9 days in Australia

Feb 22nd, 2009, 06:13 PM
Original Poster
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9 days in Australia

Need advise ASAP. We will be in Australia for 9 days from March 13 to March 22. We would like to see Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. We will be traveling by rent-a-car. What is better: from Sydney airport to take trip to Melbourne. Stay 2-3 days there. Than go to Canberra, stay there 2 days. And from Canberra return to Sydney and 3-4 days to see Sydney and places around. Thank to your future response.
Govacgo is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2009, 09:23 PM
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Do it that way driving to Melbourne via Canberra on the Hume Highway. Return on the Coast road with an overnight at perhaps Merimbula and then you will see more of OZ. The Hume can be boring so you would not want to retrace your drive in that short time.
DownUnder is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2009, 11:06 PM
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Ah, a sane itinerary. At least you do not plan to do all of Australia in 9 days. LOL.

I am remarking on some other itineraries I have seen on this board where they try to see the whole country in 14 days.

Remember that you will lose a day crossing the Pacific from the US. Coming home, you arrive in the US generally before you leave because you gain the day back.
LaurenKahn1 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2009, 12:02 AM
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Well, not so sane in my book Lauren.

I would no more fly to Italy or wherever you may live and jump into a car at an airport than I hope you would.

Despite there being known accidents of people being killed not far from airports where people have forgotten about which side of a centreline vehicles need to be on, there is a common ailment called JETLAG!!!!

. The direct route from Sydney to Melbourne is a relatively boring drive thus you could male far better use of your available time by getting a flight link to Melbourne and make part of your recuperation there the use of the various day tours to some places like the Great Ocean Road or the Golden Triangle including Sovereign Hill.
Melbourne itself is a lovely city and do take time to use the Free City Circle Tram and wander the botanical and nearby gardens, maybe include a lunch with a row on the river at the Yarra Boathouse [google it]

Then with some rest hire a vehicle for about three days of driving around the coastal route, overnight stops at Lakes Entrance and then Batemans Bay, there being a number of other places of interest along the way.

From Batemans Bay there is a lovely forested drive up off the coastal plain onto the hinterland plateau and on to Canberra if you really must go there.

You'll need to adjust your stays/travelling days to suit, www.travelmate.com.au being I imagine of some help.
Bushranger is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2009, 01:38 PM
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Actually the best way to do this trip is to arrive Sydney stay a few nights then drive to Canberra and then on to Melbourne and depart Melbourne or vice versa. Drive between cities can be either way Hume Highway (31) or Coast Road (1) as Canberra is easily acessible from both highways.
DownUnder is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2009, 02:13 PM
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You are right about driving straight out of the airport. I was still jetlagged 5 days after getting to Australia from Washington, DC. I fell asleep at the opera in the Sydney Opera House. I stayed awake through the first two acts and then I was out.

I was referring to a relatively compact itinerary as opposed to one where someone attempts to "do" Australia in 2 weeks.
LaurenKahn1 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2009, 05:23 PM
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Yes LK1 I realise your comment was in reference to what to see in time available and no problems with that aspect.

DU gives one of the alternatives Gpvacgo but you'll enjoy the coastal route far more [as long as Bushfires are out] and you could even use a combination of coast and inland if you want to keep Canberra on the itinerary, eg.

. after time in Sydney [and over Jetlag] take of the coast way, through Royal National Park and Lawrence Hargeave Drive to connect back to Motorway near Woollongong and then on through to Batemans Bay, there being some delightful little villages like Berry, Milton and Mogo just 10 km. past Batemans Bay, a good overnight stop there to possibly have some kangaroos for company: http://www.murramarangresort.com.au/

. You can then either decide to continue around the coast or head to Canberra and then if doing so, a route via Cooma and Snowy Mountains, the Alpine Way into Northern Victoria, through the Kiewa Valley and over to Bright and then down to Mansfield and across to Yea would have you mostly avoiding where Victorian bushfires have been raging to date.

It'll be a far more interesting drive giving you the opportunity to see some great countryside and stop in some beaut smaller towns rather than a boring motorway type drive with a heap more traffic.
You could get an update on bushfires at www.cfa.vic.gov.au to help with decision.

Spend your time down in and about Melbourne and if you cannot book or change to an open jaw ticket to leave from Melbourne, arrange to fly Melbourne back to Sydney.

Whichever you do it, a flight one way will allow far more seeing rather than driving time and www.webjet.com.au will allow you to see what best flight prices are for S-M or reverse.
Bushranger is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2009, 06:33 PM
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And I hope I get a chance to return to Australia one day and see some more bits!
LaurenKahn1 is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2009, 11:41 PM
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Thank you guys. You are the best team to work with. You right, 9 days is not a lot. But we got excellent deal on airfare and rent-a-car. Jetlag not a big deal. But, if this is a deal, may be we'll stay in Sydney and see around first.
We are good drivers from California. How long time it'll take us to go from Sydney to Camberra and from Camberra to Melbourne.Are roads like Freeways, or we'll slow down somtimes, due to road conditions.
Govacgo is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 12:22 AM
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Jetlag will be a big deal, I'm afraid! Lauren's 5 day estimate for adjustment is about standard, so try to factor that in to your travels.

Sydney to Canberra is about 2.5-3 hours drive, but it depends how much of the countryside you want to see on the way. Berrima is a popular stop along the way. Canberra to Melbourne is much longer, but if you go via the snow country the trip is longer. The highways are of course faster but they by-pass all of the towns and make for a very boring drive.
Susan7 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 02:12 AM
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The Hume is a freeway virtually all the way between Sydney & Melbourne. Syd/Canb. is as above and Canb/Melb. is about 6-7 hours. I have never found jetlag to last more than 24 hours if you drink plenty of water on the plane and don't nap as soon as you arrive if it is a.m. I have been known to arrive in Europe ad then hire a car and drive to places like Tuscany on several occasions and am here to to tell the tale. Just be careful and once you are on the freeway it is a doddle. The Coast Road (Highway 1) is a much slower route. http://www.mynrma.com.au/cps/rde/xch...lanner_pop.htm
DownUnder is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 02:26 AM
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Depending on where you stay in Sydney, by time you clear the city traffic, it'll be motre like four hours to Canberra on most direct route via Hume Motorway and Federal Hwy.
The Motorway is like a US interstate, speed limit 110 kmh and then Federal Hwy has some sections like a MW but most of a single carriageway road with speed limits of 80-100 kmh.

Canberra to Melbourne via Barton Hwy I think it is and then Hume MW again in most part a MW but also about ~200 Km as single carriageway road and many semi trailers, probably about 8-9 hrs drive if everything goes well.
If going that route, refuel at Holbrook, about 60 Km before Albury - a town with a big Submarine sitting in a park [think the navigator got drunk last time we had a big flood and then they could go nowhere when the water draines away], but do that because the MW bypasses Albury, the largest inland city and you'll take an extra half an hour if you leave the Motorway.
A good pastries/bakery at Holbrook and they make good sandwiches and coffee.

But do not kid yourself on Jetlag and kill yourself sandwiched under a Semi.
Again, it is a relatively boring drive and Canberra not an awe inspiring city either.
Bushranger is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 05:04 PM
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Regarding jet lag: At least I know how the opera "Don Giovanni" ends. Unfortunately, I did not see the end in Sydney.

When I go abroad on an exchange, it is often for several weeks minimum. On the way to Australia, I stopped in Fiji (crappy place on Nadi, but it was for sleeping not sightseeing or going to a resort and blowing a stack of US dollars). While the place was crappy, it did help with the jetlag. In Sydney, my next stop, I did not have a car.

When I go directly from home to my swap, I do not do much on day one. I know I will be exhausted. I do not want to drive an exchange family's car under a semi (see one of the posts above). I take it easy until I am more or less getting up and going to bed at the right local times. Then my vacation can get started in safety. Personally I would not go to Australia for less than 3 weeks. It is just too far to go with the jet lag to make it enjoyable for a "quick trip". There is no such thing as a "quick trip" to Australia. It's a long trip and, to enjoy it properly, you need to stay awhile.

I don't go to Europe for less than two weeks. Same reason, but, of course, jet lag is much less severe. It is fierce going from the US East Coast to Australia. All I lost was the third act of an opera. Do not expect to get right off the plane and into a car no matter what class you traveled on the airplane (I go steerage).
LaurenKahn1 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 07:34 PM
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"...and Canberra not an awe inspiring city either."

And nor is flat Melbourne. But let's not be so parochial as to try to prejudice visitors without having any idea of their interests.

You'll learn more about Australian history, culture and politics in a couple of days in Canberra than in a week in Melbourne.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 07:43 PM
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It is hard to find books about NZ and Australia in the US. I recommend everyone read or reread "The Fatal Shore" before going. That book is universally available. I did read a lot of Australian and NZ literature while I was there (I read very fast). Some I found at my home exchange homes. Some I bought. I think fiction is a good way to get into the culture--I do mean good fiction and not the junk. We have enough junk books in the US.
LaurenKahn1 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2009, 10:26 PM
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""...and Canberra not an awe inspiring city either."

And nor is flat Melbourne. But let's not be so parochial as to try to prejudice visitors without having any idea of their interests."

I'm not making comparisons, but just stating a fact and when you start comparing locations I'd think it is your own parochialism that comes to the surface.
Bushranger is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 06:20 AM
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I agree with Bushranger on not getting right into a car. Not sure where you are coming from. Allow at least a day to get over jet lag. Driving is very different in Australia than the US. In US we have major highways. You get on a highway and only one way to drive - difficult to cross to other side. In Australia it is all country roads. People do not drive as fast but staying on the left side of the road can be tricky. Terraine is not always flat or straight.

Canberra, in addition to museums has a lot of sheep farms. Take advantage of a stay on a farm if you can.

Good luck.

fbeifeld is offline  
Feb 25th, 2009, 04:45 PM
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" In Australia it is all country roads. People do not drive as fast but staying on the left side of the road can be tricky."
While we're right to raise the jetlag and driving too soon issue and I suppose any road or motorway going somewhere out into the country may be construed as a "country road"

As indicated in posts above, inter capital city and capitals out to regional cities roads do have considerable lengths of Motorway standard roads, be it without the massive interchange fly-over constructions.
Bushranger is offline  
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