Tasmania in October. Gordon River Cruise

Old Apr 7th, 2004, 07:46 PM
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Tasmania in October. Gordon River Cruise

Thanks so much for those who responded to our question about "Blue Mountains". With such excellent answers, we are only tempted to ask more questions. For our 7 weeks trip to Australia we have been tentatively
planning to do allocate the nights for SA, VIC and TAS as follows:

Adelaide(1), Borrosa (1), Grampians(2), Ocean Hwy (2), Melbourne(5), Hobart (Sat), Strahan (1), Cradle Mtn. (2), Freycinet (2), Port Arthur (1), then fly from Hobart Sat eve.

Our Questions:
1. The schedule is too tight to include the Gordon River Cruise with certainty. Is it worth sacrificing Port Arthur to accommodate the cruise? Or alternatively should we add a day to TAS at the
expense of Melbourne? We have been to cruises. Does this one have a very special interest?

2. For mid October should we make reservations for the cruise and for night stopovers or is it safe to play it by ear?

3. How would you rate the Grampians vs. Kangaroo Island? We don't have time for both

4. In our visit to Cairns, does the sky rail to Kuranda require advance reservation? (~9/20)
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Old Apr 7th, 2004, 09:01 PM
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1. I would do Port Arthur before the Gordon River trip. If you only go to Port Arthur, there is a fairly short boat tour that you can take from there that goes out into the bay.

2. I don't think that you need to book the river trip or accommodations in advance during the Spring. One exception would be the Cadbury factory in Hobart - you should reserve at least several days in advance if you want to go there.

3. Depends on what you like. I prefer the Grampians, because I like the terrain (here's a photo: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/afriedma/) and the short hikes you can take; as opposed to another island.

4. You do not need to make a reservation for the SkyRail, particularly in September. It would be best to go earlier in the day, to avoid any potential queue, and allow plenty of time to stroll about Kuranda.
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Old Apr 7th, 2004, 09:55 PM
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Much as I'm a huge fan of Melbourne (I live there), I'd make sure you have time for the Gordon River Cruise by planning on staying in Strachan the night prior. You will need to pre-book both accom and the cruise - Strahan is always busy. But you could drive from Strahan to Cradle Mountain after the cruise. My trip report on our recent trip to Tas including Strahan is here: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...3&tid=34481107
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Old Apr 7th, 2004, 10:05 PM
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Melbourne 5 ????????? I think I would be cutting that to about 2 actually so that I could see more of Tasmania and take it a bit more easily otherwise you will find that you are racing around the island like a crazy person. I know that Melbournians are going to scoff at my remarks but for the life of me I fail to see what there is to see there.
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Old Apr 8th, 2004, 05:59 AM
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I'm not a Melburnian but think LizF is being a little unfair. There's plenty to occupy you for 5 days if time is not a factor - but if you are apportioning finite time to an Australian itinerary - then 5 days is out of proportion. Spend the extra day (or days) in Tassie. Do the Gordon River cruise - and if you can, take the seaplane trip up to the Franklin Falls. Brilliant experience for the fragility of the plane; the view over Ocean Beach, etc; the thrill of landing on the river; the beautiful falls; and the knowledge that you are absolutely miles away from anywhere.
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Old Apr 8th, 2004, 06:45 AM
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Saba,

Much of what you're asking has to be based on your own personal likes and dislkes, which we're not really aware of...so most of us can only respond in kind... in this case, I go with ALF's and Liz's comments..

1. Gordon River - I would never consider sacrificing Port Arthur for this. To me, Port Arthur is a very special place that gives you insight into Australia's history. There are several other tours while at the site (Isle of the Dead and the Ghost Tour in the evening) well as touring all the gardens / grounds and buildings on the site. I could go on and on, but let's see where you end up!

The river cruise is pretty much just that -- cruising up the Gordon River and seeing the reflections of the vegetation on the side of the banks reflected in the water (unless it's teeming down rain) And, just another note, the color of the water is somewhat of a brownish, rust colored shade due to the tannin from the vegetation, btw. (if you do take the cruise, get the "Upper Deck" ticket).

2. Days in Melbourne -- well, depending on how much wine you'd like to consume, I'd take a day (or 2) off Melbourne, and either add it in the Barossa (you can only scratch the surface in 1 day - figure about 3 wineries); or add it to Tasmania.

Hope this is helpful!

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Aussie & Tasmania Specialist
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Old Apr 8th, 2004, 01:42 PM
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I'd do the Gordon Rifver cruise in a flash - but that's because I remember how hard we had to fight to keep it. The Tasmanian government wanted to dam just about every stream. The Gordin is one of those magic areas.

Port Arthur ....hmmmmmm???? Cut short Melbourne! (I've always wanted to say that! )
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Old Apr 10th, 2004, 05:26 PM
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Hi, I'd cut down on the days in Melbourne too. We were just in Tazmania for 2 weeks and loved it. Also took the Gordon River cruise, which we enjoyed. Strahan is always crowded so book a room ahead or stay in Queenstown where accomodations are much cheaper. Be sure and go to the Salamanca Mkt in Hobart if you are there on a Saturday. The Woolstore is a good place to stay. Huon valley is very pretty and is a day trip. We loved Tazmania!!!
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