12 Days Australia & NZ Itinerary - Please Critique

Old Oct 28th, 2009, 12:21 PM
  #1  
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12 Days Australia & NZ Itinerary - Please Critique

Please comment on the below Itinerary for Feb 2010 travel to Australia and NZ

Day 01: Auckland, New Zealand
Day 02: Auckland - Waitomo - Rotorua
Day 03: Rotorua - Queenstown
Day 04: Wueenstown- Milford Sound- Queenstown
Day 05: Queenstown - Christchurch
Day 06: Christchurch - Sydney, Australia
Day 07: Sydney
Day 08: Sydney - Ayers Rock
Day 09: Ayers Rock - Cairns - Palm Cove
Day 10: Great Barrier Reef
Day 11: Palm Cove
Day 12: Palm Cove - Cairns - Departure

P.S. - Have flexibility to add 3-5 more days to this trip.
Piya is offline  
Old Oct 28th, 2009, 01:55 PM
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Add the days. This itinerary is so rushed it is sad.
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 02:45 PM
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Is it too late to change? You will spend most of your holidays in airports and planes, or packing your bag. For Australia I would suggest just going to two places: Sydney and Cairns.

Going to Ayers Rock (Uluru) with such a tight itinerary is going to be really, really rushed. You appear to be flying in one day and out the next, ending up with possibly an afternoon there. The flight time from Sydney is 3.5 hours, when you factor in getting to and from the airport, there's not a lot of time left.
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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I agree with mlgb. Add the days, and I would also suggest sticking with one country rather than rushing about between two. Remember to factor in the time you'll lose flying between destinations.

Lee Ann
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 04:04 PM
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I agree with Susan7. Suggest you do a schedule of flight & flying times, add at least an hour each side to accommodate travel to & from airports & check-in times. You'll then have a better idea of what time you will have at the various destinations. Frankly, I think you are attempting to pack too much into the available time, but you're the one who is taking the trip and it may be that you'd rather see all the places on your itinerary even if just for a moment, than seeing fewer at a more relaxed pace. At the very least, do add as many extra days as you can.
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 08:31 PM
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No question about what the others are saying... to rushed. If you can't spend more time, try to cut one of the countries. New Zealand is soooo beautiful and there so much to see and do...
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 11:27 PM
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Add the days and start over. Choose one country. Look at a map, flight times, travel distances, etc. And don't underestimate jetlag, especially if you're coming from the US. Crossing the International dateline could well be harder than you think (I just did it again yesterday and it never gets easier for me).
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Old Oct 29th, 2009, 06:58 PM
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Hello - I agree with the previous posts, but it is obviosly important to consider what it is you hope to achieve from this particular trip. Having said that, I would concur, add in the additional days that you have indicated that you have available, which will be a good starting point. Next, consider what type of experience is it that you want from this trip; natural features (scenery and outdoors), cities (exploring the city itself and then using it as a base for day trips), indigenous culture (Maori and Aboriginal), or something that allows you to relax (beaches, wineries etc). There is no reason that a combination of these cannot be achieved, but it will be essential to ensure you have your travel schedule very finely tuned (as suggested previously), especially to take advantage of flight schedules. The most cost efficient and time efficient travel is to keep moving in roughly the same direction, as opposed to flights that cause back tracking or side trips. If you have the flexibility and plan to include all that you have listed initially, I would suggest you consider the following:

- start with a flight to Brisbane and then connect directly to Cairns (which is essentially the longest flight completed). At the moment you have Cairns listed as your final destination, and doing this means a very, very early start from Cairns in order to connect to the international flights from Brisbane or Sydney for your return journey
- from Cairns travel to Ayers Rock. If it is aboriginal art and culture you are interested in there are some sights accessible from the Cairns area that may save you the journey to Ayers Rock (bearing in mind there is no substitute for Ayers Rock if this is your initial interest)
- from Ayers Rock take a flight to Sydney
- from Sydney take a flight to Queenstown (there are non stops on select days of the week ). You will now be able to start south and complete your travels in a northbound direction which will allow you to end in Auckland, (with an array of non stop choices for your onward international flights)
- from Queenstown (once you have completed your touring in the area) consider either continuing directly to Auckland to maximise your time in Auckland area and not feel so rushed. If this is not an option, driving along the west coast of the South Island to Greymouth from Queenstown will allow you to take the famed Tranz Alpine Express to Christchurch. This is a spectacular rail journey that disects the Southern Alps and will give you a chance to sit back and enjoy more of your journey. The rail departs Greymouth in the early afternoon and there are several options for getting to Greymouth.
- from Christchurch you could fly directly to Rotorua, then collect a rental car, travel via Waitomo then onwards to Auckland.

Naturally there is any number of ways to arrange your journey, places to stop and things to see - the key will be in the planning and adding in those extra days if you have them. If this is the only time you will visit this beautiful part of the world then both countries are probably a must. If you know you will be back again, perhaps consider splitting your time; do one country justice and save yourselves from perhaps feeling a little too rushed and not getting a chance to enjoy what you discover. Whatever you decide, you will love these countries. Safe travels. [email protected]
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Old Nov 3rd, 2009, 07:27 AM
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Thank you all for your much valued response!
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