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How long in Kangaroo Island if also spending 2 weeks in Tasmania?

How long in Kangaroo Island if also spending 2 weeks in Tasmania?

Old Sep 26th, 2022, 05:45 PM
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How long in Kangaroo Island if also spending 2 weeks in Tasmania?

We are planning a 2-month Australia visit starting late December. Rough itinerary is:

Sydney, Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley - 2 weeks; seeing friends during this time as well
Tasmania - 2 weeks - see Hobart, Bruny Island, E Coast, Launceston, Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail, Cradle Mountain
Melbourne - 1 week - Australian open, see cricket field, sights around the city and the beaches
Great Ocean Road drive and Barossa Valley - 1 week
Kangaroo Island - 3-5 days ... is that too much given we will have already seen most of the same wildlife in Tasmania? Should we skip this?
Cairns/Port Douglas - 2 or 3 days
Great Barrier Reef - SCUBA live aboard - 7 days
Brisbane/Sunshine Coast - 3 days

Would welcome any general comments on this itinerary, and also specific comments on whether Kangaroo Island and Tasmania are different enough to spend time on both. From what I can tell, there is some different wildlife you can see on Kangaroo Island. The beaches will be too cold for swimming. Not sure how long we should spend there, if we go, and if we cut that back to a day trip or eliminate it, should we reduce the entire trip or add the time in somewhere else?
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Old Sep 26th, 2022, 09:34 PM
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I remember seeing many Australian sea lions on Kangaroo Island and lots of koalas.
I also watched the Fairy Penguins swim ashore in Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. Years later, on a trip to Tasmania, while visiting Freycinet NP, I noticed the nearby community of Bicheno also offered Fairy Penguin viewing, but didn't take the time to see them. So you can see Fairy Penguins both on Tasmania and Kangaroo Island, but one might better suit your schedule. This being said, the most impressive Fairy Penguin colony is on Phillip Island, not far from Melbourne. it doesn't look like you have the time, but if you'd like to see lots of Fairy Penguins, I'd recommend a visit to Phillip Island.
Did you look at this website?

On Tasmania's Maria Island, I saw a Tasmanian Devil at night. And lots of wombats day and night. The Cape Barren goose, Forester kangaroo, Tasmanian pademelon, Bennett's wallaby, and Tasmanian native hens were also plentiful on Maria Island. It's also possible to see rare and endangered species, such as forty-spotted pardalotes and swift parrots (though I don't think I saw either of these)..

Tasmanian devils are not native to Maria Island. As insurance against the species' extinction from the highly transmissible facial cancer, Devil Facial Tumour Disease, from 2012 to 2017 a total of 34 disease-free Tasmanian devils were released onto the island.. The island's population now stands at more than a hundred, and since 2016 these healthy, island-born wild devils have been helping to re-populate mainland Tasmania.

Scuba diving off Tasmania, I saw quite a few Weedy Seadragons, including a male carrying eggs, and many seahorses. This was on a shore dive.

I would say both Tasmania and Kangaroo Island are very special and if you're going all that way, you might as well try to see both. I spent only two nights on Kangaroo Island as, like you, I was on a longer Australian trip. I would have enjoyed spending more time there, but two nights/ three days was sufficient. if you were to eliminate Kangaroo Island from your trip, do you think you would later regret this?

Last edited by Diamantina; Sep 26th, 2022 at 10:26 PM.
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Old Sep 26th, 2022, 11:14 PM
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Do you mean this December? Did you know December/January is the peak holiday season here with schools having their main break for the year? If you haven't got accommodation and car hire etc booked, I wouldn't wait.

I haven't visited Kangaroo Island but feel it's difficult to compare. Tasmania's population is over 500,000 but KI is 4,000. Also Tasmania is a state of Australia and would be much more diverse than KI. If you do decide on KI, I'd guess 2-3 days would be ample.

I think tickets for the Australian Open are hard to get, check when they go on sale and book ahead. Also same for tours of the MCG.

We recently stayed in Cairns, Palm Cove and Port Douglas, over a month long holiday in the north. Each has a different feel. I'd suggest Port Douglas, it is more expensive than Cairns but I think it's nicer. Also no beaches in Cairns but there is a lovely man-made swimming area.

You may have done this already but I'd plot your trip on a map to check for any backtracking. Check mileages for car trips such as the Barossa. And also do a day by day plan to see what works. You mention 3 days in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. Is that 3 nights which is only 2 full days? How long in each place, they are a few hours apart by road. Do you plan to fly out of Brisbane to go home?
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Old Sep 26th, 2022, 11:21 PM
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Note the Fairy Penguin is also sometimes known as the Little Blue Penguin.
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Old Sep 26th, 2022, 11:56 PM
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I agree with KayF that Port Douglas is nicer than Cairns, more of a relaxing holiday destination. You mentioned beaches and swimming in your post. Port Douglas' beautiful Four Mile Beach is lovely for walking on, but I'm not so sure if I'd go swimming in the sea during summer/cyclone/stinger season. Maybe they have stinger nets? I just found this helpful link: https://douglas.qld.gov.au/beaches-foreshores/
My husband and I both regularly swim, so in Port Douglas we stayed in a hotel with a lap pool.

Though I wouldn't say Cairns is not worth seeing at all. You might find it worth a day looking around there, but probably no more than that. Maybe if you shave those two to three days off Kangaroo Island, you can add them to Queensland.

Look at KayF's recent report. It got me very interested in Mission Beach, south of Cairns, for a possible return trip.

If you have any inkling that you might get seasick, please take some medication before going out on your liveaboard. The trip getting out to the reef can be rough.

Last edited by Diamantina; Sep 27th, 2022 at 12:02 AM.
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