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The wide range of places to stay in Australia is a reflection of the country’s size, diversity and emergence as a major tourist destination. There are tropical island resorts, luxury and “boutique” city hotels, ski lodges, converted shearers’ quarters on vast sheep stations, colonial cottage bed-and-breakfasts, self-catering apartments, youth hostels, houseboats and, of course, all the usual international chain hotels. Whether you simply want a bed for the night or an allinclusive holiday resort, the appropriate accommodation can always be found. The listings on pages 478–517 give full descriptions of places to stay to suit all budgets throughout the country.


Australia has no formal national grading system. Terms such as four- and fivestar are often used, but have no official imprimatur. State motoring organizations and some state and regional tourism bodies do, however, produce their own rankings and they are a useful indicator of standards and facilities. In hotels and motels, air

conditioning in summer and heating in winter are almost always provided. Other standard features generally include coffee- and tea-making facilities, televisions, radios and refrigerators. En suite bathrooms are the norm, but specify if you want a bathtub: shower cubicles are more common. For double rooms, you will need to stipulate whether you require a double bed or twin beds. Luxury accommodation often features on-site swimming pools, exercise facilities and a hotel bar or restaurant


Prices for accommodation vary according to location and the facilities on offer. At the top end of the scale, the presidential, or similar, suite in a luxury hotel may have a four-figure daily rate, while a bed in a backpacker hotel will generally cost less than A$20. Budget motels and the majority of bed-and-breakfasts operate within the A$80– A$100 range. Prices may be increased slightly during peak seasons, but equally many hotels offer discount rates during the low season.


Pressure on room availability is increasing, especially in the capital cities and the Queensland coastal destinations. This becomes particularly acute during school holidays and any major cultural and sporting events . It is therefore advisable to book far in advance and to specify if you have any special requests. State tourist offices can help with or make bookings. Major airlines serving Australia also often have discounted packages on offer to cater to all price ranges .


 Travelling with children is relatively easy throughout Australia. Almost all accommodation will provide a small bed or cot in family rooms, often at no extra charge – enquire about any special rates in advance. Many major hotels also offer baby-sitting services, while smaller establishments will be happy to check on a sleeping child while the parents are dining. However, some of the country house hotels are strictly child-free zones.


Australian building codes now stipulate that any new buildings or renovations must provide facilities for the disabled. It is always advisable, however, to check on the facilities in advance


The capital cities of each state are well endowed with luxury hotels. Well-known, international names such as Hyatt, Hilton, Sheraton, InterContinental, Westin and Four Seasons stand side by side with such local institutions as The Windsor in Melbourne . Major tourist destinations abound with both luxury and budget beach resorts.


There are various chain hotels and motels throughout Australia, which offer reliable and comfortable, if occasionally bland and indistinctive, accommodation. They vary in style and price, but the more reasonable end of the market includes reliable and well-known chains such as Choice Hotels, and motels such as Metro Inns, Best Western, Country Comfort and Travelodge. These hotels are popular with business travellers and often have facilities such as fax and internet connection available


Country house hotels, ranging from elegant mansions to simple bed-andbreakfast cottages, now exist throughout Australia. These offer personalized accommodation and an insight into the Australian way of life, in contrast to chain hotels. Many of these hotels have only one or two rooms so that stays are extremely peaceful, with many of the comforts of home. Among the best country houses are those found in the wine regions , around the old gold fields  and in Tasmania . The Australian Tourist Commission and state tourist offices will be able to supply full, up-to-date listings of bed-and-breakfast accommodation available in each area of the country


Many of the “boutique” hotels in Australia offer highquality accommodation, often with luxury facilities, within an intimate atmosphere and few rooms. Most boutique hotels do not advertise in glossy brochures, but operate through recommendations. However, tourist offices can provide information and many can be found on the internet. Some of the best are also listed on the following pages. Australian bed and breakfasts (B&Bs), many in heritage-listed premises, also tend to be of a high standard. They range from farmstays to glamorous country house hotels.


 One of the fastest growing areas of Australia’s accommodation industry is hotels for the increasing number of young backpackers. Despite their budget prices and basic facilities, the majority are clean and comfortable, although standards can vary widely in different areas. The internationally renowned Youth Hostel Association also has its own chain of hostels across the country, in all the major cities, ski resorts and many of the national parks. These offer clean and comfortable accommodation, particularly for those travellers on a tight budget.

While it is necessary to book in advance at some hostels, others do not take bookings and beds are on a first come, first served basis. Apartments, rooms and dormitories are all available, but dormitories may be mixed sex, so check, if necessary, before arriving.

The backpacker scene changes quickly, so it is often worth asking other travellers for the latest developments and for their recommendations, as well as gathering upto-date information from the state tourist offices. It is also worth remembering that, despite its name, the Youth Hostel Association also caters for senior citizens


ustralian pubs are generally also referred to as hotels because historically they accommodated travellers. Many pubs still offer bed-andbreakfast accommodation. The quality can vary, but they are usually good value for money.


Self-Catering apartments are the latest accommodation trend in Australia. Full kitchen and laundry facilities are usually provided. Within cities, some apartments also cater for business travellers. Prices are generally on a par with the major chain motels.


Many sheep and cattle stations welcome visitors for farm stays, offering a unique insight into rural Australian life. Many are near major cities, while others are in the vast Outback . Accommodation may be in traditional shearers’ or cattle herders’ quarters, or within the homestead itself. A stay usually includes the opportunity to be involved in the working life of the station. Ask State tourist offices for details. Another interesting and very relaxing holiday can be had on a houseboat along the vast Murray River which crosses from New South Wales and Victoria to South Australia. An international driving licence is the only requirement to be your own riverboat captain.


Camp and caravan sites are found throughout the country, the majority dotted along the vast coastline and in the inland national parks. They offer a cheap and idyllic way of enjoying the natural beauty and wildlife of Australia. Many camp sites allow “walk in” camping without the need for booking, provided space is available. However, some areas may require a camping permit. The majority of caravan parks have on-site vans for rent at relatively low prices. Facilities usually include laundry and shower blocks and a small general store for provisions.


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