When living in Europe you have an endless list of cities which you can visit for the weekend, each one different from the next, in close proximity to where you live, and with very cheap airlines fares. Barcelona, Stockholm, Vienna, Edinburgh, Florence, Bucharest. All places very different to each other in terms of climate, lifestyle, history, culture, architecture, language, people.
In Australia I have found the options available for a city break to be very uninspiring. I've travelled so much of Australia, and it is one of the best countries I have travelled, but it really isn't somewhere that caters very much to the 3 day weekend city break getaway.
You've got Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, which all have their own charms I guess, but after awhile the resemblences between each, and the lack of differences, becomes a bit boring. I can't get myself interested about going to Brisbane for a weekend when it promises to be just another Minneapolis Down Under type place.
The price of flights down here makes weekend breaks difficult. If I wanted to do the Great Barrier Reef for a weekend, it would consist of about 400-500 dollar return flight from Melbourne, before you even pay for the activites that you have flown that distance to see.
I guess, after doing so much travelling of South America, New Zealand, and extensive travel around Australia, I'm getting itchy feet to see more, but there doesn't seem to be the choice of places available here to help scratch that itch. I'm loving living down here, just a bit frustrated with not being able to do what I did when I lived at home, which was visit a different city every few months.
I'm looking into a weekend in Hobart, which should be interesting as it seems to have a fair bit of history, but I'm running out of places to see fast, and I've only been here 16 months.
What do people think about the choice of places to visit in Australia?
Wow it seems like you don't stay still for very long. You travelling alone or with someone?
Travelled alone for 3 months before getting to Oz. Worked in Melbourne for 6 months. Travelled again for 7 weeks, mainly around Western Australia, then did 3 months farm work, and now have been back in Melbourne working for 5 months. I've always loved seeing new and different places, but having seen a lot of Australia (spent a month here in 2009 also) I'm feeling a bit bored looking at the options available to me.
This has nothing to do with living in Australia, something which I am loving, but a big disadvantage of living here I feel is the lack of different weekend getaway options.
Just had coffee with a bunch of ozzies and this topic came up. They all save up their time off and go big on foreign holidays. If they do stay local it's generally an activity holiday like fishing, surfing, bush walking etc and they're self contained by camping.
There was a travel supplement from one of the Sunday papers in the coffee house and in nearly every instance it was cheaper to holiday outside Oz. The prices for local breaks was just too much, saving time off is the way to go.
The next time I'm heading back to Ireland I'll be a good month off and hopefully I'll catch a few places on route.
Ah I see, I work in hospitality so there's no such thing as a 'Weekend Getaway'! And to be honest crazy hours make me kinda happy to just chill around the city when off.
Anyways, I take it you've done the Yarra Valley, Grampians and the Mornington Peninsula? Good spots right there. Tasi is fun as well. Hobart is a nice spot. You should check out all the old Gaols and penal colonies, very interesting.
Stay away from Launceston though, absolutely nothing happening there.
I dont think its something Australia is lacking, its just something Australians dont do, im over here in Cork and the wife has dragged me off on a few weekends away to france, spain and a few other littlle kips. I still wonder Why???
I would much rather go for a days Salmon Fishing in Kerry or an afternoon shoot on the weekends and go somewhere for a week or more for a decent holiday, the whole weekend break thing is a tad overrated, how much can you experience in a day and a half anyway, i think Paul Kelly put it well in the mid 90's song Every F'ing City, "Every F'ing city is just the same"
Hahaha, Paul Kelly isn't talking about the actual cities in that song but more how he was feeling and all that. It's a funny song though I agree.
European cities are anything but the same as each other. Australian cities on the other hand...
To be honest, European Citys and Australian citys are as interesting as the oddly named Cork City (how this place can be described as a "City" god only knows).
I think its a upbringing thing, why go looking at Citys when you can go Camping or play sports on weekends.
You're not too interested in travel. Fair enough. But for those who are, Australia doesn't offer much in the way of city breaks, like the way Europe does.
Yes Europe has great cities but Australia has great LOCATIONS.
Margaret River, Whitsundays, Hunter Valley, Great Ocean Road, Alice Springs, Coober Pedy, Kakadu, Blue Mountains, Gold Coast & Hinterland, Central Coast, Cable Beach in Broome, Barossa Valley, Kangaroo Island and Tassie.
If these aren't your style, NZ is a short flight across the Tasman. Slightly further afield is the Pacific Islands and Fiji. To your north west you have Bali, Singapore, KL, Bangkok, Phuket, Honkers and pretty much most of Asia.
I disagree that it's too expensive to get to these places, Jetstar do flights to NZ starting at $99 each way and hello...have you heard of Air Asia?
I'd go so far as to say Australia is miles better in terms of being able to see the world and more cultures etc.
I do miss Ryanair and the cheapo specials they did but with Scoot launching their $88 each way fare and Jetstar Japan about to launch 1 cent fares, I reckon we shouldn't complain about anything other than the inability to get more time off work...
To be fair, the OP has made this thread about city breaks specifically - he's not denying that Australia has some great locations/scenery.
That's not like with like at all. It is far more hassle and expense to get to Bangkok/Singapore than it would be to go from Dublin to Paris/Berlin or even further afield like Istanbul. Flights are way longer, more of a time difference etc... I mean do people really fly two 9+ hour flights to do a weekend break in Bangkok from the East Coast of Oz?
Australia is a wonderful place to travel and for one country it contains a remarkable amount of diversity in terms of scenery, wildlife etc... but I really really couldn't disagree more with your statement.
Within a 6 hour flight of Dublin you have all of Europe, some of the Middle East, Northern Africa, and the East Coast of the US/Canada.
Within a 6 hour flight of Sydney you don't have nearly the amount of diversity/countries/cultures. It's not even close.
I have some more things that Australia lags behind in that I think should be discussed in this thread also.
Does australia lack in Alpine Mountains and there lack in culturally different places to go skiing and snow boarding?
Is Australia lacking in other countries that can be visited by car? One of the few major countries in the world where you can't easily drive your car to another country.
I could go on but I'll leave it to 04072511..
That has to be the most inaccurate statement of all time.
You do know Australia is an Island dont you, i mean if you want to drive to another country while your there can you tell me so i can try and be there with a camera, It has been tried before though.
"Three Japanese tourists came unstuck on their planned Australian holiday on Thursday when they abandoned their hire car in Moreton Bay after they tried to "drive" to North Stradbroke Island."
You say you've done so much travelling around South America and New Zealand and you've got itchy feet to see more...
And yet when someone presents the option of taking a red eye to Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan or anywhere in South East Asia to you, you feel the need to belittle them?
If you want a European city break, go to Europe. All I'm saying is that the abundance of cheap airfares to destinations throughout Asia and the South Pacific from Australia should sate your appetite for travel and if they don't, you may want to broaden your imagination.