Australian Itinerary - Kangaroo Island?

Old Jan 2nd, 2004, 09:45 AM
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Australian Itinerary - Kangaroo Island?

Hi - we're planning our Honeymoon in April/May, going to Moorea for a week followed by Australia for 3 weeks... We're trying to put together our Australia itinerary and I need advice.

Has anyone been to Kangaroo Island? It sounds like it could be really interesting and beautiful, but it also sounds pretty expensive. If it's not worth it or if you can get similar experiences elsewhere, please let me know...

Tentative itinerary:

Sydney 3 nights - including a day trip to either Blue Mountains or Hunter Valley, Harbor Tour, Opera House, maybe the Bridge Climb, etc.

Adelaide 1 night followed by 2 day/1 night Kangaroo Island

Adelaide 2 nights - including day trip out to wineries

Red Center/Ayers Rock/Alice Springs - 4 nights

Pt. Douglas - 5 nights (considering cutting this one day and adding a day to Sydney) including Reef, rainforest, gondola/train

Noosa - 3 nights

Any suggestions?

If we cut Adelaide/Kangaroo Island, I'd probably want to go see some animals somewhere else - maybe the Koala sanctuary near Brisbane? What about Tasmania?

jilln is offline  
Old Jan 2nd, 2004, 12:08 PM
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My husband, daughter (24yrs) and I spent 2 nights on Kangaroo Island the end of Feb '03 and HIGHLY recommend it. We stayed at the Lookout( a 2 bedroom apt with meals included). Malcolm and Peter were the perfect hosts. We did a day tour as well an evening to see the Fairy penguins. We felt like we were on a private safari. We saw so many animals and Malcolm was so knowledgable about the islands' flora and fauna. Our morning and afternoon teas on tour and the picnic lunch were just amazing. It was definitely one of the highlights of our 3 mos in Oz and NZ.
Regarding your itinerary, may I suggest skipping Alice Springs and doing 2 nights in Uluru( Ayers)...don't miss the Sounds of Silence dinner) and add a day to The Port Douglas/ Cairns area..maybe do a day trip to Lizard Island..expensive but so worth it.
Tasmania was wonderful as well but maybe not doable in your 3 weeks. You have to save something for your return trip<smile>
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Old Jan 2nd, 2004, 12:19 PM
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Hello Jilln, I'll add to MMT's comments.

Sydney - I would give more time to Sydney, but I'll return to this point later.

Adelaide & Kangaroo Island - I've never been there, but have heard very favourable reports of them, and MMT has confirmed that.

The Red Centre - I've never been to the area, but people give glowing reports of it. I heartily agree with your inclusion of it. I'll trust MMT's advice as to the specifics. Just one point. I hope you intend to fly from one place to the other. Australia is big. You wouldn't be able to fit this itinerary into the allotted time if you did all this stuff by road.

Port Douglas - I think 5 nights is the minimum amount of time to spend in P.D. I would not recommend spending less.

Noosa - I've never been there. I've heard it's very nice. However, I'm wondering if it's different enough from Port Douglas to warrant another stop. I mean it'll be just be more coastline, won't it? And you also will have had exposure to the ocean in Moorea. I would re-allocate the days tentatively assigned to Noosa. I would devote those 3 days to Sydney instead. You cannot do justice to Sydney AND do day trips out of Sydney in 3 days! I'll be VERY surprised if you regret giving 6 nights to Sydney.

Animals - There are a number of places, besides Kangaroo Island, where you can see indigenous animals. There are nature sanctuaries outside of Sydney, for example.

Tasmania - I've never been, but I've heard glowing reports of it. Keep in mind, however, that May is starting to nudge up against Australia's winter. I suspect Tasmania might be on the cool side by then, and even Adelaide might be starting to cool off. Although I've been to neither Tasmania nor Adelaide, I'm basing that observation on my experience of Melbourne. You'd need to look up historical weather data (easily accessible on the Internet) to check.

I can understand why you'd want to start out your honeymoon in Moorea where you could relax after the busy time leading up to your wedding. However, in a way it's a shame you can't go to Australia sooner and then end your honeymoon in Moorea. If you were able to do that, you'd be able to complete the southern portions of Australia in April, which I think would be more ideal.

Well good luck with your planning.

Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old Jan 2nd, 2004, 12:53 PM
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Judy in Calgary, temperature and timing is not as critical in Australia as in Canada ( I spent 2 years in Edmonton) so Jilln won't be disadvantaged much by her timing.
For the price and the distance I would take out Adelaide, Kangaroo Island and Noosa, as Judy said " its only another piece of coastline" and Noosa in April/May will not be warm swimming time anyway and K.I will be cold too.
With that time I would go to Tasmania and perhaps fly into Devonport and go to Cradle Mountain and do some hiking around there where you will see animals in the wild if you take their nocturnal tours, or for that matter if you step outside with some apple in your hands.
Also take one of the Eco tours when you are in PD and see plenty of animals.
Old Jan 2nd, 2004, 05:44 PM
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We're planning Noosa at the end just to have a three day do nothing but laze around end to our honeymoon. That and we're flying out of Brisbane so it seemed to make sense to get down there... although I'm sure we could just fly from Cairns to Brisbane and on out if we needed to.

Maybe I'll add on to my request here for info on Noosa??? Our travel agent who is an Aussie herself highly recommended it. I don't need a steaming hot beach experience. More like a nice relaxing pretty place to end a long vacation before having to go back to the harsh reality of 40 hour work weeks.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2004, 07:49 PM
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We went to Tasmania and Kangaroo Island last year and would never have missed either. Kangaroo Island has all the wild life you have ever heard of in Austrailia, Kangas, cockatoos, sea lions, walabies, etc.
Tasmania is gorgeous and ditto critters
(add BLACK cockatoos) and gorgeous scenery.
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Old Jan 6th, 2004, 12:44 PM
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thanks everyone for your replies.. anyone have any last minute itinerary advice? We'll probably start booking the hotels soon...

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Old Jan 6th, 2004, 01:17 PM
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Hi Jilln - my family spent just over 3 weeks in Australia Christmas of 2002. We had a great time and I am going to outline some of places we went and whether I would recommend it or skip it.

Started in Sydney - did usual sightseeing things, but also took ferry a couple of times to Manly Beach - a must see!!

Flew to Port Douglas - stayed at the Sheraton for a couple of nights - did a horseback ride through the rainforest - very nice and was booked through the hotel. Also did the Kuranga rainforest tour - well worth the day trip - again can book ahead or through your hotel. Also spent 3 nights at Dunk Island - somewhat expensive, but gorgeous - able to get there by ferry - did a Barrier Reef tour from there - again a must do!

Flew to Ayers Rock for two night stay at Sails in the Desert - very expensive and not worth the price - look for something less expensive - all of the hotels are in the same vicinity. Did a sunset tour of the Olgas - very nice - we were not able to climb the rock due to high winds and temperature. Ayers Rock is a definite to see, but we were ready to leave after two nights. Not sure that Alice Springs warrants any night stays there.

Took the overnight Ghan train from Ayers Rock to Adelaide - over New Years Eve - again neat to see, but not sure that I would recommend taking the time to do it - saw alot of the desert and kangaroos though.

Did 2 nights in Kangaroo Island - definitely worth seeing - again hook onto a tour group as then you can see all of the sites of the island - granite rocks, seal bays, koala sancturaries, etc.

Not sure that I would have spent as much time in Adelaide - we were not able to see the wineries as they were closed for the Christmas holiday, but I have heard that they are great.

Rented a car and drove the Great Ocean Road - definitely worth the drive and I wish we had spent longer on this portion of the trip. Many quaint smaller towns on the drive and interesting points of interest to stop at along the way like London's Bridge, Twelve Apostles etc.

Stayed over night at Port Fairy on the far side of Melbourne to see the fairy penguins at night - neat to see, but not worth the extra driving to see them.

You can get what's called a Boomerang pass on Quantas airlines - essentially lets you do alot of one way segments and there is alot of choices in flight times.

Enjoy yourself and good luck with the wedding.
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