July in Oz-avoiding family holidays?

Old May 1st, 2003, 09:36 PM
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July in Oz-avoiding family holidays?

I'll have about 3 weeks, as of June 27, after 6-day meeting in Brisbane. (I'm single, 60, active, travel usually in Europe) so I'm thinking GBR, Alice, Melbourne, Sydney. Maybe Adelaide too - or too much? How do I find B&B's with interesting people; wineries and hikes without renting a car (not sure I want to drive on left)? Assume I can get myself to animal sanctuaries, and rainforest? Should I try to snorkel, when I might need prescription goggles? How can I plan a routing around the family holiday time, to avoid crowds? Thanks for postings already for others - great ideas so far!
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Old May 2nd, 2003, 03:01 AM
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Unless you are a fan of australian rules football I would forget melbourne and adelaide at that time of year. Head out for the "deep" north.

Remember oz is rathermore like california than europe or the east coast.

I would do upmarket (3 days) safari trips out of alice(rock,olgas,kings canyon etc) and Darwin (kakadu)

I would spend about 4-5 days in/around sydney

The remainder of your time i would spend in the whitsundays or around cairns.It would be convenient and not that stressfull to have a car in cairns.

There are several good b&B websites www.babs.com.au is one.
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Old May 3rd, 2003, 03:58 AM
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Hi, KathrynDay!
The holidays that you are trying to avoid will occur, in New South Wales, from Friday, July 4 until Monday, July 21. In Queensland they will be around the same time, but maybe not exactly concurrent.
If I were you I would head up to the "deep north" straight after your meeting, so that you get to see that part of Australia before the holidays hit. If you're not keen on driving, you have the choice of plane, bus, or train.
After you've exhausted the activities around Cairns, you would find it easy to get a cheap flight back to Sydney... in a big city like this, where there's a surfeit of accommodation, you wouldn't find much difference if it were holiday time or not. I am not sure about the wisdom of going to Melbourne or to Adelaide in the middle of winter... they are pleasant enough cities, but I think you could use your time better, i.e. by a look at the inland. This, I admit, will be hard to do without pre-booking when the school holidays are on, but maybe you could arrange a trip with a tour operator (fancy me suggesting using a tour operator -- some of the "regulars" are choking over that one, given some of my comments in the past!)while you're in Brisbane. Once again, the earlier the better for any trip that involves going where the Aussies go for their holidays.
Hope this helps!
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Old May 4th, 2003, 09:11 AM
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Wow Kathrynday! Did you know that john j and alan are two of the nicest. most helpful guys on this board? And they both responded to yourpost... take their advice without hesitation! I just wanted to mention that I found the website babs.com.au wonderful for finding great bed and breakfasts with charming, helpful innkeepers. In the areas your traveling,especially the Waverley Paddington in Brisbane, Yaylor's Damn Fine B and B in Noosa and the Eskdale house in Maryborough. have a wonderful trip!
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Old May 4th, 2003, 01:36 PM
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Wow, KathrynDay

Like the others, I'd recommend you head north straight away, to the Whitsundays (try some sailing - beautiful islands), and GBR - Cairns or Port Douglas base - Cairns is not too attractive, but is a starting out point for lots of things other than the Reef.

I normally recommend the smaller operators to go put to the Reef (from Port Douglas or Cape Tribulation). In your case, as you're unsure about whether you need prescription gogglees for snorkeling or not, I'd try one of the larger operators, as they have other things to do than snorkeling. You can try it, but if it's too difficult, there's the glass bottomed boat, or submarine-thingy.

If you don't want to drive, there are plenty of good tours mentioned on this board.

Consider flying from Cairns to Alice Springs, and taking say, a 3-4 day (or longer) tour from there. Look for one of the slightly more upmarket ones, as the cheaper ones can be fairly hard work. The distances are huge, and driving can be tiring enough - and you'll may appreciate the whole thing more with a guide.

From there - perhaps Sydney. Although it's the middle of winter, Sydney is usually quite comfortable. There's almost nothing you can't do here with a warm jacket! It's the best time for sailing on Sydney Harbour, too.

Adelaide, Melbourne - take your pick. It'll be cold, but not impossible, depending on where you come from. For instance, none of these places will have snow (unless an absolute freak of nature). If you decide on Adelaide, a 2-day guided tour of Kangaroo Island is interesting. Or a trip to the Flinders Ranges (or both!)

Getting around. Your travel agent can advise on a "Boomerang Pass" with Qantas. Discussion on these boards is that it's often cheaper just to book your own flights. See:

regionalexpress.com.au (for KI)

Have a great time!
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Old May 17th, 2003, 09:47 AM
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Thank you all so much. I've booked interior flights on a pass with Qantas - very reasonable cost, the nicest airline people ever, and even flexible flights - absolutely unheard of here in the States. Your comments have helped me decide to plan fewer stops, with longer stays. And I love the additional messages about red beers, and wines. You're all making planning less stressful and more fun - I can't wait!
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