Melbourne/Tazmania in March?

Sep 11th, 2004, 04:40 PM
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Melbourne/Tazmania in March?

1st time to Australia - staying three weeks - flying into Melbourne, out of Sydney. Just booked today, haven't done much homework yet, so have the advantage of ignorance I suppose. Hoping fall is a wonderful time to go. We're a couple that will both be taking the trip to celebrate our 50th birthdays.

Am interested in wineries, GOR, Tazmania. WE love gardens and the country, we're Seattle foodies, but enjoy City sights as well. Looking for charming smaller places to stay, middle range. Someone told me the wineries near Perth are wonderful but that's a million miles away apparently.

If someone has special places or experiences we shouldn't miss in those areas they'd recommend, we'd really appreciate it.
pshamrock is offline  
Sep 11th, 2004, 05:24 PM
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Tazmania is the annual rock festival held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Tasmania is the island of the bottom of australia.

March is a good time to go.IMHO its a bit like the pacific northwest in the 70's.
johhj_au is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 10:06 AM
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Hobart seemed similar to Tacoma, but w/o the Glass Museum.

We enjoyed, Strahan and the Gordon River area and Freycinet NP/Bicheno (great hiking at Freycinet and fairy penguin viewing at Bicheno). The plains between Lake St Clair and the descent toward Queenstown looked like Africa. Wonder if those were very large acacias? The rolling hills near Richmond reminded us of California w/ eucalypts standing in for live oaks. We felt Port Arthur was best seen under intense rainfall and at night.


PS: John, you told us N. California in the '70's
AndrewDavid is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 01:46 PM
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Pshamrock, There are good wineries in the Yarra Valley region just outside of Melbourne, and as for Tasmania, well I think they have some of the best cool climate wines in the world, but then I am a bit biased with Tassie wines.
In Hobart, there is a Wine Merchant shop which stocks a lot of Tassie wines, but if you have a car, then drive out Richmond way (lovely historical village), and there heaps of wineries, including Meadowbank Wines.
Further up the east coast, towards Launceston way, you will "Bay of Fires" wines, I consider their Riesling to be best in the world, but then Bream Creek Wines has a beautiful riesling also.
You can buy Bream Creek wines at one of their outlets near Sorrel, and the actual winery off the Port Arthur Highway, before you get to Tasman Peninsula. It would be best to get a "Wine Map" from the Tourist Office in Hobart, to find these "out of the way" wineries" like Bream Creek.
Tasmanian wines are a bit more expensive than Mainland wines, but I think they are worth it, and they go so nicely with Tasmania's fine foods, eg. seafood, crayfish, Dunalley oysters, orange roughy fish or Trevalla (which on the mainland they call Blue Eyed Cod), then there is King Island Beef, and the fantastic cheeses produced in Tassie.
I still have fond memories of my wife & I, sitting on a headland overlooking the aqua blue waters of Binalong Bay (east coast of Tasmania), eating a fresh crayfish & sipping a Bream creek Riesling.
If you happen to visit Launceston region, you will find their wineries not far out, near the town of Lilydale.
tropo is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 02:53 PM
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Well A/D...the real northern california is pretty much like oregon (i call the bay area central ca)

Thanks for supporting my possibly inapropriate analogy.

BTW Thanks very much for the card.Have been to Oregon..timberline,cascades,columbia gorge etc but not to Washington state.Would love to kayak the san juans,walk olympia and make inapropriate comparisons between sydney and seattle.Also catch the seattle rain festival..runs jan 1 to Dec 31.

I suspect there was some irony in the shot of the orca breeching..never had any luck whale watching.I would like a $ for every hour we have spent at Byron looking out to sea for the bloody things.Spent a fortune to go out at Victor Harbour and only the niece saw one fleetingly.

I guess i will have to be statisfied with my childhood memories of them being dragged up the pier at Byron and being cut up at the old whaling station.

And of course if you believe Tropo they are jumping all over the place at Hervey Bay.

Cheers A/D and hope you and yours are well.
johhj_au is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 03:00 PM
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Tazmania or Tasmania - what the hec! Its a great time to be there in March ( Autumn). I am not sure that I see any comparison between Tacoma and Hobart though I like them both but perhaps Tacoma circa 1970 is like Hobart. However as for wines there are many wonderful wines in Tassie as Tropo says in the post above and sampling them is one of the pleasures of this little island, as is the food which is wonderful. You will find a similiar King Crab as you do in Alaskan waters there but I think their oysters are probably their best produce together with trout and salmon, all cooked in a style typically Tasmanian. AD is probably right when he says that the trees are giant acacias around Queenstown but we call them wattles and its our national flower.
There are also beautiful wines in Victoria and I am sure that those fodorites from there will tell you the very best places to have them.
I had the pleasure of living in the high country of northern Victoria once and we were close to Rutherglen where I learnt to love Champagne and Blackberry Nip Mmmmmm still remember those tastes.
There are so many wonderful places to stay in both Vic and Tas - In Tasmania try to get Cottages of the Colony for those remorable and beautiful little cottages done out in the style of the era they were built circa 1830 and or so pretty. In Victoria there are also lovely B&Bs, guesthouses and hotels.
lizF is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 03:08 PM
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The above website is one for Cottages of the Colony and also you will find lots of wonderful information about Tasmania.
lizF is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 05:58 PM
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Wow, thanks for all the suggestions. What a great service Fodor provides with the talk section.

We're actually going late March to mid-April. Sounds like we need a week in Tasmania. We're thinking of a few days in Melbourne when we first arrive - read about Robinson's by the Sea? Any thoughts? Want to see the botanical gardens, museums and Phillips Island. I'm reading that we'll be there around the time of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Bummer.

Take our time up GOR, stay around Adelaide for a few days and enjoy Barossa Valley. Will we be too early for the grape harvest in Barossa Valley?

Day tour to Kangaroo Island? Some people on this board say wild life is better other places, but those lighthouse cabins sure look wonderful.

You guys would be suprised at the fine wines in Oregon and Washington. Really! And the oysters too - we're oyster freaks so I'm looking forward to tasting Australia's.

Does it make sense to leave the rental car and fly from Adelaide to Hobart for our week in Tasmania then rent another car?

P.S. Seattle's not as rainy as you think - summer is very dry (near drought this summer) and fall is usually beautiful.

Thanks again for the suggestions. Really appreciate it!
pshamrock is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 10:23 PM
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If you are going to Tassie then you will see many animals there and possibly more than K.I. and certainly more than a day trip to K.I as so many of Australia's animals are nocturnal. I would add a flight to somewhere special in Tasmania rather than spend only one day to K.I. One week in Tasmania is nowhere enough, 2 weeks is better.
Stay in the Barossa Valley itself when you are in S.A as there are some really nice places there.
I once spent 7 weeks "doing" the N.W. USA and drank the local brew wherever we went so am quite aware of the lovely wine, beer and other drinks that are available there.
I would leave the car in Adelaide and fly to Tasmania and rent another as crossing with a car is expensive but then you have to weigh that up against the cost of a one way drop off.
lizF is offline  
Sep 12th, 2004, 10:39 PM
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Great advice LizF, I had forgotten about the trout & salmon. Pshamrock, as you can see a lot of us, who have visited Tasmania on & off over the years, has learnt to appreciate the wonderful food, wine, etc, that they have in this small island state. Around the island you will find Berry farms, where you can purchase rasberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc and associated berry sauces. Even their Cascade & Boags beer is excellent.
Johhjau, I guess you haven't visited Hervey Bay to see the whales. We considered ourselves fortunate to see 8 whales on a morning whale cruise out of H/Bay. The skipper said that some days, you will see perhaps 2 pods, and other days, 5 pods or more. The reason why the NSW Coast, eg. Byron is not a great place to see whales, is that they are only passing by, either migrating north or south, however, at Hervey Bay, the whales apparently stay for days in the Bay, resting their calves, before moving south to Antartica. And for that reason, there are so many whale watching craft in H/Bay at the moment. I guess the skippers know a bit more about migrating whales than you!
Anyway, back to Tassie, great beer, wine & food, really is worth seeing. I agree with LIzF, more chance of seeing wildlife in Tasmania than on KI, like tasmanian devils, bennet wallabies at Cradle Mtn,etc.
Regards Leigh.
tropo is offline  
Sep 13th, 2004, 05:34 AM
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I wonder Tropo if it was actually whales that Neil saw at Jervis Bay - I know that he was not sure if they were dolphins or doves so they could have been whales.
There was a black and white one off Tweed River today - not the usual black and white but a more white than the black and white ones apparently, or I guess they could have said that it was a white one with a bit of black on it.
Cute little fella anyway.
lizF is offline  
Sep 13th, 2004, 12:48 PM
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LizF, perhaps Neil hasn't seen a whale before, and does get them mixed up with dolphins.
LizF, I just remembered a quaint little Restaurant, at Palm Beach, on the Gold Coast, called Habibi's. Its on the left hand side of the Gold Coast Highway, going north, and between the Police Station, and Surf Club (of course the club is not the highway, but you get my giest). Its run by 2 guys, from Sth.Africa, one of whom was a professor at a University. They cook great curries, especially, the one from their home country. They have theme nights, and poetry nights where guest recite poetry. All in all, a fun restaurant, and very inexpensive. Both licensed & BYO. I think there is a Bi-Lo Supermarket behind the complex. If you get a chance, give the Restaurant a try.
tropo is offline  
Sep 13th, 2004, 02:41 PM
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Liz and Tropo, my one and only whale-watching expedition, taken while spending a week in the vicinity of Bundaberg, was a wipe-out. Stranded on a large bouncing catamaran thing in choppy weather, surrounded by several hundred green-faced Japanese tourists energetically throwing up into their barf bags (as were my daughters), and nary a cetacean to be seen. But I'm sure I'd know one if I saw it.

pshamrock, I agree with Liz that you'd be better off passing on Kangaroo Island.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Sep 13th, 2004, 02:44 PM
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Thanks Trop I will try that Restaurant on one of my twice yearly excursions to that end of the Gold Coast - sounds a bit different and rather yummy.
I actually posted a reply to you a few minutes ago so if this is a repeat then something strange is going on.
lizF is offline  
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