I love traveling and what’s most exciting is traveling with my kid. It’s indeed fun yet tiring at the same time. Last year May my kids and I went to Australia and traveled around for 3 weeks. It was supposed to be longer but I have prior and scheduled trip to 5 Asian countries in June so we have to shorten our supposed to be a 2-month vacation in Australia. Before I give you my top 16 Fun Things to do In Australia, let me remind fellow Filipinos the 1st thing you need to do – GET A VISA.
Before going to Australia. Philippine passport holders should acquire VISA online. You may visit http://philippines.embassy.gov.au/mnla/Visas_and_citizenship.html
We never had a problem getting our Visit Visa valid for 3 months since Chichi’s daddy is working as an OFW in Australia and he did all out paperwork on his behalf. He gave me copies of his Job Contract and Visa Confirmation Email. Acquiring VISA will take 1-2 weeks but some Filipinos got their visa in less than 5 days. On my end, I have a scanned copy of our passports, a marriage certificate, birth certificate of my child and mine.
For more info please visit https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/600-/Visitor-e600-visa-online-applications
– Manila to Sydney via Cebu Pacific could go as low as 10,000 PHP one-way (promo ticket).
– Via Philippine Airlines, one-way is around 20,000++ PHP Manila-Sydney.
After lodging your papers, the waiting time begins. However, let me give you my top 16 Fun Things we did when we’re in Australia for a short vacation of 3-weeks.
1. Take the Subway
– Yes Kabayans, we have MRT and LRT but enjoy the public transportation in Australia. And mind you, train fares in SYDNEY and GOLD COAST is a bit expensive. I remember my high school best friend seeing me at the airport train station and her fare cost 20 AUD / 240 PHP from the central station.
2. Ride the Tram
– When we were in Sydney for 4 days, my best friend, Chichi and I went to the Chinatown to shop for pasalubongs, from Kingscross station we took the subway and change train going to the Central station. From the Central station, we took the tram going to the Chinatown and walk for about 10mins or so. Good thing it was Autumn and the weather is a bit cold so walking for hundreds of meters is not too tiring.
– Of course, every tourist would love to shop for some pasalubongs and for their personal use. When we went to Gold Coast, we shop at the Pacific Fair Shopping Mall and Harbour Town, my kid and I bought shoes at Skechers and Puma. I also scored a bag for less than 5,000 PHP in one of the Australia Bag Line called Kate Hill. Price is cheap because most shops have 50 % discount.
– Shopping malls in Australia close at 3 or 5pm and on Thursday until 7pm only.
4. Visit the Sydney Harbour
– I guess it’s mandatory to see the famous Sydney Harbour if you are in Australia. It’s one of the famous architecture and landmark in the world.
– We stayed in one of the hostel in Kingscross and instead of walking, we took an UBER going to the Sydney Harbour and our UBER fare is around 300 to 350 PHP / 8 AUD. Mind you that some Aussies will just walk from our place to the harbor.
5. Tour at the Blue Mountains
– We booked our tour at the Blue Mountains at https://bluemountainstoursydney.com.au/ and availed their 1-day Blue Mountain Deluxe Tour for 135 AUD per pax or 5,400 PHP for 1 whole day tour.
6. Visit Australia Zoo
– Traveling with kids is more fun if you will visit zoo so kids will learn more about the life and habitat of different animals. In Australia zoo, kids enjoy their time whenever they will hold an animal and close encounters to it.
– Adult ticket is 59 AUD / 2,400 and Kids ticket is 35 AUD / 1,400 PHP. It’s freakin EXPENSIVE but it’s totally worth it. It’s a 1-whole day from morning to late afternoon you will see lots of animals, even Rhino’s and perfectly looking Giraffes and Turtles.
7. Visit Movie World Theme Park
– Moview World – Warner Bros Australia is located in Gold Coast. Said to be Australia’s #1 theme park.
– DC superheroes and villains characters
– Amazing and thrilling rides
We purchased the Unlimited entry for 12 months for 4 theme parks. 3 other theme parks include:
– Sea World
– Wet n Wild Gold Coast
– Paradise Country
Since we came to Australia in Autumn, the weather is pretty cold and we can’t bear to be soaking wet in hours outside so we decided not to visit Wet n Wild.
8. Visit Sea World
– Located in Gold Coast
– Enjoy and learn the different kinds of sea animals, learn their habitats and at the same time, kids and parents will enjoy their theme park rides such as roller coaster.
9. Visit Dreamworld
10. Enjoy the parks and FREE use of BBQ grill
– Chichi definitely had a wonderful time staying in Australia. Not only she gets to see and be with his daddy, she also enjoys the park which we don’t have it here in the Philippines. We have to go to a play place and pay per hour play just so my kids can enjoy almost the same amenities like this.
– Yes, you read it right. Here in Australia, most parks have BBQ gas grill and its FREE for use by anyone. AMAZING!!!!!
11. Camping at the lake
– Because we stayed for almost 2 weeks in the countryside of Queensland, huge land and lakes are everywhere.
– From the place where staying in Middlemount, there’s a near lake where men do fishing and some camper van owners stay there.
12. Enjoy the scenery
– Because I live in Manila, where shopping malls. hotels. buildings and traffic are everywhere, being in a countryside makes me relaxed and able to feel and smell the fresh air.
13. Take advantage of seeing wild roo’s
– Yup, in the countryside that we stayed in, roo’s are everywhere! In the morning at our backyard, we’ll see roo’s hopping away from us. And in the afternoon, roo’s are crossing the street going to the wild.
14. Visit Kingscross Coca Cola Billboard in Sydney
– Nobody can explain to me why this Coca Cola billboard at the crossing of Kingscross in Sydney is so famous.
15. Visit Surfers Paradise
– A visit to Gold Coast is not complete if you will not visit the famous Surfers Paradise.
– In the morning and late afternoon, the waves in Surfers Paradise is CRAZY. I mean it’s really strong and big.
16. Visit Skypoint Observation Desk
– enjoy 360 views at the top of Q1
– Entrance fee, adult is at 25 AUD / 1,000 PHP and children is 15 AUD / 600 PHP.
– Q1 is 322.5 meters high and Sky Point has one of the world fastest elevator and in just 42 seconds you are on the 77th floor of the building.
– For me, it’s too expensive paying this amount of money. Also, food at the observation desk is expensive. But if you are on a date then this place is perfect for you and your partner.
To sum it all, we spend about 150,000 to 175,000 PHP on our 3-week Australia vacation, this includes roundtrip airfare, tours, restaurant dining, hotel and hostel accommodation, UBER and train fares.
So if you’re planning on visiting Australia, I suggest saving huge money so you can totally enjoy your vacation.