I didn't use the installment plan this time round. I used it last year with SA tours and it is interest free. Just that if you don't settle your credit card bill in full, then this amount will also be charged interest together with all other transactions.
Hi KK and tryinghard,
I exchanged SGD1300 for 2 persons. Just enough for everything. I didn't sign a single card transaction.
I spent more in Melbourne. Just to let all of you know, things in Melbourne is much cheaper than in Sydney. It would be advisable to buy most of your souvenirs from Melbourne like soft toys ie Kolar Bears which is the same as in Sydney, unless you wanted those with Sydney labels.
Anyone of u bought/tried drinking Milo in Australia?
hehe... i thgt of buying Milo back. Cos the taste of Milo in S'pore has dropped alot!! I used to buy Milo that are imported from Australia in S'pore but nowaddays, the standard dropped! Cant help thking is fake(not truly imported from Aust)!
So thking of buying Milo back directly from Australia.
Jasminetea, what soverniers did u gt? So u bought most of ur soverneirs in Melbourne? From ur experience, will i have the time to go ard buying soverneirs in Melbourne? Can u also comment on Sydney? What are the places that the tour leader wont brg me thr and u thk i must go when theres free time.
Do u have any pics to share with us?
Oh oh.... sorry for asking u so many questions again.
erm, sorry to interrupt ....
Milo imported from Australia is available in the bigger NTUCs, Cold Storage, Marketplace and Jasons.
Makes more sense to buy here then to lug back an entire 1.5g tin of milo right?
guess u seldom drk milo. I do buy milo from NTUC and althgh its written imported from Australia(more exp than those produced in Malaysia/S'pore), its taste like its from Malaysia or S'pore. The aroma & taste is not as good as before.
That's y im thking to buy back and try if its the same.
oh yah, dun forget gals... if you're still arnd Melbourne on the very next day after Xmas, ie, 26 Dec, make a trip down to Myers. They have a sale of storewide 50% off every year for only 1 day, ie 26 Dec!
Me love the special designs rayon boxer shorts! Happy shopping!
Total I spent abt AUD500 on souvenirs , including 2 pieces sweaters and a piece of hard rock cafe t-shirt.
I bought a lot of tissue box covers (got Kolar bears and Karangoon) as it is so cute and cheap too. One piece at ard AUD3.33. I also bought a lot of Aussie made chocolates which costs only AUD5.90 in Mel which I discovered same product selling for AUD11.50 in Syd! So worth buying. Of course not forgetting their famous nognuts. Got it ard AUD23.90 in Mel. In Syd, saw it at AUD26.00. Just some guidelines for you gals.
It is no problem buying Milo back from Aussie if you want. They won't check on your food when you come out of Aussie. But confirmed you cannot bring in. If you bring in, you have to declare. However, according to my colleague's experience it will be throw away by the custom officer and they will ask you to buy in Aussie.
As to where to get cheap souvenirs, it will be Victoria Market and "Something About Aussie". I got all the chocolates and nognuts from there. I didn't see any in nognuts in Victoria Market but according to my tour mates, they do sell over there. I'm not sure about price in VM. But it is defintely cheaper to get it in Mel.
If you have time, you can go to the several big shopping centre in Sydney. I need to recall their names. Will revert the name later. You can also go to the Sky Towers which they said you will be able to see the whole of Syd from the top. I didn't have the chance to go. There is also a resturant there which my tour leader said the food is nice and you can watch the scrency as you eat, something like that. As I said, there is not much time in Syd as there is no free day. So basically, I didn't go around much on my own much. By the time, the tour ended in the evening, all the shops are closed. So can't advise much on this point.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention earlier on that there are some meals in our package which is not covered by CB. A meal in Australia is quite costly as compared to SIN. At least AUD 7 (exclude drink) per person from my experience. Not sure if you can find cheaper one. So maybe you want to budget for that?
Nougat is available everywhere esp in large packets in the chocolate shops around the city. I think there'll definitely be one along Swanston Street and along Bourke/Collins St.
I'm sure Myer wld have them too. There's also a chocolate shop in Crown Entertainment Complex that sells great belgian chocs. Tastes like Nutella cept that it comes in chunks/blocks like the Mars bar. But the prices in Myer and Crown would probably be higher.
If you head down to Vic Mart, try the Spanish Doughnuts if they're still there. They're sold from a food van
Now I'm hungry.
Agricultural products are strictly prohibited so don't try to bring anything in. In extreme cases, you can also get fined. But not so bad for dry products. Most times they'll confiscate them. However, scallop seems to make the bill though. They don't seem to have any problem with that.
There are many supermarkets around (as well as Chinese supermarkets) and the chinese community is rather big as well so food is well-stocked and easy to find. So no worries about food
Yah i agree! Aust tissue box covers are rather cute. I saw them when i was in Gold Coast & Sydney. But didn't get them that time.
How u find the Hard Rock Cafe there? U had a meal there? I tried the food in Gold Coast Hard Rock before and it was real horrible. Very salty and tasteless as well. It wasn't cheap either.
Yes, Sydney nougats are not cheap. The nougats which i saw in Sydney the other time was sold by weight in Woolsworth Supermart.
Oh, so u did pop by "Something Aussie" which is a very short distance away from queen vic mkt rite? How's the things there? Cheap?? I just emailed them regarding the details as the site is under revamp. They replied me on the opening hours and mentioned that they have courtesy bus to fetch tourists to the shop.
What time is ur flight back to Singapore for ur trip? Any time for u to shop for the morning of ur return flight?
I didn't go Hard Rock Cafe for meals. Just go there to get some souvenirs as my hubby collected them
I didn't even look around, just get the souvenirs and go.
My tour leader bought us to Something Aussie in our coach. I think it is near Vic. market as I rem seeing it sooner after the driver drove down the street. Some of the things are cheap there though not all. Tissue box covers are more expensive there but they got better packaging than those in Vic. Market. So it really depends on what you want.
For me, I already got them in Vic market when I went Something Aussie. So far, there is one particular thing that is extremely expensive which I bought there, ie a Wombat soft toy. I bought it at AUD15 and I saw it else where only for AUD6. I do not know why also.
Everything seems to be more expensive in Syd. Even a mineral water cost twice as much. My tour mates and I even went to "hunt" for cheaper mineral water 'cos we can't believe the same products can cost so much different within Australia itself. Anyway, we are convinced in the end, things are just much more expensive in Syd. Pitied my friend who lives in Syd now.
My flight back to SIN was around 4.30pm. We woke up very early that day, around 7am and we were out shopping at 8.15am and shopped until 2.00pm to return to the hotel.
Are you also same package as Tryinghard with CB? When are you departing?
Oh, ur tour agent brought u to Something Aussie. That's what i think tour agents will do as they probably tie up with these souvenir shops and perhaps they earn a commission too
U mean u bought the wombat at Something Aussie or Queen vic mkt?
So i supposed the tour agent did not bring u all to Something Aussie right on the first day?
I still remember that time our tour agent bought us to this particular aust local product shop in Gold Coast. Me and my friend bought their nougats. We are a bit KS so scared we can't get nougats elsewhere
. Another friend of mine thought that the tour agents always go for commission so definitely will bring us to expensive shops like this so he didn't get any nougats or other stuff from this shop. In the end, he no choice but to get nougats in Sydney instead since it is already our last stop. So we dropped by Woolsworth and who knows, the nougats are indeed more expensive. But too bad, he still had to buy these more expensive ones
Oh, me and tryinghard different package and agent.. kekee.. mine is only 6 days to melbourne under dynasty travel
So for me, i am sure to get all souvenirs from melbourne cos nowhere else i could get them
Ur flight is pretty late ya? Good for u
My flight will land in Singapore at around 9.50 pm so guess it will take off from melbourne as early as 2.50pm.
Yah rite, as what tryinghard has queried, u went out shopping as early as 8.15am? Shops open already?
Wow, u have already planned whom to give souvenirs to.. kekekee.. i guess mainly for family and relatives?
Hmm, right, good suggestions for souvenirs to bring back home. Everytime i go on tours, keychains, bookmarks and fridge magnets are not to be missed!
I got my nognuts at AUD23.90 at Something Aussie. Accordingly to my tour mates, it is cheapest they had seen so far. I do not know 'cos I only seen nognuts there. Possibly didn't look hard enough heeeee...
Wow, 40 persons really a lot. Hmmm.. perhaps u can get those mini kolar bears (also have key chains one) which came in 10 per packet. And it costs AUD10 for 3 packets! So you will hv 30 pieces to give already? But I got to agree, tt's a bit common lor. However, all my friends like those.
I got all the tissue box covers at Victoria Market. I got 3 pieces for AUD10.00. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that some of the tissue cover is made of better quality which will costs AUD 10.00 for one piece and it got Kolar bear and Karangoon one each side.
I didn't see any tissue covers leh. It would be cheaper to buy in Mel lor. We find that even the Paddy Market in Sydney is nothing comparable to VM in Mel.
The Paddy Market opens ard 9am. So we walked out of our hotel around 8.15am.
By then, some of the shops are open
We spent about 2 hrs there. Oh yes, we bought some t-shirts over there so spent quite a lot of times selecting
My flight to Mel is 8.20pm. How abt ur?
It would be true that the travel agent will earn some commission from Something Aussie. But well, no choice lah.
The wombat is bought from Something Aussie. Wow, you are going to spend 6 days in Mel. heee.. then u got more chance to explore around Mel.
Oh yes, please email me at [email protected] so that I can forward you girls some photos from Aussie
Kite, 40 people is scary. Honestly, i don't know if people really appreciate the souvenirs brought back. Heheh.. Perhaps you want to consider doing what my colleagues and I do, just buy a box of chocolates for the whole department to share, instead of buying for the individual. That way, it'll be eaten and won't be left lying around. There was a season when I got so many mini Koalas I couldn't keep track who gave them to me!
Nougat is actually available at Metro Singapore too. hehe. Also, whilst some people appreciate them, not all do because depending on which ones you buy - they can be quite hard. So you can actually buy a big bag and pack them into smaller bags for your friends and relatives.
Other options: you can go to those $2 Shops to buy a pack of pens. Some of them can be quite cute and not available in Singapore. There was one such shop in Melbourne Central (just opposite the Victoria State Library and diagonally across RMIT city campus). I'm not sure if it's still there but I'm sure you can find them all around the city.
Enjoy your trip there! Don't stress too much about shopping... Most importantly, your trip is about yourself, not really what you have to buy back for people ya?
Thanks for all the info u have given, especially the prices
I will take note of the nougats when i have the chance to be at Something Aussie.
Oh, just to side track a bit. How do u all wash the tissue covers? Hand wash i presume? Cannot machine wash hor?
Btw, i saw that Sydney shops open pretty early. I mean those shops by the roadside. What about Melbourne? Do the shops open early as well? Or need to wait till after 9am?
Our flight to Melbourne is around the same time
Yes, I probably get to cover more places than u and Tryinghard lor. But in terms of quality time on our own, i think not easy.. kekeee.. all the time taken up for the group tour. I am trying to arrange time to go to Melbourne Observation Deck, Crown, Victoria Mkt and Something Aussie (if coach does not bring us there)
Most of the time we will buy chocolates and other local products for the whole division. It seems like they are happier if we feed their mouths rather than giving them souvenirs which they may not use at all
Is the size of ur tour group big? 40pple?
I dont know what time is my flight. The tour agent will call us two weeks before we departure rite? Then we gt to pay the balance of the package. Will they also do a briefing? Hehe, this is the first time i go on tour package so my hubby and i dont know about all these stuffs.
Oh yes, did u buy insurance for ur tour? I heard that if we pay thru citibank, we will be covered directly. Is it true?
We intend to extend our stay in Sydney but i guess we wont be able to get any flight back as well as hotels. CB told us that can only confirmed with us two weeks before departure. Guess the chances are super slim. Since some of u said earlier on that these tour agencies dun like us to extend our stay.
Oh ya, u siad before that we have to give tips to the driver and the tour guide rite? So in total, how much did u give altogether? AUD24 for 6days for each passenger(cz 2days on flight)?
Hmm, for my tour group, there are less than 30 pple. I think i heard around 24.
The tour agent will call 1-3 days in advance to inform the details. e.g. where to meet, what time to meet, etc.
For my case, we got to pay the balance 2 weeks before departure. Then give them zapped copies of passports to make visas. The terms and conditions state that the agent won't call to remind us to pay. We got to take own initiative to remember to pay up. Funny hor? I paid slightly more than 2 weeks in advance, so dunno actually they will call up eventually or not
i bought my insurance under AIG directly from agency when we signed up for package at NATAS Fair. If u like, NTUC Income is good when it comes to travel insurance. Cheap and has comprehensive cover, and what i know from my insurance agent is that it is better than AIA
Getting accomodation in extension of stay shouldn't be a problem. The agency can do it for u. It is the air tickets that give headaches most of the time, especially this time of the year. Which airline are u flying?
Sigh, i check with my agency twice and two times they say no extension, pls
My group is only 17 passengers, one of the smallest 'cos it was not school holiday period yet.
I bought insurance from NTUC. As KK had said, it is cheap and good.
Citibank only give u very mininal coverage which I'm not sure how much. It will automatically covers u when you paid using their card. I also pay using Citibank card. However, I still buy one from NTUC to give myself enough coverage.
That time, CB didn't call us at all 2 weeks prior depature. We got to call them oursleves. Just give them a call if they don't call you and they will tell you when to make payment. There is no briefing for us, the counter girl just gave us some notes and infor when we made payment.
Total we gave AUD 16 for driver and AUD 40 for tour leader (2 persons). The tour leader is good so we gave him a bit more for his service.
Good to have small tour group too. Easier to coordinate and less time spent in waiting for one another
One good point about NTUC is that once u have purchased from them, the next trip onwards we can just book insurance thru' phone calling. I think they give a code or something like tat and we just take down the code and wait for them to send us the insurance documents. Very convenient
Oh, the overall tour guide (manager) did not call u 1-3 days before the departure? Yah rite, the counter girl just pass over my AIG insurance stuff to me and the loose sheets of info regarding departure time etc.
I am going to money exchange later lor. Seems like rate has dropped again. Today exactly AUD800 for S$1K
hurray. yes i wil be leaving on this thur! hehe btw i did not buy any travel insurance, is that ok? or is the insurance has already included in my package?
I hvnt changed $ yet, wil do it on wed nite. hehe
btw when r u leaving exactly, sorry i cant remember
ur tour group is small! I was told that the total size of the group is 40pple! That time when i sign up is already ard 15pple(which is ard end Oct)
So CB din call u 2wks b4 departure. I thgt the agency will brief us(as a whole tour group).
yalor, today's exchange rate is exactly S$1k to AUD800! Haiz.... this year, Australian $$ is very strong. Heard that i will go higher for next year! Thk i really gt to change b4 it goes up higher!
u flying this thurs, so have u start packing?
Hi, I came bk recently from Mel and Syd too so I thot I can share some info. Yes, surprisingly, Vic Mkt in Mel is cheaper than Paddy's. But for the other upmkt shops, it's the other way round. The t-shirts are cheaper for one and I think some souvenirs are cheaper. But I also bought the tissue box cover from Paddy's at 3 for A$10. I suggest you know roughly what you want and then qucikly walk round the various stalls and ask abt the price. For the tissue box, there was only 1 stall that was selling cheaper than the rest if you are buying only 1 tissue box.
For the nougat, my tour leader also brought us to this place that looks like a wholesaler place. No shop front but located in a warehse like bldg. Run by Chinese and their nougat at A$23.90 (1kg) was also abt the cheapest I cld find. They also sell lots of other stuff, macadamai nuts - A$10-12. Chips, abalone, beauty prdts.
There's also this sheep oil thing which they make into lotions, moisturisers. I bought the one that is pinkish and brownish pattern (can't remember the name) but this hand lotion price also varied, the cheapest I found was inside their pharmacy!
What else can we buy other than nougats? Cos its so common. I cant possibly only buy nougats back for my colleagues to eat. Is there any other special snacks that i can buy and wherby S'pore dun have it?
so are u with any tour agency? or urs is F&E?
Guess everyone buys tissue box covers. Hehe.....
paiseh the info is not with me right now. it's at my new hse. hmm i wil try to email u on the day when i m gg to depart. but one thing i make my own notes, very very messy one, i scare u wont understand haha.
hvnt really pack my luggage, gg to do it on tis wed nite.
where is exactly paddy u all toking abt? thanks.