Would you choose Tasmania or Uluru/Ayers Rock?

Old Jul 9th, 2003, 02:46 PM
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Would you choose Tasmania or Uluru/Ayers Rock?

Hubby and I are considering 2 tours of Aus/NZ for Feb 2004. One tour of 35 days splits the time between Australia and NZ with the following stops:

Auckland, 4 nights
Rotorua, 2 nights
Queenstown 2 nights
Te Anau, 2 nights
Christchurch 2 nights
Aus--Melbourne 5 nights
Alice Springs, 3 nights
Ayers Rock, 1 night
Cairns, 5 nights
Sydney, 5 nights

The other tour is 25 days and includes:
NZ--Paihia, 2 nights
Rotorua, 2 nights
Napier, 3 nights
Queenstown/Te Anau, 1 night
Queenstown, 2 nights
Tasmania--Hobart, 2 nights
Freycinet National Park, 2 nights
Cradle Moutain NP, 2 nights
Aus--Melbourne/Geelong, 1 night
Mt. Gambier, 1 night
Kangaroo Island, 3 nights
Sidney, 1 night.

So it looks like a big difference, the main one being whether to go to Tasmania and not Ayers Rock. Bear in mind that this will be in February and AR will be Hot, Hot, Hot. So what do you experienced Fodorites recommend?
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Old Jul 9th, 2003, 05:25 PM
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Margo, I'd go for Uluru. Tassie is nice but unless you're a hard core greenie that's going to trek through the forests, there's not much there that you can't see elsewhere.

Uluru and the Australian Outback is totally unique in the world. It would be a shame to come all that way and not see it. Yes, it will be very hot but just be prepared and you'll be fine.

Have a great trip, Pumblechook.
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Old Jul 9th, 2003, 06:31 PM
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Margo,

You hit the nail on the head with your perception of the weather in Alice/Ayres Rock in Feb.

Personally I would go for Tassie over the Alice region at that time of year, the heat is intolerable and the flies are just an added surprise to make your visit a misery.

Better to do Ayres/Alice in the winter months of June, July, and August when you can expect nice day time temps in the low 20's and more importantly no flies.

Cheers

Paul_S
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Old Jul 10th, 2003, 04:16 AM
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Margo
Agree with everyone about the heat in Alice and Uluru at that time of year. Flies are a big problem.
We live on Kangaroo Island so if you need any help with that part of your trip send us an email.
Michael and Christine
[email protected]
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Old Jul 10th, 2003, 12:14 PM
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Margo:

Been to most of the places you plan to visit, including Tasmania and Ayers Rock. While Ayers Rock is history laden it is a large expense to undertake for return on investment. Tasmania on the other hand, Hobart in particular, has more historical sites to appreciate and enjoy. Not to mention the differing scenery and choice of activities.
Were we to do it again, we would skip Ayers Rock. Sorry.
John
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Old Jul 11th, 2003, 03:24 AM
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Margo
maybe i'm missing something but it seems to me that the comparison is far more than tassie v uluru.

Perhaps you have been to sydney and GBR before or perhaps you are intending to snowbird down under regularly and visit sydney etc then.But if this is planned to be your one and only trip down under......

sydney is a world class destination...it is what san francisco could be with good weather, great beaches and without oakland across the bay...

similarly the GBR is a must see by world standards.

Hell when you get back to the usa nobody is going to be asking what the blue lake in mt gambier was like.

6 days in Tassie and one night in sydney....talk about the tail wagging the dog.

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Old Jul 11th, 2003, 08:19 AM
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Come on johhj,

An experienced traveller like you certainly knows that the view from Oakland toward San Francosco and the Golden Gate are far more spectacular than what those poor city dwellers get to experience looking east!

AndrewDavid
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Old Jul 11th, 2003, 03:54 PM
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Ok A/D....

I'll bet "London to a brick on" that you know and appreciate the difference between Berkely and Oakland.

Give me the view from the stern of the sausalito ferry.
Almost as good as swinging around Bradley Head on the Manly ferry with the bridge and opera house coming into view.
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Old Jul 11th, 2003, 04:05 PM
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Hi

Have to agree - Sydney is world class and definitely worth at least 5 days. There's not too much to do at Alice Springs as it's mainly a stopping off for folks going to Uluru.

But since I figured I'd add my two cents worth cause I've been there and done that - Tasmania and Hobart, Port Arthur, Freycinet offer much to see and do. Uluru - well I'm still wondering if I really should have paid all that to fly there, stay at their expensive hotel and attend the Sounds of Silence dinner.

Next time over - Ayers Rock/Uluru is NOT on my itinerary. And that is my humble opinion.
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Old Jul 11th, 2003, 04:31 PM
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Good point LN..

its an absolute heresy to say it but imho..

uluru is locked up real tight...a monopoly system to exploit tourists

if you go to the far west of NSW you can have an "authentic" outback experience at a reasonable cost..

broken hill
silverton
maybe coopers creek/dig tree
mootawinjee
white cliffs
darling river
bourke
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Old Jul 12th, 2003, 05:18 AM
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Thanks John!

That's what we're looking for - we had a marvelous time on our first trip Sydney, Melbourne, GBR, Tasmania, Uluru, and then to South Island of New Zealand.

We'd love to expand that further on our next trip (hopefully in 2004). I'll be looking for help and encouragement!
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Old Jul 25th, 2003, 10:55 AM
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Does anyone besides me think that neither of those itineraries sounds very good? The first has three nights in Alice Springs (why???), while the seond has only one in Sydney. The second might be fun if it's designed for being outside (hiking, kayaking, whatever), but if it's a typical coach tour...no. Margo, I think you could do a lot better with a knowledgeable travel agent (or even a good guidebook!) and a custom itinerary. After all, they do speak English down there!

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Old Jul 27th, 2003, 11:48 PM
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I am in agreement with LN and Trekker here although I am not sad that I visited Ayres Rock. I just would have cut my time there to one day and yes it is a destination I do not have to go back to.
The problems I have with the first tour is with 4 nights in Auckland which probably needs about two days to explore
and three nights in Alice Springs in Feb? The flies and temperatures to 56C would be enough to keep me away from the center of Oz in Feb. I am also not a fan of Cairns with a preference for either Palm Cove or Port Douglas.
The second tour is especially odd for one day in Sydney. It is a city that needs at least three days and probably 5 days to do it justice. The one day in Melbourne is also odd. I personally would look for other tours if you must do a tour.
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 12:29 AM
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I agree with the recommendation to see what other tours are out there. Neither itinerary is particularly good.

If I had to choose between the two, however, I would take the second tour. But I also recommend that you stay in Sydney for at least another 5 days after the tour ends and explore Sydney on your own. (Most tours give you that option, and if you don't want to switch hotels you can usually get the extra nights at the tour group rate). Sydney is such a wonderful city that it seems almost a travesty to spend only one night there.
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Old Jul 28th, 2003, 06:09 AM
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I have to agree with the latest posters. You need time in Sydney - it's such a marvelous city. quite often you can add additional days at the end of a tour and this is a time period that I would take advantage of that possibility. 5 additional days in Sydney would be great.

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