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Oct - 30 Day Trip to Australia & New Zealand

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Ok ... Thank you for your thoughts on our earlier post!!! We think we've finally settled on an itinerary for an apx 30 day trip to Australia & New Zealand, leaving the last few days of Sept 2017 continuing through most of Oct. We're asking for potential tweaks to it. And we will follow with specific questions about specific portions of the trip in other posts.

First, it's a whirlwind. We know. Any one of the destinations could deserve 2 weeks or much more. We're just trying to get a sampler-taste of a region of the world we'll likely not travel to again.
Second, we love mountains (ski, hike, scenery). Marginally less, we like the coast for scenery (not really into traditional sunny-beach life). But since we live in the area of WA, OR, BC, & AB that has spectacular mountains, glaciers, fjords, & the Salish Sea, we'd like to emphasize other things on this trip.
Third, we're a couple in our mid 70's, and are a bit beyond our camping & backpacking age :-( but are still physically fit and active and hike and bike a fair amount.
Fourth, we're frugal by choice, not by need. We seek clean comfort, but not luxury (in the States tend to stay in places like Holiday Inn Express or (prefer) similar non-chain hotels or B&B, often with character - sometimes even in private rooms w/ bath in the Y, in Europe often Ibis or similar. Not foodies: eat sensibly and wholesome.

Days 1-2 - fly Seattle to Sydney (Reccos re least uncomfortable flights?)
Days 3, 4, & 5 - Sydney (Reccos for hotels in the center of things?)
Day 6 - fly to Yulara/Uluru
Days 7 & 8, drive one day to Olgas and other to Kings Canyon, explore around Urulu in limited free time and afternoon of arrival, morning of departure. Lots will depend if we hit a hotter (as opposed to warm, hot, and hottest) spell. Likely stay in Outback Pioneer. We presume we'll need to avoid weekend here to get availability
Day 9 - fly to Cairns, transfer to Port Douglas (What's best way of transfer to/from Port Douglas?)
Days 10, 11, & 12, one day to the outer reef (likely no snorkeling, but possible), one day to Daintree, one day "free" ... debating renting car or going on tour to Daintree
Day 13 - fly to Melbourne
Days 14, 15, & 16:Melbourne (& Vicinity?)
Day 17: fly to Hobart
Days 18, 19, & 20: Hobart, incl. MONA, day trip to Port Arthur (to where an ancestor was transported to 1800's) Following advice from an earlier post read "The Fatal Shore..." ... it was a great suggestion
Day 21: fly Hobart to Melbourne to Queenstown NZ
Days 22, 23, & 24: Queenstown, incl. very long day trip excursion to Milford Sound w/ boat trip
Day 25: fly to Auckland
Days 25, 27, & 28: Auckland & vicinity incl. Waiheke Island to visit good friend who lives there
Day 29: fly home to Seattle

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