HELP: Two months in Australia

Old Dec 14th, 2019, 10:49 AM
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HELP: Two months in Australia

My wife and I have traveled a lot but never to Australia (or New Zealand). We typically winter for a couple of months (January and February) on Florida's Gulf coast (great ocean views from a rental condo). Now we're thinking the time is right to look beyond a domestic winter getaway. Australia (possibly New Zealand) have risen to the top.

We are not young but are reasonably active, able to take long walks and enjoy day trips by rental car or public transportation.

We're thinking it would be fun to find a home base rental condo or house that would allow us to become familiar with a warm and scenic local place, hopefully meet a friendly neighbor or three, and take day trips when we feel like it. This is how we winter in Florida so a similar experience in Australia (or New Zealand) is what we're thinking.

Importantly, my wife has celiac disease. Staying somewhere with suitable food shopping outlets and safe gluten free dining option(s) is necessary.

Any suggestions on cities or large towns would be greatly appreciated!
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Old Dec 14th, 2019, 01:29 PM
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My first thought was the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Lots of small and larger towns, great beaches, very pleasant areas to visit in the hinterland. Easy driving reach to Brisbane - just over an hour - and there is an airport at Maroochydore. Lots of good places to eat. Several big shopping centres which should be able to supply the foods you need, plus farmers' markets for fresh fruit and vegetables.
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Old Dec 14th, 2019, 10:14 PM
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The Sunshine Coast is a good suggestion, lots of possible day trips and the beaches and coastal areas are lovely. Another thought is the Gold Coast. It's more popular than the Sunshine Coast and more built up. You mention you are no longer young so you might enjoy the Sunshine Coast more, we do. Public transport outside the major cities is not that great but you could rent a car for day trips.

On the Gold Coast, there is a tram that runs from around Southport to Broadbeach, it might have been extended a bit by now. Also buses and the train but the train does not run anywhere near the beach. On the Sunshine Coast you are even more limited with public transport, there are buses but you are much better off with a car in that area. You could visit Noosa which is very popular (upmarket), Eumundi for the markets, Maleny and Montville are small hinterland towns etc etc.

Is your trip planned for January/February? That's our summer as I'm sure you know and it's the main school holiday period so you'd need to book ahead for accommodation. It's an expensive time of year. The kids go back around the end of January, each state varies slightly. There are loads of places to eat in both these areas as well as supermarkets (Coles and Woolworths are the main ones) and I don't think you'd have any trouble with dietary requirements. Lots of people here have similar issues.

Check out the usual places for accommodation like or Trip Advisor, also AirBnB and Stayz and something a bit different is house-sitting. The upside is there is no cost (no money changes hands with most house sitting) but the downside is usually there are pets to be looked after so you are a bit tied down. We used Aussie House Sitters.

There are lots of other places in Australia too, hopefully this gives you some ideas. Tasmania will be a lot cooler, Cairns and Port Douglas will be hot and humid, if you like warm, sunny weather then southern Queensland fits the bill.

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Old Dec 16th, 2019, 04:19 PM
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Thank you very much, marg and KayF. Very helpful. Cheers!
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