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The Academy of Information Technology is organising a series of free creative workshops in February 2020 and they are too good not to be shared.

These workshops are a fantastic way to get a taste for what it’s like to study their passion at AIT before you commit to a full degree. At the same time, it will provide an invaluable opportunity to discover some of the amazing career opportunities in the creative & digital media industries.

FILM & ANIMATION
11 FEB, 9AM – 4PM
Gain practical experience with basic camera skills, compositing and editing in Adobe Premiere Pro to create your own short film! You’ll then get hands-on practice with Toon Boom to design and animate your own 2D character!

GAME DEVELOPMENT
12 FEB, 9AM – 4PM
Get hands-on experience with the industry’s most popular game engine – Unity! Learn game design principles, create your own 3D game environments and program some simple gameplay mechanics. At the end of this workshop, you’ll leave with a playable game that you’ve built from scratch, to share with your friends and family.

DIGITAL DESIGN
13 FEB, 9AM – 12PM

In this half-day workshop, you’ll use industry software, Adobe Illustrator to create a pop-art style poster that you can share on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat! You’ll learn to navigate Illustrator whilst gaining an understanding of how to use colour and text – as well as how to trace over a photo.

Free workshops are available for all international students in Australia. To register, please, send us a message with your workshop preferences.

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The article is written by Bernadette Sanfilippo

Though it goes without saying, almost all international travellers are familiar with, or have at least heard of, Australia’s east coast capitals, a list typically reduced to Sydney, Melbourne and (to some extent) Brisbane. Mention anywhere else in the country and, more often than not, at least in my experience, you’ll receive a relatively blank expression! Cities like Sydney and Melbourne have done an excellent job at securing themselves prime positioning on the world stage, particularly over the last two decades and, while this is wonderful, it has unfortunately made the rest of the country appear almost redundant in the process. As a result, many are completely unacquainted with the west coast of Australia and have little to nothing to compare our major capitals against.

I was born in Sydney, raised in Perth and moved to Melbourne more than a year ago, so I can certainly draw a number of comparisons between the two coasts. Here are amongst my most significant findings thus far:

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1. THE POPULATION

Obviously the bigger and better cities become, the more people want to live in them. As a result, they become overpopulated and Sydney and Melbourne are certainly busier and more bustling than they have ever been before. The wonderful offset to this is that the people who reside there are more exposed and far more desensitised to contrasting cultures, influences and experiences. Perth, by comparison, has a relatively low population count and a much lower rate of immigration, so the level of exposure there is much lower. However, the less people you place in a city, the less pace and congestion you receive and, generally speaking, Perth is a much slower, far more relaxed city to reside in. Perth is typically recommended as a great place to either retire or raise a young family in.

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2. THE JOBS

There are stacks upon stacks of job opportunities in Sydney and Melbourne, particularly now that dozens upon dozens of companies are based there. In fact, it was my primary reason for relocating. There’s only one factor I didn’t take into consideration…there’s a lot of people living in Melbourne and, unfortunately, this means there’s a lot more people to compete against each time you hand in an application. Prior to moving, I had worked for several national retail brands, so I truly (truly!) believed that getting a job would be a cinch! In reality, I spent my first 4 months in Melbourne unemployed. In Western Australia it’s far less competitive and far easier to score work, particularly with a little experience on the resume. The biggest downside is that applications move very slowly in Perth and it can take several weeks just to score an interview. Unfortunately (major generalisation alert!), it’s a city with no real sense of urgency!

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3. THE WEATHER

Weather has been a bit of a battle for me since I moved to Victoria, simply because it differs so greatly to the climate in Western Australia. In order to understand Australia’s varying weather conditions, it is important to understand how Australia sits geographically. Capitals like Melbourne, Canberra and Hobart are closest to Antarctica, so they experience incredibly cold, icy cool winters and relatively mild summers. Brisbane sits much higher on the east coast, closer to Asia, and thus tends to endure very tropical weather patterns year-round. The middle region of Australia is comprised primarily of desert and dry arid land, so seasons in the neighbouring capitals, these primarily being Perth, Adelaide and Darwin, are riddled with much higher annual temperatures.

4. THE SIZE

Ready for a mind-boggler? Here it is: States like Victoria and New South Wales are comparably amongst the smallest Australian states geographically, yet they are the biggest in relation to sprawl. Essentially what this means is that, while they don’t occupy as much landmass as neighbouring states, they utilise the land they do occupy to the greatest possible extent. This often results in more regular, lengthier commutes. Geographically speaking, Western Australia is the nation’s largest state, occupying approximately one-third of Australia’s total landmass however, the current population of Western Australia is a mere 2.5 million, against a national population count of nearly 25 million. This effectively means that most of the state’s land is uninhabited, making what is inhabited relatively small geographically and thus quicker and easier to get around. Weird huh?

 

 

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 The article is written by Maddison Reynolds

Sydney’s Vivid Festival is back! From May 25 – June 16, Sydney will light up as Australia’s biggest art and culture festival transforms the city into an array of colour and sensory experience. The best way to explore Vivid is by foot. Here’s a guide to some of this year’s must-see locations.

SEE:

Harmony Valley – Rainbow of Peace & Trees of Friendship
The Rocks
I’m guilty of having already selfied with this site prior to the official Vivid Launch, but once you set eyes on this masterpiece of warm-and-fuzzy’s, you’ll understand why.

The piece by numerous Australian, Iranian and Asian artists represents harmony, joy and happiness through a set of large inflatable sculptures. The Japanese ‘kawaii’ references are obvious, as are feelings of youthfulness, friendship and vulnerability.

Event organisers are encouraging visitors to interact with the sculpture by forming a human chain that connects with each end of the rainbow. The sculpture responds to this show of connection with sounds, animation and pulsing light.

 

Hidden Art
Kings Cross
Created by TAFE NSW students, Hidden Art takes visitors on an augmented reality journey through the imaginative worlds of some of Australia’s greatest sculptors and visual artists.

Simply visit the Fitzroy Gardens and open up your Vivid Sydney app to unlock Hidden Art. The stories behind the new-age, media sculptures will come alive as users scan the area.

Installations change weekly throughout the Vivid Festival. _MG_1896

Lighting of the Sails: Metamathemagical
Circular Quay
To celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Vivid Festival, Australian artist Jonathan Zawada has transformed the Sydney Opera House sails into a series of kinetic digital sculptures.

Zawada’s inspiration for the concept came from imagery inspired by the Australian environment. Everyday objects and natural specimens will undergo metamorphosis in Zawada’s creation, featuring alongside a canon of Australian artwork.

 

Skylark
City and Surrounds
There’s little chance you’ll miss this installation by Iain Reed of 32 Hundred Lighting. Skylark incorporates interactive lighting of the Harbour Bridge and Circular Quay skyscrapers. For the first time this year, a fully interactive custom-built laser has been incorporated into the installation.

Every 30 minutes the beacon, skyscrapers, pillars of light and the Harbour Bridge put on a two-minute sky show.

 

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
City and Surrounds
The iconic Australian characters of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie are celebrated in this year’s event, on their hundredth anniversary. Australian’s are familiar with May Gibbs’ famous children’s characters, who dropped out of a gumtree to a world of adventure.

Gibbs’ work is celebrated on the façade of Sydney’s 1845 Customs House.

 

Tumbalong Lights
Darling Harbour
Tumbalong Lights features four under-the-sea-themed, interactive-play installations. This year’s installation is all-inclusive, meaning that people with disabilities have full access to interact with the displays.

The display features the following works: ‘Beneath the Sea’ by Matt York; ‘Enchanted Garden’ by Lucka Slatner; ‘In the Scale of the Sea’ by George Buchanan and Govinda Webster; and ‘Ride into the Night’ by Antony Neeson and Mark Vincent.

 

Virtual Vibration
The Rocks
Fans of modernism should head to the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia to view the evolving light display created by the Spinifex Group in collaboration with Australian artist Jonny Niesche and composer, Mark Pritchard.

The display transforms the exterior façade of the MCA, lighting up the building with a psychedelic, sensory experience, accompanied by a mesmerising score.

All light installations begin at 6:00pm and finish at 11:00pm from May 25 – June 16.

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EAT:

The Squire’s Landing
Circular Quay, The Rocks
Take in the sights and sounds of this year’s Vivid Festival at the newly opened, The Squire’s Landing. The microbrewery and bar is the latest venture by a master brewer, James Squire. Offering striking views of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, The Squire’s Landing serves up an array of on-tap beer and fresh food.

For a limited time only, The Squire’s Landing is home to the world’s oldest surviving beer, The Wreck Preservation Ale. The beer is crafted using 220-year old yeast discovered upon the wreckage of Australia’s oldest merchant shipwreck, the Sydney Cove.

 

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This article is written by Olivia Inwood

A Royal National Park adventure is the perfect opportunity to explore the natural beauty surrounding Sydney! From open bushland, beaches and stunning clifftop views, the Royal National Park has a wide range of landscapes to explore. This guide will show you how to make the most of your time at this beautiful national park and experience the best sites.

 

Getting There
Make sure you leave super early in the morning and take plenty of water and food! For an extensive trip like this, you’ll need to do some planning! Although it’s easy to drive to the park, catching the ferry from Cronulla offers picturesque views of the area. The ‘Curranulla’ Australia’s oldest commuter ferry, will take you to Bundeena in just 20 minutes.

 

Bundeena to Jibbon Beach
Once you reach the Bundeena wharf, follow Loftus St and make your way to Jibbon Beach. If you travel along the Jibbon Loop track, you’ll get to see the Dharawal Aboriginal Carvings Site; a 1000-year-old artwork engraved into stone. As you’ll be walking along the coast, there are also many opportunities to spot whales in the ocean!

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The Balconies
After weaving your way through the Jibbon Loop track and seeing the native wildlife, you’ll reach the Coast Track. The Coast track will take you to The Balconies, a spectacular sandstone clifftop, providing an amazing view of the rugged coastline.

 

Wedding Cake Rock
Moving on, the Coast track will take you along the side of a ravine and up to Wedding Cake Rock; the most photographed site of the park. This magnificent rock formation forms an almost perfect cube shape and its pristine white colour is caused from thousands of years of exposure to the sun.

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Marley Beach
Nearby Wedding Cake Rock, you can walk to Marley Beach. This beach is a remnant of the ancient super-beaches that used to exist along the cliffs, with many sand dunes now surrounding it. From Marley Beach, you can re-trace your steps and return via the same trails or return to Bundeena via the Big Marley fire trail, if you need to take a shortcut.

 

Wattamolla Beach and the Curracurrong Falls
For the very adventurous, there are further tracks leading to Wattamolla Beach and the Figure 8 Pools. If you decide to go further, you should plan to stay overnight in the North Era Campground. Wattamolla Beach separates the salty Pacific Ocean from the freshwater lagoon and is a great place to relax and have a swim. The beach is also close to the stunning Curracurrong Falls, a unique waterfall that empties into the ocean.

 

Figure 8 Pools
The Figure 8 Pools is another major attraction of the park but beware the track there is steep and rocky. It’s best to see the Figure 8 Pools in the morning to get the best photos and for your safety, to only go when there is a low tide.

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Author of the picture @trilhasemergulho

Make sure you carefully plan your trip and check the conditions beforehand. Enjoy!

 

 

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The article is written by Bronte Segota

Made the big move to Australia? Don’t forget to Aussie-fy your phone! There are plenty of apps out there that make settling in in Australia that much easier. We’ve rounded up eight essentials to help you have the best experiences down under!

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Deliveroo
Hungry? Don’t walk all the way to the kitchen! Deliveroo brings you food from all your favourite places in just a hop, skip and jump! Simply order from the Deliveroo app on your smartphone for delivery straight to your door. It’s a lot like UberEats, but the kangaroo logo has us smitten!

Available to download on Android or iPhone 

BOM
Don’t rely on temperamental pre-downloaded weather apps to get you through the day. With many Melbourne cities experiencing four seasons in one day – The Bureau of Meteorology app is a saviour. Providing accurate, government-sourced weather forecasts with an easy to use interface, it is Australia’s most reliable weather app. Bonus points for including a real-time rain radar – so you can know exactly when you’ll be needing that umbrella.

Available to download on Android or iPhone

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Australian Slang
Don’t know your Barbie from your Bottle-O? Australia has more slang words than the entire Oxford Dictionary, and for newcomers, it can feel a whole other language to learn! This App has a comprehensive list of uniquely Aussie words and phrases, so the next time you hear someone say that they’re going on a Macca’s run, you’ll know exactly what they mean.

Available to download on Android and iPhone 

Gumtree
The perfect place to buy, swap and sell goods online with people in your locality. It’s like eBay, but much more community focussed, meaning you won’t have to pay international shipping costs on items you can buy from vendors in your neighbourhood. Gumtree also has a ‘jobs’ section on their website, where you can search for, and post, jobs in your area.

Available to download on Android and iPhone.

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ABC
Stay up to date with Australian and International news with the ABC App. The ABC itself sets out encourage awareness of Australia and an international understanding of Australian attitudes on world affairs, which makes it the perfect news app for international citizens new to Australia. Unlike many other news apps, it also allows you to customise your news and stories so you can read about what interests you.

Available to download on Android and iPhone

Triplify
Triplify is dubbed ‘the travellers what’s on guide’ and is the perfect app to find events and experiences available around your locality. Listing everything from beach parties to local markets, make sure you don’t miss out on the most exciting events with Triplify – it provides the perfect opportunity to get out and explore your city in social situations.

Available to download on Android and iPhone.

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Party With A Local
This app, partners you up with real-life locals to provide a unique, local experience within the party and entertainment scene of the city. This App is especially good if you’re new to the city and keen to make friends and expand your social circle. Party with a local is a wholly different way to discover your city, with a knowledgeable guide, and potential new acquaintances along the way.

Available to download on Android and iPhone.

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The article is written by Taryn Feldmann

City life can get tiring after a while, and a small town is just what the doctor ordered for relaxation and experiencing new things. The perfect place is Coober Pedy, a small town in the Australian outback in South Australia, 846 km north of Adelaide on the Stuart Highway.

@tamaramerino_photography

Author of the picture @tamaramerino_photography

It’s filled with dust in a barren landscape but what this small outback town does offer is an adventure, Australia history and most importantly you get to experience doing everyday activities underground.

There are so many tours to choose from but as it’s a limited time there’s only so much you can do. Here are my options for the best tours, which will offer you everything you’re looking for: Opal mining tours, Oasis tours, historical four-wheeled drive dune tours and desert cave tours.

It’ll be exciting, and you’ll learn so much. The 48 hours will be filled with picture worthy memories, and you’ll have amazing stories to tell your friends and family.

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Author of the picture @eevgum

Getting there

You can go by plane, bus, or train. Coober Pedy’s airport, located five km from the town centre, and regional express has flights between Adelaide and Coober Pedy. More information about the transportation you will find here.

Want to experience the Ghan railway, you can take a train from Adelaide to Coober Pedy. It’ll be a fun experience, plus you can look at scenery along the way, or you can go by coach on a bus which departs from Adelaide at 7:25 pm and arrives in Coober Pedy at 6:15am. More info here. 

 

Accommodation

The best place to stay will be underground, as it’ll be a once in a lifetime experience. It’s not a regular thing that we do every day, but it is for residents who live in Coober Pedy because temperatures can soar into the 50’s. Plus, you will make your friends jealous with your endless selfies of you in your room underground.

 

There are quite a few options to choose from, and it’ll depend on how much money you can spend so here’s a link which can help.

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Author of the picture @danielle_jessie

Opal mining tours

Coober Pedy is a mining town, and it’s famous for its opals. It’s a tourist attraction, and a must do. It could be the high light of your trip. Once again, you’ll be underground, and you’ll follow the guides on an informative tour and learn Coober Pedy’s history.

You’ll learn about mining, learn everything there is to know about opals in their underground museum, and you’ll enjoy a documentary in their underground theatre. The high light of your trip will be seeing firsthand how stones are cut. Helpful links about everything this tour has to offer.

 

Oasis tours

Love thrill-seeking adventures? This oasis tour will be for you. Experience the barren landscape of Coober Pedy at sunset, which will make it even more spectacular. It’s a two and half hour tour, and it’ll leave you breathless.

You’ll get to experience the Breakaways, a massive dune via The Moon Plain Desert and you’ll be able to see Australia’s famous fence, the Dog Fence to keep out the Dingo’s, Australia’s famous wild dog. What makes it so popular worldwide is the length, a staggering 5.614 million miles. Even more spectacular you can watch the sunset on top of the Breakaway with a nice glass of wine or a refreshing beer. Interested in some tours? Check this link.

 

Mail Run Tours

You need to do this tour as it sounds like fun and unique. You get to go on a tour with the postman by travelling with him as he delivers mail to the historic towns of Oodnadatta and William Creek and most importantly you’ll get to experience five cattle stations, including the largest, Anna Creek Station. Australia is well known worldwide for its cattle stations.

 

More amazingly go on a historic trip down memory lane like Australia’s famous explorer, Charles Sturt, the namesake of Australia’s most famous highway, The Sturt, which stretches for miles from Darwin to Adelaide. Stop over at the old Ghan Railway line and enjoy the arid landscape. Don’t forget to take photos as this is a memory you’ll want to keep.
Check this link for more information.

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Desert Cave tours

This four-hour tour lets you go down a mine and witness Coober Pedy’s jewels, opals still embedded inside the sandstone. You’ll also get to go on a Serbian Underground Church, where you’ll experience an archaeological excavation and get to see amazing architecture.

Want to see how the locals live? Don’t despair; this tour lets you witness a unique local underground home, which they refer to as a ‘Dugout’. It’s not to be missed and once again you can take selfies galore and post them all on your social media. What makes it even more special is your family and friends will be able to experience a new culture.

This town has so much to offer, and it’ll be an experience which you won’t be able to get anywhere else. Have fun!

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The article is written by Olivia Inwood

Wanting to venture out of the city this summer? These day trips are a perfect chance to explore the wonders that are just out of Sydney and not spend a fortune on transport! Here are our top 5 summer day trips out of Sydney:

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Hunter Valley
(2.5 hours north of Sydney)

The Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine region and produces some of the best wine in the world. You can drive along the M1 highway and stop at the many wineries in the area for some cellar-door wine tasting. Many bus tours also depart from the Sydney CBD in the early morning, providing affordable wine tasting opportunities and tours of the region.

Fun Fact: The Hunter Valley has over 150 wineries, with some of the most famous including Brokenwood, Scarborough Wine Co Tasting Room and Tulloch Wines.

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Jervis Bay
(3 hours south of Sydney)

Jervis Bay is located on the NSW South Coast and is known for its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. Besides spending a relaxing day by the beach, you can go scuba diving along the bay or join the dolphin watching cruise from Huskisson Wharf. And if you don’t see any dolphins, you get a free return cruise!

Fun Fact: Jervis Bay has over 20 kilometres of the whitest sand in the world.

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Kangaroo Valley
(2 hours south of Sydney)

Kangaroo Valley is part of the Southern Highlands and features picturesque mountain views. There are plenty of bushwalking opportunities and the Mortan National Park has a trail leading to the popular Fitzroy Falls. The only pub in Kangaroo Valley ‘The Friendly Inn’ was built in 1892 and is one of the oldest in the region, with a beer garden that provides breathtaking views of the rolling valleys and mountains.

Fun Fact: ‘Kangaroo Valley’ refers to the region and village, both named after the surrounding Kangaroo River.

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Grand Pacific Drive
(2-hour drive along the South Coast)

Travel along the 140km of the Grand Pacific Drive; one of Australia’s best-known driving routes. Starting from the Royal National Park, this road heads south along the coast through Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama. Don’t forget to see the Blowhole, a natural rock formation that spurts water 20 metres into the air.

Fun fact: The engineering highlight of the Grand Pacific Drive is the Sea Cliff Bridge. From the viewing platform located near the bridge, migrating whales can occasionally be seen!

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The Blue Mountains
(2.5 hours west of Sydney)

The Blue Mountains is an easy escape from the city, with the option of driving, catching the train or going on a group tour. Although there are many bushwalking tracks and sights to see, the highlights for a day trip are Katoomba and Leura. Katoomba features The Three Sisters rock formation, a legend of the Aboriginal Dreamtime, that can be viewed from Echo Point. The town of Leura is also a popular stopover point, with many boutique cafes and a well-known candy store.

Fun Fact: The Scenic Railway located at Katoomba, is the steepest passenger railway in the world, offering 360-degree views of the Blue Mountain ranges.

 

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This article is written by Alanna Tomazin

 When making the decision to move overseas to study, you will find yourself making lots of plans and decisions. It can get hectic organizing your things and ensuring you have all that you need while studying abroad. One of these things is knowing what to expect when it comes to driving a motor vehicle in a different country other than your own. To make it easier, we’ve come up with a few handy tips that could help you out when it comes driving while living and studying here in Australia.

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Getting your International Drivers Licence

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is proof that you hold a valid drivers license in your home country. Most countries require you to have one so you can legally drive a car or ride a motorbike, it also comes in handy if you need to rent a car.

In Australia, driving regulations differ from state to state because some states require that you carry an international license along with your current license from your home country. Other states request you carry your current foreign license together with an English translation of your license.

Tip: Here you can check the state you’re living in Australia – for example, NSW, and find out which laws relate to having an overseas license in that location.

Drivers in Australia require a valid driver’s license. You can drive with a foreign (English language) license for three months. But if you are here for longer than that, you need to get a license from an Australian state.

Tip2: If your license is not in English, you’ll need to get an International Driving Permit from the Automobile Association in your home country before coming to Australia.

 

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Finding yourself a cheap car

 While living here in Australia it can be a bit hard to get around with no car, especially if you’re wanting to head out on your own for an adventure or simply drive to the shops. Rather than catching public transport, a car might be the easier option for you – depending on your budget of course.

There are heaps of ways to find a cheap car, including online sites such as Car Sales where you’ll find new cars and used cars and prices ranging from $2000 to $30 000 and are posted regularly. Everyday people and car yards post cars on this site to be sold, so even if you don’t find something that catches your eye immediately, just keep refreshing.

Thanks to the evolution of social media, Facebook is another great way to connect and find yourself a cheap car on buy, swap and sell sites. Wherever you are living, be sure to join the available groups in your location. People are always posting their vehicles that they’re wanting to sell. You could even post that you’re looking for a cheap car to run around in – you’ll be surprised by the power of social media.

Tip: Social media like many things in life, can be a risky business so be sure to take someone with you if you plan on going to look at a car. Never go by yourself.

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Tips for driving on Australian roads

  • Australia is a large and beautiful country and usually, it takes long distances to get between different towns especially away from the city. It is important when driving long distances to Stop Revive Survive every 2 hours.
  • Here in Australia we drive on the left-hand side of the road and use the metric system of distances and speeds. Speed limits are clearly sign-posted and you will find that 50km/h is the speed limit that applies in suburban areas. School zones are also something to watch out for between the hours of 8-9:30am and 2:30-4pm where 40km/h is the limit. If you succeed the speed limit you will find yourself in trouble with the law as speeding is an offense.
  • Australian cars are right-hand drive, with automatic and manual transmission both available.
  • While travelling away from the city you will see signs of Australian wildlife such as kangaroos, possums, and wombats. It is important, especially at night to keep your eyes peeled for these furry friends out on the roads. Here in Australia, we share our home with these animals too. Hitting a kangaroo can cause some serious damage not only to them but to your safety and car too. So always drive carefully!

Tip: For more tips on driving while here in Australia head to TripAdvisor.

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The article is written by Candice Locklee

As one of the most isolated cities in the world, visiting Perth may not be at the top of your list when you first move to Australia. But with its balmy weather, white beaches, amazing food and wine and laid back Aussie lifestyle, the capital of Western Australia is a scenic paradise just waiting to be explored.

If you’ve only got 48 hours to spare in this vibrant city, here are our top picks of things to do in a short amount of time:

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KINGS PARK

Just outside of the central business district is one of the largest city parks you’ll find in the world and it’s a must-see while visiting Perth. Stretching over 400 hectares (that’s bigger than New York’s famous Central Park!), Kings Park is a spectacular mix of bushland, flat grassy parklands and colourful botanical gardens full of native flora and fauna.

Take a picnic and enjoy a day in the park, get some exercise jogging through the bush or grab your camera and snap some Insta-worthy shots of the city skyline at one of the many lookouts available in the area. Not only is Kings Park the perfect spot for city skyline photos, you can also get some gloriously uninterrupted views of the majestic Swan River, the rolling Perth Hills and endless blue skies that make this city beautiful.

For those who love a tour, there are free guided trail tours on offer that depart daily from outside the gallery shop Aspects of Kings Park at 10 am and 12 pm (1st Sept-30th June) and 2 pm. There are also self-guided tours available for those who want to explore at their own pace – just head to the Visitor Information Centre on the site for all the helpful brochures you’ll need to get started.

DIRECTIONS

KINGS PARK:

Just 1.5km outside of the CBD, Kings Park is easily accessible by public transport. From Perth’s main street St Georges Terrace, catch the 935 bus route to Fraser Avenue Precinct (stop Number 17501). From here, it’s an approximately short 429m walk to Kings Park.

Note: This bus travels within the Free Transit Zone so you can hop on and off for free.

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THE BEACHES

Western Australia’s world famous beaches boast miles of pure white sand and clear blue water that is perfect for swimming, surfing, snorkelling or just lazing around any time of the year.

Perth is within easy reach of some of the best beaches. Cottesloe Beach is a popular tourist beach halfway between Perth and Fremantle that has been a favourite holiday spot for generations. With over a kilometre of white sand, there’s plenty of time to have a swim and a snorkel before finding a spot to watch the sun go down over the Indian Ocean – sunsets are famous in WA and a must-see any time of the year!

Scarborough Beach is another popular spot. Located on the Sunset Coast, Scarborough Beach is a fantastic idea for those who want to soak up the sun and surf before heading off to one of the many cafés along the beachfront for something to eat. Hotels, hostels and shopping are also just a step away.

For something a little more adventurous, take a day trip out to Rottnest Island – a dazzling paradise of bright white sands and crystal waters that’s perfect for whale watching, bird spotting, snorkelling, swimming and surfing. There’s also plenty of hidden beaches if you want something a little more private, such as Strickland Bay, Mary Cove and Catherine Bay which are favourites for surfers.

DIRECTIONS

COTTESLOE BEACH:

There are two main ways to get to Cottesloe from Perth. You can hop on a train by catching the Fremantle line and getting off at Cottesloe. Trains leave every 15 minutes and the ride will take less than 20 minutes. Once there, just follow the signs to the beach just a short walk away.

Alternatively, you can take the bus line 102 from Elizabeth Quay Bus Station to Cottesloe Station. The ride should be about 40 minutes and cost less than $5. Check the link for a detailed timetable of all the stops, click here.

SCARBOROUGH BEACH:

Get to Scarborough Beach by catching one of the bus routes 410, 421, 422 and 990 that run past Scarborough beachfront.

ROTTNEST ISLAND:

Rottnest Island can be reached by ferry. You can book your ticket online through one of the ferry companies that leave from Perth, Fremantle and Hillary’s Boat Harbour in Perth’s North. Click on the company links for deals and tickets – Rottness Express or Rottnest Fast Ferries.

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THE WINERIES

If you want to indulge a little, why not head out to Swan Valley and visit one of the many wineries that make this region so famous? Only 25 minutes from Perth’s CBD, Swan Valley is a sweeping landscape rich in art, history, gourmet food and a thriving viticulture that can all be sampled along the famous Food and Wine Trail – a 32km scenic drive that will take you through the heart of the region for you to experience all that it has to offer.

While you’re there, take some time to visit the Caversham Wildlife Park. With over 2000 animals to see, including koalas, dingoes, reptiles, wombats and the super-cute Quokka, it’s a great way to spend the day with friends and take some memorable photos of your time in WA.

DIRECTIONS

SWAN VALLEY:

There is no regular public transport through this region, so it’s best to pre-arrange your transport. Guided tours are a great way to discover the Swan Valley and can take you from Perth city and along the Food and Wine Trail.

Check the link for details.

CAVERSHAM WILDLIFE PARK:

Caversham Wildlife Park is located in Whiteman Park and is open 9am-5:30 pm every day of the year (minus Xmas) – entry is $28 for one adult. From the Bassendean Station in Perth, catch bus number 955 or 956 to Ellenbrook and get off at the Whiteman Park stop on Lord St.

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FREMANTLE

No trip to Perth is complete without a visit to the nearby port city of Fremantle – a place that is pretty as a picture and rich with Western Australia history. Once there, check out one of the many popular things to do in town. Visit the foreboding Fremantle Prison that stands as Australia’s largest convict prison still intact, explore the Western Australian Maritime Museum to get an understanding of Fremantle’s interesting history (including its history of surf boards and marine creatures), head down to South Terrace where you’ll find an abundance of tasty cafés, restaurants and craft breweries and visit the popular Fremantle Markets open every Friday/ Saturday/ Sunday for an eclectic mix of great food, drink, Indigenous art and local music.

If you need to burn some extra calories, why not hire a bike for free from the Fremantle Visitor Centre and cycle to all of the places you want to see? Fremantle is very bicycle-friendly and there are bike lanes all over the city that can easily take you to all of the popular tourist destinations within the area.

DIRECTIONS

FREMANTLE:

Transperth, Perth’s public transport system, makes it easy to reach Fremantle. Catch the train on the Fremantle line from Perth Station and get off at the final stop, Fremantle Station. If paying for a cash ticket, it should cost you around $7.40 for a return, or $6.00 if using a SmartRider card. Buses are also available outside of train stations in order to easily meet up with train times and get you between Perth and Fremantle as well as anywhere you need to go in the city.

For details and to plan your journey click here.

NOTE:

Similar to Perth’s CBD, Fremantle offers a free shuttle service called CAT (Central Area Transit) meaning that you don’t have to pay anything to travel around the city. Watch out for the blue CAT that runs every 10 minutes and the red CAT that runs every 15 minutes. Check this link for bus stops and timetables.

 

 

 

 

 

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The article is written by Candice Tan

If you’ve lived in Sydney or Melbourne for even a short amount of time, you would probably have heard about the small rivalry between the two most populous cities in Australia. In this spirit of this light-hearted competition and our earlier article about Sydney’s hot spots, here is our essential ‘To do’ list in Melbourne:

Study Anywhere_Have a coffee in the laneways

Have a coffee in the laneways!

Melbourne may not have famous icons such as the Sydney Opera House or Sydney Harbour Bridge, but it does make a great cup of coffee. Take a wander down the many vibrant laneways and admire the colourful street art as you sit and sip on an expertly-made espresso or flat white, or be like a local and grab your takeaway cup as you explore what the city has to offer.

Study Anywhere_culture

Soak up some culture!

Melbourne has long been considered the Australian city with the most European-feel and cultural activities. From the majestic Princess Theatre to the iconic Comedy Theatre, you will have plenty of choices to spend a night out in Melbourne. Or, just walk down Swanston Street or Bourke Street and enjoy the world-class performances by an assortment of talented buskers.

Study Anywhere_Go to a festival

Go to a festival!

It is almost impossible to be in Melbourne and not encounter a festival happening around the city. From the world famous Melbourne Comedy Festival and Melbourne Fringe to smaller festivals celebrating the multicultural nature of the world’s most liveable city, weekends in Melbourne are never dull. There will always be something to see and do (and probably eat!) at Federation Square or along the Yarra River.

Study Anywhere_Hop on a tram

Hop on a tram!

Melbourne has the largest tram network in the world and on top of that, riding on the trams within the city is free – yes, free! This is something you won’t find in pricey Sydney. There’s even a tram catering to visitors, with a guided tour of the main attractions around the city. The extensive tram system and simple grid-shaped layout of the city also make it one of the easiest cities to navigate.

Study Anywhere_Get out of the CBD

Get out of the CBD!

While the city will keep you more than occupied, if you drive just a couple of hours outside of the city, you’ll encounter some of the most breathtaking places in Australia. From the Great Ocean Road’s spectacular 12 Apostles to the magnificent Wilson’s Promontory, you’ll be amazed at what the Victorian coasts have to offer. Or, be a like a local and take the opportunity to go on a hike or walk when the sun’s out at popular Dandenong Ranges or Macedon Ranges.
So which city is better? Well, it’s a tough one. But one thing’s for sure – both cities have great things to offer and anyone visiting Australia should get a taste of both if they can!

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