Traveling from the States?

GermanCityGirlGermanCityGirl Twitter AdministratorSeattleRegistered User regular
I was curious who else might be making this trek.

Where are you traveling from and what number PAX is this for you?

Next PAX: PAX East 2013
Previous PAX: PAX Prime 2012

"Money can't buy you love, but it can get you some really good chocolate ginger biscuits."
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  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    so long as it's not by kangaroo!

    Next PAX: PAX AUS 2017
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • FatSoDaFatSoDa Professor Doctor AustraliaRegistered User regular
    If you are, i recommend traveling to Melbourne by train from Sydney. the cost is about 1/2 a non budget airline ticket, and you get to see some nice country on the way down.

    [E]nforcing it Like I stole it
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    PAX Aus Enforcer
  • BekerBeker Child's Play Program Director SeattleRegistered User, Penny Arcade Staff regular
    I'll be traveling from Seattle. Taking a bit of extra vacation and touring around but haven't settled on where yet.

    PAX Aus will be my 12th PAX, next East being my 11th.

    -Beker/Erick
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    oldskool jules
  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    FatSoDa wrote: »
    If you are, i recommend traveling to Melbourne by train from Sydney. the cost is about 1/2 a non budget airline ticket, and you get to see some nice country on the way down.

    cheap but i hope you have something to do for 11 hours. the last time i did a cross country train ride was going from Eugene, OR to San Francisco and that was about 15-16 hours...but it was fun. it would also mean a thursday morning departure to allow for the 11 hours.

    it's still an option either way.

    Next PAX: PAX AUS 2017
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
    FatSoDa
  • FatSoDaFatSoDa Professor Doctor AustraliaRegistered User regular
    thegh0sts wrote: »

    cheap but i hope you have something to do for 11 hours. the last time i did a cross country train ride was going from Eugene, OR to San Francisco and that was about 15-16 hours...but it was fun. it would also mean a thursday morning departure to allow for the 11 hours.

    it's still an option either way.

    Its not something i would recommend for fellow Aussies, but for you Americans who haven't seen the country yet it could be fun.

    [E]nforcing it Like I stole it
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    PAX Aus Enforcer
  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    FatSoDa wrote: »
    thegh0sts wrote: »

    cheap but i hope you have something to do for 11 hours. the last time i did a cross country train ride was going from Eugene, OR to San Francisco and that was about 15-16 hours...but it was fun. it would also mean a thursday morning departure to allow for the 11 hours.

    it's still an option either way.

    Its not something i would recommend for fellow Aussies, but for you Americans who haven't seen the country yet it could be fun.

    true, only if you planned enough time to allow for it.

    Next PAX: PAX AUS 2017
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • DanacyrusDanacyrus Gaming Coffee Making Musician BrisbaneRegistered User regular
    Don't do it. Its' a trap. Catch a plane, it's cheap as chips, you'll see the country from a far, and for less time. You'll be thankful.

    The train is expensive (more expensive than discount plane fares.) and in my opinion, there are far better ways to spend your time if you're looking on the tourism side of things.

    (From someone who caught a train through the country to Longreach)

    But if you like the really long repetitive scenic route, then maybe this is for you. XD

    KateEdwardsFuzzyPredator
  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    get that MP3 player of yours ready cos you're gonna need it to kill time! LOL

    Next PAX: PAX AUS 2017
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • StupidStupid Newcastle, NSWRegistered User regular
    We're coming in from beautiful northern california wine country. It's going to be our tenth aniversary, and I was already on the hook to do "something special"; a trip to aussieland works out prefectly for both a PAX trip and an anniversary present.

    Now the big decision is how long do we spend in Melbourne? For our first PAX Prime in Seattle, we flew in on Sunday before the show and had a grea time playing tourist. I'm not sure how much toruisty type stuff there is to do in Melbourne? Would it best to spend a few days in Sydney and/or Canberra before (or after) PAX?


    26904.png
  • GermanCityGirlGermanCityGirl Twitter Administrator SeattleRegistered User regular
    Beker wrote: »
    I'll be traveling from Seattle. Taking a bit of extra vacation and touring around but haven't settled on where yet.

    PAX Aus will be my 12th PAX, next East being my 11th.

    That's impressive! PAX East 2013 will be #11 with PAX Aus as our 12th. We are doing the same, prolly going to stop off in HI for a couple days before to lessen the travel time and then embark on Virgin Australia to AUS.

    Next PAX: PAX East 2013
    Previous PAX: PAX Prime 2012

    "Money can't buy you love, but it can get you some really good chocolate ginger biscuits."
  • GermanCityGirlGermanCityGirl Twitter Administrator SeattleRegistered User regular
    Stupid wrote: »
    We're coming in from beautiful northern california wine country. It's going to be our tenth aniversary, and I was already on the hook to do "something special"; a trip to aussieland works out prefectly for both a PAX trip and an anniversary present.

    Now the big decision is how long do we spend in Melbourne? For our first PAX Prime in Seattle, we flew in on Sunday before the show and had a grea time playing tourist. I'm not sure how much toruisty type stuff there is to do in Melbourne? Would it best to spend a few days in Sydney and/or Canberra before (or after) PAX?

    (early) Congratulations! I know there's loads of parks and gardens in the city but in wintry climes, I don't know how much outside walking around will be desired for us. Have you booked your hotel stay yet?

    Next PAX: PAX East 2013
    Previous PAX: PAX Prime 2012

    "Money can't buy you love, but it can get you some really good chocolate ginger biscuits."
  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    Stupid wrote: »
    We're coming in from beautiful northern california wine country. It's going to be our tenth aniversary, and I was already on the hook to do "something special"; a trip to aussieland works out prefectly for both a PAX trip and an anniversary present.

    Now the big decision is how long do we spend in Melbourne? For our first PAX Prime in Seattle, we flew in on Sunday before the show and had a grea time playing tourist. I'm not sure how much toruisty type stuff there is to do in Melbourne? Would it best to spend a few days in Sydney and/or Canberra before (or after) PAX?

    I say check out Sydney after pax as there's no time pressure. There's certainly lots of things you can do like do the bridge climb, weekend markets, our beaches, and so forth.

    Next PAX: PAX AUS 2017
    Previous PAXs: PAX Prime 2011, PAX AUS 2013
  • FatSoDaFatSoDa Professor Doctor AustraliaRegistered User regular
    Danacyrus wrote: »
    Don't do it. Its' a trap. Catch a plane, it's cheap as chips, you'll see the country from a far, and for less time. You'll be thankful.

    The train is expensive (more expensive than discount plane fares.) and in my opinion, there are far better ways to spend your time if you're looking on the tourism side of things.

    (From someone who caught a train through the country to Longreach)

    But if you like the really long repetitive scenic route, then maybe this is for you. XD

    Its Not a Trap!
    ackbar.gif
    Honest

    Yes the train is long, and it can get repetative but you do get to see some great country and you can relax on your way down, even get a snooze in. Just think what a whole carriage of Pax'ers? Paxians? AuPax's? PAUx'ers?... people going to pax would be like... actually scuse me a minute im going to post that in the convoy thread

    Ok Back.

    So yeah, if you dont totally want to be a part of a mobile lan, or a gaming lounge on the go, then you should totally fly in your flying machines.

    [E]nforcing it Like I stole it
    paxaus.gif

    PAX Aus Enforcer
  • DanacyrusDanacyrus Gaming Coffee Making Musician BrisbaneRegistered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Honestly, if there is a full group of you it's less bad, But to be honest I was in a whole train full of my friends, there was bout 40 of us. It still sucked ass.

    There isn't actually much space either.

    Danacyrus on
  • FatSoDaFatSoDa Professor Doctor AustraliaRegistered User regular
    Convoy!

    [E]nforcing it Like I stole it
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    PAX Aus Enforcer
    zerochosen
  • zerochosenzerochosen WollongongRegistered User regular
    Aussie trains kind of do suck ass... seats are built for ET's bum and our hobos get to ride inside where it is warm :/

    A webcomic by me: Enemy Agency
    http://www.enemy-agency.com
    Danacyrus
  • Cobalt60Cobalt60 regular Registered User regular
    I took the train from Melbourne to Sydney a couple of months ago. I took the train so I could take more than 1 piece of luggage.

    The experience was SO BAD I cancelled my return ticket and bought a business class flight back from Sydney.

    It was 12 hours of tiny seats, no leg room and screaming kids.

    Danacyrus
  • YugYug [ PAX Australia ] Content & Communications Manager AustraliaRegistered User regular
    Stupid wrote: »
    We're coming in from beautiful northern california wine country. It's going to be our tenth aniversary, and I was already on the hook to do "something special"; a trip to aussieland works out prefectly for both a PAX trip and an anniversary present.

    Now the big decision is how long do we spend in Melbourne? For our first PAX Prime in Seattle, we flew in on Sunday before the show and had a grea time playing tourist. I'm not sure how much toruisty type stuff there is to do in Melbourne? Would it best to spend a few days in Sydney and/or Canberra before (or after) PAX?

    If you get the chance, you should book a tour out to the Yarra Valley, it's some of Australia's best wine vineyards!

    I like drinking, I like gaming, so I created the Mana Bar
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  • FatSoDaFatSoDa Professor Doctor AustraliaRegistered User regular
    edited November 2012
    Yug wrote: »

    If you get the chance, you should book a tour out to the Yarra Valley, it's some of Australia's best wine vineyards!

    the man speak much goodness, good wine is good.

    FatSoDa on
    [E]nforcing it Like I stole it
    paxaus.gif

    PAX Aus Enforcer
  • KateEdwardsKateEdwards Registered User
    Stupid wrote: »
    We're coming in from beautiful northern california wine country. It's going to be our tenth aniversary, and I was already on the hook to do "something special"; a trip to aussieland works out prefectly for both a PAX trip and an anniversary present.

    Now the big decision is how long do we spend in Melbourne? For our first PAX Prime in Seattle, we flew in on Sunday before the show and had a grea time playing tourist. I'm not sure how much toruisty type stuff there is to do in Melbourne? Would it best to spend a few days in Sydney and/or Canberra before (or after) PAX?

    If you're looking for Australia's quintessential tourist route you'd be best to start in Sydney. The Sydney Harbor Bridge is a good Australian rite of passage to tick off your list (that website has a few more ideas at the bottom) and The Sydney Opera House is everyone's second obvious suggestion. I recommend approx. two sleeps in Sydney, coupled with a luxury hotel, anniversary style.

    Then stay in a dirt cheap place in Melbourne that you'll only sleep in between 5am - 9am after you party, and before you get up to PAX it up.

    dyconivegzerochosen
  • DaCrawDaCraw Registered User regular
    edited November 2012
    Yug wrote: »
    Stupid wrote: »
    We're coming in from beautiful northern california wine country. It's going to be our tenth aniversary, and I was already on the hook to do "something special"; a trip to aussieland works out prefectly for both a PAX trip and an anniversary present.

    Now the big decision is how long do we spend in Melbourne? For our first PAX Prime in Seattle, we flew in on Sunday before the show and had a grea time playing tourist. I'm not sure how much toruisty type stuff there is to do in Melbourne? Would it best to spend a few days in Sydney and/or Canberra before (or after) PAX?

    If you get the chance, you should book a tour out to the Yarra Valley, it's some of Australia's best wine vineyards!

    +1 to visiting the Yarra Valley. It's about 1-1.5 hours out of Melbourne (so easy day-trip distance) and you can visit some world renowned wineries. If you enjoy nature, the Toolangi forest is out that way (it pretty much defines an outer edge to the region) and is absolutely stunning. There's still a lot of regrowth from the fires a few years back, but that just adds to the charm. Also in that (general) region is Healsville Sanctuary, a zoo that specialises in native fauna and is very tourist friendly. If you want to hand feed a Grey Kangaroo, that's probably the place to do it.

    In the city there's still plenty for you to see. If you have the chance, check out the Victorian Parliament House. The upper house chamber in particular is wonderful - it was built at the height of the Victorian gold rush, and the opulence of the decorations reflects this. Note that it may be closed depending on when parliament is in session, and what other functions are going on in the building. Also worth a look if you're interested in history is the war memorial [Edit: It's actually called the Shrine of Remembrance, the one in Canberra is the Australian War Memorial]. Not quite as extensive as the one in Canberra, it's still worth a visit, especially if they have an exhibit on that opens up their archives.

    As far as food and drink goes, I wouldn't plan on being able to get into ManaBar. It's a small two-room bar, really, and is likely to be packed to the rafters. Still, Melbourne is often referred to as the cultural capital of Australia for a reason, and there's still plenty to experience. Have a walk down Lygon St, and pick out a nice italian restaurant. Find a small cafe hidden in a backalley in the CBD and taste the best coffee of your life. If you want fine dining, Melbourne also has some of Australia's best restaurants. I'd recommend acquiring a copy of the AGE Good Food Guide and seeing what catches your eye. Honestly, though, I'd block off at least a day just to explore the city aimlessly.

    For reference, I live in Melbournes outer suburbs, on the yarra valley side (but not quite in it). I live far enough away that I tend to make a trip out of going into the city. I have been to everything that I recommend and they are where I take guests.

    DaCraw on
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  • tokyodovetokyodove Perth, WARegistered User regular
    i was thinking of organising a get together for the Americans making the long haul trip over. maybe a pre/post pax party. would any of you guys be interested in this? if yes ill make a thread for it

  • FPFr0styFPFr0sty Registered User regular
    tokyodove wrote: »
    i was thinking of organising a get together for the Americans making the long haul trip over. maybe a pre/post pax party. would any of you guys be interested in this? if yes ill make a thread for it

    Theres a post=Pax thread already

  • GermanCityGirlGermanCityGirl Twitter Administrator SeattleRegistered User regular
    tokyodove wrote: »
    i was thinking of organising a get together for the Americans making the long haul trip over. maybe a pre/post pax party. would any of you guys be interested in this? if yes ill make a thread for it

    I'd be interested. I'm going with several folks from Seattle!

    Next PAX: PAX East 2013
    Previous PAX: PAX Prime 2012

    "Money can't buy you love, but it can get you some really good chocolate ginger biscuits."
  • GermanCityGirlGermanCityGirl Twitter Administrator SeattleRegistered User regular
    DaCraw wrote: »

    +1 to visiting the Yarra Valley. It's about 1-1.5 hours out of Melbourne (so easy day-trip distance) and you can visit some world renowned wineries. If you enjoy nature, the Toolangi forest is out that way (it pretty much defines an outer edge to the region) and is absolutely stunning. There's still a lot of regrowth from the fires a few years back, but that just adds to the charm. Also in that (general) region is Healsville Sanctuary, a zoo that specialises in native fauna and is very tourist friendly. If you want to hand feed a Grey Kangaroo, that's probably the place to do it.

    In the city there's still plenty for you to see. If you have the chance, check out the Victorian Parliament House. The upper house chamber in particular is wonderful - it was built at the height of the Victorian gold rush, and the opulence of the decorations reflects this. Note that it may be closed depending on when parliament is in session, and what other functions are going on in the building. Also worth a look if you're interested in history is the war memorial [Edit: It's actually called the Shrine of Remembrance, the one in Canberra is the Australian War Memorial]. Not quite as extensive as the one in Canberra, it's still worth a visit, especially if they have an exhibit on that opens up their archives.

    As far as food and drink goes, I wouldn't plan on being able to get into ManaBar. It's a small two-room bar, really, and is likely to be packed to the rafters. Still, Melbourne is often referred to as the cultural capital of Australia for a reason, and there's still plenty to experience. Have a walk down Lygon St, and pick out a nice italian restaurant. Find a small cafe hidden in a backalley in the CBD and taste the best coffee of your life. If you want fine dining, Melbourne also has some of Australia's best restaurants. I'd recommend acquiring a copy of the AGE Good Food Guide and seeing what catches your eye. Honestly, though, I'd block off at least a day just to explore the city aimlessly.

    For reference, I live in Melbournes outer suburbs, on the yarra valley side (but not quite in it). I live far enough away that I tend to make a trip out of going into the city. I have been to everything that I recommend and they are where I take guests.

    You realise that Seattleites and most Pacific Northwesters take their coffee seriously, right? I kid... kinda.

    Seriously though, is the weather accommodating enough to check out outdoorsy things like Healsville? I've spent two summers (your winters) in Sydney and I remember it to be pretty bloody cold.

    Next PAX: PAX East 2013
    Previous PAX: PAX Prime 2012

    "Money can't buy you love, but it can get you some really good chocolate ginger biscuits."
  • DaCrawDaCraw Registered User regular
    You'd want to wear a jumper, probably a jacket too, but it's not Siberia. It will almost certainly be cold (typically single digits Celsius), and may have rain or hail. Then again it might be 15 and sunny. Heck, it can even be both on the same day. The thing about Melbourne weather is that it can be somewhat schizophrenic.

    We're just coming out of a drought, so rainfall is likely to be higher than the average from the past decade. Around that time of year, though, rain is usually reasonably light and sporadic, rather than drenching. Snow is unlikely, and if it does happen (where I live gets it once every 5-10 years, and we're at a similar altitude to Healesville) will only be a little slush.

    It's probably not the best time of year to go, but may still be worth a look. At least there will be fewer tourists around.

    ---
    Avatar is from www.xkcd.com
  • GermanCityGirlGermanCityGirl Twitter Administrator SeattleRegistered User regular
    DaCraw wrote: »
    You'd want to wear a jumper, probably a jacket too, but it's not Siberia. It will almost certainly be cold (typically single digits Celsius), and may have rain or hail. Then again it might be 15 and sunny. Heck, it can even be both on the same day. The thing about Melbourne weather is that it can be somewhat schizophrenic.

    We're just coming out of a drought, so rainfall is likely to be higher than the average from the past decade. Around that time of year, though, rain is usually reasonably light and sporadic, rather than drenching. Snow is unlikely, and if it does happen (where I live gets it once every 5-10 years, and we're at a similar altitude to Healesville) will only be a little slush.

    It's probably not the best time of year to go, but may still be worth a look. At least there will be fewer tourists around.

    I can handle rain. I moved to the Pacific NW because I love rain! Honestly! I've heard from more than one person about the four seasons in one day weather so I'll just layer clothing as I would for one of our winters. Cheers for the information. We're looking forward to visiting the city!

    Next PAX: PAX East 2013
    Previous PAX: PAX Prime 2012

    "Money can't buy you love, but it can get you some really good chocolate ginger biscuits."
  • DragonBearDragonBear Registered User regular
    @GermanCityGirl This is Melbourne we're talking about. The rest of Australia goes there for coffee. Seriously!

    Oh and being Melbourne, dress in layers. Four seasons in one day...

  • DaCrawDaCraw Registered User regular
    edited November 2012
    Melbourne: Four seasons in one day hour. Layers are a good idea, as is carrying an umbrella at all times. As it's winter you don't have to worry about sunscreen as much though, but it can still be worth checking the UV index.

    For reference, here's the summary from this years winter at the Bureau of Meteorology. They also have monthly reports going back to 2008 here.

    The one thing those reports won't tell you is that you don't really get rainy days in Melbourne. It will often rain for a few minutes, maybe 15-30 for a long stretch, then clear up. Rinse and Repeat. In summer it will often go from 35-40c and sunny to hailing and back several times over the course of a few hours.

    DaCraw on
    ---
    Avatar is from www.xkcd.com
  • AwkoAwko About to poison the waterhole.Registered User regular
    DaCraw wrote: »
    Yug wrote: »
    Stupid wrote: »
    We're coming in from beautiful northern california wine country. It's going to be our tenth aniversary, and I was already on the hook to do "something special"; a trip to aussieland works out prefectly for both a PAX trip and an anniversary present.

    Now the big decision is how long do we spend in Melbourne? For our first PAX Prime in Seattle, we flew in on Sunday before the show and had a grea time playing tourist. I'm not sure how much toruisty type stuff there is to do in Melbourne? Would it best to spend a few days in Sydney and/or Canberra before (or after) PAX?

    If you get the chance, you should book a tour out to the Yarra Valley, it's some of Australia's best wine vineyards!

    +1 to visiting the Yarra Valley. It's about 1-1.5 hours out of Melbourne (so easy day-trip distance) and you can visit some world renowned wineries. If you enjoy nature, the Toolangi forest is out that way (it pretty much defines an outer edge to the region) and is absolutely stunning. There's still a lot of regrowth from the fires a few years back, but that just adds to the charm. Also in that (general) region is Healsville Sanctuary, a zoo that specialises in native fauna and is very tourist friendly. If you want to hand feed a Grey Kangaroo, that's probably the place to do it.

    In the city there's still plenty for you to see. If you have the chance, check out the Victorian Parliament House. The upper house chamber in particular is wonderful - it was built at the height of the Victorian gold rush, and the opulence of the decorations reflects this. Note that it may be closed depending on when parliament is in session, and what other functions are going on in the building. Also worth a look if you're interested in history is the war memorial [Edit: It's actually called the Shrine of Remembrance, the one in Canberra is the Australian War Memorial]. Not quite as extensive as the one in Canberra, it's still worth a visit, especially if they have an exhibit on that opens up their archives.

    As far as food and drink goes, I wouldn't plan on being able to get into ManaBar. It's a small two-room bar, really, and is likely to be packed to the rafters. Still, Melbourne is often referred to as the cultural capital of Australia for a reason, and there's still plenty to experience. Have a walk down Lygon St, and pick out a nice italian restaurant. Find a small cafe hidden in a backalley in the CBD and taste the best coffee of your life. If you want fine dining, Melbourne also has some of Australia's best restaurants. I'd recommend acquiring a copy of the AGE Good Food Guide and seeing what catches your eye. Honestly, though, I'd block off at least a day just to explore the city aimlessly.

    For reference, I live in Melbournes outer suburbs, on the yarra valley side (but not quite in it). I live far enough away that I tend to make a trip out of going into the city. I have been to everything that I recommend and they are where I take guests.

    This guy speaks truth, I lived and worked on the edge of the Yarra Valley before moving away and it really is beautiful.

    Just ignore Domaine Chandon, the wines are massively overpriced, the food isn't great and everyone there is a wanker.

  • FPFr0styFPFr0sty Registered User regular
    Well they maybe good idea places to go.. but i'll suggest the following...

    Make sure you have access to over $500 (Maybe $1000 a week); if not you will find it hard getting pass customs.
    Also, have some form of contact here, get to know an aussie, so as if anything does go astray at the airport, at least you can get someone else to verify your intentions.

    (Trust me, people from all walks of life, will go into a country via plane, with $0 and just say they are back-packing, with no form of true intentions; as they tend to want to be illegal immigrants)

  • DanacyrusDanacyrus Gaming Coffee Making Musician BrisbaneRegistered User regular
    I'm assuming that you'll be coming with money to start with. Showing registration and relevant dates (including an exit flight) will be more than sufficient to let you in the country... Not to mention, unless you look SERIOUSLY shady, then you will not have problems with customs...

    I think you're getting a bit paranoid, too much Border Security for you!

    DaCraw
  • FPFr0styFPFr0sty Registered User regular
    lols... nar too many american shows :P; also, the company I work for, we deliver their "Customs" Paper work, to and fro the city; and all the bags include "accepted and rejected details"(also includes what parcels have been rejected for what ever reasons)

    To be honest, our customs paper work is a load of bull; as I think if they want to stay here, and are willing to work, and really want to stay.. then so be it... I see the issue behind why people don't like immigrants is because they take the work... that no-one wanted to do for cheap... then complain that theres no work, yet they think they are above the job anyways... so yer...

    Just have access to some cash; even if you leave the states forgetting your money, we do have banks inside the airport(before you go through the customs point)

  • DaCrawDaCraw Registered User regular
    edited November 2012
    FPFr0sty wrote: »
    Well they maybe good idea places to go.. but i'll suggest the following...

    Make sure you have access to over $500 (Maybe $1000 a week); if not you will find it hard getting pass customs.
    Also, have some form of contact here, get to know an aussie, so as if anything does go astray at the airport, at least you can get someone else to verify your intentions.

    (Trust me, people from all walks of life, will go into a country via plane, with $0 and just say they are back-packing, with no form of true intentions; as they tend to want to be illegal immigrants)

    Disclaimer: Nothing in this post should be considered legal advice of any form. I am not a lawyer, nor am I an expert on immigration procedures. All of this derives from personal experience, a layman's understanding of the procedures, and a modicum of common sense (a dangerous thing when dealing with bureaucracy).

    True, but that's more of an issue when you plan to be here for months, rather than a week or two - especially if there is a big event that you can say that you are attending. Making sure you have confirmed bookings at a hotel or other accommodation is generally more important, as they are more likely to ask about that. Still, being able to prove that you can support yourself is never a bad idea, just in case they ask. There has been a LOT of political hostility towards illegal immigrants lately, so the customs agents may well be under pressure to crack down. In any event, you should always make sure you can support yourself when on holidays, and allow for contingencies. Travel insurance is also a must (although that should go without saying).

    As a side note, this is taking part in something of an off-season for seasonal workers, so backpacking/fruitpicking would be a BAD idea.

    You should definitely make sure you're able to support yourself, and honestly, once accommodation etc is taken into account, it will probably cost about that much anyway.

    Interestingly, Customs will now allow US Global Entry Program members ( who are at least16 years old) with a valid US epassport to use the same smartgate system as Australian Citizens, essentially bypassing that check altogether. It looks like being part of that check is a hurdle in and of itself, but if you're already a member it will make things easier. [customs.gov.au; Minister for Home Affairs].

    You should also be aware that, as others have noted (in other threads), Australia has some of the strictest quarantine laws in the world. Make sure you check though the list of what you can bring into the country, available here. You should look through the whole list, but one particular trap for new players is airline snacks. They are NOT exempt, so you have to declare them when bringing them into the country. Processed foods will generally be allowed, but you have to declare them and have them inspected. When I came back from my most recent trip overseas, bringing a packet of Stroopwaffels and a small bottle of homemade alcohol (gifts given to me) meant that I had to take the 'I have something to declare' line. This added about 1-2 hours to the time it took me to get through customs, though both were eventually let through as being obviously acceptable. If you can avoid having something to declare (by not bringing anything on the list with you, or by disposing of it in the bins provided), you probably should.

    What you should NOT do under any circumstances, is bring something on the list and not declare it. The minimum penalty is a $220 on the spot fine, but you could be prosecuted (maximum penalty $66000 and/or 10 years). If you are convicted following a prosecution, even if you don't get jail time, you'd still need to declare it whenever you travel - good luck getting past customs then. This sounds scary, but it's pretty simple: if in doubt, declare it.

    If you choose to fly in via Sydney, then travel to Melbourne, it's worth noting that Melbourne is in the fruit-fly-exclusion-zone. What this means is that you can't legally bring specified types of fruit (which covers most of the ones you would bring as a snack) into Melbourne from outside the zone. While obviously you don't need to go through anything like quarantine on a domestic flight, that law is still there.

    I should note that I've never had to deal with customs problems when entering Australia (having an Australian passport and all), but when I've had an exchange student stay with me, she was asked why she was visiting and where she was staying. Then again, this was several years ago and we were high-school aged, so they'd be less worried. In my more recent travels, the SmartGate system really made the process easy, and the delays with quarantine had more to do with the time of day and how many people they had working at the time.

    [Edit]:
    FPFr0sty wrote: »
    lols... nar too many american shows :P; also, the company I work for, we deliver their "Customs" Paper work, to and fro the city; and all the bags include "accepted and rejected details"(also includes what parcels have been rejected for what ever reasons)

    To be honest, our customs paper work is a load of bull; as I think if they want to stay here, and are willing to work, and really want to stay.. then so be it... I see the issue behind why people don't like immigrants is because they take the work... that no-one wanted to do for cheap... then complain that theres no work, yet they think they are above the job anyways... so yer...

    Just have access to some cash; even if you leave the states forgetting your money, we do have banks inside the airport(before you go through the customs point)

    Well, you also wouldn't have to have the cash on you, rather you just need to be able to demonstrate that you can access it. Travelers cheques, etc, all work, as does simply having a bank account you can access from Australia (and maybe a statement to that effect, although I doubt that would be necessary).

    DaCraw on
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  • FPFr0styFPFr0sty Registered User regular
    still; i love the accent americans have; and just cant wait to meet all the peeps.
    So have fun, and plan for an american warm winters week :P

  • thegh0ststhegh0sts Sydney, NSWRegistered User regular
    tokyodove wrote: »
    i was thinking of organising a get together for the Americans making the long haul trip over. maybe a pre/post pax party. would any of you guys be interested in this? if yes ill make a thread for it

    good to see you on the forums again!

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  • DragonBearDragonBear Registered User regular
    edited November 2012
    Also be aware that AQIS uses sniffer dogs so if you had a banana (for example) in your bag the week before you travelled, you may be approached by a dog and handler. The dogs are highly trained so do not attempt to pet them, just let them sniff your bags. The handler will advise you if any further actions need to be taken by you. Usually they ask if you have fruit in the bag or have you had fruit in there recently.

    This is not said to give anyone concern, more that it does happen often and we Aussies are used to it. It's better to know why a beagle in a uniform is taking an interest in your bag than to panic that your geek shirts are about to get peed on (they're not).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Quarantine_and_Inspection_Service and follow the links for more information.

    Happy travels :-)

    DragonBear on
  • DaCrawDaCraw Registered User regular
    For the couple coming on their anniversary: if you really want to splash out, Melbourne has some amazing restaurants. The Flower Drum is quite popular, although you can be looking at $500/head if you go all out. Rockpool is also quite well known, but again is expensive ($50-$120 for a steak). I'd recommend doing your research, but you could easily find somewhere amazing to celebrate.

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    Avatar is from www.xkcd.com
  • punziepunzie Cookie Pimp Registered User regular
    I'll be flying in from Boston and I'll probably have 1 or 2 friends with me. I'd love to have a get-together. Instead of a pre/post party, how about a lunch on Friday or Saturday?

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    DragonBear
  • FatSoDaFatSoDa Professor Doctor AustraliaRegistered User regular
    (i had some of this on another thread but it seems more relevant here)

    I travel a lot with work, and Australia Customer though serious really only concern themselves with the obvious threats, terrorism, drug traffic, and biological threats. When going through customs look your customs officer in the eye answer their question clearly and have a bank statement & return airfare ready to show that you have sufficient money to support yourself on your stay. You do not need to have Cash on Hand or a certain amount of travelers cheques. It would be a good idea to have a couple of hundred dollars Australian on hand to show if they ask. They should be satisfied with a bank statement showing that you have access to money while in Australia. Check with your bank yo see if they have any partnerships with Australian Banks for withdrawals

    Customs are very serious about food being brought into the country. If you have food of _any_ kind declare it. In general anything other than grains, fresh fruit, and livestock or other animals is going to be ok. But you must declare it.

    here is my 2/c on traveling in Australia

    Australia is not a police state but we have a different culture in relation to this things than you do in the United States. We are far stricter on things like weapon ownership, but more relaxed on social mores; the drinking age is lower here with 18 being the legal age of consumption, our television and radio personalities curse a lot more than yours do, our society is generally multicultural.

    Americans are generally liked, and out of all the countries in the world i would submit that America, Australia, and Canada are the most like each other. We have our own share of crazies, racists, and left/right/green/ fundamentalist wackjobs, but by and large if you smile and ask things politely you'll get along just fine.

    Things that may help you along the way.

    - We dont tip in Australia for general service but do for excellent service or outstanding meals(the general exception here is cab's round up to the nearest dollar, or pizza delivery do the same) if you feel the need to tip go at it, your servers will love it.

    - If your from America your Seppo, or a Yank, we don't care which side of the Mason-Dixon line you where born

    - We tend to buy beers in rounds or "shouts" This means that out of 5 people 1 person will buy 5 beers, then the next person will buy the next 5 and so on. If you get into a round or shout, it means we like you, not that we are trying to get money out of you.

    - There are no such things as Drop Bears. Hoop Snakes, however, are terrifying real.

    - Anzac Biscuits are awesome, i suggest that you go to a bakery and try some. I hear you guys also have a thing with Tim Tams. You will need a grocery store for those.

    - Meat Pies are also a local delicacy. You can get them in a bakery also.

    - Out TV shows are generally a week or two behind yours, so set your TIVO/DVR etc before you leave

    - We dont really eat Kangaroo and Emu, Koala however is very tasty if a little tough.

    - You will probably not like Vegemite. You should try it however, it might help explain to you why we are as crazy as we are.

    [E]nforcing it Like I stole it
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