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Traveling to Australia for the International Convention - Need all the tips and suggestions we can get


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Hello dear brothers and sisters,

 

Good morning!

 

One of the main benefits of being part of international brotherhood is that we have our brothers and sisters all over the globe and are always there to help with suggestions when a brother visits a foreign country. JWTalk nicely represents this brotherhood and gives one an opportunity to tap into the insights, suggestions, and direction from this multitude of counselors.

 

I have started this thread to seek such suggestions from our dear brothers and sisters in Australia and all those who have traveled to the land down under. So, here is some background:

2 families from our congregation (including me and my wife) will be visiting the International Convention in Melbourne, Australia in Nov, 2019. We are very thrilled to experience first-hand all the wonderful things and stories we have heard over the years in our literature about these international conventions and also looking forward to meet our wonderful brothers and sisters from this beautiful land and make long-lasting friendships

 

With the year moving very swiftly, we have now started planning the finer details of the trip and would like views and suggestions from brothers and sisters on the following questions:

 

  1. Which are the things one must definitely do in Melbourne as a tourist which is peculiar to the place
  2. Any suggestions on how to get the best deals on food in Melbourne? Perhaps a local app that locals use to get the best food at the most economical prices, and so on?
  3. Which are the things one must definitely do in Hobart, Tasmania as a tourist which is peculiar to the place
  4. Any suggestions on how to get the best deals on food in Hobart, Tasmania? Perhaps a local app that locals use to get the best food at the most economical prices, and so on?
  5. Which are the things one must definitely do in Labrador, Gold Coast as a tourist which is peculiar to the place
  6. Any suggestions on how to get the best deals on food in Labrador, Gold Coast? Perhaps a local app that locals use to get the best food at the most economical prices, and so on?
  7. Any other suggestions that will help us travel and visit these places on a tight budget?
  8. Any suggestions on the best mode of transport, which will be light on the pockets too, in these places?

 

We plan to stay in Australia for 3 weeks, out of which the first week will be for the convention and intend to visit these places in the 2 weeks after. We are complete beginners to everything related to visiting Australia and hence any tips, suggestions you feel we should know, feel free to share it with us. 

Thank you dear brothers and sisters. With lots of warm Christian love,

 

Regards,
Dominic

 

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1 hour ago, Dominic Pereira said:
  • Which are the things one must definitely do in Labrador, Gold Coast as a tourist which is peculiar to the place
  • Any suggestions on how to get the best deals on food in Labrador, Gold Coast? Perhaps a local app that locals use to get the best food at the most economical prices, and so on?
  • Any other suggestions that will help us travel and visit these places on a tight budget?
  • Any suggestions on the best mode of transport, which will be light on the pockets too, in these places?

 

Looks like a great holiday, Dominic.  I will try to help with my scant knowledge of Gold Coast, though I've been there a couple of times but not to Labrador.  Labrador is a suburb of the city of Gold Coast. 

 

There is the 777 bus from the airport.  That is your cheapest option, and I've done this myself and it is very reasonable at around $4-$6 depending on if you have a go-card.  However, you will have to transfer twice, since Labrador is further north than where I stayed.  The closest airport is Gold Coast (also called Coolangatta), and by public transport it is 1 hr 23 mins.  

Link for journey planner: https://jp.translink.com.au/plan-your-journey/journey-planner/results

 

Some things to do in and around Gold Coast are:

South Stradbroke Island
Buffet lunch cruise
Mt Tambourine
Mt Tambourine Skywalk
Infinity (science museum)
Ripleys  
Pacific Fair Shopping
Currumbine
Paradise Animal Farm

Wax Museum

Theme parks - https://goldcoast20.experienceoz.com.au/en/gold-coast/theme-parks

 

Free things to do: 

https://www.goldcoastaustralia.com/free-stuff-to-do.html

 

 

More ideas here: https://www.destinationgoldcoast.com/

 

As for the food options, we just used food courts in the large shopping malls, or just whatever was along the main tourist strip at the beaches.  There will be budget food options.  

And bring your togs!  The beaches are just gorgeous (but swim between the flags).  Enjoy!


Edited by hatcheckgirl

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You will have wonderful holiday my brother..... 

Uber is cheap option to travel between different spots, but the public system is good too. 

Largest tram system in the world is located in  Melbourne. 

Shopping is great in Melbourne, coffee first class, donuts first class.... enough said LOL.  (Try American donuts at Victoria Market...:drink:

I would recommend visiting Melbourne ZOO, or Safari like ZOO in one of the suburbs (I can provide details later) 

Underwater Aquarium is worth the try if you like fish to admire. 

Dominic... do you have a list of pre organised tours you do, once here? There is possibility that you’ll end up being looked after by my congregation as we have been assigned to take care of large number of delegates. (Of course we are not the only ones)

Do you have a name of the congregation that you’re assigned to? 

Happy to assist you with specific information... once I fully wake up... (it’s 4.55am) 

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Wow. That's ALOT of travel in 3 weeks.
Remember the distances are huge. But I guess you will be flying? Not driving?
If so that would make it more possible.

I'll put my thinking cap on. Xxxx

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

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Trip advisor works well for food and tourist spots in Australia.
But in Melbourne most busy food outlets offer great value for exceptional taste. Just ask any of the local friends!
Some good suggestions are listed above. As a delegate you should also get some trips offered. Just pick what interests you. You will have quite a choice. (There is good reason 'The Economist' listed Melb as the #1 city to live in the World!)

Hobart will be colder than Melbourne. Depending where you live and what weather you are used to, you might bring some extra clothes.
TripAdvisor app has a list of things to do in Hobart. I've been to Mt Wellington lookout, and I did a trip to Port Arthur's old prison.
Hobart (and Tasmania) are very picturesque, and have the nickname 'Apple Isle'.
I do not want to offend and Tasmanians, but as an international visitor, you would see more iconic landmarks like The Opera House, The Harbour Bridge and Taronga Zoo in Sydney. (Do the open Plains Zoo in Werribee, Melbourne).

Gold Coast has a several large theme parks. Good if you have children, or like rides. It has a multitude of long sandy beaches. Not too far away is the mountainous hinterland. There is much to see and do.
You would be able to spend more time at the Gold Coast with events and features to see, than in Hobart.
If you can, it would be my suggestion to spend more days at the Gold Coast than Hobart. (Sorry to any Tasmanians reading, but that is my opinion...)

Side note:
Please bring some extra clothes as the 1998 International in Melbourne, the weather was unusually cold. Many of our visitors were not warm enough. Melbourne has a reputation for changeable weather, so wear clothes that you can add, or take off.
You will have an absolutely fabulous time regardless of where you go. But we are all happy to help you get the best out of your trip.

Just Older

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5 minutes ago, TonyWenz said:

I do not want to offend and Tasmanians, but as an international visitor, you would see more iconic landmarks like The Opera House, The Harbour Bridge and Taronga Zoo in Sydney. (Do the open Plains Zoo in Werribee, Melbourne).

I fully agree with it,

With 2 weeks left, I would do Melbourne-Sydney-Gold Coast... and depart home from Brisbane International Airport.

With 3-4 weeks I would include Tasmania or Cairns area?

Optional itinerary is to land in Perth and explore bit of Western Australia - Melbourne - Sydney - Gold Coast. (but I think delegates need to purchase tickets when approved, so maybe it's too late to change anything...not sure about how it works)

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Must do outside Melbourne, includes following:

Ballarat’s Goldrush Days at Sovereign Hill! (time travel to 1850's) https://www.sovereignhill.com.au/sovereign-hill/

Great Ocean Road/ The Twelve Apostles

Mount Dandenong (feed the parrots) very close to the City / Puffing Billy

Healesville Sanctuary

Philip Island :thumbsup: (many things to do)

Grampians National Park

 

List can be longer, but with your limited time consider those above: (some of those tours are included for delegates)

 

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I live in the north west corner of Tasmania. Melbourne and Tasmania can be very warm in November/ December. The sun in Tasmania is more intense than on the 'mainland' so it's easier to get burnt.  I would definitely go up Mount Wellington, the view is amazing! Hobart has a convict history and many places of interest, including Port Arthur. I especially enjoyed a site that was free, the Coal Mines Historic Site at Saltwater River. Eaglehawk Neck has beautiful landmarks including Tesselated Pavement, Devil's Kitchen, Remarkable Cave, Tasman Arch - all free 😁 The sights around this area are breathtaking! There are cruises from Bruny Island, a drive up the east coast of Tassie is awesome as well. 

 

As far as food goes, I'm not sure about how to get it cheaper, there's lots of fresh local produce and seafood, but the prices are fairly reasonable. 

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5 hours ago, TonyWenz said:

Which country are you coming from?

Hello brother, we are from Mumbai, India. 

Dear brothers and sisters, thank you for all your wonderful tips and suggestions. I will reply to all of these after I have discussed it with our group members. Until then, please share everything you all think we should know!! 

 

Regards,

Dominic

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AWWWwww!!!  I want him to try and kill me :) Soooo cute!!

 

(I know this is off-topic) But in our territory, we have many homes on bush blocks and sometimes we see little wallaby/rat-like marsupials called bandicoots.  I love seeing the native animals near us when we're out and about.  However, there are no kangaroos jumping down our streets 🤣

 

Despite the odds against it, the Quenda is hanging on in Perth's suburbs.  This is a bandicoot, also known as quenda.

https://www.watoday.com.au/national/western-australia/quendas-battling-bandicoots-hang-on-in-perth-suburbs-20141226-12dub2.html

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One more tip:

Air travel in Australia is affordable,  but it pays to book tickets in advance, as booking closer to departure date proves often expensive.

Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin are main players (also Tigerair nestled under the parent corporation of Singapore Airlines )

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On 5/20/2019 at 5:35 AM, New World Explorer said:

Air travel in Australia is affordable

See if you have frequent flyer points with partner airlines - eg Virgin Australia partners with Singapore Airlines.  I find air travel in Australia very expensive, because I live on the West coast.  So I use my frequent flyer points to help defray the costs.  Coming from India to Melbourne, you might find you have enough to cover a free flight to Hobart or even to Gold Coast.  So check if your airline partners with one of the Australian carriers or you use a credit card that collects points.

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On 5/19/2019 at 6:25 PM, hatcheckgirl said:
 

AWWWwww!!!  I want him to try and kill me :) Soooo cute!!

 

(I know this is off-topic) But in our territory, we have many homes on bush blocks and sometimes we see little wallaby/rat-like marsupials called bandicoots.  I love seeing the native animals near us when we're out and about.  However, there are no kangaroos jumping down our streets 🤣

 

Despite the odds against it, the Quenda is hanging on in Perth's suburbs.  This is a bandicoot, also known as quenda.

https://www.watoday.com.au/national/western-australia/quendas-battling-bandicoots-hang-on-in-perth-suburbs-20141226-12dub2.html

He'll kill me with his cuteness. Didn't get to see this creature when I was in Perth. I was staying at a homestay in the suburbs.

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2 hours ago, M'Awan said:

Didn't get to see this creature when I was in Perth. I was staying at a homestay in the suburbs.

You see them in the hills and foothills, where our territory is.  I live near bushland, so they sometimes venture onto properties (never mine though).

 

9 minutes ago, New World Explorer said:

Looking...looking ...sand ...sand...nothing....:poke:

Very true! Most isolated city in the world! (poking back 😋)

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@New World Explorer 

@Dominic PereiraI loved the Grampians. You'll get so sick of looking at wild kangaroos and other animals in Hall's Gap. That was was my ardent desire when I first decided to visit Down Under : frolicking with the roos. So I was massively rewarded. Like living in a zoo. :) The brazen kangaroos come into the compound of the hostel and their poo doesn't make a pretty sight. I even got to stroke a wild kangaroo. Approach with caution. They're wild animals after all. In May the temperature was just right for a person from the tropics. 

3 nights was not enough to explore this wonderful and picturesque place. Taking a train was really easy from Melbourne but I reached there by way of Warrnambool (near Tasmania). I stopped at Apollo Bay (Great Ocean Road), transited at  that southwestern city for a few days, then off to the Grampians by bus

I found it strange that at times, I was pretty much alone to explore the National park. The Aussies are really friendly and go out of the way to greet a lone traveller. :D

Definitely, rent a car to explore GOR. 


Edited by M'Awan
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On 5/19/2019 at 6:16 AM, TonyWenz said:
 

(You could spend 3 weeks in Melbourne and surrounding areas!)

 

Quite right you are, Brother Tony. I spend 2 weeks in Melbourne and it wasn't enough to take in all the sights. Enjoyed the free city tourist shuttle bus in the CBD. 

 

 

 

 

 

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