Help with Australia Itinerary...Please

Dec 15th, 2007, 03:20 AM
  #1  
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Help with Australia Itinerary...Please

Ok, THE plan originally was a two-week+ trip to Southern South America in January 2009.

Suddenly, the husbear wants to go to Australia instead!!!

We've never been there..ever.

We like the beach and we also like cities.

I had thought of including Perth but that seems a little far out of the way.

Snorkeling (not diving) would be nice, too.

I am just beginning to research and would appreciate any suggestions as to ANYONE's idea of the so-called "highlights."

Budget is not much of an issue and we can afford to stay about anywhere.

I would sincelet appreciate any suggestions as to where even to begin.

Thanks
Dukey is offline  
Dec 17th, 2007, 02:48 AM
  #2  
 
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My highlights would include: a round trip of Tasmania (include Cradle Mountain and Strahan); Barrier Reef (Lizard Island if money is not a problem an island directly on the reef) and Far North Queensland; the Centre (Alice Springs, Kings Canyon, Uluru), Kakadu National Park.
Susan7 is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2007, 02:04 AM
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Dukey - the southern summer is not the time to go to Northern Australia - very hot and humid, deadly marine stingers, outback floodwater strandings. IMO, for city life and beaches best to stick to Sydney (see my and other advice for your Oct enquiry) and elsewhere in south eastern Aust (coast drive Adelaide - Melbourne perhaps, or Tasmania). And don't forget New Zealand if you have the opportunity.

(For what it's worth, you might also see some beach and harbourside accommodation suggestions under 'Sydney Hotel - unplanned family medical emergency'.) Good luck.
farrermog is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2007, 01:17 PM
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Hi there,

I agree about avoiding northern Australia in summer. It will be way too hot and humid. Central Australia, ie Alice Springs and Ayers Rock (uluru) will be baking hot.

suggestions for Victoria:
1 - Great Ocean Road on the south west coast of Victoria has some amazing scenery. Plenty of people like to go to the 12 Apostles (rocks jutting out of the ocean) and Lorne (sea side holiday destination) on this route. I would also suggest Airery's Inlet. It has a great beach and an historic lighthouse.

2. Also in Victoria - if you like wine, visit the Yarra Valley. Domain Chandon and Yering Station are two superb choices with good wine, views and food. The Yarra Valley is about an hour east of Melbourne.

3. Melbourne is a great, arty, cultural city with hundreds of small, cool, interesting bars. Melbourne also has great food. I would highly recommend Movida. It is a small Spanish tapas place that serves amazing food. www.movida.com.au/ or try the Chocolate Buddha in Federation Square - it has Japanese food in modern surrounds.

4. Shopping in Melbourne: Chapel St South Yarra has upmarket designer labels. Ackland Street in St Kilda has cafes and mouth watering European cake shops. Brunswick St in Fitzroy is the cool, alternative, grunge capital of Melbourne. It has plenty of coffee shops where people like to sit and talk about all sorts of things. There are plenty of other areas, but those three are the main ones most visitors go to.

5. Daylesford and Hepburn Springs are about 2 hours north west of Melbourne. This is spa, massage country in typical Victorian bush setting. Plenty of good eating places here too. There is also what I consider to be the best chocolatiers in Australia. It's called The Chocolate Factory, or something like that. It's on the Daylesford to Castlemaine Rd. Any local will be able to give you directions. All the chocolates are made without any preservatives and are to die for.

Suggestions for Sydney:
A ferry trip from Circular Quay (ferry port in Sydney) to Manly. A meal at Ripples at Chowder Bay www.aquadining.com.au This place has some amazing views of Sydney harbour, and delicious food. Obviously the Rocks and the Sydney Opera House. If you want to get some good gifts for friends etc, try the Paddington Market on Oxford St. It's open on Saturdays.

Further out of town, time permitting, you can visit The Blue Mountains -which has plenty of hiking options. Katoomba and Leura are the main towns here. Katooomba is about 90mins northwest of the city centre and has an art deco feel. This is lush Australian bush territory. You can catch a train to both destinations. They leave every hour from Central Station and take about 90mins to Katoomba.

In case you want more Sydney information, there is a website called www.cityhobo.com which can offer you more.

Suggestions for South Australia:
Wine making is huge here. Try the Barossa, Clare and McClaren valleys. Some of Australia's best wine comes out of here. The beaches on the Fleurieau Peninsula are spectacular. And the Adelaide Hills are pretty impressive too. But if you only have two weeks I dare say you won't have time to fit this in. And this part of Australia can also get baking hot in Summer.

Perth is a bit of a hike, especially if you only have two weeks.

Tasmania is gorgeous. Other options would be Wineglass Bay, Mariah Island. I recently went to Boat Harbour which is on the north west coast of Tasmania. It is one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to. It's about a 2 hour drive west of Launceston airport. There is holiday accommodation there and if you just get a few days to do Tassie, I would recommend that place.

So, now that I have totally inundated you with information, I hope you can glean some useful stuff out of it all.

Enjoy Australia - it's a fab place.



markop is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 12:11 AM
  #5  
 
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Definately a trip to Tasmania!!
Freebirdy07 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2007, 04:15 AM
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Dukey, if snorkelling interests you you must see Great Barrier Reef. Unless there's a cyclone about expect perfect conditions in Far North Queensland.

Maximum temperatures in Cairns/Port Douglas tomorrow are 32C, there's a 38C forecast for Perth which is in southern Australia.
So "northerness" doesn't always mean hotter summer weather. Also right now, which isn't far from January, reef conditions are perfect, slight on-shore breeze and fantastic underwater visibility.

As mentioned in my reply to your other post, marine stingers are not a problem on Great Barrier Reef.
pat_woolford is offline  
Jan 4th, 2008, 08:31 AM
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Hi Dukey. I'm from Adelaide and it WILL be hot in January and February. The hot weather starts to kick off around Christmas. We've already had one official heatwave, which is defined as 5 days of 35 C/95 F and above. Four of those days were over 40 C/104 F.

If you love the hot weather, by all means visit us at this time of year, but if you hate the hot weather or are not used to it, try somewhere cooler such as Melbourne or Tasmania.
speckles is offline  
Jan 4th, 2008, 04:15 PM
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Today's max temps around the country are:

Sydney 24C
Canberra 27C
Darwin 28C (cyclone about)
Brisbane 29C (thunderstorms)
Perth 29C (but 40C in a couple of days)
Cairns/PD 31C
Hobart 31C
Melbourne 37C
Adelaide 38C
Alice Sp 41C

Humidity is higher in tropical coastal north, but reef conditions are still ideal, and who cares about humidity when you're in the water.
pat_woolford is offline  
Jan 4th, 2008, 08:20 PM
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Dukey - you'll have to assess the divergence of opinion here about the merits of visiting northern Australia in January. There may well be great days on the reef, but you won't be spending all your time there. I mentioned this when making my New Year's phone call to my brother who is living in Brisbane, having spent the last 15 years in northern Aust, mainly in Cairns from where his job took him all over the far north, and his reaction was along the lines, 'you've got to be joking!'. We both agree that mid year the conditions are great in and out of the water (but then again, that's the only time I've been, by choice I might add). I think we all agree that wherever you go in in Australia in January it would be best near, or preferably in, the water.

Incidentally, a cursory search of GB reef operators shows at least one which provides and encourages the use of body suits, acknowledging the possibility of one kind of nasty stinger on the reef - see the FAQ at

http://tinyurl.com/2o9bj2

You might also check out Ningaloo Reef off the WA coast for another trip when you have more time -

http://tinyurl.com/39r5vo
farrermog is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 01:56 PM
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Well Dukey I think you should follow what you want to do wherever it may be in Australia because the weather over the last couple of weeks has been about as predictable as being able to pick the winning lotto tickets for next week.
Cairns has been about the coolest and at least stable in temperature. Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coasts have had feet of rain and low temperatures and closed beaches and flooding. Tasmania, where I live, has had very nasty hot weather and Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne has had some heatwave conditions and up to 15 degrees celcius above Cairns temps. I too have lived in Northern Australia ( Darwin and in Queensland ) over many summers and I actually prefer the summer months to the winter ones because you do get cooling showers, & it is geared up for hot weather and the nights are balmy unlike the heat in the south which seems never to get cooler during heatwave conditions.
The reef conditions in summer are better than winter. No one is saying that there are not marine nasties but they are not on the reefs and by wearing suits you avoid sunburn which is much more likely than getting stung anyway.
It is not a matter of a divergence of opinion about the weather conditions it is a matter of fact. However it is true that the only city that has been at least normal in their temperature and conditions has been Sydney but I have also lived there and it can get very unpleasant at times and it is not geared for that except at least there are beaches everywhere. Weather now is a bit like that box of Chocolates - you never know what you are going to get!
LizzyF is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 04:59 PM
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Exactly, Lizzy - which is why many of us tend to stay put or not go far in summer - with unpredictable and often uncomfortable weather, it's often better to ride it out in your own territory. (Having said that, and despite your recent experience, I think you'll find that more than a few of us on the mainland watching summer weather forecasts often wish we were in Tasmania.)

International visitors may find the Australian Bureau of Meteorology site useful in making comparisons -

http://tinyurl.com/38kbfk

farrermog is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 05:54 AM
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If you are in the southern part of the country, I would highly recommend an overnight visit to Kangeroo Island. I loved it! loved it!!
Bgale is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 06:20 AM
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I wouldn't have though an overnight trip to Kangaroo Island would be feasible. Maybe a few days, as you have to get there and back on the ferry, unless you fly. KI has recently suffered a bit with bad bushfires which lasted about 10 days. Only about 2 buildings were lost and unfortunately one life, but I have no idea what impact it has had on sightseeing etc though.
speckles is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 04:35 PM
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If you had a choice would you go to Kangaroo Island or Tasmania? How many days doyou need in Tasmania?
WashDC is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 04:17 AM
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I'd go to Tassie. There is so much to do there, bush walking, swimming at places on the East coast, visiting old towns etc. It's a gorgeous part of Australia.

How much time you want to spend there depends on what you want to do. I'd recommend at least one week.

Try and work out which area you want to visit so you don't end up rushing around the island. It's not exactly small.

I went to north west Tassie a year ago and loved it. There is a really impressive spot called Boat Harbour which is west of Burnie. It is divine and very few tourists know of it.
markop is offline  

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