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The "Best" Time To Visit

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Yes, I know that "best" is subjective. However, the plan is this:

start in Sydney and fly to Darwin to take The Ghan to Adelaide and points along the way. From there we would make our way to Melbourne ("best" way to do that from Adelaide? Flying? Train?) for a couple of days and from there we would take a cruise to New Zealand (yes, I do know about the advantages/disadvantages of seeing a country from a cruise ship but right now doing it by boat is the inclination) for two weeks and then return home to North America.

When I say "best" I mean weather-wise. I am not as concerned about the number of other visitors, the costs, or anything else.

Thank you in advance for your what I am certain will be helpful information.

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