INFORMATION: Travelers interested in attending the Australian world's fair in Brisbane or other events celebrating the country's bicentennial can obtain a schedule of events from Tourism Australia, 2121 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, Calif. 90067, (213) 552-1988. LODGING: Accommodations in Sydney are very tight for most of the month of January because of the Jan. 26 tall ships parade and other events leading up to it. Some space might still be available in outlying suburbs. The New South Wales Tourist Commission in Los Angeles (Sydney is located in the state of New South Wales) suggests that last-minute visitors ask a travel agent to wire the Sydney Tourist Information Center for lodging availability.
So far, a good choice of accommodations can still be found for much of the run of World Expo 88 in Brisbane from April 30 to Oct. 30. The Queensland Tourist and Travel Corp. in Los Angeles (Brisbane is in the state of Queensland) can provide the name, address and description of convenient hotels, but it does not make bookings. It suggests travelers contact the hotel individually or use a travel agent. Contact: Queensland Tourist and Travel Corp., 611 North Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90004, (213) 465-8411.
Travel agents also have access to the Brisbane "bed bank," an agency that has put together a collection of inexpensive rooms in private homes. TOURS: Many tour operators have put together packages that include visits to the world's fair. Tourism Australia can provide the names and phone numbers of several. Among the possibilities:
Island Vacations Inc. of Mission Viejo, Calif. is offering a series of 10-day excursions to Sydney and Brisbane. The price is $1,679 per person (double occupancy) and includes round-trip air fare from the West Coast, lodging, sightseeing in the two cities and a two-day pass to the fair. 23891 Via Fabricante, Suite 603, Mission Viejo, Calif. 92691, (800) 426-1713.
Tour Connection of Santa Monica, Calif. has two itineraries, departing frequently, that feature the beach life of Australia with a visit to the fair. A 15-day package takes in six of the Great Barrier Reef islands and concludes in Brisbane. The price is about $2,400 per person (double) for round-trip air fare from the West Coast, lodging and most meals. A 10-day trip to Sydney and Brisbane, including the Miami Beach-like Gold Coast area south of Brisbane and the busy Gold Coast resort of Surfers Paradise, costs $1,675, including air fare from the West Coast, lodging and some meals. 3435 Ocean Park Blvd., Suite 205, Santa Monica, Calif. 90405, (800) 638-0600.
Promotional Tours of Brookline, Mass. has scheduled a two-week "Australian Art Tour," departing the West Coast on May 12. It will visit the galleries and museums of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Participants will attend a performance at the Sydney Opera House and have a full day at the world's fair. The tour host will be art instructor Hank Baum, director of the Hank Baum Gallery in San Francisco. The price is $2,575 per person (double) and includes air fare from the West Coast, lodging and some meals. 651 Washington St., Brookline, Mass. 02146, (617) 734-3100 or (800) 343-4070.