How to apply for an Australian Tourist Visa Online: A guide for Filipinos

Back in September, my sister in Australia told me over Viber that she’s considering asking our mother to spend New Year’s with them again in Melbourne, and asked me if I am willing to accompany our mother to Australia. Of course, I am!

I’ve heard from friends and read in the comments section of my previous visa application guides that Philippine passport holders can now apply for an Australian tourist visa online. Since I do not like the stress that Manila traffic brings, and I do like doing business online, this was very appealing to me.

Create an ImmiAccount

The first step in applying for an Australian tourist visa online is to create an ImmiAccount. To create an account, you will need a valid email address. Make sure that you type in your email address correctly, and that you use an email address you regularly check. The embassy will be communicating with you using this address, so make sure that you check this email address often.
Continue reading How to apply for an Australian Tourist Visa Online: A guide for Filipinos

Travel Expenses: Hobart

The first time I went to Hobart, I wasn’t able to keep track of our expenses. Since we were hosted by my brother-in-law’s friends, we had no accommodation expense, and most of our meals were had at their house.

Beautiful Hobart

On this trip, however, my sisters and I were on our own, and I was able to see just how much a trip to Hobart would cost. Note that this is not a super budget trip: we stayed in a serviced apartment where we were able to cook most of our meals. Our main activity was a trip to the Museum of Old and New Art and the Salamanca Market. We walked everywhere, since our accommodation was centrally located. Also note that this covers the travel expenses for the three of us, excluding our personal shopping.
Continue reading Travel Expenses: Hobart

The wonder of Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Things sometimes just fall into place. When I was planning my trips for 2013, I envisioned myself in Melbourne in January, sweating profusely due to the summer heat and swatting flies with wild abandons, just so I can catch Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo. Something came up, and I needed to push it to May, but since my Australian tourist visa application took longer than expected, I ended up coming here mid-June.

Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney
One of the best things about Shangri-la are their personal welcome messages. Aside from this chocolate-y surprise and welcome note, there’s also a personal message on the TV sreen.

It was just as well, since I was able to catch some great exhibits at the National Gallery of Victoria, score some great deals at Kathmandu, and get the full Australian winter experience. Best of all, another e-mail came from Shangri-La while I was here. It was really lucky because they have a few properties in Australia, and since I was headed to Sydney to visit Khursten, they invited me to stay at the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney.
Continue reading The wonder of Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney

Budget travel in Australia

One of the main reasons I went to Australia is because I wanted to travel without spending a lot. Staying with my sisters took a huge chunk of accommodation and meal expenses. I certainly wouldn’t be able to afford to stay in Melbourne for more than two months if I was traveling on my own.


Continue reading Budget travel in Australia