sydney, adelaide, KI, melbourne itinerary

Oct 12th, 2004, 10:16 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 42
sydney, adelaide, KI, melbourne itinerary

Hello Everyone! I've been procrastinating in planning my trip to Oz and wanted to get some thoughts from others to my tentative itinerary before I plan the rest of our trip. My husband and I are spending 12 days in Australia and was wondering if we're spreading ourselves too thin. Here goes . . .

Day 1:Arrive Sydney AM and spend the next 4 days in Sydney (hit several tourist attractions: Sydney Aquarium, the Bridge Climb, day trip to the Blue Mtns, Taronga Zoo, etc.)
Day 5: Fly to Adelaide, rent a car and take the ferry to KI. Is it wise to rent a car? My husband and I weren't too keen on driving (since we're not used to driving on the left side), but I was told by an acquaintance that it's really more cost and time efficient to rent a car in Adelaide and use it on KI. Spend the next two days on KI.
Day 7: Take ferry back to Adelaide and hang out in Adelaide.
Day 8: Spend day around Adelaide or drive out to Barossa Valley. Return car and fly to Melbourne in the evening.
Day 9: Take one day tour on the Great Ocean Road (I know that one day doesn't do it justice, but I don't think I have much time otherwise and also, I'm not sure if we still want to be driving at this point).
Day 10: Hang out in Melbourne and fly back to Sydney in the evening.
Day 11: Spend last day in Sydney and maybe head out to one of the beaches out there or out to Jervis Bay? This is basically a free day for us to see or do anything that we may have missed the first few days of our trip.
Day 12: Fly back to the US in the afternoon.

I'm trying to cram in as much as I can, without making it too hectic and making it somewhat a bit more leisurely towards the end of our stay. I'm open to any thoughts or suggestions (even on hotels and transportation (fly or drive) as nothing has been booked other than our flight to and from Australia and the first few nights in Sydney. Also, please tell me if I'm unreasonable in terms of estimating my travel times between cities. Will I be spending most of my time at the airport or on the road?
Sorry for the long post, but I need all the help I can get! Thanks a bunch!
mc10 is offline  
Oct 12th, 2004, 10:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 288
Hi mc10,

My only comment about your KI trip is that I think when all is said and done you are spending to long there. One day is fine for KI and you would be better off taking an Emu Air tour to see it. I have done the Emu Air trip and it is very good, the best things about the trip is that you are back in Adelaide in time to go out for dinner and you still get to see all the highlights of KI.

Just my thoughts on your itinery seeing as how you want to cram as much in as possible. You could use the day you save on a day tour of the Barossa. I believe that no-one should do a self drive of the Barossa Valley as the temptation to taste wines is to great and it does not take much to reach our .05 blood alcohol level. The last thing you want is a drink driving charge while your on holiday. The wine tasting tours are very reasonably priced and they generally go to the better wineries and you get to see some of the interesting things on the way there and back.


Paul_S is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 06:09 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Hello Mc10,

I think it would be more efficient if you did as follows:

Days 1 - 4 : Sydney

Day 5 : Fly to Adelaide in the morning; hang out in Adelaide in the afternoon.

6 : Day trip to KI as per Paul's suggestion

7 : Barossa Valley as per Paul

8 - 10 : Drive from Adelaide to Melbourne along the GOR in 3 days / 2 nights. Arrive in Melbourne by the 3rd night. That is a really pleasant schedule for driving the GOR, and eliminates the inefficient double-backing that would be involved in doing the GOR as a round-trip from Melbourne.

11 : Hang out in Melbourne.

12 : Fly to U.S. You could either fly Melbourne - U.S. or you could fly Melbourne - Sydney - U.S. I have flown Melbourne - Sydney - U.S., and it wasn't much worse than just Sydney - U.S. We checked our luggage all the way through when we booked in at Melbourne Airport. The flight across the Pacific is long whichever way you slice it.

In my opinion, 3 full days in Sydney would give you time to see a couple of great beaches. If, however, you really do want to add a day to Sydney, I would suggest adding it to your original stay in Sydney, at the beginning. To my mind that would be more efficient. In that case I would suggest eliminating the day in Melbourne (although I think that would be a shame, as Melbourne is a pleasant city and well worth a day IMO).

I cannot emphasize enough how easy it is to drive in Australia as long as one does so OUTSIDE of the cities. There is a huge difference between driving on what feels like the wrong side of the road in a city versus the countryside.

I hate driving in Australia's cities. The traffic is busy, parking is expensive, I find it challenging to drive in unfamiliar cities even in the best of circumstances, and the sense of driving on the "wrong" side of the road is intensified when one has to turn many corners. When the public transportation systems in the cities are as good and as reasonably priced as they are, it just makes sense to use public transit.

However, all of that changes when one gets outside of a city. Then the driving becomes really easy. I am sorry when I see people feeling intimidated about driving on the "wrong" side of the road in rural areas, because out there in the countryside it is barely a factor.

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 11:15 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,116
I think Judy's suggestion of driving the GOR from Adelaide to Melbourne is a great one. There's a lot to see besides the 12 Apostles and it deserves more than one rushed day in and out of Melbourne.
RalphR is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 08:38 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 42
Hi folks!
Paul you make a great point on joining a wine tour. I just thought since we would have a car already that we would drive. I'm definitely reconsidering the driving idea. I originally wasn't going to rent a car at all throughout our vacation or at least limit the driving time since I'm a little nervous driving on the left and my husband doesn't care to drive while on vacation since he drives a lot for his job in Los Angeles. Hmmm, looks like I'll have to re-assess this based on Judy's recommendation.

Judy ~ Unfortunately, I already have our flights scheduled and we are returning back to LAX from Sydney. Our flight out of Sydney is at 4:30 and if it's anything like LAX, I'd imagine we'd have to be at the Sydney airport 3 hours prior. I was thinking of having a leisurely morning before our flight rather than rushing from Melbourne that morning. That's why I planned on returning to Sydney on Day 11.

Also, does anyone know how early we would need to arrive at the airport for domestic flights (for example, from Sydney to Adelaide)? I'd like to factor that into my revised itinerary.

Thanks for all your input. I'm sure I'll be back for more!
mc10 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2004, 09:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 288
Hi mc10,

Well I have to say that if you are at all nervous about driving then you should not do it. I am not suggesting that it is difficult but what is the point of going on a holiday if you cannot relax and feel good about the driving experience?

I think you would ultimately be better off taking professionally catered tours and leave the driving to people who do it for a living, I am sure your husband would agree with that statement.

As for the Barossa tours well I think they are just great, my wife and I have done many of them over the years. What can I say we just love wine . We are usually completely sozzled after a day of tasting and there is no way I would contemplate driving.

When I do drive to the Barossa it is for a buying trip only and I do not partake of the nectar from the gods.

Driving in the CBD area of Melbourne can be a terrifying experience for those that have never driven in a city that has trams, there are some unique road rules to obey when turning at intersections so be aware of that if you drive there.

Judy makes a good point about our city driving and frankly driving in Sydney is a nightmare with the road north across the bridge and tunnel being one perfect example of mass confusion. Even I dread driving this bit of road and I do a lot of driving in Australia.

Our country roads are reasonably good so you should not have much of a problem driving on them and they are well sign posted.

But again I say that if you are the least bit apprehensive about driving here then why bother to put yourself through all that pent up anxiety. You are here for a holiday to enjoy yourself, if that means paying for a tour instead of driving yourself then so be it.


Paul_S is offline  

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