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advise on final itinerary, especially on Tasmania route!


Oct 13th, 2015, 05:38 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 271
advise on final itinerary, especially on Tasmania route!

So, after much research on this forum and reading countless trip reports - (Thnx Melnq8,Rjs, Songdoc,Annhg,Kwaussie and many other.. for all the fantastic information in your reports..), I have finalised the itinerary as below.

Have packed quite a lot in but this is a once in a life time trip..and the last few days in Sydney will be to relax before returning home.
Only flights (internal flights) have been booked, so the rest can be shifted around.

12Dec- early morn (landing at 4.30am) flight to Cairns.
Pick up car, drive to Port Douglas – 3 nights. Explore Ports Douglas – if we have time visit the wild life habitat centre? relax
13Dec (Sunday) – visit the Sunday market. Drive to Daintree NP. See Mossaman gorge and do a river cruise.
14 – Daytrip on Quicksilver to the Reef.(QS as travelling with kids)
15 - morning check out and drive to Cairns to visit Kurunda by skyrail/train combo.Drive to Yungaburro. Night at Yungaburro.
16 – Explore Atherton tablelands and drive to Cairns for flight to Melbourne which is at 5pm. Night in Melbourne city.
17- Pick up a car and drive the GOR. Stop at belle’s beach, explore Lorne, Anglesea golf course and drive to Apollo bay for the night.
18 – Otway fly, 12 apostles, drive to Port Fairy for the night.
19 – Early morning drive to Halls Gap to explore a bit of the Grampians NP.
20Dec (Sunday)- afternoon drive to Melbourne (via ballarat?)
21 – Explore Melbourne city. Evening drive to Phillip island to see penguin parade, return to melbourne.
22 – Melbourne – lunch in the city. Flight to Launceston at 2.40pm.
4.30pm pick up a car and drive to Swansea or Coles bay?
23- Freycint NP
24 - Explore Swansea, drive to Sorell for Cherry/Berry picking drive to Hobart.
25 - Mt field NP
26Dec- (Saturday) – explore Salamance mkt, drive to Cradle mountain NP
27 – Cradle mt NP
28 - Cradle Mt NP – drive to lake St Clair’s NP for the night.
29 – lake St Clairs NP – evening drive to Hobart.
30th – morning flight to Sydney. Relax!! Flight out on 4th morning.

Questions I have are –
1.Would really appreciate route advice on Tasmania. Can we avoid backtracking to Hobart. Will fly into Launceston and fly out of Hobart.(now thinking it would have made sense to fly in and out of the same town, but flights are already booked.)
2.Should we add one more night to Mt cradle NP and drop lake St Clair NP
3.Would the Salamanca mkt be held on 26th DEC, Saturday, a reason for me to route it the way I have, or should this not be a consideration..
4.Should stay in Swansea or Coles Bay?

5. Is it worth doing a day trip to Phillip island – kids are keen to see penguins.
6. Should we drop the night at the Grampians. And is ballarat a good stop or should we add this time for Melbourne city.?

7. What is the best way to explore Atherton table lands or should we drop it and add on to port Douglas? Or may be drop the trip to Kurunda to add more time to Atherton table lands?
nikidi is offline  
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Oct 13th, 2015, 11:40 AM
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I see that your children are 6 y.o. and 8 y.o. We lived in Australia when our younger child was a bit older than that, so my comments on based on that.

5. I don't know how much you have read about the penguin parade at Phillip Island, which I assume is the reason you are going there. It's one of those "love it or hate it" places and we did not go because my sister, who got roped into going, absolutely hated it. She described it as sitting in bleachers with hundreds of other people, watching the penguins walk up the beach from a distance and then it's over. However, many people do enjoy it, so I recommend you read as many reviews as you can to see if it is something you and your children would enjoy.

There is another option since you are going to Tasmania. You can see the penguins in Bicheno, which is only about half-an-hour from Swansea. I haven't seen them there, but the reviews indicate it is a very "up close and personal" encounter. See: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio..._Tasmania.html

6. Ballarat is an excellent stop for you and the kids, if you are planning to spend that time at Sovereign Hill. There's so much to see and do there and my younger child loved it when he went with his primary school class. (We later went as a family and enjoyed it very much.) I would definitely choose a day at Sovereign Hill over another day in Melbourne.
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Oct 13th, 2015, 12:26 PM
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Could you go Launceston-Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair-Swansea/Coles Bay-Hobart? That seems to be less backtracking. I haven't been to Lake St Clair so can't say whether you should drop it. We spent 3 nights at Cradle Mountain and thought that was a good amount of time. We weren't able to work in Salamanca Market. A friend in Hobart thought we made the right decision not to base our itinerary around it.

We only did a day trip to the Atherton Tablelands and if we returned to the area, we'd like to spend a few days exploring the area but we're very much into wildlife which would be our primary reason for going there.
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Oct 13th, 2015, 03:01 PM
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Re Phillip Island and the penguins, I'm sure the children would enjoy it. Because the penguins won't come into the beach until dark, I'd recommend staying overnight in a motel on the island and then driving directly to the airport the next day. I'd guess you would need to allow three hours for the drive from the island to the airport and that's allowing for good traffic.

If you have time, take the children to Sovereign Hill in Ballarat. Lots to see and do there. Another good place to visit in Ballarat is Lake Wendouree, nice place on the lake for lunch and lots of room for children to run around.

We were in Halls Gap last week and were amazed at the number of kangaroos in the town surroundings late in the afternoon - the children will love seeing them.
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Oct 13th, 2015, 09:30 PM
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Thanks all ..

So it will logistically make more sense to go to Bicheno than phillip island for penguins , but how about the experience? if you are allowed to get on the beach closer to the penguins, it would definitely be better than seeing them afar from a platform..and the numbers are marked as 100 for bicheno..which is plenty. Anyone done the bicheno experience to comment on this?

So the routing - What would the driving time be between Swansea and Cradle Mt, I didint come across anyone who had done this, in the trip reports or planned itineraries.

I just want to follow the most sensible route..back tracking 2 hours to hobart might be ok compared to a 4 hour continuos drive between mt cradle and swansea. Maybe drive 2 different routes than backtracking on same roads for a different view?

Advise on this would be greatly appreciated as I know I'm already very late to book accomadation.
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Oct 14th, 2015, 05:35 AM
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To complicate things further, looks like its too late to book accommodation in Tas, almost fully booked out.

Managed to find 22/23rd in Swansea and 25/26 in Cradle Mountain. So thought we could stay in St Helens for Bay of fire on the 24th..?? Would that work? as Launceton really doesn't hold much interest for us in terms of scenery.Or is this being too ambitious?

from Cradle mountain drive south to Lake St Claire for 1 night and then drive to Hobart. Can we stop in Mt fields NP to do the Russells waterfall walk bfr heading to Hobart??, which leaves us time to relax and hopefully do some berry picking in sorrel on the last day.

Really appreciate any advise on the route as I know there are better ways to route it rather than purely relying on drive times on the web.
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