So Torn-Kangaroo Island or GBR in January

Oct 29th, 2008, 07:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2008
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So Torn-Kangaroo Island or GBR in January

Hey guys,

So I've done a whole bunch of research and still can't decide between spending 10 days between Sydney and Kangaroo Island or Sydney and Great Barrier Reef. I feel like if I'm going to make the trip all the way to Australia, I should see the reef. However, comments about rainy season and monsoons are discouraging. Can people who have actually been to GBR in late January comment on how it was? Initially was thinking that Kangaroo Island would be a great destination since it's wet season in the north. However, I am not an animal love and although it will be cool to see kangaroos, I'm worried that it'll get old really fast. Can people who have been to Kangaroo Island comment on the experience? Is it actually possible to swim with dolphins? THanks so much in advance.

sushi123 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 01:29 PM
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If you are not an animal lover I could not see much point in going to Kangaroo Island - as that is the definite highlight when you go there. It is all about seeing kangaroos,wombats, koala bears, seals, etc, in their natural habitat.
prue is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 04:52 PM
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I wouldn't go to Kangaroo Island. Although it's in the south, it will still be really hot in January. And you can see native animals in their natural habitat pretty much everywhere in Australia.

There are also several places you can swim with dolphins, even Melbourne: We've been out with the Moonraker guys and had a great time, although you should note that this is a swimming experience not the sort of standing in the shallows and hand-feeding you do at Monkey Mia, for example.

The GBR is sensational - a truly memorable experience. But you are talking about the worst time of the year to go. Apart from it being the start of the cyclone season, there is the problem of stingers in the water (although I think if you go far enough off shore that becomes less of an issue). You could take a chance and go up there in January but you might be disappointed.
Pumblechook is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 04:59 PM
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What is your interest in KI if not wildlife? How many nights are you thinking of allocating to this part? I would think you'd get bored quickly. I've been to both but only in winter.

We were told there were no more wild wombats on KI.
Patty is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 05:21 PM
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I've been to the lower end of the GBR (Heron Island) in January. The visibility for snorkelling/diving is not as good as in August/September, however, the rain is only intermittent. The couple of times I was there at that time of year, there was at least one brief shower per day.
Susan7 is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 06:16 PM
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Defintely GBR I have been there in January and it has not been a problem although it was a few years ago. It is very hard to predict the weather nowadays, but there are a few locals on this forum who may add their views. KI will be very hot and if you are not interested in animals it would be a most unpleasant experience. Anyway you don't have to go so far to see all those creatures. Mornigton Peninsular and the Great Ocean Road in Victoria are much easier and cheaper to get to and you can swim with Dolphins and see Kangaroos and Koalas in the wild together with some of the best coastal scenery on the planet. It would be hot in Victoria but definitely no Monsoons. Sydney the GBR and the GOR for my money!
DownUnder is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 09:40 PM
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Gave you a bit of an insight into weather patterns on that Lizard Island thread, and in some ways it is a tough call, though I see people saying Kangaroo Island will be hot towards end of January, there aren't too many places if any at all that will not be hot in Australia about end of January, it being more than old folklore that yep, kids head back to school end of January just in time for hottest month of the year.

As has been indicated to you, there are numerous places you can see Kanagaroos and you can also swim with dolphins on north coast of NSW, not too far from Sysney.
And there are a few other dolpin watching, seakayaking etc. activities - about the last on that list being Jervis Bay, a beaut natural area (the coast south of Sydney being far less visited by tourists and better for it) - and a bit further on in that direction if you want to stay somewhere with kangaroos about, try

Ten days makes your options a bit limited but if you're flying into Sydney and prepared to limit yourself there to a couple of days(sufficient for a reasonable look about) and dolphins swimming/seeing and GBR are your priorities;

I would choose something like the following and a number of options; an advantage to you is that you do not really need to book ahead as near the end of Xmas school hoildays, people will be heading home (that's if they have left at all because of economy) and so you can wait until a few days before for booking any of the GBR and See what the weather is like and decide accordingly, thus:

hire a car and spend about four days on drive up to Brisbane, stopping at Tuncurry/Forster for the dolphin swim (and there's a dolphin pool at Coffs Harbour, further north), then get yourself to Byron Bay - the kayaking and glorious beside that, and then there's the Gold Coast with Sea World where you can see dophin shows, and. even Polar Bears in their especially iced pool.

Depending on your budget, you could fly from the Gold Coast or Brisbane to connect with a 4 day Fraser Island and Lady Elliot Island(Great Barrier Reef Island/Lagoon).
For a lesser budget, you might want to continue driving (a further 500 km. north of Brisbane) to Agnes Water/1770 from where day trips to Lady Musgrave Island, another island/lagoon on the GBR and also superb.
The two Ladies Islands are at the southern extremity of the GBR and far enough south to miss most bad weather.
In my second post on this thread: I give a link to another thread which has links to the Ladies.

In my first post on that thread, I also give a link to Great Keppel Island and a further option could be for you to fly from Brisbane to Rockhampton and then either by flight or boat, get over to GKI for a few days, there being fringing reef on the island and also water taxis/tours to other smaller reef islands for snorkelling, and GKI itself will leave a forever memory in your mind for the great beaches.
The tourist information centres shown on should be able to assist with detail.

Option 2.
head down south coast a couple of days and on returning to Sydney, take a day for the dolphin swim and then head back for a flight to either Gold Coast, Rockhampton or Hervey Bay direct.

The other way of doing it all to give you more flexibility would be to fly Sydney to the north first if a weather check says go, get the GBR in and then head back to the Gold Coast to drive back to Sydney, or you could fly Rockhampton to Brisbane, a train (direct from the airport) to the Gold Coast, and then fly back to Sydney leaving time to do a trip for the Dolphin swim.

I may have you completely muddled by now but just using your priorities you'll see that there are plenty of options - narrow your choices down and I'm sure we all can help sort out any detail.
Bushranger is offline  
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