Help...where do we start???

Dec 7th, 2008, 01:52 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2
Help...where do we start???

I'm new here. I will try to read all the other chats soon, but, my husband and I will celebrate our 30th anniv. in Sept. and we want to plan a trip to Australia and/or New Zealand with maybe a stop on the way for 3 weeks. I do not know where to start...period!! Please help me. Do we do both Aust. and New Zealand? or just one or what? I don't have a clue. Thanks for any input to help me.
AliceInCharlotteNC is offline  
Dec 7th, 2008, 02:00 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,469
Hi Alice,

With three weeks, I would take my time and just visit one country.

What appeals to you about each country? Take some time to talk about this, get at least one guidebook for each country from the library, and then decide.

Keep in mind that Australia is the size of the continental US; while New Zealand is smaller, most roads are two lanes, and you won't be driving fast.

We haven't visited Australia yet, but we spent 10 days on the North Island in April 2004. If you like, you can see pictures and read a brief trip report at

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Dec 7th, 2008, 05:13 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 825
It really is too far to travel if you are only going to see one country, especially when you only have 3 weeks, Ideally Australia needs 5 -6 weeks, but I would allocate 2 weeks for Australia and fly to the biggies i.e arrive Sydney then GBR,Uluru,Melbourne then 1 week in NZ for Chistchurch, Milford Sound then Auckland, Rotorua and depart Auckland.
DownUnder is offline  
Dec 7th, 2008, 07:12 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,908
Good idea Alice to read a few other threads and see what appeals and then as has already happened there're going to be different approaches as you can see - try and see the max or take it a bit easier and confine yourself to one country, maybe a more northern warmer island stopover on the way if that is new and appeals.

Personally, I feel weather has a big influence on how you may enjoy a trip and the more southern areas of both Australia and NZ in early spring can have days of pleasant weather mixed in with some wet cool windy days, more so in some sections of NZ where it could be quite cold.

If it is good weather that you'd like, I'd spen my time travelling from NQ/Cairns [GBR]region down the coast to Brisbane/Sydney, maybe hiring a campervan or a car for easier driving and there're plenty of accommodation options more advice can be offered on once you firm up on the plans.

There are no doubt other highlights of Australia like Uluru [Ayers Rock] and the red centre is certainly spectacular for its red soil/ranges and the Rock but it is quite a ways to go and you really need a week there alone to get the best value and it is quite a distance to go and quite some all up cost, something over A$1000 even on a budget and closer to $2000+ for most people.

So you do really need to look at the weather you want and whether its going to be a cram few weeks or enjoy yourself seeing a warm part of Australia.
Bushranger is offline  
Dec 7th, 2008, 11:45 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,018
I'd suggest starting by looking at some books. I find the Eyewitness guidebooks are really good for initial planning because they are the most highly illustrated. Other books are better once you have a feel for where you want to go: Lonely Planet, Fodors and Footprint.

I concur with the comments of others that with 3 weeks you should pick one country.
Susan7 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2008, 04:37 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2
Thank you for the responses. At least I have some things to think about and I can get started. I already feel like I am late getting started. We want to go in Sept. but we could plan most any month. Is Sept a good time for warm weather in Australia? I would prefer to pack summery stuff than other but game for anything. But, then as you said, I have to decide "what" types of things we would want to see. I prefer outdoors, wildlife, etc. and shorter times in the cities. LeeAnn, I enjoyed your NZ pictures.
AliceInCharlotteNC is offline  
Dec 8th, 2008, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
Start with clicking on 'DESTINATIONS' above. Then read, read, read.

We spent 3 weeks in NZ, and we thought that was the way to do it. If you don't think you will return to the area, then you might consider both.
Jed is offline  
Dec 8th, 2008, 07:44 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
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"We want to go in Sept. but we could plan most any month. Is Sept a good time for warm weather in Australia?"

As I indicated above Alice, the weather down south can be a bit varied though the Sydney Olympics were held in September and our football finals usually have reasonable weather throughout September in Sydney and Melbourne but then we may have got more used to warmer weather with a fairly longish drought.

It is probably one of the better months for being up north as well as down south, but if you want to be guaranteed warmer weather you're bettwe to come during summer though then you can cop storms in the north.

If you wanted to see a great Australian event as part of your trip, schedule the first Tuesday in November for the Melbourne Cup and work back from there to start up in Cairns about mid October and work down the coast and you'll have reasonably warm weather without it being too hot as it can be in summer.

From about November on, even earlier a bit, the inland can already be getting a tad warm.
Bushranger is offline  
Dec 8th, 2008, 09:01 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Alice, I think September is a great time for most parts of Australia. We lived in Canberra for several years and from mid-September to mid-October, they have their huge floral exposition, Floriade. The weather was always fabulous for Floriade and the entire city and surrounding area is gorgeous in spring. If you enjoy outdoor activities, it will be a great time for hiking and wildlife viewing around Canberra.
One September we went up to Port Douglas (Great Barrier Reef) and had perfect weather for going out on the reef and spending time on Four Mile Beach. The weather was warm; it was not humid; and the winter winds had died down so the water was very smooth on our snorkeling trip.
We've only been to Darwin in August (and loved it), but I imagine it would be equally nice, if not even better, in September. Very warm weather, but it's before the Wet, so it won't be humid.
So, like many of the previous posters, I will urge you to choose just one country for your 3-week visit and to pick up a couple of guidebooks to see where you'd like to go during that time. And one last thing--don't try to cram too much into your vacation! Choose a few destination in the country and savor them.
longhorn55 is offline  

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