Help me plan my April - May trip to Australia

Old Jan 27th, 2013, 05:05 AM
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Help me plan my April - May trip to Australia

Hi all!

We are currently planning a trip to Australia, starting somewhere between 13th and 22nd of April and returning 4 - 13 May. Most probably we are going to have 19-20 full days. We intend to rent a car (we are 4 people, 2 of us are willing to drive) and spend our nights at campsites. None of us is much of a city person, we all prefer the nature, but of course, we are willing to see some city landmarks.

We are flying to and from Sydney. My first plans are something like (this is only the route, not the stops): Blue Mountains -> Melbourne -> Adelaide (is Kangaroo Island worth visiting at this time of the year?) -> Uluru -> Darwin -> Cairns -> Sydney. And my plans end here. Any suggestions and recommendations are more than welcome!
bibip is offline  
Old Jan 27th, 2013, 09:50 AM
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You're not planning to drive that route are you? That's a distance of over 10,000 km and would take you at least 15 eight-hour days of just driving!
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 04:42 PM
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Agree with longhorn55. That is a huge trip. If you transpose a map of Australia on a map of the USA, that drive would be like landing in Florida and driving across to New Mexico, then up to North Dakota, then over to Virginia, and back to Florida.

Hope that helps with the scale of things here in Australia. It's a large country, so it's best to focus on one area to drive. Or - fly from one region to another and pick up a rental car in each place.
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 06:25 PM
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To give you some idea of the distances - we went to Ayers Rock - Alice Springs in two weeks from Sale in Eastern Victoria. We left at about 4pm on the Friday and drove for about 500km. Saturday, Sunday and Monday were all about 800-900+km days stopping only for fuel and to eat. We arrived at Ayers Rock Tuesday morning.

We went to Ayers Rock, The Olgas, Kings Canyon and the West Macdonnell Ranges. The entire trip covered 6700+km. Normally we would not cover such large distances in such a short time, but we wanted to climb Ayers Rock before it was permanaently closed and this was the only school holidays we could use.

Shorten your trip or fly as previously suggested. You won't miss much by skipping Melbourne and Adelaide. Both are lovely and worth a visit if you had more time, but on the scheme of things are missable. Ayers Rock is not.

Kangaroo Island is worth visiting at any time of the year. Although to do it justice you really need a week or so.

If you want cheap/free camping get a copy of Camps Alustralia wide.
http://www.campsaustraliawide.com/

Pick a few places that are unlike anywhere else you have been or likely are to go and focus on them. The more you travel the more you realise you have seen it all before and start focussing on the minutiae.

Looking at your profile you live in Bulgaria and have been to Sth Korea. Therefore, I would suggest you fly to Sydney spend a couple of days there and then a few days in the Blue Mountains - there are some great short walks and you can get to most by public transport. That's week one.

Week Two.
Fly to Alice Springs and hire a camper or car and drive to Ayers Rock, The Olgas stopping at the Henbury Meteorite Craters and Kings Canyon on the way to or from. Then back to Alice Springs and the West Macdonnell Ranges. Lots of gorges and short desert walks.

Week Three.
Fly to Cairns. Hire a car there
Do all the cairns things. We haven't been there yet, but there is lots to do, not just the Barrier Reef. Go into the hinterland and rainforest.

Fly home having seen the parts of Australia that are most unlike anywhere else and skipping the parts that could be anywhere.
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 10:14 PM
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Hey,
Yes, I knew that was an insane distance to cover in 3 weeks, it looked even worse when I wrote it down, that's why I wanted your help. At first, I wanted to reduce it to 10-12 days driving. But peterSale reminded me what was really important to me at the very beginning - "Fly home having seen the parts of Australia that are most unlike anywhere else and skipping the parts that could be anywhere." And who knows, I may come back some day and do more. Thank you.
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Old Feb 4th, 2013, 12:39 AM
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I would definitely add in a few flights to reduce all the driving.

peter's suggestion is good, or your could try

Fly from Sydney to Melbourne - hire car, drive along the famous Great Ocean Road to Cape Jervis; take ferry across to Kangaroo Island (with car), then ferry back and drive to Adelaide. Then fly from there to Alice Springs, hire a car/campervan. Then fly to Cairns and drive down to Brisbane to fly out of.

Obviously this is an action packed trip even like this - you will probably need to take something out of your itinerary!
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Old Feb 4th, 2013, 02:54 PM
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I would say fly between all you main sites except the run along the southern coast.

The driving bits, Cairns - Brisbane are unlike anywhere else but unless you are a skilled observer you are unlikely to get value out of the subtleties which are so different to your experiences.
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Old Feb 5th, 2013, 04:55 AM
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To drive all this would take too long and doensn't really make sense. You could take a car in Sydney and explore the Blue Mountains. Then Fly to Melbourne rent another car and drive via the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide (Kangaroo Island is also nice - but you need at least 2 days on the island)). To drive from Adelaide straight to Ulura takes 2 days driving (1.600km), so it's better to fly. You Should also fly from Alice Springs to Darwin and from Darwin to Cairns - otherwise you spend your whole holiday only sitting in the car and driving through the outback. If you do that you are going to need another week of holidays afterwords

Cheers
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Old Feb 8th, 2013, 02:55 AM
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I've never understood the appeal of the Blue Mountains. Each to their own I guess!
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 09:57 PM
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I've driven from Darwin --> Broome --> Perth --> Adelaide --> Melbourne --> Sydney before in four weeks (~ 26 days); roughly 8,500km. We had several 1,000km+ days (e.g. across the Nullabor).

You're planning about a similar amount in 3/4 of the time.

I would personally suggest, as has already been suggested, hire a car in Sydney, if you want to go to the Blue Mountains (and other parts of Sydney/surrounds), and then fly to Melbourne (flights are pretty cheap).

Then hire a car in Melbourne and drive to Adelaide (Great Ocean Road drive is well worth it). There are many nice places in and out of Adelaide worth seeing (many good wine growing areas, if you are interested).

Uluru/The Kimberleys/WA are stunning parts of the country, and well worth seeing. Heading up to Darwin isn't that much of a detour either (if you're up that way).

Cairns is further away though, again, as it is on the other side of the country.
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Old Feb 11th, 2013, 10:05 PM
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Oh, and I really meant to say - don't try do that much distance in three weeks. Pick the parts you want to see and fly to most of it, except for those that are a really good drive.
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Old May 13th, 2013, 05:20 AM
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Hey,

how are you and how was the trip?
Which cities or places did you visit?

Greetings
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