Australia, Preparation

How to apply for an Australian visa

I am not a visa officer, nor am I migration agent. I am in no way affiliated with the Australian Embassy Manila nor with the Australian government. This post comes from my experience with preparing and submitting visa applications for family members and for myself. One of the questions people ask me when I tell them I've been to Australia is if it's easy to get a tourist visa. Almost everybody in Manila have heard of stories of how hard it is to obtain a US tourist visa: compiling documents like birth certificate, bank statements, even land titles O_O, paying a high application fee, waiting in line for hours for an interview. Is it as hard to get a tourist visa for Australia as it is for the US? Actually, it's not whether it's harder on not, but it really boils down to how complete your documents are. I believe all embassies would be very meticulous about all the applications they receive, and it is really important to send them all the required documents.

Using your fairy wings to fly from San Francisco to Sydney

Air New Zealand will be offering a Pink Flight from San Francisco to Sydney in time for the latter's Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras in February/March 2008. Air New Zealand is delving into the gay and lesbian market with a special themed flight that will feature drag queens, pink cocktails and a cabaret performed by the flight crew. The destination…read more
Australia, Melbourne

The Tiger finally found its way to Melbourne

Starting November 23, 2007, Tiger Airways will be joining Jetstar and Virgin Blue as one of Australia’s budget airlines. They have been flying into Australia from Singapore, but only up to Darwin. This year, they will be starting their Australian domestic services, with Melbourne as their hub. In Melbourne, Tiger Airways will be using Tullamarine’s Terminal 4.

The first flight out of Melbourne on November 23 is flight TT 7402 Melbourne – Gold Coast at 7:00 am. Other scheduled flights for the day are two other flights to Queensland from Melbourne: Rockhampton & Mackay.

Other Australian domestic destinations include Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Launceston in Tasmania, and Perth in Western Australia. Gee, I wonder why they aren’t flying into Sydney.

How much would flying via Tiger Airways to Australia cost?
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Australia, Sydney

Getting around Sydney

Sydney Travel PassIt’s easy to get around Sydney, even for a first timer. The public transport system is extensive, so you wouldn’t have to rely on costly taxis everytime.

You can buy and pay for tickets everytime you board the bus, ferry or train. However, it’s more convenient to buy a travel pass, which can be used on all services.

Which ticket to buy?

I give you three choices: the Daytripper, the Sydney Pass and the Travel Pass.
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Australia, Sydney

One Manly Morning

Manly beachWeeks before I flew over to Sydney for the weekend, I scoured all the websites I can read up on about Sydney and pored over every guidebook I can get my hands on at the library. Almost all of my resources recommends going to Manly.

On my second day in Sydney, I decided to spend my morning over at Manly and see what they’re raving about.
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Australia, Reviews, Sydney

Chinese Garden of Friendship

You’ve been hearing me going on and on about the Chinese Friendship Garden (which really should be the Chinese Garden of Friendship. My bad), and it’s about time you know why.

It’s truly a beautiful tranquil place. Built to celebrate Australia’s 200th anniversary, the garden is the local Chinese community’s way of preserving and sharing their rich cultural heritage. The garden was built with Chinese and Australian expertise and materials.

For only AU$6.00, you can experience the centry-old traditions of Chinese landscaping, architecture and garden design. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
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