Been looking at the forum for a while now and found out some interesting stuff by reading some other threads so thought it was about time I posted one myself.
I am currently in the process of negotiating a career break from work and it looks like they will offer either 3 or 6 months. I am looking to travel to Aus for my career break as it is somewher I have always wanted to go and i've hear so much good things about the place.
I am looking to start my adventure in Sydney and then hope to travel along the East Coast but i'm unsure of whether I should go north towards Brisbane/Cairns or go south towards Melbourne and then Adelaide. What would you recommend??? And what stops are worthwhile on the way????
The big question is what time of year,
I would be looking more at November to about March/April time to travel as I believe this is the best time of year to go?
That's the worst possible time for going up north (it's exactly the wet season; think extreme humidity interspersed with torrential rains) where "north" is defined as anything up from Brisbane, but a pretty good time of the year for being down south (though even in Melbourne and Sydney, January/February are still a bit too much on the warm side for my personal taste).
I concur with Sander and would like to add that this past summer has seen periods of 10 days or more in Perth and Adelaide with over 35C (without relief), whilst Sydney enjoyed a mild, with higher than usual amounts of rain, which was needed after 7-8 years of lower rainfalls and falling dam levels. Even Melbourne had more hotter days than Sydney.
Suggest that if you could change your timing to September onwards, you would be able to see more of Oz in more comfortable weather conditions.
yeah, I reckon if your chasing an "endless summer" go south first and then (if you can) head up north towards the last month of your trip. Far North Queensland is at its absolute best just after the wet season IMO... Everything is green and lush, all the rivers and waterfalls are flowing and the temperature is a bit more bearable for people accustomed to cold climates.
Having said that, if your looking for a "real tropical experience" being here during the wet season can be pretty amazing, as long as you dont mind being wet! But bear in mind that there are still plenty of sunny days and when it does rain, it's still around 30-35 degrees. ie. you can walk around in the rain quite comfortably in a pair of shorts and thongs
Just a word of advice, take it with as many grains of salt as you wish, but november to may is known as "stinger season" in Far North Queensland. Google it and you'll find a wealth of info on it... but the point I was trying to make is that if you wanna swim in the sea in the tropics, best do it at the start of november before the first heavy rains
just forgot that you had another question in your post, where's good to stop?
Well, if your travelling north from sydney be sure to check out some of these places (they in order starting closest to sydney, travelling north)
Coffs Harbour and inland (some fantastic forests and water falls around Grafton and Armidale)
Lamington National Park
Burrum Heads (really nice this one, tiny seaside town with an amazing beach, at low tide you can walk for miles)
El Arish Tavern
shit.. its a bit longer than I thought and there are so many places in between!
But if you type any of those into google Im sure you'll find plenty of info.
Hope this helps
Thanks to all for the reply to my initial post, I will take on the advice you have given regarding the best time to go and will definately be of help to me when organising my trip.
Thanks to philistine for the recommendations about where to visit on the way north from Sydney, I will carry out research on these destinations to get a feel of what to expect on the way. I have a few friends who are in Aus at present and they have headed south so I can possibly get some fiidback from them on the stops they have made, but the info you have provided is great, thank you.
Anyone else who has destinations that they could recommend, either north or south of Sydney I would be very interested to hear them.
Hey, we have just come back from a 3 week trip up the east coast in Feb. The east coast had had quite a 'wet' time of it and when we arrived in Sydney and telling people we were heading north we were all met with the same comment 'are you travelling by car or boat?!' Luckily for us we seemed to be driving up behind the weather so we really lucked out and had fantastic weather more or less the whole way!!
We spent the first few days in Sydney and then flew up to Brisbane and began the drive from there. We missed out Byron Bay but friends have commented on it and said it is worth a visit. We then headed north to Noosa, then stayed in Hervey Bay where we took a trip out to Fraser Island, which you can do in a day trip or over a couple of days with organised camping trips. From here we went to Airlie Beach where there are loads of opportunities for boat/snorkelling/scuba diving trips out to the reef. We were here for about 4 days and then drove up to Cairns were again there is plenty of opportunities for boat/diving trips. We covered a fair amount in only 3 weeks and there was much more that we would have wanted to do but were really happy with what we did. Again due to the time of year we were there, once we reached Airlie Beach swimming in the sea was not an option and any trips we went on we were provided with 'stinger suits'.
Have kinda rambled a little here but hope it helps a little!!