a VirtualTourist member from Nottingham
By the end of the year I plan to have enough money to go travelling in Australia. I plan on staying in Townsville for about a month; as i will be doing volunteer work i have accomodation already sorted. However I want to get a rough idea of how much daily costs and activities would be.Such as alcoholic drinks in bars,food, how much to tip at restaurants etc etc.
As it is will be my first time travelling, any advise will be helpful. Also any activities which you would recommend will be useful.
There is an economic theory which measures cost of living according to McDonald's Big Mac! So here in Oz the Big Mac costs around5.00 which is about 2.15 UK pounds (I assume your from the UK?) How does 2.15 ponds compare with the cost of a big mac in the UK as a percentage and then apply that percentage to all your consumables. It will give you a rough idea of prices.
Australia is a big place so prices vary, especially between regional centers such as Townsville and the big capital cities. Food is usually more expensive in regional Australia.
I notice you have your priorities right! Never mind the cost of staples such as Milk etc - no, give me the prices for alcohol, I love it. Ok here is a rough guide: (in brackets UK pound conversion)
Beer: in a pub from2.50 -4.00 (1.00 - 1.75) depending on size for draft, more for bottles, and4.50 -5.50 in a restaurant/bar
Shots with mixers:4.00-$6.00 (1.75 -2.60) more in trendy bars
Cocktails:7.50 -11.00 (3.20 - 4.75)
Food: weekly grocery bill for one person about60.00 (26.00) without toilettries etc.
Food Restaurants: Main Meal from20 -35 (8.50 -15.00) Entre or Desert from about10 (4.20)
Petrol: about1.45(61p) a litre
Tipping is up to you. Unlike the USA, nobody is going to abuse you for not leaving a tip. If I get good service, I tip about 10% or just round up!
Hope it helps. Have a great time and watch out for the Crocks!
To add to what John said, if you go to BYO (bring your own) restaurants you take your own wine and they charge a dollar or two corkage. You can buy an excellent bottle of wine for five or six dollars.
We usually don't tip unless the service has been particularly good.
Activities depend on what you like to do - have a look at some of the pages here on VT for ideas.
I live here in Townsvile and have to tell you that you will love it here! Whilst it can get a bit hot, it makes for awesome hot summer nights and great beach weather. The bars here are pretty reasonable, about5 for basic spirits, around3.50 for basic beers etc. I wouldn't worry too much about tipping at restaurants as it's not really done here unless you get exceptional service. There are loads of different types of restaurants with corresponding price ranges. You can get awesome bistro meals from10 dollars or you can dine a la carte and get a main meal for around28. You can also grab all the usual, ie pizza, kfc, maccas, kebabs, fish & chips. With activities, there are heaps of cool things to do here - you can jump on a 20 min ferry over to Magnetic Island (They have an awesome full moon party once a month on the beach at X BASE Backpackers - google it). There's heaps of cool things to do over there. If you're into fitness there's a hill (Castle Hill) in the centre of the town with 'goat tracks' up it. I do it three times a week - takes around 20 minutes to the top and has the best view of the city, especially for the sunset. We also get heaps of really great bands here - check out www.bombayrock.com.au. If you have a car, it is also worth taking a drive up to Crystal Creek and Paluma as there are some awesome fresh water swimming pools with water falls etc. Townsville is pretty much a small metro city - we have 7 day shopping which I'm sure is only to the detriment of my bank balance!
Well that's pretty much all that I can think of right now but if you let me know what types of things you are into I'll be able to give you heaps more info.
You'll love it here, the town always feels so alive - there's never an end to events in this town.
Hope this is helpful - let me know if you need to know anything else.