Australia - Lots of questions(13 Posts)
I was wondering if anyone could help me, after a lot of googling, I cant find all the answers. Can someone help with the following?
- Where is best to go in Australia (Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide etc)?
- How long in total and how long in each place?
- Car hire or public transport?
- Best time of year to go? No Children just me and DH who like the heat.
- Must do activites.
- Must see things.
We're planning for 2014 as I know this type of holiday isn't cheap.
Would definitely recommend going into the outback. I've had several holidays in Australia over the last few years and one of my favourite trips was from Adelaide to Alice springs on a 4wd camping trip that went "off the beaten track" rather than straight up the highway. We slept in swags under the stars around a camp fire -a great experience. The outback is just stunning and totally different to the east coast sydney to cairns trip that lots of people do.
I always tend to go in July/August as I don't like it too hot - on the above trip it was nice and warm during the day, maybe 23/24 degrees but down to freezing at night (my water bottle froze solid overnight if I didn't keep it in my swag!) but if you've got good thermals and a decent quality sleeping bag you won't be cold.
I think sydney is a great place to visit, lots of things to do and a very picturesque city. The YHA in the Rocks is a brilliant place to stay- good location, really nice rooms and a barbecue terrace overlooking the harbour bridge and opera house.
I wouldn't make a special trip just to Adelaide, but it's a good start point for trips elsewhere. I went to kangaroo island from there, a good place to visit if you like wildlife and scenery. I've never been to canberra.
Would also recommend ningaloo reef on the west coast, I found it much less commercial than the great barrier reef. You can hire a snorkel and flippers for a few dollars and swim out from a practically deserted beach and watch turtles swimming around you. You can also go on a boat trip to swim alongside whale sharks.
Another must see (in my opinion) if you like the outdoors is the stretch between Broome and Darwin, lots of great hiking, the BungleBungles are amazing and Karajini(sp?)national park is too.
Hope you have lots of fun planning a great trip.
I always go in their winter, the summer would kill me.
Perth - I have done a trip on a harly here, the wine cruise is fun and the beaches are great. Rotnest Island for the Quokkas and Freemantle to see the old buildings.
Sydney - yes do this, but you can do it in a few days. Go see something at the opera house, you have to walk on Bondi, or learn to surf there.
Then take a Ferry to Manley and explore some history. All the bars are staffed by Europeans - it's the opposite of London.
Back to the Rocks for gift shopping.
Cairns - yes go for it, a trip to the Barrier Reef - with a scuba lesson if you don't already dive. The rainforrest is amazing aand if you stand on the beach where the rainforrest ends you can stand in two world herratige sites at once. I did a trip that took in the Rain forrest, a boat ride to look for crockodiles and a trip to a crockodile farm.
I have not been into the outback - yet, or to Monky Mia to interact with Dolphins and I can't recomend on other cities because I have not been yet.
Check, but I got an 'airpass', basically if you buy internal flights before you leave the UK then you get them cheaper.
How long have you got? Do you want to just be able to say you have been somewhere or do you want to explore it properly? If you have two weeks I would say do a week in Sydney and one in Cairns (or near to).
I have always used public transport (or a relative / friend has driven me).
Thanks for the replies!
Sashh - I would probably do 3 - 4 weeks. We really want to explore. It's probably going to be a once in a life time thing for us. We prefer outdoors things so the beaches, rainforest, barrier reef are more our thing. We're not so much interested in museums etc but I'll give anything a go.
So exploring is the main thing and trying to have quality time doing things we'll probably never do or see again. I'm not interested in spending 3 weeks just seeing things to say we've done it but not actually getting to enjoy anything. Wildlife is another interest of mine so anything like animal reserves, rainforest, outback exploring are good for me. DH is happy to tag along!
Sydney is essential.
Also outback - base yourself at Alice Springs or near Uluru/Ayers Rock but don't climb the rock (local cultural sensitivities); there are some good guided walks round Kings Canyon etc not far from there - you'll recognise it if you've seen Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
I love Tasmania, for the scenery etc. If you are into wildlife, then Kangaroo Island is brilliant - best place for spotting koalas in the wild, bumping into emus and echidnas on walking trails, and of course lots of kangaroos & wallabies.
I've never done the top end - Kakadu etc - but know lots of people who have, and that sounds spectacular from a wildlife point of view. But don't go in the wet season...
In my opinion, the 'MUSTS' are:
Sydney (harbour tour etc)
I spent a fabulous week in Cairns and surrounding area, went on a Quicksilver tour out to Green Island and toured a few of the Islands. Also went to Kakadu, kuranda railway etc. Was lovely.
I went April/May and weather was great
OK then start with Sifney. You will need a couple of days to get over jet lag. Do the HO HO bus, see something at the opera house and do a bit of shopping.
Then a week on the North coast for rainforrest, barrier reef etc and then Ulurhu (sorry never been other than to change flights) for camping and walking.
Maybe a couple more days back in Sidney before the flight home. Or a couple of days in Perth before flying home, the flight home would be a couple of hours shorter.
If you do cairns for the GBR don't go on one of the mass produced trips that go every day. They go to the same spot and you don't get to see the real reef. Save a bit more and go to lizard island. You get a small plane there with only, about 6 other people. You see the real barrier reef and are not penned in with loads of other tourists on a boat with a pn appalling buffet.
Captain cook are one of these said mass produced trip organisers. Awful.
get thee to a library and get the latest Rough Guide (not the lonely planet which are not good for Oz and NZ, just drinking guides). Lots of must-sees, ideas, background etc etc.
bloody expensive, even more so with our sick pound, so start saving now :-)
Uluru is a must ! We spent three days/ 2 nights there. I wasn't sure whether I fancied it or not but it was fab!
I was disappointed by the GBR ( we were there in July and this might have been a factor) but having been to he maldives I would have given it a miss.
We hired a car at ULRU as all of the trips were mega expensive. We stayed there but most people stay at Alice springs.
We hired a car for Cairns as we were staying at Port Douglas which was fabulous!
We used public transport for Brisbane and for Sydney.
We did a trip out to the Blue Mountains from Sydney which was fab!
We did 3 weeks in OZ with a stopover in each direction!
As said above it is bloddy expensive. It is worht looking on groupon etc in advance and try and get either some cheap hotel deals or trips. Thisis where we got our Blue Mountain trip!
Queensland was the highlight of our trip (went to Uluru, Sydney and Perth too). Stayed in Port Douglas where you can visit the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rain Forest. We have travelled a lot and it is simply paradise on earth - tropical climate, beautiful beaches and scenery. Have also heard good things about Ningaloo Reef too.
Agreed that Oz seems very expensive to Brits now, particularly Sydney
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