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Tips about
in Australia

When looking for accommodation in both Australia and New Zealand, there are certain things to consider.  The first consideration is the price you want to pay, especially if you are on a budget; you must avoid travelling in high season! For people who are planning to stay for a long time itís important to know that if you want to live close to the beach or in a commercial area, the price will be higher.  As everyone will tell you itís all about :location, location, location!Ē. 

One of the most difficult tasks is finding a decent mattress to sleep on so that you donít feel like youíre sleeping in a bed that is only suitable for circus performers.  In New Zealand we couldnít find a good quality foam mattress for sale, and we had to get what was available, which was a mattresses with springs; we went to sleep feeling like we were on top of a huge lemon (the mattress was green).  But in Australia, we found several shops that specialized in selling foam mattresses with different densities and I chose one that cost me around $400.  We have slept well ever since.

In most places, you will probably sleep on a spring mattress, on top of a base also made of springs.  When choosing cheap accommodation, there is a good chance you will find the floor more comfortable to sleep on! Thatís the reality and you must get used of it.  Pillows are also very thin and too soft, and I usually need 2 or 3 pillows otherwise I get a really stiff neck.  I think that the pillows I brought with me from my home country are the most valuable things I own! (My pillows are the yellow ones in the picture at the top of the page - 30 years of good sleep). 

One big difference between Australia and New Zealand when it comes to sleeping, is that NZ is always cool, becoming freezing during winter and early Spring.  That means most of the time you will be using a blanket or heater.  Australia on the other hand has very hot summers and sometimes the temperature can get to 44 C, and you depend on air conditioning, or  fans (ceiling or portable) to get a good sleep. In Australian, depending on where you are, the temperature during the day in winter is mild, but at night may drop to 5 C.  A handy tip when looking for accommodation in Australia is to check if they offer air conditioning (or at least good fans) during summer.  During the winter, blankets or a lightweight quilt will be enough, and in general the cold period does not last for long. Of course this depends on the region you are travelling to, so itís always advisable to check temperatures for both summer and winter. 

For travellers on the road, itís a great idea to drop in to a Tourist Information Centre. They are available in most cities and are a very helpful way to find accommodation to suit your budget.  They can book accommodation for you without charging for the service. If you are planning to stay longer than a few days in one location, the best option is to contact a Real Estate Office, for properties to share, rent or buy.  Real Estate Offices are everywhere. (consult local Telephone book in the area you wish to stay)  Newspapers also offer many alternatives for temporary or permanent accommodation, as well as holiday rentals, close to the sea or the mountains.  Saturday newspapers are stuffed with offers but if you are online itís worthwhile having a look at Internet options.

Do not bring electrical appliances to Australia if you can avoid it, because they do not work, unless you have 240 volts in your own country.110-120 Volt points are only available for electric shavers in hotels.  Electrical points in Australia have 3 flat contact points, so if you do bring anything electrical you will need to buy an adaptor for your appliance (you can find these at shops such as Dick Smith. International converters cost around A$12, and also voltage converters, but they are quite expensive). 

In Australia the majority of accommodation, charges in advance for your stay. This means pre-paying for your visit. If you want to leave earlier, just place the key inside the room if the reception office is not open, or make arrangements with reception about checking out early, and receiving a refund on your Key ďbondĒ if you paid one. See many other tips in the other accommodation topics. 

Mary Help decide to move to the floor due a very soft bed

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