My wife and I are off to Australia this August for a month. We've booked all our air tickets and have a good idea of where we will stay. Just looking for general comments about this itinerary
Day 1: Depart Toronto for Los Angeles Day 2: Los Angeles
Day 3: Depart Los Angeles for Sydney
Day 4: Arrive Sydney @ 7:30 AM
Day 5: Full Day Sydney
Day 6: Full Day Sydney
Day 7: Early departure from Sydney for Blue Mountains
Day 8: Full Day Canberra
Day 9: Fly to Melbourne @ 6:10AM
Day 10: Melbourne & Phillips Island
Day 11: Melbourne & Ballarat. Overnight in Geelong
Day 12: Great Ocean Drive, proceed to Mt. Gambier for overnight
Day 13: Early drive to Adelaide
Day 14: Adelaide (Barossa Valley)
Day 15: Fly to and see Alice Springs
Day 16: Uluru Day Trip
Day 17: Fly to and see Darwin
Day 18: Kakadu National Park Day Trip
Day 19: Fly to Cairns @ 6:00 AM and on to Pt Douglas
Day 20: Great Barrier Reef Day Trip
Day 21: Daintree Rainforest Day Trip
Day 22: Drive Port Douglas – Townsville
Day 23: Drive to Airlie Beach and ferry to Hamilton Island
Day 24: Hamilton Island
Day 25: Fly to Brisbane @ noon and drive to Sunshine Coast (Noosa)
Day 26: Australia Zoo and then drive to Surfer's Paradise area
Day 27: WB Movie World
Day 28: Surfers Paradise
Day 29: Brisbane
Day 30: Depart Brisbane for Calgary
Day 31: Depart Calgary for Toronto
Pretty damn good. Lucky you.
Although I'm not sure whether Canberra was necessary!
This sounds like a really nice plan and you will see a lot but you may also lose some of your sanity trying to stick to this plan. You might have crammed just a little too much in. I know you probably want to see everything but just like any other large contenint - this isn't really possible in 1 month.
Just a few ideas to make it more of a holiday
-unless you have a particular reason to see it you might consider skipping canberra. I lived there for 2 years and although the war memorials & museums are good - it is like living in one big government office....not much else to do. There are war memorials and museums in every other capital city... Phillip Is will take about 2hrs from melbourne. Uluru is actually a fair drive from Alice so perhaps find out how much time you will actually have to see things on your day trip (I lived there as a kid but don't remember exact times). Your stay in Hamilton might be more relaxing if you stay another night...it is nice to stay somewhere long enough to get some laundry done and with your drives on the days before you might want to spend some more time in the open
Noosa is about 3 hrs from Brisbane and also about at least an hours drive from Australia Zoo. Just keep that in mind....shouldn't stop you from seeing everything at the zoo though. After the zoo if you plan to drive to Surfer's paradise during rush hour (eg 4-6:30pm) then it will probably take you at least 3 hours and maybe more...I live just north of Brisbane (still 45mins south of the zoo) and it takes me about 2 & 1/2 hours to get to surfers...makes for a very big day!
Anyway! just some things to think about. I would try to cut a few things out so that your trip is a little less stressful - but if you guys really like a fast pace to your trips then this looks great.
Good one Das-FX,
Well you get to move around a bit but if that suits - go for it. August will be mid winter in the Southern States so plan for some rain, not necessarily bitterly cold. Central Aust will be cold overnight but the days should be nice as will be everywhere else you will be going. Now, just some observations on the itinerary:-
Day 8 - Do some research on what you want to experience in Canberra (our capital), there are some interesting sights - war museum, parliament house.
Day 9 - Only 1 hr flight so early arrival at Melbourne, drop your bags off @ your accomodation & go for a relaxing breakfast in Lygon Street (Carlton) or the many cafe's in the CBD. My preference though would be the South Bank precint.
Day 10 - Depends what is included in the Philip Island day. The main reason for PI is the Penguin Parade which is at dusk. Alternatives to consider are Healsville Sanctuary (Australian Fauna) & Yarra Valley (wine) these are on the same road and a nice drive.
Day 15 - In 'The Alice', the Desert Park has a good reputation (http://www.alicespringsdesertpark.com.au/). When in the norther Teritory, look out for Aborigional Cultural experiences. Take a day trip to some of the chasm's in the area, they are readily accessible. Research if you can incorporate Hermansberg Mission (Aboriginal community) too. Then there is Palm Valley - oh where do I stop.
Day 16 - This day is my main concern for you but, it is do-able so don't let me put you off completely.
A day trip to Uluru will be a very long day (470km about 300 miles each way). But Uluru is definately worth it and a 'must see'. Make sure the Olgas are also included (a further 100km) some say these are better than 'the rock' (Uluru).
Allow time to maybe walk around the base of Uluru (9km - 2hrs!). Consider if it's possible to fly direct to Yalara (accomodation complex in the area) and miss Alice?. If you do avoid Alice, see if you can get to Kings Canyon (accessible from Yalara).
In central Oz look out for the 'Ghost Gums' (Eucalyptus trees) growing in the Red sand, Rocky outcrops and Canyons, they look fantastic especially against the blue sky. That's one of my main memories of 'the centre'.
You will get a very good sample of what Australia has to offer following your plan. My motto is don't try to see everything, but enjoy to the max what you do see & experience - you can always return.
Pardon my ramblings but looks like you have done very good research, Use the information you get on this thread, considering your needs for this trip.
Above all, enjoy your experience in Oz
Thanks to all for the comments. I have been told by many folks that my itinerary may be a bit much. My wife and I move fast and we don't much like to linger about in one place for too long.
DAY 8: About my day in Canberra, I really want to go there despite the fact that many Aussies have told me to skip it. I know it is a small new young city and is mostly a government town, but I do want to see your nation's capital. My goals for Canberra are to visit the Museum of Australia, the War Memorial and pop over to vist Mr. Howard at Parliament House. It is too bad everything in Canberra (and all of Australia) closes so early. Other things we want to do are the Telstra Tower/ Mr. Ainsle and stop by the Royal Australian Mint.
DAY 9-11: We will have the full day to explore Melbourne after our arrival at 7:15 AM. The following day we are going to head to Phillips Island mostly for the Penguin Parade so it will be an afternoon thing. On Day 11 we will have the morning to finish up Melbourne before heading to Sovereign Hill in Ballarat.
From the books it seems that there isn't much to do in Melbourne. We'll go to Federation Square, St. Kilda's and Southbank, but it seems more of a shopping place. I mean every Aussie city advertised a zoo, an aquarium, a botanic garden and so on. Many books say the Melbourne zoo is not to be missed, but I'm already going to Australia zoo and have been many times to my Toronto Zoo. I imagine an Australia zoo would be filled with animals that don't live in Oz, so why would I go see Deer, Moose, beavers and polar bears in Oz? Am I wrong? One thing that I'm trying to do is that I want tickets to the AFL game on August 4th at the Telstra Dome between West Coast and St. Kilda's. How do I get these tickets?
Day 15-16: I had wanted to fly from ADL to Uluru, but there were no direct flights, the only early flights on Qantas were through Sydney. Anyhow, the day I get to Alice, we'll just spend the day exploring this town in the middle of nowhere. The following day, we're taking an organized tour with Emu Run. Here is the description:
Depart at 6am, stopping at Mt Ebenezer for a light breakfast.
Arrive at Ayers Rock about midday. Stop at the Visitors Centre and have lunch and travel to the Olgas. Back to Ayers Rock and visit the Aboriginal Cultural Centre. We do guided walks at Ayers Rock, or you may choose to climb.
The highlight of this great day of touring is a fabulous BBQ Champagne Dinner at Ayers Rock while watching one of our magnificent Central Australian Sunsets.
We depart for Alice Springs after sunset, arriving back into town approx midnight.
Day 23-25: I'd like to stay longer on Hamilton Is, but it isn't cheap and although two nights won't be enough, it will be good enough for us.
Day 25-26: I didn't think Noosa was that far from Brisbane, I calculated the distance and it was only 130 km. We'll see how it goes when we are there.
We have a plan, but it is flexible to a degree. Obviously we are restricted by our flights, but everything in between is negotiable. Please keep the comments coming in. Thanks.
AFL details are on www.afl.com.au. Look up both teams & pick one to support on the night, both did well in 2005 & 'The Saints' probably will be the loacl favourites.
I don't think you will have any problem with buying the tickets at the stadium on the night as the Eagles are from WA so they don't have as many supportes here in Victoria.
Having said that, if they have both been performiong wellin the previous 17 games (22 per season), it could get close to capacity - we are a crazy sport city.
Online ticket purchase should be available www.ticketmaster.com.au.
Telstra Dome accomodates 50,000 enjoy the game and the atmosphere.
I'm glad you are visiting Canberra. I live there and it is a beautiful city. Quite small so it won't take too long getting from one point to another. You can get around on the public buses called "Action" (my hubby is a driver!). If it is just for the day you could buy an Adult Daily bus pass which would cost AU$6.40. This will get you on a bus at any time of the day all day long. For just one day I think the places you want to visit sound great. I would go to Telstra Tower rather than Mount Ainslie. But buses don't go to either. A taxi would not cost a great deal to go to either from the city as both are quite close to the centre of Canberra. It will most likely be very cold. Wear warm clothes and a thick jacket.
I'd suggest more time in South Australia (strange coming from someone who lives in New South Wales). It really is a beautiful state and Adelaide is a very green and very laid-back city. I would also suggest going overland from Adelaide to Alice Springs and driving past Lake Eyre on the way.
Hey Ronnie & Missus ,
Your plans are pretty good, take into consideration what was said but you won't go too far wrong with what you have chosen - well done. If you know where you will have spare time or want specific info on a location/city maybe start a new post specific to that.
I really hope you will enjoy Oz- (I'm sure you will) and if you want to stir a few locals in Melbourne (all in fun of course) and you are talking 'Footy' (AFL Football) just say "Go 'Pies". They will either love you or hate you... lol.
I say 'GO PIES' - that's my team - we are hanging out for the season to start...
Out of curiosity, are you using the Qantas air pass that I've seen advertised lately? Return flights from N. America and 3 internal flights included?
I know you already booked your flights, but if you aren't using the airpass you might be able to save a lot of money using it. (BTW I don't work for Qantas or anything, I've just been looking at the pass for myself.)
Good Luck on your holiday!
PS: I live in Tasmania and I noticed you left us out. Just kidding, I can see you already have a pretty full schedule - just wanted everyone know that there is stuff to see down here too!