We love Australia Fair!

Feb 25th, 2010, 12:35 PM
  #1  
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We love Australia Fair!

My husband and I first went to Australia in September-October 2006 and liked it so much that we have been back twice since – in October-November 2007 and August-September 2009. For the last two trips I spent time at the beginning in Canberra, as a visiting fellow at Australian National University.

During the first trip we spent time in Sydney, the Cairns/Daintree/Great Barrier Reef area, the Red Center (Uluru and Alice Springs), and Tasmania.

The 2007 trip took us to Canberra, Melbourne, Kangaroo Island, Adelaide, and Sydney (and also the North Island of N.Z.)

In 2009 we went to Canberra, the Northern Territory (Darwin and national parks in that area), Perth and environs, and Sydney.

For all three of these trips, I received invaluable advice from Fodorites, and thank them for that. I will (finally!) be posting reports on most of these destinations. In the meantime, let me know if there are any places we visited that you are particularly interested in.

Knowing what I know now, if I could only take one trip to Australia, I would definitely go to Sydney (perhaps the most beautiful city in the world), the Cairns/Daintree/Great Barrier Reef area (which offers such a great variety), and the Northern Territory (great nathional parks, flora and fauna, aboriginal culture). We really liked Alice Springs; we went there because people convinced us we “had” to go to Uluru; Uluru didn’t do anything for us, but Alice did. We r eally enjoyedour visit to Port Arthur in Tasmania, but didn’t have great weather the rest of our time in Tassie (e.g., it snowed while we were at Cradle Mountain N.P [in October}, trails to Wineglass Bay were closed because of wind). Melbourne is a nice city, but doesn’t, in our opinion, match Sydney. We enjoyed Kangaroo Island, but I wouldn’t put it near the top of a list of places to visit. Adelaide and Perth were pleasant and interesting, but also wouldn’t be near the top of a list. Canberra has some nice museums and the national parliament, but probably would not be of much interest to people who aren’t really into Australian history and culture.

Trip reports to come.
judilie is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 02:40 PM
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Waiting with bated breath judilie. I look forward to hearing about all the places you visited, SA, WA and TAS in particular.
Melnq8 is online now  
Feb 25th, 2010, 02:46 PM
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Pity about your trip to Tasmania but I guess that weather is always a hit and miss thing. I thought I would just write and say, as an Australian, how much I agree with your comments about the places that you visited. It is really good to have comments by someone who has been several times and who has spent a good deal of time seeing the country. Its good too to get comments from people that do not follow the usual " you must go here and see that " guide book suggestions of the top 10 places to see blah blah.
Look forward to your reviews and hope that you will get back to OZ sometime in the future to see some of the hidden places that you have not seen to date.
ivenotbeeneverywhere is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 02:28 PM
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judilie...did you get far out of Adelaide, beside Kangaroo Island? We loved our trip to South Australia - Adelaide was just a small part. The wine valleys, Flinders Ranges and Coober Pedy were the highlights, rating at least as high as North Queensland, the NT, etc.
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Feb 26th, 2010, 03:32 PM
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RalphR - We were only in the city of Adelaide.
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Feb 26th, 2010, 04:01 PM
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Judilie and all: We are in OZ now and it is probably too hot to visit Uluru and/or Alice Springs. But the thought of flies kind of turns us off of the area. In all the programs one sees on TV, etc., the folks are continually swatting at flies. Maybe I am spoiled. We have noticed the flies all throughout Australia, but they aren't too irritating. Is the red center about the same, bug wise? We hope to come back in the winter next time to do the top end.
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Feb 26th, 2010, 06:00 PM
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Wind... I have to laugh reading your post. I went on my first OZ trip back in 1988. First stop, Cairns. There, I saw lots of hats for sale that had corks hanging down from the edge of the brim, all the way around. I thought... why are they selling those crazy hats??? And then, I headed to the Red Center for a 13-day tour of the Outback. The flies... UGH!!! It was then that I realized that those friendly flies that tried to get on the inside of my sunglasses could be shooed away by the bobbing/swinging corks on those funny hats!! That trip was in the winter time (June/July/Aug) and it was still fly season. Days were warm, nights a bit cool. I don't know if there is ever a time when the flies aren't so bad (or so friendly!!).

Judilie, I have to agree with you about Sydney. In each and every one of my 6 trips to OZ I have spent at least 5-6 days in SYD. I think it is a wonderful and beautiful city.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2010, 08:17 AM
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Been to the Red Center a couple of times, both times in winter (July-Aug). I honestly don't remember flies being pesky on either occasion. We had frosty nights, maybe that made the difference.

judilie: fyi, I spent almost 3 yrs at the ANU as a postdoc in the Research School of Chemistry. We loved Canberra, for me, mainly getting out of the city for hiking in the Brindabella Ranges, Tidbinbilla, etc. Plus weekends on the the coast where often rented a house with a few other couples. Those were the good ol' days! As I keep saying, my postdoc in Australia was the best vacation I ever had!
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Feb 27th, 2010, 12:03 PM
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It's raining in Alice Springs at the moment, may get to Uluru, with some luck. There's a nice video of John Williamson's "It's Raining on the Rock" at the bottom of this blog. http://alittleadrift.com/2009/12/rai...ru-ayres-rock/
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Feb 27th, 2010, 12:59 PM
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It seemed to be not only raining, but flooding in Alice Springs yesterday, from what I saw on news, Bokhara.

Melnq, just saw on weather channel, WA has had its hottest summer on record.
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Feb 27th, 2010, 01:30 PM
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Water in the Todd! Imagine the Henley-on-Todd then. http://www.henleyontodd.com.au/
Bokhara2 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2010, 03:11 PM
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It's been stinking hot Pat and it's not over yet.
Melnq8 is online now  
Feb 27th, 2010, 04:38 PM
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I'll take your hot weather over the snow and frigid temps we've been having in the midwest this year. I hope SYD stays nice and toasty for my visit, coming up in just a little over a week.
simpsonc510 is offline  
Feb 27th, 2010, 11:50 PM
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This one's for you Melnq8.
Turn your speakers up

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML9h3I5Uktw
Bokhara2 is offline  
Feb 28th, 2010, 03:28 AM
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Thanks for that Bokhara. Humidity, heat haze and 'to lie in sweat on familiar sheets' pretty much sums it up.

How about sending some of those frigid temps my way simpsonc510?
Melnq8 is online now  
Feb 28th, 2010, 04:48 AM
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Mel, I wish I COULD send you some of our cold weather. I would FedEx it overnight. We actually expect a slight warming trend, with temps "soaring" into the mid-30sF.

I'm used to the heat and humidity of Bangkok, having been there 19 times (#20 will be in April) so Sydney should be a breeze.

Rain in Alice? That perhaps means the desert will be in bloom. I would love to see that.

Carol
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Feb 28th, 2010, 11:10 PM
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It's feels like winter in Sydney today, cold.dark and raining

Forecast isn't much better for the rest of week

Geordie
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Mar 1st, 2010, 01:29 AM
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Not a good day to be wandering around naked in Sydney I guess.
Melnq8 is online now  
Mar 1st, 2010, 03:42 AM
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"It's feels like winter in Sydney"

Geordie, does that mena you have the 6-8" of snow I see all around my house? Haha... What is the temp this week? My friends whom I'll be seeing in Sydney warned me that it could be beastly hot, or it could be very pleasant when I'm there.
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Mar 1st, 2010, 11:55 AM
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"It's feels like winter in Sydney"

Speaking as a refugee from Sydney myself I have to say that Sydneysiders are serious weather wimps.

Geordie, would I be right in reporting that your cold snap yesterday consisted of a minimum of 19C (in American, 66F)? In fairness, that was also the maximum.

Carol, unless there's a return to summer conditions you could well have very pleasant weather for your visit. In Canberra there's a distinct hint of autumn in the air.
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