Ok l have taken on board what you guys said about Brisbane/Cairns area not being so good to visit in Feb!
We sort of gotta go in Feb or Mar at the latest (its an airmiles thing!) so l have taken onboard about WA and actually l have found out lots and lots of good things about WA! So here is our itinerary of sorts!
We are talking about 28 days or so inclusive of travel time:
Belfast - Bangkok
3 nights Bangkok
Bangkok - Perth
4 nights Perth
Hire camper van
Travel down toward Margaret River - take in a few wineries! - 3 nights
Back toward Perth - overnight
Head up coast via Monkey Mia on to Carnarvon - 2 nights
Carnarvon toward Coral Bay - spend few days on reef snorkelling etc - 2 nights
Coral Bay toward Exmouth - 2 nights
Coral Bay back toward Perth - 2 nights
Perth to Uluru - 2 nights
Uluru to Melbourne - 5 nights (we got friends to visit with!!)
Mel - back home!
So what do you reckon does this sound like a plan? I know its likely to be HOT at Uluru but the time of year is sort of fixed. With driving distances and time we cant really go any further than Exmouth - although l think to go towards Broome we are gonna be hit by the wet again in Feb!
[ Edit: Edited on Feb 10, 2007, at 2:36 PM by Purdy ]
I know people have told you not to travel the east coast in february, but i'm just north of Cairns at the moment, in Port Douglas and its 35 degree heat, and perfect sunshine! I leaft sydney just after new year and have been travelling up the coast ever since. Apart from 2 days in Cairns last week, it has been perfect sunshine the whole way. Dont miss out on the east coast on OZ just beacuse of the weather charts. If you do decide to head up this way make sure you go to:
byron bay - absolutely beautiful place that you can just chill out in and surf
noosa - beach town that has the sea on one side and a national park on the other - well worth a visit
fraser island - largest sand island in the world..you and 10 other strangers are put together in a 4x4 and you navigate your way across the island, taking in the lovely scenery and swimming in fresh water lakes
the whitsundays - again, i was there the very end of january and we had 3 days of sunshine - basically 3 days of sailing and snorkelling
cairns - you mite get some rain here...i spent 5 days getting certified as a scuba diver and the reef was amazing despite the rain!!
if you want any more info, send me a message
AGHHHHH - now you are really confusing me!
No lm going to stick to my WA/Uluru/Mel itinerary and that way l get to come back a 3rd time to Oz and do the East Coast!
When we were there over new year & Christmas in Mel & Sydney the weather wasnt great - a few lovely days but as many days of rain pouring down too - the day we left Sydney the rain was bouncing off the streets - so knowing my luck it would be awful (hell knowing my luck it will probably rain in Uluru when we are there!)
Thanks Dani though l will bear your suggestions in mind when we go to plan the 3rd trip!
So Tasmania is out of the question now?
Great itinerary, only have one question: are you going to drive from Perth to Uluru via the southern coast and then up north or straight to the outback? In the latter case it would be better to drive with GPS and/or with another car or so.
And uluru might be hot, but around 40 degrees and dry air is doable. It's the same as 30 in belfast...
That is one wicked trip.
Your WA itinerary sounds perfect, but how are you getting from Perth to Uluru?
Can't be driving the Gunbarrel Highway in the middle of summer!!!
If you need any info about accomodation, car hire, things to do, etc, just ask.
As you will be seeing/walking some of the best beaches in the world, is 4 nights in Perth one night too many?
Coral Bay is superb (blogged it December 2006).
P.S. Do you know how many wineries there are around Margaret River?
We're talking serious liver damage.
Thanks for the seal of approval guys - no we will not drive to Uluru from Perth - there's flights between Perth and Uluru and then flying on to Melbourne!
At the moment we are debating whether to rule out Uluru totally on this trip (the flights are rather expensive!) and simply concentrate our time in WA.
With the 4 days in Perth apart from doing a tour of the city, l thought we would spend a day in Freemantle as well as maybe a day on the beach? Could this be done in 3 days do you think?
Now - lm off to swear at the French - they STOLE the rugby from us in the last minute! Ireland were robbed!
Your itinery sounds great - as long as you realise that the trip to Exmouth is going to be approx 1300 kms (808 miles!)...... that is a looooong trip for such a small amount of time. And again (like the East coast) you are heading up into the tropics at the wrong time of the year - still the possibilitiy of cyclones and/or wet/hot/humid weather and being cut off through flooding etc.
My suggestion for the eight days you have allowed yourself for this part of the trip would be that you go no further than the Kalbarri/Shark Bay area. Have a look at sites of the Coral Coast and you can see all the things you can do.
Between Perth and Kalbarri there are a lot of beautiful places to see and do eg
- Leave Perth and travel to New Norcia - an old Benedictine Monastery town. You can stay overnight there if you want.
Same day or next morning cut across to the coast to Cervantes (via Moora to Badgingarra) and see the Pinnacles. It is beautiful to see at sunset. (Or you can miss New Norcia altogether and just go to Cervantes.)
From there you can travel up the coast through Jurien and Leeman to the Highway at Dongara - much more interesting that the main Highway I can tell you! LOL
Between Dongara and Geraldton there is an area called Greenough which is lovely.
From there I would travel through Geraldton through to Northhampton and turn off the Highway to Horrocks Beach and Gregory - this road will take you through to Kalbarri via the coastal road.
From there travel up to Monkey Mia/Shark Bay area.
There are sheep/cattle stations you can visit and stay on up in these areas also if you want to experience what it is like to be on a massive property in the outback.
Then you can travel straight back down the Highway to Perth stopping at Hutt River Province if you want to see a breakaway Province!
This will give you a great holiday and do most of the things you were wanting to do further north at Exmouth etc.
You mentioned that the East Coast part of your original plan could be done in another trip. Well, I would do that trip during the months or March through to October - that way you can do the entire northern part of Australia. Ningaloo to Broome, the Kimberleys, the Northern Territory (Kakadu etc) Queensland (the Cape, Cooktown, Cape Tribulation and the Daintree plus the Reef and everything further south!!) LOL
Girl I feel by the time you have done all these trips you will be wanting to move out here! LOL
Oh..... and the only other thing I need to ask is...... You do intend to FLY to Uluru don't you?? Not drive I hope....... No way can you make it there in that time and also to travel through that country during the summer is NOT a good idea.
Have fun whatever you decide to do. Hope you keep in contact -would love to hear what you end up doing and how it goes. Feel free to contact me at any time if I can help in any way.
PS Yep Perth could be done in three days. One way to see it reasonably would be to do the River Cruise trip from Perth to Fremantle. You could start your trip by staying overnight in Perth. There are tours you can do for a quick "Cooks Tour". Just ask your Hostel or Hotel people what they would suggest.
Do the river cruise to Fremantle the next day. Pick up your camper van from Fremantle. Spend the day visiting the beaches and then making your way down south.
[ Edit: Edited on Feb 12, 2007, at 5:11 AM by isnoo ]
How about doing the South Coast?
I drove from Melbourne to Perth, taking about a month, and was just spectacular. the places are so quiet and remote compared to the hectic east coast.
you can take in the Great Ocean Road, Grampians national park, Kangaroo Island, Adelaide, Barrossa Valley (Vinyards), Flinders Ranges, Streaky bay, the Nullabor desert, Great Australian Bite, Esperance, Valley of the Giants, Margaret River and finishing up in Freemantle or Perth.
If your into camping I cant reccommend this trip enough.
Stop confusing me people! No we are sticking to our WA itinerary - l did Gt Ocean Road recently so would rather visit elsewhere!
East Coast etc all for visits 3 & 4!!
Kathyrn btw - thanks for all the detail!