3 Weeks in Aus - intinerary so far

Jun 25th, 2009, 03:12 PM
  #1  
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3 Weeks in Aus - intinerary so far

I'm going to Australia for 3 weeks, flying in and out of Sydney, Aug-Sep this year. At the moment this is my (sketchy) itinerary:
Day 1 Sydney
Day 2 Fly Sydney - Adelaide
day 3 Trip to KI
Day 4 Return from KI (or poss 3 day trip to KI)
Day 5 O/N in Adelaide
Day 6 Adelaide - Coober Pedy, 2 nights there, then return to Adelaide
Day 9 Adelaide - Melbourne; trips around Melbourne (to wine region)
Day 10 Melbourne - Sydney
day 11 Tour to Blue Mountains
Day 12 2 day trip to Canberra (possibly)
Day 14 O/N in Sydney
Day 15 4 day trip around Alice Springs, return to Sydney
Day 19 - leave Sydney

I know this is quite packed - does anyone think I should leave things out, or do something different? I've tried to choose a mix of city/rural trips...
dklon is offline  
Jun 25th, 2009, 03:21 PM
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Scale it back. I know when you travel that far (I think you are travelling far) you want to see everything but it might be too hectic, less enjoyable. I've only been to Sydney and the Blue Mountains and it was fantastic.
BarbSG is offline  
Jun 25th, 2009, 04:02 PM
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You've certainly put in a good mix of city/country dklon and you may even have some Australian aboriginal genes in your ancestory for it's no slight on them but some of the tribes were avid wanderers and you're doing that for sure with a bit of backtracking that may be possible to avoid.

boston travel is planning a two week trip and is not fitting in as much obviously but I suggested on his thread that a loop type trek may suit - http://www.fodors.com/community/aust...snorkeling.cfm , ie. Sydney > Adelaide [or Melbourne] > Centre > Cairns and then it'd be back to Sydney.

I'd think it'd be best for you to organise yourself into something more of a loop which if nothing else will cut dramatically your %travelling time to actual time here and thus give you more time to enjoy - and you'll be able to spend less on getting between points and more again on your enjoyment.

August is likely to be still quite winterish in the south and I'd suggest something of a reversal of your program to be as far north as you can earlier and September often brings some early Spring glorious weather in the south, so how about.

With better organising, I think you also have time to get the GBR in as well if interested and you'll likely be able to get a better connection out of Sydney than to the Centre, there being more flights and have a look at www.webjet.com.au to check all Australian flights and if you look for earliest morning flights you'll usually find them cheaper and you still end up with the better part of a day for your destination activity.
Alternately, look for a late afternoon evening flight if possible and wanting to make most of a location before flying out.

D1. Connect for flight to Cairns [ saves the hastle of in to and out of Sydney a day later, not a great way in my book to get over jetlag]
Lovely walk up to Botanical Gardens, the Gardens themselves, adjacent Gwonwanaland interpretative walk and Mt.Whitfield is it Pat [had Mt White last time], anyway track that'll work you up a sweat but a nice look out from about halfway up and exploring the harbour area will be a good day to make sure you sleep well for the JL to subside.
D2 & 3 Cairns - GBR and rainforest etc.
D4 > Uluru
D5 & 6 Look at doing a tour back to Alice Springs, www.waywardbus.com.au being one example but you want to get one that does what they call a reverse tour so you get to Kings Canyon etc.
D7. Alice Springs and > Melbourne [ www.tigerairways.com.au likely to be cheapest if time suits]
D8 & 9 Melbourne, and >Adelaide

Also have a look at www.rex.com.au a regional airline for the southeast and under products you'll see reference to a backpacker pass but anyone with a passport that's not Australian can take it, good value for $450, especially if you can use it for flying to both KI and Coober Pedy [That's what you'll need to sort out re how far ahead you can book any such flights]
D10. > Coober Pedy [ only one night really needed there]
D11. > Adelaide [ and onto KI if possible or you may be able to get a 1/2 day trip to Barossa Valley depending on flight time]
D12 > KI
D13 > Adelaide and > Canberra
D14 [&15?] Canberra
Sydney for the remainder and fly home.

You could fiddle your days a bit, especially if no interest in GBR, but that comes down to fine tuning which you realise you still have to do anyway re your possibilities for KI and Canberra [ arguably two of what may be lesser highlights of such a trip and where weather is likely to be the worse]
Bushranger is offline  
Jun 26th, 2009, 02:04 AM
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Thanks for the advice so far. One of my friends is coming with me for the first week (she lives in Sydney), to go to KI/Adelaide. I'll see if I can flip the trip completely, in terms of your advice over weather Bushranger, and see if she's ok with KI being the final week I'm over. I'm certainly thinking of cutting back in term of flying out of Sydney on Day 1 to save time.

What I'm really struggling with is trying to find a decent way to go to Coober Pedy from Adelaide (in terms of a tour). At the moment I can only find Greyhound/Rex to get me in and out, but does anyone know of any basic tours - i can only see ones for $800/$900, and for longer than I want to be there! Any ideas?

At the moment then this is the revised plan (just for the first half so far)
Day 1, arr Syd; dep Syd-Ade
Day 2-3 KI OR Coober Pedy
Day 4-5 Coober Pedy OR KI
Day 6 Ade-Mel, then 1-2 days in and around Mel (to see Wine valley, city)
Day 8 Mel-Alice Springs; then either:

4 day trip around Alice Springs, return to Sydney (via Mel)
OR 6 day trip between Alice Springs and Darwin
To Day 12 OR Day 14.

I'm still re-thinking the last week or so of the trip. Any other ideas would be welcome!
dklon is offline  
Jun 26th, 2009, 04:49 AM
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That's looking tidier and reason for high cost and time of those Coober Pedy tours is that it's a damm long way from Adelaide, about 800 km and so you may have some tour operators breaking that up to include the Flinders Ranges as a stop over and more interest for a tour rather than have a bus load of shagged and grizzling people because of a relatively long and boring days drive.

If you decided to skip KI or even with it in wayward have an 8 day Adelaide to Alice Springs trip that includes Flinders Ranges/Wilpena Pound, Coober Pedy and two mights out at Uluru.

Don't know your age and level of comfort for travelling you're after and wayward is marketed at younger age groups but you'll still find a good mix of ages on a lot of their trips and one of the best ways to see the outback.
They also do KI.
Bushranger is offline  
Jun 27th, 2009, 06:36 AM
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dklon: sorry, but your plans seem pretty unrealistic to me. As bushranger suggests, Coober Pedy is a full day drive from Adelaide (850 km, >500 miles) north of Adelaide - by your timetable, you would want to get there by flying. Also it seems silly to me to go to Melbourne for just 1-2 days. Why not spend more of your time near Adelaide and see the wineries there (Barossa, Clare, McLaren Vales)? The Flinders Ranges suggestion of bushranger is an excellent one - they are very beautiful. However, once you consider seeing Adelaide/Coober/Flinders Ranges and wineries, you're talking a minimum of a week....see my recent report of my trip there:

http://www.fodors.com/community/aust...-logistics.cfm

Also not sure a day trip to Canberra from Sydney makes that much sense, unless you fly - Canberra is ~4 hours drive away - you'd only have an afternoon there. I'd suggest a trip north or south along the coast instead, including some time in the Royal Nat'l Park, just south of the city. Don't know if you've been to Sydney before or not, but if you havent, consider spending more time in the city instead - lots to see and do.
RalphR is offline  
Jun 27th, 2009, 01:58 PM
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Thanks for all the input - I've taken Canberra out completely, and this is what the itinerary looks like now:

Day 1 - arrive in Sydney, then fly out to Adelaide
Day 2 - Adelaide daytime, then overnight Coach to Coober Pedy
Day 3 - Coober Pedy (probably go on the Mail Run)
Day 4 - Coober Pedy, o/night coach back to Adelaide
Day 5 - Adelaide (wine region possibly here, as you suggested RalphR)
Day 6 & 7 2 day trip to KI (my friend then goes back to Sydney)
Day 8 Fly to Alice Springs
Days 9 - 14 Alice Springs to Darwin tour
Day 15 - 16 Darwin (Either 2 day safari-style trip around Kakadu National Park, or spend time exploring Darwin)
Day 17 return to Sydney
Day 18 Sydney
Day 19 Leave!


Couple of things - the only reason I'm not going to do the 8 day tour between Adelaide and Alice Springs Bushranger is because my friend is only able to be with me for a week, and we want to do KI and Coober Pedy together.
Also, I'm undecided between going around Kakadu National Park, or exploring Darwin. In answer to your earlier question Bushranger, I'm 23 and fairly fit, so the active kind of trips appeal to me - however, I'm conscious that I would like to see some of the cities. With this itinerary, I can spend a day at least in Adelaide, 2 in Sydney, and 2 in Darwin (if I don't go to Kakadu). What would people suggest - Kakadu or Darwin itself?
Thanks again for all the help so far!
dklon is offline  
Jun 27th, 2009, 01:59 PM
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And also - I've never been to Australia before...
dklon is offline  
Jun 27th, 2009, 05:08 PM
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Pity about having to do Coober Pedy and return and then later flying to AS but that's life and coaching it overnight is one way of cutting down travelling day time lost but getting a great nights sleep ain't the easiest but then you're only 23 so you'll survive [and with JL possibly still hanging about you could sleep extra well].

If you have found a five days Alice to Darwin Tour is it one that includes doing Uluru before actually heading for Darwin, for if not I'd be surprised with five days it does not include Kakadu and if the AS - DWN tour does not include heading out to Uluru, also hopefully doing Kings Canyon on return, it'd be a pity to get to AS and not do that.
There are plenty of separate tours you could book onto if need be and then if your dates match up, either catch the Ghan train to Darwin [ www.railaustralia.com.au], there being a half day stop at Katherine so people can do Katherine Gorge or use Greyhound and a flight from Uluru to Darwin would obviously give you more time in Darwin region.

Two days for Kakadu will allow you to see a few of the highlights but not too much off the beaten track and you'll already find it fairly dry as even by July/August a fair bit of drying out has occurred after the wet season.

If you did take a separate AS - Uluru tour, making it one that does Kings Canyon on way out, seeing as the third day of them is usually mostly allocated to returning to AS, uou could look at a flight Uluru [Ayers Rock on www.webjet.com.au ] to Darwin and then you'll have more time for up there, eg.
D8. Alice Springs
D 9-10 TOUR
D11. Fly to Darwin
D 12 - 14 or 15 for a three or four day tour and you may even find one that uses a loop type route of sorts to do Kakadu, Katherine and Litchfield NP and gives you a couple of days/nights in Darwin.

Alternately gives you a little more flexibility to fly back earlier to Sydney for more time there.
Bushranger is offline  
Jun 28th, 2009, 06:30 AM
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dklon: I still think your plans are crazy. I think you will be so tired from your overnight trip, will not be able to make much out of your single day in Coober, let alone do the mail run, which is a full day drive I believe.

My suggestion is to fly to Adelaide with your friend, go to Kangaroo Island, spend a day touring the Barossa or McLaren Vales, and then head north. Why not take the Ghan from Adelaide and stop off at Coober Pedy? You and your friend could part company there - she can coach back to Adelaide and fly to Sydney, you can continue north to Alice, either by the Ghan (depending on the timetable) or by coach. Saves you having to waste a precious day going all the way back to Adelaide, only to turn around and head north again.

As far as Darwin goes, I woudn't bother going unless you take the time to see the national parks.
RalphR is offline  
Jun 28th, 2009, 06:46 AM
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He's a young fella of 23 Ralph and we need to remember just what we managed at that age, burning candles both ends and all!

The Ghan doesn't actually run through Coober Pedy, about 60-70 km away and you have to show the Railways evidence of having transport arranged to pick you up in the middle of nowhere at whatever early AM time it may be before they'll even stop to allow you off.

So it'd be a tiring trip that way too, and as you say connections become an issue.
Bushranger is offline  
Jun 28th, 2009, 07:36 AM
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Doesn't matter how old you are, why blow away a day riding on a coach when you dont have to? Yes I was aware that the Ghan does not go right through Coober. Presumably, people arrange for pick ups from the train to Coober all the time.
RalphR is offline  
Jun 28th, 2009, 02:03 PM
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They're planning to coach overnight Ralph and I wouldn't presume too much about the Ghan drop offs as there is no regular pick up service and as I've heard in past, the Ghan will not stop to do a pick-up, ie. you might be able to organise to get off it but not back on.
Bushranger is offline  
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