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Jan.2004/high season-easier to travel in Australia or NZ with the summer crowds?

Jan.2004/high season-easier to travel in Australia or NZ with the summer crowds?

Nov 2nd, 2003, 09:44 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
Jan.2004/high season-easier to travel in Australia or NZ with the summer crowds?

Our family has a chance to do the"final family vacation" during January 2004.The kids want to have the final vacation someplace different and want to go to either New Zealand or Australia(South Africa came in third). My husband says that it would be ridiculous to travel during that time period and I am wondering if NZ would be less crowded for island hopping at that time than Australia? The time period would be around Jan.5-25. Any imput as to whether it is a ridiculous proposition and we should go somewhere else? Thanks!
dutyfree is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2003, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,071
It's peak holiday season in both Oz and NZ, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to travel.

You may need to make reservatioins in advance, but that shouldn't ge too hard, if you start now. It's a good time to travel, although some places will be hot and humid. There's lots of people about, enjoying themselves. You may even meet some Aussis!
margo_oz is offline  
Nov 2nd, 2003, 11:49 AM
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Its a great time to travel in both Oz and NZ - I would think that it would be peak in South Africa as well seeing its summer and the holiday times are the same.
Just a little more careful planning and not so much "winging it" would be the go but there is much more going on in the summer holidays here i.e. New Years in Sydney and the Gold Coast as well as just about everywhere else. Have a great time!
Nov 2nd, 2003, 03:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,430
Hi, dutyfree!
I fully agree with the above posters. While you are in high season in both these areas, you shouldn't think for a minute that this means anything like the crushes and queuing that you would expect in, say, London or Paris. You really won't notice much difference from any other time of year, except perhaps (in Australia) booking accommodation along the eastern seaboard -- do this is advance, or be prepared to take what you can get. In the big cities, however -- or away from the coastal beaches -- you shouldn't have any problems.
Have a great time!
Alan is offline  
Nov 4th, 2003, 03:59 PM
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We spent the whole month of this past January divided between the two countries. It was a wonderful time to be there. It is true that much of Sydney was off on holiday there, but never was it overwhelming. People were so friendly and accomodating in both countries. It was wonderful! I highly recommend you go for it.
LoisL is offline  
Nov 6th, 2003, 06:21 AM
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Thanks everyone for your imput. Lois-would you be kind enough to tell me where cities/areas that you spent the majority of your time on your trip in January? Thanks!
dutyfree is offline  
Nov 8th, 2003, 08:08 PM
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While in Australia, we spent the entire week and a half in Sydney, and did some day trips by ferry, and also one tour of the Blue Mountains. We then went to the North Island of New Zealand, where we started in Aukland, headed to Coramandel [I'd have to look up the exact spot], then to Rotorua, Napier, and Wellington. From Wellington, we took the ferry [the faster one],to South Island, and spent two nights in Blenheim, and then drove to Christchurch, where we met up with our tour. On the tour, we saw the Pancake Rocks and stayed at a really nice 'environmentally friendly' hotel right on the water, spent a night by Franz Josef Glacier, a couple nights in Queenstown, one night in Dunedin, and one or two smaller areas. I loved Christchurch and Queenstown. I can't imagine your kids not being happy with that area. Keep in mind, there are several 'Lord of the Ring' options there as well.

My decision to only see Sydney while in Australia was based on the feeling that I couldn't do justice to such a large country without devoting more time than I had, and I felt I could see enough of New Zealand to eliminate that stop on my next visit. And, let me tell you, after being there, I definitely want to return. While I loved our visit to Paris and London this past spring, there is something that captivated me about Sydney in particular, but the whole trip of that part of the world in general. It's hard to believe there could be people more laid back and friendly than the people we met from Australia and New Zealand.

You didn't say how old your kids are. I honestly feel that, no matter what age they are, there are many things in both countries that will facinate them. I don't think you could go wrong with either country. Let me know if I can be of any help.
LoisL is offline  
Nov 9th, 2003, 07:21 AM
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Thank you Lois for your imput. My "kids" are 18 and 21.I am trying to decide if I could plan this whole trip independently or do the tour thing? Most of the OZ tours that I have looked at are for 10 days/7 nights and have 3 nights in Sydney(Blue Mountains,etc.) with a trip to Cairns/GBR along with going on the cableway over the rain forest area one day and a ride on Daintree River and then back to Sydney.Does anyone know anybody that ever did a Quantas vacation package or something similar?Having been to New Zealand 30 years ago I know what you mean when you say how wonderful it is-I fell hard for the country and was ready to move there at that time.I would love to hit both countries (as long as you are down there) but the money situation is the problem with two in college.If you were to concentrate in one country at that time of the year-which would you chose? Thanks so much!
dutyfree is offline  
Nov 9th, 2003, 03:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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What a tough choice! If it's to be one or the other, why don't you pose the options and have a family discussion on it. Either place has so much that would appeal to that age group. My middle daughter visited both while she was working in Hong Kong. At the time, she was about 22-23, and she loved both places. She used to laugh because I had always said I had 'no desire' to go to Australia [basically due to the distance], and she KNEW I'd LOVE it. And, was she ever right! If you haven't been to Australia, then perhaps that can be the basis for solving the dilemma. I feel it is easier to enjoy Australia on your own, where, in New Zealand, particularly the South Island, the roads are narrow and winding, and we were able to enjoy the country side and spectacular views because we were on a tour there.

Two of my daughters had friends who had done a semester in Australia, and both loved the experience. Depending on the time you have, you can spend some time in Sydney, take a day tour to the Blue Mountains, and then after doing a few ferry options, Darling Harbour, the Opera House tour, walk through Hyde Park [beautifully lit for New Year's], and whatever else appeals, then rent a car and head up or down along the coast, depending on what appeals to your family.

As far as the time of year goes, it was wonderful in both countries. Despite so many locals being on holiday [or then, maybe because of], it was a wonderful experience, and your 'kids' won't be disappointed whatever you decide.

Oh, and for the record, we did that 'final', last, family vacation together with our three daughters at least 4 or 5 times already!
LoisL is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 06:27 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
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just a reminder....both countries have small populations and except for the theme parks and other pay for attractions you will not suffer too much from crowds in eitehr country.

Get down to the beach early morning when it will already be warm to hot and get off the beach before crowds turn up then enjoy your day.
bhuty is offline  

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