Newsletter #1

February 2019

ONLY 207 SLEEPS TO GO!

G'day Innovation Drama Academy students and chaperones. We are getting so excited to have y'all down here in Australia this year and thought we should say hello and keep you up to date with a few things. So please find a comfy chair, make yourself a cup of tea and find a few moments of peace and quiet to read through this newsletter.

WHAT TO WEAR IN AUSTRALIA

I'm sure lot's of you are wondering what you should wear in Australia. So we have included a few pictures of what locals down here wear. If you'd like to fit in and not look like a tourist, we recommend you wear the same. Girls wear the same as the boys. See the below pictures! 

Just kidding! 

WHAT TO ACTUALLY WEAR IN AUSTRALIA

Australia is known for is warm climate all year round and in Summer it can sometimes get as high as 50 °C (122 °F). But don't worry, it wont get that hot when you are here. 

 

September is Spring here in Australia! The average daytime temperatures in Sydney in September are around 16°C (60.8°F) while high temperatures can hit peaks of 20°C (68°F) on warmer days. Although the weather is warming in September, Sydney can experience some chilly westerly winds this month. 

We recommend wearing some good walking shoes for the days we will be doing lots of walking, but also some nice semi formal clothes that you may like to go to the theatre in. Long pants and trousers would be good if it gets chilly, but a few pairs of shorts is recommended. T-shirts are fine and maybe a long sleeve shirt or two with a jacket to pull over in case the wind picks up and it gets cold at night. 

If in doubt, you can always take a photo of what you are thinking you might bring and post it in the closed Facebook group and we can give advice. 

The days you climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and go Quad Biking on the Sand Dunes you will definately need solid closed in walking shoes. I think you guys call them Tennis Shoes. Thats what Bridget told us anyway! 

You'll also need long pants for both of these activities, as well as Sun Cream (so you don't get burnt in the Aussie sun), sun glasses and a hat. 

NOTE: A full list of what to pack will be provided in your Tour Handbook, which we will provide you with closer to departure, but we just wanted you to start thinking about it now.

SPENDING MONEY

It is hard to say an exact number for what you should be bringing for spending money. Breakfasts are included in your tour package, but we recommend you bring $50 Australian Dollars per day per person for lunch and dinner. 

There won't be much opportunity to buy souvenirs in Newcastle at JTC Australia but Sydney will have some places for you to pick up some Aussie swag. We can perhaps recommend bringing $1000 Australia Dollars for all of your extra spending money. 

Travel cards organised through your bank are also a great way to store your money in case you don't want to carry a large amount of cash around with you. Cheques and travelers cheques are not really used in Australia anymore. 

ITINERARY

No changes have been made the the proposed itinerary at this stage. The dates are still September 13 to 22. 

APPLY FOR AN AUSTRALIAN ETA

(ELECTRONIC TRAVEL AUTHORITY)

An Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) provides authorisation to travel to and enter Australia and is electronically linked to your passport. It is for short term stays for tourism, holidays or business visitor activities. Please apply for one today as it can take up to a month to process. You will also need an ETA to complete the below survey.

Please go to this link to apply for your ETA: www.eta.homeaffairs.gov.au/ETAS3/etas

INSURANCE, VIA & DIETARY QUESTIONNAIRE 

To allow us to continue organising your tour we need you to complete a quick 3 question survey. Please note you will need your passport, travel insurance provider and policy number and Australia ETA on hand to complete it.

Please complete this survey no later than 29th March.

FACEBOOK GROUP

Most of you are now in the group but in case you are not please join today!

Here is the link: 

www.facebook.com/groups/351841625354818/

Just click and request to become a member.

PAYMENTS

The next payment is due on the 29th March. 

And the final payment is due 22nd July. Please keep in mind that this final amount is not fixed and will be specified on your final invoice. It will reflect the difference depending on; exchange rate fluctuation, the package you have selected, room share option and whether you are a student or chaperone. Please see Bridget for your installment amounts.

IMPORTANT: Please ensure your payments are up to date. If you fall behind in your payments it will mean we are unable to book some elements of your tour. As we are traveling with a group, all bookings are made a s a group and once we pay for a component of the tour, if you have not made payment by the deadline, we will need to make a group booking without you and you will miss the particular tour activity or component. 

* We ask that you attempt to be consistent with your payments and ensure that you leave enough time for the payments to clear into our bank account. Please do not make payments on the day they are due as they will not reach our account in time. Additional charges may apply for late payments.

** use the traveling passenger's surname as the transaction description reference.
*** make sure you lift your daily limit so as to make your deposit in ONE TRANSACTION.
**** Email a copy of the remittance advice (transaction details) to InnovationBridge2018@gmail.com

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* Prices indicated on this website are in Australian dollars and are estimates only. Costs are determined by fluctuating exchange rates, groups numbers, ground tour component availability, inclusions and exclusions. All estimates should be taken as just that and understand that we have provided them in good faith as a ball park indication for your convenience..

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