If only words could express how indebted we feel to Aussie (look we spelled it right this time) hunk of muscle Ian Cartwright for joining us today to talk all things travel Australia, well, then we’d probably write a decent enough introduction.
Ian is the wrist-spinning, record wicket-taking, XXXX-swigging blogger behind the thoroughly decent travel blog Eager Existence and we’re extremely privileged to have him here today! Take it away Ian…
1. Could you briefly introduce yourself, your site and your why you wanted to start a travel blog?
My name’s Ian, I’m almost 30 years old *shock*, and I’m a travel blogger. I used to work in IT, but quit the 9-to-5 to explore some of this magnificant earth before I ‘settled down’. I blog on solo travel, adventure travel, and basically just doing whatever-the-hell-you-feel-like.
I started my blog, like most, to keep a journal of my adventures and tick off the bucket list. Somewhere that I could let people know how I was doing (without individual email updates), develop my writing skills, and gain Internet stardom at the same time.
I used to keep a written journal, but I kept losing it, and once it was even stolen! My little black book (*cough* genuine moleskin) of memories, phone numbers, and sleazy sex stories gone forever!
2. What are your experiences travelling Australia?
Umm… I was born here; in the West (WA). That makes me a local boy. Aussie mate. “Throw another shrimp on the barbie”. All that shyte. Besides that, I’ve been quite a few places in Oz… except the big touristy places like Ayers Rock, and Great Barrier Reef. Should really get onto that someday.
I’ve done a few places in the West including my home town of Perth; Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast. Haven’t really ventured into the Kakadu yet, or been up to Darwin. But I think a Baramundi fishing trip is on the cards. Wanna come?
(cc) Lost in Australia
3. How much money can someone travel around Australia for? What are the greatest expenses? What things are relatively cheap??
If you’re travelling on a budget, or haven’t got an income while you travel… Australia might sting a bit. The cost of living here is quite high (but we have nothing on Switzerland!). Hostels can be upwards of $30 a night. Train tickets can be $5 a piece. A pint of beer can cost $11. But, just like all backpackers, there are tips I can share with you to make your stay come in under budget.
Why do you think the Great Aussie BBQ is so popular? Because a meat pack is under $20, and a carton of VB around $35. That, and a cricket bat and ball ($15), and you have fun-and-games for the whole family!
4. What is the local cuisine like? What Ozzie foods should us lot be trying?
First off, you spelt Aussie (ED:oops!) wrong. Secondly, do we even have a local cuisine?
When I bummed my way around Europe last year, trying to score a free nights accommodation whereever I could; a common request was “Cook us something Australian!!”
My reply was often “Alright. Ideas for where we can go Roo Shooting?”.
And the Reef & Beef (also known as the Surf & Turf) is a fantastic way to grill a steak. Basically, if it’s got meat on it. We eat it.
I’d also recommend trying Crocodile, Emu, Kangaroo, and Baramundi. I wouldn’t go trying Koala or Platypus, unless you want to get arrested.
5. What cultural activities and events would you suggest everyone seeing or taking part in while travelling in Australia and why?
Are you serious? The list is endless!Let’s face it, Aussie blokes will bet on anything, given the chance — two flies crawling up a wall will attract a bet on who gets up there first — which often makes watching (and participating) in sports more exciting.
So that’ll cover Boxing Day Tests, Surfing, Australian Rules Football (Footy, or AFL), Melbourne Cup, and even the Camel Cup. The savvy traveller can prepare for their trip by coinciding their travel dates with one of these great Aussie traditions.
Then there’s Australia Day (Jan 26), our biggest celebration of the year (maybe after New Year’s). A time when we reflect on what it means to be Australian, be thankful, and sink a few tinnies with mates (usually at a beach, or a paddle pool at the least).
(cc) Looking Glass
Finally, you can’t look past a Christmas at the Beach. The popular places like Bondi completely fill up with pale tourists looking for the genuine Aussie experience. To get that, see my answer to #3 (Bat, Ball, BBQ, and VB).
6. What is your favourite thing about travelling this country? What is your least favourite thing?
It’s the best place on earth! We have such a wide variety of landscape and wildlife. There really is something for everyone. My least favourite thing would have to be the crappy public transport infrastructure, the cost of flights, or the sheer distances involved. But the distance involved probably explains the other two.
Oh, and Lis was right, the flies are a right pain in the ar$e.
7. What things do you focus on most when you blog about this country? Why do you choose these things?
8. Whatís one thing you can’t travel around Australia without?
Sunscreen. Of course.
Oh, and anti-venom …just kidding.
9. What kind of response have you had to your blog posts about Australia? What post had the most interest?
10. If you could think of one thing you wished someone told you before you started travelling around Australia what would it be?
Some sage advice there from Ian. And on that last note, I’m sure he won’t mind you buying him a beer or two if you ever catch up with him on the road.
If you’d like to be interviewed, contact us.