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I'll try not to be a nuisance as the new one on the board,..but looking for more OZ and NZ suggestions

I'll try not to be a nuisance as the new one on the board,..but looking for more OZ and NZ suggestions

Feb 25th, 2003, 01:49 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 13
I'll try not to be a nuisance as the new one on the board,..but looking for more OZ and NZ suggestions

We arrive in Sydney for the start of our Honeymoon on July 28, plan to head over to NZ on Aug. 24 and then head home on Sep. 11

So, with about a month in Australia and 2 1/2 weeks in NZ, can you give us some your opinions on what is must see/must do?

BTW - My travel books are ordered and on their way and I have read quite a lot on this board for the past couple days. I'd still very much appreciate your input as we are really in the early stages of researching and planning.

Here are some things we are thinking of for OZ:

4-5 days in Sydney
Day or 2 in Blue Mtns
Few days in the outback (is Ayers rock the most important must see?)
Couple days in Daintree (considering Silky Oaks a few days)
Few days Port Douglas
3-5 days on an island (Lizard -may be too $$$ or Hayman, Dunk - is too far from diving and many day trippers?)

(also would it be better to just stay in PD longer and take a trip out to Lizard?)

Where else would you recommend? We are late 20's and active. Would you recommend Darwin? Melbourne? The Great Ocean Road?

For NZ:

We plan to spend nearly all of our time in the S. Island (though have to fly in and out of Aukland).

So, far I expect we'll want to see Queenstown, Christchurch, but where else?

Where are the best treks?

Do you recommend a farmstay? We love animals

Horseback riding - where?

Saling? Snowboarding?

Thanks so much everyone!

Liz_in_Switzerland is offline  
Feb 25th, 2003, 08:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 83
Hi Elizabeth,
We're travelling from Ireland to Australia for our honeymoon, on March 26th. We have 4 weeks, and here's how we're breaking it down so far:

Sydney - 4 nights - probably ANA hotel
Blue Mountains - 1/2 days
Great Coast Road (motorhome) - 5 days
Fly Adelaide-Brisbane
Brisbane 5 days (no fixed plans yet)
Fly Brisbane-Cairns
3 days solo - to include island trip of some sort
5 days Sebel Reef Hotel, Palm Cove - this is the last 'luxury' bit of our honeymoon. We may take a Reef tour again one of these days, also do Daintree/Port Douglas/surrounding areas.

We fly back to Sydney and home from there.

Hope this helps. You have more time than us, so probably can fit in the Outback and Uluru where we couldn't really manage it. We'd also like to make Perth a separate trip another time.

AnnaG is offline  
Feb 25th, 2003, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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There is soooooo much to see and do in North Queensland that you could really make some spare time to do those things that you find out about when you get there and not try and book too much or organize too much beforehand. There are islands that you can visit that are uninhabited - ones that are etc - take a trip to Hinchinbrook Island and it should take you days to walk around it and explore it. Dunk is nice too. Take trips out to the quieter places on the outer reef. Go exploring the hinterland of the Tropics - take day trips through the Daintree and Cape Tribulation - take boat trips etc etc.
I would not recommend the GOR in winter as it most likely would be cold, windy and wet. Darwin would be certainly interesting and if you had a Boomerang pass you could add that without much trouble. Ayers Rock ????? well, it's a rock and some people think it is worth seeing but I for one do not. On an International rating scale of natural places to see it would be somewhere at the bottom of the list as far as I am concerned. However that is only my opinion so do some research on it. I prefer further north i.e. Darwin and surrounds for interest.
Maybe check out the trips up Cape York which go from Cairns right to the top where you stay at a fabulous eco lodge and play with the local animals etc. Keep researching.
lizF is offline  
Feb 25th, 2003, 02:24 PM
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Posts: 15,565
Liz -

Do you really live in Switzerland? I'm soooo jealous! Switzerland and New Zealand are my two favorite countries in the world and I can't seem to get enough of either of them.

In my humble opinion, you've made the right choice to spend most of your time in NZ on the South Island. The best of what NZ has to offer is outside the cities, although most cities in NZ are very unique.

As a first timer to NZ you probably want to hit some of the highlights such as Milford Sound, the glaciers on the West Coast, Abel Tasman, and of course the adventurer's paradise of Queenstown (bungy jumping, jet boating, rafting, skiing, parachute jumping, you name it).

There's great hiking almost anywhere on the South Island - you'll find week long treks as well as short day hikes.

The choices are endless and varied. To help plan your trip, you might want to pare down the choices based on what you like to do. Then, I'd suggest creating your own intinery, based on your specific interests. It's easy to do a circuit around the island, or start at one city and fly out from another (such as arrive and depart from Christchurch, arrive Christchurch, depart Dunedin, arrive Christchurch depart Queenstown, or vice versa, etc).

You really can't go wrong - NZ is a beautiful country.

P.S. I've not done a farmstay, but I quite enjoyed a homestay near Franz Josef. It's a great way to meet some of NZ's incredibly friendly people!
Melnq8 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2003, 04:21 PM
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Another pretty spot on the south island of New Zealand is Punakaiki. There is a hotel there right on the beach, with some beautiful walks.
LoisL is offline  
Feb 25th, 2003, 04:48 PM
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Posts: 477
Ayers Rock will be perfect to visit. Not too hot...not too cold..no bugs. We really enjoyed our 2 nights there. We also took a day trip over to Kings Canyon for a hike. It's no Grand Canyon, but still a great time to get outside in the Outback.

If you are adventurous, try the Lost World Abseil in Waitomo, NZ (North Island). Sooo much fun, and not that difficult. Also, try hang gliding in Queenstown. Winters the best time because you can launch from the top of Coronet Peak. That was my most memorable experience!!
alliegator is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 12:47 AM
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There are a lot of nice farm stays here and no doubt some will let you ride their horses. Check out my favourite website www.purenz.com as it will give you lots of accomodation options and ideas of how you might like to split your time.
KathyNZ is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 02:36 AM
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Wow, thank you to everyone for all this great advice! It is a huge help.

I am sure I'll have more questions along the way, but I appreciate all these tips to get us started.

This is making us so excited for our trip to see these two fabulous countries!

Liz_in_Switzerland is offline  
Feb 26th, 2003, 06:11 PM
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Some must-sees in NZ - Milford Sound(and if possible also Doubtful Sound), the trip from Christchurch across Arthur's Pass and then through Haast Pass to Qanaka and Queenstown, and the gondala ride to the top of the peak in Queenstown.
There is also the Milford Sound walk.
As Australians, we've been to Ayers Rock and the surrounding area several times - it really is totally different to anything you will see in Europe and July/August is a perfect time to visit. Ayers Rock is spectacular and I can understand why it is an object of great respect to the aboriginal community. The Olgas are equally spectacular and the walk through the Valley of the Winds is well worth the four hour walk. Kings Canyon is another place worth visiting - the walk along the canyon rim is great - again a four hour walk but worth every minute. If you are in that area, Darwin, Kakadu, Litchfield and Katherine Gorge are good places to visit.
Unfortunately (as a Victorian) I have to say that the Great Ocean Road (although really spectacular)in July will be windy, cold and probably wet.
marg is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2003, 07:27 PM
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Hi Liz, There are plenty of other islands to dive/snorkel from. Heron Island and Lady Elliot island you can snorkel right off the beach. The Univ of Qld has a marine biology setup fulltime on Heron which you can tour. It's further south - off Gladstone - and is a resort, whereas Lady Elliot is a more of a motel,and cabins/tents.
You can get a reef trip on a boat (fast catamaran) from Port Douglas which is closer to the reef than Hayman or Dunk.
The North Island has many beautiful sites as well - 90 mile beach, Bay of Islands, Rotorua. It is a good time to go skiing in the South Island - I would stay at Wanaka and ski Treble Cone and particularly Cardrona. Ski the Remarkables from Queenstown but stay away from Coronet Peak (Creek), as it is too low and man-made snow really. You can also ski Cardrona from Queenstown, but Wanaka has such beautiful scenery - mountains right down to a reflecting lake - picture-perfect! Queenstown has an international feel to it - plenty of japanese and any other international restaurants! It certainly buzzes!
Should be farmstays in NZ near Queenstown.
Amanda is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2003, 09:18 AM
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Posts: 366
It seems as though nobody mentioned Tasmania in Oz. This was my most favourite spot in Australia. Definitely worth at least a few days......some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen any place, unmarked beauty. Friendly people, lovely scenery, nice places to stay, absolutely amazing food.....can tell you more if interested. Seems as though this is a spot most people miss but it was the best on my trip.
gtrekker2003 is offline  
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