• AUSTRALIA HOLIDAY REVIEWS

Australia
A vast country that spans a continent, Australia axiomatically has “more sheep than people”, which is certainly true of its remote “Outback” region, but hard to believe in its gleaming cosmopolitan cities. Each of the six states and two territories have different attractions for those who holiday in Australia, from the endless beaches of themore
TTor Greece - Wilfredo M. Pratt. Date of travel: Mar 2010
TTor Greece
I couldn't have asked for more! Peter Pappas was a magnificent tour guide and fitness guru. His clever way of bringing together fitness while letting you experience Greece in every way is simply amazing. At first, all I could think of when we got there was to just relax and do the usual tour. However, what ensued from the first few hours of day one blew me away. I never really thought one could enjoy fitness while having an amazing tour in an amazing land far, far away from home. It�s also interesting to note how Peter balances everything so that there�s enough time for each one on the group to wander around alone. Being in a group of fellow travelers is so much fun, but being alone by yourself in a strange land is an experience that you would also want to experience. So, in a nutshell, with The Balance Tour with Peter Pappas, it�s fitness combined with an opportunity to experience Greece in every way = AMAZING! I highly recommend The Balance Tour to all those who would like to see the world in a whole new way.
Perth, Australia - SagMoonTravels. Date of travel: Dec 2009
Perth is a lovely city. It's clean, neat and offers beautiful beaches.
Towoomba - Australia - Wendy van Zyl. Date of travel: Dec 2009
Lovely Holiday- wonderful country - very clean and the people are very friendly. Beautiful scenery and shopping and sightseeing.
Australia - Never again - Belinda. Date of travel: Sep 2009
Australia: good one day, bad the next
Melbourne - P E. Date of travel: Aug 2009
Love Melbourne - great shopping, dining and people watching.
Australis Noosa Lakes, Sunshine Coast, Australia - Rebecca Hope. Date of travel: Apr 2009
My husband and I took our 3 year old for a holiday to the Sunshine Coast and bought into the great descriptions of Australis Noosa Lakes both through Wotif.com and on their own website. However, our expectations and reality were totally opposites. We had a terrible experience so wanted to warn other travellers about these main points: 1. This venue claims to be a Resort, however about from the swimming pools, there is nothing Resort like about this venue - don't believe it! 2. This venue is NOT in Noosaville as claimed, rather in Tewantin, further away from Noosa Heads with no redeeming features at all, and away from the great vibe, features/services and restaurants/cafes of Noosaville. 3. Our apartment had fleas. We finally caught one and delivered it to reception but received no comment. 4. The carpet was stained and lifting, and the couches just felt dirty. 5. Over-bearing cleaning smell upon arrival, which we worked out was to hide the musty-smell that came through after a few days. 6. The kitchen was certainly not fully-equipped as claimed. 7. The air-con was un-usable as smelly and seriously in need to a clean filter. 8. The venue is hardly lake and river frontage as claimed, unlike other accommodation options in Noosaville that do indeed have river frontage. Don't believe the marketing! 9. The apartments have a sign inside stating guests must clean before departure and that a service fee would apply if left dirty. Each apartment is privately owned, and some owners actually live at the venue. This affects the atmosphere/dynamic of the place. 10. Bathroom basin base was rotting. 11. Bathroom fan and vents very dusty and dropped dust into room when used. 12. Expensive wireless Internet options. 13. The unheated pools were too cold to enjoy using in April, leaving one pool for all guests to use, and even that didn't seem warm enough. 14. Dangerously hot water in kitchen and bathroom. Water ran extremely hot within seconds making scolding a real risk. Overall, the place is average motel quality, but with fleas and more expensive! Certainly not resort quality by any standard. We raised all of these issues with the Hotel Management to no avail. We urge other travellers to avoid staying at Australis Noosa Lakes unless you don't mind being disappointed and having your holiday deflated.
Conservation Volunteers Australia - Susan Mary Robertson. Date of travel: Apr 2008
I worked for Conservation Volunteers Australia in April 2004 in Hunter Valley in New South Wales planting eucalyptus and acacia bushes staying in a bungalow near Newcastle where I swam in the Pacific Ocean and visited a nature sanctuary with koalas, kangaroos, emus, cockatoos etc. I then visited Blue Mountains and Canberra with my brother who lives in Tasmania. I loved it so much I travelled round the world again in September 2004 and travelled on the Indian Pacific Railway from Sydney via Adelaide to Perth seeing the Outback, Desert and coastal regions of Australia. I also had a two day stopover in Auckland New Zealand staying at the Fat Camel Hostel and a two day stopover in Johannesburg staying at the Ritz Backpackers Hostel and having a barbeque in the hostel garden.
Australia, Gold Coast - Clair. Date of travel: Mar 2008
I have just returned from working for over 2 years on the Gold Coast and I have to say that, like Chris, I was extremely disappointed with what I experienced there. While I did meet some well educated, interesting and intelligent people through work, the vast majority of people I met locally had very little education and were extremely narrow minded or downright ignorant with regards to cultural and political affairs. The population seemed to be mainly comprised of beer swilling Neanderthals in ‘suped up’ cars and girls with bleached hair and tacky clothing. It astounded me that so few people appeared able to spell even basic words and even fewer could hold a decent conversation unless it was about beer or surf. And this comes from a surfer! Moreover, it seemed impossible for anyone to string a sentence together without swearing. I found it frustrating that the economy operates within such a closed market, with little competition meaning high prices and very few choices. I have just returned to the UK and am finding it a pleasant surprise to have so much choice in the shops, coupled with much lower prices. 'High speed' broadband in Australia is risible, with extortionate monthly line rentals, inflexible contracts and very limited download allowances. I was lucky enough to be able to do a fair amount of travelling while working in Australia and I did see some spectacular scenery. All in all, I came away with the impression that while Aus is a fantastic place to visit and travel around, it is certainly not a country to which I would ever want to return to live in.
What can you say about the previous posts?? - Josh. Date of travel: Sep 2007
If the previous commentators who are negative about Australia weren't so tragic, they'd be hilarious. I've been there twice and it is one of the most enchanting and diverse countries on earth. To express surprise that you can't drive around it easily is ludicrous. OF COURSE it's enormous -- look at a map of the globe! To express surprise that the east coast isn't one long idyllic seaside drive is also ludicrous -- just google it or look at a road map to see how much of it is inland! I mean, come on. Australia is massive, friendly, diverse, astonishing, tropical, temperate, hot, cold, dusty, wet, and all the rest... but you've got to do a bit of research to figure out what you want to see in advance. You can't just arrive at Sydney airport and expect the Reef and Rainforest to hit you in the face when you hail a cab. Put in the hours on travel review websites reading other travelers' opinions, consult maps, figure out your priorities, and you'll see things you can't see anywhere else in the world and have the most astonishing trip of a lifetime. It is SO worth it. GO!! But don't complain that it's big, sparse, diverse and requires air travel. D'uh. It ain't Belgium...
Australia :( - Chris. Date of travel: Sep 2007
I lived in Australia for a year, most of which was spent on the coast, an hour north of Brisbane. I didn't enjoy my time there, it seemed so bland, so culturally void. I know that sounds like a terrible thing to say but it is honestly how I felt. The people were nice but the lifestyle (at least of the area I was in) was just "empty". All people did was surf and get drunk. I'm not sure I met many highschool graduates. Travel to the interior was a welcome change. The scenery was nice but I fear not enough to undo the impact of my first few months on the coast :( I was really disappointed by the government, the corporate hold on the populace (thanks to a serious lack of competition), and what appeared to me to be a complete disinterest in education. In fact, in the area where I was first staying (Mooloolaba) there were schools (PUBLIC schools) that refused to talk about evolution and dinosaurs! Astounding! Nice people, but I'd avoid cities. They're just like any other city in the world and the real allure of Australia (as I see it) is in the nature. All else is quite bland.
Lesley Ryan. Date of travel: Sep 2005
I am stunned by some of the comments made by the people who have visited Australia and think that Perth and Sydney are representative of Australia. A city is a city is a city!!! Australia is about the outdoors, the wildlife, the colours of the sky and of the rocks. I do not have an artistic or outdoorsy bone in my body but I was moved by everything I saw and experienced. I did find the East coast a little bland as expected as it is the most populated area with all the facilities you would want but also all the crowds. The West of Australia is incredible and a much preferred destination to the East. Perth the city may not be the most exciting place in the world but the areas near it are. Margaret river is so beautiful and peaceful. Northern territories with Catherine Gorge and Kakadu National Park is breathtaking and provides experiences that will not be forgotten. Queensland - the barrier reef, Cape Tribulation etc etc - need to be seen to be believed. Ayers Rock at sunset and at Sunrise I have never seen colours change like that. Dinner under the stars in the middle of the desert where can you do that. Watching turtles lay their eggs or eggs hatch on the beach in the dark by torchlight with Rangers. Boat trips to find rare sea life. Whether you want to do it the cheap way or the expensive way if you do your research and know where you want to go you will not be disappointed. Australia is such a vast experiential country it will not disappoint - so make the effort before you go get your information rather than complaining when you get there that it is not as you expected!!!!
Berry and Neil. Date of travel: Apr 2005
We were travelling with a 12 month old baby which limited us a little, but we loved Australia and found Australians welcoming, friendly and hugely enthusiastic about their country. We spent about 5 days in Sydney, 10 days in Port Douglas, then flew to Melbourne for a week and finally a few days in Perth. The ex-South Africans we stayed with were generally very happy, settled and would not alter their decision to move although they work very hard to re-establish their lifestyles there. Loads to do - loved being able to wonder around major cities safely especially at night, and enjoyed the safe, clean, efficient commuter services!! Suggest you avoid the White Cockatoo in Mosby unless you are into nudist resorts - we only found that out when we got there! Also the manager is quite obnoxiously anti-South African whites. We loved Port Douglas, and enjoyed great hospitality for almost daily diving on the Poseidon (various destinations on the outer reef, great diving). Lovely beach (4 mile beach), quaint town to wonder around and very close to great things to do like breakfast with the birds, Cairns night zoo and cultural park. Sydney is beautiful, Melbourne full of buzz and Perth is a city in progress - we would love to return to Perth and explore it more, especially the reef along that coast which looks like really promising diving. O yes - if you travel with kids on Qantas Airlines maybe its best to take toddler meals with you. We booked meals, confirmed and checked again but they never got it right - one air hostess even got angry with me because one of her colleagues gave my baby someone else's food! Tour Operator: Ourselves mostly
Debbie Sims. Date of travel: Oct 2004
Darwin, NT. We arrived with our expectations high that we would be able to drive and see the scenery. This was a dream I had been dreaming of for years. We didn't realize Australia was the size of America and it would take a week to drive from Darwin to Sydney driving hard. Darwin was our point of destination and we were not disappointed. The people were all friendly and very helpful. There is quite a bit of history in Darwin and the surrounding areas. Did you know that even though there is a university named after him and also a park and the city; that Charles Darwin never even visited there. There are crockodile tours, wild life parks, outback tours, flying tours and walking tours. There is so much to do that you don't have time to stop. The only regret was that you couldn't enjoy the beaches because of the stingers which are jelly fish with a deadly sting. The sunsets were unreal and even the food was good. It is a tourist attraction and a lot of people are moving there to retire or start their new business. One problem was the vagrants that walked around drunk. That was pretty scary. We stayed at the Quest Serviced Apartments on Cavenah. It's like home with the employees treating you like family. We had a one bedroom apartment which included a full size kitchen with dishwasher, stove, microwave, refrigerator, dishes and a washer/ dryer. There is a pharmacy and a grocery store right next door and the bus stop is right outside also. Too nice to explain. If you are planning on an extended trip you might want to bring as many personal products that you are familiar with like deoderants, tooth paste, etc. They didn't carry brands that I was familiar with. Also foods that we are used to are not available like corn meal, biscuits and Tony's Cacharie's seasonings. I ordered some of this on the internet and it cost a fortune to have it sent over. Some of the personal items like Secret deoderant cannot be imported. So pick what you can't live without to bring with you just make sure it's not illegal to bring it over. Some food items CANNOT be brought in. If you don't declare it there is a huge penalty that is levied and you cannot leave the airport until it is paid. This didn't happen to us but we did see instances on TV where it did happen. Someone tried to bring fruit, pumpkin seeds etc and didn't declare them. It was a mess. Otherwise we enjoyed ourselves and think it was a once in a lifetime visit. I still think traveling is a lot of fun but I need to be able to enjoy the changing seasons and you don't have that in Darwin. It's either hot or HOTTER! All in all it's a nice place to visit. Tour Operator: Me
Hazel White. Date of travel: Feb 2004
My husband and I bussed up the much advertised east coast of Australia, but I was a bit disappointed - fine if you come from a landlocked country and are desperate for a beach holiday, but we found it overrun with young European backpackers with money to spend and being school holidays everything was packed - maybe our bad timing didn't leave us with the best impression. We also had expectations of awesome scenery along the coastal road, but endless miles of the Australian bush (gum trees) blocked any views although the road was more inland than we had expected anyway. A few industrial towns along the way were the only break in scenery! Noosa is a lovely coastal town different from the rest and has a great national park for walking, coastal scenery and koala bears.
Janet Hughes. Date of travel: Jan 2004
Having heard so much about Australia we arrived with very high expectations - from everything we'd heard this was THE place to be, especially for South Africans, but having finally seen it for myself I can say that it is for the most part over-advertised. And trying to see the different parts of the country that are worth seeing took more time than we had; it is so big that you have to choose carefully or have the cash to fly around. Usually I enjoy driving between places to be able to see the scenery, but Australia is one country I would recommend flying around as the scenery doesn't change much for days and it takes so long to get anywhere of interest. Also the tour brochures don't tell you that you have endure miles of endless gum trees, thousands of flies and mosquitoes in summer, humidity, and a wide range of deadly spiders and snakes; and you can't swim in the sea in most places because of the sharks or saltwater crocodiles or box jellyfish (the deadliest creature on earth) - never mind the arrogant, coarse Australians themselves! I was also very disappointed and saddened to speak to ex-South Africans who had nothing good to say about their home country and went about scorning it to all who'd listen - it seemed to me like a weak attempt to justify their mistaken decision to leave?!
Sue Rowland. Date of travel: Nov 2003
I travelled with my family to Australia in November 2003 to attend one of the opening rugby world cup games. We spent 4 days in Sydney and a week in Perth and surrounding area. I think Australia is one of the most overrated destinations. Sydney is quite beautiful but we felt that we had seen everything we wanted to see in 4 days and we thought Perth was one of dullest places we have ever travelled to. I know this is only a small part of Australia but we have no desire to go back. It certainly has very good PR. Tour Operator: independent