Aus & NZ - How to mix and Match w/only 2 wks???


Aug 9th, 2004, 11:39 AM
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Aus & NZ - How to mix and Match w/only 2 wks???

I have exactly 2 weeks to spend in Australia and NZ.
This will in the last week of Oct to first week of Nov.
It has been quite a while since I have travelled so far on such an elaborate trip and really need to plan this right.
I have been searching the forum but it seems most people have a lot more time than I do.
Would really greatly appreciate any recommendations as to how to split the time between the two.
My one thing which is a must do is diving in the great barrier. Aside from that, I'm basically looking for a taste of everything -culture, urban life, nightlife, natural scenary, outdoor adventure.

Truely looking forward to your feedback!!

And as far as transportation - does renting a car make any sense while in Aus or NZ?

thanks in advance!!
chunker is offline  
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Aug 9th, 2004, 12:06 PM
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chunker: My initial reaction is to say not to even bother trying to see both countries in 2 weeks and to just stick with one. But I suppose a week on the South Island of NZ, a day in Sydney and 5-6 days in Queensland wouldn't be a bad trip, though you obviously will have only scratched the surface of Australia.
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Aug 9th, 2004, 12:10 PM
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Agreed. Took first trip to Oz two years ago and 3 weeks there wasn't enough. Highly recommmend GBR. Going back to Oz this November and saving NZ for another time.
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Aug 9th, 2004, 01:26 PM
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I agree with RalphR.
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Aug 9th, 2004, 07:23 PM
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Hi Chunker,

I'd really encourage you to concentrate on one location, not both. The two weeks will fly by at a rapidly.

Keep in mind that you have travel time to consider in your 2 week block. You've got your international flights, so there's days lost, and then flights between each city, say, for example, Sydney and Cairns. Even though that's a short flight, it's still basically a half a day by the time you fly, get to your hotel, get settled in.

There are some great specials that would fit perfectly into what you're looking for. A 2 week package that can either incorporate 3 areas (example: Sydney, Melbourne & Cairns), International airfare from LAX, 4 nights hotel accommodations in each city, and the domestic airfare between the cities, starting at $2209. Or even two cities, like Sydney and Cairns.

To try to do two countries would be tiring, expensive and more time spent in airports than enjoying everything.


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Aug 10th, 2004, 12:15 AM
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I'm going to Australia at the same time as you (Oct 15-Oct 31.) Hubby was insistent that since we are "so close" to NZ that we make the trip there as well. After all my research, things to do, etc., he finally (albeit reluctantly) agreed that we should stick to Australia - and I'm finding out that two weeks is barely enough for just the east coast! NZ will just have to wait for us ...
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Aug 10th, 2004, 08:08 AM
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Thanks for all your replies and after looking a bit more into Aus, I've realized that there is plenty to keep me occupied in the two week span. Now its time to narrow down the selection as to how many places I can see on the east coast.

Does anyone have experience with taking a road trip from Sydney up to Cairns, stopping at the various points along the way? Or is this also unfeasible given the time limitations?

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Aug 10th, 2004, 08:17 AM
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Hi Chunker,

I do not know too much about Oz and NZ, since I haven't visited there yet - but thought I'd put my 2 cents in, just because it is a little different.

I am going to Oz/NZ in February 2005. I will also have 2 weeks there. I did decide to see both Australia and New Zealand. I realize that I will only be scratching the surface of these countries, but I felt that I did want a taste of both countries. I did decide to focus on just small parts of each country. I will be going to Sydney and Cairns in Australia. In New Zealand I will be focusing on the fiordland area, with a trip to the Franz Josef glacier. Here is my tentative itnerary:

Fly in to Sydney
2 nights in Sydney
(Bridgeclimb, zoo, beach, darling harbor area)
Fly to Queenstown, NZ
5 nights in New Zealand
(See Milford Sound, Te Anau and Franz Josef Glacier)
Fly to Sydney and spend another night there
Fly to Cairns/Port Douglas
3 nights in Cairns/Port Douglas
(Great Barrier Reef, Daintree rainforest, Kuranda)
Fly to Sydney
2 nights in Sydney
(Opera House, Sydney Tower, relax)
Then fly back to Chicago

Hope that is helpful.
air1975 is offline  
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Aug 10th, 2004, 07:32 PM
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regarding your question about driving from Sydney, figure that you're talking about driving approx 1,300 miles......does that put it in perspective?

Hope this is helpful!


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wlzmatilida is offline  
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Aug 10th, 2004, 07:52 PM
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I make it 1686 miles (2720 km) Sydney to Cairns. No, don't even think about it, not with only two weeks to spare. That time will allow you only a very selective exposure to Australia's east coast, and that's assuming you fly.

My suggestion would be to divide your time between Tasmania, Sydney and the Cairns area, which should meet all your criteria and expose you to three very different faces of Australia, all popular destinations for good reason. Keep an eye on JetStar, Virgin Blue and Qantas for air fare specials and for accommodation ditto.
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Aug 10th, 2004, 11:17 PM
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Chunker - We are also going that exact time, and went through the same itinerary discussion. We decided to drop NZ this time, and since my husband's meeting is in Sydney, we will stay in Australia.
We fly into Sydney and spend 5 days there, then 3 days on Lizard Island (a splurge), 3 days in Port Douglas, one last day in Sydney, then home. With flights, time change, etc., that's all we have time for.
This has been a great forum, and have done most of our trip planning based on these helpful posts!
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Aug 11th, 2004, 01:20 AM
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Chunker - don't even think about driving Sydney-Cairns with your time constraints - as mentioned it's the best part of 3,000km - I've done it in 2-3days but that's because I had to - trust me, its not enjoyable. To appreciate only some places of interest between the two cities, I'd estimate a good 2 weeks.
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