August/September in Australia

Old Mar 25th, 2007, 07:54 PM
  #21  
 
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A couple of thoughts:

1. The train from Cairns to <eventually> Sydney is bloody long and bloody boring - and not that comfortable! Consider it only if you are masochists (or psychopaths!)

2. I was in Tassie last weekend to visit a sick friend. I had forgotten how pleasant it is for a driving tour (20 years since last trip!).

It'll be cool in August - September, but so what! Just add an extra layer and get on with it. You'll have the advantage of off-peak travel, not many other tourists, no real need to book ahead. The palce is ideal for just wandering about.

3. Yes - you can do Kakadu by yourself - but a small tour would give you so much more. I'm not at all a tour person, but was glad someone showed me around Kakadu - I would never have understood so much. Also - we did some of the aboriginal run tours out of Uluru, and they were worth it, too.

Have fun in our country!
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Old Mar 26th, 2007, 01:11 AM
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Nevermind, I agree 100% with Margo. I would need to be hog-tied & drugged to get me on the Sydney-Cairns train, especially when there's cheaper, quicker options available by air.

Tasmania is utterly enchanting & if you can make the time, I would do it in a heartbeat.
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Old Mar 26th, 2007, 04:04 AM
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It seems that I am not a complete idiot for suggesting that driving yourself in somewhere like Kakadu is not the way to go.

But my reasons for saying this were nothing to do with the "distraction" of driving and everything to do with the benefit of local knowledge. You could walk those roads (not recommended - smiley face) and that lizard could be 10 metres from you and you wouldn't see it.

I strongly recommend taking a tour in Kakadu.

OK - I've said it twice.

And that's enough.
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Old Mar 26th, 2007, 04:29 AM
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Chimani - totally agree with you. There are parts of country where you need an experienced and knowledgable guide or you'll miss things right under your nose. This is particularly true of those who say they can drive through Daintree in FNQ without someone to show them what they're looking at and probably missing - either stay in area with locals who know what they are talking about and if time doesn't permit, take a guided day trip.
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Old Mar 26th, 2007, 08:12 AM
  #25  
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The Cairns-Sidney train trip has been scratched.
For sure. We've decided to do most of our long distance travel by flying (unless someone can suggest a comfortable, incredibly scenic journey), and perhaps hire a car for short excursions.

We are now looking into tours. I am appreciative of the quality that a good guide can add to the experience. I need ideas for things that don't require vigorous walking, as I had a torn ACL (and the resulting surgery) last year and am taking an annoyingly long time to recover.

Tassie is a likelihood. We wouldn't mind the chill at all and really think we'd enjoy the peace and opportunity to explore on our own.

avagee, you make a convincing argument for snorkeling. For both my husband and myself, it is a matter of gathering our courage and overcoming our desire to not make a spectacle of ourselves! I was once a good swimmer, but haven't been in the water for many, many years. My husband never has been much of a swimmer.

Anyway, thanks to all for your input. When I read guidebooks, etc. I put my own interpretation on what I'm reading (positive & negative). It is good to get specific advice from people enjoy -- and don't enjoy - like the Cairns to <eventually> Sydney train trip!!!
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 08:39 PM
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thanks for all the good advice. We have taken tours with small groups in Africa and found the knowledge, stories and other information of a good guide to be a real enhancement of the trip. Sounds like Kakadu would be a good place to take a tour or two.

Nevermind, you should definitely plan on snorkeling on the great barrier reef. I'm a snorkeler, although my husband is less comfortable in the water (does well in calm water, not so great if it's rough). For peace of mind, just make sure your snorkel group leader (or whatever he or she is called) knows that you're uncertain, and wear one of those flotation devices that strap on around your waist - that gave us the extra boost when we snorkeled in rough water on the reef off Belize. Have a great trip!
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