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-   -   How far in advance to book my hotels and internal flights ? (https://www.fodors.com/community/australia-and-the-pacific/how-far-in-advance-to-book-my-hotels-and-internal-flights-1033424/)

indiancouple Jan 2nd, 2015 08:49 AM

How far in advance to book my hotels and internal flights ?
 
We are planning a trip to Australia from 10th May till 24th May 2015. Broad itinerary is as below :
10th May : Arrive at Melbourne in morning; 2 nights in Melbourne
12th May : Leave by rented car on GOR; night at Port Campbell
13th May : GOR drive continued; night near Melbourne airport
14th May : Fly to Cairns in morning; 4 nights in Port Douglas
18th May : Fly to Ayers Rock; 2 nights at Uluru
20th May : Fly to Sydney; 4 nights at Sydney
24th May : Fly back home

Questions:
1. How far in advance should I book my internal flights in Australia (Mel-Cairns, Cairns-Uluru and Uluru-Syd) ? Any recommended airline ? Do fares go up sharply if I leave it for later ?

2. How far in advance to book my hotels ?

3. Any critique on amount of time I propose to spend at each destination ?

Look forward to hearing from everyone. Thanks in advance.

longhorn55 Jan 2nd, 2015 04:36 PM

IMHO, your itinerary is a bit rushed. Remember that every change of destination is going to eat up around half-a-day in getting from your accommodations to the airport, sitting around the airport before the flight, flying and then getting from the airport to your next set of accommodations. That's why I never recommend more than 3 destinations for a 14-day trip.

Look at the Qantas Walkabout AirPass for your internal flights. It has to be purchased in conjunction with an international flight, so it can be a good deal if you are planning to fly on Qantas from the U.S.

marg Jan 3rd, 2015 12:13 PM

It sounds OK to me - obviously it would be good to have more time but it sounds as you have a reasonable plan. It's not school holiday time so hotel accommodation should be easy to get.
I'd suggest hiring a car at Uluru and doing your sightseeing at your own pace. It's easy to find your way around. If time isn't a problem, I'd add another two days to this part of your trip to include a visit to Kings Canyon but only if you wanted to do the canyon rim walk (about three hours) which is really magnificent.
Your trip report on your holiday in Switzerland was my bible when planning our holiday there so belated thanks for all that information.

indiancouple Jan 4th, 2015 08:06 AM

Thanks longhorn and marg for your responses. We do plan on renting a car at Uluru, and also for the GOR drive, as well as part of the time in Port Douglas. Am not going for the King Canyon bit, as I doubt if we will be able to do the Canyon Rim walk (I believe it is quite strenuous). However, we will walk around the Ayers Rock, and do many easy walks in the Uluru and Olga area.

What about air tickets for travel within Australia ? How much in advance to purchase those ? The Qantas Walkabout Airpass is not an option, as I doubt if we will take the Qantas flight into Australia (other airlines service India-Australia route better).

sartoric Jan 4th, 2015 07:02 PM

I'd subscribe now to Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tiger. You'll get their email specials, and when you find one that fits your budget, buy it.

It's very hard to know when the optimum time to buy is these days.

Good luck, and as a reader of many of your reports, I look forward to your take on my country.

stormbird Jan 5th, 2015 01:36 AM

I personally prefer to fly Virgin - www.virginaustralia.com - Qantas would be my second choice but they are not always price competitive but they sometimes are - Jetstar next.

As mentioned they seem to bring on specials at no set times any more. At the moment Virgin have Melbourne to Cairns on 14th May for $169 each. That's actually pretty good.

Check out the websites and do some comparisons. I think your itinerary is okay and May will be a lovely time to visit. I was in Melbourne in May last year and we had the best weather - best time.


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