East Coast, OZ - Advice please

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific East Coast, OZ - Advice please

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1. Posted by MattXIII (Full Member 272 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Going November till Christmas, alone and no drivers license.
Prefer it to be cheap as chips.

So far the plan is Fly into Cairns -
Do Edge hill
Tjapukai Cultural park
Scenic train to Karunda and stay @ hostel 1 night.

Train down to Alice springs

Now heres where i want help please:

I want to see Uluru, i know it'll be packed and there'll be no accomodation in the nearest town. So does anyone know of a tour company that would do a budget return trip from Alice to Uluru with an overnight stop?

My second question is why does all advice seem to favour starting from Sydney and moving "up" the coast to Darwin etc? Is there a problem going from the Northern Territory "down" to New South Wales?

Got a few mates down south so i'll be ok from there.

EDIT: Forgot - How about a cheap way to do Tasmania? And where from please?

[ Edit: Edited on Jun 24, 2007, at 7:16 AM by MattXIII ]

2. Posted by Helena224 (Budding Member 54 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hmmm. Im not all that clued up about Oz, but I was wandering why people prefer to go north than south as well. All I know is that buses are less regular if you are going south.

3. Posted by JessieG (Full Member 67 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Firsly edge hill is a residential suburb in Cairns, there is nothing there other than the botanical gardens.. could catch a bus there from town or a taxi..
Tjapukai is great.. next to it is Skyrail you should do that, it's like a chair lift kinda thing over th mountains up to a cute little village called kuranda..not sure if there is a hostel in kuranda.. but you coudl catch the train back.. one day in kuranda is enough.. you dont want to go out to the reef.. or an island.. if you go to fitzory the ferry is the cheapest way go to.

Just go to google and type.. "cairns + tjapukai/skyrail etc

hope this helps

4. Posted by maba (Inactive 227 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

South to North or North to South ?? It really depends on the time of year you will be travelling. Where you intend to travle also has an impact. In this case, you also mention Central Australia and Tasmania!.

For you, North to South is better as November - December will be the start of the 'wet season' up North and the hot season in central Oz.
It is leading into summer in the southern states so, the best time to be travelling South to visit them.

You mention you fly into Cairns! how do you plan to get across to Alice as there is no train?
If you mean 'The Ghan' train from Darwin to Alice & Adelaide then you need to get to Darwin, probably fly as you only have a short time in OZ. Here is a starting point for Northern Territoryinformation - http://www.travelnt.com/en/

Uluru & The Olgas is spectacular and a destination in itself. The only nearby accomodation is the Yalara resort. No other towns, just fuel stops and rough camp grounds until Alice Springs. Also in the Alice to Uluru trip you could include Palm Valley and Kings Canyon. I suggets that you take a two or 3 day trip in this area.

If you also want to get to Tasmania, flying will be quickest - 1 hr from Melbourne or, take the ferry - also from Melbourne, there are day or overnight sailings if you prefer that.

I suggest you plan your trip to be more specific on where you want to go & what you want to see and target your tour accordingly.

Do justice to the places that you visit and try not to fit too much in or, spend too much time travelling. OZ is a big and varied country and you want to gain the most from your experience.

You can always come back!!

Good luck with your travels

5. Posted by MattXIII (Full Member 272 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I love this place, you always get a bloody good answer. Much obliged, i'll definatley take heed.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to get to oz, i keep getting told Kakadu is essential, and now you say about the Ghan maybe fly to Darwin then ghan to alice and do a package uluru trip. But that means going all the way back up to Cairns (port douglas is now on my want list), karunda skyrail and i gotta do the reef i'm afraid. Will have to look that one up.
Then either from cairns or alice fly to sydney, i'll do what my mates want with me there also got a bud in the Blue Mountains. Then fly or other means to Melbourne and ferry to tasmania.
Lastly fly from Melbourne back to Blighty.

I shall get my head down and research, gotta attempt to dig out my shoestring lonely planet guides to oz and tasmania this weekend.

Again ta muchly my freinds V.Helpful¬ Any other suggestions or hints much appreciated.

6. Posted by michnrach (Budding Member 16 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

A few years back I did pretty much the trip you've mentioned. I flew into sydney and had a trip organised through oz experience (everyone has their opinion on oz experience, personally I enjoyed it!) it included a flight from sydney to darwin and then oz experience bus from darwin to alice and 2day trip taking in uluru/kings canyon/the olgas, then a flight from alice up to cairns and a hop on hop off bus ticket from cairns down to sydney. I then chose to take a 24hr bus from sydney to Adelaide (cheap option) where i then did a 3day trip to Melbourne seeing the utterly breathtaking Great Ocean Road. I didn't visit Tasmania but you could add that to the end there i guess?! I'm sure oz experience still do the same passes so that may be an option for you if you enjoy travelling with a group of people!
We're heading back out to oz for 12mths in November and be in Sydney at xmas/new year so if u fancy meeting for a beer send a message! Good luck with your trip!

[ Edit: Edited on Jun 29, 2007, at 5:52 PM by michnrach ]

7. Posted by majito (Respected Member 442 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I think you've overlooked the one thing that 90% of people go to Cairns for - The Great Barrier Reef. Do a day trip at least. You should also go to Cape Tribulation on a two day or three day trip. Tropic Wings is a reasonable budget company. I'd also recommend going to the reef from Cape Tribulation on a boat called Rum Runner. Its a day trip.
If you stay at Calypso Backpackers or The Beach House or Serpent they will organise cheap food and drinks for you.

Outback Safaris is probably the best budget trip for a two or three day Alice - Uluru trip. Keep in mind its 500klms from Alice to Uluru so going for two days is a long time on the bus.

8. Posted by MattXIII (Full Member 272 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Been researching the cheapest options to getting around, taking in what you've said.
Hows about Fly to Darwin; Red Kangaroo service Ghan to Alice.
Then by chance i've found the "Desert Venturer", for AUS$800 including b&b & food i can get from Alice to do a 2 day tour of Uluru and Kings Canyon including a camp out AND get to Cairns! Along the way we stop off and sleep at b&b's! The 800 includes the kitty!

Thought maybe after Cairns i'd Virgin blue it to Sydney where my adventure gets much cheaper eg: no accomodation costs! Wahoo!

£600 to do half my trip! (not including the alcohol so bump it up a few hundred ;)


You rock my freinds.

[ Edit: No promotional links allowed in the open forums ]

9. Posted by JessieG (Full Member 67 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

we try we try

10. Posted by traveler11 (Budding Member 11 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Desert Venturer is awesome! At least it was for me, best thing I did my entire trip. Driver was awesome, people I was with were awesome, places we visited were awesome. I did Cairns to Darwin, then took the train down to Alice Springs. Definitely highly recommended!!!!