Australian Itinerary In Progress

Jan 30th, 2006, 11:43 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 65
1. arriving at 7AM in Sydney, driving to Melbourne

- Why not just fly to Melborne? A 900 km drive on the wrong side of the road after a 15 hour flight and a 17 hour time shift doesn't sound like fun, even for me.

2. Melbourne-GOR

- So you don't want to see Melbourne? If not, skip the drive and take an internal flight to Avalon Airport near Geelong if you are primarily concerned with the GOR

3. GOR-Adelaide

- Where on the GOR are you stopping? I'm doing the GOR in one day, starting early from Geelong, and doing the drive for the entire day and making it to Mt. Gambier,SA but late evening. Even still I have a 4.5 hour drive the next day to Adelaide.

4. Adelaide-FR NP

- Again, skipping the city. A long drive to FR NP, about 500 km taking 6.5 hours

5. FR NP

6. FR NP-Adelaide

- I personally hate doubling back

7. early morning flight to Alice Springs, then drive to Uluru

- 2 hour flight and then 5 hours of driving.

8. more of Uluru & Kata Tjuta, then drive back to Alice Springs

- 5 hour drive

9. early morning flight to Darwin, then drive to Kakadu

10.more of Kakadu, then drive back to Darwin

11.early morning flight to Cairns, then drive to Port Douglas

12.Cape Tribulation

13.back to Cairns

14.early morning flight to Fraser Coast/Gladstone, ferry to Fraser Island/Heron Island - PLEASE ADVICE ME WHAT'S BETTER ?

15. Fraser Island/Heron Island

16. departure the island and drive to Brisbane

17. continue driving (Brisbane-Sydney)

- Wasting a day doing a 12 hour drive

18. Blue Mountains

19. Blue Mountains

20. Sydney and departure for the US

21. EXTRA DAY MAYBE - WHAT WOULD YOU DO ?

Clearly you are a nature person, rather than urban. It seems very rushed. I started off with a very similar itinery and I ended up added a few more flights and an extra week.

When I first started, I assume Oz had similar highways to Canada/US, but this isn't the case. There is a lot of driving. Everyone is different, so whatever floats your boat.
DasFX is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 12:35 PM
  #22  
MW123
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Thx DasFX
Haven't picked up the stops on GOR yet, but read about the distances and highlights. That's the next step.
As for driving I'm aware of the fact that SYD-MEL takes 12h and we really don't mind. I'm going to arrive in Sydney on the night before (from Singapore) and have a good night sleep anyway, so I'll start and later we can switch. We really have a lot of experience driving long distances (even in extreme conditions - snow, fog, narrow mountain roads) and experienced driving on the left side as well (in London). I'm also aware that it takes 4-5 h from Adelaide to FR NP and Alice Springs to Uluru (I hate doubling back too, but what can we do). As for sightseeing Melbourne we plan to do a quick one on the morning of day 2. My mom lived there for a year in the 90s and gave as some tips how to do it so. And as for the extra week - we simply don't ave one
Any tips on Fraser vs. Heron ?
What company will you be using for renting wheels ?
 
Jan 30th, 2006, 02:54 PM
  #23  
MW123
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Just checked out Hertz, Avis and Budget. Pity that Budget charges very high extra fee when going one way. I asked Hertz and Avis about any special offers (multicity) as summing up all the needed rentals it's always above 1000 USD... not a tragedy, but maybe there is somewhere a better deal ;-)
 
Jan 30th, 2006, 03:52 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
Try Europcars, have known people who have used them for one way rentals and been quite happy.

MW, you can't really compare Heron and Fraser Islands, Heron is a true coral atoll on Great Barrier reef, some 70km from coast and Fraser is world's largest sand island, very near coast. You haven't included any reef trips in your Far North Queensland itinerary, so if I were you would definitely take Heron over Fraser. This is no criticism of Fraser which is well worth a trip, its a pity you don't have time for both. Hervey Bay for Fraser Island is some 3and a half hour drive south of Gladstone. But with your time constraints think it would be better to spend another day in Cairns area for easy access to reef. Another option is to drive Cairns-Townsville, about 4 and a half hours. On the way is Hinchinbrook Island, close to mainland and an absolute gem for nature lovers. You can fly Townsville-Gladstone or Brisbane. Its a pity to miss the Whitsundays, but can't see how you can fit it in.
pat_woolford is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 06:07 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 246
MW123 I have lived in NSW, SA, NT and QLD and so far the advice given you and especially by DasFX is fair advice.

When I look at your latest plan I too am thinking that you could just eliminate Vic (melbourne) altogether. I appreciate that you can handle long drives. For myself I would regularly drive Bris to syd overnight, no stops and by myself before I got married and forced to be reasonable (haha). Anyays the point is that you haven;t given yourslef time to appreciate the trip enough by including Victoria so if you just avoided it by going to adelaide then you have some boring but also some wonderful stops along the way, particularly that top west corner of victoria around mildura, berri etc (have also lived in mildura).

Regarding the extra day i would just keep in in the pocket and use it when you needed it eg extra day actually seeing sydney would be nice.


Try these URLs
http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/

I tried the vic site but couldn;t find much that would help a tourist. The NSW is the best.


My other advice or suggestion is this:

if you want to drive the loop do Syd - Melb - Adel - Syd (via blue mountains probably). if you can work out that you have spare time then do a return airflight to alice probably from Adelaide and a return flight to cairns probably from Sydney. There are some good specials coming up check www.qantas.com.au or webject.com.au

There's always a better deal on rental cars.

When you're ready then post up the specific days you need a car and what size car you want and surely someone (if not me) can help you with an idea of a better deal. Also, maybe if you work for a global company then they might have a discount rate you can access.

Good luck
bhuty is offline  
Jan 31st, 2006, 03:13 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,077
I resent your comment that:

"some crazy people can read, think and learn (even on their own)."

Yes I agree, but I still think there is a world of difference between reading up on something in the visitor centre and walking down a track with someone who can actually say "this is xxxx" and we use it for "xxxx".

The flora of Australia is like nothing you will have seen before.

I am not advocating taking a tour everywhere - what I am saying is that your itinerary is a classic example of going to look without understanding.

Oh - and I've probably done more independent travelling that you've had hot dinners.

fuzzylogic is offline  
Jan 31st, 2006, 05:32 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 65
I saw your reply MW123 and I understand your point of view; but just as i've come to realize, there is no sense racing around the continent. My wife and I don't like to dawdle about either. We move in a quick and efficient manner, but your pace seems more hectic than the amazing race. But as Iíve said before, do whatever floats your boat. If you have a good plan and there are no unexpected situations, then your itinerary will be fine.

As for rental cars, we found that Europcar was the best and where they did add one-way drop fees, the total cost was cheaper than say Avis who do not have drop fees.

The only stretch we are paying a drop fee is from Melbourne to Adelaide and that is only 88$. Sydney to Canberra we rented from Hertz as our morning flight from Canberra is at 6:10 and most car rental places (except Hertz) open at 6am.

As for the Queensland Islands, we were going to do Fraser, but was told that in August, something more north would be best so instead we are doing a couple nights on Hamilton Is. In the Whitsundays.
DasFX is offline  
Jan 31st, 2006, 07:53 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6
Question about the aussie air pass people are talkign about. I was told by a customer rep that sydney, brisbane and melborne doesn't need to count as one of your domestic flights. because if you picked a city that is not a gateway you'll haev to arrive through thoes cities anyways so you can choose to saty several nights and still visit 3 vities which are not gateways to be the 3 domestic fligths that are included. Any ideas?
buster_munster is offline  
Jan 31st, 2006, 02:45 PM
  #29  
MW123
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Thank you Pat, bhuty and DasFX. I'll check Europcar for offers and Quantas airfares right away and hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to put together a suitable transportation plan for the whole trip.
Fuzzy, I'm very happy you do independent traveling every day - it broadens the mind... ;-).
 
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