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Can I really see Oz in a month, or am I kidding myself?

Can I really see Oz in a month, or am I kidding myself?

Old Jul 24th, 2002, 03:13 AM
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Can I really see Oz in a month, or am I kidding myself?


I've been wanting to do this trip since I was at school. Now after going to Uni, getting married, and now divorced, I'm finally gonna do it. I plan to go next Christmas and I will only be able to take a month to 6 weeks off work. I plan to see Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, Adelaide, Brisbaine, Ayres Rock, Alice Springs. Am I kidding myself??! Still wondering if Perth or Darwin be in there too..

Thanks for your advice

Sonia :0)
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 04:15 AM
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Hi, Sonia!
I am sure you have already had thoughts like "Australia is about the same size as the USA, and I couldn't see that in a month", but take heart. Apart from one or two major attractions in the inland, such as Uluru and The Olgas, most of Australia's attractions are located around the coastline, and, yes, you should be able to cover this in a month, though the full six weeks would be better. I presume you plan to fly between major destinations, as road transport is not very good as you head towards Darwin! My own feeling is that you will enjoy the trip more if you leave Perth and Darwin out of the equation (Darwin would be at its hottest at that time of year, anyway) and instead concentrate on the eastern half, with Cairns your furthest-north point. You might even like to add Tasmania to your itinerary in this case, as it's easily reached from Melbourne by overnight ferry.
One thing you need to take into consideration is that Christmas is holiday time for Australians, too. Accommodation is at a premium and internal flights heavily booked. The heavy tourist places such as around the Barrier Reef and Uluru will be booked out months ahead. You will find accommodation easiest in the major cities. Remember also that Alice Springs and Uluru will be punishingly hot.... only if you hug the coastline will you find the temperatures easy to deal with. It might be wise to do the inland areas first, before they heat up too much in January and February, and then head straight for the Reef, hopefully concluding that part of your journey by Christmas, at which time the holiday-minded people start to descend in droves. Then head south through Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne (you will need about three days in each, a couple more than that in Sydney), and by the middle of January you could escape the worst of the summer heat in Hobart. Sound good? I hope it works for you!
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 05:12 AM
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Thanks Alan, that sounds great.. I was hoping to do New Year in Sydney though. Maybe I should start the trip a bit earlier..?

Can you give me you opinion on how many days I'd need to properly see each place? Should I drive from Melbourne to Sydney along the Great Ocean Road and how long it would take, or driving from Sydney to Brisbaine? With time so limited, I need to know if I'll be able to drive these two journeys??

Thanks for your input!
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 06:01 PM
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Hi Sonia. The drive from Brisbane to Sydney will take you 10hours even if you only stop a couple of times for fuel. There are some great places on the drive - Byron Bay (have a surfing lesson!), Coffs Harbour - I'd recommend you stay at one or both overnight - but the highway itself is not the best and will be really busy over the Christmas break.
Sydney to Melbourne will take about the same time and is not a really exciting drive - unless you want to see Canberra (the capital city). Canberra is not that exciting - small - but it has some great museums if you're that way inclined.
If you plan on staying in Brisbane it is not a big tourist town, however it is a fabulous place to live - I'm from there and am desperate to move home!Unless you want to use it as a base to do day trips to the Sunshine or Gold Coasts - you can probably see most of Brisbane in a day, concentrate on the city.
Sydney is a great city, you'd probably need at least 5 days and one of the best places to spend New Year. Byron Bay is great too, but much more relaxed.
Melbourne itself you'd probably only need 2 days, but there are some great trips around Melbourne - The Great Ocean Road, The Dandenongs, Phillip Island - so it depends on what you want to see - you might be better spending more time around Melbourne than in it.
I agree with Alan, Tasmania would definately be worth a look - make sure you bring a jumper as it will definatetly be a lot coooler after being in Port Douglas or Cairns.
You'd be best to choose Ayres Rock (Uluru) over Darwin - but try and fit that into the beginning of your trip as it will be starting to get very hot in Dec, Jan/Feb stinking.
Hope you have a great time!
Old Jul 24th, 2002, 07:22 PM
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Hi again, Sonia!
I would definitely advise you to start the trip as early as you possibly can, not only to avoid the heat of the post-Christmas weeks, but also to get through the high-tourist areas before December 20 (or thereabouts) when school breaks up for 6 weeks.
If you plan to spend New Year in Sydney (a great idea, as the fireworks are terrific), do your hotel bookings as soon as possible, as every room anywhere near the Harbour Bridge will be booked for New Year's Eve, and prices will be astronomically high for anywhere with a view of the harbour. There is a little old hotel called the Palisade which actually looks out onto the Bridge and costs only $108 a night (though they might add a premium for New Year's Eve) for a double room, and this might be a good location.... however, you won't see the best of the fireworks from your room, as the hotel looks out onto the "other" face of the Bridge. Five minutes' walk, however, and you're in the midst of things!
By all means drive either from Brisbane to Sydney or from Sydney to Melbourne, but you will waste a lot of time if you do both, as the roads only follow the coast for part of the time. Why not fly, or take a bus, from Brisbane to Sydney (you will not need your hire car in Sydney!) and THEN hire a car as you leave, head for Canberra, then back to the coast road to Melbourne (a bit of backroad driving there, but you will see some great parts of NSW.) There is a car ferry across to Tasmania, so in this case your car will be an asset. Driving in Canberra is no problem, and it's really worth a look.
Melissa's advice on the length of time in each city is excellent; as she said, you will need more time in Brisbane if you plan to see the nearby Gold Coast, and for reasons I have never understood this is, in fact, a very popular tourist destination.... once again, you wouldn't need a car to get there, as transport from Brisbane is frequent. With five days in Sydney, you might be able to do a day trip (or even overnight) to the Blue Mountains, which is lovely, and easily accessible by public transport.
I don't know which city you will be flying into, but I would, again, advise you to do the trip from north to south, if possible, rather than the reverse.
Have a great time!
Old Jul 31st, 2002, 05:01 AM
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I agree with all the advice from Alan and Melissa - just one more thing....
The Great Ocean Road is on the way from Melbourne to Adelaide, not Melbourne to Sydney
Old Jul 31st, 2002, 06:49 AM
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We are going on a one month trip to Australia and we leave in a week. I think our trip takes a fairly relaxed pace so I will outline it for you here. You should keep in mind that we are flying, not driving, most places. In addition, you should consider that you are going to Oz during the summer months so some places such as the Red Centre, Darwin and Cairns are not at their most pleasant. The center will be hot, hot, hot during the daytime. Darwin will be experiencing heavy monsoon-like rains, which will make camping, canoeing, etc. almost imposssible. Cairns and the beaches in that area will have the box jellyfish so you will only be able to swim in certain areas that are netted.

Here is our agenda:

Days 1 - 2 Sydney
Day 3 - Day Trip from Sydney to the Blue Mountains
Day 4 - Sydney
Day 5 - Depart on an early morning flight from Sydney for Cairns and board our small ship for a GBR Cruise. Today we will visit Fitzroy Island.
Days 6 - 8 Still on the GBR. We will visit Cooktown, Two Isles, Lizard Island and Ribbon Reef #5.
Day 9 - Arrive back in Cairns in the early morning and pick up our car and head to the Daintree Ecolodge, which is about 30 minutes outside of Port Douglas.
Days 10 - 14 - Daintree Ecolodge, we have two tours scheduled with David Armbrust and Wait-a-While night tour to see some nocturnal animals.
Day 15 - Depart on an afternoon flight from Cairns to Darwin. Spend this night in Darwin.
Day 16 - Darwin
Day 17 - Depart very early on a camping trip through the Kakadu, Litchfield, and Katherine Gourge.
Day 18 - 20 - Camping Trip through Billy Can Tours. Arrive back late in the evening on Day 20.
Day 21 - Depart mid-day for Alice Springs.
Day 22 - Alice Springs
Day 23 - Drive to Kings Canyon and overnight there.
Day 24 - Drive to Ayers Rock
Day 25 - Ayers Rock
Day 26 - Depart mid-day for Adelaide.
Day 27 - Leave early in the morning for a flight to Kangaroo Island. Have tours planned to see the seals, etc.
Day 28 - Kangaroo Island
Day 29 - Depart for Sydney and arrive by mid-day.
Day 30 - Depart for the US

Old Jul 31st, 2002, 02:15 PM
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Just to give you another side of things Sonja. I lived in the Northern Territory for one year and I preferred the "wet" when you will be there. I actually found that although it was humid through the day after the rain came it was lovely and also the waterfalls will be flowing and Kakadu is at its best during the wet. Mind you this is my personal opinion and is not one help by my husband.
Old Aug 13th, 2002, 10:08 PM
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Hi again Sonia,
I don't think you'll have to worry too much about rain. Inland Australia is in a drought. There is no rain predicted until next year for most of the inland part of the country. They are also predicting a scorcher of a summer. From Brisbane north - especially from mid December - expect days of 30 degrees celcius and higher (40 degrees is not uncommon) and very high humidity.
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