Brucini started seriously travelling after attempting to move to Queenstown, New Zealand, in 1996.Inspired by drunkenly meeting a world of travelers on a Kiwi Experience bus, he changed his plans and roamed the world for a year. ...Find out more!
There’s plenty advice around about what are the best or not to be missed things to do in Australia. Avoiding the lowlights is equally important. Here’s some helpful hints to avoid some pitfalls of otherwise great destinations, activities and attractions in Australia.
1. Catching a Greyhound bus from Adelaide to Alice Springs or Alice Springs to Darwin
It takes 19 hours and 30minutes to travel from Adelaide to Alice Springs. If you’ve ever sat on a bus for more than an hour you’ll know it’s not the most exciting experience. Sure it’s cheaper than taking a flight, train or a multi-day guided tour. It’s what you are missing that’s important to realise - the Flinders Ranges, Coober Pedy, great outback experiences. It takes 21 hours and 30 minutes to travel from Alice Springs to Darwin and costs AU$313. That’s almost as long as it takes to fly from Europe to Australia! You’d be better off taking a 3 day / 2 night guided tour with meals and accommodation for AU$425. That way you’ll actually see something and not feel more or less jet-lagged when you reach your destination.
2. Going to the Gold Coast during ‘Schoolies’ week
‘Schoolies Week’ is a week dedicated to the celebration of the end of high school for final year students. No more school ever = a big celebration. Traditionally, it has focused on Surfers Paradise (Gold Coast, Queensland). If thousands of hormone-engorged and over-excited teenagers packed onto the beaches, malls and streets of the area isn’t your idea of a holiday then avoid the place as well. If it is your thing, that’s why there’s an Australian way of describing you too - “toolie”.
Weeks to avoid: 2008 - Saturday 22nd of November to Sunday 30th. 2009 - Saturday 21st of November to Sunday 29th.
3. Buying a cheap, poor quality second hand car / camper van
Independently minded travellers in Australia love the freedom of having their own car or campervan. There’s a thriving market for these secondhand vehicles invariably sold between backpackers who have driven literally thousands of kilometres. For many, buying a vehicle to travel in will be the first vehicle they’ve ever bought. The excitement of an adventure can override common sense and this means you will waste money. Don’t compromise on mechanical checks; ongoing cost-planning (fuel, camping equipment and charges); allowing time to sell your vehicle at the end of your trip; keeping money aside for 4WD trips and other specialist experiences for where your car/van can’t take you.
4. Climbing Uluru (Ayers Rock)
If you have time, everyone visiting Australia should visit Uluru. 1 in 2 visors to Uluru choose to climb it. It’s the case that when you get there no-one will physically stop you climbing nor will anything bad happen to you if you do (although 35 people have died on it in the last 20 years, not to mention less-fatal injuries). It seems contradictory, however, to come so far to see and better understand something and then disrespect the traditional Anangu owners of Uluru who understand the place better than anyone. Your understanding will not be enhanced by the climb more than walking around it or buying an aerial view on a postcard.
5. Doing a Self-Drive 4WD trip on Fraser Island with an in-experienced driver
Fraser Island is one of the most popular places to travel to on the East Coast of Australia. The most common way backpackers see the Island is by joing other backpackers to make up a self-drive group. Strangers (up to 9 people) are kitted out with vehicle, camping gear and popular itineraries and maps to see the Island’s highlights. If you have a drivers license and are old enough you will probably get a chance to drive everyone. If you have a competent, safety-minded driver this is all well and good. You are dependent on the driver managing unusual conditions (sand) and other travellers not to be distracting or encouraging of risk taking behaviour. Accidents can happen to anyone, but they are increased by in-experienced driving or poor decision making in uncommon conditions. If you don’t think you can assert yourself in groups when you don’t feel safe, wish the driver to slow down or can’t agree with group decision making then this might not be the way to travel for you. At the very least, choose your travelling companions wisely.
Australia is a great places and there is so much to do - avoid a few of the above and your trip can be even more memorable!