critique of Australia/NZ trip

Jan 12th, 2008, 03:00 PM
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Posts: 183
critique of Australia/NZ trip

We will be at a conference in Melbourne in April and would like to your comments about our proposed April itineary:
LA to Sydney April 12,13
April 14-17 4 nights Sydney
April 18-21 3 nights Cairn
April 21-25 4 nights Melbourne (this can't be changed)
April 25-April 30 South Island New Zealand 5 nights We mainly want to see Mitford Sound and the outdoors.
Fly home on April 30. We have to be back to work that week so we can't extend the trip.

Questions: Does the order of the trip make sense? We have to keep those dates for Melbourne and work around those. Do we need 4 nights in Sydney or should we allocate another night for Cairns/GBR? We have been to many of the world's great cities so spending time in Sydney, other than to hit the main sights, is not that big a deal. I realize that we are spending alot of time to go to Cairns, but this is the highlight of the trip for me.
There is also the possibility that we could scratch NZ and spend the extra days in Australia, but I really hate to since I doubt we'll be back to this part of the world for at least ten years. Your comments please.
stotz is offline  
Jan 12th, 2008, 03:54 PM
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You said it; too short a time for NZ. Ten years can go quite quickly.

Suggest you take the first section of the trip after Sydney to work your way to Melbourne. As you like the outdoors I suggest the Blue Mountains and the Australian Alps as well as the coast between there and Melbourne. Some very beautiful areas where few on this list visit. After the conference spend that time in Cairns and district. I would suggest that one of the northern beaches would be a good base for the reef and coast and then head up to the Tablelands for the scenery and wildlife. Have a look at as that village is a great base.
Saltuarius is offline  
Jan 13th, 2008, 12:32 AM
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I agree - dont try and cram too much in one trip. New Zealand is beautiful and worth a separate visit. Go to Cairns following the conference and stay at either Palm Cove or Port Douglas - or, as Saltuarius suggests, at Yungaburra in the Atherton Tablelands. There is much to see and do in the area and you will benefit from lots of different experiences. April is a great time of year in the north as well.
Tropical_gal is offline  
Jan 13th, 2008, 04:40 AM
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We can't drop NZ from the trip so :
Fly LA to Auckland and then onto Christchurch. Stay on south island 7 nights, then fly to Cairn, stay 4 nights, then Melbourne for 4 nights, Sydney for 2 nights and then home to LA.
stotz is offline  
Jan 13th, 2008, 01:15 PM
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I would put more time in the GBR and not less and you already are going to spend the best part of one day going there and getting back which will leave only 2 days there really. I realize that you have been and seen lots of cities but also Sydney deserves a lot more than you are giving it as well.
LizzyF is offline  
Jan 13th, 2008, 02:17 PM
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If you are booked and can't change things, why ask?
Saltuarius is offline  
Jan 13th, 2008, 02:49 PM
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Yes, if you like the outdoors and scenery, wildlife, snorkeling and/or diving, Aboriginal culture--stay longer in Cairns. Sydney has a lot to offer, too. The problem with Australia is that each place is so awesome, it is worth spending your whole vacation there. You just have to prioritize and plan to come back. BTW, it is Milford Sound and Cairns. Lots of people go to both Aus and NZ in a short time like you are, but you will be doing a lot of travel. If that is OK with you, then go for it. Five days in NZ is really just scratching the surface, people spend weeks just on the South Island alone, but you'd get a glimpse of the country. I would do a lot of pre-planning so you can hit the ground running. Good luck and happy planning!
Sally in Seattle
SnRSeattle is offline  
Jan 16th, 2008, 02:46 PM
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I would fly to Queenstown insted of Christchurch from Auckland. Or at least fly into Christchurch and out of Queenstown.
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Jan 19th, 2008, 03:23 AM
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Ok, thanks for your responses. Flying to Queenstown first makes more sense. Here's our revised itineary:

LA to Queenstown (via Auckland)
4 nights in the Queenstown/Te Anau area
Fly to Christchurch 3 nights
Fly to Sydney 3 nights
Fly to Cairns 4 nights
Fly to Melbourne 4 nights
Melbourne to LA

Yes, its alot of flying. We're experienced travelers and know how to pack light. More questions to follow after a bit of research.
stotz is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2008, 06:29 AM
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That makes a lot more sense.
Have a great trip!
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 06:48 PM
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Too much time in Christchurch!!! But if your lodging there is flexible, you can make an adjustment when in country and maybe shrink the time there. I just spent two weeks in Queenstown itself (except two, two-day side trips) and hated to leave. By contrast, I personally would be climbing the walls in Christchurch.
Pula is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 02:05 AM
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And I really didn't like Queenstown at all. My least favourite place in all of the places I have visited in NZ. Love the SI though. So there you go. We are all different. What are your plans for the three nights in Christchurch? You might just want to tweak that fine itinerary by taking a day off CHC and adding it to Sydney!

afterall is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 05:21 AM
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I would agree with the previous posters that you are spending too much time in CHC - don't get me wrong, it's a nice city, but I would consider scrap CHC altogether and just stay in Queenstown area. Queenstown is touristy, but it's close to many nice places, including Milford Sound (which by the way is spectacular). We also enjoyed the southern scenic route from Te Anau to Dunedin (sp?), not sure if you have time for that though. Enjoy your trip.
jhw0101 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 06:28 AM
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Or you could take a day in CHC and spend it in Kaikoura. We loved it there!
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 12:49 PM
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I like your latest itinerary best. However, I would shorten the Christchurch visit. It was a nice little town, but lacked the outdoorsy activities that Queenstown had an abundance of.

I would take a day off and add it to Queenstown. You will lose much of your first day from jetlag if you are coming from the US. You may even want to elminate it and add a day to Queenstown and a day or two to Sydney. We were in Sydney 3 nights and could have easily doubled our time there. The same with Queenstown.

I do write this assuming you don't have a particular reason to stay in Christchurch. If you do, then I stand corrected. One thing that we did do was drive from Queenstown to Christchurch via Mt. Cook. That was a beautiful drive and the time at Mt. Cook was great.

KatieL is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 04:49 PM
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There was a time that I'd have agreed with spending less time in Christchurch, but I'm a recent convert, having found plenty to do there on a recent trip.

Here are a few suggestions of things to do in/around CHC should you decide to spend your three nights there:

Drive to the port town of Lyttelton via Sumner. You can then continue on to Banks Peninsula, or turn back via the tunnel.

Drive 40 minutes north of CHC to the Waipara Valley wine region

Drive 88 km NW (?) to Mt Hutt and the Raikaia Gorge (jet boating)

I too, could easily spend loads of time around Queenstown (I love Glenorchy, Cromwell, etc) but CHC has more to offer than one might think.

Whatever you decide, have a fabulous trip.

Melnq8 is offline  

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