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Getting bogged down with details - can you help please?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Getting bogged down with details - can you help please?

1. Posted by Ann from Lancs (First Time Poster 1 posts) 33w

My husband and I will be attending a family wedding in Melbourne at the end of March 2017. We want to incorporate places we've not been to before out there which include Ayres Rock, Brisbane and a visit to New Zealand. (we have already 'done' Sydney & Melbourne on previous visits).

I thought perhaps we would go to NZ first then fly to either Brisbane or Ayres Rock, then by train to whichever we still want to visit, then fly down to Melbourne for the wedding. Is this a good way round to do it? I have read about the flies at Ayres Rock at certain times of year ... would it be better to do this first then end up in NZ? Also, is any particular air route better value than the other? eg is it more economical to fly in and out of Oz and hop over to NZ, or are flights to/from NZ just as good?

Has anyone done anything similar that could give me some helpful tips please?


2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4817 posts) 33w

FWIW, the respectful (aboriginal) name for "Ayers Rock" is Uluru. (Ayers Rock is the name of the airport, though.)

I Indeed remember lots of flies there around early April. Don't know if that would change much over the time period you'll be there. Flying there (direct) is only possible from a limited number of airports, so it'd make sense to try and fit that in. Those airports are currently Melbourne and Sydney through Jetstar, Alice Springs and Cairns through Qantas, and Sydney through Virgin. I would personally recommend avoiding JetStar (there's cattle class, and then there's JetStar).

Brisbane to Uluru by train doesn't make any sense. There is a train cutting through the outback, but that's north-south from Adelaide to Darwin, and the closest stop to Uluru is Alice Springs, a 4-5 hour car ride away through the blistering heat. And then from Adelaide to Brisbane would take another couple of days of train travel.

Personally I found Brisbane to be mostly devoid of interest, and would recommend skipping it, and spending more time in New Zealand. Depending on where you're coming from, you could almost certainly book this trip as an Emirates flight to New Zealand with an extended stopover in Melbourne or Sydney for free on either leg (but probably not on both). Otherwise, the cost of Australia - New Zealand flights shouldn't break the bank, though they're not exactly cheap either, and they tend to be priced pretty straightforward based on distance. So Auckland-Sydney should be cheapest, followed by Auckland-Brisbane / Auckland-Melbourne, followed by Auckland-Cairns, etc.

When you say you've already 'done' Melbourne and Sydney, was that including the surrounding areas? Melbourne in particular has loads and loads of worthwhile territory within a day or two, with the Great Ocean Road and the Grampians being the obvious must hit sights.