Getting overwhelmed

Travel Forums Introductions Getting overwhelmed

1. Posted by MJSGEE (First Time Poster 1 posts) 40w Star this if you like it!

Hi. My name is Marla and I'm a 65 yr old single woman who travels solo. When the kids were home, I traveled with them, and before that, i traveled with my late husband. This is my first international trip completely alone...I'm excited and a bit nervous . I'm traveling for the month of March

I am going to australia as its on my bucket list...northern australia (i think? reasons not to?) I have a one way ticket into Brisbane at this point...and am thinking to fly to Cairns, rent a car tour to Darwin, rent a car, tour around, then fly to Broome, rent a car, tour around, fly home.

So I've been reading lonely planet and a bunch on the web and I've succeeded in overwhelming myself....I do want to do Innot Hotsprings and Katherine Hotsprings and would love to do some hike arounds (shorter, moderate 3-4 hours) Oh, yes, and the Barrier Reef!

I plan on taking my backpack and gear...could camp/don't have to....want the freedom to go where I want, even if I dont' know where that is....Is it reasonable to think I could camp at different locations along the way?

What are your thoughts towards sightseeing and ease of travel? Should I do a tour group thru the Reef? other places? if the weather is hostile, is it possible to find accomodations without a reservation?

Insights please! I need to hear your experiences and thoughts on such a journey...

Glad to have found this forum

2. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1407 posts) 40w Star this if you like it!

You'll enjoy Brisbane; I've been there several times, including this year. The museums are great, and so are the two botanic gardens and the Roma Street Parkland. In Brisbane, suggest staying in a serviced apartment such as those by Meriton Suites.

I visited the Great Barrier Reef from Port Douglas. There are lots of bus and/or minivan tours throughout Australia, so you don't have to rent a car if you don't want to.

3. Posted by Atticus417 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

Marla, good for you! I believe that your desire to learn and seek for experiences that remind you that you are alive and curious about things is something that so many simply put aside. My wife and I have not been to Austrailia, but we travel a lot and some of the things you brought up reminded me of a few things: 1) tours make it easier to blend in, which I think is pretty important now a days. You don't need the expensive ones, but I would use those that are consistantly printed and have reviews. If you feel confident in going on your own, search for audio tours or free tours like the Sandeman tours that do a great job and you can tip as you see fit at the end. 2) We often, before we head off on our own (often separately with a time and place to hook up again), hang around groups simply to hear ideas. Same thing with restaurants; we follow the locals and ask questions when confident enough to do so. 3) You can always find places that have space (hostels are best...and safe), but you should research the specifics and have a list with you (on your phone is best) just in case. 4) Some folks won't agree with me on this, but I believe that having Google Maps or a similar app on the phone is a must just in case we do get lost or are short on time to get somewhere. All services in the US now have international services. If you don't choose this, I would certainly have an unlocked phone with an international sim card just in case. 5) I also like the idea of having a good guidebook with maps for specific areas. The DK Eyewitness Travel guides have maps in the areas covered in the book and I take pictures on my phone just to have them. You clearly have traveled enough to know that you need to be aware of your surroundings. You are going to have a great time, especially once you feel a bit more grounded with time in Australia.

4. Posted by neilmpenny (Budding Member 3 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

Hi Marla,
You will love it up there. March is autumn, so you will miss summer though do understand that it is the tropical north, so it is always hot and very humid.
There are dozens of campsites up there, and being off season you should have no trouble finding a place to stay at short notice. This would go for hotels and hostels.
There are hundreds of tour companies who do one day trips to anywhere. You can book a boat tour of the reef at any time.
If you get to Townsville do go over to Magnetic Island and there are a couple of campsites there.
I am in the process of buying a bicycle for touring and the first place I am going to cycle is from the sunshine coast up to the very tip of Cape York. Srcond trip will be to Portugal.
If you decide to go down to Melbourne I have a comfy couch. If you get into any difficulty on your trip contact me.
I wish you all the best. Bring a broad rimmed hat, sunglasses and sunblock.