Did you know that Canberra is the capital of Australia? Yes, it is! It's not Sydney as most of you might think. Canberra is located in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in the south-east of New South Wales (NSW). It's a small landlocked city with a laid-back feel. It's the total opposite of the rest of the capital cities in the world. It's quiet and not crowded. 


VISA REQUIREMENTS TO CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA

Philippine passport holders are required to apply for an Australian Visa prior to his/her planned visit. The process is now online so you can apply for your Australian Tourist Visa at the comfort of your home. The visa cost is AUD140 / Php5,500 and the processing time takes about 3 business days up to 30 days. Once approved, you can stay in Australia for a maximum of 3 months. Here's a step-by-step process of applying an Australian Tourist Visa in the Philippines.

HOW TO GET TO CANBERRA FROM MANILA, PHILIPPINES

There is no direct flight from Manila to Canberra. The nearest airport with a direct flight from Manila is Sydney. You can also fly to Melbourne, Australia to get to Canberra.


HOW TO GET TO CANBERRA FROM SYDNEY


From Sydney, you can either drive your way to Canberra or take a train or bus. Train takes around 4 hours while bus takes around 3.5 hours. You can take a train or bus from Sydney Central Train Station. There are three direct train trips daily from Sydney to Canberra. Train fare is AUD28.25 / Php1,086 / USD20.4. The train will stop at Canberra Kingston Station and you can take a bus from there to the city center.

The more convenient way at least for me is taking a Murrays or Greyhound bus from Sydney to Canberra. Both Murrays and Greyhound have multiple day and night trips from Sydney to Canberra. Travel time is only about 3-3.5 hours and the bus will stop at Jolimont Station in downtown Canberra. You can pretty much walk around the city center from there. Fare is is higher at AUD39 / Php1,500 / USD28.


HOW TO GET TO CANBERRA FROM MELBOURNE


There is no direct train from Melbourne to Canberra. It's a combination of train and coach/bus which is still convenient. You can also take a direct bus from Melbourne's Southern Cross Bus Terminal to Canberra via Greyhound. Fare varies from AUD65-96 / Php2,500-3,700. The earlier you book, the cheaper the price. 

The cheaper option to go to Canberra from Melbourne if you haven't purchased your ticket in advance is by taking the inter-state train from Southern Cross Train Station in Melbourne going to Wodonga. Then, coach/bus from Wodonga to Jolimont Bus Station in Canberra. If you take this option, you will need to leave Melbourne at 7:05 in the morning. There's only one trip a day so you must leave early. You will arrive in Wodonga Station around 10:40am and then transfer to a coach and arrive in Canberra around 3:30PM. Total travel time is around 8.5 hours. Fare is AUD65.80 / Php2,500 / USD48.

HOW TO GET TO YOUR CANBERRA HOTEL FROM THE AIRPORT

You can catch an ACTION bus from Canberra International Airport to the city center. Routes 11 and 11A run regular services from Canberra Airport to the city bus station seven days a week. Fare is AUD4.8 / Php185 / USD3.5. You can pay at the bus or you can also buy a MyWay card for a lower fare. MyWay card costs AUD5 plus your load.

HOW TO GET TO YOUR CANBERRA HOTEL FROM JOLIMONT BUS STATION

Jolimont is situated at the heart of Canberra City so it's really just a walking distance to some hotels and hostels within the city proper. There are also bus stops near Jolitown if you are taking a bus to your hotel in Canberra.

HOW TO GET AROUND CANBERRA CITY

Canberra City is quite easy to navigate. There are taxis you can take if you need to. Buses are also plentiful so commuting is not an issue. Route 101 or the City Loop Bus is free. If you want to go to the major tourist spots of Canberra City, you can take Route 81 (981 on weekends) also known as the Tourist Loop Bus. It's a convenient way to go around the tourist areas of Canberra City. It departs from the City Bus Station and will pass through War Memorial, Convention Center, Acton Park and Regatta Point, Parliament House, National Museum, National Zoo and Aquarium, Arboretum and Botanic Gardens before it returns back to the City Bus Station. You can check out https://www.transport.act.gov.au for more information about buses in Canberra.




CANBERRA DAY TOUR FROM SYDNEY

If you arrived in Sydney and don't have much time to spend, you can visit Canberra on a day tour from Sydney. See the best tourist attractions of Canberra on a jam-packed full day trip to Canberra from Sydney. Tour begins at around 7:40 and ends at around 9PM. The tour costs Php6,529 /AUD170 / USD123. You can book here online.





TOP CANBERRA TOURIST ATTRACTIONS - BEST THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN CANBERRA

Parliament House

The Parliament House is the home of Australia's Parliament located in the capital city of Canberra. It is one of the most open parliamentary buildings in the world welcoming locals and tourists who want to be a part of a democracy in action.




Address: Parliament Dr, Canberra ACT 2600, Australia
Opening Hours: Parliament House is open every day from 9am to 5pm except Christmas Day.
Entrance Fee: Free
How to get there: You can catch an ACTION bus to Parliament from City Bus Station and other bus stops around Canberra. You can take route 1 and 81 on weekdays and route 981 on weekends.

Australian War Memorial

Located at the top of Anzac Parade, the Australian War Memorial was built to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war. It is a combination of a shrine, a world-class museum and an extensive archive.





Address: Treloar Crescent, Campbell, ACT 2612 Australia
Opening Hours: Open every day from 10am to 5pm except Christmas Day.
Entrance Fee: Free, donation is welcome
How to get there: Transport Canberra regularly services the Australian War Memorial on both weekday and weekends. Bus stops are located on Limestone Avenue. You can catch Bus route 10 and 81 on weekdays and bus route 910 and 981 on weekends.


Australian National Botanic Gardens


The Australian National Botanic Gardens keeps a scientific collection of native plants from all parts of Australia. It is located about few minutes away from the city center of Canberra. It is accessible by both private and public transport.





Address: Clunies Ross Street, ACTON, ACT, AUSTRALIA
Opening Hours:  Open every day from 9:30am to 4:30pm except Christmas Day.
Entrance Fee: Free
How to get there: Transport Canberra’s Tourist Loop (route 81 on weekdays and route 981 on weekends) takes tourists and visitors to some of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, including the Australian National Botanic Gardens. The Tourist Loop runs seven days a week.


National Museum


Situated on the shores of Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin, the National Museum of Australia brings the countries stories to life. 

Address: Lawson Crescent, Acton Peninsula, Canberra
Opening Hours: Open every day from 9am to 5pm except Christmas Day.
Entrance Fee: General admission is free.
How to get there: Take route 81 on weekdays and route 981 on weekends. The bus stop is right in front of the National Museum.


National Zoo and Aquarium


The National Zoo and Aquarium is one of the largest privately owned zoos in Australia located in Canberra City. It is located in Yarralumla at the western end of Lake Burley Griffin, next to Scrivener Dam.

Address: Scrivener Dam, Yarralumla, Canberra
Opening Hours: Open daily from 9:30am to 5pm
Entrance Fee: AUD45 / Php1,725 / USD32
How to get there: Take route 81 (tourist loop) on weekdays and route 981 on weekends.


Arboretum


The National Arboretum Canberra features 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic trees from around Australia and the world. Many of the trees are still young but two of the forests are over 100 hundred years old. 

Address: Forest Dr, Molonglo Valley ACT 2611, Australia
Opening Hours: The Village Centre, National Bonsai and Penjing Collection, Sprout Cafe and The Curatoreum shop are open from 9 am to 4 pm seven days a week. Closed 25 December.
Entrance Fee: Free
How to get there: Take route 81 (tourist loop) on weekdays and route 981 on weekends.

HOTELS IN CANBERRA : WHERE TO STAY IN CANBERRA

Hotels in Canberra are relatively expensive but you can still find cheap hostels to stay while in the city if you are on a budget travel.


Budget Hotel / Cheap Accommodation in Canberra



Canberra City YHA
Canberra City YHA is one of the cheapest accommodations in Canberra. It's a chain of hostels in Australia and is one of the highly-rated hostels in the city. It's location is one of the reasons why people stay there. It's in the heart of the city, a walking distance from Jolimont Bus Station. You can check rates and availability here.




Novotel Canberra
If budget is not a constraint, I highly recommend staying at Novotel Canberra. It's also in the heart of Canberra City just beside Jolimont Bus Station. Check rates and availability.




RESTAURANTS IN CANBERRA : WHERE TO EAT IN CANBERRA


Try some steak in Canberra City. You can check out Hog's Breath Cafe and Outback Jacks, just a walking distance from Canberra City YHA and Jolimont Bus Station.




Hog's Breath Cafe Canberra

Location: Baileys Arcade, 143 London Circuit, Civic ACT 2608
Opening Hours: Open daily from 11:30am to 9pm


Outback Jacks Canberra

Location:  99 London Circuit, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Opening Hours: Open daily from 11:30am to 9pm

SAMPLE CANBERRA ITINERARY AND EXPENSES 


Day 1
7:05AM - Depart Melbourne to Canberra City by train/coach AUD65 / Php2,490 / USD47
3:30PM - Arrived in Canberra City
4PM - Check in at Canberra City YHA AUD83 / Php3,165 / USD59 for two nights 
5pm - Walk around Canberra City
6:30PM - Dinner AUD13 / Php500 / USD9.3 
7PM - Roam around the city
8:30PM - Sleep

Day 2
9am - Breakfast AUD10 / Php383 / USD7
9:30 - Bus to Australian War Memorial (Bought MyWay card + load AUD20 / Php766 / USD14
12NN - Bus to Parliamentary House
1PM - Lunch AUD20 / Php766 / USD14
2:30PM - Bus to Botanic Gardens
5PM - Bus to the City
6PM - Dinner AUD35 / Php1,342 / USD25
8PM - Sleep

Day 3
Depart Canberra City to Sydney AUD39 / Php1,495 / USD28

CANBERRA TRAVEL TIPS


  • Stay in a hotel/hostel near a bus stop to easily go around.
  • Avail of the free city loop bus.
  • Use the Tourist loop bus to get to the major tourist attractions of Canberra.
  • Ride Uber if you must. It's cheaper than regular taxis.

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AirAsia's Red Hot Seat Sale is back! Avail of huge discounts and great deals, book now with AirAsia.



Booking / Selling Period
RED HOT SEAT SALE booking period: 12 November 2018 - 18 November 2018

Travel Dates
Travel dates for this current promo is between 6 May 2019 - 4 February 2020

How to Book?
To book, go to www.airasia.com. Check our Travel Guides to give you an idea where you should spend your next vacation.


Philippines AirAsia Domestic Seat Sale



From To Promo Fare
Manila Cebu Php790
Manila Davao Php1390
Manila Iloilo Php 201
Manila Kalibo Php690
Manila Caticlan - Boracay Php990
Manila Puerto Princesa (Palawan) Php690
Manila Tacloban Php790
Manila Tagbilaran Php1490
Caticlan Cebu Php590
Caticlan Manila Php1005
Cebu Clark Php316
Cebu Davao Php316
Cebu Manila Php905
Cebu Caticlan - Boracay Php690
Cebu Puerto Princesa (Palawan) Php690
Clark Cebu Php16
Clark Davao Php790
Clark Iloilo Php16
Clark Puerto Princesa (Palawan) Php390
Clark Tacloban Php16
Davao Cebu P216
Davao  Clark  Php990
Davao Manila Php1405
Iloilo Clark Php216
Iloilo Manila  Php216
Kalibo Manila Php705
Puerto Princesa Cebu Php590
Puerto Princesa Clark Php590
Puerto Princesa Manila Php705
Tacloban Clark Php166
Tacloban Manila Php755
Tagbilaran Manila Php1405


Philippines AirAsia International Seat Sale



From To Promo Fare
Manila Kota Kinabalu Php1690
Manila Guangzhou Php2390
Manila Bali Php2690
Manila Hong Kong Php1990
Manila Seoul Php2990
Manila Kuala Lumpur Php2990
Manila Macau Php1990
Manila Shanghai Php3390
Manila Taipei Php1590
Cebu Seoul Php2990
Cebu Kuala Lumpur  Php2390
Cebu Taipei Php1990
Clark Taipei Php990
Kalibo Seoul Php2890
Kalibo Busan Php2890

Tranquility, calmness and lushness are just some of the words that best describe Lake Danao in the island of Camotes in Cebu.  The emerald green lake is surrounded by the greenest vegetation and stunning landscape. It offers peaceful environment, exciting adventure and diverse wildlife. The enthralling ambiance matched with gentle breeze of the winds makes this spot a popular romantic getaway for couples, family bondings and team building activities. 


Experience serenity at Lake Danao Park.

Lake Danao is situated in the Municipality of San Francisco. It is 30 to 1 hour away from Santiago White Beach and Mangodlong Rock Resort. The Local government unit of San Francisco is responsible for preserving, conserving the developing the lake to become one the most popular eco-tourism spots in the province of Cebu. The community around the lake is also participating in maintaining the guitar-shaped lake. They want to protect the different species of flora and fauna, different kinds of migratory birds, wild ducks, and different species of fresh water fish that inhabits the lake’s delicate ecosystem. They used the PHP30 entrance fee to fund their maintenance and for cleaning the facilities.

Welcome to Lake Danao!


Lake Danao is dubbed as a “Lover’s Lake” due its romantic and dreamy atmosphere. It is ideal for weddings, lunch dates and pre-nuptial activities. There are cafés and restaurant, souvenir shops, swimming pool and a mini zoo inside the park. Tourist can enjoy the full view of the lake while having a sumptuous lunch in their huts and cottages dotted around the lake. The lake is relatively quiet and peaceful aside from the singing of birds and the laughter of some local kids.


Lets paddle around.




TOP THREE MUST TRY ACTIVITIES IN LAKE DANAO PARK


KAYAKING
Kayaking is one of the most exciting things to do in the park. It is the best way to explore the lake and feel its tranquility. You can go in any direction around the lake and be mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the surroundings. The water is deep green combined with leafy atmosphere. Kayak is available for Php 50 per head for 30 minutes. Also, there are numerous stories that there are fresh water crocodiles in the lake but in the past 10 years no attacks has ever been recorded. Just be careful though. 

ZIPLINE
If you really want to be adventurous then you should definitely try their zipline. For just Php 70 per head you can experience a different kind of high from the platform to another islet that sits farther away from the main park. The experience may be quick but you will surely enjoy the breathtaking view above. Also, if you are not a water or lake person then this activity is for you. 

SAKANAW
“Sakanaw” is more of a family or friends get together activity. This is basically a cruise that will take you around the lake while having a delicious lunch or a drinking session. For 1 hour you can experience a memorable scenic view of the lake as it goes around its coast. The visitors can also visit the tiny islet and spend their remaining time taking pictures or simply savor the wonders of nature. For Php 500 you can rent “sakanaw” for 1 hour. This floating cottage is powered by an outrigger boat and can accommodate 15 persons with built in tables and chairs. 


HOW TO GET TO LAKE DANAO?


  • Book a ticket from Manila to Cebu. 
  • Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Air Asia Have direct flights daily to Mactan International airport. Check rates and book here.
  • From Mactan International  Airport, ride a taxi going to Cebu Port.
  • Buy your tickets going to Camotes Island or book online in advance.
  • Ocean Jet is the fastest option going to Camotes. It will take 2 hours from Cebu to Camotes. Fare is PHP 500. Terminal Fee is PHP 25.
  • From Poro, Camotes pier hired a motorcycle around PHP 500 to PHP 1000 going to Lake Danao Park. 
  • If you are traveling in a big group it is much better to rent a multicab at around PHP 1000 to PHP 1500.
  • You can opt to visit Santiago White Beach and Mangodlong Rock Resort since it is just 30 minutes to 1 hour away from Lake Danao Park. 


HOTELS IN CAMOSTES ISLAND : WHERE TO STAY IN CAMOTES


Big Z pension House

Poro,Camotes Cebu
  • Walking distance from Poro, Camotes pier
  • For bookings and reervations look for: Irene- 09233383826


Aladdin Beach Resort

San Francisco, Pajican Island, Camotes Island
Contact number: 0999 997 0701
Check rates and availability
  • Free Wi-fi
  • 1 hour away from Lake Danao Park
You may also stay in these hotels and resorts. Please click the name of the hotel / resort below to check the rates and availability.
  1. Heritage Inn
  2. Camotes Flying Fish Resort
  3. My Little Island Hotel
  4. Sunset Vista

TRAVEL REMINDERS:
"Leave no Trace"
  • Plan ahead and prepare.
  • Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
  • Dispose of waste properly.
  • Minimize campfire impacts (be careful with fire).
  • Respect wildlife.
  • Be considerate of other visitors.

About the Author:
Edss Tolentino is an aspiring travel writer. He loves adventure, isolated beaches and islands and a bottle of beer under the tropical sun. He wants to explore the 7,641 islands of the Philippines and share its beauty to the world. 



Melbourne is Australia’s second largest city and is considered to be the cultural capital of Australia. It's the most populous city in Victoria and is home to different interesting tourist spots, restaurants, historical landmarks and elegent buildings. 

Melbourne Travel Guide


Getting an Australian Tourist Visa is now more easy than before. You no longer need to visit the Autralian Embassy in Mania to secure a visa. The process is now 100% online so you can apply for your Australian Tourist Visa at the comfort of your home. This is good news to Filipino travelers who live outside Metro Manila like Cebu, Iloilo and Davao


The process of securing an Australian Tourist Visa is pretty much straightforward. I actually applied like 1AM after a coffee session with friends and finished the whole process around 3AM. Yeah, I just basically realized one day that I wanted to go to Australia and see the Sydney Opera House. Hahaha.

Since my Australian Tourist Visa application wasn't actually planned, I just had to make use of what was available to me. Luckily, I had a recent photo which passed the specification  set by the Australiam Immigration Authority so I decided to move forward.

Australian Tourist Visa Requirements (Online Application)

Before applying for a visa online, it's best to prepare all the requirements. Make sure you all have the requirements so your application process will be smooth. If you have a scanner then it's much better as you need to do a lot of scanning of documents to do.

Passport

  • Scan your passport's photo page. If you have just recently renewed your passport and all your visas and stamps are in the expired passport, make sure you also scan the photo page of your old passport and label it as expired passport.

Photo

  •  Passport-sized photograph in plain light (or white) background. At the back of the photo, write this declaration: "This is a true photograph of your FIRST and LAST NAME " then your signature.
  •  Scan both sides of the photo (front and back)

Evidence of Financial Capacity and Assets

  • Bank Statement - if you have an online banking account, you can save or print as pdf from there or you can screenshot and save. Makse sure you save it as it is and no edits as it can be traced if the image was edited. For passbook accounts, scan it.
  • Bank Certificate - if you can get one from you bank then it is much better. As mentioned above, I did not plan to lodge my visa application so I don't have this. Again, better if you have.
  • Credit Card Statement - I submitted the latest statement. Could be better if you submit at least 3 months to show your transactions.
  • Pay Slips - If you are an employee, submit a payslip for the last 3 months
  • ITR or tax document - I didn't have ot with me so I wasn't able to submit my ITR. I submitted an explanation letter and attached my certificate of earnings from upwork.
  • Certificate of Earnings if you are an Upworker. Also sent a screenshot of my active contracts as supporting document.
  • I also attached my Memorlial Lot Ownership/Title. Hahaha
Travel History

  • Scan all pages of your passport with visas, entry and exit stamps and amendments.

Evidence of Work Experience

  1. Certicate of Employment - if currently employed
  2. Employer Leave Approval
  3. Business Registration - if applicable
  4. Evidence of contracts with clients for freelancers. Again, I submitted a screenshot of my work contracts in Upwork.

Evidence of Birth or Age

  • NSO Birth Certificate

Evidence of Planned Tourism Activities

  • Day-to-day itinerary of your planned visit which includes the places you will visit and activities you will do.

Other Supporting Documents
  • Cover Letter - explaining the purpose of your travel. I did not submit this since I already mentioned my purpose in my explanation letter.

Visa Fee (AUD140) roughly around Php5,500

  • Credit card, debit card, PayPal, and UnionPay are accepted.

Other required documents that may apply to you

  • Letter of invitation from sposnor (friend or family)
  • Identification Documents of Sponsor
  • Evidence that your sponsor in Australia can financially support your trip. 
  • Marriage Certificate. 

  
After gathering all the requirements above, you're now ready to proceed with the online visa application process.

How to Apply for an Australian Tourist Visa Online


Step 1: Create an ImmiAccount 

Make sure that you register an email address you regularly check as it will be your means of getting updates about your application status. You may register here.


Step 2: Accomplish the Application Form

Fill out the Visitor/Short Stay Visa (Tourist Subclass 600) Form. 
Answer all the fields correctly and honestly. Review your answers to make sure you have the correct information.

Step 3: Submit / Upload all the required supporting documents


Step 4: Pay your Visa Fee

Online visa applications, can only be paid using a credit or debit card. It is AUD140 plus a minimal surcharge fee. After payment, you will get an email that your application has been received.

Processing Time

There is no standard processing time. Some of my friends got their visa after 3-5 business days. I was kinda worried that my visa application would be rejected since it took a while unlike my friends' application. Fortunately, it was granted. I got my visa after 20 business days. It was a long wait but at least I got a one year multiple entry visa.

Validity of the Visa

I applied for a single entry visa with a 10 days itinerary but I was given a one year multiple entry visa. 

How the Australian Visa Looks?


Sample Itinerary for 10 Days in Australia



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