Would you spend 50% of trip to Oz in Perth/WA?

Old May 31st, 2006, 05:21 AM
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Would you spend 50% of trip to Oz in Perth/WA?

Hi there,
We're planning a repeat visit to Australia in January. We spent a month touring on honeymoon in 2003, and I had a previous trip in 2000. We've seen a lot, but want to see more. (We've touched off the following, but wouldn't rule out repeating: Sydney, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Port Douglas (Palm Cove), Whitsundays, Fraser Island, Noosa, Gold Coast, and others I'm sure I've forgotten). Because of the timing of our next trip (peak season, may take in New Year), we're considering staying away from the East coast during the New Year/Ashes test period, and possibly taking in western Australia for the first half of the trip. I know very little about WA, but wanted to get some opinions on whether we should look at spending up to half our time in WA this time around? It doesn't seem to get as much coverage from the majority of tourists to Oz (I know that's a downright generalisation!) but I think I just need some people who know this area to talk me into it...

Anna
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Old May 31st, 2006, 06:19 AM
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Hi - the answer is easy. For folk who are making a first trip it's hard to extol the virtues of WA over the "must sees" of Sydney and the GBR. But you have been there already - so, for sure, go to WA. But don't limit yourselves to Perth and the SW corner. The SW is "nice" but, to be honest, for me, it was just an "add on". The real gems are along the coast north of Perth. Just takes some effort to get there. And you need to not mind the huge expanses inbetween.

How will you be travelling and how much time do you have?

If you have loads of time and it appeals - take a road trip (or the bus) up the coast - stopping at (the pick) Kalbarri, Shark Bay, Exmouth and Broome.

Or fly to Exmouth if you are into superb snorkelling and from there to Broome. Or fly just to Broome, hire a car and visit Windjana Gorge, and the Bungle Bungles (think they are in WA but could be NT). No matter - hire that car and drive from Broome to Darwin. Check out Kakadu and Litchfield.

There's an easy road and a fantastic not so easy road (depends on time of year and your inclination).

There is also the option of going north of Broome to some deserted beaches and staying in a permanent camp. You will have to look this up - or someone will come along.

To summarise - yes I would!! I would also consider Tassie and Uluru.

But in the end it depends on what interests you.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 07:35 AM
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I forgot to mention that this time around we have company... a little boy who will then be 18 months old. It's not that we're such frantic sightseers, mostly we just like to take a country in at a relaxed pace, and if we take in some sights along the way, great. The long distances would be tough for a little one, so we'll have to do long trips at night where possible. We pretty much plan to schedule this trip so that he has a lovely time too. Sorry that I forgot to post this important fact, and thanks for your recommendations so far, fuzzylogic.

Anna
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Old May 31st, 2006, 03:44 PM
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Last summer in Perth and the SW of WA was very mild BUT Western Australia can get very, very hot in December, January or February and quite unbearably so too and dry and brown. It most certainly would not be the time of year to see the north of WA so it would have to be Perth and south unless you want to fry. You havn't been to Tasmania I see so why not go there. It can have the odd hot day but it should be much milder and nice weather for travelling. There is heaps to see and do and although it is a small island you could spend a few weeks there just going to interesting places.
There are many places that you have not been to which are not cities and there are many fantastic places between Sydney and Fraser Island which would be great to touch on i.e. Byron Bay area, Coff's Harbour area, Port MacQuarie region, Northern NSW, the border area of S.E. Qld and Northern NSW. You didn't say what time of year you came in 2000 so I cannot suggest places which may be different in the summer. Morton Island off Brisbane is a great spot and so is North Stradbroke as well.
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Old May 31st, 2006, 06:18 PM
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Also cyclone season starts in north WA around December. NW coast of WA experiences more severe cyclones than any other part of Australian coastline and is one of the most cyclone-prone coasts anywhere in world. May-November would be a far better time to visit, especially with a toddler.
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Old Jun 1st, 2006, 03:12 AM
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Thanks Pat and Liz for your replies. Good food for thought - maybe WA in January is not the best idea after all. Liz, my 2000 trip was in May/June, taking in Fraser Island (camping, a bit brr!) so I would welcome the chance to do area of the East Coast again at a warmer time of year. We also considered a bareboat charter in the Whitsundays, but are fearful with an active infant so will probably skip this until he can swim properly.

Anna
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Old Jun 1st, 2006, 02:02 PM
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One of the nice things you could do is rent a house boat on either, the Hawkesbury River ( just north of Sydney) and play around there - beautiful river and surrounds. The Myall (sp??) Lakes area just a wee bit further north of Newcastle in NSW. The Tweed River on the southern end of the Gold Coast, from Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast and do the waterways between South Stradbroke and the mainland, Noosa River and surrounds. Alternatively do a search on previous posts here on Tasmania where you would have a wonderful time. There has been a lot written about it.
Always remember that the southern states of Australia are dry in summer and the inland areas can get very, very hot. The coastal areas can sometimes get really hot but most of the time it is in the high 20's around 30 deg or so. Northern NSW and Qld get green and wettish summers but the rain comes mainly in late January onwards. The fresh water lakes on Fraser Island are fantastic to swim in but then again it can get very busy on Fraser at that time of year with school holidays and people there with kids fishing. If you are ok with driving a vehicle with only 30% air in the tyres then you will be fine but personally I would go to some resort and let them do all the work for me OR somewhere where I don't have to 100,000 people around me.
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Old Jun 1st, 2006, 02:48 PM
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Thanks Liz,
How safe is Fraser for young children (in terms of access to emergency medical help and suchlike?) I seem to recall in 2000 (as a backpacker) that facilities were limited and anyone slightly more needy (like young children) were recommended to think twice before planning a trip there? We'd love to spend a few days, and I gather from your post that plenty of families do, so I wonder where I have this notion from?

Anna
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Old Jun 1st, 2006, 05:32 PM
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It does not much matter where you are noadays as the Care Flight Helicopter can be anywhere in no time at all. There are limited services on Fraser Island as with many places in Australia and that is why there is a Flying Doctor Service and Care Flight Helicopters. There is no life guards on the beaches though on Fraser and the only place that I would swim would be the fresh water lakes. Other than that there is not much that children can do that would hurt themselves there apart from being run over by a sand 4 wheel drive.
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