Four separate spots in 3 week trip?

Apr 6th, 2007, 08:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 294
Four separate spots in 3 week trip?

I am planning a trip to Australia (wanted to go for some time), but because of how large it is I am wondering whether it is logistically feasible to go all the places I want. On my to-do list, in this order, are:

1) Lord Howe Island (4-5 days)
2) Perth (3-4 days)
3) Brisbane (2-3 days)
3) Adelaide & Kangaroo Island (5-6 days)
4) Sydney (3-4 days)

I realize that Lord Howe, Brisbane, and Sydney together is not that difficult - they aren't THAT far apart. Even Adelaide doesn't seem that far from Sydney. Perth is definitely the outlier, but I really want to go there this trip.

Assuming I went clockwise around (Lord Howe, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth), how many completely lost days would I have due to travel (not counting trips to and from LAX)? And would you suggest starting in Perth or ending in Perth? Do the # of days in each spot seem reasonable? Any other suggestions (besides the obvious failure to hit Cairns, Darwin, Lizard Island, etc.)?

Thanks in advance.
mistadobalina is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 04:20 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Well, your schedule is different to every other post here but you obviously know where you want to go. Your clockwise suggestion seems sensible, but do remember that whilst capital cities such as Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth are well serviced with domestic flights, Lord Howe can be a bit tricky. But if you check the airline schedules, all will be revealed.

It would be important to know what time of year you're intending to come.
pat_woolford is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 05:06 AM
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Well, flying from Sydney to Perth is about the equivalent of flying from New York to San Francisco.

If you're willing to spend the money to get from Sydney to Perth, 3 to 4 days there will be PLENTY.

I live in Sydney and have been to Perth on business a few times. Other than a rather nice beach, there's really not much there to see.

Is there something specific you want to go to Perth for?

In my opinion, going up the coast past Brisbane to Cairns/Port Douglas where the Great Barrier Reef and rainforests are is much more interesting.

I'm also not sure I'd bother with Adelaide. Again, unless you want to go to wine country out there, there's not a whole lot of interesting stuff happening.

You're better off traveling up the east coast.
benderbabe is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 05:27 AM
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I do agree with you benderbabe, but assumed the OP has spent time in researching where she/he wants to go and see.

Mistadobalina - any particular reason for Kangaroo Island? It does seem you've sacrificed a lot of Australia's best for something pretty mediocre.
pat_woolford is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 08:02 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 294
Thanks for the input.

A lot of my trip is planned because of my interest in rare and unusual flora and fauna from all over the world. I want to go to Lord Howe not just for the beach and the scenery but also for the rare palms and trees that grow there.

The same - to some degree - applies to both Perth and Adelaide. I grow Proteas from all over the world, and I want to see the Banksias and Grevilleas (not to mention the Telopeas), and I understand Perth and Adelaide are the places to go for this. My wife is also interested in the wine countries in both areas.

I did a little searching, and I can't seem to figure the best time of year to go. I'm flexible on my end, but the weather between Australia's south coast and east coast seems to be exactly oppostite.

Is there a month or two where rain is relatively light in most of these places (maybe April or May?)

As for Darwin, Cairns, etc., I think that would be easier (or maybe just a wash) when I visit Southeast Asia again. Aren't there a lot of flights from Singapore to northern Australia?

Anyway, thanks for the input so far - this is very helpful.
mistadobalina is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 02:04 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Firstly yes there are a lot of flights from Asia to Northern Australia - see my post on Cheap, cheap flights to Australia.
Getting back to your interests in plants, proteas, and the other plants that you mention grow in just about every area in Australia actually and they are not just restricted to Western Australia. Having said that if you want to see them and Western Australia then I would suggest going there when the wild flower season ( September or thereabouts) is on as that is a wonder to behold and well worth the visit alone. Western Australia at other times of the year lacks the diversity of plants that the rest of Australia has actually because of its very sandy soils.
In the Hinterland of the Gold Coast, Queensland is a protea farm and that whole area probably has more varieties of flora and fauna that anywhere other than the Tropical rainforests of North Queensland.
Kangaroo Island DOES NOT have any more unusual fauna compared with the rest of Australia and in fact has less. I think that people believe that Kangaroo Island was named because of its diverse animals but that was not the case in fact - it was named that because it was the first place a ship from England arrived at in 17 something and there was nothing else on the island, including trees.
You are going to waste a lot of time in transit with the areas that you want to see. By the time you add the getting to the airport time and getting off the plane at the other end you can just about wipe off a day in each case - or the best part of a day.
As Pat said Lord Howe Island does not have a very regular flight service so that needs to be researched well.
If you do want to see a lot of the plant species then I would look at somewhere that also grows them in profusion and think more about look at areas like the Gold Coast Hinterland, the Blue Mountains area, and perhaps part of Victoria ( if you are coming when there is not a drought). I know that you said you wanted to visit the wine areas BUT there are beautiful wine areas in each and every other State of Australia - the Hunter Valley in NSW is just one area in NSW - around the Gold Coast is another in Qld and of course there are many other areas in the eastern states which make fantastic wines.
LizzyF is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 02:13 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,018
Hi Mistabalina,

I think it's quite feasible, given your special interests. Depending on when you're coming, you might also be able to do it reasonably economically if you watch out for specials in advance.

I've seen posts about an "Aussie Air Pass", don't know anything about it (being a local (LOL)), but may be worth checking out.

Qantas has 5 flights per week to Lord Howe Island from Sydney.!-797181911
Just be aware that Lord Howe has a limit of approx 400 tourists at any one time, so you might need to book ahead to get in when you want to be there.
QF also flies direct Port Macquarie to Lord Howe, so if you wanted to take a drive up the North Coast from Sydney, that would be a nice way to see something of the country on this side.

Virgin has a daily "happy hour" with specials (12 Noon - 1p or 1 - 2pm)

Also check Jetstar for specials - but watch out for their very inflexible check in times. If you're 1 minute past their clock's time, you're off the flight & have forfeited the fare.

If you sign up for the various airlines' on-line newsletters, you'll find lots of specials throughout the year.

If you wanted to do the Perth leg from S'pore,
Tiger airways has 3 or 4 flights per week Singapore - Perth.
They have a $348 return special on Sin-Darwin at the moment, so you might be lucky with Perth, too.

You'll need to rent cars, so have a look at the various fly/drive packages as well as direct car rentals. In Sydney & Perth, I'd use Bayswater car rentals because of their very low CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) of $200 v's $25+/day with most of the majors.

Weatherwise, I'd say April/May is probably the most reliable & pleasant in most areas. However, as your interests are in flora, you may want to be here when the ones you're interested in are flowering. None of the places you've mentioned (except Darwin) has a "wet season", so it probably won't matter that much anyway.
Just avoid school holidays (Google "Australian School holidays").
Bokhara is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 02:17 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 748
Here is a web site which may start you off:
As for Telopeas - they are Waratahs and the floral sign for New South Wales is of course the Waratah which grows better there than anywhere else.
LizzyF is offline  
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