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2.5 Weeks in Australia / NZ - Itinerary Help Needed

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My family and I (me, my wife, 7 yr. old, & 4 yr. old) are planning a 2.5 week trip to Australia and/or NZ in Dec 13/Jan 14. We are reasonably experienced travelers and prefer renting cars to have maximum flexibility. We typically spend 2-3 nights per city rather than settle too long in one place. That being said, our recent trip experiences (with kids) have been in western and eastern europe primarily where distances between cities are a little more manageble.

When tackling these types of trips with small children, I do my best to know my limits (i.e. not pack too much in as we tend to move slower than most given the kids). We try to avoid traveling by plane domestically as it is difficult to do so with samll children after a long international haul. That being said, I am not sure I will have any choice if we want to tackle this trip.

My wife wants to see both Australia and NZ, I am concerned that may be too much to do. I am willing to try anything but do not know what would be best for our family.

We plan on flying in / out Sydney (that is only city we could get in / out of with miles).

I would appreciate any itinerary advice that would allow us to hit a few key places in Australia and / or NZ. We know we will miss more than most but will enjoy whatever we see.

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