Thursday, October 3, 2013

Surviving a Trip to Australia Alone

I mindlessly joined a friend to book a flight to Sydney for August. It was during one of those AirAsia's sales where you get two tickets for the price of one. Australia was one of their chosen destinations. :)

But in truth... nope....

I never thought I'd be going to Australia this year. Like ever! Haha!

It was a last minute impulse decision and I get to pay for the tickets in monthly installments. The tickets costed me RM831 all-in for a two-way ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney. Fortunately, with the monthly installment plan (ha ha!), I get to pursue more pressing financial issues such as buying a local flight ticket from Sydney to Melbourne. Since I'll be going to Australia, why not cover Melbourne as well? Right? So my plan was 3 nights in Melbourne, 1 night on a bus and 2 nights in Sydney. 8 days in total. :)

Thus these are how I survived the expensive Australia (to fit my budget)

1. Couchsurfing

This was the very first thing I thought of before braving this trip. Couchsurfing! I went to search for hosts straight away once my tickets were bought. Sydney proved to be difficult and resulted of me getting more offers from males instead of females (especially from those who live alone in big apartments. SCARY!). So I ended up booking a hostel dorm instead. :(

Melbourne? Well,  I get to stay at a two-room apartment, hosted by Su Ying Oi and her sister at a suburban area just outside of Melbourne. A struggling student, paying off her tuition fees by working two to three jobs per day in mid-town Melbourne, I couldn't help but to adore and love her dedication! :)
Me with Su Ying at Brighton Beach, Melbourne. She's also a solo traveler cum photographer,
2. Drinking water straight from the taps!

Both Sydney and Melbourne sports clean local bathrooms. So all I needed was an empty water bottle and when-ever I'm thirsty or out of water, I'd just fill in my plastic bottle with tap water. Mostly from the public bathrooms! Haha. If not, I'd have to fork out about AUD 3 for a bottled mineral water. That's just too expensive for me!

Free tap water vs. AUD 3.00 bottled water
3. Opted in taking a GOR day tour instead of renting a car

I've researched ways to visit the Great Ocean Road. Some of my twitter friends actually suggested renting a car. But since I'd be traveling alone, I opted a local tour instead, costing me AUD 120. An additional $21 because I wanted a bus with free Wi-Fi on board. =P

My tour guide for GOR. I forgot her name but she loves saying "Woo-Hoo!". Hehe.
All types of day tours from various operators can be made from Melbourne Visitor Center near Federation Square in Melbourne. I booked mine there after browsing through various operators. You could also get free information, do your travel bookings and also buy souvenirs, though it's a bit costly. And it's actually situated underground. Woo-hoo!

4. Use free transport when-ever available

Do mind the time in which the free bus or tram services ends. It doesn't operate until night time. I used the free shuttle bus in Melbourne to get around. And spent most of my time in the bus sight-seeing and only gone down to Victoria's market. Hehehe. 

This is where I first boarded the free Melbourne Visitor Shuttle. Stops can be read here
5. Booked all local transportations beforehand in Malaysia and via online.

I booked via Jetstar for an airplane ticket from Sydney to Melbourne (AUD 60++)
Then I booked via Greyhound to book an overnight bus from Melbourne to Sydney. I wanted to try out different ways of transport in Australia. Hehe. (AUD 75++)

My first experience with Jetstars from Sydney to Melbourne. :)

6. Joined a FREE city walking tour in Sydney

I didn't get to pay anything because it turned out I didn't have small change to tip the delightful tour guide. :(

The meeting point was at 10:30 am near the town city hall and a guy in a green t-shirt will greet us. Once a crowd has gathered, we'd follow the guided walking tour of Sydney from there to the rocks and ends at Circular Quay.
I was given this free map at the hostel I stayed in. 
Once I got my bearings straight, I can now roam Sydney at my own leisure. Oh, I also used the free bus shuttle here that goes by the number 555. 

7. Opted a day tour to Blue Mountains

I studied the details of each itineraries of various operators and decided one that allowed me to get close and personal with a real life koala and feed the kangaroos. Everything else seemed to not matter. Hahaha. But since it included the Blue Mountains and a free pick-up from my hostel, I just couldn't resist it anymore.

So with a tour bus to the Blue Mountains, I go! Costs incurred = AUD 109 (AUD 99 if booked online)

The 20 seater bus that I rode on. Luckily it was a small group that day. Only 12 people including me. :)
And thus I end my survival tips in Australia. All ground tours and hostel costs were paid in cash while I was there. I brought only AUD 500 which is deemed a lot by my fellow friend who went to Sydney with me but had a completely different itinerary. Haha. We met only on the last day where I got treated with Kangaroo Burger! Yummmm!!

Till my next post. Happy traveling guys! Will be boarding a plane to Korea in less then two weeks! :)


Alid Abdul said... [Reply]

So total how much you've spend in Oz?

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ alid abdul -- 5 juta rupiahhhhh! said... [Reply]

great vocation.....nice to know you

Wahidah said... [Reply]

kite sgt jealousss...


Khai said... [Reply]

Great tips. One day nak jejak sana. :) InsyaAllah. Ongkosnya ja blum mantap. HAHAHA

Ramble and Wander said... [Reply]

Eh! Didn't know that you took a tour to Featherdale & Blue Mountains. Thought you took the train?

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ MK. Lim... thanks.. :)

@ wahidah.. hahaha. kenapa mau jeles? tiket AirAsia kan ada. tinggal beli je =P

@ khai... hehehehe.. insyaAllah one day.

@ raw... yes I did take that tour. haha. but train? no la. mahal ba. hehe =P

Wilson Ng said... [Reply]

You should explore more off Melbourne.


Fahmi said... [Reply]

hi, nice post about australia you have. i always want to visit this country. Doing a road trip inside big continent like australia is one of my dream, and i'm on my way to achive it! wish me luck ^^

titan said... [Reply] least you survive. :)

mie said... [Reply]

rasa nak ke Autralia pula la lepas ni..

Jard The Great said... [Reply]

@ wilson.. I wish.. I only had three days. hehe

@ fahmi.. good luck!! you can do it!

@ titan.. hehehehe. I'm a survivor!

@ mie.. jom lah!! haha!

hlga said... [Reply]

banyak duit ya kakak jalan-jalan terus..

ini tips bermanfaat banget cuma ya tetep aja butuh duit buat ke aussie

*pergi menabung..

Amber Lynn said... [Reply]

You are a total adventurer and a survivor. I think you are very familiar of travel safety tips (, because you stay cheerful and courageous along the trip. You're post is so fun, I am encouraged to travel even on my own=)

Alvi said... [Reply]

Keren! dengan sekitar IDR 5 juta bisa jalan2 ke Aussie
Terima kasih buat tipsnya.
Pengen banget kesana, mulai nabung deh...