The Basic Tour Guide

Hello mate! I’ve been touring Australia for the past 8 weeks yet there’s still much more to see.This post is dedicated to help with the basics of preparing for your trip.

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Tips:

Before leaving for Australia

  • Check online for the season so you know what clothes to pack. There’s Winter, Autumn, Spring and Summer. Spring is roughly around October-November, the same time I arrived. If you’re from a tropical country like me then you’ll still find Spring cold. But then Summer time here is extremely hot, even  more compared to the Philippines.
October
Usual outfit last October
  • December (Summer)
    December (Summer)
  • Bring Sunscreen. The Sun’s UV rays here are extreme, so always put sunscreen on.
  • Bring comfortable shoes since you’ll walk a lot.  Rubber shoes, slippers or flats. Bring boots during Winter/Spring while slippers with shorts or maxi dresses for summer.
  • Have your money exchange to AUD in your residing country. You’ll receive less value if you have it exchanged here.
  • Don’t pack any type of food.  Aus is very strict when it comes to customs and don’t even try to outsmart them ’cause you can’t. The only edible ones I know you can bring are US packed goods such as Oreos but make you sure you DECLARE them.
  • You can pack some cigarettes with you.  Each traveler is entitled to two regular packs of cigarettes (or 50 sticks) tax free (may vary), while any that exceeds does. I paid $85 for two reams of Marlboro Reds, it may sound expensive but it’s so much cheaper than buying it straight here. Don’t forget to declare them. One pack of your local cigarettes here costs about $18.

While in Australia

The very first thing you should do is visit any Visitor Information Centre. There are branches in almost every known city such as Sydney, Parramatta, Canberra, Melbourne, etc. This is where you can inquire just about anything from where the public toilets are to shows at the Sydney Opera House.

My stash
My stash

While there you should pick up some:

  • Maps of all the cities you want to visit
  • Brochures of attractions
Brochures for many attractions
Brochures and maps
  • Big tourist guide books/magazines: these usually contain vouchers/coupons that will let you save a lot.

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  • Timetable for all public transportation: trains, light rail, ferry and bus.

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All of those are for free, so don’t be shy and get as much as you want! Check here for Visitor Information Centre locations: http://www.sydney.com/visitor-information-centres

Wild Card Tips/Notes:

  • Everything is expensive here. Whether you’re from the Philippines or United States, you WILL find it expensive. A small bottled water would cost you about $3.50 or P180 while a movie costs about $18.
  • Pack some snacks and water. I suggest buy from Woolworths, Aldi’s or Cole’s. I’ll make a separate post for this.
  •  McDonald’s are called Maccas. If you ask around for Mcdo or McDonalds no one will understand you.
  • The driver’s seat is on the right side of the car, which means everything is in complete reverse (Philippines/US).
  • Look RIGHT first then left when you cross the street.
  • Burger King is called Hungry Jacks.

This post is based on my experience, don’t use this as your main basis for what you can or cannot bring to Australia. It’s best to read the official TSA website for up-to-date rules and regulations. 

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