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1 month Australia East Coast December / January - ideas

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I am a Sydneysider, and my cousin has just announced she and her husband (50 ish) are planning to spend a month (10th December to 10th January) in Australia. They want to visit the east coast by car, seeing as much as possible between Melbourne and Brisbane. (They have an invitation for New Year's eve with a friend in Sydney).

I don't know anything else (eg where they fly into and out of, but as they are coming from South Africa, I am guessing Sydney and or Melbourne). She has asked me "what they must not miss" on this route). Obviously with us and their other friends, they are well catered for in Sydney, and my parents live in Nelson Bay and will be a base for them to see that part of the coast and Hunter Valley area.

I have advised her it is peak season, busy and hot at that time of the year. I have been wondering what to advise her. Personally, things that would appeal to me at that time of the year would be Great Ocean Road (perhaps even a trip Adelaide to Melbourne, including Kangaroo Island), and Tasmania, but that does not really fit their specs. Otherwise, Bowral area / Kangaroo Valley is somewhere I was thinking of suggesting.

I would love to hear what others would suggest.

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