+ Lonely Planet – Australia 12th Edition +
The lonely planet Australia book is a must of you are travelling around Australia. It gives you lots of very useful information about the country, things to do and see, currently and lots more. As I was planning my trip and didn’t have a clue on what there was to do and see in this large country so I decided to get this book and I was very pleased with it.
+ CONTENTS +
This book has everything imaginable that you could need to try and plan an itinerary by yourself.
At the front there is a map of Australia which gives you an idea where all the towns are, where train stations run and a key so you can work out distances. It is quite detailed and gives you an overall feel for the size of this country.
Highlights – this section will give you some highlights of Australia showing some stunning photographs, making you want to visit every place you see. It gives you a brief description of each place and tells you where its covered in more detail elsewhere in the book.
Getting Started – is very useful, giving you some pointers and tips. It includes some websites you may want to check out. It will give you a starting point to make sure you have got all your paperwork completed before you leave and that you bring all the necessary items needed. So you can make sure you are very organised meaning your trip will run more smoothly.
Itineraries – will give you some set out itineraries that are recommended which you may want to follow. This gives people a rough idea on the best places to see and routes to go. I used this as a starting point and added in a few more places along the way.
The Authors section will give you some information on the people who wrote the book. It tells you their expertise and what they have brought to the book.
There is a snapshot telling you some fast facts and general information on the country which is recent. This is in an article format which is more formal than the rest of the book.
History – this section will tell you about Aboriginal Australians straight up to the present date showing a timeline. I think this is very interesting and always read things like this first so I get a feel for the country.
A section is dedicated to the environment with some more breathtaking pictures and will give you basic information on the wildlife.
The culture part will explain all aspects thinkable of culture from religion to arts or sports. This can give you an idea of how Australian’s live and its been pretty accurate I must say!
Food and drink is covered recommending general areas to dine in. It tells you do’s and don’ts of the normal customs. A glossary will tell you some words Australian’s shorten and their meanings which is very well laid out and easy to understand. I thought it was fun to read.
They have included a directory giving useful information from accommodation, work, money to dangers and annoyances and embassies. Anything you could need to get prepared can be found here. Travellers would find this particulary useful, as quite often they don’t plan things and it gives you all the information you could need once you arrive in Australia and information if things go wrong.
Transport is explained thoroughly giving you all the options (air, sea, bicycle, boat, bus, car, motorcycle, hitching and the train). It will in some cases give you the best companies to check out and use. What I like is that they give you a honest and frank opinion of each option.
A section has been given to road maps which are in colour and they cover a large area. As some of the maps are too large they are spread over several pages which could be hard to follow. From what I can see they are detailed but only show main roads. I may be wrong as I have not had to use them. If travelling by car independently I would advise people to get a more detailed map.
Health section will give you a frank and honest regard of infectious diseases, travel-related illness, environment hazards and health care. Letting you aware of symptoms and areas with the most risk. Predeparture information is given and is worth a look before you go as these injections are advised.
There is a world time zone which gives you a map of he world which has been divided into sections and the time it is in each area. I have found this useful when trying to work out the time in different time zones.
The Glossary will let you know what words in Australian England (more slang words) mean. It’s quite funny and interesting to read through.
Behind the scenes section thanks people who helped and supported with the book, credits and acknowledgements. At the back there is also a index and legend.
The book is split up into states which are New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland, Victoria, Northern Territory and Western Australia. Then each state is divided into towns. It generally runs one town after another in order of travelling anti-clockwise. You are given comprehensive information on each town, including hostels to stay at (even the ones to avoid), activities to do, emergency and medical services, places of interest (plus tourist sites to avoid), walking tours, a map, transport and area’s in the city. It is everything you would need to know to plan your trip.
Tasmania has also been included and covered in this book which was a nice surprise as we are planning to go here as well. It gives you the same detailed information you get of Australia.
+ MY EXPERIENCE +
I have found this an extremely useful book when planning my trip around Australia. It has helped me chose suitable accommodation and plan a budget quite accurately (as prices are included in activities and sights seeing trips). It is easy to look up and often things are cross-referenced. So if they are talking briefly about something and have covered it in detail elsewhere you can easily look it up. In my opinion it has all the information that you could possible want which has been written in simple language you can understand in a clear concise manner. I like the way it tells you the truth and points out areas to avoid. The only problem I have is that the book is very long (with 1064 pages) but I suppose it needs to be as it is full of great information you could be glad you have read. The spine has been stitched for extra strength which is handy when you are lugging it around different places. It also tells you of other useful books in their range of Lonely Planet books. It is a bulky book to carry but definitely worth it.
The retail price of the book in the UK is 16.99 pounds
The ISBN number is 1-74059-447-9