December in Oz

Aug 6th, 2003, 12:04 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 28
December in Oz

G'day Mates!

My wife and I will be travelling to OZ from Canada this December and staying for a month. (I know it's not the preferred time of year to visit Oz but it's the only time we can get away). Anyway, we plan on spending most of our time along the boomerang coast (Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney --- maybe up to Brisbane). Just wondering whether Uluru and Port Douglas are out of the question at that time of year. How hot will it be at Ayers? How hot will it be in Cairns area?

Have any of you visited either of those places in December?
CaptKangaroo is offline  
Aug 6th, 2003, 02:23 PM
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I went to Uluru in mid-December this past year. A relative came over from the US and dragged me there, and all I could think was, "what the hell am I doing going to the desert in the beginning of summer?!?!"

Well, the weather was PERFECT. It was cool (I needed a light jacket/sweater) in the evening, and I even wore a fleece in the morning (when you go to Uluru for sunrise) but it wasn't "cold". During the day, it was...get this...between 75 and 80 degrees F, although the sun is strong.

I think there's enough variation that you might get stuck with 75, or it could be 100. Who knows. But truthfully, it's a dry heat (unlike Cairns) and rarely rains at that time of year, and the lack of crowds makes it both more cost-effective and pleasant.
PixieChick is offline  
Aug 7th, 2003, 12:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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G'day Captn,
PixiChick is right.
I too was at Ayers Rock last Dec. with a tour I took to the Solar Eclipse and finishing in Alice.
We could not have asked for better weather.
Running another tour from Melb. to Alice this coming Dec..

However I also remember being there other years in Dec. when it was much hotter.

I certainly wouldn't want to go up to Cairns at that time - any year!

The south of the country is the best area to be during Dec. to late March.
Just be aware that we have school holidays from about Dec. 15th ( slight variations between states )to late Jan. and much of the accommodation is fully booked well in advance.
That is especially true for destinations along the coast.

Enjoy OZ,
P.S. How bad are the wildfires there? I believe they are bigger than we experienced here about 7 month ago.
OzMike is offline  
Aug 7th, 2003, 09:40 AM
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PixieChick and OzMike

Thanks for the encouraging news about Uluru weather in Dec. We'll give it a go. Any advice on tours, length of stay. what to avoid, what is a must-see?

Mike --- there are about 500 separate fires burning in British Columbia (our westernmost province). There are presently 3 major fires, the largest being about 300 sq km. At the peak, about 10000 people had to be evacuated for precautionary reasons but firefighters are beginning to bring the fires under control.


CaptKangaroo is offline  
Aug 7th, 2003, 02:32 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 151
My view is if you're going to go to the Red Centre, then you might as well see as much as possible (within limits, of course!)

Alice Springs is usually just a kicking off point, as the airport is a bit bigger than Yulara (Uluru). That said, all tours just drive from AS to Uluru, and it's a wasted 4 hours (you stop at a canteen for a bit, which adds to the actual drive time of 3 hours). Alice itself doesn't offer much.

So, I would try to fly into Uluru, or if you fly into Alice make sure you do more than just Uluru and take a longer tour around the greater area. The places I'd visit are:

The Olgas
Kings Canyon
The MacDonnell Ranges

You could do all this comfortably in 4-5 days, and use Yulara/The Ayers Rock Resort as a homebase. I liked the Sounds of Silence dinner mostly because it was surreal, and you met lots of interesting folks from all over the place. The Astronomy portion is also interesting, and it's a nice thing to do (especially on the US dollar!)

There are tours that do the Red Centre and most, if not all, of the above spots. You could also just show up to Yulara and book them at the resort, as it shouldn't be too booked in December. There are Harley tours to the Rock as well.

One tour company to check out are APT ( It's important to note that most tour operators combine their passengers on one bus, so often the tour company you go with is really only the company you pay. You'll note that most itineraries are identical between companies, and that's why - it's really just the same tour.

You could do it all independently, but I wouldn't. The most interesting part of the experience is hearing the background and stories that the tour guides impart. Also, car rental is pretty expensive out there.

Hope that's helpful!
PixieChick is offline  
Aug 7th, 2003, 02:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 935
I reckon you should do a "hit and run" to both places.

You really should see the gbr and red centre...but only take the minimum time.

Alternatively you could visit the southern end of the reef ex brisbane.
johhj_au is offline  
Aug 8th, 2003, 07:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 28
G'day mates!

Thanks for all the great advice. Now to make some plans ...

CaptKangaroo is offline  
Aug 10th, 2003, 01:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 133
G'day Captn,
I hope that by the time you read this the
fires have at least been contained.
Any rain in sight to assist the firefighters?

Don't think you mentioned how you will be traveling about while in OZ.
Flights within Australia, especially once school holidays start and over Christmas and NY could be hard to get and it's also unlikely that there will be many on offer at reduced rates.
If you are travelling by car be wary of our wildlife and cattle (cows) on the roads, especially after dark ( no problems in and close to large cities )
If you like any assistance with an itinerary, lets say from Melb. to Alice Springs then you can contact me by email.

I wish you a good time, happy travels and pleasant weather,
OzMike is offline  

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