Tag Archives: Australia

Vibe Hotel Sydney – Review

I stayed at this hotel for 3 nights during the last days of my Australia 2013 trip. I really enjoyed staying this hotel.

Location

The Vibe Hotel Sydney  is located in Goulburn St, which is part of the CBD. The two nearest city rail stations are Central and Museum. The Central station is about 10 minutes by foot away, Museum station only 5 minutes. he airport link train also stops at these stations. Because the hotel is in the CBD you’ll can find almost anything you need nearby. Mini marts, Bars, restaurants and coffee shops are only few steps or minutes away.

The reception staff was very friendly and upgraded me to a “Deluxe Suite Queen and Sofa”, which was really nice.

Room

The bedroom features a queen size bed flat screen and an alarm clock. The seperate living room a coach and a desk and a second tv.

Vibe Hotel Sydney - Bedroom
Vibe Hotel Sydney – Bedroom

The bathroom has a bath tub with shower.  I believe I stayed at the 7th or 8th floor. The suite has a friendly and warm interior and was  clean. It was very quiet thanks to the high floor. WiFi is not included. I didn’t try it, because I had connectivity through my smartphone with integrated WiFi hotspot.

I haven’t tried the breakfast, because I prefere to enjoy it at my favourite coffee shop chain. There’s also a pool on the roof

Can I recommend this hotel? Yes, it is a great option for your stay in Sydney. Especially the location is a huge plus for exploring the city by public transport or getting to the airport.

This review and all the other reviews on this blog are not sponsored.

Lonelist pub in Australia – Daly Waters, NT

Welcome to a series of posts about unique and fun places in Australia.

Today I would like to show you the Daly Waters Pub “Outback Servo” in Northern Territory Australia.

Memorabilia left at Daly Waters Pub, Australia
Memorabilia left at Daly Waters Pub, Australia

Daly Waters is about 620 kilometres south of Darwin and three kilometres west of the Stuart Highway. This pub not only has fantastic barramundi burgers but it also houses lots of stories through memorabilia left by visitors from around the globe.
You can find hundreds of t-shirts, bras, car signs and plenty of other unique things at this place in the middle of nowhere. A lonely pub? I am not sure. It’s in the middle of nowhere, but people come to this place, enjoy great food and leave amazing things here.

Barramundi burger at Daly Waters Pub, Australia
Barramundi burger at Daly Waters Pub, Australia

My TOP 3 places in Australia

I’ve been thinking (and writing) about Australia quite a lot lately. That’s why I want to present you my top 3 favourite places in Australia in this post.

Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach is a 7km long beach and is considered the whitest beach in the world. I believe it’s true, because I visited this beautiful place. It is accessible by boat aswell by seaplanes.

Whitsunday Islands and Whitehaven Beach
Whitsunday Islands and Whitehaven Beach

 

 

 

 

Sydney

Some people would say it’s a big city like many another big cities.
I my opinion Sydney is so much more. You have  the amazing Opera House, the Sydney Royal Botanic Garden next door including the St. George Open Air Cinema. You can take a ride on the iconic Sydney ferries to Manly Beach. Sydney also offers a wide variately of food and dining options. And the famous Bondi Beach is only a few minutes away. Watch the Surfers or enjoy some quality time at the beach. There’s even free WiFi!

Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

Read more about Sydney

Kakadu National Park

Kakadu National Park. In my opinion one of the most beautiful national parks on our planet.  It is a protected area in the Northern Territory of Australia, about 170 km southeast of Darwin. So it’s best to plan a long drive or even stay at a hotel near the park area.

Kakadu National Park, Australia
Kakadu National Park, Australia

 

 

 

 

 

Read more: Kakadu National Park

Katherine Northern Territory, Australia

Katherine Gorge, Australia
Katherine Gorge, Australia

Katherine is a small town in Northern Territory, Australia. It’s about 320km south of Darwin.

In this post I want to highlight the Katherine Gorge which is the main attraction at the Nitmiluk National Park. The gorges can be explored by canoe and flat bottomed boat. We opted for the latter and did a 3 hours long cruise a long several parts of Katherine Gorge. In the middle we had to do a bit of a walk to get to the second boat. Between them we could see ancient aboriginal arts and learn something about their history.

Katherine Gorge, Australia
Katherine Gorge, Australia

See series of sandstone gorges carved over millions of years which stretch along the Katherine River. This is definitely one of my hights of my Australia 2013 tour.

My tip: If you want a relaxed afternoon on a boat while you’re in Australia, then spend some time in Katherine and do a cruise. Or do a canoe tour along the Katherine river.

More info: Australia’s Outback

Kakadu National Park, Australia

Me at Kakadu National Park, Australia
Me at Kakadu National Park, Australia

Welcome to Kakadu National Park. In my opinion one of the most beautiful national parks on our planet.  It is a protected area in the Northern Territory of Australia, about 170 km southeast of Darwin. So it’s best to plan a long drive or even stay at a hotel near the park area.

I took the opportunity and did a short scenic flight over the park area with Kakadu Air. The whole park has covers an area of 19,804 km2 (7,646 sq mi), so it’s a convient way of seeing at least a part of it.

Kakadu National Park, Australia
Kakadu National Park, Australia

The best time to visit Kakadu is end of October or later, because then all the waterfalls should be filled with enough water to create an amazing landscape.

We were at beginning of the wet season when we visited the place. Therefore most waterfalls didn’t had enough water to flow, but it is still one of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve seen.

If you plan to visit the Northern Territory, make sure you visit Kakadu. The photos don’t show the whole beauty, because it’s hard to take vivid photos while flying at speeds of several hundred kilometers an hour.

More info: Kakadu Air

 

Kakadu National Park, Australia
Kakadu National Park, Australia

Travelodge Mirambeena Resort Darwin

Welcome to my first hotel review in Australia this year.

In October 2013, I stayed at the Travelodge Mirambeena Resort Darwin. This resort offers both “motel” and “hotel” accomodation. In this review I focus on the so called “motel room”. There’s also a so called “budget motel room”, which I wont describe in this post.

Room

I got a motel room with Queen size bed and a second bed on the first floor (one level above ground floor). The room featured a flatscreen TV, an A/C and a small table. The bathroom was clean and had a shower. There also a small fridge in the room and a in-room safe with digits pad.

The hotel/motel offers two swimming pools and a bristro area. I enjoyed spending some time relaxing at the pool and reading my newest novel, which I bought at the Darwin Bookshop. A fitness room and internet terminals are also on location.

Location

The hotel is conviniently located at Cavenagh Street. There’s a Woolworth supermarket located across the street. Want to send a postcard home? There’s also an Australia Post office on Cavenagh Street, just a 5 minutes walk from the hotel. Want to go on a shopping spree? Downtown Darwin is just a 10-15 minutes walk away. There quite a few smaller shops and a few shopping malls.

Breakfast

I only tasted the continental breakfast option, which was good. All the standards were on offer: coffee, tea, toast, vegemite, jam, cereals, fruits.

Photos

Sorry, no photos this time. Check out the photos from the official website, they’re pretty accurate.

http://www.travelodge.com.au/travelodge-mirambeena-resort-darwin/hotel-images

 

Darwin, Australia – Capital of the North

Welcome to my new series of posts about Australia.

This time I travelled from Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory in Australia to the centre “Alice Springs” and Uluru/Ayers Rock. Plus bonus: 2 days in Sydney.

To start off my new series: An article about Darwin.

Darwin, named after the naturalist and geologist Charles Darwin is a “small” city of approx. 129,000 people. It’s only about 4 hours flight time from Singapore and many other major Asian cities. So head out into the Territory!

Attractions

Darwin has a a lot to offer. Period. Here are some examples.

Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

This amazing museum and gallery features collections of different animals of the past, aboriginal art collections, paintings from Arnhem Land and dot paintings from the desert.
Also they give the opportunity to learn more about Cyclone Tracy , in a multi-room display with movies, pictures from the life before and the recovery phase and also features replica homes from the time before Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin.

admission: free

Crocosaurus Cove

The Crocosaurus Cove is located in the heart of Darwin city, allows visitors to view Australia’s iconic Saltwater Crocodiles. And more the extra brave there’s an opportunity to Swim with the Crocs or to holding a baby Saltwater Crocodile. Many of y travel mate spent some time there and enjoyed it!.

admission: $26 AUD – $160 AUD (depends on package you choose)

Florence Falls

Go swimming at Florence Falls, just a 2 hours ride from Darwin
Go swimming at Florence Falls, just a 2 hours ride from Darwin

How about a relaxed afternoon by a water fall. Then head out to Litchfield’s Florence Falls. A place where you can swim under a waterfall and enjoy the sun or the shade under the trees.It’s a 2 hours ride from Darwin’s city centre.

admission: free

 

Food tips

You like pizza? Try “il lido“, a Spanish restaurant, at the Darwin Waterfront. Their pizzas are amazing! Trust me.

more info: www.illidodarwin.com.au

You’re a bit in party mood? Try Monsoons Restaurant & Party Bar. We enjoyed their interpretation of the Oktoberfest to kick-off our tour through the Northern Territory.

They have a massive list of food and beverage options. And I am pretty sure the massive bar area will serve your needs.

more info: www.monsoons.net.au

Hotels

The hotel prices are a little bit above Australian average (I searched for hotels in several places in Australia). You can find accommodation from hostels, 1 star little motels up to 5 star luxury hotels with bay view. I stayed at the 3/4 star hotel/motel “Travelodge Mirambeena Resort Darwin”. They have both so called “motel rooms” and hotel rooms. A had the opportunity to stay at a “budget motel room” and at a “motel room”. My tip: Definitely spend a bit more of your bucks and upgrade to the motel room. More details in one of my upcoming reviews.

Most hotels in downtown Darwin are in the walking distance of restaurants and Woolworth or other grocery stores. If you stay at the Travelodge Mirambeena Resort Darwin, Woolworth is just across the street.

Climate

Darwin is situated in in the tropical area of Australia. This means Darwin has a wet and a dry season. The wet season begins in early October which is also the beginning of Spring.

During my stay end of September/early October I had temperatures of up to 33°C during day time. In the summer you can expect temperatures of 40°C+. Keep in mind that you can exspect more rain during the wet season. The wet season begins in October.

 

Stay tuned for more about the Northern Territory in the coming days!

 

Mobile Internet in Australia – How to

More and more visitors come to my blog, because they want to know how mobile internet works in Australia.

Index
Part 1: General/network operators
Part 2: Travelling with your smartphone in Australia
Part 3: Mobile Internet in Australia – How to

 

Netbook/tablet with integrated 3G

If you own a netbook or tablet with integrated 3G, it’s very easy. Get a Sim starter kit from an Australian network operator (e.g. purchase at Australian Post store). Activate your data Sim and book a data option. How does this work? Staff from the stores can help you. Also, often there’s a manual included with the starter kits, explainig how you can activate it by yourself either online or by phone. Just insert your Sim card into your device and start the software.

USB modems / Mobile WiFi

If you don’t have a netbook with integrated 3G, there’s an alternative. Use an 3G USB Modem. All 3 major Australian mobile network operators offer them for a plus on top of the Sim starter kit.

The network operator Telstra offers e.g. a 3G USB-modem + 2GB data allowance for just $59 AUD (as of writing). After you purchased and activated your USB modem, you just have to connect it to your computer and follow the instructions on the screen.

Smartphone WiFi Hotspot

Another cost effective way is that you use your smartphone. This method is known as WiFi-Tethering. With this method your data connection on your smartphone will be shared via WiFi with devices like netbooks or tablets. Naturally this makes only sense if you have booked a data option with your tariff. E.g. the network operator Telstra offers the BROWSEPLUS49 Pack with 3GB data allowance included for just $49 AUD (as of writing).

Most Android smartphones have  built-in feature known as “WiFi-Hotspot/Mobile Hotspot”. Just enable Mobile Hotspot and connect your Netbook via WiFi, like you would do at a coffee shop.

The following video shows, how it works on a HTC Smartphone.

 

Travelling with your smartphone in Australia

More and more visitors come to my blog, because they want to know if their smartphone works in Australia.

Index
Part 1: General/network operators
Part 2: Travelling with your smartphone in Australia
Part 3: Mobile Internet in Australia – How to

Which network operators are available in Australia, has been answered in part 1 Mobile Internet in Australia – General.

In this article I want to tell you, which smartphones should work in Australia.

The following information bases on different sources: Either on my own experience or external information about the phones hardware specs combined with my knowledge about the network technologies used in Australia.
The following smartphones (EU models) should work in Australia.

Smartphone Telstra Optus Vodafone Source Online shops
HTC Desire + +* my own experience
HTC Desire X + +* Official website
HTC One X/X+ + + + Official website
HTC One ? + + Official website
Confirmation from HTC Sales Team
Samsung Galaxy S2 + + + Official website
Samsung Galaxy S3 + + + Official website
Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini + +* Wikipedia
Google Nexus 4 + + + Official website

*Vodafone Australia’s Extended Coverage 850 MHz 3G network not available.
This is just a selection. There are more manufactures/models that support Australian mobile networks.
All information provided “as-is” and without warranty. This table based on the supported frequency bands listed on the source websites.

Web links to online shops will follow later.

Generally speaking, if your smartphone supports UMTS (“3G”)  on 2100 and 900 MHz, that it should work with Optus and Vodafone. Does it also support UMTS 850 Mhz? Then you can get more coverage on Vodafone and also connect to Telstra. The mobile operator Telstra is according to their own statements the biggest network operator in Australia. Telstra’s 3G network works exclusively on UMTS 850 Mhz. All operators also have GSM networks, but these are much slower than 3G and not recommended for smartphones. If GSM or 2G is enough, than look for a smartphone with “Quadband” GSM.

Update: I am working on a list of models from Asia and the US.

Weblinks: