Planet Airlines; Travel and More

On this Destination Guide you will find information for :

 
 State Guides
New South WalesSydney
 VictoriaMelbourne
Western AustraliaPerth
QueenslandSunshine Coast
(Fraser Island)
 
Visited States in green

Essential Country Information:

Australia


♦Capital: Canberra         

♦Currency: Australian Dollar $ (AUD)

♦Zone: +8 to +10.5 GMT  

♦Phone Code: +61


♦Best time to visit: Mar-Jun/Sept-Nov

♦Must eat: Kangaroo meat. 

♦Must drink: Australian Beer

♦Don't miss: The Iconic Opera House!


Number of times visited: 2

Getting there and transportation: Its precisely the location and distance from any other country which makes Australia accessible only by air. The island is 3.500 km in length so even travelling domestically is better by air. The country offers 3 major gateways, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. These cities are connected internationally by major airlines. However Qantas, the national airline, has the biggest presence on the island. Other airlines which offer good connections to Australia are EmiratesSingapore AirlinesThai AirwaysBritish Airways or Malaysian Airlines
The length of time travelling to Australia must be one the longest flights you can take. Making a stopover at an Asian destination is a typical routing if travelling from Europe. Expect a travel time of at least 24h hours. However with modern planes inoperation, there is the route London-Perth operated by Qantas which takes 17 hours and is the only direct route (and first one ever) to link Australia with Europe. 
Travelling around the island is fairly simple. The main and best option is to travel by air, QantasJetstar and Virgin Australia offer the best connections.
You can also go to certain destinations by train, but trips are often extremely long and pricey. 
Driving is safe, and usually in straight lanes thanks to excellent roads around the country. Travelling around the coast line is a good recommendation. However internally, the high temperatures of the Australian dessert and the lack of services for many miles can cause a big problem if you encounter a breakdown not to mention the vast distance needed to drive. 
Last to mention is the alternative to travel by bus,Greyhound Australia, provides comfortable busses connecting the major cities with smaller towns.Prices are reasonable but make sure you check the distances and the times. Sometimes even flights can be cheaper if you buy well in advance.
Customs/Immigration:  Once arriving to Australia, you need to clear Customs. It's a very sensitive area and you are advised to take extra caution on what you take into the country. Anything which is food related, drink, or naturally produced will be confiscated by the customs department. (for example animal skins, wood, plants, food, or anything organic). You will need to declare any of these products or face a fine. 
If you are connecting to a domestic destination by air be sure to collect your luggage at the first point of entry into the country even if the luggage has been tagged all the way to final destination. This is to clear customs.
Attention!:  Another thing to take in to account when travelling to Australia is obtaining a visa, all travellers require an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) before arriving. It's easy to apply for it online via the following website: "Eta Visa application"
Weather and temperature: Australia's climate varies greatly throughout the eight states and territories; there are four seasons across most of the country and a wet and dry season in the tropical north. Australia's seasons are at opposite times to those in the northern hemisphere. December to February is summer; March to May is autumn; June to August is winter; and September to November is spring. Temperatures can be as hot as 40C in central Australia whilst a close to 0 can be recorded in the south.
For travelling to Australia it´s best recommended to go September to November for tourism. Avoiding the high season is best (December and January) as prices are more expensive and the heat can make it hard doing certain activities. Plan ahead, depending where you will be go, as you can encounter really hot and dry climates towards the north of the country (Darwin, Cairns,Alley Rock) or cold/humid weather conditions towards the south (Melbourne, Tasmania, Adelaide). 

What to eat and drink? Australia is perhaps not as famous for it´s food than it´s landmarks. However there is an increase of popularity of big-name chefs who are helping to give Australian cuisine a reputation for bright, creative gastronomy, and regional markets and food festivals are commonplace. Look out for things like farmhouse cheese, speciality sausages and local fruits. Elsewhere, the country’s multitude of good wines has earned international acclaim. 
Australians love their meat, in particular beef and national kangaroo meat is growing in popularity with visitors. The humble barbecue remains a quintessential Australian food experience. Steak, prawns and beer tend to feature prominently on all tables and restaurants. Portions are quite large so be sure to be hungry when eating in Australia! 
Specialities include: Sydney rock oysters,  small and soft with a distinctive taste. Barramundi, a fish particularly prevalent in the Northern Territory. Macadamia nuts, native to New South Wales and Queensland. Kangaroo, just like a steak you can order Kangaroo at your wish, raw, medium or well done. Meat pie, a staple on-the-go snack. Fruit,  apples, mangoes and pumpkins are among those grown in large quantities. 
Dagwood dog, a deep-fried battered hot dog on a stick, popular at fairgrounds and outdoor events.
As for drinks, Wine is locally produced and is becoming quite popular even for exports. Regions like the Barossa Valley in South Australia, and Margaret River in Western Australia, are world class. Craft beer: Away from the likes of VB, you’ll find some excellent small-batch brewers. Sparkling wine, the bubbly from Tasmania is superb.

 
Australian Beef Steak
 
Chicken Sandwich

Author's Comment:

Australia just by it's name implies distance and is a unique destination for many travellers wanting to explore it at least once. After having visited it the first time in 2009, I realised you can't only go once. It's a vast country which offers so much to see and do. Definitely the highlight of any trip to Australia is to see the Opera House live with your own eyes! It truly stands out from the city and gave me that feeling of satisfaction for reaching such a landmark, miles away from home. It surprised me in so many ways, the friendly people, the relaxed atmosphere, year round good weather, great food etc..If it wasn't for its distance it would even make an ideal place to live! 

Sydney tourism Information: 

Many might think Sydney is the capital of Australia, when in fact it's Canberra.This is only because Sydney is the biggest city and hosts the most renowned landmarks and points of interest of the country like the Opera House or Sydney Bridge. Also Sydney is a city of culture and sport.  
Many tourists come around the globe to Sydney, its a true representation of ethnic mixture, not only for holiday but to visit relatives. Sydney is attractive for its good weather year round, high quality of work and life and finally excellent food and drink. This is why its a multicultural city with many cultures represented, the most ethnics backgrounds you will be able to notice are Asian (chinese, Japansee, Philippino), South Asian (Indian) the Pacific (Zew Zealand, Pacific Islands) and many European and American who have made Sydney their home either temporary or permanently. 
Transportation:  Arriving to Sydney centre or the CBD as it´s called is easy by puplic transport. From the airport the cheapest option is to take bus 400 (towards Bondi Junction) which stops at International and Domestic arrivals level. Once you are at Bondi Junction you can take Train T4 to the centre. The trip takes about 45min and busses pass every 20 minutes. 
Once in the CBD, busses and trains run often. There is an electronic card called "OPAL Card" which is used for both locals and visitors and this will save you time in looking for change. You need to touch in with the card as you board a bus and also as you leave to calculate the correct fare. 
You can buy the cards at main stations, at the airport and offical shops. For more info check Transport Sydney
Public transport is modern, fuly air conditioned and has electronic displays for easy orientation and direction of routes. It´s also possible to use multiple online and apps to track the status of the trains or busses. Below you will find the train and central Sydney route map:
 
 
Weather and temperature: Sydney enjoys a temperate climate, with a mild winter. It has about 105 sunny, cloud-free days a year. During the Summer (December to March) temperatures can reach an easy 30C and through the rest of the year it´s mild at a comfortable 20C. Average minimum temperature in the winter months of June through to August are around 9C. 
The best time to come to visit Sydney is March to June and September to November. (their Autumn and Spring).
What to see and do?: Probably most people will relate Sydney with it´s best known landmark, the harbourfront Sydney Opera House, with a distinctive sail-like design. Of course there is much more than meets the eye. Like the massive Darling Harbour and the smaller Circular Quay port which are hubs of waterside life. Also the arched Harbour Bridge and Royal Botanic Garden nearby. In the city´s skyline you can observe the Sydney Tower. it´s a city full of life, after visiting all these attractions it also offers great venues for eating and relaxing. And if that was not enough , the city hosts many cultural events such as music concerts, sport competitions and the famous Mardi Gras. 
The main highlights of the city are: 
  • Sydney Opera Houseis Australia's most recognisable building and is an icon of Australia's creative and technical achievement. Since its completion in 1973 it has attracted worldwide acclaim for its design and construction. It is placed right at the end of Bennelong Point, close to the harbour and completely to scale in relation to the Harbour Bridge, It took 16 years to build. The technical challenge of how to construct the roof sails took four years to solve. Today the Sydney Opera House is a national cultural centre, and includes a concert hall, opera and drama theatres, a playhouse and a studio. It is a fitting showcase for many of the world's leading performers. You can visit the Opera House inside by tour or by attending a music concert or event. Prices range from AU $35 depending for the activity chosen. Advance booking always suggested. 
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge: also affectionately known as the 'Coathanger', was opened on March 19th 1932, after six years of construction. Made of steel the bridge contains 6 million hand driven rivets. The surface area that requires painting is equal to about the surface area of 60 sports fields. The Bridge has huge hinges to absorb the expansion caused by the hot Sydney sun. You will see them on either side of the bridge at the footings of the Pylons. It is possible to climb the bridge by organised tour, the costs are from AU $280 per person. (No children allowed) ans lasts 3 hours.
  • Circular Quay:  Basically it´s the city's main ferry terminus, situated in the very heart of Sydney Cove. The founding place for the settlement of Australia. It serves as a gateway, connecting visitors to Sydney's major attractions - Sydney Harbour, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and The Rocks. It's a vibrant, bustling hub with ferries leaving every few minutes to different parts of the harbour, including Manly, Watsons Bay, Mosman and Taronga Zoo.  Circular Quay is at the foot of the central business district and the older, historic end of the city. Buses depart here for Bondi and the eastern suburbs. It is also a major railway station on an underground railway known as the City Circle, which loops around the CBD. Much of its appeal lies in the great many outdoor eating areas set up nearby. The walkway that leads to the Sydney Opera House is bustling with great restaurants, with heaters outside during the evening and cosy indoor tables for when it´s too cold.  There are great views of the Harbour Bridge, day and night, from all points of Circular Quay.
  • The Rocks: It´s the first settlement area for Sydney Cove that gave rise to soldiers' barracks, hospitals, whaling warehouses, rat catchers and the Bubonic Plague. Now it is a vibrant pocket of cafes, restaurants, shops and weekend market stalls set against a backdrop of historic buildings and mysterious passageways. One of the most popular eating areas is a bank of restaurants set up in a row of former wharves. This part of Sydney is one of the oldest, most attractive and most interesting.
  • Darling Harbour is adjacent to the city centre. It is also a large recreational and pedestrian district that is situated on western outskirts of the CBD.
  • Bondi Beach: It´s a famous beach and resort in Sydney. Also very popular for surfers. It´s a good area for souvenir shopping, local markets and local food. To get to Bondi Beach, get a train to Bondi Junction and then bus 333 (Stand A3) to the beach. Or you can walk which takes about 20min down hill 3kmThere is also a red Metro bus, number 40 from Chatswood via Wynyard, Town Hall, Museum and Paddington that terminates in Bondi junction.
  • Sydney Tower: Nicknamed the 'golden basket', the tower contains an observation deck, a coffee lounge and two restaurants. The enclosed observation deck offers a 360 degree view over Sydney from a height of 250 meter. For those seeking extra excitement there is also the skywalk, an open-air stroll on a glass-bottomed platform 268 meter above ground level.On a clear day, visitors can see as far as 55km. Prices cost from AU $18.55 per adult if bought online (saver price). Check Sydney Tower Tickets
  • Royal Botanic Gardens, Within the CBD, yo will find this wonderful tranquil oasis on the edge of one of the world’s great natural harbours. From the gardens, you’ll enjoy spectacular views and can take great photographs of Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.The garden has thousands of plant specimens. Wildlife in the garden includes colourful birds, fruit bats and water dragons. The Calyx is a world-class horticultural space, with changing exhibitions designed to capture your imagination. Volunteer guides will lead you through the gardens on free walks, daily at 10.30am, except on public holidays, and at 1pm on weekends.The walks are for 90 minutes and depart from the Information Booth outside the Garden Shop at the Palm Grove Centre, in the middle of the gardens, where you’ll also find a restaurant and café. Entry is free into the gardens, open daily from 7am. The nearest train stations are Circular Quay and Martin Place.
  • Autralian open for Surffing: It´s a big event located on Manly Beach, celebrated at the end of February of each year. it includes the best surfers, skateboarders, BMX, and music events. The best thing is that it´s all for free! Additionally, the party goes on with plenty of live music, art, gourmet food and beverage during the day and into the early hours of the morning. Its a good area for going out and socialising in a relaxed atmosphere
  • Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, or locally just Mardi Gras, is an annual LGBT pride parade and festival attended by hundreds of thousands of people from around Australia and overseas. It is one of the largest such festivals in the world, and includes a variety of events such as the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade and Party, Bondi Beach Drag Races, Harbour Party, Mardi Gras Film Festival, as well as Fair Day, which attracts 70,000 people to Victoria Park, Sydney. Held every year at the end of February. 
Tip:  Join a Free walking tour organised by lcoals or students living in Sydney. These walking tours are completely free and give you good in depth knowledge from the city, history facts and curiosities about Sydney. At the end you can leave a tip if you liked the tour. The tours meet at Town Hall Square and are about 2hours long. For more info check Free Walking Tour
Suggestion: Additionally there are several day trips that you can take from Sydney to explore the surroundings and the scenery of the state. Generally you can take tours which include the following places mentioned below or you can do it yourself. Greyhound is one recommend tour company. 
The  Blue Mountains  are highly recommended to visit within a day trip. Comprising several highlights, the area is famous for it´s bluish mountains. They are so named because, from Sydney, they look blue. The reason comes from the vegetation which grows in the region, the vast forests of eucalyptus (commonly called gum trees), which in the hot sun discharge a fine mist of eucalyptus oil from their leaves. The mist refracts light, which makes the haze look blue at a distance.
Near by is the Scenic World in Katoomba where to enjoy panoramas of the wilderness, waterfalls, valleys and rugged sandstone tablelands by cablecar or the famous scenic railway. You can explore the ancient caverns of Jenolan Caves and discover limestone crystal and underground rivers deep within the mountains.
A trip to Leura  is also recommended by it´s proximity to the Blue Mountains (sometimes included in the package of the organised tours). It´s a very pretty enchanting village. With its Edwardian storefronts and 19th century cottages, Leura sits framed upon a background of stunning natural wonders, sandstone escarpment, dense eucalyptus forests and rugged terrain. It´s a step back in time which will surprise visitors to find quaint little shops, boutiques, cake shops, cafes and a famous Tea Pot house, very interesting to visit. To get there you can get a train taking just under two hours from the central station in Sydney. 
Finally but not least, what's a trip to Australia without seeing the natural wildlife? Plan a trip to one of the many wildlife Parks nearby Sydney. (You can always go to the Sydney Zoo if you want to see many animals). But the best idea is to visit one of National Wildlife Parks which specialise in Australian animals like the Kangaroo, Koala, Wombat, Crocodiles, birds, etc. One Park recommended is Featherdale Wildlife Park, With over 1,700 mammals, birds and reptiles. You can take pictures with the animals and be around some of them (Kangaroos).Yo get there from the City, take the North Shore and Western line to Blacktown Station. Bus stand E is located just outside the station. Take the number 729 bus for a 10 minute ride which will drop you right outside Featherdale’s gates. 
 

Blue Mountains

 

Town of Leura

 

Wild Life Parks

Accommodation:  Sydney is expensive in regards to Hotels, specially if you want to stay in the CBD. The best recommendation is to stay away from the city with access to train or bus lines which can get you in to the city centre. One area which is definitely worth checking is Kings Cross. Here there is everything you might need for a tourist, convenient restaurants, shops, cafes, bars and better value Hotels. It´s also an area popular for Hostels. Hotels are about €70 per night whilst other options might include self catering apartments and Airbnb. 
Recommended Duration:  Sydney is truly an impressive city and no matter how long you stay, there is always so much to see and do. Will it be tours around the state, shopping and dinning, relaxing, swimming and water sports, you probably need a good week to take it all in. However under a tourist point of view the city´s main attractions and a couple of tours are worth it for staying at least 4 nights. If you´re only coming to Sydney from a long haul destination and planning to relax,then one week to 10 days would be good as well.
Nevertheless, a lot of travellers will come to Sydney as a stopover whilst seeing other cities and exploring the whole country in a trip which can last several weeks or months even! 

Sydney Photo Gallery:

Melbourne Tourist Information: 

Melbourne, is the capital of Victoria, the second largest city in Australia. When travelling to Melbourne, you will instantly feel an air of resemblance to Europe. This is the first thing that many travellers comment about the city.  The city is divided into two parts by the Yarra River, creating predominantly working class areas in the North and West regions, and more affluent areas in the South and the East.The CBD used to be known as the 'Golden Mile', as it is 1 mile long and 1/2 mile wide. 

The main difference with Sydney is that Melbourne is by far much more artistic and classic looking. It´s a city of culture, architecture and art. However it also has many modern features, new buildings and residencial complexes being built in recent years. Organised tours are available within the city as well as day trips outside of Melbourne. Very important being the Great Ocean Road tour which is highly recommended. 
Airport Bus

Transportation: From the airport you can take the SkyBus, which is an express bus leaving every 10 minutes to the centre of Melbourne. It arrives to the coach station Terminal/Spencer St. It costs AU $19 one way and takes 40min. Melbourne's grid layout makes it an easy city to navigate, with most attractions within walking distance. Transport options include train, tram or bus. The Night Network also operates on weekends with after hours transport to many locations.
Myki is Melbourne's ticket to travel on the city's trains, trams and buses. It's a plastic smartcard with stored value which can be topped up and re-used again. Purchase the card, at main train stations and retail outlets displaying the myki sign (including 7-Elevens). 
Tip: Trams are perhaps the best way of moving around the city, you can see where you are going and they have the added benefit of being free in the city centre, though you will need a myki card if you plan to start or finish your journey outside of this central area. Tram 35 (City Circle) is also a circular line which covers most places of interest. These trams are also old fashioned and are a tourist attraction within themselves. Be aware that they can be very busy and there is limited seating. For more information on the area covered by the Free Tram Zone check the map links below. 

 
 
Weather and Temperature: Melbourne is known for its changeable weather, the city has been described as having four seasons in one day! Generally good temperatures can still be enjoyed all year round. The best advice is to plan a little ahead and look at the forecasts ahead before you go to have an idea what to except. Taking un umbrella with you is a good tip! Melbourne warms up in summer (December toa March) with temperatures between 14 - 25.3°C. In the Winter (June to September) the weather is frequently cold and cloudy, and nights can be accompanied by frosts. Rain is not uncommon to fall with frequent showers. Best time to visit Melbourne therefore is in Spring (September to November) and Autumn (March to June). 
What to see and do?: Melbourne might not seem to have a lot to see but in fact there is a lot when you begin to investigate. At the city's centre is the modern Federation Square development, with plazas, bars, and restaurants by the Yarra River. In the Southbank area, the Melbourne Arts Precinct is the site of Arts Centre Melbourne, a performing arts complex, and the National Gallery of Victoria, with Australian and indigenous art.

The following highlights are recommended to see in the city:
  • Federation Square: It´s main square of the city. You will find the the Melbourne Visitor Centre. It´s an information centre and shop for visitors offering free brochures, maps and event listings, along with souvenirs and a travel booking service.
  • The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV): displays its Australian collection of artworks at the Ian Potter Centre: Located in Federation Square.
  • Melbourne Museum; From the natural environment to culture and history, the Museum explores life in Victoria. The museum includes a special gallery just for children.
  • Eureka Skydeck Tower: You will find an observation platform for a complete 360 degree, floor-to-ceiling views encompassing Melbourne's CBD, sports precinct, Docklands and everything in between. Take a view with a unique edge, a unique switchable glass cube which slides out from the building, with you still inside ! Prices start from $18.50 for full price admission. 
  • Graffiti: Melbourne's street art is internationally renowned and offers a feast of colour, ideas and energy. It has become an attraction for local and overseas visitors experiencing Melbourne’s creative ambience. Some places to find the art are AC/DC Lane and Duckboard Place, Hosier and Rutledge lanes, Centre Place, Flinders Court and many more. 
  • Cook´s Cottage: Built in 1755, Cooks' Cottage is the oldest building in Australia and a popular Melbourne tourist attraction.Originally located in Yorkshire, England, and built by the parents of Captain James Cook, the cottage was brought to Melbourne by Sir Russell Grimwade in 1934. Astonishingly, each brick was individually numbered, packed into barrels and then shipped to Australia. Entry to the cottage includes a comprehensive fact sheet for a self-guided tour.
  • Queen Victoria Market: is much more than the city’s fresh-food shopping mecca, it’s a historic landmark, and a tourist attraction. Shoppers can find everything from fruit and vegetables to local and imported gourmet foods, fashion and general merchandise.Explore the Market's historic sheds to grab a bargain or find a Melbourne-made treasure amongst clothing, jewellery, handcrafts, homewares and souvenirs.The market is open five days a week, with Sunday taking on a carnival atmosphere as entertainers delight the crowds. Guided tours highlight the market’s food, heritage, culture, shopping and history.
  • Melbourne Star Observation Wheel: Every night from dusk, the Star lights up the Melbourne skyline with a spectacular lighting display. Three and half kilometres of LED lighting engineered into the structure of the wheel generate more than 15 million different light combinations. The cabins gives you a 360-degree view of the city.
  • Melbourne´s best coffee: They say this city offers the best coffee in the world! To enjoy the complete experience, visit for brunch, when the street is filled with fellow diners.Recommended places can be found at the next link: Melbourne best cafe places.
Tip: Join a Free walking tour organised by lcoals or students living in Melbourne. These walking tours are completely free and give you good in depth knowledge from the city, history facts and curiosities about Melbourne. At the end you can leave a tip if you liked the tour. The tours starts from the statue of Sir Redmond Barry in front of the State Library of Victoria.The walk is about 2hours long. For more info check Free Walking Tour
Suggestion:  Visit The Great Ocean Road, which winds alongside the wild and windswept Southern Ocean. It´s home to the world-class surf at Bells Beach and the limestone spires of the 12 Apostles, this diverse and dramatic region is best explored over the course of a few days due to it´s length. The Great Ocean Road begins a 90 minute drive from Melbourne's city centre. It spans 400 kilometres (249 miles) from the town of Torquay to Nelson on the South Australian border. It´s best to hire a car and drive along the road comfortably yourself for the best experience. But it´s also possible to do it by tour from Melbourne costing about AU $100 per person. 
During the drive, the weather will change constantly, often it can be wet, cloudy in some areas and completely clear in others.Take raincoats, umbrellas and in the summer sun cream and protective glasses. 
Accommodation:  Compared to Sydney, you will notice that in Melbourne accommodation is much more affordable and cheaper to stay closer to the city. However the quality and standards might not be as high due to a very relaxed way of life in Melbourne, (somewhat hippie some people might say). This however is good news for those more money conscious so you can stay closer to the city and within walking distance to public transport. Also its easy to find hostels, Airbnb and private accommodation. Rooms start at €45 for Hotels. 
Recommended duration:  Visiting Melbourne is quite more relaxing as the city moves at a slower pace and everything is more chilled. There is plenty to see and do, however a lot can be made from within the city centre and taking free trams helps a lot in moving along. A 3 night stay in Melbourne is good time to enjoy all the city has to offer and with the addition to any tours you can increase this to 5 nights easily. 

Melbourne Photo Gallery:

Perth Tourist Information: 

The third largest city in Australia after Sydney and Melbourne, Perth is a popular destination for both business and leisure. It's location makes it ideal for being the most western city in the country by it's proximity to Asia which means flying time to the Asian continent will take only 3 to 5 hours. Another curiosity about the city is its wealth. Perth enjoys the highest income and the standard of life being the highest in Australia. Nevertheless the city can cater for every pocket and offers a wide range of choices for city tourism, dining and night life, adventure and nature. 
Perth is the only city, which will have a direct non-stop route to Europe when the national airline launches flights from Perth to London in 2018 with Boeing 787-900 aircraft.
Transportation:  Arriving to Perth is straight forward, from the airport you can catch the 380 bus which leaves you in the city centre. The city is not big and can reach many places by foot when you arrive. 
Perth doesn't have a metro system. It's not really needed in a city which public transport is free within the city centre and services are not congested. 
For a tourist, it's a great benefit to have free access to transport within the city centre. However lots of attractions are within walking distance anyway. 
Below you can access the map which displays the routes and the free public transport zone. Designated by bus line colours.
If you plan to access other areas in the Perth region there is a Train network. All lines converge at Perth Station where you can change and connect to the busses as well. There is a card which enables you to use the trains and busses. The smart Rider Card can be bought for AU $10 at the 4 Trans Perth Information Centres or at many outlets. You need to tap in/out when you board busses and trains. (except within the Free transit zone)
Weather and temperature:  Perth enjoys a moderate climate year round thanks to its location. Hot summer's (December to March) and mild winter's (June to September). Winters are relatively cool and wet with temperatures ranging from 8 -19C. 
The best time to visit Perth is during the spring, (September to November) days are warm and sunny with average temperatures ranging from 11to 23C. There is little rainfall at this time of year and there is a lot of flora in the spring, you can discover more than 12,000 species of wildflowers, which blossom in Perth’s nature reserves and national parks.
What to see and do: There is plenty of amusement in Perth, many parks to walk along and sample the views of the city, interesting buildings and shopping. Additionally there are lots of activities you can join either by tour or individual to enjoy your days in the city and the outskirts. Here are some of the highlights: 
  • Kings Park,a 4.06-square-kilometre park located on the western edge of the central business district in Perth. 
  • Bell Tower, located in the heart of Perth in vibrant Barrack Square. Also known as the Swan Bells, the bell tower contains twelve bells made in the 14th century for St Martin-in-the-Fields church in London's Trafalgar Square. Learn how the bells came to Australia, discover the art of bell ringing, and soak in panoramic views of the city, Swan River and Elizabeth Quay from the open-air Observation Deck.
  • The Barracks Arch,located on the corner of Malcolm and Elder Streets, at the western end of St Georges Terrace.
  • The Town Hall, opened in 1870,built in stone, lime and brick. It has become part of Perth’s folklore as well as part of the landscape. Had it not been for strong public opposition, the building would have been lost in the 1890s as the City Council decided it required a ‘more suitable’ building, presumably echoing the much grander town halls of Melbourne and Sydney. It has been well preserved since then, restored in 2005.
  • London Court, between Hay Street Mall and St. George’s Terrace, is London Court, built in 1937 for wealthy gold miner Claude de Bernales. The street features Elizabethan-style architecture and statues of Sir Walter Raleigh and Dick Whittington at either end. It also features two replica clocks, one of Big Ben in London, and the other of “the great clock” in Rouen, France. It’s worth walking through here to admire the architecture, have a coffee and look into the small shop windows. It's a popular area for souvenir shopping.
  • Elizabeth Quay is a mixed-use development project in the Perth central business district. Located on the north shore of Perth Water and centred on the landmark Swan Bells, it is named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Art Gallery of Western Australia,is a public gallery that is part of the Perth Cultural Centre. It's conveniently located within easy walking distance from the Perth train station, and is accessible from most Perth-bound bus routes. 
Suggestion:  Visit Swan Valley, essentially vineyards, it's the oldest wine region in western Australia, where you can sample their fruits, feast on award-winning local produce, discover local heritage and relax in the natural bushland of the Darling Range.
Just 20 minutes east of Perth, the Swan Valley and Darling Range is a world away from city life. You can reach it by road, or take the scenic route aboard a Swan River cruise from Perth's Barrack Street Jetty.
Recommended Hostel

Accommodation: Hotels can be expensive in Perth, therefore staying not directly in the city centre is the best idea in order to save money and then use public transport which is more convenient and even free on some routes. Comparing hotel sites and making bookings directly with the hotel is a other way  to save some money. Alternatively Airbnb is popular in Australia and naturally hostels and guesthouses houses as well. For Hotels you might have to spend up to €60 per night.
A recommended place would be "Hay Street Traveller's Inn", a backpackers Hostel, located 10 min walking to downtown Perth. It offers reasonable rooms, individual or shared. 

Recommended duration:  Perth is not a huge city and seeing the main interests won't take long. A comfortable stay of up to 3 nights would be enough. However if you planning to visit around the city, rent a car and do some adventure tourism then a few more days will come in handy. 

Perth Photo Gallery:

Sunshine Coast Tourism Information: 

Australia has everything you want for a perfect holiday, it's truly the case when visiting in Sunshine Coast, the area is well renowned for it's beach resorts, surf spots and rural hinterland in the southern State of Queensland. It stretches from the coastal city of Caloundra, near Brisbane, north to the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park, home to multicoloured sand dunes, mangrove forests, and shallow lakes. It's also the best area to stay when visiting the famous beautiful Fraser Island. 
Transportation:  When arriving to Sunshine coast airport, the terminal is very small and there are only basic services. Note that there is no public transport services to take you into the town or the resorts. To go to Maroochydore,the town centre, and the Sunshine Coast's major bus interchange for TransLink services, (operated by Sunbus), you will need to organise a pick up from the airport to either the centre or you accommodation. The best company to organise this is with Sun Air  or alternatively go by taxi. 
Sun Air transfer services

What to see and do?: The reasons to come to Sunshine might be to relax, enjoy great weather year round, practice water-sports and see the beautiful nature and landscapes which surrounds the area, however the only thing more refreshing than the water is the lifestyle, it's all about having fun and smiling. With its endless beaches, lush rainforests it’s a place where you will feel like a local from the moment you arrive. The activities you can do are vast, if you want to be active and visit the area here are few ideas to keep you busy: 

  • Water sports: Hire a boat, kayak or stand-up paddle board and cruise the calm waters of Pumicestone Passage or one of the many lakes and inlets.Swim, ride and run your way through a triathlon, marathon or fun run with the best views on the coast. Take surf lessons and enjoy the pacific waves.  
  • Visit Maroochydore, it's a major commercial area of the Sunshine Coast with most the shopping are located in the central business district. It is home to the Sunshine Plaza shopping centre. Maroochydore is also a venue of major surf sport carnivals, cosy cafes and boutiques waiting to be discovered. Be entertained by local artists and stock up on arts and crafts at Eumundi Markets. 
  • Visit Fraser Island, the highlight to any trip to Sunshine coast is to visit this paradise island which is even listed in the World Heritage sites for it's beautiful combination of sand dunes and deep rainforest. To arrange a trip to the island it's best to organise a tour which can include several activities as getting to the island requires 4x4 vehicles and specially conditioned for the rough track. See below more info on Fraser Island

Fraser Island:  It's the World’s Largest Sand Island, and it's listed as World Heritage. Fraser Island, stretches over 123 kilometres in length and 22 kilometres at its widest point. The island’s highest dune is 244 metres, but most rise to between 100 and 200 metres above sea level. Drilling shows the sand extends to 100 metres below sea level in places. Most of the sand is made up of grains of quartz (silica).

Sand is the key to how the Island was formed but it is the abundance of fresh water in its many lakes and crystal clear creeks and streams that has made it so special. Pristine clear mirror lakes and the peat coloured perched lakes, are some of the largest in the world. Each of the lakes has its own particular character.Mysterious, moody and beautiful, they are excellent subjects for photography, great places to see birds, other fauna and flora and a welcome oasis for hot summer days.Scenic 4WD circuits and walking tracks in the southern half of the island take in some of the largest of the lakes including McKenzie, Birrabeen, Benaroon and Boomanjin. 
Water has meant the creation of exceptional rainforests thriving in the nutrients from the breakdown of other plants which has enriched the sand of the forest floor.Towering satinay and brushbox trees are among the forest giants, some over a thousand years old, and so large they form distinct bands visible from scenic flights over the island. Fraser Island is home to more than 230 species of birds. There are 25 species of mammal present on the island. Isolation has ensured that Fraser's dingoes are the purest breed in eastern Australia and consequently no domestic dogs are permitted on the island. Other native mammals include wallabies, possums, flying foxes and echidnas.

When travelling into the Island there are a few precautions to adhere to, the guides and tours will remind you when entering the natural island. The island wants be kept as pristine as possible so its not allowed to walk around alone into the rainforest, feed any wild species, smoke, litter on the island, make fires etc. There are precise areas reserved for tour groups, lake swimming, BBQ's, camping and accommodation which can be booked only via tours and agencies. Prices vary substantially depending on the tour types. You can book tours at arrival at the airport or via online agencies.


 
 
 
Accommodation:  The Sunshine coast is a popular resort for Australians and foreigners alike during most of the year, thanks to the warm weather and splendid sun shinning on it's beautiful coasts. The area is at a premium if staying close to the resorts and the beaches. The town of Maroochydore is cheaper with rooms starting from €60 per night. However if you are going with family/friends it's best to rent an apartment and split the cost.
Recommended duration: It's a fun place to stay to relax, enjoy the beaches and unwind in the tranquil atmosphere of the area so it's all about your daily budget and how much you need to get away from the hassle and bustle of the big cities. To see the natural wonders of the area and take advantage of your stay, specially including Fraser Island, then a recommended 2 to 4 nights would be enough. 

Fraser Island Photo Gallery: