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New Zealand and/or Australia - Nature sites, day bus tours?

New Zealand and/or Australia - Nature sites, day bus tours?

Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 04:28 PM
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New Zealand and/or Australia - Nature sites, day bus tours?

Need help planning trip to New Zealand and/or Australia. We have about 3 week and would like to visit national parks, nature, scenic places. We do not care for wildlife and we want to spend very little time if at all actually touring the cities unless there is something interesting.

For first timer, would you recommend Australia, New Zealand, or little of each?

Also, are there bus tour companies that give day tours within New Zealand, as well as within Australia that you can recommend? Or is there a public transportation system that is good that would allow us to plan a trip to all the national parks and scenic spots we want to see?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 07:06 PM
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Chose New Zealand OR Australia.
3 weeks is not enough time for both.
What time of the year and where are you coming from? This could make a difference to your trip.
Australia has 500 national parks so you could spend years doing them all.
New Zealand has 14 national parks and none of them very accessible by bus. Hiring a car would give much more flexibility.
'we don't care for wild life' contradicts your desire to see nature. Australia has more unique native animals and birds than anywhere else in the world.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2016, 08:58 PM
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We need more info from you before we can be helpful. Which state do you wish to visit in Australia? There are nature areas including designated parks in all of them, but like Tassiegirl says, how adventurous are you to access them? A quick drive-by in a day-tripper coach is not going to do them justice - distances are vast, areas are huge, and even if you don't want to see them, there may be the occasional roos that hop across the road - they come with the territory

Start by looking here http://www.australia.gov.au/about-au...national-parks

A few months ago (April-May) we spent ten days just driving through the alpine region of NSW and down into the Victorian Alps - it's a huge area, look up just this part of it: http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/...-National-Park and you get a sense of what this is all about.

Now if you want to do something a lot more mellow, you can - for example - take a day trip by coach to the Blue Mountains, from Sydney - google "Blue Mountains Coach Tour".

Or - better still - get a car yourselves and drive to the Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains, then spend the night in, say, Oberon or Katoomba, before moving on or getting back to Sydney.

Another idea, off the top of my head: From Armidale you can drive through the mountains to the coast, wonderful forests and few vehicles, stop and hike where it suits you, that sort of thing. Maybe the local coach company will do tours from there - see www.edwardscoaches.com.au

Anyway - decide on which part of the country, then zoom in with the help of the web.
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 07:07 AM
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Pick one.

If you pick Australia, pick a couple of areas. You seem to have no concept of what you're asking. Australia is 77% the size of the US, and it is 95% of the size of the 48 contiguous states. Both Queensland AND Western Australia (two of Oz's six states) are larger than Alaska; South Australia is larger than Texas.

Australia has nearly every type of nature/scenery/whatever you could want, so be more specific. You could blow your three weeks going from Darwin to Perth (or Darwin to Adelaide) and hitting every major park in between and still miss places.

New Zealand has a large array of terrains for such a small country. This is why it was a perfect setting for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 12:56 PM
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This is a first for me, someone wanting to visit Australia who doesn't care for wildlife

As mentioned by everyone above, pick one country. Then pick a few states (if Australia). If NZ, I suggest two weeks on the South Island and one on the North, or better yet, all three on the SI.

NZ is one big 'scenic place' and you can see a lot within a relatively short time frame, whereas Australia is freaking big and you'll need to pare down significantly based on your particular interests.

Knowing the time of year of your visit will lead to more detailed responses.
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 04:01 PM
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"This is a first for me, someone wanting to visit Australia who doesn't care for wildlife."

So true, Melnq8. Imagine the wilderness without the wildlife!
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 06:27 PM
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Thinking of going in January. I'm aware that we have to fly between places within Australia and within NZ because of the size. But, I don't know which states in Australia and where in NZ, are the most scenic places. And we prefer not to drive on the other side.

Which specific places do you recommend in both countries?
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 06:28 PM
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Is January a good time of year for any place I would want to visit?
ty Michelle for the links, I will check them out
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 09:10 PM
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January is a nice time for NZ, but very busy because of school holidays. Accommodation prices are high at this time, and many popular accommodations book up months in advance.

For places to visit in New Zealand, look at this website:
http://www.newzealand.com/int/

NZ has good public transportation (bus, rail, ferry, and domestic flight services). Check out Intercity bus for travel around New Zealand. http://www.intercity.co.nz/
If you're under 30, you might want to check out Kiwi Experience or Stray.
http://www.kiwiexperience.com/
http://www.straytravel.com/deals/

There are also many smaller shuttle bus companies that serve localized routes, such as Cook Connection (to Mt. Cook and Tekapo), Tracknet, Alpine Connections (Wanaka walking tracks), Akaroa Shuttle, Coastline Tours, Catch a Bus South, Go Kiwi Shuttles, and so on.
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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 10:34 PM
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January is the peak of summer, you probably knew this. The further south you go, the less heat you have to deal with. Tasmania fits that bill, and is also very scenic, with rugged mountains and lovely beaches and anything in between, plus historically interesting places, first and foremost the impressive Port Arthur near Hobart.

I encourage you to change your mind about driving - thousands quickly learn to drive "on the wrong side" every day upon arriving Downunder. Not having a car in these parts, with the distances and the thin coverage by public transport, is really going to limit you drastically.
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Old Aug 25th, 2016, 08:01 AM
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January would not be my choice for either country as its a very busy time due to school holidays - kids are off for their summer vacation - and much of the local populace is on the road. Prices skyrocket.

It's also a very hot time in Australia which can be quite overwhelming, particularly for those who don't care for the heat. And while Tasmania is generally the coolest option in Australia, it can still get quite hot (as it did during the Angry Summer of 2013).

<<But, I don't know which states in Australia and where in NZ, are the most scenic places.>>

Sounds like you need to get a guide book and do some research. You need to decide what YOU want to see, and then we Fodorites can help you fine tune things.
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Old Aug 25th, 2016, 08:35 AM
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How can you ask about "most scenic" without context? This is pure eye-of-the-beholder stuff.

WHAT TYPES OF SCENERY DO YOU LIKE?

And the iconic Red Centre of Australia in January would be a no-go for us - Death Valley hot plus innumerable flies.

You need to hit the books and discover what interests you within those countries other than their mere presence upon the earth.
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