15 day trip to australia - need help

Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 09:33 PM
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15 day trip to australia - need help

this is our first trip . we fly into sydney and out of melbourne. leaving on 25th july so not much time to plan. we do want to go to tasmania maybe from 6th aug to 11th and attend the market. Will it be very cold? we may take the spirit of tasmania overnight to davenport.
trying to decide whether to drive from sydney to melbourne- its a long drive. we do want to do the great ocean road drive- will it be too much driving? is there a way to come fropm sydney and join the great ocean road to cut down on the time?

In melbourne how far is the airport from cbd and what is the cheapest way for 3 people to get to cbd.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2009, 10:35 PM
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Well, it'll be the about the height of winter and Tasmania being our furtherest south state, so yes for a normal season you can expect it to be a good 5C or so colder than Sydney and Melbourne, though not all over.

The cold winds come off the southern ocean and the south and west coasts cop it first and north/north east being sheltered can be more like Victorian/Melbourne weather.
Australian winters are not anything too severe, nothing like a northern US, Canada or European winter but in flying in from a northern hemisphere summer if that is what you're doing, it'll still seem cold enough.

The Great Ocean Road is the other side of Melbourne [SW] from Sydney direction but if you want to allocate time you have the option of heading the inland route down Hume Hwy/freeway, [ much like an interstate highway for all but a bit over 100 km.] very easy drive but kind of a bit monotonous but not too bad.

Going that way, you could in one day, leaving early enough drive as far as Seymour and then take some country back roads to Ballarat, a regional city and stay over at http://www.sovereignhill.com.au/ , an interesting dinner show "Blood on the Southern Cross" there if on [they may take a break in heart of winter, so check and book if interested.
It would be a stretch in one day and a stop at Albury might not be a bad idea or places like Wangaratta, Benalla or Euroa, the last being a lovely pretty smaller town and then the second day you would have time to explore some wineries and old gold fields territory [ Mt Macedon region and Maldon worth a look] before getting to Ballarat [does get bitterly cold there sometimes].

After Ballarat you would have the option of staying inland to head down through Lismore and Camperdown to Port Campbell, do London [no]Bridge a bit to west and then the GOR west to east and stop the night near eastern end, Lorne, Anglesea or Torquay.
Make use of a travel planner site like www.travelmate.com.au and put in place names as above or off a map and you'll get suggested distances/times but on the country route I've mentioned or other country roads you'll have very little traffic and some nice rolling pasture/forested countryside.

If again you got away to an early start from Ballarat and make it all the way along the GOR, and have a full extra day available, you may also want to consider overnighting at Queenscliff, a lovely heritage style village and the next morning you could take a ferry across to the Morningtin Peninsula and head on up to Melbourne from there, some lovely spots all about the peninsula and just google Mornington Peninsula for details.

The other option from Ballarat would be to head down to Geelong and then Anglesea to do the GOR east to west [preferred direction to be sea side of the road centreline, great for passengers] and then head back to Melbourne the normal return route from Port Campbell to Colac and back along the Princess Hwy. through Geelong and at a stretch [ a long day] you can make it back to Melbourne and if looking for the airport you're on the right side of town.

Alternately, the drive from Sydney down the coast is a pleasant way to go with many smaller charming villages and towns, Berry, Milton, Mogo, Tilba to mention the smallest but also plenty of larger ones.

In allowing two days minimum, you could make it to Phillip Island for the second night, not on the direct route but worth the stop to take in the fairy penguins surf in parade at Dusk, Cowes on PI having plenty of accommodation options.
An early start the next morning could get you around to Sorrento via the Mornington Peninsula and catch the ferry across to Queenscliff and then do the GOR east to west as preferred and if you have the days/time available you might still be able to head for Sovereign Hill to overnight.

It would mean a breakfast at Sorrento kind of early start though if you're up to that kind of thing.

You'll not need to book any accommodation ahead that time of year as there'll be ample motel vacancies about, most with specials signs out.

If you do decide on the coastal route, when you get to Heathcote heading south of Sydney, take next left turn for Royal National Park [think there's mention of a lookout too and worth a stop] but the road from there down to the coast and along the Lawrence Hargreaves Drive is quite spectacular and you'll rejoin the main highway near Wollongong.

Ideally, it would be great to have a minimum six days for the coastal/GOR road trip, but 3, 4 or 5 is possible with early starts and long days.

Melbournes main airport is about 20 km. out and there's an airport bus that'll cost $26 return or $16 one way last time I used it, so a return will probably work out about even with a taxi for three or if looking at one way, you could be in front taking a taxi.
The airport bus takes you to the Southern Cross Railway Station and then there's a free shuttle service about the CBD, and free pick-ups [after about 6 am.] if booked day before.

When flying down from Sydney, just beware of Jetstar flights that can take you to their secondary airport of Avalon, out a long long way and return is about $36 I think.

Your best bet for domestic flights is www.webjet.com.au to look up cheapest and www.tigerairways are just about to commence on the Sydney/Melbourne route for $38 plus you pay for luggage. Tiger also do Hobart and Launceston in Tasmania out of Melbourne.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2009, 05:28 AM
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Problem with driving down to Melbourne first is that you may be sick of driving by the time you start the Great Ocean Rd. One possibility would be so spend a few days in Sydney, then fly to Adelaide. Spend a day or two around Adelaide (beautiful hills and wine country), and then head to Melbourne via the GOR. A Kangaroo Island visit en route would be an option. From Melbourne head to Tasmania for a few days, then return to Melbourne for the flight home.

Dont know if you've finalized your tickets, but if it were me, I'd be heading north of Sydney rather than south at this time of year for the chance of nicer and warmer weather. Tasmania in July is probably the coldest it gets anywhere in Australia any time of year. But, as bushranger points out, still quite mild compared to winter in the northern USA.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2009, 07:36 AM
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If you only have 15 days I would forget about driving from Sydney to Melbourne - it really is NOT a "must do" for a first visit (to use the language that is so popular here). And even less so with it being wintertime. And I wonder .. is the Saturday market the reason you have chosen to visit Tasmania? What else do you plan for that part of your holiday?

It's just that it's a very nice market but no more special than others I can think of (Mindil Beach in Darwin; Eumundi Markets near Noosa, for instance) and both those destinations have a lot to offer and much better weather in July. Both Tassie and the Great Ocean Road will be cold. Pack a woolly hat, scarf and gloves as well as lots of layers to stay remotely comfortable. Of course you may be used to really cold weather but I was driving the GOR just four weeks ago and found the cold and wet depressing.

So I'd also think about going North for one of your weeks - perhaps to the Whitsundays if not all the way up to FNQ (ie Cairns area).

You ask: "is there a way to come from sydney and join the great ocean road to cut down on the time?" which makes Bushranger's comments about Jetstar and Avalon Airport very strange. I would say you should actually AIM to fly into Avalon rather than MLB's main airport, Tullamarine, because that way you are already well south of the city and much closer to the start of the GOR. This is exactly what I did in early June with a friend visiting me from overseas. We flew into Avalon arriving lunchtime, picked up a hire car and spent the next two and a half days driving as far as Port Fairy and return. We handed the car back at Avalon and travelled into Melbourne by taxi and train. It was meant to be by airport bus but they only run to service incoming and outgoing flights, so if you miss one (we did) you can have a long wait for the next one!! As just mentioned there is an alternative though be mindful that the trains don't run very frequently either! Avalon bus timetable at:

www.sitacoaches.com.a

Cheers.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2009, 08:11 AM
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" You ask: "is there a way to come from sydney and join the great ocean road to cut down on the time?" which makes Bushranger's comments about Jetstar and Avalon Airport very strange. "
very strange!
Only when you take it out of context of explaining fly in options as the question was asked how far the CBD is from the airport etc.

You break your drive up into a number of days rushme and no reason to get tired doing some relaxed country driving usually with little traffic about.
Of the route options, the southcoast is the pick for scenery, weather you may find is reasonably mild in NSW section and with luck you could miss rain.

You'd find it hard to find somewhere better than http://www.seahorseinn.com.au/ to overnight first night, giving you plenty of time to stop at some of the towns on way down and then not all that big a drive the next day to make somewhere like Phillip Island.

Certainly if you want warmer weather, heading to northern parts ought to be considered but if you have things you really want to see down south you will not be the first nor last to head that way in winter months.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2009, 11:07 AM
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If you do fly between SYD & MEL, Tiger Airways just launched $39 one-way fares. It doesn't get much cheaper than that.
http://www.news.com.au/travel/story/...rom=public_rss
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Old Jul 3rd, 2009, 12:32 PM
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Thanks you all for your input. it is very helpful. we are thinking it over. In the meantime how do we get the $39 fare from syd to mel. We went to tiger site but the fares are still $89-$100. Have they not launched the fares yet or is it a scam. we are looking for July 31st
Also i followed the link for the tiger airlines news and it said jetstar had responded with $19 fares. we went to their site and they have Nothing less than $79. wonder is it a scam or there is some trick to accessing these fares.If anyone knows please let us know
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Old Jul 3rd, 2009, 05:04 PM
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I don't have the booking details, but it does not appear to be a scam. Check this out: http://tinyurl.com/n497f4
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Old Jul 3rd, 2009, 06:07 PM
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Looks like you might miss out by a day there rushme for when I open the Tiger site it has as is often the case their table showing prices "from"

When you click on Sydney, you'll get a flight period commencing August 01 and that price is for with hand luggage only, a further fee applying for check in luggage and they zap you heavily for overweight and entice you with a preselect service fee to avoid that.

They usually put on some good specials for a limited time when introducing a new service and prices will revert to something more normal, their normal usually better than competition but you need to be aware of add ons.

Jetstar and Virgin usually respond with their own specials but whereas Tiger may have all their seats within certain dates at their introductory price, you could find that JS and Virgin just have limited numbers on selected flights [not all dates] - they get snapped up quickly and the other difficulty is you have to troll through finding dates to start with.
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