May 2006 family trip

Aug 22nd, 2005, 09:32 AM
  #1  
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May 2006 family trip

We are a family of four (two 50 year olds and 2 daughters, 15 and 12) that are planning a 3 week trip to Australia in late May 2006 into early June 2006. We plan to use the Qantas Aussie Pass which gives us three flights after the arrival to Sydney from LAX. Initial plans are to fly to Cairns and stay in Port Douglas for 7 days after spending 5 nights in Sydney after arrival. Is the weather bad enough at this time of year that you'd recommend skipping Melbourne and Tasmania for the next flights or would you recommend staying up north on the coast and spending time in the islands off the coast for the remainder of the time. We don't want to spend all of our time in big cities and we like to self tour/ walk/ beach it.
cdfev is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2005, 01:06 PM
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You don't say where you are from so we cannot do a comparison of weather in the cities mentioned in Australia to your part of the world.
lizF is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2005, 02:02 PM
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May is actually a good month to come to the East Coast of Australia, as the days will be warm and clear and the nights crisp. Tasmania is getting cold by that time, but certainly not unbearably so.... I would include it, it I were you, as it's a beautiful state and so different from the rest of Australia. For yet another flight, why not try the inland: take a flight to Alice Springs and hire a car to Uluru? Once again, this is a totally different experience to the Barrier Reef, Sydney and Tasmania.
Alan is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2005, 03:36 PM
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We are from the midwest of the USA. The weather here will just be getting hot after a usually nice spring.

We just don't want to go to an area that may be extremely cold where we cannot go outside or an area that is likely to be rainy the entire that we are there.

I don't think that we'll head to Ayer's Rock/ Uluru.

Is the weather on the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast or Islands off the East coast of Australia likely to be so much better than Tasmania that you would recommend going there?
cdfev is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2005, 04:43 PM
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We, too, are a family of four (two 50-year-olds and 2 teens just a couple of years older than yours) who just returned from a 3-week trip to Australia. We have both lived there and visited there, so we have seen quite a bit of the country. Here are my suggestions:
1. Seeing that you are from the midwest, you may want to have a lot of beach time. If so, then another 5 - 7 days on the Gold Coast might appeal to you. The weather should still be warm enough to enjoy the beach and there are several amusement parks/waterparks which you and your kids should enjoy--we did! There are also nearby national parks for hiking and enjoying nature.
2. A warm, dry spot will be Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory. We all love this part of Australia. You can spend one or two days seeing Darwin--hand-feeding fish at Aquascene, the excellent (and free) Northern Territory Art and Natural History museum, an outdoor movie at Deckchair Cinema, the Mindil Beach Sunset Market on Thursdays and Sundays, etc. Then you can take a day trip to Litchfield National Park and swim in several beautiful natural pools. (They look like something out of a movie!) There are also giant termite mounds there that are quite interesting. Another day trip can be taken to Territory Wildlife Park and Berry Springs Park (next to each other). You can spend at least 4 - 6 hours at the wildlife park and then cool off in the pretty Berry Springs. (Note: Admission is free to Berry Springs Park and Litchfield National Park.) If you have more time, 2 - 3 days in Katherine is also great--more pools, canoeing, hiking and a great "Crocodile Night Adventure".
3. One of my favorite places is Canberra, the capital. It will be starting to get cool there, but not cold. (Last week, in the midst of winter, it was about 58 degrees F. and it felt much warmer because of the clear, sunny skies.) The museums are great there--National Gallery of Art, National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of Australia, Australian War Museum and my kids' favorite, Questacon, the National Science Museum (lots of hands-on fun for kids, teens and adults!) It is a beautiful city with lots of parks both inside and outside the city. About 30 minutes from town is Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and a bit further is Namadji National Park. (I can guarantee you will see hundreds of kangaroos in the wild if you hike the easy 6-km RT Yankee Hat trail. You will also see Aboriginal rock drawings and birds, but not many, if any, people.)
Of course, I would recommend that you have a car to see these places. I hope you find these suggestions helpful.
longhorn55 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 05:15 PM
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Hi cdfey:

I too am going to Australia for the first time at the end of May and returning in June but my trip is only two weeks. I also have the Aussie pass out of LAX but am flying to Brisbane and then connecting to Darwin. I will stay in the Darwin/Kakadu area for 8 nights and then fly to Cairns for 6 nights. When I return to LAX I fly from Cairns-Sydney-LAX although I am not staying in Sydney.

I do not intend to drive over there since I am not accustomed to driving on the left side of the road. I really don't need an accident to ruin my trip. There are HUNDREDS of tours in Darwin/Kakadu and Cairns that can be taken without the need to drive yourself. Just type Darwin tours, Kakadu tours or Cairns tours in your search engine and you will see what I mean.

My understanding is that May/June will be the off-season for the Gold Coast so I do not know what it wuould be like there. As mentioned by another poster, Litchfield and other national parks in the Top End offer swimming and walking opportunities. That is why I am going there. Except for Darwin and Cairns I am skipping all major cities in favor of outdoor/scenic/natural sights.
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