Broad Intin for Australia

May 8th, 2016, 06:10 PM
  #1  
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Broad Intin for Australia

We have 6 weeks in Australia, arriving and departing from Sydney. First time to AU We will arrive in February stay into mid March. In general we prefer to stay in the less hot areas of the country. I've been reading guide books, TRs and studying maps and articles on AU and have some general ideas that I'd love some feedback on. We want to hike and enjoy the natural beauty. We don't want to spend time on beaches but do enjoy seeing the beauty. We love driving and while we are from the US, we have driven on the other side and are fine with it. (Biggest problem is using the windshield wipers instead of the turn signal!) We love good food, music and museums.

Fly into Sydney early morning (flying biz class so sleep will be possible) - We will have spent about week in Hong Kong so jet lagged will not be an issue. Fly to Cairns We'd spent ~2 days in the city and then pick up a rental car. Spend time at GBR. Take to Great Tropical Dr and visit the Dartree Rain Forest Total time 7 days.

Drive to Brisbane - I've read that's about 6 days to drive. Spend 2 Days in Brisbane. Total time 8 days

Drive the Pacific Coast and continue on to Sydney and explore the Blue Mt area. Rtn car and fly to Melbourne. Spend a couple days in Melbourne and explore the area inlcuding the GOR. Total time 7 days.

Fly to Hobart and spend 12 days on Tasmania. Total time 12-14 days

Fly to Sydney and spend last week there. Total Time 7 days. (have rented an apt for our week stay.)

Thank you in advance for your thoughts.
yestravel is offline  
May 8th, 2016, 06:53 PM
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6 weeks is a good length of time to spend in Australia.

I hate to break not to you though, that you are arriving in the hottest part of our year.

In Cairns/ FNQ ( Far North Queensland) you are heading not only to the Great Barrier Reef, but into the humidity, cyclone & stinger season in February/March.


http://www.qldbeaches.com/stingers.html

http://www.bom.gov.au/qld/cairns/

Your quest to stay out of the best would be best served by sticking to the southern areas of Australia.

Tasmania would be a great choice, offering a great diversity of landscapes, walks, native flora & fauna and wonderful food. You might also have a look at Kangaroo Island, in South Australia

Have a look at the BOM weather site to see typical temperature & weather in various places during February & March.

You can certainly have a great time here - and you may still decide to go to FNQ & not see anything more than the afternoon rains - but you may want to re-examine your plans & move further south.
Bokhara2 is offline  
May 8th, 2016, 07:11 PM
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Thanks for the info. The weather Sites I looked at mentioned tropical weather not unlike SEASia which is not a problem. We're used to heat and humidity and while not our favorite weather, it's doable for a week. However I did not read about tornados and that's a different situation. Havent seen climate on your site.

On the stingers, my understanding is that nets are put up. Is that not true or are the nets not completely protective.

I'll explore Kangaroo Island some more. How much time would you suggest spending there? Mthanks again.
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May 8th, 2016, 10:20 PM
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its cyclones not tornados .
Whilst Victoria , South Australia don't have cyclones but February especially is very hot temps up to 40 .
Even though beaches are stinger protected you can still be stung .
northie is offline  
May 9th, 2016, 01:43 AM
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Have you considered Western Australia? The southwest is beautiful that time of year. Spend some time in Perth, then head south for beaches and vistas galore, some great walks and drives, vineyards, caves, surfers, lighthouses, wonderful food, beautiful forests, parrots, kangaroos, emus. Not that I’m biased or anything.
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May 9th, 2016, 03:55 AM
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Thank you! Looks like we'll skip the northeast. Will research southwestern.
yestravel is offline  
May 10th, 2016, 08:12 PM
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How about renting a car in Sydney for the Pacific Highway drive north to Brisbane.
There are many beautiful spots to stop with stunning coastal scenery and walks. No stingers this far south, although maybe a shark or two.
Many beaches are manned by lifeguards who close the beach if they're any sharks around. It would be unusual to get cyclones this far south too.
From Brisvegas you could fly on to your next stop.
sartoric is offline  
May 11th, 2016, 07:36 AM
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satoric, yes we are going to do that. In the plan I posted it would have been starting in Brisbane and driving the coast to Sydney. Since we are eliminating the NE based on the comments, we may leave Sydney upon arrival & go for a few nights in the Blue Mts area and then continue up the coast and spend a 5-6 days meandering up the coast and a few nights in Brisbane. As I recall you said you live somewhere around there and hope we can meet up.

Are there any places recommending for spending a few nights?
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May 11th, 2016, 04:31 PM
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Yamba is a good spot, there's a prawn fishing fleet there so you can usually get fresh and cheap prawns. It's perched on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and very pretty.

I'm not at home, still melting in Myanmar, but when I do get home next week, I'll pull out my road book and give you some more suggestions. Would also love to meet you both. I'm sure we can arrange a catch up.
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May 11th, 2016, 04:41 PM
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Enjoy Myanmar. You must be getting to know it pretty well. Will look forward to your suggestions. We've got plenty of time as trip not until 2017. Just trying to get things figured out as we have a busy summer and fall.
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May 21st, 2016, 04:06 PM
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With 5-6 days you have plenty of time for short drives, say 2-3 hours, then stopping to explore. From Sydney it's about 240 km to Nelson Bay a picturesque town with a nearby National Park (Tomaree). Port Macquarie could be next, very popular with retirees and great seafood. Coffs Harbour is a regional city with some cute towns nearby, Woolgoolga is one of those towns. Yamba is a short hop from Coffs.

From Yamba/Iluka (they are twin towns either side of an estuary) you could make for the Byron Bay area. My favourite town here is Brunswick Heads which has a delightful semi circular hotel from the 1930's, Many great restaurants in this area.

It's only about 1.5 hours to the Gold Coast (where I live) from Byron, and then another hour or so to Brisbane.

Consider caravan parks for accomodation, they are usually right on the beach, and many have self contained cabins.

Look at the tourist information websites, and call in to their shopfronts. Usually you will find enthusiastic locals who love their area, free maps and personal insights into what might interest you. Many have self guided heritage walks which can be fun.

www.exploreaustralia.net.au has details of camp grounds and suggested routes.
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May 21st, 2016, 06:28 PM
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Thank you so much. This is really helpful!
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May 22nd, 2016, 08:19 AM
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Forgot to ask - can we wing it? this would be the first week in Feb. It would be great if we could decide day to day how long ot stay and where to go. We could also planjust a couple days ahead. Possible?
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May 22nd, 2016, 01:33 PM
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I'd book Sydney & possibly Melbourne accommodation at least a few days ahead, but think you could wing it elsewhere.

The reason I'm saying that is, with the school holidays over, the business year starts in earnest in the first week of February & you may find CBD locations have more limited vacancies.

The reverse will be the case in holiday destinations, so you should find some good deals & plenty of choice.

Do have a look at "Time out" & "what's on in ...", though - that will tell you what festivals etc you may want to include (or avoid ) in your travels.
Each destination's website will have that info, too.

Have fun - looks like a great trip
Bokhara2 is offline  
May 22nd, 2016, 02:14 PM
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Thanks! I would like some clarification on the school vacation timeframe and "holiday" period. Is that over by Feb? I thought I read that Feb is still high season.

Yes, we've already booked an apt in Sydney.
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May 22nd, 2016, 02:23 PM
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School holidays finish last week of January/ first week of February, depending on State & particular school.

Here's the list for 2017.

http://www.australia.gov.au/about-au...ool-term-dates
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May 22nd, 2016, 07:37 PM
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I think you should be able to wing it. Checking places via websites a few days before would be my MO.

Like Bokhara2 said, check local guides as festivals can fill a small town.

Februay might be considered high season. People who don't have children in school (and aren't tied to the January shutdown of some industries), often choose to holiday at this time because it's still summer
sartoric is offline  
May 22nd, 2016, 08:15 PM
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Appreciate the website with school schedule.

I think we will fly into Sydney and immediately go to the Blue Mts for a 2 days.

continue with leisurely driving up to Brisbane ~4 days. How many for days for Brisbane?

Then we'll fly to Perth and explore Western AUS. How many days in Perth?

Next fly to Melbourne and area for 8 days

Tasmania for ~12 days

Sydney in apt for 7 days.

Comments?
yestravel is offline  
May 22nd, 2016, 09:17 PM
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I'd give WA at least a week, even if you have to crib a couple from Sydney & Melbourne.

Perth 2 days & then set off exploring
Brisbane - 1-2 days

Have a look at the Visit WA website & pop over to Trip Advisor too. There are a couple of WA posters & quite a few knowledgeable visitors who will be a great help to you there.

I'm getting excited about your trip! Tasmania & Western Australia & a decent road trip to Brisbane - enough days to noodle around Victoria a bit

May I suggest you take the inland route Blue Mountains to Brisbane? Or a combination of Inland & drop down to the coast around Byron Bay? That will give you another interesting view of our country - and "a road somewhat less travelled".

I'll dig out my old map & give you a couple of suggestions later, if you like.
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May 23rd, 2016, 04:22 AM
  #20  
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Thanks, Bokhara! Suggestions would be greatly appreciated. would it make sense to drive one route to Brisbane and then another back? We could do that rather than fly. I havent looked at airfares or car rental prices to see what differnces it would make in costs yet.

I have posted on TA (dl) and will continue to do so.
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