To Our Aussie/New Zealand Members - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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To Our Aussie/New Zealand Members

The wife and I are seriously thinking about taking a trip "down under" next year - it's been on my "bucket list" for some time now...

I know little about what to see and where to go in Australia and New Zealand so I could really use some guidance...

I would like to start a dialog with some of down under members to try and determine the best way to go about this... We could do it via private e-mail or here on the forum - which ever you prefer...

I did this with Steve Saunders and Ciaran before we went to Ireland a few years ago and their help was invaluable...

If anyone is interested in conversing with me on this, please reply here or send me a PM...

Thanks in advance,

Les

4 wheels moves the body
2 wheels moves the soul
Honorary Wild Rhino - 7/10/2014

GL1800 HPNAM9
Darkside #1574 - Bridgestone Driveguard RF
Double Darkside - BT-45


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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2016, 12:30 AM
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Hi! I live on the east coast in the state of Queensland, You lot looked after me when I rode in the USA. Know a bit about NSW and Queensland so if i can be of any help let me know, regards Bob in Oz

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2016, 03:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulster View Post
Hi! I live on the east coast in the state of Queensland, You lot looked after me when I rode in the USA. Know a bit about NSW and Queensland so if i can be of any help let me know, regards Bob in Oz
and i'm about 600km further north in Central Qld. Happy to correspond

Bob
1989 GL1500

I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges, Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror, The wide brown land for me!


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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2016, 05:55 AM
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Though i live in Alaska right now i was in the Adelaide area from dec to jan. Flew from Anchorage to Honolulu to Sydney then to Adelaide.

I can give you advice about customs, currency, renting a car or lodging. Or the airlines.


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2016, 06:35 AM
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sounds like a good crowd, I hope you do it here as it would be an interesting read. but if not here do have a safe and wonderful trip.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2016, 12:38 PM
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Travel down under

I agree with FredinCT. I think it would be interesting to follow on this forum also.

Hope it can be done.

Rayjoe

I've learned so much from my mistakes, I'm thinking about making a few more.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2016, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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OK thanks guys - formulating questions - will be back in a day or two - will keep it on the forum for the benefit of all...

Les

4 wheels moves the body
2 wheels moves the soul
Honorary Wild Rhino - 7/10/2014

GL1800 HPNAM9
Darkside #1574 - Bridgestone Driveguard RF
Double Darkside - BT-45


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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2016, 07:07 PM
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Since i'm not working and may not be for awhile, plus i'm bored i will just post what i went through in short.

I originlly did searches through Expedia, and they just kept trying to send me to Seattle then LA and then Sydney. So i changed my tactics, may not affect you but you never know. I booked one way trips in the off peak times of the week, flew from Anchorage direct to Honolulu, then after two nights there I flew to Sydney. On that leg I flew Jetstar, it was cheaper but terrible terrible food and service, like sub economy, now my return trip from Brisbane to Honolulu was on an A320 by Hawaiian, definitely the best flight I ever had, felt like first class, so if possible fly Hawaiian. If you have never been to Hawaii you can easily get a flight out of most west coast airports. Or you can sit in a plane for 14 hours from LA to Sydney. It was only 10 hours from Honolulu to Sydney, 9.5 coming back. The 787 is an awesome plane.
Keep an eye on the exchange rates, banks usually charge a small amount, the AUS dollar was .73 last year so they sold me the Aus dollar at .77, roughly 4 cents higher per dollar, most exchange boothes in the aus terminals are close to that, maybe a small amount more, spend it before you come back as i took a loss converting Aus to US dollars back home.

Customs wasn't bad, best to declare ANYTHING if in doubt, they are very strict about what can come into the country and they will fine you in a heartbeat. Pack light, i packed too heavy, had to pay extra for excess luggage, its especially bad on any domestic flight there, strict weight limitations. Don't count on any electrical devices working even using a voltage converter, you can get the 220 volt 50 cycle rated usb chargers at any airport. I had issues using a converter, may have led to my cell phone and tablet having battery issues. On that subject I bought a prepaid Vodaphone sim card for my Samsung S5, popped it in and had data, internet, local and long distance, you get a different phone number, cost me $40 Aus.

Renting a car is easy, but make sure its damage free first before you pick it up. I rented a Toyota Camry Altise, its really a big car compared to most on the road, if you do rent an SUV be prepared to deal with narrow roads, narrow parking spots, gas wasn't really expensive, at least not to me in Alaska where its been over $3.50 a gallon. The favorable exchange rate helped a LOT, our US dollar was worth about $1.44 aus.

Watch out for the sun, its brutal, very easy to get too much.

Food is great there, i still cannot find food back home as good as i had in Oz, and definitely try out local wines, my favorite was Brown Brrothers i think it was. Oh and try the lottery, i won more often there than anytime in America.

I rented three different vacation homes, you can do searches, they were Stayz and Homeaway. Very easy to do online and secure, in Oz they love to do everything by debit card. Oh and don't speed, they love to fine you for that, luckily I was never caught. And be VERY cautious on the roundabouts, they are everywhere, get your right view down first, many time i looked by habit left first, keep that head on a swivel, read up about traffic rules, especially about left and right turns and stop signs. Many side streets don't have them.

One other note, if you need receipts for purchases you neeed to ask for one because 99% of the time they won't give you one.

I had a wonderful time there, for almost all of my time there I stayed in a vacation rental home south of Adelaide, on average it was less than $75 a night usd, in AUS dollars from $80 to $110. If you smoke its a good time to stop, a pack of smokes can be $40, a PACK. I get a carton here in Alaska for $24, you can only bring up to 50 cigs into the country. Ask away for anything else. I would love to go back again. But not during their summer, was way too hot for me.


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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-10-2016, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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WOW Silverado,

Thanks for all the info - very helpful... Gave up smoking about 15 years ago so now problems there and we visited Ireland a few years ago... After my initial moments of terror driving on the other side of the road and other side of the car shifting with my left hand, I adapted quite well after a few days... Good to know the exchange rate favors us for a change rather than the other way around as in UK and Ireland...

Well, for the benefit of my Aussie forum friends waiting for questions I have a few basic ones...

Knowing that I want to visit Australia and New Zealand just because I want to go there, what are some of the main attractions that most American visitors would want to see???

I know the country is vast and I'm sure we won't get to see ll that we want to, what would you all recommend???

Weather - I know we're opposite in seasons but what are the extremes if any???

We all here about the outback and/or the "bush"... Is it really worth seeing or is it just a vast expanse of nothing???

Forgive my ignorance if the questions sound dumb but I'm just shooting form the hip here and haven't done much research yet but wanted to get the dialog moving...

Les

4 wheels moves the body
2 wheels moves the soul
Honorary Wild Rhino - 7/10/2014

GL1800 HPNAM9
Darkside #1574 - Bridgestone Driveguard RF
Double Darkside - BT-45


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-10-2016, 08:45 PM
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Steam train rides, so many to chose from. Just do a youtube search, they are everywhere, not kiddie trains either, full scale working steam locos and passenger cars. Ride the train cross country, you can do it in style thats not been seen much in America anymore.
Drive the coast route from Sydney to Melbourne. Go offshore big game fishing. Go to the wineries around Adelaide, visit the conservation parks.

Watch a sports game in a stadium, go horse racing, thats a big social event. Eat out, far better food than anywhere i have seen in America.

Don't forget the museums, rail, air, military, subs, ships.

This may not help you but is just my personal observation, take a trip to Brisbane, very very nice beautiful modern airport there, plus theme parks nearby. I hated the domestic side of Sydneys airport, hot, rushed rude employees. Sydney is gorgeous but came off to me as like NYC. If i fly back again i'm going to Brisbane instead.


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