Complete Novice

Old Aug 15th, 2015, 02:52 AM
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Complete Novice

If I saw this message being posted in the Europe Forum, where I have lurked since 1999, I would deplore the lack of ground work done by the poster, so please be gentle with me.

My husband and I will both retire in two years' time. We'll be fit(ish) 60 year olds. I have always driven our social/travel arrangements, and I've been working out in my head how to get him to my bucket list places for a retirement trip. But I'm now told by a mutual pal, that he quite fancies a trip to Australia.

I can only think of two reasons for this.

1. Wine- he's big into the big, chewy, South Australian reds- Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, for the most part.

2. Rugby.

Me, I'm quite keen on those, but I also like sunshine- him, not so much; beaches, him, not so much; and nature, especially birds- him, not so much.

He also like archaeology and REALLY old stuff.

I'd like to think time will not be a constraint, but realistically 4-6 weeks? Plus, we're comfortably off, but not minted.

I did wonder about a camper van trip. Our style in Europe is self catering cottages, rather than hotels.

Can any of you make any suggestions, of any sort, please?
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 07:34 AM
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Your love of chewy Aussie reds (I love them too) screams Barossa Valley (SA) Swan Valley (WA) and Coonawarra (SA).

Beaches - WA has the best IMO (having lived there for seven years I'm a wee bit jaded).

Nature and birds, well, pretty much anywhere (except the interior unless you like red dirt). The SW of WA is my favorite part of the state, with loads of deserted beaches, unspoilt coastal scenery, towering trees, prolific wildlife, etc. Not many folks make it way over west, but if you do, you won't be disappointed (unless of course you visit in Dec-March when you'll absolutely fry to a crisp). IF you like wildflowers, WA is the place (spring).
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 12:20 PM
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So, could we do WA (I think we tend to drink Margaret River, rather than Swan River) AND SA? I realise we'd have to fly between
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 03:32 PM
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Yes, definitely doable. With 4-6 weeks you could see a lot of both. Flights from Perth to Adelaide are about three hours.

Margaret River is a great option too, and nicer than the Swan, I just immediately thought of the Swan as it's so close to Perth and has some lovely reds, many from boutique wineries you've probably never heard of. You could see some of the best bits of WA in 3-4 weeks, making a leisurely loop from Perth and then down south.

I have several trip reports posted here from our trips within WA and to SA. Might give you some ideas.

Most first time visitors to OZ visit the eastern states, and lots to do there too, I just think it's a shame more folks never make it over to the wilds of WA
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 03:46 PM
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If you have several weeks, I'd recommend investigating Sydney as there's interesting history there, and it's a great city.
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Old Aug 15th, 2015, 09:47 PM
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For really old stuff, you could research Aboriginal rock art - the sort that's on rock faces in the bush. I think they'd be mostly in northern WA or Northern Territory so it may not fit with your plans. Nothing else really old in Australia, it's a young country compared to the UK.

My husband informs me that Rugby League is mainly in Sydney and Brisbane, Rugby Union is Australia wide. In the southern states AFL (Aust Rules) is the main football code.

If you do have 4 weeks, you could spend 2 weeks in two different states and fly between them. Don't forget to factor in travel time from the UK and jetlag when you arrive. There are loads of Grey Nomads in the caravan parks so if you have a campervan you can easily meet people of a similar age who will be happy to chat.

Another option to consider would be to fly in to Sydney and drive up the east coast as far as you like - maybe as far as Fraser Island/ Hervey Bay. You could do this in a campervan or hire a car and stay in motels. If you want to stay for a longer time somewhere, check out www.stayz.com.au which has self-contained holiday apartments, cottages etc. Caravan parks in Australia usually have nice cabins with kitchen and bathroom, the laundry will be communal. Avoid school holidays if you can when prices shoot up. Also the weather varies greatly from north to south so factor that in once you know where in Australia you'll be visiting.

Have fun planning.
Kay
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 12:21 AM
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Perhaps you didn't mean that Australia is a young country KayF -
Peopled for over 40,000 years makes it quite old in those terms. Rock shelter in Arnhem Land has been dated to 55,000 years. There are sites all round Australia eg Kow Swamp in Victoria, lake Mungo NSW .
The National Musems websites would give more information on what archaeological sites and artifacts are available .
Contemporary work is often done eg digs in cities when a new building is going up and artifacts placed in museums .
I suggest choose your areas and then search to see what is around in the way of archaeology .
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 02:26 AM
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This is brilliant. Thank you so much. I have an idea of the scale of Australia, and I'd rather not rush, so Deffo only WA and SA.

Any specific vineyards in either, which you can recommend.? Any "must sees"? Any great restaurants?
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 06:27 AM
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In WA - Lamont's, but more for the food than the wine. Their location in the Swan Valley is laid back and relaxed, great place for a long lunch.

If you like fortified wine, don't miss Talijancich, also in the Swan.

I can give you a very long list of wineries for both WA and SA, but I'd need a bit more time than I have at the moment, so will check back later.
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 01:16 PM
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Thank you again
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 02:19 PM
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For rugby, there's usually better games on the eastern side, and, depending on timing, perhaps some tests, All Blacks, South Africa, etc.
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 06:40 PM
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Yes northie, I worded it badly. Sorry. I meant young as far as buildings and structures not being very old. We lived in the UK for a while so when someone in Australia refers to an 'old' building from, say, 1880 we just think THAT'S not old.

Kay
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 11:27 PM
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I know I should know this, but which is the best rugby union team in South Australia?
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Old Aug 16th, 2015, 11:54 PM
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There is no South Australian team in the national competition . Super rugby (Union) has teams in Westeren Australia, victoria , Queensland and New South Wales .
National comp Rugby league teams are in Victoria , New South Wales and Queensland .
Maybe try to see an Australian Rules football match - national comp teams in WA, SA, Victoria , NSW and Queensland .
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Old Aug 17th, 2015, 02:39 AM
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Yes, for sure.
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Old Aug 18th, 2015, 02:39 AM
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You'll be going in two years time? Do you know what time of year?

If you go to Adelaide/South Australia to go wine-tasting, in addition to visiting Barossa Valley, please reserve a day for visiting the wineries of McLaren Vale.

In terms of really old things. Here's a link to the Rock Art of Kakadu (near Darwin, Northern Territories):
http://www.parksaustralia.gov.au/kak.../rock-art.html
I loved the Kakadu for its wildlife, landscape and rock art, but if a planning a trip to Kakadu, it's best to avoid the wet season.
http://www.parksaustralia.gov.au/kak...n-to-come.html

If you decide to go to Darwin/Northern Territories, Litchfield National Park is also wonderful.
http://www.parksandwildlife.nt.gov.a...d#.VdL5Yfmqqko

I don't know WA as well as Melnq8, but I totally agree that the WA beaches are great. Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignons are pretty fine, too.

Victoria also has some great reds.
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Old Aug 18th, 2015, 09:10 AM
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Thanks for this. I'm pretty sure we won't make it to the Northern Territories (it has no wine!)

We most certainly know about McLaren Vale (and Clare, and Coonawarra, to name drop another two). And we have some favourites from WA and Victoria as well.
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Old Aug 20th, 2015, 09:03 PM
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Ok another option is the Hunter Valley North of Sydney. For two reasons, firstly world renowned white and red wines (Shiraz and Semillion come to mind) and secondly there is excellent Aboriginal rock art nearby. One site called Biome is in Wollombi NP is amazing and is different to the dot art work of the NT and WA. Another site is the whale cave on the Central Coast.

He could also see a NRL (league) or Super Rugby game easily from there.
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Old Aug 20th, 2015, 11:30 PM
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If we went to the Hunter (which, again, we know well through consumption) I think we'd have to lose EITHER WA or SA (I'm really getting into the jargon now!). I think the one person we'd like to visit is in Nelson Bay, and reachable from SA.

Oh, it's all too confusing Is there nothing old in SA?
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Old Aug 21st, 2015, 01:49 AM
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Google South Australian museum - archaeology and also Aboriginal archaeology sites . Seems to be both ancient and new ie white settlement referrals .
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