Australia/New Zealand in September?

Jan 22nd, 2004, 12:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Australia/New Zealand in September?

i intend to visit australia and the south island of new zealand for three weeks in september. i am travelling with 3- 4 other people. this is what i want to do. while in australia, i want to visit the GBR(cairns)for just a couple of days, since i have a fear of drowning, i was wondering if there would be any alternatives to snorkeling for me. the rest of my group are water lovers, so they will be snorkeling. anyways, i plan two days in cairns, four days in sydney (one day trip to blue mtns-must do) and maybe two days in melbourne (one day trip for the Great Ocean Road-must do) and the rest of our time approx one week in the south island of new zealand. we would love to stay in B&B's in australia and new zealand. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. is this doable? also i wonder if going to new zealand first and then on to australia would be advisable, as i hate to have to back track.
highness67 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2004, 12:57 PM
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September is a great time to visit Cairns, an iffy time to visit Sydney, a still iffier time to visit Melbourne, and a very iffy time to visit New Zealand.

September is early spring in the southern hemisphere. New Zealand (and to some extent Australia's more southerly cities) have unpredictable spring weather. It CAN be pleasant in New Zealand, Melbourne and Sydney in spring, but it just as easily can be drizzly and windy. Look at the climate graph for Christchurch, NZ, just for example:

You'll see that Christchurch's average high temperature for September is about 55 deg F. If that's the average, the reality will be that it could be several degrees on either side of the average.

The difference in latitude between the southern tip of NZ South Island and the northern tip of Queensland is the same as the difference in latitude between Montreal and the Panama Canal. Christchurch is about as far south of the equator as Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada is north of it. Melbourne is as far away from the equator as San Francisco is. Think of March in Halifax and San Francisco, and you'll have an idea of what Christchurch and Melbourne are like in September.

I think the proposed durations of your visits to Sydney and NZ South Island are okay, but your planned time in Cairns is far too short. I lived in Melbourne for 2-1/2 years, and LOVED the place, but can tell you from personal experience that the Great Ocean Road is nothing to write home about on an overcast day, which you very easily could get in September. So, considering what an incredible amount there is to see and do in Far North Queensland and considering how much better FNQ's weather is likely to be, I recommend you cut Melbourne out of the picture and devote those days to Cairns instead.

Yes, the other members of your travel party can snorkel in the GBR, and you can see it from a glass bottomed boat.

I don't know of B&Bs in Sydney or New Zealand, but you might look into Lilybank B&B for the Cairns area:

As for the matter of "double backing" if you go to Australia first and New Zealand second, I may be dense but I'm sorry I don't understand what the problem is.

This may not be what you were hoping to hear, but I hope it's helpful nonetheless.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2004, 09:40 PM
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Some of the trips out to the reef include going on a glass bottom boat so whilst your friends are snorkelling, you can view the coral and fish in comfort.
Try for information on Melbourne and Victoria. I'd definitely recommend staying in the CBD in both Melbourne and Sydney, as otherwise you will waste precious time travelling each day.
marg is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2004, 10:04 AM
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Our family of 5 have just returned from 3 weeks in Melbourne and Sydney. We drove the Great Ocean Road up to Portland. It was very nice, but I was a bit disappointed and thought that the scenery in the South Island (of NZ) was far more diverse. The Kaikoura Coast would be an equivalent.
The road was fairly narrow with little opportunity to overtake slow drivers, hence making the trip a lot longer.
We were visiting Melbourne in January and we were cold! The temperatures vary so much as the week before we arrived the temperatures were up to the 30s.
Enjoy your holiday.
September in the SOuth Island is really late winter, not early spring. Expect cool temperatures.
kiwigirl is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2004, 01:09 PM
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I agree with Judy in Calgary ( wish I had lived in Calgary Judy and not Edmonton) about skipping the Great Ocean Road because you time in North Queensland when the weather will be beautiful is far too short. There is much, much more than just the reef to see anyway and even adding a couple of extra days will not even start to be enough time there.
A web site for B&Bs is but you would be better to ask on this forum because you can get up to date info. on them that way.
There is a B&B in the Rocks area of Sydney which is a great location but for my money the Victoria Private hotel in Potts Point is where I would stay even if Alan thinks otherwise. ( Alan is the accommodation Guru for Sydney on this site). Just remember too when you are stating days that you have in Australia it will take the best part of a day to get from Sydney to Cairns by the time you get to the airport 2 hours ahead of time, flight time is 2.5 hours if its direct and more if it is not, which means you don't have as much time as you thought you might.
Jan 23rd, 2004, 05:34 PM
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We've visited the South Island in September three times, and the weather that time of year is definitely unpredictable. You just never know - you might have some beautiful days, and you might have some windy, wet and cold days. If you stay on the north of the South Island (such as in Nelson, Motueka, Takaka, etc) you'll have better chances for warmer weather than you will further south.

Personally, I don't find winter/spring weather much of a drawback, and I think Setpember is a good time to visit NZ (that's why I've done it three times!)
Melnq8 is online now  
Jan 23rd, 2004, 05:36 PM
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As far as B&B's go, you're spoiled for choice in NZ, you just need to narrow down which places you want to visit. This site might prove helpful:
Melnq8 is online now  
Jan 23rd, 2004, 10:39 PM
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highness67 - check recommendations in current (2004) Frommers and Fodors guides - they're reliable and up to date.
pat_woolford is offline  
Jan 26th, 2004, 01:54 PM
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from the sounds of the posts here, i need to spend 3-4 days in the cairns area, 3-4 days in sydney, and 1-2 days in melbourne (I REALLY HAVE TO SEE THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD!!!!) i take it the weather in the south island will be a bit cool. i don't mind the cold weather, at all. any more suggestions for bed and breakfasts in either place will be greatly appreciated.
highness67 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2004, 02:21 PM
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Highness67, you need 1 night and 2 days to drive the entire GOR from Melbourne.

If you have only 1 day for the GOR, driving to Lorne and back to Melbourne again makes for a pleasant day's excursion. Have lunch in Lorne and then drive into the temperate rainforest behind Lorne and see the Erskine Falls. Walk down the steps to the bottom of the falls, and walk along the banks of the Erskine River for a little way. It's a very pleasant spot. Then return to Melbourne.

If you have 2 days to spend on the GOR, you'll be able to see the scenic rocks known as the Twelve Apostles.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  

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