that I love in Australia is their transportation system. We can just use their train, tram, or bus … or even just walk! We also didn’t rent a car during this trip.

Sydney and Melbourne use two different ticket systems for their transportation.

Australia trip - Melbourne - myki Visitor Pack

myki Visitor Pack

For Sydney, they use the ticket that is called (in general) MyMulti. The fares for this ticket is vary depending on the zone that you need, but this card is great for people that come to Sydney in a short period. They have ticket that is called MyMulti1. ‘1’ in here means zone One, and that’s enough for us that didn’t travel far from the city. It already covers all the public transports train, bus, and even ferry.

As we used train from airport to the city, and we planned to leave Sydney from the airport too within 7 days, so we bought the one-week GatePass. It’s just like a return-ticket 🙂

Both of the tickets can be bought in the ticketing locket at the train station in the airport.

For Melbourne, they use another ticket system called myki. We bought the myki Visitor Pack where you can get the pre-loaded myki card with value of $8, a map, plenty of vouchers, and a small wallet 🙂

Different with Sydney; from Melbourne Airport to the city, we used the bus, called SkyBus that took us from Airport to the Southern Cross Station.

There are several telecommunication providers in Australia, and one of them is Optus. They have a prepaid package called $2 days. So with $2 day you can get unlimited voice call, SMS/MMS, and mobile internet within Australia. This is really suitable for us that went there for a short period, and we could get this in the airport. This package is for smartphone (non-BB). Thanks to @KartuPos , that mentioned about this a week before our departure 🙂

And now, let’s talk about the weather in Sydney and Melbourne.

January is summer time in Australia. Although it’s summer, the weather is relatively vary. In Sydney, we experienced a few weathers, from cool, rain, even hot. While in Melbourne, even we experienced a hot day on our first day there, and had a variation of cool-hot-cold weather in a day! Haha … So it’s really vary! But I read in many website, that we shouldn’t forget to apply sunscreen with minimum of SPF 30+ during the summer.

Australia trip - Melbourne - Melbourne Park (Rod Laver) - Australian Open

Rod Laver in Melbourne Park

We thought with this 10 days trip we could visit many things, but apparently we couldn’t.  There are places that we didn’t go in Sydney, such as the museums and the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens! I know the botanic garden is just beside the Sydney Opera House … 😀 . In Melbourne, we didn’t get a chance to visit the Melbourne Botanic Gardens and also the famous Queen Victoria Market! Aakk! I know it’s a must-visit place, but in weekdays it close at 2PM *excuse* 😀 But we had a great time joining a walking tour in each city, plus we booked a tour for trips outside the cities.  From Sydney, we booked a tour to see the Blue Mountains! It’s a hard choice between Blue Mountains or Hunter Valley, but then we decided to choose Blue Mountains! 🙂 While from Melbourne, I booked a tour to Great Ocean Road (Yudhi has done this in his previous visit). All of the tour is a one day tour from morning till evening, so we thought it’s easier for us to just book a tour instead of going there by ourselves.

Well writing this makes me miss both cities already! Each city has different attractiveness! Even, I still can’t decide which one I love more lol!

Australia trip - Melbourne - Flinders Street Station

Flinders Street Station in Melbourne

Some information about my trip to Sydney and Melbourne:

Visa >> http://www.indonesia.embassy.gov.au/jakt/Checklist_Visitor.html

Sydney:

Get around with public transportation >> http://www.131500.com.au/
MyMulti tickets fares >> http://www.131500.com.au/tickets/fares
MyMulti tickets zone >> http://www.131500.com.au/tickets/fares/myzone
MyMulti1 Weekly: $44
One-week GatePass between airport – city (return): $10

Melbourne:

myki >> http://www.myki.com.au/
Myki visitor pack: $14
Skybus >> http://www.skybus.com.au/
Skybus ticket return: $28

Don’t forget to grab the Melbourne book guide that is available in the SkyBus ticketing counter. It might have the vouchers that you need 🙂

Weather: http://www.accuweather.com/en/au/australia-weather

Optus Prepaid package: https://www.optus.com.au/shop/prepaidmobile/prepaidoffers

As today, 26 January, is the Australia day, so … Happy Australia Day, mate! 🙂

Australia trip - Sydney - Sydney Opera House - Happy Australia Day

If you like this post, please share it 🙂

And please don’t forget to choose ‘Mixed Up Already’ in Bloscar Travel 2013 which is held by Skyscanner.
– Link (in Indonesian): http://goo.gl/G7GWd
– Link (simple guidance in English): Bloscar Travel 2013 …

Thank you! 🙂

My Australia trip series:

Accommodation: Sydney Harbour YHA

6 Comments

  1. Khai January 26, 2013
  2. cityoftheweek March 15, 2013
    • timothywpawiro March 15, 2013

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