I am sixty years old and will be retireing in February 2007.
I live in the USA.
I would like to take a once-in-a-lifetime vacation when I retire, and am currently planning on Australia.
Are there any places that I just can't miss?
I am a male, and I am quite outdoor oriented, but just for example, a ten mile (sixteen kilometer) hike on level ground would be as much as I would want to do in one day.
The vacation would almost certainly be in February.
Thank you in advance.
Australia has so many "must see's", you'll not struggle for choice, and you've plenty of time to research.
I have to say though that the Great Barrier Reef does live up to the hype.
There too many mountains in Oz, so you'll find walking a doddle - especially along the east coast beaches - best in the world.
February in Australia is Summer, and can get very hot up north.
There are so many places to see, particularly if you are an outdoors type of person.
Some general suggestions would be:
- great barrier reef. There is a mainland town called Proserpine which is supposed to be a good base.
- north Queensland, around the Gulf of Carpenteria
- the Northern Territory; Ayers Rock (Uluru), and Kakadu National Park
As already posted, Australia can get really warm in Feb, the north is tropical so will be quite humid. We have travelled Aus extensively and still think that the coastal run north in NSW is still one of the best.
To do this you would need a car but the run up north through Forster to Port Macquarie, Crescent Head, South West Rocks on to Nambucca, Coffs Harbour - the most amazing coastal scenery. A detour before Coffs to the world heritage rainforest of Dorrigo then return to the coast continuing north to Ballina. From east Ballina, a most beautiful coastal run to Byron Bay.
North from there up to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast. This trip would cover some of the best coastal scenery of Australia and Feb is a good time to do this trip as the Christmas rush is over and it is much easier to find accommodation.
So many people make the mistake of driving up the Highway and not detouring into the above mentioned places.
The Blue Mountains west of Sydney has some top walks and is a very scenic place to visit.
Feb is the wet season in the north so Kakadu could be testing. Some top
reef viewing can be seen from Heron Island which is a National Park out from Gladstone in Qld.
Every State of Australia has its own unique scenery, one could spend months in just one State. Depends on what you wish to see or experience.