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Comments on schedule/activities/hotels for 3 week Oz trip

Comments on schedule/activities/hotels for 3 week Oz trip

Old Feb 9th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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Comments on schedule/activities/hotels for 3 week Oz trip

This will be our first trip to Australia. We are both 30 years old. Looking for comments on schedule and hotels. We don't need anything fancy - location is more important. I am particularly concerned about the hotels and the amount of time spent in each location. We like to snorkel, hike, etc.

Leave ORD

Arrive Sydney,immediately depart to Adelaide
Pickup rental 4x4 in Adelaide
Drive to Quality Resort Clare Country Club for night

Drive to and explore Wilpena Pound - hiking, etc. Anything else interested to do here?
Stay at Wilpena Pound Resort for 2 nights

Drive back to Adelaide, return car, and spend night at Rydges South Park Adelaide

Fly for 2 day / 1 night (w/nocturnal tour) for tour of Kangaroo Island with Adventure Charters

Fly back to Adelaide. Spend 2 nights at Rydges South Park Adelaide.

Fly to Cairns. Pick up rental car and drive to Port Douglas. Spend 4 nights at Bay Villas Resort. Spend one day doing the DainTree Explorer tour. Spend some time snorkelling and on beach.

Drive back to Cairns, drop of rental car, spend 2 nights at Cairns Colonial Club Resort. Has anyone stayed here? I have heard bad things about it's location - but it was recommended by travel agent.

Fly to Sydney. Spend 7 nights at the Sydney Menzies Acor. I have heard good things about this hotel's location. Is this true? We would like to hike in the blue mountains, do the bridge climb, ferry, etc. Is this too much time in Sydney?

Fly back home!

Any comments are more than welcome!
btheld is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2005, 11:28 AM
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Hello btheld,

You appear to have done a considerable amount of research, and have come up with some good ideas.

I wonder about that drive to the Clare Valley upon arrival in Adelaide, though. You're more than 20 years younger than I am, so those flights from Chicago to Adelaide may not take as much out of you as they would out of me, but I still wouldn't like to be driving on the same road as you on April 17th. I wonder if you wouldn't be better off spending that night in Adelaide.

Also, I wonder if a 4x4 vehicle isn't overkill. I haven't been to the Flinders Ranges myself. Perhaps someone who has been there would be able to comment.

Another thing that has me wondering is the amount of time you'll spend in the Flinders Ranges. Really you're only going to have one full day there. As I said, I haven't been there, but I do have a little experience of Australia's vast spaces. I just have a hunch that you may be short changing yourself. If you take the trouble to go all the way there, I think there may be merit in trying to work in another day if possible.

When you're in Far North Queensland, I recommend you plan to go out to the GBR on your first full day in the area. If the weather does not permit boats to go out, you then will have a better chance of re-scheduling to another day.

I'm not sure why you're switching from PD to Cairns (and giving up your car in the process).

I have not been to the Undara / Undarra Lava Tubes, but have heard great things about them since I've been participating in discussions at Fodor's. I wonder if the time you've allocated for Cairns wouldn't be better spent going to Undara / Undarra. Do a word search for RalphR's posts on the topic.

As to Sydney, yes, I think you're spending too much time there. Three full days (not counting travel time to get there and depart) is a nice amount of time to spend in Sydney. Of course, if you had way more time for your trip, you could make very meaningful use of additional time in Sydney. However, given the fact that you have a finite amount of time, and also given the fact that you appear to like hiking, I recommend you spend a couple of days in the Blue Mountains. It's possible to do the Blue Mountains as a loooong day trip from Sydney, but it's much nicer to do them as an overnight trip.

Another approach you could take would be to cut Sydney a bit shorter than the 7 nights you've allocated to it and also forego the Blue Mountains. Let's suppose you cut Sydney back to 5 nights (4 full days). This would give you a couple of nights that you could add to the Flinders Ranges, and it would give you a chance to see that region in greater depth. You could, if you like, take the approach that you'll visit just one mountain range, but you'll do so more thoroughly. Just a thought.

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2005, 02:06 PM
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btheld...if the Menzies is the one in Carrington Street in the city then yes it is very centrally located. Have fun!
Peteralan is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2005, 02:15 PM
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Hi, btheld!

I would agree that 7 nights in Sydney is more than you need... four or five would be ample. It might be possible for you to add Canberra to your itinerary with the extra time you have in Sydney: two days and one night would be right for this under-visited city, which is Australia's capital and is not unlike a mini-Washington way out in the Australian bush.

Alternately, you may be able to take a couple of days out of Sydney and stopover in Brisbane or the Gold Coast en route from Cairns to Sydney.

You have chosen quite well as far as the hotel location in Sydney is concerned... you are only five minutes' walk from Circular Quay and the Rocks, where all the action is.

Alan is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2005, 07:36 PM
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I think Judy and Alan have covered everything very well, let me just add a comment about Cairns Colonial Club -- it IS a good property, you just have to make sure that you have the right room category (I suspect people bad mouthing it were in the lower class room); check with your travel agent and verify that you're not in the "standard" room -- ask for the Colonial room. This is not an expensive resort and the difference between the two room categories does make a difference and the price difference is nothing.

Hope this is helpful!


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wlzmatilida is offline  
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