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15 days Australia road trip off Sydney

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Jul 17th, 2016, 11:53 AM
  #1
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15 days Australia road trip off Sydney

Hi, I am planning a 15 day trip in Australia in first two weeks of November this year. We are flying in and out of Sydney.

Doing a road trip is a must for us with Cairns to Sydney and Sydney to Adelaide as two options. It would be great if one could help us choose among these options of itinerary.

Option 1: fly from Sydney to Cairns. Cairns to Sydney on road. 2-3 days in Sydney. Fly back home.

Option 2. Same as above but Squeeze 2-3 days for Melbourne (by flight from Sydney) with a short trip to great ocean road

Option 3. Sydney to Adelaide road trip

We both can drive. Also ideally we want to start from north moving down south considering the season (not sure if this is right approach)

Also, this is our first time to Australia.

1. We are not so keen on camper vans. Are small cars/Hatchbacks okay for this trip with respect to road conditions or a SUV is preferred for off road trips.

2. Also considering the time of visit (Nov 1st and 2 nd week), is it okay if we not prebook all motel/hotel/airbnb/hostel nights. We really want to keep our trip flexible considering what we may actually love during the trip. I have budgeted max 100 Australian dollar per night stay.
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Jul 17th, 2016, 01:50 PM
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What will your budget of $100 per night need to cover? Accom, food, petrol ? Maybe need to up the budget.
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Jul 17th, 2016, 10:02 PM
  #3
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Just accommodation. Basically we wanted keep accom flexi for a few days (say 7-8 days out of 15) and decide on in the last moment while travelling. That is why I asked if this is doable within budget and time of travel (nov first/second week)
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Jul 17th, 2016, 10:43 PM
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You'll be stretching to get decent accommodation for $100AUD/ night in commercial accommodation.

Perhaps have a look at Airbnb & YHAs.
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Jul 17th, 2016, 10:58 PM
  #5
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Yes, Airbnb, YHAs and hostels are fine with us.

For now I have ruled out option 2 of the itinerary.

Please share your views on a hatchback vs. SUV. Also option 1 vs. Option 3.
Some personal preferences:
We both are not really good swimmers but would like to spend couple of days by the beach etc.
We would like to enjoy some adventure sports - say bungy/sky diving, some trek, kayaking etc.
Trip to vineyards, wildlife etc are okay to us. But we are really excited about watching kangaroos in their natural habitat.
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Jul 17th, 2016, 11:44 PM
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I guess it comes down to personal preference, cost & how much gear you will have when thinking about vehicles.

If you drive a SUV at home & are most comfortable in that style of vehicle, that may be the way to go here.

None of the roads you'll be on will require anything more than a sedan. For a road trip, I'd rent a medium sized rather than a mini/ small vehicle.

You'll be behind the wheel for a while, so you want to be comfortable. And still have a $ or two in your wallet after you pay for fuel.

I think someone else may have mentioned checking vroom vroom ( as well as the major rental firms' own websites) for vehicle & price guidelines & comparisons. If you have any airline, automobile or credit card affiliations that may get you a discount, remember to use them when you get a quote.
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Jul 18th, 2016, 01:49 AM
  #7
 
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My choice of vehicle would be a small hatchback, everyone's different.

Both routes are worthwhile, though bear in mind the longer distances for Cairns - Sydney (2,500 kms) as opposed Sydney - Adelaide (1375 kms, admittedly that's the quick way, not the interesting way). You could do Adelaide - Melbourne via GOR then Sydney- home. Check the average temperatures for Cairns and say Melbourne in November and decide which suits you.

Another accomodation consideration is cabins in caravan parks. They're often on the coast with stunning water views. Be very careful at surf beaches if you're not confident swimmers,

You'll find many adventure sports on the east coast,
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Jul 18th, 2016, 02:39 AM
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November is low season so you should be able to get accommodation as you go along, without pre-booking. The downside of this is spending time looking each time you arrive somewhere but it leaves you flexible to stay longer in any place you really love. Cabins in caravan parks are definitely a good idea, they are better equipped than a motel room and often cheaper.

If you arrive in a town looking for somewhere to stay, you can often find cheaper places if you move away from the main street or centre of town. Also ask at the Visitor Centre in each town if they have any specials, they are usually very helpful and we have had special offers for meals at pubs etc as well.

I am leaning towards the Sydney to Adelaide route. If you can fit in the Grampians National Park in Victoria you should definitely see kangaroos in the wild and we have often seen emus and the occasional koala. Halls Gap is the small town with the most accommodation and places to eat, there are a few caravan parks there too. You could follow the coast road from Melbourne until you reach Port Fairy which is a lovely place then head north to Halls Gap.

On the Victorian coast, Lorne is nice with lots of places to stay. It's very popular so can be pricey but you should be OK in November as it's quieter.

Would you fly back from Adelaide to Sydney? It's a long way to drive there and back in your short time frame.

Regarding the beaches, you should only swim at beaches patrolled by Surf Life Saving and swim between the flags.

Just remembered there is a public holiday, Melbourne Cup Day, the first Tuesday of November. A lot of people take Monday off work and go away for a long weekend so accommodation that weekend will be busy. It sounds like you wouldn't be in Victoria then yet but worth mentioning.

Kay
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Jul 18th, 2016, 02:41 AM
  #9
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Sure Bokhara2, I think you are right.
Have been looking at various cars at offer Nissan Micra (small) being the cheapest - I guess will go for Toyota Corolla (medium sized)

Please share your suggestions on option 1 vs. option 3 road trip:

Option 1: fly from Sydney to Cairns. Cairns to Sydney on road. 2-3 days in Sydney. Fly back home.

Option 3: Sydney to Adelaide road trip

Some personal preferences:
We both are not really good swimmers but would like to spend couple of days by the beach etc.
We would like to enjoy some adventure sports - say bungy/sky diving, some trek, kayaking etc.
Trip to vineyards, wildlife etc are okay to us. But we are really excited about watching kangaroos in their natural habitat.
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Jul 18th, 2016, 02:50 AM
  #10
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Sorry couldn't check recent feeds while my last reply..
@KayF, yes will fly back from Adelaide to Sydney.
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Aug 3rd, 2016, 05:06 AM
  #11
 
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Hi Mani0303

I would do the Sydney to Cairns option. From the mid north coast of NSW up there is plenty of stunning national parks to bush walking and wildlife watching. There is excellent kayaking on the Sunshine Coast and white water rafting in Cairns (also Northern NSW).

This trip could also easily incorporate the vineyards of the Hunter Valley or Stanthorpe in Queensland.

I am a little bias as I am a National Parks Ranger who loves Queensland!
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