AUSTRALIA

 

This is the report of the trip I have done to mythical Australia between September 21 and October 19 1996, I visited the zones between Perth, Alice Springs, Darwin, Cairns, Brisbane and Sydney. 

Considering that I traveled alone the choice of the hostel was practically forced; all the guides that I read say that Australia is perhaps the country that offers more 's assistance for the travelers with limited budget. Even in the smallest villages you can find a hostel, the expense for a night is around 15-18 A$; the hostels are divided in 2 groups, those public that stick to the world association of the hostels (Y.H.A.) and those privacies. Principal difference between two are that in the private ones you can have a little bit of liberty in the sense that the rooms and the services are in common with the representatives of gentil-sex, there is the possibility to consume alcoholic and in almost every one there is a cafe-disco where they organize every evening parties. I have slept almost exclusively in the hostels of the Y.H.A. because I bought in Italy the Y.H.A. card and because I started to know the other ones at the end of the trip. 

With the Y.H.A. card you can have a lot of discounts for the tours that are organized in the various places, even if I didn't use the card for the accommodation I have abundantly repaid it with the discounts that I got. 

The level of the hostels is very good, they are very clean, with a well equipped kitchen and  lot of them have a swimming pool (even if sometimes it's a little bigger than a bathtub),  almost all have a travel agency with good prices and above all they are very safe but after all Australia is a country where crime is almost absent, in a month I have hardly ever seen the police. 

Another thing, I advice to take the publications (free) you can find in the hostels, they are a source of information adjourned of the zone you are visiting. 

The frequenters of the hostels (backpackers) stay in the country stopping at least 3 months but the average was of 6-12 months. When I said that I stayed only 1 month they were put all to laugh saying me that was so little time I can not see anything. Almost all of them had a working-visa  that is able to be done up to the age of 26 years and it give the possibility to make small jobs; also from this point of view Australians are well organized in the sense that is quite easy to find a job, in the big cities as waiters, gardeners or messengers; in the rest of the country and along the east-coast the farmers look for manpower for the harvest of fruit (bananas, mangos and generally tropical fruit). A lot of persons buy a car and use it for traveling around the country and then they resell before leaving again, the practices for buying/selling are very simple to dispatch and in the glass showcases of the hostels it's possible to find a lot of offers. 

As for the Australians are very nice and above all cordial; the thing that amazed me was seeing a lot of persons walk barefoot also in the cities center . Besides they have a strange pronunciation in the sense that they use to talk "open", for ex. they say oka'y or toda'y; in the center of the country they have an accent straight that for me it was almost incomprehensible (but then I discovered that it was so also for some Irish or English people I met). 

Life quality is very good, the cities are liveable, floods of green with good public services and with little traffic and as already said almost the absent of crime; the chaos and the frenzy that I can find in our cities they don't even know what thing is and everything this always engraves on the character of the kind and available persons. The cost of life seemed  more or less comparable to ours, perhaps in the center of the country where the provisioning are more difficult the prices are increased. 

The thing I'll never forget was the vastness of the territories, to comparison of the USA deserts I have visited, here it's multiplied for 10, you travels for thousand of Km without seeing nothing surrounded only by the bush (the Australian brushwood, trees and very low bushes); also on the east coast that is more lived, there is "nothing" between a city and the other. 

A thing that grieved me was seeing the conditions of life of the aborigines, in fact the white man and civilization destroyed this people. Those that have tried to become civilized live to the borders of the cities destroyed by alcohol; the situation is a little bit better for those that decided to live according to their traditions in lands that the government has started to return him, but they live confined.  

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Copyright 1999 Giuseppe Ruperto. All rights reserved.