2017-18 Magellan Ashes Series in Australia
Inspection Report - General Notes
Howzat Travel strongly believes in the importance of performing a pre-tour inspection on all elements of each tour. This inspection helps us to ensure that everything will be to your satisfaction. We hope the following report will...
- Assist those who have already booked in preparing for your trip.
- Provide those considering booking with us an insight into the attention to detail that goes into each and every Howzat Travel tour.
Howzat Travel Tour Manager, Jenni Brown visited Australia back in late 2016 to inspect all of the hotels. Charlie followed this summer to re-visit the hotels and check they were all ready and prepared for the Howzat Travellers arriving and to talk through the finer details of our stay. He also visited the stadiums, and caught up with all of our Australian partners face-to-face and 'Tasted Tasmania' prior to our sightseeing option. It was a lot to pack into three weeks! This report contains a lot of information that will hopefully aid you in the planning and booking of your tour.
Included in this inspection report is...
Comprehensive hotel information
Sightseeing suggestions for each city
Air travel advice
Local weather & currency information
Hospitality ticket information
Visas are required for all travel to Australia. British citizens can obtain an eVisitor visa direct from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship here. The eVisitor visa is FREE - there is no application charge or service fee. Information on all other types of visa is available from the Department of Immigration & Citizenship, or from the Australian High Commission in London.
You may not need a printed or electronic Visa to hand while entering Australia, as British citizens are able to use the electronic passport lanes when entering the country. Despite this, we would advise you carry either a hard, or electronic, copy of your Visa for arrival into Australia.
Australia does not have a minimum passport validity requirement for incoming passengers. However, if you intend onward travel to other countries in the region, please note you are advised that entry into some countries may be refused, and airlines may not carry you, if your passport has less than six months validity.
This also affects passengers transiting some countries en route to/from Australia (i.e. if they pass through immigration and enter the transit country), such as Singapore. See the Travel Advice for Singapore.
For further information on entry requirements you should check with the Embassy or High Commission in London of the country you intend to visit/transit.
More information if required, can be found on the website of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office
*Howzat Travel will be happy to apply for your Visa for you, the charge for this will be £25pp. Please contact us to enquire.
The currency in Australia is the Australian Dollar (AUD).
We are not prepared to speculate on the exchange rate when you travel just yet, however while I was there (June-July) the exchange rate ranged from $1.6 – $1.75 to the pound.
As always, we suggest you change a small amount of money - say £100 worth of $AUD - for convenience. There are ATMs close to all of the hotels we are using in Australia, and also at the airports.
Remember to contact your card issuer before you leave for Australia. With banks and credit card companies more security-conscious than ever before, informing them beforehand that you intend to use your card abroad can save time, money and inconvenience once you are in Australia. You may also wish to use travellers cheques, which are widely received.
You will be visiting Australia during their summer months, so expect the weather from November to January to be very warm. See the separate city pages for more detailed weather information by city.
Tap water is perfectly safe to drink in Australia and we advise that you buy and carry bottled water with you in the day, to ensure that you stay well hydrated in the heat.
If you intend to use your UK mobile phone whilst in Australia, make sure you contact your service provider before you travel, to ensure that you are on the most cost-effective tariff and that your phone is enabled for roaming. If your mobile phone is 'unlocked', you may alternatively wish to purchase a local SIM card to enable you to make cheaper phone calls. Our understanding is that Vodafone is the preferred network.
Data in Australia is surprisingly cheap, for $50 I managed to get a one-month deal with unlimited texts and minutes and 9GB of data. Within the cities the speed of the internet was good, the only issues I had were while in Tasmania, where Vodafone and other operators struggle for signal outside of Hobart. I am led to believe it is the same for other less populated areas, so those doing the Red Centre or Margaret River tours should also be aware of this.
I never felt unsafe in Australia as it is, in general, a very safe country. However, you should always take the necessary precautions like you would at home in a city like London. If you don’t feel comfortable doing something, then don’t risk it. Here are a few common-sense tips:
- Do not leave bags/briefcases/luggage or valuable items unattended.
- Don't carry large amounts of cash - carry travellers cheques or a card instead.
- Leave passports/credit cards/valuables safely locked in the safe.
- When swimming in the sea, only swim between red and yellow flags on patrolled beaches. We advise against swimming in the sea on non-patrolled beaches.
- The ozone layer has been severely depleted over this part of the world, so one of the greatest dangers is the sun. Make sure you apply lots of sun cream and cover exposed parts of your body with light clothing. Ensure you take a sun hat with you.
We recommend you give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport, bearing in mind it will be our winter and travel conditions may be affected. Despite check-in now being so streamlined, with the electronic check-in kiosks and bag drops, try to aim to get to the airport at least three hours before departure and maybe even consider staying at an airport hotel the night before.
Once you have checked in and passed through security, by all means enjoy the shops, bars and restaurants, but keep an eye on the information screens and make sure you allow at least 25 minutes to walk to your departure gate once your flight has been called for boarding.
Some airlines offer the facility to check-in online prior to travel. Check your e-ticket to see if you are able to do this.
The majority of our flights are one-stop, with a short layover approximately half way. Where you have your layover will depend on the airline (e.g. for Cathay Pacfic it is Hong Kong, for Emirates it is Dubai). When you are in transit at your layover airport, ensure you pay attention and follow the signs to catch your second flight. Your checked baggage will make its own way to the second flight, so you do not need to worry about it.
With a total flying time of 20- 24 hours, we recommend that you wear comfortable clothing and take anything with you that will help you to make the flight more comfortable. Most airlines will supply blankets and eye masks, but you may wish to take an inflatable pillow to help you sleep. You may also wish to take precautions against deep vein thrombosis - like wearing special socks and ensuring that you move around from time to time.
You may wish to take your own entertainment such as books and magazines, but all airlines have their own onboard in-flight entertainment, which include movies, TV shows, music and games. Headphones are supplied but you can also use your own headphones/earphones if you prefer.
You will usually be served two meals during the flight, with alcoholic and soft drinks available for the duration of the flight.
During the flight, you will be asked to complete an immigration form, which you will then hand in at passport control at your destination airport. It's worth keeping a pen handy for this.
Once you have collected your checked baggage from the carousel, make your way to the exit where a Howzat Travel representative will be clearly visible, and will direct you to your transport to take you to your hotel.
The check-in desks for domestic airlines are clearly signposted in all airports and there are machines in front of the check-in desks that offer you the facility to print your boarding card and change seats (where available) before checking your bags in.
Virgin Australia now offer an in-flight entertainment app for most of their domestic flights. This app is similar to in-flight entertainment system, but its streamed through your handheld device. All you need to do is search ‘Virgin Australia Entertainment’ in the app store, download the app and then connect to the Virgin Australia Wi-Fi if it is available on your flight.
Howzat Travel go to great lengths to ensure that our tickets are the best in the ground. We believe the tickets we have alligned with each tour offer the best view, with the best value that is available.
In each destination travellers on our 'Platinum tour' will be able to upgrade to Club Dining, for an added cost. See below for details of this...
For Days 1-3 of the Test you’ll be guest of Cricket Australia in Official Hospitality. The Cricket Club is a sophisticated, yet relaxed environment intended to be shared with colleagues or business associates, family and friends.
All guests in the Cricket Club receive:
• Excellent stadium seating with access to the Cricket Club throughout the game. Seating is exclusive to the Cricket Club in Brisbane and Sydney. Other venues are either in the public seating or Members Enclosure, dependent on the facility.
• Entertaining guest appearance
• Dedicated reception offering an all-day concierge service
Cricket Club Dining
• During the main break you will be escorted to a reserved table for a sit down meal
• Beverages, including premium wine and beer, soft drinks, espresso coffee and tea served throughout the day
• You will have access to the Lounge throughout the day
On Day 4 you will receive Platinum seating as described above. As with all match modules, Day 5 tickets are general admission.
Your Financial Protection
All the flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme.
Our ATOL number is ATOL 9498.
When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it.
Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to:
Please see our Booking Terms and Conditions for more information.
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Bookings Page & T&Cs
Or, if you fancy ODI cricket...
NB: Howzat Travel reserves the right to make alterations to any aspect of the itinerary, including accommodation stated. Equivalent alternatives will be provided if this is the case.
And... while you are deciding which tour to book, why not read the tour diaries from our previous cricket tours to the Ashes:
Howzat Travel, a Cricket Australia
Travel Office Licensed Travel Operator
for the Ashes Series 2017-18. CATO Licence Number - CATO1718/050.
The Cricket Australia shield device
is a trade mark of, and used under licence from, the owner Cricket Australia by whom all copyright and other rights of reproduction are reserved.