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megwill Oct 10th, 2004 07:58 PM

Planning the trip of a lifetime in OZ
Well, it's a go. We will be going to Australia for our 30th wedding aniv. in March 2005. Now, where do we go? My husband says Sydney, Cairns and Ayres Rock. I have never been to OZ. He has.
I have family in Blacktown (outside of Sydney) and in Perth. Can I see both in 3 weeks? Should I go to Perth? All of the forums talk about the east coast but not about the west coast at all? Reasons? Any must sees? The forums are all so exciting I don't know where to go.

Peteralan Oct 10th, 2004 09:15 PM

Well I would go with your husband's idea ( my personal preference would be nearby Port Douglas rather than Cairns itself) but you will need to be aware that it will be very hot there and Ayres Rock at that time.Even so the three weeks will be well used up and you couldn't really do Perth as well. Alternatively you could do Sydney and Perth but they are a LONG way apart and that is probably why most people know the East Coast better.It is beautiful over there though.By the way Blacktown is not outside of Sydney it is a suburb of Sydney.Best of luck with whatever you finally decide on.

Paul_S Oct 11th, 2004 04:24 AM

Hi megwill,

Well here is my take on your trip.

If you really want to see the rellies then why not fly into Sydney see the rellies then do a bit of sightseeing around Sydney and Blue Mountains etc, spend say 4 days there then fly to Perth to see the rellies there and spend 4 days there doing the tourist bit around Perth/Freemantle and Margret River area.

Then fly from Perth to Ayres Rock and spend 2 days there, then fly Ayres rock to Cairns and then go up to Port Douglas for 4 days. Then fly back to Sydney and maybe do a one or 2 day tour of Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley vineyards before returning to Sydney and flying out to go home. By my calculations this could be comfortably done in 21 days allowing 1 day for each flight leg except from Perth to Ayres Rock which is not a big deal.

It will be hot here in the centre of Australia at that time of year so you will not want to stay any longer than the 2 days, well fly in on the first day and fly out on the second day in the afternoon.

The flight into Ayres Rock from Perth arrives at 2:30pm which means that you will be able to do the sunset veiwing tour and the sounds of silence dinner that day and do the sunrise and olgas the next day before flying out to Cairns.

There are afternoon flights that leave Ayres Rock at 12:30pm and 3:05pm each day to Cairns.

Just something for you to mull over, one thing for sure you would have one heck of a 30th anniversary to remember.



Paul_S Oct 11th, 2004 04:30 AM

Hi Megwill,

If you decide that you do not want to go to Perth then you could substitute that sector of the trip with 4 days in Adelaide, taking in Kangaroo Island and the Barossa Valley winery region.



Alan Oct 11th, 2004 04:59 AM

Hi, Megwill!

You can see both the east coast and the west coast in three weeks, but the distance (not much different from the distance between the east and west coast of the USA) often makes the journey prohibitively expensive, which is why most people opt for one only -- and, of course, when you're talking the Asia-Pacific rim, naturally it's the east coast that is most-favoured.

The west coast certainly has much to offer you, although, as a Sydneysider, I am not the one to best guide you to the sights of Perth! (Understandably, I think that the east is tops: Sydney, the Barrier reef, Canberra, and Tasmania -- this is the Australia for me!) There are, however, many posts about Western Australia on this forum, and I am sure a search above will yield them. I know that Margaret River is a favourite with American visitors, and Fremantle and New Norcia are also well-written up in various spots on this forum. Try searches under those headings, and you may be surprised with the information that comes up.

You may also consider re-posting your question, but this time using a heading that specifically targets Perth and Fremantle; because there are fewer people on the west coast, it stands to reason that there are fewer "westies" looking at this forum, and you don't want to miss the ones that are here!

Finally, a word about the cost of going west. This can be horrendous -- the Indian Pacific Railway takes nearly a week and charges like a five-star hotel for every day. Sydney-Perth full fares on Qantas are often nearly as expensive as Sydney-Hawaii.

However, there is light at the end of this tunnel. Nowadays, few Aussies pay full fare, because every month -- sometimes even more often -- we watch in glee as a price war rages between our two discount carriers: Virginblue and Jetstar. You can often score a RETURN from Sydney to Perth for under $AUD200 when the pricing departments of these two rivals really get the bit between their teeth. So you should really start haunting their two websites, and when the sales appear (they will probably occur a half-dozen times before you're ready to leave home), grab the seats you want on-line, without delay. Be warned -- if you see them available, you have little time for reflection, as these two companies sell their sale seats almost as they are advertised; two hours later there will likely be nothing left, or (as happened to me) you will be able to get a great fare going one way, but have to pay through the nose to get back again.

Best of luck with this, and I hope some of the above has been useful.

tropo Oct 11th, 2004 12:44 PM

Megwill, Western Australia is definitely worth seeing. Allow 1-2 days with your relatives, no doubt they will show you around Perth & Freemantle. Then rent a car for 3 days, and drive down to Busselton, Bunbury, Margaret River region, Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leewun, then to karri forests near Pemberton, then to Walpole & Denmark, then over to Albany, then take the Albany Highway back to Perth. It all doable in 3 days, and very scenic.
I recently returned from Perth a few days ago, after seeing relatives, so if there is anything you want ask about restaurants, using the transport systems, car rentals, attractions in Perth & outside, just say so.

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