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1st Australian Trip - History, Culture, Flora & Fauna to See?

1st Australian Trip - History, Culture, Flora & Fauna to See?

Jul 6th, 2012, 10:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 25
1st Australian Trip - History, Culture, Flora & Fauna to See?

In the first two weeks of September I will be visiting Australia for the first time. I'm a single female traveller of moderate fitness (I can do tons of walking and I'm a good horseback-rider, but I'm definitely not an athlete). I'm interested in getting a taste of the country in 11-12 days that will help me get a sense of the place and set the stage for my eventual return.

I don't really swim, so I'm not going to snorkel or scuba dive, but I do enjoy being on the water. I am most interesting in the culture, history and the flora & fauna. I'm assuming an intro to Sydney is the way to start, but then I want to see something else - perhaps part of the outback or a visit to the Maori.

But what do you suggest?
Gilthoniel is offline  
Jul 6th, 2012, 02:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,018
For your second location I'd go to the red centre: Uluru, Alice Springs, or Kakadu. You can go on an Anangu tour of Uluru if you are interested in indigenous Australian culture.

Lonely Planet guidebooks are a good place to start your research if you are not familiar with Australia.

Just FYI, Maori are in New Zealand mostly, although there are quite a few living in Bondi.
Susan7 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2012, 02:26 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
I would agree with Uluru for your second stop. It is a unique place to be sure. BTW, I've travelled to Australia 7 times so far as a single female traveller, and have had no problems what so ever. My 8th trip is coming up in just a couple of weeks.

Can I suggest a 'tour' of Uluru and surrounding area that maybe lasts a few days (if such a thing is offered anymore). I did a tour many years ago, and I met so many wonderful people as we travelled together for 13 days in the outback. I realize you won't have that amount of time to go on a bus... but I made lasting friendships on that trip, and keep seeing my friends again and again everytime I'm in Sydney! PLus the driver and guide were extremely knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of the region. I learned a lot!!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2012, 03:33 PM
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There are good 2-3 day small group tours Alice Springs to Uluru. I did one a few years ago & it was excellent. You could do one of those one way and fly Uluru-Cairns id you wannted to do some snorkelling/ scuba on the Great Barrier Reef and explore the hinterland & rain forests.

Good day and special interest tours available.

Also good walks/ tours around Uluru & Kata Tjuta.

Sorry, posting from my iPhone & can't give you the links, but Google is a good start.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2012, 03:39 PM
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Oops! Misread your comment about snorkelling/ scuba. Glass bottom boats might be the thing. The water is so clear you don't need to be deep to see lots.

The popular short route is "Sydney/ Rock (Uluru), Reef" for good reason, as it covers at least some of the unique Australian experiences.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2012, 07:12 AM
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Even though you say you "really don't swim", please don't discount a trip to the Great Barrier Reef. There are boats such as "Reef Magic" out of Cairns and "Quicksilver" out of Port Douglas that have underwater viewing stations, semi-submersibles and/or glass bottom boats which will allow you to see the spectacular Great Barrier Reef without getting in the water. You might even decide that you want to give snorkeling a try. These boats are used to dealing with people with limited swimming experience or skills and will provide you with floating devices and information on how to snorkel.

I think you would be missing out on one of the best parts of Australia if you don't go to the Great Barrier Reef area. (And there's so much more to do there than just "the Reef".)
longhorn55 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2012, 11:22 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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longhorn55 is right. The IS so much more to do than just the reef. I always enjoy taking the train up the 'mountain' to Kuranda, and then I've taken the skyrail back down to a pick up point. Fantastic trip!

The Daintree area is marvelous as well. Wish I could recall all of the places I've 'done' in and around Cairns as a NON swimmer (took so many lessons as a kid, but I sink anyway!!). Even though I don't swim, I've still enjoyed the area, and yes, a trip on onto the reef on Quiksilver was just superb.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2012, 05:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
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If you go to Cairns then it would be worth considering the Atherton Tablelands as you express an interest in the fauna and flora and history. There are lots of plants with ancient lineages in this area and many which will be strange to someone from the northern hemisphere. This is the place to go to see the endemic birds and mammals of north Queensland. Remember that many of the mammals are nocturnal.

Check out www.yungaburra.com for accommodation, tours and things to do.

For culture and history there are wonderful displays at Mareeba (settlement history), Herberton (mining museum, camera museum and historic village of buildings and artefacts) and Ravenshoe (rainforest Aboriginal culture)

While you are in that area, I would consider an overnight, two day trip to Chillagoe or Undara. This would give you more of a view of what most of Australia is like and broaden your experience of wildlife and scenery.
AlanJG is offline  
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