Jan, I do hope there are dramatic changes underway in regard to the suppliers and outrageous charges in Australia!
Jan, Hopefully the days of Australian telecom pilfering and plundering are soon over and Australians keep the pressure at full throttle.
Just a word of caution regarding use of iPads or other tablets. Don't forget that these DO have a phone number even though they may not be able to make/take phone calls. If you are using your iPad for emails, texting, sending pictures, getting directions, following maps, etc., your iPad is using either wi-fi or it is roaming on a telephone network. Without an international plan, the roaming charges are liable to be a huge surprise! Always use a wi-fi connection if you can. If you are in a hotel like the ones used by Tauck or on a Tauck riverboat, wi-fi will be available usually without charge. If you are using it while out and about, it makes sense to purchase an international plan. My experience has been that they are relatively inexpensive, particularly if you do a lot of emailing and/or texting - usually about $25 a month and some of the phone companies do pro-rate them for shorter periods. If you talk with your carrier, they are usually very good about advising what you need for your situation. For those of us who iive in the U.S. (I don't know about other countries) is to realize that you MUST make arrangements for international service BEFORE you leave the country. We made a big mistake on a recent trip by arranging for an international plan on our phone but forgetting about the iPad!