1st Trip "Down Under" Nov 10-Dec 1,2007

Old Jan 10th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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1st Trip "Down Under" Nov 10-Dec 1,2007

1st trip "down under" Nov 10-Dec 1
Bluejay7 -

Wow- so here we go ...help please - trying to get some inside help with planning a 3 week trip to Australia. Wide open to suggestions on how best to fly from Colorado,USA to Australia and then fly around ie Quantas or get around ? Highlights - must sees - huge country - limited time - We typically love bed and breakfasts or guest rooms to meet the locals. Maybe you could watch our house in Colorado and exchange vacations Thanks for your ideas. We are world travelers, very fit and usually enjoy local festivals, running races, bicycling adventures, beaches, hiking and before I forget WINE and wildlife (like Africa stuff). Thanks a million - Cheers ;-) BlueJay7 Do you think our time period is good ?

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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 01:47 PM
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November is a good time to travel to Australia. It is not too hot and before the busy holiday months of Jan. Feb.
O.K. here goes!
Fly into Sydney, at least 4 nights to get over jetlag and sight see, Bridge Climb etc.
Fly Sydney to Cairns for GBR and other far north attractions. A cruise on the Whitsundays would be good (4-5 nights total).
Fly Cairns to Alice Springs (not sure if there is a direct) for Ayres Rock. Hot, but a good time to be in the Outback and there is no place like Alice!(2 nights).
Fly Alice to Adelaide, hire car and drive to Melbourne via Mt. Gambier, Pt.Fairey and Great Ocean Road stopping at B & B's or farmstays along the way (3-4 nights). Melbourne (2-3 nights)for Phillip Island Penguin Parade and Healsville Sanctuary, Yarra Valley etc.
Drive from Melbourne via coastal route to Sydney( 2 nights at b&bs) and then depart Sydney (1 or 2 nights before departure).
That must be pretty close to 3 weeks and you will have seen some of the best of downunder!
www.bbbook.com.au and www.bedsandbreakfasts.com.au
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Old Jan 10th, 2007, 04:37 PM
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I would go Cairns to Darwin and see Kakadu, Kathrine Gorge and the surrounds etc before thinking of driving from Melbourne to Sydney. The wildlife in the Northern Territory is nothing compared to the wildlike of
Africa but in other ways it is as good, though different. Same goes for North Queensland with the norturnal animals, particularly on the Atherton Tablelands. At least both of these places will be different from the USA. If you like animals then perhaps you will like birds and that is what Australia has in abundance and many close and/or living with humans. Try Lilybank B&B in Cairns for instance where resident writer Pat Woolford can direct you to the best of everything while you are seeing the GBR. If you make it to Tasmania where there are many fantastic B&Bs then I would suggest Matilda's of Ranelagh in Huon Valley, Millhouse in Richmond, The Old Bakery in Ross, Woolmer's in Longford, and there are many, many more. Even Sydney has a few very good ones in and around The Rocks area and there are some very nice ones too in Melbourne. As for wine areas, there are wine areas in just about ever state of Australia except the Northern Territory so wherever you go there will be wine. Also wherever you go there will be great food.
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Old Jan 11th, 2007, 03:57 AM
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I would recommend Qantas! Just flew them two weeks ago. Video on Demand television monitors in coach, great food, wine with the meals and a free bar. They also turned off the Fasten Seatbelt Sign five minutes after take-off so you don't feel like a prisoner on the flight. This is in coach. Also, ice cream after the meals and then hot chocolate. United will keep the Fasten seat belt sign on for most of the flight and Air New Zealand doesn't have individual monitors in coach.

I would recommend flying into Sydney and out of either Melbourne or Brisbane. Why backtrack.

Don't forget that many restaurants in Australia are BYO, which means you buy a bottle of wine at a liquor store and bring it to the restaurant--usually no fee. This will save you a lot of money!

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Old Jan 11th, 2007, 04:01 AM
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And by the way, it is Qantas--not Quantas. Check their website for webfares: www.qantas.com and click on North America.
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Old Jan 11th, 2007, 04:32 AM
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Bluejay7, My husband and I did a whirlwind tour of Australia last year of Sydney, Cairns and Perth.

I second lizF's recommendation to stay with Pat Woolford at the LilyBank B&B in Cairns. Even though we were there during Cyclone Monica, they are the most gracious, helpful and informative hosts!

Also, I agree with wally34949 to fly with Qantas if possible.

Enjoy your vacation! My husband and I are already going back to Western Australia in March (he has family there) and can't wait.
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Old Jan 11th, 2007, 06:17 AM
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1. Qantas is fabulous. Check out their website for the Qantas Airpass deals. It gives you airfare from LA to Australia (either Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane)and up the three in-country flights. I would definitely plan to fly into one city and fly out of another so you aren't backtracking.

2. Definite "must do's" are Sydney and the Great Barrier Reef. You will have to fly into Cairns for the GBR, but I wouldn't stay there. Head north to some of the northern beaches. Port Douglas is my favorite--been there 5 times!

3. I would agree that Darwin and the Top End would be a preferable destination to Ulura (Ayers Rock). I've been to both places twice and I absolutely loved the Top End. (We were in Darwin and the environs in the Dry, so I'm not sure what kind of weather you will encounter in November. But that's the beginning of the Wet, so it shouldn't be too bad.) You could easily spend a week or more there visiting Darwin, Litchfield National Park (a must), Kakadu and/or Katherine. While Uluru was interesting, there's not as much to see and do there as there is in the Top End. Also, everything was just so darn expensive at Ulura that it detracted from our enjoyment.

4. If you love wildlife and wine, a visit to South Australia is a must. Start out in Adelaide and go to the nearby Barossa Valley for the wineries. (Check out some of the wine-tasting tours so that you can taste all you want without worrying about driving. The Australians are very strict about DUI.) Then, fly or take the ferry to Kangaroo Island, just off the coast, for a 2-3 day visit. There's great scenery and hiking and lots of wildlife.

5. Since we were a family of 4, we generally stayed at self-contained apartments rather than B&B's. However, we have stayed at the Bed and Breakfast Sydney Harbour Bridge located in the Rocks in Sydney (prime location near Circular Quay). I can highly recommend this property.

6. I'd probably suggest skipping Melbourne. You have only a little time and so many other places to see.

6. So, I guess my final suggestion for an itinerary would be:

Fly into Brisbane and immediately catch a flight to Cairns
GBR (Northern Beaches or PD)(4-5 nts)
Fly Cairns to Darwin and spend up to a week visiting the Top End
Fly Darwin to Adelaide (3-4 nts Adelaide and 2-3 nts Kangaroo Island)
Fly Adelaide to Sydney (at least 3 nights and add more if you have time so you can visit areas around there, e.g. Blue Mountains)
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Old Jan 11th, 2007, 07:27 AM
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American's are obsessed with the outback, but personally, I thought it was full of flies. I didn't see any (Outback) steakhouses or SUV's. Since the warm season is just starting, I would stick with Cairns, Darwin, and Sydney.
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Old Jan 11th, 2007, 10:16 AM
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Camping out under the stars at Uluru and Kings Creek is great fun.

The flies can be a nuisance some times but you can purchase fly nets. We never found them to be all that much of a bother ( this was during May each of the last seven years)

There is a place called the Outback Bar and Grill in Alice Springs, but definitely not related to the Outback's in the US. For an interesting meal in Alice Springs try the Overlanders Steakhouse.
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Old Feb 14th, 2007, 03:03 PM
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For your Victoria part of the trip, see www.visitvitoria.com (the official tourism website).

For the Phillip Island part of your trip, two web site you should visit are:
www.penguins.org.au the website of the Penguin Parade and Phillip Island Nature parks.
www.visitphillipisland.com - the official website of the PI tourism association.
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Old Feb 15th, 2007, 12:31 PM
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you might like to look at these couple of sites if you're into adventure things - www.coolrunning.com.au for running calendars and info.

www.sleepmonsters.com.au for adventure racing.

Most states cycling organisations organise a 'big ride' each year. they normally last about a week, and they're great fun. victoria 2007 is 24 Nov - 1 Dec. http://www.bv.com.au/great-rides/20004/ . "Parading with penguins in Phillip Island, coastal cruising, Wilson Promontory, Tarra Bulga National Park, historic Walhalla, Lakes and beaches, Buchan Caves and cycling our way through the Strzelecki ranges."
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Old Feb 19th, 2007, 05:25 PM
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1. Sydney
2. Adelaide
3. Kangaroo Island
4. Uluru
5 Cairns/Port Douglas

If you can fit it in hit the north part or gp to New Zealand. We did #1-5 in 2 weeks and hit New Zealand for 1 more week. Best trip ever!!! Of course we raked in the FF miles!!!
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