Old Sep 9th, 2006, 02:30 AM
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We are hoping to come to Australia from "sunny Scotland" either March/April or September/October next year. In 2000 we spent 3 days in Sydney on the way to New Zealand and loved it.

We roughly plan to be away a month and I have thought of following

Hong Kong 3 nights
Perth 4 nights (get a car for a couple of days and go south to Magaret River for 1 of the 4 nights)
Fly Red Centre 2 nights
Fly Melbourne 4 nights ( get car for last day and explore Yarra)
Drive Ocean Road (2 nights)
Adelaide 2 nights (I day at Kangaroo Island)
Fly Cairns and stay on one of Islands off Reef (4 nights)
Sydney (3 nights)
Singapore 2 nights.

Our interests are good scenery, phootography, wine, seeing wildlife, as well as seeing main city sites.

I would welcome comments if this itinerary perhaps too ambituous in time and if so where to cut it down for first time traveller?

Also for the planned trip would March/April or September/October be best? We are not actually limited at al in terms of which month to come.

Finally we would be travelling with my mother, a fit 74 year old but she does have some mobility problems with her knee which can be a bit limiting. Is any part of this itinerary perhaps too demanding for someone with a bad knee (able to walk but needs to take care)

Many thanks in advance
Kind Regards
Old Sep 9th, 2006, 03:09 PM
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My only concern is that you are missing out on so much that Australia has to offer and seeing on that which is pretty much same/same in any part of the world i.e. cities like Perh, Melbourne and Adelaide and I do think that the whole trip is a bid ambitions as it takes a good day to get from one place to another when you include check ins and check outs, time at airports etc so you lose a lot of your valuable time moving around and seeing absolutely nothing.
Cairns is much more than just the reef. For instance the Atherton Tablelands has some fantastic spots to see, has the greatest number of animals in one area compared with the rest of Australia, and should really be given time that it deserves as well. Ditto the Daintree and Cape Tribulation.
If you look at a map of Australia it is a 5 hour plus flight from Cairns to Sydney if you have a stop-over in Brisbane ( and that usually happens) so you have lost a day there. I think it is something like 2,751 Klms from Perth to Adelaide - again you have lost time.
I would be rethinking my trip - BIG TIME and doing something like the following: HK - Cairns and surrounds 7 days ( you can include then the Undara Lava Tubes) - Cairns - South East Queensland to have a look as the hinterland areas and Northern NSW 3 days - Tasmania 7 days - Sydney for the rest.
You are not doing youself a favour by the time able that you have and what I have included here is some things that are totally different from what you have in Scotland.
Alternatively if your idea was to see some outback then it would go like this:
HK to Darwin and surrounds 4 - 5 days
then onto Cairns and something similiar to the above missing out something to account for your time in Darwin.
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Old Sep 9th, 2006, 04:11 PM
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dunas dog - LizF is so right in what she says. Australia is such vast country, and to do it justice you would need months. You mention the Margaret River region of W.A.- personally I would spend the minimum of 3 days in that region.
My days of trying to see everything in a particular country finished a long time ago. I find it more enjoyable to base myself in one or two areas, and then slowly explore, thereby getting a real feel for the region, its people, customs, etc, a much more rewarding holiday, and less stress.
My wife & I are thinking of going back to N.Z. next year. The last visit was some years ago. We are only going to visit the North Island (leave the South Island for another trip), and our plans will be as suchbr /> Staying a few days in the Coramandel Peninsula, to swim & relax, then down to East Cape, and around to Gisborne and a few days in Napier Region (again beaches & wineries), then back through the Desert Road (just love those mountains), and few days at Lake Taupo (love trout fishing), then back to Auckland.
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Old Sep 12th, 2006, 09:16 AM
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Hi we did the 4 night 5 day captain cook cruise on the GBR out of Cairns. This went north to Cooktown, Lizard Island, Green Island,Two Isles, and ribbon reef #5. This was incredible. We snorkled but even for those who don't snorkle they have a glass bottom boat so you can still see the reef life. The cruise worked out to be less money than staying on the mainland and doing day trips to these area's I would highly reccomend this, the wildlife viewing was incredible.
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Old Sep 13th, 2006, 04:46 AM
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Australia is so big and there is so much to see. And there's nothing wrong with your itinerary. And it depends what sort of travellers you are. Do you like to write yourselves a schedule that says today we do this and this, and tomorrow we do this and this? Or do you prefer to savour. If the latter, then fewer places is good, and certainly cuts down on all that wasted time transferring from hotel to airport.

We are all different. There's plenty to recommend the places you have chosen but they are, as someone has already said, very city biased.

If you are getting a good deal by flying into Perth then good. Go to Margaret River if you are into wine, otherwise it's no great shakes - unless you will enjoy the drive on back roads for its own sake. But don't miss Rottnest Island - March would be better probably for that.

I would see Perth as just stopover (it would be different if you wanted to spend the whole holiday in WA). Cut it to 2 days, or even 1 (if you decide to skip MR). Take longer in the centre (how are you planning to see this - car, tour?).

Melbourne is great for shopping, culture. IMHO the GOR is so-so unless you go slowly (3-4 days) and ADL is there in your itinerary, I guess, cos you don't want to go back to MLB.

If you really want to see KI fly to ADL. But then flights from there to Cairns are probably far more expensive and less frequent than they are from Melbourne.

If it were me, I'd do the following':

Perth 2 days.
Centre 4 days.
Melbourne 3 days
Tasmania 5 days (go wander)
FNQ 4 days (go wander)
Sydney and SURROUNDS 4 days

Or fly into Melbourne and skip WA all together.

The possibilities are endless so expect this has been no help at all!!
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Old Sep 13th, 2006, 07:46 AM
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It is ambitious and I like it. I would like one more day everywhere, but especially in Sydney.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2006, 05:02 PM
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One day on kangaroo Island is not enough. We canned our trip there becasue we could only get one night's accommodation. It involves quite a lot of driving to get there [and rough according to the guide books!] The Clare Valley outide Adelaide is a wonderful and beautiful wine growing area.
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