Me and my boyfriend are going travelling February 2008 and are trying (and failing!) to finalise our route.
We're thinking of going London to Hong Kong for about 3 days then flying to Bangkok and overland to Singapore to Cairns then down the east coast flying out of Melbourne to Christchurch overland to Auckland to Fiji then back to London via LA but not stopping.
Has anyone got any opinions on if its best to do Bangkok to Singapore or the other way round? We're going to spend about 4 weeks there but not sure if we'll have time to have a few days in Vietnam or Cambodia while we're there.
Also what are the chances of making it down the east coast and into the outback in 5 to 6 weeks?
And finally!.... is it worth stopping in the US for a few days on the way back or just coming straight home from Fiji? We can't decide whether we should just do North America 'another time'!
Any random help or advice greatly appreciated!!!
If you want to see the east coast at a liesurely pace without any flights then your chances are probably low. Having said that if you got a flight somewhere along the line maybe a Sydney-Melbourne flight to cut out some large areas of nothing much worth seeing, then if you got a Melbourne-Alice Springs return flight it could be possible for a few days in the outback. I think Tiger Airways is either doing that route currently or if it isn't now it is planned to begin sometime soon as I remember seeing prices advertised a while back. So if you were able to book in advance for dates towards the very end of your time in Australia, you may be able to get a really cheap special.
It would be worth stopping in the US for a few days even if it were only to see New York. That is a really great city and is a must visit. If you have about 2 weeks that you could allocate for America, you could do something like get a flight to Los Angeles then after a few days there get a bus (or drive or even a cheap flight) to Las Vegas. Spend a few nights there as it is a really cool place to be. After Las Vegas head back to Los Angeles for a flight to New York and then after a few days there head back to London. I guess it all depends on how much time you could allocate because if you were only going to Los Angeles well it wouldn't be worth more than 3 days and you miss far better places like Las Vegas and New York if you just flew from Fiji-London going via Los Angeles.
For Hong Kong I think you should try and add at least one more day there or possibly 3 more if you wanted to go to Macau as well which isn't far from Hong Kong.
If you are going to be going between Bangkok and Singapore with the next destination being Australia, well it goes without saying that the more sensible option would be to going from Bangkok to Singapore and not Singapore to Bangkok. If you got a flight from Hong Kong-Singapore overland to Bangkok and then from Bangkok-Cairns, you'd be backtracking a huge amount when you could just be travelling in the one direction had you stuck with your original plan.
Have a great trip.
[ Edit: Edited on Oct 12, 2007, at 5:58 PM by aharrold45 ]
5 to 6 weeks is plenty of time to do that section of Australia providing you're organised. We did it in 3 weeks but didn't go into the outback - so just the coast section. We wanted to drive it but the rental companies will insist on getting their cars back so we had to settle for public transport! To give us a bit of extra time we flew Sydney to Brisbane which saved 18 hours on the Greyhound and actually cost about the same! We then caught the train back down the coast from Brissie to see the Gold Coast. We flew out of Cairns to Auckland. I agree that a flight to Alice Springs would be worthwhile if you wanted to see Ayres Rock. It's pretty expensive tho, from memory I think it was about $600 each return! We had to pull out in the end because it was just too much money.
In NZ we rented a car and drove both islands in 5 weeks. It was really cheap and I'd recommend driving as an option.
If you're gonna be in LA I'd take a few days to see it. You can always go back and "do it properly" another time, but it would let you recover from your flight. If you're in LA you could always do something like Universal Studio or Disney Land. Beverly Hills and Hollywood are also worth a visit, although are about as tacky as you can imagine.