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Aussie SPRING with foodie & wino...Perth? SW region? GBR? Help!

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Ok we aren't really winos...I just love trying good local wines, and I'm hungry for the best fresh local food when I travel. (-; Hubs likes red wine or beer but I mainly drink white wine because it doesn't cause me heartburn. WHERE to go in Australia for a gorgeous spring for a biologist and a dreamy poetic soul? (September/October trip for up to 17 nights.) Visiting wineries is NOT essential if we can just taste good wine at dinner.

Hoping Melnq8 and other Australia or Cook Island experts will see this question! My hubs and I want to experience a gorgeous SPRING in Australia (or Cook Islands) in September or October. I'm stuck! Have planned nothing yet! Our preferred travel style is to minimize the number of flights (I HATE FLYING), and to stay in each accommodation for a minimum of 4 nights, and do day-trips using each accommodation as a base. We usually rent a car, and I don't like to drive further than 6 hours in 1 day. TASTY FOOD & WINE and inspiring scenery is a huge priority for me! (-;

We are adventurous diners and enjoy spicy foods and all types of creative cookery. Veggies? Sefood? Salads? Meats? Sweets? Yep yep yep!

Last year in September/October 2013 we enjoyed an amazing incredible spring in South Africa. Yep I'm still writing the trip report by hand so I can post it online. So behind... (I did post a hotel review of Oulap in de Rust, South Africa on fodors though!)

September/October is the fall in Southern California where we live, and it becomes dry at that time of year and brown. So we LOVE to escape our "fall" and journey to someplace where it's spring in September/October. My husband loves spring because it means new life to a biologist.

Have never been to Australia or Cook Islands! Have been to New Zealand 3 times, love it, adore it. (New Zealand was a January/February trip.)

Australia is so huge and varied that it baffles my brains. Have looked at the fodors guidebook but it seems to baffle me and doesn't help narrowing things down.

So...Perth and the south of Western Australia for a beautiful spring trip in September/October? Or the Great Barrier Reef in September/October? Cook Islands? I'm open to suggestions, please. Hoping for nice warm sunny weather, but not too hot for nature walks. A little rain is ok.

Yes I mean September/October 2014, and yes I'm way behind on planning this trip! I would really appreciate some advise, thoughts, help and inspiration.

The hubs is a biologist who enjoys exploring different areas of the world in the spring. I'm a dreamy writer/poet who loves to eat fresh foods made from local ingredients, drink good white wine, and be inspired by beautiful scenery. We both enjoy meeting the locals and cultural experiences, music, history, etc. We take nature walks, snorkel when possible although that's not at all essential...

We will have about 2 weeks, or up to 17 nights for this trip. Thanks in advance for your help!

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