Just back from 6 weeks in Oz and 5 in NZ...

Mar 4th, 2004, 04:37 AM
  #1  
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Just back from 6 weeks in Oz and 5 in NZ...

Hi all. My girlfriend and I have just returned from 3 and half months round the world and would love to pass on our experiences to anyone who would be interested. We spent six weeks in Australia and five in New Zealand and loved it.

Our Oz itinerary was:
Melbourne
Great Ocean Road (self drive)
Adelaide
Kangaroo Island
Darwin
Kakadu National Park
Port Douglas & The GB Reef
The Whitsundays
Noosa
Fraser Island
Sydney

And in NZ:
Christchurch
Arthurs Pass
Franz Josef Glacier
Haast Pass
Queenstown
Te Anau
Doubtful Sound
Milford Sound
Lake Tekapo
Kaikoura
Nelson/Abel Tasman National Park
Wellington
Taupo
Rotorua
Waitomo
Paihia
Urupukapuka Island
Auckland

I wrote up our travel journals while we went along, they're at www.travelpackers.com and our user name was 'sonandjim'. From there you should be able to read various reports (including some from the Far East and the USA).

Please let me know if I can be of any help to any of you!

All the best

Jimbo
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Mar 4th, 2004, 06:11 AM
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Jimbo -

Wow! I'm soooo jealous! Sounds like you had a great trip. I went right to the South Island section as it's my favorite. Will read more when I get a chance.

Thanks for sharing your adventures!
Melnq8 is online now  
Mar 4th, 2004, 06:37 AM
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Hey, no problem! I'm almost jealous of myself (is that possible?!) now I'm back at work... Trying to work out how I can do it all again...!!

Enjoy the journals.

Jimbo
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Mar 4th, 2004, 08:24 AM
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I'm taking a quick lunch break at work, so just skimmed through your Australia travels - I'll take a closer look later. I love them! Really fun to read. It sounds like you covered a lot of territory in your 6 weeks, and I'm looking forward to reading more tonight.
SusanInToronto is offline  
Mar 4th, 2004, 09:57 AM
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Wonderful report. You two certainly had a great time. We'll be going to Australia in April, so I read with interest your reports for Sydney and for Adelaide (with your Barossa experience). Bats in the Botanical gardens??? I may have to avoid those.
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Mar 4th, 2004, 10:36 AM
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Kathleen - the bats will mostly avoid you!
margo_oz is offline  
Mar 4th, 2004, 11:31 PM
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The bats are incredible actually, and quite a cause of debate in the Botanical Gardens. Some say they need to be moved on because of the damage they're causing, some say they should stay as they've now made the trees their new "natural" environment. But there were thousands of them...!

I'm sitting at my desk, 8am, it's raining and foggy, and thinking of the wonderful blue skies and beautiful Botanical Gardens in Sydney is cheering me up no end...!

All the best to you all, keep enjoying the journals.

Jimbo
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Mar 5th, 2004, 04:06 PM
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Thanks for your entertaining and interesting travel report - really enjoyed reading it.
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Mar 8th, 2004, 12:18 AM
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It's a pleasure to share my experiences. Almost all of them were 100% good!

All the best

Jimbo
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Mar 8th, 2004, 10:45 AM
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great reports, Jimbo.

When's your next trip out here?
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Mar 8th, 2004, 11:41 AM
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Dear Jimbo,
Thanks for your excellent report. While not packed with the vast minutinae of bus schedules, taxi fares to and thro, best place to but sunscreen, etc. we soon to depart anxious readers crave, it was beautifully written. Perhaps you should consider travel writing to get you and Sonia back on the road asap.
Thanks,
Andrew David
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Mar 8th, 2004, 01:52 PM
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My Fiance and I printed your trip report and we are reading a few entries to each other every night. So far our favorite is the sea lion (I believe) that caughed up a bird. They never show that stuff on Discovery channel!!

We are very excited and your report has helped us to mentally prepare. Thank you so much!

-Amanda
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Mar 8th, 2004, 02:44 PM
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Amanda's mention of the Discovery Channel reminded me of a stunning documentary series called "Wild Australasia", currently screening in Australia on ABC-TV.

So far this very classy BBC-ABC co-production appears to be sold only in PAL format, which won't be much use to North Americans unless they have a VCR or DVD player that can handle PAL as well as NTSC. Also, DVDs are coded for Region 4, so you'd need a multi-region player.

For anyone interested in the wildlife of Australia and surrounding islands including NZ and Papua-New Guinea this is fantastic stuff and would make a great memento of a visit to this part of the world. Hopefully the ABC will release it in NTSC soon. I assume that British readers can buy it from the BBC.

Even so, all is not lost - another highly recommended doco, "Kangaroos: Faces in the Mob" IS available in NTSC.

BTW, the ABC is not related to the US ABC network. It's the government-owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation and it runs national TV and radio networks (for which many of us are eternally grateful), Radio Australia and the six state capital city symphony orchestras - together with ABC Shops selling CDs, videos, DVDs and books. Their website is www.abc.net.au.





Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 8th, 2004, 11:06 PM
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Hey everyone,

Thanks for all your comments and kind words!

margo_oz,
The answer is, as soon as I can! Getting nearly four months off work was incredible, and having been to Melbourne three years ago (for a week, from England, can you imagine?!) it was a pleasure to return and find the beautiful cloudless blue skies just as I left them. The hardest part about the trip is coming home and not immediately starting to plan another one! I know for sure that Perth & Tasmania will be on the shopping list for the next one...!

Andrew
Many thanks for your idea. Naturally that would be my ideal job, instead of which I'm sitting here at 8am in front of my PC attempting to be a software engineer. Funny old world, isn't it? Sonia actually organises trips for friends and family, the flights, hotels, transfers etc., so maybe she could start up as an independent travel agent while I do some creative writing and research!

Amanda
Glad to hear that my reports are useful, as well as entertaining... Are you planning something similar? If you need any help on the finer points then please feel free to post up some questions, I'll do my best!

All the best
Jimbo

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Mar 10th, 2004, 10:51 AM
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Jimbo,
Thanks for the post, I enjoyed reading of your adventures. Quick question: I noted you stayed at the Lord Nelson in Sydney. I have seen it recommended several times on this forum, but not much actual info about it. I prefer to stay in unique/historical/interesting hotels rather than chain hotels, but do like a certain amount of creature comforts. Was the Lord Nelson clean, reasonably comfortable and reasonably quiet? Is the brewery downstairs loud, or more of a quiet pub? (specifically, will it keep me awake at night?)
Thanks for any help.
Kevin
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Mar 10th, 2004, 11:20 PM
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Hi Kevin

The Lord Nelson was a lovely place to stay. The pub closes around 11pm but the bedrooms are separated from the bar by the restaurant floor so you won't be kept awake at all! The room we stayed in was roomy, beautifully decorated and extremely comfortable. All that, and you're a fifteen minute walk from Circular Quay, can't be bad!!

I believe it holds a claim to the oldest pub or hotel in Sydney, but then there are about three or four hotels that make the same boast! Nevertheless, it brews about six or seven of its own ales (very good indeed!) and makes a very, very good pie, mash and peas for lunch!

Anyway, hope that helps, let me know if you have any further questions!

All the best,

Jimbo
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