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May 28th, 2011, 11:37 PM
  #1
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Looking for inspiration

The dilemma - where to go (within Australia or relatively close) for an 8-10 day period in September, leaving from Perth, Australia.

Two well-traveled, outdoor loving people who enjoy national parks, hiking, good food and wine. Not big on cities, heat/humidity, lounging on beaches. Not interested in Bali (or anywhere in Indonesia for that matter). Would prefer a shortish flight, which for sandgropers means a max of about six hours.

Have already considered and disqualifed Kununurra (too hot in September).

Briefly considered Broome, but not sure we could keep ourselves entertained for 8-10 days there. Stil considering Canberra, but haven't done the research yet, so not sure if it's a contender. Have previously visited TAS, SA, NSW, QLD and VIC, not all recently. Have visited NZ many times.

Norfolk Island? Alice Springs? Where to go, where to go?

Let the brainstorming begin. All ideas welcome and appreciated.
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May 29th, 2011, 12:26 AM
  #2
 
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Hi Mel,

You may have been here but what about the
Flinders Rangers in SA
The Grampians in Vic
The area of Alpine National Park/Mt. Beauty in Vic
Ballarat in Victoria
Echuca in Victoria
Carnarvon National Park in Qld
Undara Lava Tubes in Qld

mmm I'll keep thinking.
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May 29th, 2011, 02:51 AM
  #3
 
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You didn't mention the Top End/Northern Territories (Darwin, Kakadu, Litchfield, Katherine Gorge). I think September would be great for Kakadu, with wildlife congregating around billabongs. The bird watching possibilities are amazing. If you are interested in Aboriginal culture, you can also visit the islands of the Tiwi (Melville, Bathurst)--as well as view the ancient rock art in Kakadu.

Lord Howe is also spectacularly beautiful, but I am not sure if September would be the warmest time. Still, the island is a dream, lots of hiking, birdwatching, and snorkeling (we needed shortie wetsuits). It is a serene place, as the number of visitors to the island is restricted to a 400-bed limit.
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May 29th, 2011, 02:58 AM
  #4
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We were just this minute discussing The Grampians Stormbird...we visited Flinders Ranges last Sept, but aren't familiar with the other places you mentioned, I'll get busy with the research.

Thanks Diamantina. I'll look into your suggestions. We're not worried about 'the warmest time'. In fact, the colder the better for us!
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May 29th, 2011, 03:38 AM
  #5
dkw
 
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Have you thought about The Kimberley Region? The Bungle Bungles are just spectacular. Lots of beautiful hikes there as well. You could work that in with a trip to Broome.

I used this site frequently when prepping for our two trips there.

http://www.kimberleyaustralia.com/.

We stayed at APT wilderness camps in several locations and enjoyed the "glamping" (glamour camping) immensely. We also stayed at Home Valley Station and El Questro. Lots to do at both of those locales.


http://www.hvstation.com.au/index.php

http://www.aptouring.com.au/content....ument_ID=85165

http://www.elquestro.com.au/emmagorge/

I have a couple of trip reports posted here if you want detailed info .... I'm also happy to answer any questions you might have.
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May 29th, 2011, 03:51 AM
  #6
dkw
 
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Oooh...I just saw you have ruled out Kununurra...

The two times we have been have both been in August. One trip was cool...especially at night. I remember having to sleep with sweatpants, sweatshirt and thick hiking socks. the other was quite hot...up to 35+ degrees during the day.
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May 29th, 2011, 06:11 AM
  #7
 
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I suggest you do some research on Canberra as it seems to fit the bill on what you're looking for. We lived there for serveral years in the early '00's and really enjoyed all of the outdoor activities there. We did lots of hiking and camping in Namadgi National Park and hiking in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. (As I recall, we used to have a book about hikes around Canberra which you might find in your local bookstore or library.) And, although we aren't foodies or wine lovers, I know there's some fine dining in Canberra and nearby wineries.

Although you don't mention museums, I think you should definitely include a visit to the unique Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial. I visited both places often when we lived in Canberra and appreciated them both very much. There are, of course, many other fine museums in Canberra and most of them are free.

Finally, should you find 8-10 days too much time just for Canberra, there are lots of other nearby places worth a visit. We enjoyed long weekend trips to Thredbo, where there's good hiking and you can even hike to the top of Mt. Kosciusko. Another good long weekend trip for us was to Cowra, Forbes, Parkes, Orange and Dubbo.
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May 29th, 2011, 06:34 PM
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Hi Melnq8,
I'd endorse the Canberra votes. It has much to recommend it as it's more or less in the centre of some beautiful & contrasting country, charming villages with some history and good eating & great wineries.

Dashing out the door now, but will have a look at the map & come back with a few suggestions.

With 8-10 days, you could think about incorporating some of the south coast, mountain country and the south western/central western areas mentioned by Longhorn.

Where have you been on previous visits to NSW?

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the Central West and every time I go, I discover something new. Towns around Orange are steeped in goldrush & grazing history, and some (Millthorpe, Canowindra, Orange, Carcoar to think of a few) are blessed with some excellent wineries & eateries.

You could take one the backroads from Canberra to Orange (as the Mucks did a couple of years ago)to avoid back tracking towards Sydney.

Here are a few links to mull over:
http://www.visitcanberra.com.au/en/C...surrounds.aspx

http://www.orange-nsw.com/

http://www.visitnsw.com/zone/South_C...FQvbbgodvR2RjA
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Jun 2nd, 2011, 05:13 PM
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Hey Mel - you could probably do Ballarat and the Grampians in the same trip. There are just some beautiful pockets all around that area of Victoria.

Beautiful pockets everywhere I know - but not sure exactly where you've been. The areas of Berrima, Mittagong, Bowral, etc of NSW are lovely. Kangaroo Valley.

Also lovely spot is Tilba Tilba/Central Tilba - cheese areas all around. Narooma. Mmm stop me!

But whilst here too Mel - you would have to try to find time for outback Queensland - Winton (Waltzing Matilda country) and home of Lark Quarry (dinosaur stampede) it really is beautiful countryside out there - Boulia, Charters Towers, these are all lovely places to visit too but with quite a different flavour.

Mm my travel juices are flowing again - so much to see - so little time!
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Jun 5th, 2011, 07:05 AM
  #10
 
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Mel: If you haven't been already, have you considered SE Queensland? September would be an ideal time there. (Still cool further south). Lots of great outdoorsy things to do including hiking. I'm thinking Lamington NP and the Scenic Rim, Mt Warning, Girraween, Bald Rock, Fraser Island, Glasshouse Mts. Maybe even an excursion further afield to Carnarvon Gorge or to Heron Island on the reef.
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Jun 5th, 2011, 04:22 PM
  #11
 
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Lamington National Park is a beautiful spot Mel - really lovely - with lots of walks. I would definitely put in a vote for that as well.

The area around Mt Warning is also gorgeous - we spend quite a bit of time there actually (Murwillumbah) and we have a gorgeous view of the mountain from the back deck of 'The Shack'.

You've got a few decisions to make - I can't wait to hear where you end up!
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Jun 6th, 2011, 11:32 PM
  #12
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Thanks everyone. I'm currently in NZ, but will take all these great suggestions on board and get busy with my research when I get back.
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Jun 9th, 2011, 01:03 AM
  #13
 
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Hope you are having a great trip around Arthur's Pass, Mel, and are having the very mild temperatures most of NZ is enjoying. I hope you are able to do all the tramps / hikes you planned.
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Jun 9th, 2011, 10:11 PM
  #14
 
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Great work Mel, planning a trip whilst you are already on holiday!!! That sounds like something I would do.
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Jun 10th, 2011, 09:15 PM
  #15
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dotty -

We head to Arthur's Pass tomorrow - had a wonderful SUNNY day in Franz Josef today - only the second time we've seen the glaciers w/o rain - whoo-hoo!
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