2 weeks down under

Old Jun 5th, 2003, 05:02 PM
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2 weeks down under

My husband and I are planning a 2 week trip to NZ and Australia in late April-early May of 2004. What are the four top things you recommend in each country? The only thing we don't like are daredevil activities and we want to stay in a place at least 2 nights. Also, is it worth it to go to Lizard Island? Thanks for any advice.
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Old Jun 5th, 2003, 05:43 PM
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Hi Barb, I'm planning to go back to Australia next year myself. Its been awhile so my info might be a little dated, but I'd say Sydney is an absolute must. The Rocks, Circular Quay, Taronga Park zoo, the Opera House.
I was visiting family and friends on that trip so I got to see suburban Sydney which I think is interesting and let me tell you they have some nice ones! Double Bay and Vaucluse were beautiful and Kirribilli(sp?) made me want to live there. I also liked Bondi.

My second trip was Perth which was a LONG trip! I liked Perth, sort of like our....Phoenix or maybe Albuquerque? I spent an entire day on the little island, Rottnest which I enjoyed because if I'm not on a horse I'm on a bike which the island was great for, bike riding that is. If you're into Dolphins Monkey Mia also in WA was wonderful. The little city of Albany was a nice side trip also. One of my favorite memories was horse back riding in Esperance in southern WA. I also liked Fremantle very near Perth. I only spent a brief amount of time in Queensland, but Cairns and Port Douglas are very popular. Great Barrier Reef tours, which I missed are also a must.
Have a great trip!
Jon-Eric, New Orleans
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Old Jun 5th, 2003, 10:09 PM
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OK Barb, for what it's worth here's my list (I'm an Aussie living in Melbourne by the way).

1. I agree with Jon_Eric, Sydney Harbour is a must see. Take a couple of days to cruise around the harbour. Get off wherever you feel like it and soak up the atmosphere.
2. Great Barrier Reef. Absolutely non-negotiable, you must see it. There are many towns and islands along the coast of Qld that you can see the reef from. My favourite is Port Douglas in FNQ (Far North Qld).
Those two are indisputable. Now we're down to personal preferences. Here's mine.
3. Catch The Ghan from Adelaide to Alice Springs (if you really like trains you can go Sydney-Adelaide-Alice). See some of the vast outback that makes Australia what it is. From Alice Springs check out Uluru.
4. Visit the north coast of NSW. Somewhere like Byron Bay. Beautiful beaches and scenery. If you go to Byron do a side trip to Nimbin, the hippy capital of Australia. It's a scream.

I've only been to NZ a couple of times but the things I liked best were:
1. Bay of Islands
2. Rotorua
3. Mt Cook and surrounding country

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Old Jun 7th, 2003, 06:19 AM
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1) Ayers Rock
2) Kangaroo Island
3) Great Barrier Reef
4) Daintree Rainforest

New Zealand:

1) Waitomo Caves
2) Rotorua-Rainbow Springs/Sheep Show
3) Queenstown
4) Fiordland

I'm not sure about Lizard Island, but with your limited amount of time, it might be too time consuming & costly to stay there. You are probably better off staying in Port Douglas. At least that is what we determined when we went last August.

Have Fun!

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Old Jun 7th, 2003, 11:34 AM
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Thanks all for answering. It has really helped to narrow things down. I was very taken with the info. on Lizard Island resort but am having second thoughts about the timing. Anything comparable in Port Douglas?
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Old Jun 7th, 2003, 05:07 PM
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Just a reality check.....
2 weeks for oz and nz is cutting it really fine.

Travelling time and jet lag willl eat up your time.You really should focus on one country or the other.

You are probably limited to

sydney 2-3 days
port douglas 2 days
lizard (if you can afford it) 2 days
uluru 2 days

and if you find yourself with a choice between the sheep show and lizard...sheep shows are like watching paint dry.
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Old Jun 8th, 2003, 06:47 PM
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I have to agree with Johnj. There really is no way to do both 4 things in Australia and NZ in 2 weeks. Heck, it's hard to do it in just one country!

If you really are keen on doing both countries, I would suggest just doing Sydney and environs for 3 days and the BGR for 3 days (in Sydney, you could spend a day in the city doing the Circular Quay area - the Rocks, the city, Opera House, etc - and a cruise on the harbour; then spend a day in the blue mountains and perhaps a day either in the Hunter Valley or a drive to the south coast area). Flying up to the Reef will pretty much take a day in that the flight is almost 3 hours, and most tours/trips up there will have gone for the day. You can then spend a day on the reef, and a day at Daintree/Cape Tribulation and a day at Mossman Gorge/Atherton tablelands. Unfortunately, by going to Lizard Island or something like that may be relaxing, but you won't be relaxed if you only have a day or two and will miss a huge portion of what Far North Queensland has to offer - specifically, the rainforest and Aboriginal heritage.

It would be downright impossible to do Uluru, GBR, Sydney, South Australia etc in one week or even two weeks, so you'd really have to pick just two and even then it would be somewhat rushed.

As for NZ, you'd really have to stick to one island if you only have a week to spend. Depending on what you like doing and how active you are, I would suggest the South Island. Remember, April/May in NZ can start to get colder.

Sorry to put such a damper on your plans, but there's so much distance between places and so much to see in each that you'd miss it all if you tried to do it in a blur.

If there's anything I'd leave you with, it's to consider spending the entire 2 weeks in one country. Given the time of year, I would suggest Australia. If you were to do that, you could definitely fit in Sydney, the GBR, and then something like Uluru or even Kakadu or Fraser Island. You'd have time to see Sydney and the Blue Mtns, then go up to the reef and explore both the rainforest (Daintree) and spend a few days on an island relaxing and snorkeling/diving, and spend a couple of days at either Uluru, Kakadu or Fraser Island.
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Old Jun 9th, 2003, 03:58 PM
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Once again, you have all been very helpful. We have decided to concentrate on Australia this time since everything is so far apart. Approx. how long does it take to fly to Cairns from Sydney? Can you drive from there to Port Douglas? Where is the best outback experience. Thans to all.
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Old Jun 9th, 2003, 06:41 PM
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Barb, Sydney to Cairns is about 3 hours flying time. Then it's a 1 hour drive on a very scenic road to Port Douglas. Where's the best Outback experience? That's a tough one. To really go Outback you have to go inland, away from the coast. Uluru and Kakadu are memorable but they're a long way from where you'll be the rest of the time. Another option might be to visit a mining town, like Broken Hill.
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