Tour driving from Adelaide to Sydney

Jun 29th, 2005, 07:13 AM
  #1  
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Tour driving from Adelaide to Sydney

I live in Savannah, Georgia, USA. My husband and I will be touring Australia in October. We enjoy natural beauty, fauna & flora and love to take short hikes. We also love good food and wine. Part of our trip is driving from Adelaide to Sydney. We have 20 days to do the drive and see Sydney. Currently we are planning to spend 1 1/2 days in Adelaide, a day in Barossa, drive down Fleurieu Pen. to Victor Harbor stopping by for a hike at Deep Creek Conservation Park. On to the Coonawarra wine region and Great Ocean Rd to Melbourne. Should we take a detour to Grampians, and if so, what route would you suggest? After a couple of days in Melbourne, drive down the Mornington Pen.& over to Wilson's Promontory where we will spend 1 day, 2 nights. This is where my biggest dilemma comes in. Should we take the Great Alpine Road from Bairndale to Beechworth or continue on the Princess Highway and on up the coast? Rough Guide says the Milawa Gourmet Region is nice but it is the only one that mentions this area.
Either way we go, I would like to detour to Kosciuszko Nat'l Park, but I read there were bad fires in '03. Is it still worth going there? If we go Great Alpine Rd, we will be approaching it from the rear. Is that feasible? We would like to do a short hike to Mt. Kosciuszko so should we stay in Thredbo? From there should we stop by Canberra, head back to the coast or just onto the Blue Mountains through the Highlands? We do plan to stay 2 nights in Blue Mountains and then on to Sydney where we will return our car and complete our vacation. It's really a question of the most interesting way to do this drive. I have left out Kangaroo Island. Should we go there for a day? Is Wilson's Promontory worth the detour? Thanks for any help you can give.
tomatogal is offline  
Jun 29th, 2005, 07:56 PM
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Gosh, so many questions. It sounds like like you have been doing your homework, and looked at maps, etc.
Firstly, if you go to Melbourne, and later want to visit the Grampians, you are "back tracking". The Grampians are easily visited by detour before the GOR, just turn off at Port Fairy.
If big cities are not your scene, you could miss Melbourne, to see more scenic countryside...if so, from the GOR go to Queenscliffe, and get the ferry across to Mornington Peninsula, then you have Phillip Island nearby, and Wilsons Promontory (I stayed there some time ago, and unless you into a lot of bushwalking, not much to see & do).
The next stage of your journey, is a hard decision. Both the south coast & alpine regions are worth seeing, so here is my suggestion, for what it is worth, why not drive north of Bright, Mt.Buffalo & Beechworth region (well worth seeing, very scenic), then afterwards north through Albury, then turnoff to Tumut, and drive through the alpine region (nearly all the roads are bitumen now). Look on your map, and you will see the township of Bega, head down the highway at Bega (cheese town), then take the "coastal" highway north towards Kiama (lots of interesting things to see enroute, eg. Jervis Bay, Narooma, etc)
Now just out of Nowra, take the turnoff to Kangaroo Valley (gods country), and Camberawarra Mtn, then just follow the road to Fitzroy Falls, Wildes Meadow, Currawong, then to the southern highlands towns of Mittagong & Bowral, then turn north onto the Hume Highway, and into Sydney.
My itinerary is a bit rough, but I guess if you have a map, you will know what I am talking about.
Do as I do, and take the less travelled route, it is more rewarding.
tropo is offline  
Jun 30th, 2005, 04:54 AM
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I would plan a stop at Kosciuszko National Park and plan to hike to the top of Mt. Kosciuszko. It's an easy hike and how many people can say they have been to the top of a continent's highest point? That portion of the park has not been closed due to the bushfires and in October you should see some lovely alpine flowers. Thredbo is the closest place to stay but if you cannot find accomdations there, you can also try Jindabyne. I would definitely recommend that you stop in Canberra for at least 2 - 3 days. Another great hike that I can recommend near Canberra is the Yankee Hat Hike in Namadji National Park. It is a short, easy hike which takes you to a rock with Aboriginal drawings. On the hike you will literally pass by hundreds of kangaroos in the wild. Also, it's a great hike for solitude as you seldom see any other hikers out there. As for Canberra itself, you won't want to miss the Australian War Museum, the National Gallery of Art, Old Parliament House and new Parliament House. Also, the science museum, Questacon, is a lot of fun for both children and adults. The big flower festival, Floriade, runs until October 16th and is worth a visit. For accomodations in Canberra, I recommend you look at places located in Manuka or Kingston. These will be close to the attractions and museums and are also located near lots of restaurants and shops. Finally, DO take a day trip to Kangaroo Island. It's definitely worth a visit!
longhorn55 is offline  
Jul 1st, 2005, 05:38 PM
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Thanks so much for your recommendations. I really appreciate that y'all are willing to take the time to help us tourists.
tomatogal is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2005, 02:53 AM
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Hi tomatogal,

You might find some interesting info on this site:

www.visitvictoria.com

Hope you have a wonderful time here. You've chosen some great places and allowed yourself the time to really experience different areas rather than whizzing by.

I love the Milawa region. It has so much to offer - food, wine,some of the best cheese in the country, scenic little towns, historic pubs & friendly people.

Bairnsdale, Beechworth, Chiltern, Bright ... lovely. Stop in Beechworth and have a pie from the Beechworth Baker. There's a very intersting Chinese cemetary (from the goldrush days) in, I think, Bright. Someone else will know I'm sure.

I did a 5 day bicycling trip around there some years ago and it remains a favourite among my treasured travel memories. If you've ever read that delightful English book, "Fat Man on a Bicycle" .....you'll get the picture !
(Well, apart from the fact that I'm an Australian woman, not quite of the author's generous proportions (LOL))

Anyway, I'm sure which ever route you choose, you'll enjoy the journey.
Bokhara is offline  
Jul 5th, 2005, 05:54 PM
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Thank you so much for all the great info. Could someone please tell me if I can approach Thredbo the back way from Albury by going to Tallangatta, Corryong, Khancoban, Coohi and Dead Horse Gap? If so, is this route paved?
tomatogal is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 06:34 PM
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Tomatogal - yes it can approach Thredbo & Jindabyne, from taking the road from Corryong (in the cemetary, is the grave of the person, whom the Man from Snowy River was based on), then to Khancoban, Thredbo, Jindabyne, and its bitumen all the way, happy travels.
tropo is offline  
Jul 6th, 2005, 07:08 PM
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hi Troppo,
Who was the real "Man from Snowy River"?
Do you live down that way?
Bokhara is offline  
Jul 7th, 2005, 04:44 PM
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Bokhara, I previously lived in Sydney, and then moved to Queensland 12 months ago. Prior to moving, I travelled extensively around various states of Australia. I often travelled to alpine regions of NSW & Victoria, both for skiing or trout fishing. There is a common belief that the "Man from Snowy River" was based on a stockman (I think his first name was Jack), and this person is buried in the Corryong Cemetary.
tropo is offline  
Jul 7th, 2005, 08:24 PM
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Thanks Troppo, I'm in Sydney now but, like you, have lived in quite a few places around Aust. Grew up far north NSW & like most "country kids" raised also on the stockmen's legends.

I have a v.treasured set of tapes of Leonard Teale who was a great family friend, reciting a lot of those famous poems & stories. We used to tell him he could just read the 'phone book & all the women would swoon!

Sorry everyone else - didn't mean to "hijack" this thread.
Bokhara is offline  
Jul 7th, 2005, 09:58 PM
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I think the Man from Snowy River was Jack Riley. We went into the little tourist info office in Corryong and asked the helpful old lady who, I'm pretty sure, was a volunteer. Before we'd finished saying "we'd like to see the grave of...", she had whipped out a map and was drawing on it the best way to get to the cemetery. Not worth a special trip but OK if you are in the town anyway. Two years ago, we drove from Merimbula on the coast to Thredbo via Cooma. Thredbo was lovely, lots to do and a nice atmosphere. We did the hike up towards Kosciousko, we went about 4 km, it was hot and very windy (in late Dec) but well worth it. There was snow still on the ground in patches. If you are going through Cooma, stop at the very interesting visitors centre to see the story of the massive Snowy River hydro-electric scheme.
Wilson's Prom is lovely for scenery and walks, you should also see some wildlife. There is not a lot of accommodation at Tidal River but lots of cottages etc nearby. If you want help with websites, let us know. The Parks & Wildlife govt dept handles accomm bookings for Tidal River while cottages etc nearby, not in the park, are privately owned. You could stay in Foster, the nearest small town, but it's a fair drive down to the park.
Have fun planning!
Kay
KayF is offline  
Jul 8th, 2005, 08:05 PM
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Kay, spot on, its was Jack Riley.
Tomatogal - the wildflowers in the alpine region, are a must time to visit.
tropo is offline  
Jul 9th, 2005, 04:22 AM
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Thanks again for the info. You guys are great. Bokhara, you didn't hijack this thread. I can use that info too. Has anyone stayed at or heard of Waratah Park Country House near Wilsons Promontory? I was thinking of spending a couple of days relaxing there while we did some bushwalking on the Prom.
tomatogal is offline  
Jul 10th, 2005, 02:58 AM
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Sounds like a great trip. Having lived in Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney I'm reminiscing madly. Couple of tips : Wilsons Prom had a severe bushfire earlier this year and a fair amount was burnt out. It's a long way off the track unless you're very dedicated to bushwalking. If you love nature, when leaving Victor Harbor make sure you go via the coast (Goolwa, Milang etc) along the Coorong - 200km or so of unspoiled sanctuary and lagoons - loads of pelicans and MUCH more interesting/wild than the tedious inland route to Coonawarra. Go down as far as Robe (charming historic port) then inland to Penola and Coonawarra for excellent red wine, then down to Port Fairy and the Great Ocean Rd. Last week one of the Twelve Apostles - rocky sentinels off the coast which make the GOR so spectacular - collapsed...and then there were...eight! Tropo's directions re Kangaroo Valley and Mt Cambewarra are spot on - a terrific detour is coming up the coast. But it would be a shame to miss Canberra. Kangaroo Island will be hard to fit in. It's an irregular and expensive ferry ride from Cape Jervis and you can't really do it in a day. It's BIG and although its wallabies are charming and the landscape relatively pristine (though flat), you'll see more accessible fauna up close and personal if when in Adelaide you go to the very close and well managed Cleland Reserve about 20 minutes from the CBD at Mt Lofty.
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