Australia in Summary

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What we did: 34 days in total, seeing four cities in four states.

Where we went: 3 days in Sydney, ten days in Cairns, two weeks in Melbourne, and one week in Perth.

About costs: Australia was by far the biggest expenditure of our trip, but we had planned well for it prior to arrival. The country has a reputation for being very costly. We found Melbourne to be the most affordable, where we found plenty of low cost or free activities, paid about $60/night for a private hostel room and could eat fantastic food for $8-10 a plate. Perth was by far the most expensive, where the high cost of food and drinks prohibited us from going out much at all ($10 for a pint of beer, $25 for a ‘cheap’ meal). We paid the same price as in Melbourne for two beds in a very run-down dorm room, and found the cost of activities to be largely inflated (a simple ferry to nearby Rottnest Island: $60pp, yikes).

About traveling Oz: Few people realize how massive this country actually is before arriving here. We were tipped off by a fellow traveler in Fiji about the Air Passes available to international travelers, which is what allowed us to visit multiple cities for a very affordable price. We recommend this to anyone considering a trip here.

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Is 1 month enough?: As said before, this country is huge and a month barely scratched the surface. We missed a number of places we wanted to see: the Great Ocean Road, Exmouth, the Margaret River, the Gold Coast, and Alice Springs to name a few. But were able give ourselves enough time in each city to really get a feel for the culture of each place. In summary, I can’t imagine how anyone could visit Australia in less time than we gave it. One month feels like the minimum of time necessary, and most travelers we met were staying for six months or a year.

What we’ll miss: Aussie slang words, public barbecue grills in local parks, flocks of parrots (and bats in Cairns), Clean Skin Wines (did we talk about this? Google it. It’s genius), seeing guys on long runs without shoes on, Ginger beer, potato wedges with sour cream and sweet chili sauce, Aussie television shows, Victoria Market, and of course Kangaroo Meat. It’s good.

What we won’t miss: Hands down Australia offered the worst hostel experiences of our trip to date- dirty, horribly uncomfortable beds, even worse showers, and large percentages of long term residents (which made the hostel culture less travel oriented). The high cost of living. Bad Internet connections.

Up next- Indonesia!

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