Avalook at Australia News

Issue Number 3, 12 November 1999

ISSN 1443-0797

Editors: Eric Lindsay and Jean Weber

In this issue...

Want to see Australia on the cheap?
Touring Western Australia
Aussie specialist travel agents
Automobile clubs
Coping with Australian English
Words for cars and trucks
Follow up: The republic referendum
Subscription information

Want to see Australia on the cheap?

The cheapest way to travel around Australia is to make contact with the backpacker network. You don't have to carry a pack, and you don't have to be under 30 -- I've met lots of older people, some of them well over 60, who travel the world this way (they probably started out, years ago, staying in youth hostels, just as we did). Modern backpacker resorts generally have accommodation ranging from a bed in a 4- to 8- person dorm room to single and double rooms with private showers and toilets.

If you're not already plugged into the backpacker scene, here are some websites to get you started:

TNT Magazine (information on just about everything -- they publish a series of bimonthly magazines and The Australia and New Zealand Independent Traveller's Guide, which you can buy from overseas)
Backpackers World (travel agent for tours and transport)
VIP Backpackers (hostels and more)
Nomads (hostels and more)
Oz Experience (bus with lots of flexibility on one ticket)
Travellers Auto Barn (rent or buy cars and vans; buyback guarantees)
All Backpackers (directory of backpacker hostels in Australia)


Touring Western Australia

This section has moved to http://www.avalook.com.au.wa/index.htm.


Aussie specialist travel agents

This site is run by the Australian Tourist Commission, who say:

In several major overseas markets, the Australian Tourist Commission conducts training and accreditation programs for those travel agents who want to become experts in putting together Australian holidays. We call them "Aussie Specialists". We recommend that you seek their guidance when planning your Australian holiday experience.

Lists of Aussie Specialist travel agents are available for these countries:

New Zealand
South Africa
United Kingdom
United States of America



Automobile clubs

If you're planning to buy a car or other vehicle for your travels around Australia, you'll want to contact one of the auto clubs (similar to the AAA in the USA) for inspections, insurance, maps, and other useful information. A friend of ours has good things to say about the NRMA (National Roads and Motorists Association), who were very helpful when he was arranging a new-car purchase from overseas.

If you're planning to rent a vehicle, the auto clubs can be very helpful sources of information; and they will grant reciprocal privileges to members of most equivalent overseas organisations.

Here are some web pages:

NRMA (primarily New South Wales, but operates Australia wide)
RACQ (Royal Automobile Club of Queensland)
RACT (Royal Automobile Club of Tasmania)
RACV (Royal Automobile Club of Victoria)
RAC (Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia)


Coping with Australian English

Moved to our page on Australian language.


Words for cars and trucks

Moved to our page on Australian language.


Follow up: The republic referendum

Last Saturday's referendum returned a resounding "No" vote against the republic model that was the only choice on the ballot. Unofficial polling had made it quite clear that people wanted direct election of a president (which wasn't one of the choices), or had other objections to the details -- they didn't necessarily object to a republic in principle.

The result should also be seen in historical context -- I don't remember how many referendums have been voted on this century, but only two have passed. (One granted citizenship to the Aboriginal people.) As a group, Australians seem very reluctant to change the constitution.


© Copyright 1999-2002 Eric Lindsay and Jean Weber. All rights reserved.

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