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First pass at Itinerary for trip to Australia mid April to mid May 2004

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Jun 17th, 2003, 12:13 AM
  #21
 
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AndrewDavid, I just did the drive from Airlie Beach to Port Douglas last week! It DOES take 9 to 10 hours and it is NOT like driving along California freeways! We couldn't believe that the Bruce Highway was only two lanes in most parts! (Yes, one lane each way with "overtaking" lanes every so often.) Many times, the drive is similar to Highway 1, just south of Carmel... views, curvy roads, but usually it is sugar cane fields for miles and miles and miles. Sometimes you can go the speed limit, but usually not, depending on time of day. I am posting my trip report soon and will give more general details, but did you have any specific questions about Airlie Beach or Port Douglas? Don't give up on this board... it was the most helpful part of my planning!

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Jun 17th, 2003, 12:32 AM
  #22
 
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Andrew,
I'm writing this from Rockridge right next to Berkeley and I have to say. I second you partner's choice..you won't go wrong with Tasmania! We really loved it...it has a larger than life and yet familiar European country landscape, small towns and gorgeous scenery. We really liked Cradle Mountain particularly for the walks right out from the lodge that were straight into temperate rainforest, really stunning. I hadn't seen anything like it, to me it was an emerald green moss forestthough my husband claimed the Olympic forest in Oregon is similar. We also went to Frecinet and stopped on the way at a small b and B in a charming historic town though I can't remember the name! Sorry! The food was also great as Tasmania is know for it's dairy products/smoked salmon etc. I wasn't really that interested in going to Australia (I went for a family wedding) but I really enjoyed it. The diversity of scenery, the scale of the continent, the food and the generous open spirit of the people. Plus I had some incredible spa treatments at a place in Port Douglas that was out-there in a Mendicino /Chakra realighment/spititual kind of way! Crazy!
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Jun 17th, 2003, 01:00 PM
  #23
 
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AndrewDavid,

I'm sorry to hear that you didn't win the lottery yet, however it sounds like the compromise re: Lizard will be a perfect substitution! I am a BIG FAN of the Daintree Air daytrip and for those of us who want the experience of a lifetime, then Greg from Daintree is your man! I hope you have a fantastic time and can't wait for your trip report! (are you still living in NM did you say?) Quick question where are you staying in Sydney/Daintree? Well, it looks to me like your itinerary is fantastic! For the Queenslanders, when is the jellyfish season over? Isn't it around April/May?

-Jules (Southern California)
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Jun 17th, 2003, 06:11 PM
  #24
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Thank you all for your feedback. Sorry to incite you all about Tasmania.

Johhj: aussie squatter gear sounds like some kind of resort wear. Good on the spot but peculiar looking at home. Here its lots of navajo jewelery and bolo ties that look strange 100km beyond city limits, but we'll check it all out.

Pumblechock: I guess I have seen drizabones but didn't know it. Now I'm smarter tha I thought I was!

Carabella: We are trying to add a day to Sydney so we can do an overnight in the Blue MTs to see the Jenolan Caves. If you need info about Santa Fe for your SW tour feel free to e-mail : [email protected]. That's good for everyone else who needs some advice about our portion of the SW.

Janese thanks for the only encouraging Tasmanian weather report. We think to drive Airlie beach to NQLD as flights seem to take all day anyway. We will overnight partway up to break up the drive.

Moneygirl: Look forward to your report. No specific Pt Douglas Airlie Beach ? yet. Will pot when we have the N QLD portion better researched

Well travelled brit: Sounds like we share tastes. We are looking forward to dinner on the 29th of June at the Grasshopper Cafe in your neck of the woods.

And last but not least Jules: yes we are still in Santa Fe. Think to try Stafford Apts or quiet side of Russell Hotel in Sydney. Not sure of where we will base our selves in the Pt, Douglas Daintree area. Any suggestions?


Again thanks to you all. Its diifficult trying to schedule Tasmania to N. Queensland and Kakadu weather wis e into one trip. Now trying to avoid most of the school hols also. We think to spend April 14-18 in Sydney as we feel in the big city as the holidaymakers will be spread out and just hope we can book bridge climb w/o too much trouble.

Hope to hear from you all soon and that Liz gets back on line .

Thanks AndrewDavid
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Jun 17th, 2003, 09:53 PM
  #25
 
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In case you are currently planning flights, United does have a short stopover in Auckland and although the flight going over was easy as pie...the jet lag on this end has been awful! I'm so glad that I took an extra week away from the office to recover because I've really needed it! Hoping to post my trip report tomorrow. I might change my screen name to Bundygirl!
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Jun 18th, 2003, 08:46 AM
  #26
LN
 
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Hi A/D

Sorry I found this late into the postings but I also just got back from a trip in the States. We visited Oz and NZ for 4 weeks and had a simply marvelous time - did most of what you're planning. Started in Sydney - on to Tassie - up to Melbourne - then on to Alice and Uluru - next to Barrier reef - then to South Is NZ and finally back again to Sydney. We will go back as they have such a lovely culture.

If I could recommend anything I would recommend more time in Sydney. It is truly a great city and a good part of it revolves around their harbor and their use of ferries to get around on. Tassie does have wonderful scenery (cradle mt, Freycinet, but we were actually able to do a lot in 4 days there. Whereas we simply could not get enough of Sydney!! Just a thought!!
Enjoy your trip.
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Jun 18th, 2003, 01:38 PM
  #27
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Dear LN, Thanks for your input. I would be interested in how you scheduled your 4 days in Tasmania. We definitly will spend as much time as possible on the ferries in Sydney. We did a trip to the Italian lakes last fall and really enjoyed being on the water.

Best wishes
AndrewDavid
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Jun 25th, 2003, 06:15 PM
  #28
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Dear comrades in travel:

We have reserved our tickets over. By using miles left over from our B&B business accounts we scored two of the 4 business class seats available for free so we'll sleep (aided by ambien most of the way)

Revised itinerary thanks to your previous feedback:

April 13 arrive Sydney (5:45 AM!)
in Sydney
through April 17th. w/ overnight to Blue Mts. to see Jenolan caves

April 18 lv Sydney for Hobart arrive 9:05 Am

in Tasmania 6 days depart:

April 24 for Airlie Beach and 3 days/2 nights on Solway Lass through Whitsundays ( does anyone know about this)
April 27 return to dock 4PM
p/u rental car drive to Townsville

April 28 AM rest of drive to N. QSLD
in NQSLD for 5.5 days: Daintree Air trip to Lizard, David A tour. perhaps another nighttime tour to Atherton Tablelands or Cooper Creek, Skyrail to Kuranda and maybe a day trip to the reef for more snorkelling
May 3 lv Cairns 6:45PM; arr. Darwin 8PM
May 4 Litchfield NP sleep : Katherine
May 5 Nitmiluk NP canoeing
May 6 Kakadu
May 7 Kakadu
May 8 Kakadu
May 9 arrive Alice Springs8:40 AM
drive to Uluru
May 10 Red Center
May 11 Red Center
May 12 lv Ayers Rock 2:15PM arr Sydney 4:40PM
May 13 Sydney
May 14 lv Sydney 1:45PM for USA

We'll be in AU for 31.5 days. I'll be happy to hear any response, suggestions or critiques.

Thanks AndrewDavid
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Jun 26th, 2003, 03:57 PM
  #29
 
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In general its a great itinerary and reflects your research.
In no perticular order:

bounce some ideas round at www.lonelyplanet.com australia message board. The standard of etiqette is poor but those backpackers etc have been around.

I would replace the 6 days in the "top end" with:
Fly hobart -Brissy
get a car
do Byron Bay to Fraser

Jenolan caves??? seen one limestone cave and you have seen them all.Do the blue gum forest walk in the blue mountains instead
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Jun 28th, 2003, 10:56 PM
  #30
 
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Since we spent two months in Northern Territory last year, here are some suggestions. In Kakadu, the boat trip on Yellow Waters is a must. Another good boat trip is on the East Alligator River - this is run by the local aboriginal community. Best rock art is at Nourlangie Rock and Obirr Rock - you may be able to do a walk with the rangers which would add interest.
We stayed overnight at Batchelor and went into Litchfield from there. I can't recall any accommodation in Litchfield apart from camping grounds. There is a motel at Batchelor plus the nextdoor caravan park (very clean and nice people) has cabins.
Are you spending any time in Alice? If so, we can recommend the Ted Egan show - Ted is an old Territorian and tells stories of the outback, and sings accompanied by an empty beer carton. It is a good night's entertainment and not expensive.
If time allows, Kings Canyon is spectacular - not as big as Grand Canyon but the walk along the rim is well worth doing. Another good walk in through the Valley of the Winds at the Olgas. Both walks will take about three hours, so be sure to take drinks, hats and sunscreen with you.
Hope this helps your holiday plans.
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Jul 3rd, 2003, 09:34 AM
  #31
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Dear Johhj,

Thanks for your feedback:

Limestone Caves: Did you know that Carlsbad Caverns here in New Mexico has the largest underground lunchroom?

I am reading Bill Bryson's hilarious take on Australia ( he's a huge fan ) and he says you Aussies have a fondness for large strange things: giant lobsters, koala, pineapples, etc

What's the "large" attraction in the Blue Mts?

Dear Marg, Thanks for your suggestions on the Top and Red Center:
We are flying into Alice arriving 8:40 AM, Can we take in Kings Canyon on the drive down to Uluru?

We will do the walk at the Olgas.

best wishes to all,

AndrewDavid
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Jul 3rd, 2003, 06:36 PM
  #32
 
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Limestone caves....the most fascinating ones I have seen were in Ha Long Bay in Vn. Used as a hospital during the war.
Have not been to the south west....well i did drive across the US on I 10 at 80 mph once. Is there a manhattan project exhibit up at Los Alamos?

Bryson's book is good...more fun than P Theroux. For some reason it was published here as B Bryson Down Under ...in nth america as B Bryson in a Sunburnt Land.I like the bits on the PM and when he gets "p....ed" in an n.t. pub.
Of course it would have been so much better if he had been to Tassie! i c we have picked up yet another Tassie fan.

There are no "big" X in the blue mts.too civilsed for that.AlanJ is the expert.IMHO the Hydromajestic,Mt Wilson,Govetts Leap-Blue Gum Forest walk and I suppose Katoomba are the places to go.

If you want to see "big" things you should follow my itinerary advice...scrap the "top end" and do Byron to Fraser...you could see the Big prawn at Ballina...the big pineapple at Nambour..the big Banana at Coffs etc etc

you could also give urself an extra day in the centre...to get out in the west mcdonnell ranges..kings canyon..finke river..palm valley ..Hermannsburg etc Compare the aboriginal rock art with Namitjira and modern aboriginal work and even navajo art.

Marg...is Ted Egan still going around in Alice?
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