Second try for Australia Itinerary in October

Mar 3rd, 2015, 12:50 PM
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Second try for Australia Itinerary in October

Hello again, just back from reporting on my recent trip to India (on the Asia forum) so I am getting back to work on our upcoming trip to Australia and New Zealand, 5 1/2 weeks split between the two. I received very helpful comments on a couple of other posts and I've come up with a tentative itinerary that takes into account our slow travel style and our interests: beautiful scenery and wildlife viewing are top priorities. I would appreciate comments on whether this itinerary makes sense: the order of stops, number of days in each place, etc. I am leaving out A LOT of Australia but we prefer to do a few places "in depth" rather than moving from place to place. We are not at all interested in going to beaches or strenuous hiking (we enjoy long but relatively easy walks). My only remaining uncertainty is whether we should skip Darwin (flight from the US goes to Brisbane then we connect to Darwin so we could switch the connection) the Top End and go to Kangaroo Island or elsewhere in South Australia).The trip begins smack in the middle of October:
Day 1: Arrive Darwin around noon
Days 2 - 4: Wilderness lodge in Top End, either Bamurru Plains or Wildman Wilderness Lodge. If the latter, we will do one full day in Quaked
Day 5: Fly to Cairns early afternoon, drive to either Port Douglas or Palm Cove
Days 6-9: Explore area around Daintree, Mossman, one day tour on reef
Day 10: Atherton Mountain (plan to contact Alan Gilanders, depending on availability might do this first when arriving in Cairns)
Day 11: Fly to Sydney
Days 12-14: Sydney with day trips to winery and to Blue Mountain area (should we stay there overnight?)
Day 15: Fly to Launceston,
Days 16-18: Cradle Mountain
Days 19-21: Freycinet Peninsula
Day 22: Fly to NZ
FromDC is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2015, 01:00 PM
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Looks good. Don't worry about staying in the Blue Mountains overnight - it's easy to do a day trip from Sydney, either on an organised coach trip or by taking the train then using a shuttle bus around the viewing points. It will be a long day but get going early in the day to make the most of your visit.
marg is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2015, 01:22 PM
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Here's Plan B:
Day 1: Arrive Darwin
Days 2-4: Top End
Day 5: Fly to Cairns, drive north
Days 6-8, PD area, Atherton Table Mtns,
Days 9-11: Sydney (Blue Mtn one day)
Days 12-13: Adelaide and wineries
Days 14-15: Kangaroo Island
Days 16-21: Fly to Launceston from KI, remainder in Tasmania

Are there duplications in this itinerary (scenery and wildlife)? Maybe one day less in the Cairns area and add to Adelaide area? Too much moving around?

THANKS for your comments.
FromDC is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2015, 06:18 PM
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how are you getting to Kangaroo island? lots of rough roads and are hire cars allowed to be taken on ferry or on unmade roads.
I cant understand the fascination with kangaroo island -must be pushed in US .What are you hoping to see there that you cant see in other places?
The only flight that I can find to and from kangaroo Island is to and from Adelaide. Is that what you mean? The only flights to Launceston from Adelaide go via Melbourne or Sydney.
Cleland Conservation park is 11 km from the city of Adelaide and very worthwhile looking at.
northie is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2015, 06:46 PM
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Your second itinerary is almost the same as our first trip to Australia except we had 4 nights less overall and skipped the Top End entirely. We spent one less night in Queensland than you and felt we could've stayed longer. We spent one more night on KI than you and thought it was a good amount of time but I also think 2 nights is OK. We had the same exact nights as you in Sydney, Adelaide and Tasmania and felt we could've stayed longer in Tasmania. Our trip was a fast paced, whirlwind but looking back I wouldn't have given up any of those locations as we viewed the trip as a first glimpse. We've since returned to spend more time in Tasmania and I'd like to go back and spend more time in Queensland. Don't know if that helps at all!
Patty is offline  
Mar 4th, 2015, 02:30 AM
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Thanks for comments. Northie, there is a spark airlines flight direct from
KI to Tasmania, which is what gave me the idea to add this in. Would the landscape and wildlife be similar to what we see elsewhere? so hard to tell from books.

Patty, I will look at your TR again.

I added the second itinerary almost as an afterthought, it is more stops than we usually like to make but all those wine areas, where we have had so many lovely wines in the past was making me nostalgic. Would it make sense to include the Adelaide area without KI?
FromDC is offline  
Mar 4th, 2015, 04:03 AM
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I don't think you're allocating enough time for Sydney, especially since you want to do day trips from the city. I would also choose Adelaide / KI or Tasmania and not do both if you aren't interested in moving around too much.
tripplanner001 is online now  
Mar 4th, 2015, 04:04 AM
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Thanks, TP, I am always second guessing myself.
FromDC is offline  
Mar 4th, 2015, 11:50 AM
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My TR isn't as much a report as it is photos but sometimes I think that tells as much of a story. I topped it and updated the links at the bottom.

TP raises a good point about day trips. We didn't plan any from Sydney. We would've wanted another day for that.

Our primary goals were scenery and wildlife. We didn't spend time exploring wine regions. We love wine but also live in CA and something had to give! We saw different wildlife everywhere. For example we only saw wombats on Tasmania but some of the other differences were also between various species of kangaroos or wallabies so if you care about seeing roos and wallabies but not necessarily different types you may find it repetitive. You'll see wildlife galore in the Atherton Tablelands, KI or Tasmania but if I had to drop one, it would probably be KI as I think the contrast between Queensland and Tasmania was the greatest. I can't really comment on the Adelaide area because we used it as a jumping off point for KI. I thought it was a pleasant enough city but didn't explore beyond the city. I will say that there are wine regions near Sydney and in Tasmania. We've done some tastings in Tasmania as the cooler climate wines that I prefer are produced there.
Patty is offline  
Mar 4th, 2015, 12:37 PM
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Thanks all, heavily leaning towards first iteration.

Another issue has come up as I've been researching internal flights. It is difficult to get from Tasmania to NZ - - either a midnight arrival or an overnight in MEL or SYD. So I have been thinking about switching the order of Sydney and Tasmania. If I go to Tasmania directly from Cairns, I can do it in about 7 hours (stop in MEL or SYD), easily fly from Tasmania to SYD, more options SYD to NZ (SI first). Does this switch make sense 1) weather wise (will a week make a difference) and 2) tempo of the trip. I sorta liked the idea of a city in between the places of natural beauty and wildlife but I will be getting mostly that in NZ anyway. Any thoughts?
FromDC is offline  
Mar 4th, 2015, 12:55 PM
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I don't think a week makes any difference weather wise. We flew from Cairns to Tasmania via MEL and ended in Sydney. I'd do it whichever way works best as far as flights.
Patty is offline  

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