Outback Wonders and south and east coast

Old Jan 11th, 2009, 09:13 PM
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Outback Wonders and south and east coast

Hi,
I like this 16 day escorted tour of australian outback which includes:
* Clare Valley wine tastings
* Flinders Ranges
* Explore Wilpena Pound
* Tour Coober Pedy
* Uluru (Ayers Rock) sunset
* Uluru base walking tour
* Kata Tjuta (the Olgas)
* Climb Kings Canyon
* Battery Hill at Tennant Creek
* Visit Simpsons Gap
* Angkerle (Standley Chasm)
* Cruise Katherine Gorge
* Explore Kakadu National Park
* Yellow Water Billabong cruise
* Visit Crocosaurus Cove
* INCLUDED Aboriginal Cultural Experience.
Departure dates are either May 04.2009 or June 01.2009 (guaranteed), which one will be better in regards to weather?
From Darwin I would like to travel to Cairns and down along the coast back to Sydney. I can not find escorted tour starting after my first one, any suggestions?
Also, I may fly to Sydney 2 weeks before my outback tour to see south between Sydney and Adelaide. I can stay max 40 days in Australia. Any help with my planning will ease my headache, thanks a lot! I've been reading a lot and am confused more than before.
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Old Jan 11th, 2009, 10:43 PM
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The tour certainly covers some interesting locations and is going to include a fair bit of distance which will be mainly between Adelaie/Flinders Ranges to the Centre via CP and then onto the top end.

The Simpsons Gap and Stanley Chasm will be before Tenant Creek as far as order goes and I'd take the June 01 departure for the earlier one is not guaranteed as you could have some flood water issues in early May still and seeing as there has been an inland sea formed in western Queensland already this year and we're hardly into the wet season, it's more than likely that there'll be extensive water flowing south and west at some stage - get yourself a flight if possible out of Coober Pedy, Alice Springs or Tennant Creek for the desert really blooms after a good summer drenching and it'll be something worth seeing.

Lake Eyre in central SA only fills up every 10-15 years or so and this could be one of those years and you may get a chance to get near there too.

As fortacking on either side of the escorted tour, there are a couple of tours Darwin to Cairns but very expensive, something like $4000 for about 10 days I think I saw one for if that is the type of price you were looking at - let us know if that is the case and I'll see if I can spot where I saw it, but they also had limited departures too.

Are you a driver?, for Cairns to Sydney and Sydney to Adelaide is a doddle, though you would have to fly some legs or otherwise it'll be a rush with time you have left.

Alternately, a www.greyhound.com.au or www.premierms.com.au bus pass could be an option for you and you can stop and go from selected places, something like Cairns - Airlie Beach - Rockhampton - Sunshine Coast/Fraser Island - Brisbane, fly to Sydney - Batemans Bay - Merimbula - Lakes Entrance - Melbourne and then use somebody like www.bunyiptour.com.au to visit Phillip Island and/or Wilsons Promontory and have a look at www.waywardbus.com.au to do a three day trip from Melbourne to Adelaid via the Great Ocean Road.

Wayward also do a tour from Adelaide through to Darewin and their tours are more basic camp out type but great fun and possibly a lot cheaper than what you're paying.
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 07:45 AM
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Bushranger,
As always there is a lot of info in your comments, thanks.
I think I would prefer to fly from Darwin to Cairns, take 1-2 day tour around Cairns and than another one, maybe 10 days, Cairns to Sydney along the coast.
Did you see any run by good, local travel agency?
The 16 day trip I like is operated by AAT Kings, have you heard anything about the company?
I can extend my trip a little bit, but try to keep the cost down, but it's growing every minute I look at what I want to see. It's my bday (early retirement) gift to myself and I look at the trip as one in a lifetime, as if I will not go there again.
Thanks a lot!
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 01:44 PM
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Andrew Haffenden
E-mail Address(es):
[email protected]

Is an Aussie living in the States, specialising in organising tours for independent travellers who want good accommodation (i.e. well placed) and guides. His son lives in Cairns.
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 05:19 PM
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Probably a good idea to fly Darwin Cairns when the cost and distance of land travel is considered.

AAT Kings are one of the premier tour companies and I have not heard anything bad about them, nor APT the other company mentioned in the other thread you started.

The Adventure Tours are generally a bit cheaper and though they by name infer catering to the young and adventurous and do get a reasonable percentage of younger travellers, there are also often older adventurous travellers on their tours, some of which can be shared with like companies in the market.
They are usually of a camping and/or hostelling accommodation in keeping costs down and some will have the option of hotel/motel stays at extra cost.

But seriously, Australia is such an easy country in which to travel, if you want to be more frugal and stretch your time out a bit more, you can cover essentially the same routes that a tour would by using a bus pass, choose your own stops/accommodation and do it that way cheaper.
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 05:32 PM
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Hi dreamandgo,

I like the sound of that 16 day tour. An escorted tour isn't everyone's cup of tea but I have done one and enjoyed it. I think you would too by the sound of things.

It covers some seriously beautiful parts of our country, our gorgeous red Centre.

I'd have to say go for it and I'm pretty sure you won't be disappointed.
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 07:10 PM
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Bushranger,
I see that you're trying to encourage me to travel solo, thanks, but I'm a bit skeptical about it. For this time I'll pick escorted tour with hotel accommodation (didn't sleep in a tenet for ages). I'm checking Globus and Trafalgar tour now, but AAT's Outback looks the best at the moment. Still no trip for Cairns to Sydney. I just discovered that I need ETA to enter Australia.
Thanks a lot!
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 07:12 PM
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Stormbird,
Thanks, so far it's the best itin and all the places I wonted to see (and some more, still working on it)
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Old Jan 15th, 2009, 02:25 AM
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Dreamy,
Not encouraging you to do anything other than look at your options that can extend your travelling for same expense - something like you mentioned but seeing as you want to stick with tours, found this company you may be intetrested in for Cairns to Sydney - they have a 12 day one
http://www.relaxingjourneys.com.au/e...queensland.php
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Old Jan 16th, 2009, 01:44 AM
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Wow! I have to say it leaves me breathless just reading that itinerary. I think it might all turn into a big blur, but everyone is different and you will certainly cover a lot of territory.

About organised trips down the east coast. There are fewer operators because it is so easy to do your own thing (harder in the Centre and Top End). But, interestingly enough, Intrepid have recently started to include Australian itineraries. Here's one that might be of interest.

14 days Cairns to Sydney
http://www.intrepidtravel.com/trips/PSR

Cheers,



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