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November 2013 East Coast & Tasmania

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My brother and I, in our early 60"s and active, are planning a trip. We will fly into Brisbane on November 10th and out of Melbourne 15 days later. Here is the rough outline and we are looking for suggestions. I often stay in hostels and less expensive hotels. I like to do some day hiking and enjoy riding a bike to cover more ground and see the countryside.
Our interests are natural things and animals.

Day 1- Arrive Brisbane. Rent car. Koala sanctuary. Drive and sight see to area near Fraser Island. Try to stay awake and fight jet lag.

Day 2- Fraser island
Suggestions for a vendor? Would prefer a smaller vehicle as opposed to bus I see in some brochures

Day 3&4 Drive to Airlie Beach
Suggestions for sights along the way or unusual things to see.

Day 5 & 6 Take snorkel tour/boat to Whitsunday Islands
Suggestions for vendor. I owned a small day sailer for 30 years and love to be on the water.

Day 7 & 8 & 9 Drive inland and circle back to Brisbane. Would be driving through Clemont, Emerald, Carnavon National Park, Expedition National Park.

Suggestions? This is a less traveled route but I didn't feel the need to go to Uluru to see the outback. One source said there might be a farmstay possible but I am not seeing any near my route. I doubt we will hit all the parks but would welcome feedback.
Is it worth stopping at any of the gem mines in the area?

Day 10 & 11 &12 &13 Fly to Hobart Tasmania. Rent car and drive counter clockwise loop
stopping at Maria Island, Freycinet, Launcestin, Cradle Mountain. Might consider extra day or fly back to Melborne early on Day 14 and drive small portion of Great Ocean Road.

Day 15- Fly home from Melbourne.

I know I will see Kangaroos & wallabies. Would love to see some other critters like
Dingos, wombats, echindas, penguins,platypus, tasmanian devil, kookaburra. There are such unique mammals there and I prefer to see them in the wild vs a zoo or area where they are on display.

This is a pretty ambitious agenda and I realize I will not do 100%, I have pretty full days and don't sit around much. My goal is to come back pretty exhausted but feeling like I saw as much as possible in the short time away. What else is there to do on a 23 hour flight back to Ohio?

Thank you in advance. The suggestions on this forum have helped me on many other trips.

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