Australia and/or New Zealand in 2 weeks

Old Feb 1st, 2010, 05:01 PM
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Australia and/or New Zealand in 2 weeks

Some friends and I are considering doing a trip to Australia and/or New Zealand in Sept or Oct but we only have about 2 weeks that we can take off from work. We are looking to do an Australian tour that would include Sydney, Cairns and the Outback or an Australian/New Zealand tour that includes some of New Zealand and Sydney, Cairns Australia. Is one week enough time to tour New Zealand or should we just stick to Australia? I've been to Australia and travelled from the Daintree Rainforest down the coast to Sydney. None of my friends have been there so I'd really like to see NZ. Does anyone know of any tours that would be good for a group in their early 30's or are we better off just doing it on our own? We are not interested in Contiki.
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Old Feb 1st, 2010, 05:59 PM
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"...so I'd really like to see NZ. Does anyone know of any tours that would be good for a group in their early 30's or are we better off just doing it on our own?"

Obviously, there are pros and cons of each touring style. This one http://tinyurl.com/yfmsx69 happens to meet our current needs (seeing as much as possible in a limited amount of time).

________________________________
Vic's travels: http://my.flightmemory.com/vogilvie
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Old Feb 1st, 2010, 06:04 PM
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<Is one week enough time to tour New Zealand or should we just stick to Australia?>

One week definitely isn't enough time to thoroughly tour New Zealand. If you can only spare one week, stick to one island (I highly recommend the South Island).

Keep in mind it's going to be chilly in NZ in Sept and Oct so plan accordingly.

I'd strongly suggest you choose either Australia or NZ, don't try to do both. Distances are further than you might expect and even though NZ looks small on a map, getting from point A to point B is time consuming.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2010, 07:57 AM
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I totally agree with everything Melnq8 has said. Spend your two weeks in Australia and limit yourselves to 3 destinations. It sounds like your Sydney/Cairns/Outback plan is a good one.
Australia is a fun and easy place to tour on your own. If you enjoy planning trips, then I definitely recommend planning your own tour in Australia. You'll get to see and do exactly what you want and it will probably end up costing you less than a tour.
One recommendation--when planning for your accomodations, look for "serviced apartments" which are all over the country. They have full kitchens so you can save money on meals and many have washers/dryers as well, so you won't have to pack as much clothing. I don't know the size of your group, but if you shared a 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom serviced apartment, you could save quite a bit of money.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2010, 09:44 AM
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NZ is just so amazing that I have to vote for you including it, if not making it the only destination on your trip. Two weeks driving around the South Island would be really ideal! If you are set on doing both, I'd say minimize your Australia time in the cities like Sydney and spend more time in the Outback. You can do it all on your own, but in the Outback I can recommend "The Rock" company's 3 day/2 night camping tour of Ayer's Rock. Really well done! More info and pics in our NZ and Australia posts at http://patrinadoestheglobe.blogspot.com/
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Old Feb 6th, 2010, 04:43 PM
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I'd agree with katrinab, skip Australia and see New Zealand!. Or if you find cheaper airfares which require you to go via Sydney, then just spend a night or two there.

NZ has a much wider variety of scenery in a more compact area.
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Old Feb 6th, 2010, 07:37 PM
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I agree with Melnq8 and longhorn55, two weeks is not enough time to do both countries. You'll spend too much time in planes. You could do the abridged Australian highlights in that time: Sydney--Reef--Rock.
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Old Feb 8th, 2010, 09:49 PM
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It is a shame you can't come up with just a few more days, I think you can do them both in 18 days. The people that tell you to select one island are probably right but I personally would have given up Ayers Rock rather than to have missed the South Island of NZ. There are many tours but if you know just what you want and what you want to skip, it is fun to be independent. We took day tours with groups but we not part of a "tour", it gave us flexibility. We used suggestions from this board and great travel agent that put together a package just for us.
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Old Feb 8th, 2010, 10:36 PM
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mlgb, your bias is showing. Personally I'm inclined to suggest NZ myself, but only because of the time factor. Neither destination is "better" than the other, of course.
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Old Feb 9th, 2010, 01:20 AM
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In May-July 2008 I spent 6 weeks in Oz covering Sydney, Darwin Cairns, GBR, Ayers Rock etc. followed by 8 weeks in NZ 50/50 North and South Island. As Neil rightly points out "Neither destination is "better" than the other", however, if I had two weeks to spare, I would return to South Island in the blink of an eye. Have you consider renting a large campervan to make maximum use of your time there (and probably reduce costs? A link to our blog with more detail and photos :

http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog...ai/1/tpod.html
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Old Feb 9th, 2010, 08:37 AM
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"We are looking to do an Australian tour that would include Sydney, Cairns and the Outback or an Australian/New Zealand tour that includes some of New Zealand and Sydney, Cairns Australia."

What are your interests/activities? Where do you live? That would help direct you to which country/locations would suit your groups' interests and provide you with an experience as different as possible from where you live.

I like to see especially what is different from my usual experience or what I can see/do close to home. So, for me (so far) in Australia, that was to see kangaroos in the wild, see some of the natural beauty, etc. with just a short time in the city to get a feel for the harbor, some museums, restaurants, etc. (Sydney is a good choice). I can easily access beaches at home, so I don't spend much time there, but maybe that is important to your group? Same for desert--how/where have you experienced? Or are you more interested in a social/party scene?

In New Zealand, I especially enjoy learning about the Maori culture, so I like going to Rotorua, but that is probably not worth an entire trip to NZ. I also liked seeing penguins and other nature that is unusual for me. I always like to go to the mountains wherever I am, so that is what attracted me to the South Island. But, I skipped the beaches and the adventure sports as things I can do closer to home.

So, I agree with the others that you can't tour large sections of two countries in 2 weeks, but I usually have only 3-10 days on a holiday trip and have had a great time both in Australia and NZ with just 4 days with 2 nights per stop/destination.
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Old Feb 10th, 2010, 07:33 PM
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Thanks for all the replies. We are from the NY area and all have full time jobs with limited vacation time which is why we can only spare about 2 weeks. I'm the only one in the group who has been to Australia. Last time I spent time in Cape Tribulation, Cairns, Whitsunday's, Fraser Island and Sydney. We definately want to do the Great Barrier Reef and I would love to do the Outback and the Great Ocean road. We are considering the independent tour Australian Icons by AAT Kings. It includes Melbourne, Ayer's Rock, Alice Springs and Sydney. It gives us some flexibility to choose our tour dates and type of hotel accomodations(we don't need 4 star hotels but don't want camping either). Anyone have experience with them? What will the weather be like in Australia at the end of Sept? Hopefully I can do a trip to just New Zealand in the future.
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Old Apr 21st, 2010, 05:04 AM
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stpetereb, would you mind emailing me your 14 or 18 day itinerary?

I see some great replies about where to visit, but am looking to build an itinerary to go to NZ around late may, june.

thanks. other suggestions are welcome.

[email protected]
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Old Jun 7th, 2010, 11:55 PM
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Just wanted to give an update. It took me 18 days to travel NZ. I spent about 5 days in north island (taupo rotorua wellington) and then 10 days road trip in the south island (picton blenheim kaikoura lewis pass punakaiki franz josef wanaka queenstown milford sound). Thank you stpetereb for your input ! I pieced together different itineraries and made my own.

NZ was the best country ive visited so far, very exciting and plenty of fun outdoor activities for those who love the outdoors. Next up, india !
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Old Jun 9th, 2010, 06:26 AM
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If you only have 2 weeks I recommend skipping Australia and just sticking to NZ (and I'm Australian) 2 weeks is just not enough time to do it justice. The distances in Australia are huge between tourist destinations.
Having said that, in response to your question what will the weather be like in September..... depends where you are and what you're used to. If you're doing something that includes Melbourne, Sydney and Alice you'll need clothes to cover temperatures between 0-35C. Best idea will be to check www.weatherzone.com.au closer to the time.
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