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Fine-tuning advice re pre/post-cruise destinations in Australia please

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Mar 9th, 2013, 02:56 PM
  #1
kc1
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Fine-tuning advice re pre/post-cruise destinations in Australia please

We will be travelling to Australia in October with a large group to spend 3 days in Sydney, followed by a cruise from Sydney to Newcastle, Cairns, Port Douglas, Willis Island, Airlie Beach and Brisbane.

Before and/or after travelling with the group we will be on our own, and would like to see more of Australia. We will only have about 10 extra days. I am having trouble narrowing down our options, but the following areas look interesting to me so far:

- The area close to Sydney - the Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley
- Adelaide, and the wine region in that area
- Kangaroo Island
- Ulura and Alice Springs
- Tasmania

We are in our mid sixties and are pretty seasoned travellers, and have learned not to jump around too much from place to place. We love good food and wine, and although we are in pretty good shape, usually don't go much for the physical adventure type of travel.

We would be most appreciative for any feedback or recommendations regarding my "wish
list". I realize that we will only be able to do 1 or 2 of these.

Thank you so much!!

KC1
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Mar 9th, 2013, 03:04 PM
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TAS - you can't go wrong in TAS and 10 days will give you a good taste of it.
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Mar 9th, 2013, 08:26 PM
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I agree with Mel go to Tasmania. I'd fly into Hobart and out of Launceston.

A possible itinerary for 10 days would require you to drive: I would go Hobart (1-2 days), Freycinet National Park (1-2 days), Cradle Mountain (2-3 days), Launceston (2 days). From Launceston go to Narawntapu National Park, it's a great place to see wombats.

In Hobart, make sure you eat at Gargistes: http://www.garagistes.com.au/

The restaurant at MONA just outside Hobart is also supposed to be very good: http://www.mona.net.au/

In Swansea (near Freycinet National Park) there was a great restaurant Banc, but the webpage seems to be no longer active so I'm not sure if it's still open.
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Mar 10th, 2013, 05:54 PM
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I third the Tassie rec.
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Mar 11th, 2013, 07:41 AM
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tt7
 
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I should put in a vote for the most obvious omission from your list - Melbourne, one of the world's best cities. Melbourne is the sporting/shopping/cultural/dining capital of Australia -- Sydney has the glitz and the glamour, Melbourne has everything else. Apart from the city itself, if you want some wineries, visit the Yarra Valley. Drive the Great Ocean Road, visit Daylesford or Bendigo or Ballarat.

If you've already spent time in Sydney, perhaps better to spend the extra time elsewhere? As for Adelaide, unless you're going to Kangaroo Island, I wouldn't bother. Yes, Adelaide is nice enough but unless you're very, very seriously in to touring wine areas and/or going to Kangaroo Island, I would strike that one from the list.
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Mar 12th, 2013, 05:32 PM
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I have two trip reports for TAS. It will give you the most variety in the smallest area. Tas has several wine regions and a system whereby if you buy only 1-2 wines at a time the last winery will post your wine home for you as long as you have a dozen.

Ayre's Rock is fantastic but you will spend more time travelling than you will there. Likewise Kangaroo island unless you want to spend a week there.
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Mar 18th, 2013, 01:52 PM
  #7
kc1
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Thank you so much for all of your replies. I had added Tasmania as an after-thought, but it looks like a popular choice.

tt7...Melbourne also looks enticing, and my husband has expressed an interest in the Great Ocean Road.

Melnq8 and Patty...if you could expand on your remarks regarding Tasmania, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Susan7...thanks for your itinerary suggestions and restaurant recommendations!

peterSale...I tracked down your Tasmania reviews...very interesting; although we are not much for camping, it certainly sounds like you had a ball!

There are soooooo many wonderful sounding places to visit in Australia, this is not an easy process.

I look forward to more input on this topic.
Thanks again!

KC1
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Mar 19th, 2013, 12:00 PM
  #8
 
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We enjoy the beauty of Tasmania and the wildlife viewing opportunities. It sort of combines all of our interests nature/wildlife/food/wine in one package. I've been to all of the other places on your list except Uluru/Alice Springs (not a huge desert fan). 10 days is a good amount of time for Tasmania too as it takes a bit longer to get around than you'd think (flying in and out of different airports is a good idea). We've spent a combined 14 nights on Tasmania and visited Narawntapu, Cradle Mountain, Hobart, Huon Valley and Bruny Island and feel like there's still so much more that we've missed. Hope this helps in your decision. I agree it can be overwhelming!
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Mar 19th, 2013, 12:06 PM
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Here are some photo links to our Tasmania trips -

share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AZNnDlk5YtmbDXg

share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AZNnDlk5YtmbDfA
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Mar 21st, 2013, 04:31 PM
  #10
kc1
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Hi Patty,

Just viewed your awesome photos, and agree they show lots of nature/wildlife/food&wine!!!

A couple of questions...what time of year were you there? It looks pretty cold!

Also, where were the photos of the masks taken (#20, 21, 22)?

And did you write a trip report?

Thanks very much for your help!

KC1
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Mar 21st, 2013, 05:08 PM
  #11
 
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We were there in July and August. Those photos were taken at MONA http://www.mona.net.au/ although that particular exhibit is ending in April. MONA is very worthwhile though. It's just outside of Hobart and they have their own winery and you can actually stay there too. Sorry I never wrote trip reports but would be glad to answer any questions.
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May 24th, 2013, 05:32 PM
  #12
kc1
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Just an update re the original post. We have decided to spend our extra time in Tasmania, and are very excited about it.
Thanks to everyone for their kind advice!
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