Regis has always been captivated by rugged wilderness and big journeys, which made his 9000km road trip around Western Australia one of his all time favourites. Memorable moments from his travels include stargazing beside remote billabongs in the Kimberley, watching dramatic sunsets along the Coral Coast and introducing his daughter to emus, galahs and other Australian wildlife. When not out travelling the world for Lonely Planet, he splits his time between New York City and Sydney, but seems increasingly drawn to the big skies out west.
Although this book contains worthwhile information, two deficiencies prevent me from rating it higher. Somewhere along the line Loney Planet seems to have lost their way. Originally producing guides for the backpacker set, in an apparent effort to broaden its market the budget traveler seems to have nearly been forgotten. There's far too much emphasis on $500 rooms and $300 dinners. While current exchange rates Australia is now an expensive place to travel, there are mid-priced and budget offering which LP mostly ignores.
The second problem: the index is inexcusably incomplete. That's not a problem when planning the trip and you're reading about a region. For that purpose, this book is decent. But it becomes frustrating to use when actually traveling because the town you're in (and mentioned in the book) is often absent from the index. In particular, places mentioned in the little blue boxes scattered around the book seem missing entirely.
We traveled to Cairns and Sydney for several weeks and bought this book as our guidebook. It was a big mistake. We got very little helpful information from this book. For example, it tells you almost nothing about the Blue Mountains in Sydney, but devotes a lot of space to hotels and restaurants there. We found nothing which helped our time in Cairns. In both Sydney and Cairns, the information we got from the tourist information offices was much more helpful. That, combined with Trip Advisor, helped very much.
I bought this book right before taking a trip up the East Coast of Australia. The book is helpful but I think it should be used in conjunction with TripAdvisor. They only list a few choices for accommodation and restaurants and I found that TripAdvisor was able to provide many more choices. It is helpful for maps and great to give you a bit of history and the areas you are driving through.
This book gives brief overviews, but mainly caters to the backpacking crowd. If you are interested in getting off of the Grayhound line and seeing some of the non-tourist areas this book is not very helpful. If you are doing a 'This is Tuesday, it must be Cairnes' kind of tour then you'll be able to use it.
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Just received this newly updated August 2011 edition. We are planning trip next year to East coast of Australia. We haven't traveled yet, so can't vouch for the reliability of the data. But, on initial review it looks quite good. Well organized. Easy to find stuff based on location or interest. Good maps. A lot to digest... but I think this will be the one guide we take with us on our trip next year. Compared to another East Coast Australia guide we bought, this one seems to have a lot more bang for the buck.