4 weeks in Australia

Jun 18th, 2008, 07:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 636
4 weeks in Australia

these are my almust final plans for next summer(european) I will appreciate your comments and suggestions.
I am fixed on the flights so at this stage no easy changes.
Family of five, parents and three children, 22(M),19(F) and 11(F).
Arriving from Paris to Sydney on the 26 th of July, staying 8 nights in Sydney , and for the moment booked at The York at 520Aus$ a night for a three bedrooms apartment. I know there might be cheaper deals, but I have trouble booking for weekends in other properties.
On the 3 rd of August flying to Uluru staying there till the 5 th, we need hotel but I was waiting for wotif to offer the dates, as standard rates or wotif rates seemed very different.
Flying to Alice Springs, a few hours stop and same day to Darwin, overnight in Darwin and heading to Kakadu-Khaterine area for 4 days. I will appreciate your ideas for this part.
Flying out of Darwin to Cairns on the 10th arriving in the morning and having till the 15th of August to move and visit the area, taking into consideration that on the 15th we board the Coral Princess for a 4 day cruise to the GCB, so the first few days in Cairns or Port Douglas we are thinking about dedicating them inland or just coast.
Flying to Sydney the 19th of August staying till the 21th , Flying back to Europe.

Some details to take into consideration, we are a active family and have 4 potential drivers, my wife and myself used to drive on the “ wrong side of the road”(sorry)
Our older son and daughter have different interest that the small one.
I am sure Sydney will cover perfectly well different activities.
Our 11 eleven year old daughter is very interested in Art( Paintings)
We like wine good food and enjoy swimming and sports in general.
And the 20th of August is my wife’s 50 th birthday and if I miss planning at least a very nice dinner I might be condemned to the sofa for quiet a while. So your ideas are welcomed.

Thanks in advance
car is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Just a quick comment: We stayed at the York a couple of years ago and loved it. The apartments are modern and clean, though the color scheme is a little garish. The location is great for walking or accessing City Circle. There's a wonderful swimming pool on, I believe, the 6th floor that we didn't discover until the last day. Be aware that the York may come up at wotif.com, and you may be able to change your reservation to a cheaper rate.
Betsy is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 12:01 PM
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Just a note--most car rental companies require all drivers to have a legal driver's license from their home country which has been held for at one year. So that may affect whether your 22 y.o. and 19 y.o. can drive the rental car.
Now as to things to do around Darwin, Kakadu and Katherine. This is one of our favorite parts of Australia and we've been there a couple of times. First of all, we didn't care much for Kakadu, so I can't give you any great things to do there. On the other hand, we loved Litchfield National Park outside of Darwin--great natural pools (with waterfalls) for swimming and interesting termite mounds for viewing. We also enjoyed renting canoes to paddle through Katherine Gorge. Most people do the guided boat tours, we our family enjoys doing things on our own and we did enjoy doing this. We might not have seen as much of the Gorge as if we had been on a boat tour, but we still saw plenty and enjoyed our canoe trip. Another great spot to go around Katherine is Edith Falls National Park--several great natural pools for swimming (with waterfalls) and good hiking and picnicking too. One evening in Katherine we did the Crocodile Night Adventure where you take a boat trip and spotlight crocs and have a BBQ dinner under the stars--great fun! If you want to rent canoes or do the Crocodile Night Adventure, you should book these in advance either through your hotel or through the travel company, Travel North.
longhorn55 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2008, 11:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Among Sydney restaurants, my husband and I love Tetsuya's. We've eaten there four times, and it's always good. It's pricey, a special place, with inventive food inspired by Japanese and French techniques and Australian ingredients. Not so sure your kids would like it, unless they are used to innovative gourmet cuisine. Also, the price tag for a family of five would be a small fortune, as the restaurant has a set menu (I can't recall ever seeing many families there), but you said you were looking for a special restaurant for your wife's 50th birthday. The setting is elegant with Japanese decor. It's in the CBD. They also offer a wine flight, half glasses of wine that are paired with the various courses. Or you can bring your own wine. Good idea to book in advance.
also see:
Rockpool in the Rocks neighborhood also has a great reputation. We ate there once and weren't impressed. So we tried it again and still weren't impressed. But a lot of people just love it and chef Neil Perry is highly regarded.
I think a view restaurant by the beach would be a nice place to take your family for your wife's 50th birthday. Lunchtime or sunset would be best, as after dark, you can't see much, except for lights. Sydney has many such restaurants by the water.
You might want to check out the Sydney Morning Herald's restaurant reviews:
Like you, my husband and I are both avid swimmers and we keep saying that we're going to make it to one of those great public pools you see all around Sydney, but we never have the time--too much else to see and do.
If your daughter loves paintings, don't miss the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and don't miss a stroll through the adjacent Botanical Gardens.
My husband and I love Darwin and the Kakadu is amazing. Like Longhorn, I highly recommend a trip to Litchfield. It is wonderful to swim in the freshwater rockpools with the fruit bats and cockatoos flying overhead.
In Darwin, don't miss the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Excellent exhibitions on aboriginal art, Cyclone Tracy, and natural history (you have to see Sweetheart, the enormous 780 kilometer, 5.1 metre
stuffed crocodile on display). The museum has a beautiful location, as well. We haven't been there for years, but when we were there years ago we ate at the cafe, which was very nice.
Diamantina is offline  
Jun 19th, 2008, 01:57 AM
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As you will be spending some time on the north Queensland coast, may I suggest that the Atherton Tablelands would be a good base for at least two of those days after you arrive in Cairns. More wildlife, plenty of walks and swimming places. there are a few little art galleries as well for your younger one. You do not state the interests of the older two apart from sport.

Saltuarius is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2008, 10:50 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 636
Tks very much for your answers and ideas.

Betsy, I do not know if the swimming pool will on use in late July?
Anyway glad to read that the York is nice and clean as it is rated a bit below other alternatives in the area.
I note that the York comes on wotif , but as far as I know I do not see them offering the 3 Bedroom apartment.
I have decided to go for a 3 bedroom apartment as it will be more comfortable if our older son 22, can have his one room, or keep him out of the sofa in the living room. Considering Sydney is a 8 night stay.
Any ideas about a day out in the northern beaches or blue mountains?
longhorn 55,
Good point about age and driving lycense, both have their lycenses for more than a year. Probably the girl might have trouble driving but the boy has driven in South Africa.
We think that sometimes during the trip the older ones will be interested in other activities than ours, so DW and myself are looking forward staying by the pool or the dolce fareniente for an afternoon, while the children keep moving.
Regarding Lichtfield and Kakadu national parks I am surprised about your lack of interest for Kakadu , as from the lack of knowledge I have it looks as an interesting destination. Anyway, I have well noted Lichtfield.
Diamantina ,
Tks for the restaurant suggestions we will check and book if needed, during the first part of the trip.
Atherton Tablelands ,Cape tribulation or both?

car is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2008, 12:02 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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car, if you are a botanist or ecologist with botany being the main focus then Cape Tribulation but if it is mammals, birds or scenery then the Tablelands. Of course in an ideal world you would have time to spend a week north of the Daintree and two on the Tablelands.
Saltuarius is offline  
Jun 27th, 2008, 08:40 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 483
I just love the York (actually Betsy stayed there on my rec) and you will not find it garish since the unit you will have is not one of the made-over ones. We've stayed in both, and I prefer the older style. You will LOVE the amount of space you will have, washer, etc. Yes, you can (and I have) use the pool in July, it is open year-round, salt water, and heated. There is also a hot tub and a small workout room. I'm not sure if you are driving in Sydney, but the York also gives you one free parking space in the building as part of your rental. It's a great choice.
oliverandharry is offline  
Jul 10th, 2008, 01:45 PM
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LizzyF is offline  
Jul 11th, 2008, 02:56 PM
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Don't ignore Kakadu as it has some marvellous rock art which is well worth seeing. We've been to both Litchfield and Kakadu and think they are quite different. Litchfield has waterfalls and termite mounds, Kakadu has crocodiles and rock art. You could leave Darwin, go to Litchfield for the day, stay overnight in Batchelor and then head to Kakadu for two nights. Do the Yellow Waters cruise for crocodiles and lots and lots of birds. Obirr Rock has some great rock art, and Nourlangie has the biggest wandigina (don't think that is spelt right) you will ever see - no wonder it was used to scare the aborigine children.
Katherine Gorge is a must, apart from actually going on the gorge, make sure you see the displays in the visitors' centre. If you want to fill in an hour one afternoon, visit Springvale Homestead. It's one of the original pioneer homesteads and quite interesting. Springvale also does a crocodile spotting tour at night. Last time we were in Katherine, there was a group doing aborigine corrorobee entertainment. There is a big tourist information centre at the southern end of the town. Plus if you have time, a visit to the Flying Doctor base or the School of the Air would be an unique Australian experience.
I forgot to mention the Territory Wildlife park which is excellent, plus the Berry Hot Springs next door. And if the Mindil Market is on, make sure you go - great food, great atmosphere and lots of fun.
As you can see, we love visiting Northern Territory - hope you have a great time visiting our country.
marg is offline  
Jul 11th, 2008, 03:04 PM
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Ooops! should have made it clear that Territory Wildlife Park, Berry Hot Springs and Mindil market are in Darwin.
marg is offline  

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