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Should we see more Australia or check out New Zealand?

Should we see more Australia or check out New Zealand?

Old Jun 15th, 2007, 07:47 PM
  #1  
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Should we see more Australia or check out New Zealand?

My husband and I have an opportunity to visit Sydney and the Whitsundays each for a few days with a group in February. If we're going to go all that way, I plan to extend the trip. We were going to add a couple of extra nights in Sydney on the front end of the trip. What I'm not sure about is what to do with another 5 nights or so after the Whitsundays. Should we try to see New Zealand or see some other parts of Australia? This is a once in a lifetime trip for us so I'd like to feel like I saw all the highlights.

What would you do???

Thanks,
Kim
kmdintx is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2007, 08:56 PM
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You won't do justice to either country if you cut it down and try and see two. Why not do Sydney, Whitsundays and Tasmania - the latter for quite a difference from the other two? There has been plenty written about all three areas and this would give you a cross section of Australia. You have not said though, how long you are staying in Sydney and the Whitsundays with the extended days that you have so far.
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Old Jun 15th, 2007, 11:05 PM
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Agree with Liz - I'd concentrate on one country - PLENTY to see and do without putting NZ into the mix.
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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 05:07 AM
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With the greatest respect - if you are coming all this way why limit the added on days to 7? Why not add on another seven? Even then I would still stick with one country,

Sounds like your trip is into Sydney as you say you plan to add on 2 days at the beginning. Then you go to the Whitsundays, right?

Tassie is a good suggestion as it would add a completely different dimension, but you could also go to Uluru, or travel further north to the Cairns area.

Most people go to Cairns for the reef - you could do that, or (having been to the Whitsundays and done the ocean thing) you could take it as an opportunity to see the Daintree rainforest, and maybe go up to Cooktown.

If it were me I probably would fly Whitsundays to Cairns and see if you can find a tour that shows you the rainforest, and Cooktown and maybe the Atherton Tablelands too. Aspects of Australia quite different from your other destinations.

Are you up for a road trip?
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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 07:48 AM
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I don't think it's so much how you divide your time between countries. It's rather how you divide your time between states or areas and how much time can you afford to spend flying between places (which always eats up vacation time). From Queensland, it's not that much further to fly to Tasmania than it is to fly to Christchurch. So if you're considering one of those options, you could easily consider the other.

Regardless, I'd recommend instead taking full advantage of the the two places you definitely are going to visit: Sydney and the Queensland mid-north coast. Spend extra time in or around Sydney, maybe taking excursions down the south coast, the Southern Highlands, the Blue Mts and/or Canberra. From the Whitsundays, drive up to Cairns. Lots to see and do!
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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 11:11 AM
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I'm with the other posters--take as many days as you can! In February it will be hot the farther north you go, so keep that in mind. It might be a good time for Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road if you don't want to fly to Tasmania (but the perfect time, I understand, for Tasmania). Look at flight costs to the different areas, and time spent waiting in airports for connections. Some places are easier to get to than others, depending on the starting city. Out of Sydney, the Blue Mountains are a great side trip for a day or a few days. We went to Jenolan Caves and Kanangra Walls and really enjoyed them. We plan this time around to go south to Narooma and Jervis Bay, and hopefully get to Canberra this trip, too. It's all good.
Sally in Seattle
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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 07:27 PM
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Thanks so much for all the input. We'd love to be able to add on an extra 14 nights, but we'll have a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old at home with their grandparents - need I say more...

I think the trip will look something like this:
2 nights in Sydney on our own
3 nights in Sydney with the group
3 nights in Whitsundays with the group
5-7 nights on our own somewhere

I wanted to try to see the highlights of both countries because I really don't think we'll ever get the chance to go back, but at the same time I don't want to spend the whole trip on a plane or packing/unpacking. Are the highlights in Cairns, Melbourne, or Tasmania just as worthwhile as those those in New Zealand?

Thanks,
Kim
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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 09:21 PM
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kmdintx, you are asking an impossible question when you ask " are the highlights in Cairns, Melbourne and Tasmania as worthwhile as those in NZ"
the short answer would be they are all different.
You have high mountains with snow in NZ, glaciers, and two fiords. In Cairns/ surrounds you have World Heritage listed scenery, destinations and unique flora and fauna. In Tasmania you have the convict heritage past, pretty villages with again World Heritage Listed places to see and go and again unique flora and fauna. I don't think that Melbourne would be as interesting but 3 million or so people think otherwise. Its your holiday so I would suggest doing a bit of research on the areas mentioned and then ask questions.
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Old Jun 16th, 2007, 09:30 PM
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Kim -

As far as if the "highlights in Cairns, Melbourne and Tasmania are just as worthwhile as those in NZ"...

Very subjective, but in a word, absolutely. I've been to all and have enjoyed all. Of the three Australian destinations you mention, my favorite is Tasmania. It's very different from the other areas you plan to visit and will give you an entirely different perspective of a very diverse country.

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Old Jun 17th, 2007, 08:35 AM
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It does seem a pity to fly up to Queensland only to spend 3 days in the Whitsundays. If it were later in the year, and not still summer, I'd say you'd be crazy not to tour the coast (with small inland diversions) north to Cairns or Port Douglas. There are so many amazing places to see, particularly north of Townsville - waterfalls, rainforests, wildlife, gorgeous beaches, lovely scenery, volcanic formations, and of course, the Great Barrier Reef. But as SnRSeattle points out, it will be hot in February and technically still the Wet Season. I've never been that far north in February, so I'll let others comment how enjoyable a trip would be at that time of year weather-wise.

But if you're determined to spend time elsewhere, you certainly can't go wrong with either Tasmania or the South Island of New Zealand. And the weather should be great both places.
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Old Jun 20th, 2007, 07:18 PM
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Just a point about Australian weather. While Cairns in summer will be warm to hot and moderately to very humid it does not have the extreme hot weather that EVERY southern capital can (and usually does)experience. This is because it does not get the contenental effect of winds from the centre. Besides there is always the cool Atherton Tablelands to escape to.
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Old Jul 26th, 2007, 08:19 PM
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well I'm a kiwi who LOVES extolling the virtues of my country to anyone who will listen but in this case I would stay in OZ for your extra days. It is a vast place with an enormouse variety of amazing places to see. You are going to Sydney and the Whitsundays. It would be a choice (for me) then of Uluru and down to Adelaide and over to Melbourne (which, apart from the harbour, leaves Sydney for dead I think!) or for something quite different
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Old Jul 26th, 2007, 08:21 PM
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sorry- sent off the last post before I had finished! .... maybe head down to Tasmania for a few restful days cruising around. Make a trip to NZ separately sometime but take the chance to see as much of Oz as you can. Its an amazing country.
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