October in Austraila

Sep 8th, 2005, 04:08 PM
  #1  
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October in Austraila


We will be in Australia for our first trip, in mid- October,.
Want it to be more of a flora and fauna tour than a cities tour.

I have used the great suggestions from the forum in thinking about the trip, and regret not being able to include Tasmania as I confess it never entered my mind until reading the forum.

Itinerary so far is
Sydney 2 nights
Cairns/Daintree-explore area with car - 6 nights
Ayers to Alice Springs- explore area with car -5 nights

I would welcome any suggestions on the following:

Melbourne arrive at 3pm-
explore Melbourne to Sydney area with car - 8 nights
-then leave Sydney at 1230pm

Interests are : Melbourne ( 1/2 to 1 day?); GOR: Ballarat; Healesville sanctuary/Yarra wineries; Penguin parade; the Prom; Snowy Mtns; Canberra( 1/2 to 1 day?); Katoomba (via Narellan? any shorter route? ).

What should be added /deleted. Ballarat could go however if the GOR is in , then it seems to be backtracking if I don't include Ballarat. What else would you skip or modify?

As Canadians we're used to the possibility of a 5 to 10 hour drive to cover long distances, for example one day somewhere between the Prom and Canberra could have "driving" day.

Appreciate any suggestions.
rickrick is offline  
Sep 8th, 2005, 05:30 PM
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Here's my suggestion for a three day trip out of Melbourne.
Day 1 - Melbourne to Geelong and then along the Great Ocean Road to Port Fairy for overnight. Beautiful scenery, and Port Fairy is a delightful little old fishing port with good choices of accommodation and restaurants.
Day 2 - Port Fairy via Mt Eccles and Hamilton to the Grampians. Mt Eccles is an extinct volcano and you should see koalas there, and the Grampians in October is good for wildflowers, kangeroos, emus etc. Halls Gap is the little town at the centre of the Grampians and has lots of motels, B&Bs, restaurants. Good walks through this area.
Day 3 - Grampians via Ballarat to Melbourne. Ballarat was one of the wealthiest towns in the world in the 1840s and still has some great old buildings. The folk museum (Sovereign Hill) is well worth visiting.
If you are driving to Sydney, you could go from Ballarat across to the Hume Freeway (you could detour to the wine areas at either Rutherglen or Milawa) and then to Sydney via Canberra. Another alternative would be to take the Great Alpine Road to Omeo and then follow the coast to Sydney (much longer).
Did you know that you can see penguins from Melbourne CBD - an alternative to the long trip to Philip Island.
marg is offline  
Sep 8th, 2005, 05:48 PM
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Take Marg's excellent advice. It's definitely worthwhile squeezing in Canberra if you can - it's a very unique city which makes best use of Australia's flora - the national botanic gardens house a great diversity of Australian plants very well displayed. The city is planned unobstrusively to fit into the landscape and all around are terrific walking/cycling tracks where you'll get your fill of nature. Terrific restaurants abound and the cultural attractions are accessible, mostly free and very interesting War Memorial, National Museum, National Gallery, Parliament House.
PaulS is offline  
Sep 8th, 2005, 07:32 PM
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I'd strongly recommend seeing some of the NSW south coast too. From Canberra you can head east through Bungendore and Braidwood - there's an excellent woodwork gallery at Bungendore if that interests you, and Braidwood is historic as Australian country towns go. This will take you to Batemans Bay, a good place to tuck into some local seafood (the Clyde River oysters are very good) and then north on the Princes Highway.

Jervis Bay (a little way off the highway) is well worth stopping off at for its pristine beaches and waters. Head for Huskisson and take a walk along the coastal tracks just south of town for great views and good examples of coastal flora and birdlife, not to mention the chance of dolphins offshore.

The Princes Highway will take you past the city of Wollongong and lead you into Sydney through the Sutherland district - not as fast and convenient as the Hume Highway once you enter the metro area, but it sounds as though you won't be in a tearing hurry.

Depending on how much time you have in Canberra you could take a drive about 40 minutes south of town into the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve where it's possible to get up close and personal with emus. But Paul's suggestion of seeing the National Botanical Gardens is good advice. Just be aware that for some reason the cafe doesn't take plastic money.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Sep 9th, 2005, 01:24 AM
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Neil, what's the name of that tiny secluded beach between (I think) Jervis Bay and Bateman's Bay where visitors are always rewarded with wallabies on the sand? A small colony has naturalised right on the foreshore and although shy they are used to human visitors (but they are not "tame"). Definitely worth a detour off the Princes Hwy if you're taking Neil's advice re the coast road from Canberra to Sydney. It's inside a national park - Murramarang NP? The beach has another name though.
PaulS is offline  
Sep 9th, 2005, 05:11 AM
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I don't know about wallabies, but there are kangaroos on the beach at Pebbly Beach which is just north of Bateman's Bay. There's also a lot of tropical birds too. That was one of our favorite days trips from Canberra.
Rickrick, I can also recommend a great walk in the bush at Namadgi National Park just outside of Canberra. It's called the Yankee Hat Trail and you can get directions to the trailhead at the Visitor's Center. The hike is about 6km RT and an easy walk to a large rock with Aborigianl drawings on it. The best part of the hike for me is that you will walk among literally hundreds of kangaroos. You may also see lots of birds, including cockatoos and wedge-tailed hawks. Since this trail is seldom hiked, especially during the weekdays, you will feel as if you have the entire country to yourselves. Magnificent!
longhorn55 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2005, 03:36 PM
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Yep, that's it...Pebbly Beach. Can't tell my wallabies from my roos! P
PaulS is offline  
Sep 10th, 2005, 05:41 PM
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I was racking what's left of my brain but couldn't remember that beach, so I'm glad someone has. But it's been years since we were there and now I can't remmeber which turnoff you take. Maybe longhorn55 can come to the rescue again?
Neil_Oz is offline  
Sep 10th, 2005, 10:13 PM
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It's well signposted off Princes Highway - a bit north of Batemans Bay?

But the road is unsealed, and winding - ?taking rental cars. They often preclude using dirt roads.

It's a great place - I always recommend it to people travelling that way. I took a caramel slice with me - with a view to walking down and having morning tea on the beach. Those roos nearly knocked me over trying to get it - some were as tall as I was! Scary at the time but funny after! Lots of brightly coloured birds here too.

Possibly a better place is Greenpatch, around Jervis Bay, where you can see the roos or wallabies and some brilliant birds, and the road is sealed. Beautiful beaches around here, too - the whitest of sand.
margo_oz is offline  
Sep 10th, 2005, 11:44 PM
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rickrick, just to add to the options, or the confusion, you might like to check out this article about NE Victoria. It's written from a wine-and-food perspective.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/victoria/...302680660.html
Neil_Oz is offline  
Sep 11th, 2005, 04:01 AM
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rickrick - October is one of the best months to visit Far North Queensland - the SE trade winds of winter will have abated and reef trip weather conditions should be ideal. For the rainforest it works well too, the spring-born baby animals will be appearing and every wild creature is out and about. Even today I saw 5 or 6 dolphin just a few metres from shore off a Cairns suburban beach, you can see kangaroos and wallabies in suburbia in nearby Palm Cove and the birdlife at that time of year will truly astound you. Do make time for a trip to Atherton Tableland and drop in at Mareeba Wetlands, the wildlife there is incredible. It is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, so do your best to work around that.
pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 11th, 2005, 06:14 PM
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I wonder if Paul is thinking of Murramarang Beach or the national park there? That's just a bit north of
Batemans Bay with a good bitumen road. There is a good holiday resort with cabins overlooking the beach.
marg is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 08:37 AM
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Your input/ideas are appreciated. Thanks for the suggested itinerary.

I hadn't considered the South coast. It’s a great addition. I found an impressive website for South coast with clickable maps and layers of information.
http://www.southcoast.com.au/southcoastmap/index.html
I’ll check out Pebbly and GreenPatch beaches.

The Rutherglen /Milawa areas look very interesting. In our local wines stores I see King valley wines showing up these days.
I have noted that Brown Bros winery is recommended. Also All Saints Estates , near Abury(?) (and apparently owned by one of the Brown Bros) is supposed to be wonderful.

One question--is there anything special about Healesville sanctuary—will similiar wildlife be seen in the various suggested parks.

Pat- for Cairns area – we were thinking of rainforest mostly, but wetlands means plants and animals of course and we can drive back to Cairns from Daintree via Atherton.

Thanks all.
rickrick is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 04:04 PM
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rickrick - there is also tropical highland rainforest on Tableland, Mt Hypipimee and its crater towards Ravenshoe is home to about 9 different varieties of possum, sugar gliders, tree kangaroos, these are nocturnal so best seen on a night trip. Wait a While does this, with afternoon start to see platypus in early evening.

Kangaroos are also usually spotted in daytime nibbling the grass on the Mareeba golf course.



pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 05:09 PM
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The Rutherglen area makes some of the best fortified wines in the world - their liqueur muscats are excellent.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 01:11 PM
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If you do drive down the south coast from Sydney there is a nice detour from the freeway I can recommend. Take the National Park turnoff at Waterfall and drive through the park to the coast where there is great views, then continue through the loop back toward the freeway where you will find a Hindu temple out in the middle of nowhere! and Symbio Wildlife park. They have all sorts of animals here, not just native. last week the keeper had a baby wombat following her around like a puppy...too cute!
Tassietwister is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 01:42 PM
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Also as replied to another post on whale watching(though as Canadians you probably seen so many already) Narooma has National Parks and wildlife tours to Montague Island. This Island has Australian Fur seal colony, fairy penguins and sea bird nesting sites and mid October is peak whale watching time.
Tassietwister is offline  
Sep 18th, 2005, 05:56 PM
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Another interesting site is the very impressive Nan Tien Temple (Buddhist) at Berkeley, south of Wollongong. www.nantien.org.au
Neil_Oz is offline  
Sep 19th, 2005, 07:57 AM
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Melbourne Cup !!

I'm having a hard time booking Oct 31 in Apollo Bay area, because a 4 day minimum is required as Melbourne Cup is on Nov 1.

Any suggestions? Should I focus on B&Bs, motels, or Caravan parks??
I had no problem booking Port Fairy for Nov1.

Thanks as always for your suggestions/comments.
rickrick is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2005, 12:35 PM
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rcg
 
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Since you mentioned that you were interested in flora, you might want to check out the Blue Mtns. near Sydney. We were there in August (winter) & I have never seen such large rhododendrons. The locals told me there was some festival in October, maybe you'd be lucky enough to catch the blooming time. We also saw lots of birds there including a gray cockatoo.

Right in Sydney at the park across from the opera house (sorry I forgot the name) is beautiful if you're into plants. I'm sure there'd be lots of plants in bloom. Also, the birds were spectacular. We saw lorikeets & cockatoos. In fact, if you bring your picnic lunch, the cockatoos will come right up to you.

Enjoy Australia. It's wonderful.

Audrey
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