Just returned from Australia and New Zealand

Oct 26th, 2005, 05:43 PM
  #1  
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Just returned from Australia and New Zealand

Thanks to all of you who helped me with your suggestions for our trip to Australia and New Zealand. We had an amazing time and are already discussing when we can return. Please let me know if you have any specific questions about any of these areas or hotels/ resorts. In short, we LOVED everything. This trip was mainly flawless and full of wildlife viewing, wine and adventure.

Lizard Island Resort on Lizard Island
Sebel Reef house in Palm Cove
Adeleide
The Lookout on Kangaroo Island
Shangri La in Sydney
Whare Kea Lodge on Lake Wanaka in New Zealand
Milford Sound
Doubtful Sound
Queenstown
Christchurch
Hilton in Auckland
Shari is offline  
Oct 26th, 2005, 07:51 PM
  #2  
 
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Shari,
Thank you for posting!
What were your impressions of Milford and Doubtful Sounds? Right now we've booked an overnight on Doubtful and plan to drive Milford Road ourselves one day, a leisurely drive roundtrip from Te Anau with stops along the road and a cruise out on the sound.
We'll also be going to Queenstown and staying in Browns Boutique Hotel.
If you have any restaurant recs, please let me know.
Thanks!
Liz
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 06:54 AM
  #3  
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Hi Liz!

Both Milford and Doubtful were amazing in their own ways. Doubtful is a lot more peaceful. Only a couple of buses can bring you in and then very few boat operators are on the Sound. It provides for a more natural and peaceful setting. Listening to the Bell Birds sing from on top of the hills will be something you will never forget. Also, there are plenty of dolphins and other critters along the way. You might also see seals and penguins if you are lucky. Milford Sound is has a more dramatic landscape. It has higher peaks with snow caps surrounding it. It is, however, way more busy. Not that this ruined our trip--it is just different. You have many planes flying into the airport (especially if you get a sunny day) and many more boats because it is more easily accessible. We kayaked on Milford and loved it. We saw many penguins and seals and even some dolphins. You will have a great time. Your drive will be beautiful as well. You will wind around amazing scenic roads and Lake Te Anau is a fun area to check out. Most of the people in Milford stay there as their base.

As for Queenstown, we had some delicious sushi, Thai and then dinner one night at a great Italian place. You can't really go wrong. The town is small and many travel centers have recommendations. I will check in my notes and get back to you with the names of our restaurants. Have a great trip!
Shari is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 08:45 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 576
Shari, we are interested in hearing ALL of your trip report!! We are thinking of going to Adelaide and Kangaroo Island, so if you are only going to post some, that is the part we want to hear first. However, we are still open to all parts, so. . . .post away! We went to Lizard on the day trip--lucky you staying there!
Sally in Seattle
SnRSeattle is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 12:09 PM
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I would love to hear about lizard island some more. We're going the end of November.

(1) did lizard island provide stinger suits along with the snorkel gear that they provide? Are they needed this time of year?

(2) was the water around lizard island cold? I read in another post that the water around Australia is colder than expected, and that a wet suit would make snorkeling more enjoyable. I'm used to Hawaii water temperature.

(3) how is the weather at night? I'm expecting full summer wear in the day time, but does it get cold at night so that you need to bring long pants and a light sweater, or can you wear short sleaves all the time?

(4) did you have a problem insects, such as mosquitos or sand fleas? Did you bring your own repellant, or do they really have them all over there?

Thanks!
sfgirl3 is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 01:52 PM
  #6  
 
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sgirl - the water at Lizard Island at that time of the year will be positively warm, and your biggest problem will be likelihood of sunburn so slather on the strongest factor you can find. You'll be in tropical waters at about the hottest time of year, Lizard Island is closer to the equator than Hawaii.

Yes, there will be insects, but a 5 star resort has the means to keep them at bay. Also plenty of lizards and geckoes to help keep the bugs down. Don't imagine it as a tropical rainforested island, its quite arid and far enough off-shore not to be affected by box-jelly fish which breed in coastal mangroves. Anyway, be guided by the staff as to the wearing of a stinger suit.

Night temperatures are warm - sleeveless will be fine - its best to wear cotton or light linen, synthetics are too hot.
pat_woolford is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 04:03 PM
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Thanks Pat. But I'd like advice on whether I need to actually buy and pack (1) a stinger suit and (2) insect repellent, or whether it'll be provided for on lizard island. Any advice on that would be great. Mosquitos love me, so if there is a chance of mosquitos, I'd like to know that repellent is available there.
sfgirl3 is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 05:25 PM
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sgirl - am sure you'll be able to obtain either at resort, but to be certain why not email Lizard Island? Personal insect repellent is sold everywhere in Queensland, Rid and Bushman are both good, but there's lots of others.
pat_woolford is offline  
Oct 28th, 2005, 08:12 AM
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About Lizard Island:

1) We did not need Stinger Suits. We were there the 2nd week of October. The shop does provide you with everything you need. Not sure if you will need them in November.

2) The water was not cold. When we went out to the outer reef to snorkel, they gave us wet suits because they said that some people think the water (in the deep water) gets cold. I did not wear mine. I am a wimp when it comes to water temperature, so you should be fine. Also, the water will be warmer when you get there!

3) You will wear short sleevs all the time. It is really hot and humid. I am sure it will be more so in November. Just bring comfortable clothing. The resort does not require you to dress up for dinners, so you can go in nice shorts/dresses/.

4) I got eaten alive by the sand flies. I am the type of person that gets eaten easily, though. My husband did not get one bite. I brought my own insect repellant, but you don't need to. Each room is stocked with your own repellant and a insect coil to light on your porch in the evenings.
Shari is offline  
Oct 28th, 2005, 08:20 AM
  #10  
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Hi Sally,

Kangaroo Island was the highlight of our trip! The wildlife viewing is amazing. Do you have a place to stay? If not, I recommend The Lookout. Here is their web page: http://www.the-lookout.com.au/ They are a B&B and they also provide tours. The meals were perfect and Malcolm, the guide, knows the Island very well. He has lived there for years. They cater your stay to whatever interests you. We were interested in wildlife viewing and it did not disappoint. We saw, koalas, kangaroos, cockatoos, echidnas, Australian and New Zealand Fur Seals, Blue Penguins, Australian Sea Lions, a platypus, goannas and hundreds of magificent birds. We were expecting the temperature to be cold when we got there, but it was really warm. Every day was sunny and in the 80's and then it got down to about 50 at night. Sometimes when you are on the Sea, you will get a bit chilly so bring layers for your day trips.

Adelaide was a wonderful town. Are you into wine? If so, there are plenty of nice wineries to tour in the hills above Adelaide. We had an incredible dinner one night at Chianti Classico. I highly recommend it.
Shari is offline  
Dec 9th, 2005, 07:46 AM
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Shari,

I was wondering if you could tell me more about Lizard Island accomodations and Sebel Reef House in Palm Cove. I am planning on going for my honeymoon and we really wanted to stay on Lizard Island but we could only book the lowest category rooms due to budget. Do you know how the Anchor Bay rooms are? Also is Sebel Reef house nice?

Thanks!
chillyeli is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 05:39 AM
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Shari
We will be in Adelaide area for a week.How long were you there? We're thinking of staying in Adelaide and doing daytrips to vineyards.is this a good plan or are there other areas and places you could recommend to stay?
amr67 is offline  
Dec 21st, 2005, 05:00 AM
  #13  
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I did not see the Anchor Bay rooms at Lizard Island, but I am sure they are fabulous. I would not doubt for a second about your decision to go there. The resort is compact, so you can easily get anywhere you want to be. Just GO there and enjoy a piece of heaven.

I did not like the Sebel Reef House. I thought it was overpriced and dingy. The rooms were very dated and the entire place seemed dirty. It kind of reminded me of places I stayed at in high school when about 18 of us would pile in a hotel room on the beach. I am not sure what your tastes are, and if you plan on hanging out for long periods of time in your room. As far as location, it is great.
Shari is offline  
Dec 21st, 2005, 05:02 AM
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I was in Adelaide for 5 days. I think your plan is perfect. It is a wonderful city. You can easily get to the vineyards during the day and then come back at night to relax with a great meal. I had some of my best meals of that trip in Adelaide.
Shari is offline  
Dec 30th, 2005, 04:12 PM
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I stayed at Lizard Island in August. You'll be fine in the Anchor Bay Rooms minus having an ocean view. The whole place is pretty small so you can check it all out.

The water in August was a bit cool for me and rented a short wet suit at Lizard Island. The others were fine without them.

There were no jellyfish or anything else that stung me in the water. So, I did not need a stinger suit.

We did not run into any mosquitos or sand flies. It was warm during the day and cool in the evenings in August (had to put on a sweatshirt with shorts).
dogprancer is offline  
Jan 15th, 2006, 08:28 PM
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Shari, what was your impression of the Hilton Auckland? Would you stay there again, or would one of the "business" hotels such as the Langham or Hyatt on a high floor offer greater comfort but equal views? I'm traveling to Auckland next month and would appreciate your opinion.
Yukon1 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 05:25 AM
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What is the differences between Lizard Island and Hayman Island? As far as $, temp, activities, scenery, etc?
hsmith1102 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 07:18 AM
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The Hilton Auckland was overpriced for the quality of in-room comfort. We stayed in a suite right at the bow of the ship, so it was great to sit outside and enjoy the views. If you could find another hotel (in the same area) that offers higher quality rooms, then I would suggest it. However, the restaurants/bars in the Hilton Auckland were great. Also, it was in the perfect location for easy walking to nighttime spots. If you are interested in fine dining and excitement at night, then you might want to consider staying here as well. Some of the other hotels might be a bit of a walk. Does this help? The hotel was by NO MEANS awful or anything. It just didn't live up to my expectations based on reviews and the cost.
Shari is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 07:22 AM
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I never stayed on Hayman, but I do know that Lizard is more expensive. I think Hayman may have more activities for children. Lizard Island was my perfect paradise. If the price doesn't bother you, then I would suggest it. They are in a great location for trips to the outer reef. The entire island is a National Park, so it is very peaceful and pristine.
Shari is offline  
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