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Help with itin Jan and Feb for Australia and New Zealand

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Well we're late planning our annual winter getaway from DC this year. One option is Australia and New Zealand, which has been on our list for some time. Plan to keep on cruising fodors trip reports etc as usual, but just wanted to throw this out there in case anyone wanted to chime in with a good itin for us. Understand that it's blistering hot at GBR and other spots in Australia in Jan/Feb but that Sydney, Melbourne and say Tasmania would be ok that time of year. Also understand that Jan is vacation time for schools and local families. But that shouldn't be a deal breaker should it - if Jan/Feb is the time we can go?
Maybe that would give us satisfactory taste of Oz - and maybe we'd go back again some day.
Then perhaps we'd spend more of the time in NZ. We are totally open about this trip - but what we love is nature, hiking, birds, and cool cities. We're both now in our 60s but with lots of energy for walking/hiking/travelling. We're kind of mid-range travelers, like to save $$ on our long trip by staying in smaller, humbler lodgings - with occasional splurges. Definitely not 5 star hotel types. . . . Thoughts anyone?

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