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Oceania Articles, Information, & Ideas

If your trip will include Oceania, be sure to browse through all the Oceania articles below. We at The Cheap Route have already done a lot of first hand research about Oceania, we've been there done that when it comes to Oceania, continue reading to gain first hand insight. Our goal is to to provide the hard to find information and photos about Oceania.

Crystal Clear Eli Creek, Fraser Island

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
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A Perfect Day At Eli Creek, Fraser Island
Perfect weather on Fraser Island, hot but the cool water of Eli Creek cools you down

Cool clear waters to relieve the heat, Eli Creek is a definite highlight on Fraser Island. On a nice day, its tough to beat the heat of Fraser Island, the lakes are warm, the ocean isn't safe by means of 18' Tiger Sharks and Portuguese Man-O-Wars (Blue Bottles) and sometimes shade is difficult to come by. Luckily there is Eli Creek; park your 4X4 on the beach and jump into the refreshing clear waters. There is a raised wooden boardwalk which goes several hundred meters up stream and provides access to the creek. Walk up, then float down the knee high waters to the end where it dumps into a pool on the beach. Everyone parks their cars around this pool, some people choose to drive through it which is fun to watch, and people just lounge around.

Blue Mountains, Just Outside of Sydney

Wentworth Falls, Australia
Wentworth Falls from the viewpoint across the canyon. You can't even see the entire thing!

The Blue Mountains are just a couple hours away from Central Sydney, and worth a visit if you have a few days. There are several tours operating out of Sydney, they cost about $70 aud and provide round trip transport, a guide, tea and cookies. The tour we went on included a boat cruise from Olympic Park Wharf to Circular Quay as well, stopping at Darling Harbor. This was a pleasant surprise as it meant we got a quick overview of Olympic Park also which was pretty cool, and saved me the train ride and time doing it myself.

Lake Wabby, Fraser Island

Friday, April 22, 2011
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Lake Wabby Beach, Fraser Island
The beach at Lake Wabby is at a steep incline from the sand dune, it gets pretty crowded

One of the many lakes on Fraser Island, Lake Wabby is an essential stop on your Fraser excursion. Its like a desert oasis in that you've got to hike several kilometers from the beach, with the end being through a sand dune, and over a hill, where you'll stumble upon the lake in the middle of nowhere. Its algae covered bottom gives it a dark green color, but the water is actually quite clear. In it you'll find loads of catfish swiming around you, it seems as if you can reach out and grab them, but apparently nobody has ever been fast enough to actually catch one.

Coogee to Bondi Beach Walk

Thursday, April 21, 2011
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Pools At Bondi Beach, Sydney
The swimming pools and world famous Bondi Beach

Sydney isn't complete without a trip to Bondi Beach. If it's your first time, you may as well see all the Eastern Beaches in one shot on this 3 hour ocean walk. Start at Coogee Bay and work your way past Bronte Beach, past Tamarama, and all the way to Bondi.

Tip: Australian Internet Is Slow & Expensive

Wednesday, April 20, 2011
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Slow internet in Australia
My office at an apartment I rented in Australia

These days, it's easy to come across decent free internet and WIFI when travelling. You can travel through much of SE Asia on decent free internet from local hostels; in Europe it's pretty much the norm. Australia however, does not follow this standard. I was shocked to find out when arriving in Sydney, that hostels don't offer free WIFI, they don't even offer free internet access of any sort.

Fraser Island By Air

Maheno Shipwreck Ariel View, Fraser Island
Maheno Shipwreck as seen from the air

As soon as you arrive in Australia, you're going to hear about Fraser Island and The Whitsundays. Everybody sees Fraser Island by 4X4, which is amazing and has to be done, but while there I highly recomend you also splurge and pay the $75 to take the breif scenic flight over the island. How many places in the world do you get to use the beach as your runway? You get to see things from a completely different perspective; you also get to see things you probably won't make it to by car like Butterfly Lake. Chances are on a nice day you'll spot Stingrays, Manta Rays, Dolphins, and maybe even sharks. This is one of those things you need to put in perspective, I know $75 sounds like a lot, but take a night off the drink and do this instead.

Hyams Beach – Whitest Sand Beach In The World

Blue Water Lagoon on White Sands
Beautiful water and pure white sand at Hyams Beach, Australia

Officially the whitest sand in the world according to the Guiness Book of World Records, Hyams Beach at Jervis Bay is a great "off the beaten path" destination. A few hours south of Sydney, Jervis Bay is more of a local spot. Rent a car and drive yourself down; stay in a house on St Georges Basin Lake, or even on the beach, while only paying modest prices. You won't find crazy nightlife, or busy shops & restaurants, Jervis Bay is a place to get away from the masses of Bondi style beaches.

Farming in Kerikeri Bay, New Zealand

Thursday, April 14, 2011
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The Oldest Stone Building in New Zealand
The Oldest Stone Building in New Zealand, Kerikeri Bay

Kerikeri is a backpackers best and worst nightmare about 3 hours north of Auckland. If you're travelling on a budget around the North Island, Kerikeri is definetely a place you can find work. The city, like most citys in New Zealand, is pretty small and basic. There's a local supermarket, a few shops and a Mcdonalds (of course!). Unless you have a car you cant really get to the outer edges to see what little else it has to offer....theres a chocolate factory, a few prehistoric buildings and you can check out Rewa's Village - the start of a bush trail. Finally, they've got Rainbow Falls waterfall, which is nice to look at, but nothing spectacular.

Australia Visa Tips for US Residents

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
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Whitest Sand In The World
The whitest sand beach in the world

I made the mistake of assuming Australia, like most European countries, would issue a visa at the border. When checking in for my flight to Sydney out of Frankfurt, I had quite the scare when they notified me the computer didn't show me as having a visa. Luckily the woman directed me to another counter where the airline sold me an e-visa (They jacked up the price though, and they definetely didn't input my info properly). US Residents, even tourists, must get a visa (ETA - Electronic Travel Authority) before being allowed on their flight.

Mana Island Guide – Fiji

Wednesday, April 13, 2011
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White Sand and Clear Waters, Mana Island
White Sand, Clear Water, Palm Trees. Typical Mana Island

Mana island is one of 333 fijian islands, just a 4 hour boat ride from Nadi from about $50 return. Mana island is a lovely little island you can easily walk round in about 3 hours providing you're steady on your feet as you do have to clamber over rocks round some of the edges. The accommodation on Mana varies from budget to exclusive with the island having its own airstrip its a popular destination for families and honeymooners as well as backpackers. The island seems to be split in to 3 sections, the section where you arrive on the boat is where all the backpacker accommodation is, some more expensive than others. I stayed at 'Serenas' which was $35 a night with 3 meals included; the dorm rooms were basic as was the one cold tap used as a shower. Although the family that ran it were lovely and very helpful i wouldn't recommend it, the food was questionable, often cold, and I personally don't enjoy doughnuts for breakfast. The situation was similar next door at Mana Lagoon, although they have a small games room and the only shop on the island.

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