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1. Posted by 'Katie' (Budding Member 10 posts) 9y

Hi!

My friend and I are heading off on a gap year starting this July and we are really desperate to leave and travel but pretty clueless about some stuff at the moment!
We have booked the tickets and our route is,

Mumbai, India then we are hoping to get an internal flight down to Madurai where we are taking part in a volunteer project for 3 months.
From here we have to travel back to Mumbai so any advice on getting to and from here would be greatly appreciated! Train or Plane? and can we book in advance?

We are then flying into Sydney and getting an internal flight up to Cairns. From here we hope to travel down the coast to Brisbane so again any advice would be great!

We are flying into Auckland and working and traveling in New Zealand for the majority of our trip. Then flying out to Nadi, Fiji and over to New York.

Its our first time traveling and although we cant wait to set off any advice about any of the destinations would be greatly apprecitaed! thanks

2. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 9y

Oh Katie your making me SO SO SO SO jealous! Your trip sounds amazing and you will have some of the best experiences of your life!

AND you have found the perfect place to help plan your travels, ask all the silly questions you havent been able to ask and general have some fun!

So welcome to TP the bestest travel site in the world ever!

Heather (Mod in Asia, Europe & Australia & New Zealand)

3. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 9y

Hi Kathi.

You are at the right address. Ask me a question about India and I will answer. Just do it. Your trip seems great. I hope you will have the trip of your life. Anyways, welcome to travellerspoint;)

Wouter

4. Posted by Ahila (Inactive 1529 posts) 9y

Hi Katie,
I am sure you are going to have a wonderful time and Madurai is one of the more beautiful places of Tamil Nadu and also has a very special and ancient temple there.

As for returning to Mumbai after your volunteering, you could take an internal flight back to Mumbai (Air Sahara, Jet Airways, Air Deccan...) and which will probably be around USD100.

If you are however thinking of doing some travelling and sightseeing on the way, take the train. You could either go further down and then turn back for Mumbai (Madurai - Kanyakumari - Trivandrum - Cochin - Goa - Mumbai) or directly up (Madurai - Bangalore - Mumbai) or even the direct train (Madurai - Mumbai, via the Mumbai CSTM Nagercoil Express). Just keep in mind that the second option will take you time and if you are in a hurry to return to Mumbai, then go with the internal flight.

Have fun volunteering!
Cheers,
Ahila.

5. Posted by citybell (Full Member 419 posts) 9y

It is so good that you have taken up volunteering in Madurai, a great temple and historical city.

After volunteering , on your return to Mumbai, it is better that you can visit some of the beautiful places in south india before you return to Mumbai for onward travel to australia.

If you have enough time and can enjoy spending nights /day travelling by train then better to do journey.If you are a bit worried about travelling by train then suggest you take a flight to Mumbai.
Incase you take a flight, then suggest you to do short trips from Madurai to see some of the beautiful places keeping Madurai as base.

Short trips from Madurai....you can visit Madurai to Thekkady and Munnar(both small hill stations) or Madurai to Kanyakumari (India's land's end)-kOVALAM(near Trivandrum).

Ofcourse you can book flights in budget airlines in advance or make advance reservations by trains.In my personal opinion, train journey from Madurai to Mumbai would be a bit tedious for you.