Australia & New Zealand Round-up and Budget

I have some mixed feelings on the 28 days I spent in Australia & New Zealand.

Obligatory Sydney Harbour shot

I might as well start with the positives. First off, it was really nice to catch up with quite a few friends I hadn’t seen since they left the UK – Chris in Auckland, Matt in Melbourne, Gen in Perth, and Chris, John & Ollie in Sydney, especially as it could be ages before I get to see them again. Getting to do the Tongariro Alpine crossing was a real highlight too, as it certainly lived up to its billing as one of the world’s best day hikes. I’m so glad too that my round the world ticket gave me the chance to see Uluru & the red centre, something I may not have bothered with otherwise, and was one of the real highlights of the trip so far. My stomach was also very pleased to get to catch up on so many of the English foods I’d been missing since I’ve been away (amazing as some of the foods I’ve had while away, I still can’t stop myself getting homesick for certain foods. Decent bacon, especially). Possibly best of all was getting to spend nearly two weeks with Matt in Melbourne, not doing all that much by the way of touristy stuff, instead just settling back into city life (and Melbourne is definitely one the best cities in the world) and recharging my batteries after doing so much over the past seven months.

Newtown, my favourite part of Sydney

But despite all the plus points, it did feel like a bit of a letdown after having such an incredible time in Latin America. The biggest factor in that was the fact that the two countries really are way too much like home in many respects. While that was comforting in some ways, one of the things I’ve loved most about my travels is experiencing a range of very different cultures, and to be honest, the antipodean culture was nowhere near as exciting. Another surprise was the other backpackers I met. In Latin America, I met so many amazing people, many of whom I hope to stay in contact with and see again when I get home. Whereas, especially, I really didn’t get on with any of the travellers I met in Oz. Maybe I was just unlucky, but I did find there to be something quite different about the type of people who have chosen to spend a year in a country like Australia (rather than Asia or Latin America) – they didn’t seem to be as adventurous, or open-minded, or interesting to talk to. Like I said, maybe I was unlucky and didn’t meet the right people, but it made me realise how much the company of great people makes to my enjoyment of a place. The final downside was one that I always knew was going to happen – the cost. As developed countries, they were always going to be expensive. With the pound being as week as it, it was even more so, and worse so than I’d feared. In just 1 month I managed a far bigger overspend than I’d managed in seven months in the Americas. Whoops. Oh well – let’s just hope I manage to claw some of that back in (much cheaper) Asia.

Here are those scary average daily spend numbers anyway – accommodation & food & drink costs are easily the highest yet (even moreso than my three days in the USA), and the others are all at the top end of what I’ve been spending so far.
Accommodation: $25.52
Transport: $13.18
Tours: $15.05
Miscellaneous purchases, internet & phone calls: $11.62
Food & drink: $41.54
Total: $106.92

And on to the usual round up of some other numbers. We have a new form of transport thanks to Melbourne’s trams (why on earth do all cities not have these? Trams rock)
Buses: 19
Trains: 18
Trams: 20
Flights: 5
Cars: 7
Beds: 10
Laundry: 5
Phone calls: 4
Postcards: 4
Beaches: 6
Monoliths: 1
Canyons: 1
Volcanoes: 1
Deserts: 1
Mudpools: several
Pies & bacon sarnies: I lost count quite early on with this one, to be honest

And finally the people I shared overpriced (and undersized) beers with. All the Aussies were great. Most of the hostel brits – not so much. I also got to meet my first people from Malaysia & Hong Kong too.
Australia: 23
UK: 20
Germany: 3
New Zealand: 3
Hong Kong: 3
US: 3
Malaysia: 1

And so the third leg of my trip ends, and my next stop, South East Asia, is the final one, which is rather a scary thought. How did that happen so quickly?

You can see all my photos of Australia here and all the ones from New Zealand here.


4 responses to “Australia & New Zealand Round-up and Budget

  1. Hi Geoff – interesting comment re: the type of traveller in Oz/NZ compared to those who might travel to some destinations which are a bit more “harder” (or don’t speak english!!). I have to say I agree – but I think that the reason being is that those who spend longer in Australia tend to be younger people (massive generalisation perhaps!!) and it’s more about having time away from home – having it easy and lots of partying! (At least it was for me the first time I travelled at 19 where I speant 1/3 of the tima away in Oz and loved it). The second time I went travelling (28/29ish) although I did spend time in both NZ and OZ I far preferred the time I speant in Borneo and China – and yes the friends I made in those countries were the ones I still see!


  2. hey Chris! I started reading your journal accidently when I was planning a trip to Colombia and you just went through it… I liked your writing a lot and so I read the previous chapters and then followed your posts through South America – was really cool & fun :)! I must stay I could not make myself read your posts on New Zealand and Australia – some fun factor has gone… now I read your “round up” and realized it was probably because you did not enjoy as much :). Well, looking forward to reading more on Asia soon! Cheers & all the best in your travels.

    • thanks Anna, interesting to see that the same excitement that wasn’t there actually came through in the posts! am enjoying indonesia more so hopefully you’ll enjoy the new posts more

  3. Hi Geoff, great blog you have here! I agree, it can be really expensive in Australia but I think some of the best things to enjoy in the country are the free things. Did you visit the NSW Central Coast? There’s heaps to do there and it doesn’t cost anything to enjoy the beaches and the local towns are always cheaper than the major cities. See what I mean: Oh, and Newtown’s my favourite part of Sydney as well :)

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