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only 5-6 days in Austrailia or New Zealand..what to do.

only 5-6 days in Austrailia or New Zealand..what to do.

Sep 24th, 2005, 07:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 132
only 5-6 days in Austrailia or New Zealand..what to do.

Hello to you all,
My kids will be out of school for Thanksgiving week and we are thinking about a trip to Australia or New Zealand. We would leave on Nov. 17 and leave for home on Nov 24th or 25th. We would only be there for around 6 days.

Do you have any suggestions of things to do for a family with 2 kids (9 and 11)? We know that we will not be able to see very much on such a short trip,but really want to go.

We flew to Rome last Thanksgiving and the kids did great on the 10 1/2 hour flight.
They are great travelers so no worries there.

We would even be open to Bali or any of the other islands around.

Any suggestions would be welcome. Thank...

Flying_Mom is offline  
Sep 24th, 2005, 07:32 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,793
Are you coming from the US? I don't know if it would be worth it to go all the way to Oz or NZ for 6 days.
If you do decide to go, I would choose one of: Sydney, Queenstown, or NZ North Island. In Sydney and Queenstown you can base yourselves with daytrips a couple of days (in Sydney to the Blue Mountains, in Queenstown to Fiordland).
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Sep 24th, 2005, 07:59 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,119
Seems crazy to me. Assuming you're coming from the USA, it's a ~15 hr flight just from LAX or SFO. Coming from the US East Coast, it's at least a 24 hr ordeal, door to door. Leaving on the 17th, you will not arrive until the 19th. That will give you only 4 or 5 full days Down Under, not even enough time to get over the jet lag.
RalphR is offline  
Sep 24th, 2005, 09:41 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 91
It does seem like a shame to go all of that way for only 6 days. Obviously Australia is closer to the US than NZ, so based on that alone, I'd say go to Australia. But if you do go to NZ, I'd fly to Christchurch and head to Queenstown or Wanaka. If you fly to Auckland instead, I'd stay in Auckland for one night and then head up to the Bay of Islands. It does relaly seem like such a short time though. Even though NZ looks like a small country, it is surprisingly large and takes a good while to drive from place to place. You just won't even scratch the surface in six days.
pykiwi is offline  
Sep 24th, 2005, 03:19 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I think I would choose somewhere closer to home. It's a really long way to fly for the short amount of time you have, especially if you're flying from the East Coast. You're likely to be so wiped out when you get there that you'll lose a day just trying to recover from the flight.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Sep 24th, 2005, 08:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,067

Hmmm, I'd save Australia for a longer time too. As said, you lose two days getting there. And often when I've gone, I've been really wiped out for a couple of days after I've gotten there. Of course, everyone is affected differently, and you may have found that you're not susceptible to 15 hr time shifts on your system. Some aren't.

Still, Australia is a big country - about big as the lower 48 US. If you do go, pick a spot and have a look around. I suspect the same could be said of New Zealand which IS closer to the US, but only by a little bit. Well, I've connected through NZ on the way to New Zealand before, catching an extra 4 hour flight onward to Aus. No knowledge of what you could do in NZ in a few days otherwise.
Clifton is offline  
Sep 24th, 2005, 08:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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connected through NZ on the way to Australia, that is
Clifton is offline  
Sep 24th, 2005, 10:08 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Add me to the ``way too short'' crowd. A great thing about either Australia or NZ is the diversity of climate and activities. Distances are really a limiting factor. Yes, you could go to Sydney or the GBR and have a good time -- but you'd fly home with only a very small sample and non-representative sample of the country.

If you were to pick one place for a short trip, I'd say look into Queenstown -- and save Australia and the rest of NZ for later.
repete is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 07:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,732

I hope you get more suggestions/answers to your questions and not just people telling you not to go.

Because of our work patterns my husband and I can only get up to 7 or maybe 10 days off together during the year. So, if we went by those on the board who say "wait until you have more time" we wouldn't get to go anywhere outside the country until one of us retires. Plus, my husband doesn't like to "vacation" for more than 7-10 days at a time anyway. I just don't expect to see an entire country in any one trip.

So, we do sometimes travel a long distance for just 5-6 days, picking specific sites and activities that match our interests and avoiding activities that we could do at home and too much traveling around in-country.

We've had two 7-day trips to China, 4 days in Thailand, then another 7-day one in Thailand, etc. Sure, we are sometimes tired upon arrival, but we we choose one or two hubs to visit and often leave the driving to others--the part of traveling I find the most tiring.

You don't get to leverage the cost of the airline ticket or the time in-flight very well this way, but if it is your only chance to go, I hope you don't pass it up because you can't see alot.
Kay2 is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 07:26 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 7
i would agree with most peoples advice about where to go in aus. either the great barrier reef, cairns has international flights.into it. or sydney. in november the weather would be warm. in cairns you are in very hot and humid season and stingersin the ocean. however, not out on the reef so i am told.

in sydney, the harbour, the beaces, blue mountains for a day or two, (scenic world, train and cable car), walking over the sydney harbour bridge, expensive but world class experience esp at sunset. history at the Rocks area the beginging of western settlement in australia.
wheretonext is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 08:47 AM
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Posts: 1,014
If you decide to go, choose the place you most want to visit and stay within that area! It is so tempting to try to see and do everything... resist it! For example, maybe stay in Port Douglas and do the GBR, see the rainforest at Kuranda and trip into Cairns or another location no more than an hour or so away. The country is beautiful, but it the people that are so interesting and special!
moneygirl is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Hi, sorry if all our comments are not very encouraging. I definitely do think you should go for it if you really want to go. It's just good to have a realistic idea of what you can do in 6 days. So don't be put off and go for it.
And Clifton, NZ is not closer to the US than Australia. You might have stopped off in NZ enroute to Australia because that's where your flight took you. Am absolutely positive you can get flights that fly directly to Australia. It would be totally mad to fly to NZ first and then on to Australia if you were going for 6 days.
pykiwi is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 03:46 PM
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pykiwi - I do know you can fly direct to Australia from the US as I've done it. Also have had the connecting flight on Air New Zealand through Auckland.

Since you'd mentioned it, I checked on distances from Los Angeles, the closest western US to either Aus or NZ.

From LAX non-stop, Sydney is 7488 miles. Further is Melbourne at 7921 miles. Cairns and Brisbane are closer than Sydney at 7189 and 7161 miles respectively.

Auckland, the closest NZ airport you can arrive at from LAX is 6504 miles non-stop, closer to the US by 650 miles than any international airport in Australia.

As a side note, I wasn't suggesting that Flying_Mom connect through NZ to get to Australia, just saying that NZ is closer. We connected through once enroute to Melbourne, but prefer to fly direct. Saves a couple hours.

This site is handy if you'd like to double check me.

Clifton is offline  
Sep 25th, 2005, 09:11 PM
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If you're set on doing this, Repete's suggestion of Queenstown, NZ would be a good one. It's beautiful and if your kids are Lord of the Rings fans, much of the film was shot in that area.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Sep 26th, 2005, 07:45 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 9
Simple answer: 2 days in Sydney (1 in City Centre and 1 in Blue Mountains), then fly to Cairns with 1 day on the reef (take a day trip on a catamaran to do snorkelling & glass bottomed boat etc.), and a 1 day trip to Kuranda (there via Skyrail, return to Cairns via steam train).
Best week's holiday you'll ever have!
Astronaut is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 04:18 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 16
Hi Flying Mom,

I can't see why you shouldn't do it, if your family is already inspired to do so. I would certainly travel from Oz to USA for 5/6 days.

I've never been to NZ, but my advice to you would be to base yourselves in Sydney - as close to the city as possible - all the action is around Circular Quay and The Rocks (Harbour Bridge/Opera House area). Don't even think about any of the outer suburbs (you may as well be back at home).
While in Sydney you could take a day trip to the Blue Mountains/Jenolan Caves. Then you could either take a flight up to Queensland for a few days (either the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast or Cairns) OR a 2 hour train trip up to Newcastle/Hunter Valley for some of the most spectacular surfing beaches in the whole of Australia, as well as the world-famous vineyards. You can fly domestic from Sydney to Newcastle, but be warned - Newcastle airport is about a 40 minute drive out of the city. You'd be best to catch a train and enjoy the very scenic trip up the coast. The Syd-Newc train terminates right in the port/harbour of Newcastle.

Newcastle airport is not international, so you'd have to get back to Sydney.

If money was no object, you could fly on to Queensland from Newcastle Airport, and probably depart for home from Queensland.

I say go for it - we're here for a good time, not a long time!

timetofly is offline  
Oct 5th, 2005, 11:50 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 49
Off course you should do this even if it is only for 6-7 days. The only thing I would concede is that because of the amount of travel to get here and back, you should base yourself in one place. My pick would be Sydney.

It has enough attractions to keep you all busy for 6-7 days and would be the best for kids of 9 & 10.

I would plan:
a day trip or maybe an overnight trip to the blue mountain with the caves, skyrail and cable car.
A day at the beach
A day at the zoo/wildlife park
A day down by the harbour with a visit to the aquarium and up the sky tower.

Opps - running out of days.

Kiwis2 is offline  
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