15 days in Australia, struggling with itinerary!

Sep 8th, 2019, 02:46 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2019
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15 days in Australia, struggling with itinerary!

So my family of 5 (husband, myself, and 11,9 & 8 year olds) are heading to Australia for the first time in April. We have 15 full days. Initial itinerary:
Cairns (arrive at 11, plus 2 full days): Great Barrier Reef, Kuranda Rail tour.
Kangaroo Island (2.5 days)
Tasmania. Here's where we can't decide if we want to stay for 2.5 or 3.5 days. If we stay for 2.5, I was thinking of flying into Melbourne and road tripping to Sydney along the coast. Or if we stay 3.5 days then we can fly directly to Sydney to finish off our trip. I'm so torn between seeing more of each place, or trying to get a feel of more areas. We won't have a chance to go back anytime soon! Help!
HEB is offline  
Sep 8th, 2019, 03:41 AM
Join Date: Sep 2017
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Australia is huge and with two weeks I’d go to only two places at the most. It’s easy to fill in two weeks driving around all the beautiful parts of Tasmania, but at the least it needs about ten days.

You could just spend five nights in far North Queensland then fly to Tasmania for the next ten. There’s also the Daintree in NQ which is well worth seeing. Kangaroo Island is nice but for a trip this short I’d not bother with it.
jacooper is offline  
Sep 8th, 2019, 10:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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It would be helpful if you listed your itinerary in terms of number of nights. Are you spending 3 nights in Cairns, 3 nights KI, etc? Have you checked flight connections? There's only one nonstop from Cairns to Adelaide where you need to connect for KI. Going from KI to Tasmania, you'll again need to fly back to Adelaide. The Adelaide-Hobart nonstop doesn't operate daily. You need to figure out if the flight schedules will work for such a tight itinerary and hope nothing gets canceled or rescheduled. Our first trip to Australia was similarly fast paced to basically the same destinations though we had a bit more time. We did have one flight cancellation which resulted in 2 connections and spending an entire day getting from Cairns to Tasmania. Removing KI would make things logistically easier.
Patty is offline  
Sep 8th, 2019, 03:06 PM
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i agree with the others..remove Kangaroo Island
millie2112 is offline  
Sep 8th, 2019, 04:44 PM
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I agree with the others - you’ll need to work out your timings for each day & travel leg.

I’d use Webjet for flight schedules (not for pricing or booking - do that direct with the airlines).
Remember, you’ll need to add around 1 hour for check-in & boarding if you have checked luggage - and transport to & from the airport; accommodation check in etc.,

Once you have a realistic view of how long it’s going to take you to get TO the various locations, you’ll have to decide what you can realistically see & do in each one. And prioritise what works, ditch what’s going to be a “touch & go”.

It’s always a tough matrix to work with - and we all have differing travel styles. The one thing that doesn’t change though, is the size of Australia. With our (thankfully) relatively small population, flights to & between places that aren’t capital cities can be tricky to fit with a busy schedule.

Bokhara2 is offline  
Sep 8th, 2019, 11:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,056
It feels like a lot of places in a fairly short timeframe. Especially travelling with 3 kids. I'd skip Kangaroo Island and Tasmania. Add some days to Cairns and Sydney (or Melbourne).

Also the drive between Melbourne and Sydney, along the coast road, is great but it's a long way. Check Google maps for distances before committing. May be a one way drop off fee for the hire car, try a dummy booking to see.

KayF is offline  
Sep 9th, 2019, 12:50 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 971
If you have 15 days, i would do this.
Arrive Cairns and spend 5 days. you will be jet lagged so will need a day to get over your flight. Cairns and surrounding area have so much to do. It will be great for your kids to have some down time.
Fly to Hobart and spend 5 days in Tasmania.
Fly to Melbourne. Hire a car and if you want to,drive the coast to Sydney. It will take you 2 days to do this drive. Quite doable. Leave from Sydney.
As you are visiting in April, please check your dates as this will coincide with School holidays in Australia as well as Easter. Everything gets filled up then.
millie2112 is offline  
Sep 9th, 2019, 09:17 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,056
Good point about Easter. School holidays differ slightly in each state but all dates should be on the web. Often the schools tack a week or two break on to Easter, either before or after. Easter is the most popular time in Australia for people going away and there can be minimum bookings. Definitely worth booking ahead.

KayF is offline  
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