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Youth Beat

Help on Gilles Street in Adelaide

January 11, 1987|LUCY IZON | Izon is a Canadian travel journalist covering youth budget routes.

ADELAIDE, Australia — Young travelers can get help in several ways in this city that has three youth accommodations facilities and is the only major Australian city to publish a brochure designed for them.

You can pick up a copy of "Young People's Guide to Adelaide" at the South Australia Government Travel Center, 18 King William St. It includes a city map and suggestions for low-cost accommodations and camping facilities, entertainment, sights, public transportation and markets.

The city's youth accommodation facilities are on Gilles Street. They all charge under $8 (Australian) or about $5.50 U.S. a night. The internationally affiliated youth hostel is at 290 Gilles St., phone 223-6007. It's clean and bright, has a 1 a.m. curfew and offers lodging for up to 50 people. Kitchen facilities are available. It's closed during the day and stays are limited to a maximum of four consecutive nights.

Independent Hostel

At 263 Gilles St. is a smaller independent hostel called Backpackers. It's a good place to pick up information about other independent youth hostels in Australia. It's closed between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

At 257 Gilles St. is the International Student House that can accommodate up to 30 guests. It's open all day and also has guest kitchen facilities.

While in Adelaide you can try two Australian customs that won't take a big bite out of your budget--restaurants that allow you to bring your own liquor and pubs that permit you to cook your own meals.

When you see the letters "BYO" it means that patrons can bring their own liquor. The tourist information office can supply names of pubs that sell the "makin's" for a meal and then provide the facilities for people to do the barbecuing themselves.

You can get details on how to reach sights by public transportation from an information sheet available at the youth hostel. Using the information, you can reach a popular beach area (Glenilg) for 80 cents by tram. You'll also get tips about reaching the wine areas or Cleland National Park. The park is popular because it provides enclosed areas where you can wander with the wildlife.

Travelers who have a particular interest in Australian wildlife should plan to include an excursion to Kangaroo Island. It's 96 miles long and 30 wide and can be reached by a one-hour ferry ride from Cape Jervis, 70 miles south of Adelaide.

If you are a member of the International Youth Hostel Assn. you can obtain a 10% discount on the $20 (Australian) ferry trip to Penneshaw, on Kangaroo Island. The bus connection from Adelaide to the ferry will cost $6.50 (Australian) each way.

Fairy Penguins

Penneshaw is a Cornish-style town where visitors like to watch fairy penguins promenade along the shore at night. When you land by ferry you find that a two-minute walk up the main road will take you to the Guestward Ho cottages that offer youth hostel members accommodations for $5 (Australian) a night. It's wise to call ahead to see if there will be space. Telephone 31173.

Fewer than 4,000 people live on the island, that has three small coastal towns and a central settlement. Your biggest problem will be deciding how to get around. There isn't any public transportation but a limited bus service is available between some of the towns for $7 (Australian).

To reach the major tourist sights you can join scheduled tours or if you have several people you can rent a vehicle. The youth hostel is going to be introducing moped rentals but this may not be the best choice because most of the roads are surfaced in loose gravel.

Two of the most intriguing sights to investigate on the island are Seal Bay and Flinders Chase National Park.

At Seal Bay about 10% of the population of Australian seal lions bask in the sun, roll on the sand, snooze on the shore or ride the waves. They are docile and can be approached to within a few feet, but caution should be used because under some circumstances they can become aggressive.

Flinders Chase National Park takes up about 13% of the island. In the Rocky River Homestead, in the park, camping is permitted if you obtain a permit. There you'll find that the wildlife is so tame that visitors picnic at tables in a fenced area to keep kangaroos, wallabies and emus out. Visitors can usually find koalas snoozing in the treetops.

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