Australia Itinerary Help In July/August

Old May 20th, 2015, 08:42 AM
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Australia Itinerary Help In July/August

Hi everyone! My husband and I just booked tickets for a trip to Australia! We'll be starting out in Melbourne on July 9 (we have family there, so we'd like to stay there until the 14th), and leaving from Sydney on August 6, but we have NOTHING planned beyond that.

I know it will be winter, so I'm not certain what the best activities/sights are at that time of year. We'd love to see and do as much as possible, but we would like to avoid renting a car if possible (the whole driving on the other side of the road thing freaks both of us out...).

We were also toying with the idea of taking a trip to NZ, but I'm not sure if there is enough time.

If anyone has any suggestions for making the most of our trip and what to see in different places, I'd greatly appreciate it!
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Old May 20th, 2015, 09:19 AM
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What are your interests? Both of our trips were in July/August and we love that time of year. Fewer people and we prefer the cooler weather.

It's a good time to go to northern Queensland/GBR as it's outside of stinger season and not incredibly hot. There are lots of tours available so you could do this area without a car.

Tasmania which is wonderful for scenery and wildlife but the best way to see it is with a car. You could possibly base yourself in Hobart and take tours but driving there is really not difficult as there's very little traffic.

I haven't been to NZ but I would think you'd want a car there too.
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Old May 20th, 2015, 11:55 AM
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We love hiking and scenery and wildlife. We're definitely open to renting a car if it's necessary, but we were hoping to avoid it. It sounds like we might be better off just biting the bullet and going for it...

What kind of tours would you recommend? Are there specific companies you would suggest?

Thanks!
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Old May 20th, 2015, 05:46 PM
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We pretty much did everything on our own except for a helicopter reef trip and an afternoon/evening wildlife tour of the Atherton Tablelands south of Cairns and both were just the two of us (plus our pilot or guide). The heli company we used no longer exists but GBR Helicopters does a similar trip and our wildlife trip was booked through Wildwatch. Glad you're open to renting a car. I think it's really the way to go for certain areas.
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Old May 20th, 2015, 07:21 PM
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Australia is to big to explore outside the cities without without either a car or tours.

I agree that FNQ* the Great Barrier Reef and hinterland would be an excellent choice for winter.

So would the Red Centre - Alice Springs & Uluru. And Darwin & the NT national parks.

Typically, the most popular 3 locations are " Bridge, Reef & Rock". Sydney, Cairns & Uluru. It's a popular choice for good reason - it gives a glimpse of the diversity Australia has to offer & the 3 location are on direct air route links.

I think your first step is to do some research on what various areas offer & start working a rough Itinerary based on your interests, available time & budget. Your Melbourne family/friends may have some suggestions for you, too.

New Zealand is a beautiful country - and to do it any justice at all I believe you need 2 weeks.

Keep in mind that Australia & NZ are in the Southern Hemisphere & will be colder in their southern regions.

Once you have some idea of the things you might like to see & do, come back with a rough Itinerary & we'll be delighted to help you finesse it into the perfect trip for your family.
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Old May 20th, 2015, 07:24 PM
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* Far North Queensland.
Sorry about the typos - I can spell, but posting from an iPhone can be tricky.
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Old May 20th, 2015, 09:06 PM
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You might have a look at Kangaroo Island. In warmer weather it would be a good extension of the Great Ocean Road. Still, worth considering as you'll be in the south anyway.
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Old May 21st, 2015, 07:51 AM
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We've also been to Kangaroo Island at that time of year. The island is fairly small so can be seen in a few days. We flew from Adelaide and rented a car on KI but guided tours are also common.
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 03:11 AM
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It's pretty cold and dismal down here in the south during July/August. And it gets dark very early too which limits the amount you can see each day.

With 5 days at the beginning you'll get a chance to see a bit of Victoria but then , if I were you, I'd head north. Queensland is beautiful and stinger free in August.

I agree with Bokhara - it's hard to see much outside the cities without having a car. Driving in the city is nerve wracking ( especially Sydney!) but Queensland is pretty cruisy and you get used to the 'wrong' side of the road pretty quickly.
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 08:04 AM
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Depending on where you're coming from, you may not find southern Australia winters to be that cold. It reminded me more of northern California winters, maybe slightly colder in Tasmania.
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