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3 months in Australia and New Zealand

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We are planning a 3 month trip to Australia and New Zealand , possibly march april may, need a travel plan, where to start how to travel etc.

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    That's too vague for me to begin answering, many travel books and travel DVDs have been put together carefully that can get you going here. I see no point in rewriting what's already out there waiting for you.

    BTW - what are your ideas about travel, what modes of transportation, likes, dislikes, preferences, budget, etc.?

    May I suggest

    A) that you dig through previous posts on this here forum,

    B) raid the travel section of your local library,

    C) go to Netflix and order or download some of their Down-Under materials, and

    D) read the travel section of the Sydney Morning Herald www.smh.com.au/travel

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    Wow 3 months - I'm jealous. So we will need more to go on. Your age group would help. Are you fit and active - do you like bush walking? Are you a scenery person or a city slicker? What price is reasonable to you for a nights hotel accommodation? Do you drive?

    So give us a bit more details, your wishlist etc and we'd love to help.

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    Thanks for your interest, we are 65 , quite fi. We enjoy walking,, a bit of hiking. we enjoy museums, site seeing etc. . Like to look at the water but do not do much for water sports. We will likely drive, at least for part of the time. Possibly rent a motorhome, we want to be in NZ for about 2 weeks, have aquaintances on the South Island. Would like to go to Tasmania as well.
    Would like to spend the remainder of our time in Australia, again have aquaintances in Adalaide, Brisbane, and Perth, these are all people we met on a cruise, last year, would Ike to visit them on our travels. Thanks.

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    I have been to Australia and New Zealand each twice. I recommend:

    1. Rent a car obviously in New Zealand, or even buy one when you get to Australia and sell it after the trip as some do.

    2. Start on the south island of New Zealand and spend two weeks there, at least. The south island is larger than the north island, more rugged, and the distances between towns is often greater. The land is worth seeing and there is plenty of ocean beach, too. On the south island, for sure try to do: Christchurch, Blenheim (the ferry), Motueka, Nelson, Queenstown, Dunedin, and the wild west coast. A drive through the Southern Alps to Greymouth is awesome ... using Arthur's Pass. You definitely want to do the ferry ride between the south island and the north island.

    3. Take two weeks to see the north island. It is smaller than the south island and has about 80% of the people of New Zealand. On the north island, allot 4 days just for Auckland, which is a cross between Seattle and San Francicso. Head north into Northland and see the old towns where New Zealand started (Russell), Waitangi where the Maori treaty ended their indigenous wars, the beaches, and possibly visit the New Zealand Fudge Farm as I did, for some real homemade fudge. Yummy. You also want to see Rotorua and Lake Taupo. Not to be missed. Gorgeous scenery. New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the whole world, if you like fishing.

    4. Buy or rent a car in Australia and take off. My favorite places are: Sydney, the Gold Goast, Noosa, and points further up the east coast. I would say with two months you can see some of the interior. Go see the town of Mudgee, NSW, and sample their wines. At Mudgee, if you do a bed and breakfast, you can get up for a fine Aussie meal and then watch kangaroos in the paddocks, as I did.

    5. While on the Gold Coast, rent one of the apartments at Surfers Paradise for about 10-14 days, and then use that as your base to see Surfers Paradise and the rest of the Gold Coast, which has lots of great beaches, shows, theme parks and even the famous Surfers Paradise Meter Maids.

    6. Drive to Brisbane and spend two days there, then head for the Sunshine Coast, possibly staying in or close to Noosa. I would stay 5-7 days there and see the Sunshine Coast. Stop by the Australia Zoo of Steve Irwin fame while there and spend a day. Noosa also has a wonderful national park so maybe do a little light trekking.

    7. Head north or inland and just go where your heart leads you. I think a two month trip to Australia needs to include some outback experiences or you haven't seen the real thing. Ideas for outback include Alice Springs, Broken Hill and Lithgow. All excellent choices.

    8. I have always wanted to see the west coast as well. If you go there you can see the eastern end of the Indian Ocean, the world's warmest ocean. Perth and the area around it have nice beaches and if you drive over, there is the long, lonely outback to savor, plus the mining towns along the way. I would stop and spend the night in some town like Kalgoorlie.

    E-mail me at Boelcke1916@gmail.com if you wish more information. I would be glad to help.

    Jack Douglas

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    With 2+ months in Australia, you can afford to spend a week or so in half a dozen or more places, have the opportunity to see a lot of Australia and get to the places you want to go, without having to rush around.

    Given the distances, I would fly from place to place. The roads here are ok but they're not up to U.S. freeway network standards (if that's what you're used to) and many of the drives from place to place would be long and potentially boring.

    Given your expressed interests, the places to consider going would include -
    Sydney
    Melbourne
    Adelaide
    Perth
    Brisbane
    Cairns (Far North Queensland)
    Canberra
    Uluru

    There is, obviously, an awful lot more of Australia out there, particularly if you want to go to Woop Woop or beyond the black stump.

    Although flying from place to place (and renting a car when you're there, as needed) makes the most sense, you may also want to consider taking the train. The Ghan, from Adelaide to Alice Springs and on to Darwin, and the Indian Pacific, from Sydney to Adelaide and on to Perth are two of the world's great train journeys.

    Sydney has the glitz and the glamour - the Opera House, the Bridge, the harbor etc. Take a ferry ride to Manly, climb the Bridge, take a ferry to Taronga zoo, explore Circular Quay and the Rocks, have a day trip to the Blue Mountains.

    Melbourne is one of the world's great cities and is Australia's cultural / sporting / shopping / dining capital. Explore the cities numerous lanes and alleyways, go see a footy game (Australian Rules Football), take a couple of days and drive the Great Ocean Road, return via Bendigo, Ballarat and Daylesford, visit the Healesville Sanctuary and the wineries in the Yarra Valley,

    Adelaide is a nice city, though arguably not a "must see". However, if you have friends there, then it's well worth it. If you want to get out of town and see some wineries, there's McLaren Vale (southeast), the Adelaide Hills (east), the Barossa (northeast) and the Clare Valley (further north east). Consider a couple of days on Kangaroo Island.

    Perth - a great way to get there (or back, depending on the sequence) would be on the Indian Pacific. Melnq8 is the resident Perth expert around here and no doubt can provide advice.

    Brisbane is a bit like Adelaide - a nice city but not necessarily a 'must see'. However, if you have friends there, again it's well worth it. If you venture south of the city, personally I wouldn't bother with the Gold Coast - Surfers Paradise is a glitzy, overbuilt concrete jungle full of high rise apartment blocks. Yes, it has great beaches but so do other places. If you do go in that direction, visit Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast hinterlands - check out Binna Burra or O'Reilly's. Noosa is a two hour drive north of Brisbane, nice beach, good restaurants and far, far nicer than Surfers Paradise etc.

    Cairns - even though you're not in to water sports, no trip to Australia would be complete without visiting the Great Barrier Reef. Go snorkeling on the reef - an amazing experience. Fly in to Cairns but don't stay there (unless you like partying backpackers, pubs, clubs and McDonalds, which I suspect you don't). Stay in Palm Cove (25 minutes north) or Port Douglas (an hour north). Apart from the reef, visit Kuranda (take the train up and the sky rail back), Mossman Gorge, the Atherton Tablelands.

    Canberra, the Australian capital, is often overlooked by visitors but worth a couple of days if you have the time (which you do).

    Uluru - a large piece of rock that's hot and expensive (to get to and to stay) - but perhaps the single most recognizable symbol of Australia. Again, taking the train (the Ghan) up from Adelaide to the Alice and then touring from there would be a great way to go.

    I would start by trying to decide which places you want to go to, what sequence you want to do them in and how you want to get from place to place. If you're visiting friends, their availability may obviously factor in to the timeline. Once you have a sequence of places mapped out, you can then start to decide in greater detail what you want to see and do in each place - and that in turn will help you decide how long to spend in each location.

    http://www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/site/home.jsp

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