Feedback please - AUS July/Aug 2024 trip

Old Jun 16th, 2024, 11:05 PM
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Feedback please - AUS July/Aug 2024 trip

Hi everyone - my family and I (two adults, one 9-year old) are planning a 3 week trip to Australia starting late next month and were hoping to get some feedback on our planned itinerary (please see below). We like both nature (hiking, snorkeling) and city attractions (art museums, food scene, etc.). With a kid, seeing animals would be a plus. Thanks in advance!

Questions:

1) Darwin OR Whitsundays - should we skip Darwin and head to Whitsundays instead? The beaches at Whitsundays look amazing, but we will be going to the Port Douglas area, so wondering whether it would be too much of the same, ocean-based sightseeing and so should try to go to Darwin instead. On the other hand, Darwin is a lot of flying back and forth. Many of the forums recommend going to NT this time of the year, but from the photos online, Kakadu doesn't look that amazing (no offense meant), so trying to figure out whether it's worth it.

2) Winery near Melbourne (or Sydney) - any recommendations for wineries to visit near Sydney or Melbourne? Not planning to go to Blue Mountains since many reviews say weather can be iffy with fog rolling in this time of the year.

Itinerary: Sydney - Darwin - Cairns - Yulara - Melbourne (July 27 - Aug 16)

July 27
Arrive Sydney late afternoon
July 28-30 Sydney attractions
July 31 Fly to Darwin (flying to Darwin first since there seem to be direct flights from Cairns to Yulara, but not from Darwin)
Aug 1-3 Kakadu?
Aug 4 Fly to Cairns; drive to Port Douglas
Aug 5-8 GBR, Daintree, Cape Tribulation (maybe)
Aug 9 Fly to Yulara
Aug 10-11 Uluru, Kata Tjuta
Aug 12 Fly to Melbourne
Aug 13-15 Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, winery?
Aug 16 Fly out
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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 01:07 AM
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Healesville Sanctuary has Australian wildlife and the town is nice for a stroll and some lunch. Wineries out that way too, check around Yarra Glen. The driver would not be able to do wine tasting, or very little, but you could do an organised day trip where neither of you needs to drive.

Check the Sanctuary website, they used to publish the feeding times for various animals, like koalas, so you can see them up close.
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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 01:10 AM
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I'm assuming accommodation is all booked? Some places are very popular, thinking of Port Douglas in particular.
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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by KayF
Healesville Sanctuary has Australian wildlife and the town is nice for a stroll and some lunch. Wineries out that way too, check around Yarra Glen. The driver would not be able to do wine tasting, or very little, but you could do an organised day trip where neither of you needs to drive.

Check the Sanctuary website, they used to publish the feeding times for various animals, like koalas, so you can see them up close.
Thanks!
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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 05:38 AM
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Yaluru booked. Others we're trying to figure out our itinerary (Darwin vs. Whitsundays) before booking.
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Old Jun 17th, 2024, 01:50 PM
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The Whitsundays are about sailing, lolling around on resorts. It is not about beaches. With the exception of the vastly over-hyped Whitehaven, the beaches are largely extinct coral.

With your short time, I'd skip the Whitsundays - add more time to Darwin / FNQ (Far North Queensland) or Melbourne & The Great Ocean Road, which could do with an extra day.

I assume you have your Visas sorted. If not, get onto it "Yesterday".Australia – size map: https://www.virtualoceania.net/austr...ustralia.shtml

VISA FINDER: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visa...sa/visa-finder
Be aware that it will be cold in the south, warmer in the north - and thus our Winter is high season in the north.
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Old Jun 18th, 2024, 02:52 AM
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Thank you! Would you recommend skipping Darwin altogether and adding 1-2 days to the FNQ and Melbourne legs? Received our visas yesterday.
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Old Jun 19th, 2024, 01:20 AM
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If it was me, I would skip Darwin and add that time to Melbourne or Sydney. Obviously they are big cities which may not appeal, so if you prefer a bit longer in the tropics, add time to Port Douglas instead. Port Douglas has a slow vibe, long, wide beaches (cannot always swim though), day trips to Daintree, Mossman Gorge etc, it's built on tourism but is still a nice place. Cairns is a small city, popular with families and backpackers, it's cheaper to stay there, no beaches but a lovely, free lagoon area for swimming.
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Old Jun 19th, 2024, 03:32 AM
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Many thanks! We decided to cut out Darwin (was getting too hectic) and added a day each to FNQ, Uluru (to visit King's Canyon), and Melbourne.
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Old Jun 19th, 2024, 02:00 PM
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Good decision - hope you have a great time & come back to tell us about it.

Hot Tip: If you haven't booked your vehicle at Yulara, book it "yesterday". This is high season & School Holidays and you're going to a remote area where demand often exceeds supply of vehicles. Book through Voyages (the owners of the accommodation) for the best deal & possibly unlimited kms.

Kings Canyon is 300kms from Yulara.
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