Help

HELP - will my cell phone work in Australia?
HELP - will my ATM card work in New Zealand?
HELP - what clothes should I take?
HELP - should I take travel insurance?
HELP - Do you have restaurant recommendations?

There are many questions we are asked frequently regarding what to do, what to have before and during travel:

Obtaining Currency
All major ATM card will work in Australia, New Zealand and most South Pacific locations. ATM currency conversion rates are generally very competitive but check with your bank for any additional charges to their foriegn exchange fees and overseas banking fees.

Also check with your credit card company regarding their foriegn currency exchange rates and foriegn exchange fees. Some cards waive some of these fees.

There are debit cards availble to be pre-paid in the currency of your choice and pre-set at a limit, these are equivalent to travellers checks. 

We recommend having a small amount of cash for arrival, this can be purchased prior to departure.

Using Smart Phone or Cell Phone
Most cell phones (tri-band) and nearly all smart phones will work in Australia, New Zealand and most South Pacific locations. We HIGHLY recommend you speak with your cell carrier and sign up for their international calling/data packages prior to departure. Whilst overseas ensure your "Data Roaming" is switched off, and only switch on when for short period when downloading data and then switch off again. This will minimise excess data usage. If in doubt check your call/data usage on your account to avoid a nasty surprise on your return.

For those with non tri-band cell phones or older cell phones and wish to have a cell phone whilst travelling to stay in contact with family/friends after experimenting over the years we have found the following works well.

New Zealand - Auckland airport buy the cheapest cell plus a NZ$30 pre-pray package and a SIM card for NZ. International calls are reasonably inexpensive ($2 for 60 minutes to a US landline BUT local calls are costly $0.84 per minute). Calls to US cells are expensive as well as anything with data transmission.

Australia - Sydney airport, same phone buy Australian SIM card and a $30 prepay package.  Int'l calls are $0.24 a minute but local calls are very expensive (around $0.85 per minute). 

Above example with Vodafone - rates and packages will vary and Aspire Down Under is not liable for any changes to the above and is intended as a guideline to what is available in Australia and New Zealand.

What Clothes should I take
Australia is a reasonably casual country, which is reflected in the locals’ attire. To attend an Opera House performance or dine at a fine restaurant, gentlemen may feel more comfortable in a jacket. To be prepared for any weather, use the layer system. Wear a t-shirt, but carry a fleece and lightweight waterproof jacket in a daypack so you’re ready for all conditions. Comfortable walking shoes are a must.

New Zealand is a casual outdoors country, which is reflected in the locals’ attire. To be prepared for any weather, use the layer system. Wear a t-shirt, but carry a fleece and lightweight waterproof jacket in a daypack so you’re ready for all conditions. Comfortable walking shoes are a must.

Fiji is a casual country, which is reflected in the locals’ attire. To visit a village you will need to cover your shoulders and your legs (no tanktops or shorts) as a sign of respect.

Should I purchase travel Insurance
We highly recommend you take travel insurance. Whilst there are many ways to purchase insurance, the overidding factor should be that you have some form of coverage. Recently we have seen travel impacted due to tropic storms, earthquakes, volcanic ash and this before you consider the usual issues you may encounter when you travel such as flight delays, lost baggage and medical issues.

Do you have Restaurant Recommendations?
Please find a selection of recommendations based on our experience and client feedback.

Sydney

Forty One
An established favorite, fine dining serving high quality Australian produce with an Asian influence with a focus on seafood. Wonderful atmosphere and location

Rockpool
An established favorite, fine dining serving high quality Australian produce with an Asian influence with a focus on seafood. Wonderful atmosphere and location

Aria
Located in the heart of Circular Quay, a contemporary Australian menu inspired by a passion for savoring the finest seasonal produce. Set price offered for lunch, pre theater and supper

Icebergs
Million dollar views out to sea and along Bondi Beach and delicious food to match. Book early and if you can't get in, have a drink at the groovy 70s inspired bar instead.

Doyles on the Beach, Watsons Bay
Australia's first seafood restaurant opened in 1885, family owned and operated for over 5 generations. With both indoor and outdoor dining, located right on the foreshore of Watsons Bay overlooking the magnificent panorama of Sydney Harbour.

Tetsuyas
Routinely voted the best restaurant in Sydney, Australia and possibly Asia Pacific. If you are food lover, this is the temple you must visit but it's very expensive and you will need to book well ahead. Tetsuya's new location now has the site matching the stunning caliber of the food.

Guillaume @ Bennelong, Opera House
How can you beat a beautiful spot that is part of the Sydney's best-known landmark? It looks over the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House as well as Circular Quay where you can watch the ferries come in. Great bar, too, for a drink and/or light meal before or after a performance at the Opera House.

Le Kiosk, Shelly Beach, Manly
Take the ferry over, walk to Shelly Beach for a great seafood lunch at Le Kiosk and ferry back. They also do fantastic fish and chips to take away and eat on the beach if you'd like a less expensive option.

Melbourne

Tjanabi
A true "Taste of Australia", drawing upon quality Australian produce and new workings of old Australian favourites. The menu includes flavours drawn from native plants, fruits and berries, matched with quality Australian game meats, seafood and regional produce

Flower Drum
This is the Cantonese fine dining experience where the space, the sense of grace and the impeccable service are all equal to the quality of the food served. Seafood is a speciality, which is not to take anything away from the rest of the menu whose highlights begin with the beef eye fillet and naturally include the Peking duck. This is simply Australia's best Cantonese food

The Botanical
Awarded Two Chef's Hats Age Good Food Guide 2010 Botanical Restaurant, a chic modern bistro in South Yarra, combines a slick bar, an exceptionally well-stocked wine shop and an always-busy split-level dining room.

Pure South
Since Tassie produces so much wonderful food (and more recently, wonderful wine), it makes sense to open a restaurant in Melbourne that celebrates the produce of the Apple Isle. The wine list is incredibly comprehensive in its Tasmanian range and the menu leaps from Bass Strait calamari to Flinders Island beef tartare with all stops in between. The cheeses in particular will delight

Circa, The Prince
Awarded 2 Chefs Hats Age Good Food Guide 2008 - Nestled within the 40-room boutique hotel of The Prince of Wales sits Circa. Not your average hotel restaurant, St Kilda's Circa is cool, glamorous and features an amazing wine list compliments of The Prince hotel and small but innovative menus

Becco
An informal yet sophisticated bistro, where innovative Italian food is accompanied by exemplary service. More than 10 years of service has seen Becco develop a winning formula, consistently earning Good Food Guide accolades, along with the good reviews of their loyal customers. The space is smart and timeless with delightfully retro touches such as the '50s-style menu covers featuring painted Italian scenes. The open kitchen provides something of a floor show as the chefs dart from stove to stove

Transit Lounge
In Federation Square has a good jazz band that plays most nights and has an outdoor rooftop area overlooking the city

Adelaide

The Melting Pot
Offers modern French food and an outstanding wine list in an intimate, relaxed atmosphere. Newest chic restaurant in Adelaide and has garnered rave reviews

The Lane
An upscale Australian bistro serving food that compliments the single-vineyard wines in the Adelaide hills. (Ravenswood Land; Hahndorf)

Chianti Classico
An Adelaide institution – Italian based on fresh seasonal SA bounty. It also has the best breakfast in town!” (160 Hutt St)

The Marquis
A brand-new Parisian restaurant that was the winner of the best wine list in Adelaide, 2011 Food Awards. (13 Gouger St; Adelaide)

Cork Wine Bar
This quaint cafe has, “awesome atmosphere and a fantastic wine list.” (61a Gouger St; Adelaide)

Press Food & Wine
this sleek spot is “funky, buzzing, and hot.” (40 Waymouth St, Adelaide)

Port Douglas

Nautilus Restaurant
Elegant dining based on modern Australian cuisine with a hint of Asian flavors using the finest fresh local produce set in a totally outdoor environment - totally unique and extremely beautiful

Auckland

Antoine's Restaurant
Open since 1973, Fine dining with relaxed silver service at the top end of trendy Parnell

Soulbar
Located in the heart of Auckland viaduct, a contemporary bar and restaurant, multi award winning menu and wine list since 2004

Queenstown

Wai Restaurant
Waterfront fine dining specializing in seafood and local wines, spectacular views of the lake

Boardwalk
Seafood restaurant on the shore of Queenstown Bay, huge selection of north and south island seafood and wine list to match

 

If you have any additional questions about South Pacific vacations that are not listed here, please contact us at 877-7ASPIRE.