Advice on Oz in July and August

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Advice on Oz in July and August

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1. Posted by so many qs (Budding Member 12 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi, I'm hoping to travel to Australia from the first week of July for about 7 weeks and I'm hoping for some advice on how best to go about it. I want to see and do as much as possible because I'm unlikely to be back!

I have friends in Melbourne and Brisbane but they are working so won't be able to travel with me but I'd like to call and spend up to a week with them. So that's 2 weeks taken care of, now for the other 5.

I realise Australia is a big place so I'm guessing that it would be best to stick to one coast for the 7 weeks and I think the East Coast is the most practical. 1) So at that time of year would it be best to travel up or down the coast? I know it's the winter but if I could maximise any decent weather there is I'd be happy.

I've been looking into Oz Experience and it seems to be a good option in that it's flexible but still offers some structure. 2) Has anyone gone with them? How would you rate it? 3)What are the other travellers like? 4) Are the add on activities good value? I'm 27 and female so I'd like to be travelling with people around this age.

5) And lastly, people who have done the East Coast, what are the must do things?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

2. Posted by timtravels (Respected Member 350 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

1. It probably doesn't make much difference which direction you travel, it's going to be cool down south in July and the beginning of August. I think most people travel Sydney to Cairns (up) though.

2. Never been with OzExperience but see their busses around a lot

3. There are travellers of all ages, especially up north. I assume you'll mostly meet backpackers who seem to be friendly and up for a laugh. On OzExperience I think the travellers tend to be late teens and early 20s.

4. Not sure, what are the add on activities and how much are they charging? Generally you can book activities when you arrive at your destination.

5. The things I enjoyed most are:
- Byron Bay for relaxing and surfing
- Fraser Island for camping and exploring
- Mackay and Eungella National Park
- Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays
- Mission Beach
- Cairns for the outer reef trip, Atherton table lands, Daintree NP

3. Posted by so many qs (Budding Member 12 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Thanks very much for that timtravels.
I was checking things out with travel agents today and they suggested flying into Melbourne, spending a week there and then flying to Sydney and continuing on up the coast by bus and then flying home from Cairns. They said there isn't that much to see/do between Melbourne and Sydney, is this true or are they just trying to sell me an internal flight?

Also, I really don't want to feel like an oldie on the Oz Experience but I don't think I'd be confident enough to go Greyhound. I'd be worried I wouldn't meet anyone or that I'd have to try meet new people every day. I like meeting new people but the pressure to meet people every day or so would be exhausting.:)

[ Edit: Edited on 25-May-2010, at 10:38 by so many qs ]

4. Posted by Araluen (Respected Member 346 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Depending on the cost of a flight Melb>Sydney, you could fly Melbourne>Canberra. The flight with Tiger Airways was only about $10 more than going by train/bus. From Canberra you can get to Sydney for $15 with Murrays - their seats are comfortable and it takes around 3 hours. The Canberra YHA is excellent and they have a pool. A few days there seeing the Parliamentary Zone is well worth it. You can book and be there for Question Time - it's entertaining watching our political leaders - real theatre!

From Sydney either fly to Cairns or go by bus. I'd recommend travelling Cairns>Port Douglas>Cape Tribulation>Cooktown. Country Road Coaches is owned by a local lad and the scenery is fantastic along the Bloomfield Track. Stay a few nights at Cape Tribulation - it's right on the beach and set in the Daintree. If you'd like any more info on this trip I'm happy to help.

5. Posted by timtravels (Respected Member 350 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Quoting so many qs

They said there isn't that much to see/do between Melbourne and Sydney, is this true or are they just trying to sell me an internal flight?

In July you could go to the snowy mountains (between Melbourne and Sydney) for some skiing or snowboarding, it's likely to be expensive compared to other countries though. Other than that there isn't much to recommend, I think it'll be too cold for you to enjoy the NSW south coast properly.

If you're not interested in the snow then I'd look at getting a flight or an overnight bus from Melbourne to Sydney.

6. Posted by swalia1980 (Budding Member 45 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

i arrive on the 4th july in sydney, dont know anyone there, just gonna go with the flow

let me know if u fancy meeting up at any point

my plan is to head up the east coast to Cairns

7. Posted by so many qs (Budding Member 12 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi all, so I'm still working on this and really have to get it sorted this week.

So now the possible plan is fly into Melbourne, take a 10 day trip with Adventure Tours or Adventure Travel to Alice Springs via Adelaide and Uluru. This is 1475 aus dollars including accommodation and meals so if anyone has feedback on either of these companies I'd be grateful. I can't find too many reviews online. Is it tough going on these trips?I'm 27 and healthy but wouldn't consider myself an athlete:). Is the price worth it? Are they well run?

My next step would be to fly to Sydney and continue to work up the East coast- the only problem is Virgin Blue don't fly from Alice Springs and Tiger Airways only seem to fly to Melbourne- any ideas on how what to do?

Thanks for your patience!

8. Posted by Sharon-T (Budding Member 2 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi 'so many qs' ..... How exciting, a holiday to Australia!

Alice Springs to Sydney by plane is going to be quite expensive because Qantas is the only option (no competition). See Same thing applies if you fly from the Alice to Brisbane.

Just a suggestion... what if you drive from Alice Springs north to Tennant Creek, then turn right to Mt Isa, keep going to Charters Towers, then have a look at Townsville and Cairns (4hrs drive apart), and then work your way down the East Coast to Brisbane. It will be so much warmer in the Tropical North. Approx 26 Celsius during the day and about 12 degrees at night at the moment. Not too much rain at this time of year either... the wet season runs from Nov to May.

You have definitely got the right idea staying on the East Coast (sorry WA) The East coast is far more populated with heaps more to do.

Handy hints:
1.Don't underestimate the distances in Oz. I just spent 3 days (8hrs/day) driving from Cairns to Brisbane. It's a big country and you need regular rest breaks or share the driving, or jump on a coach and let someone else drive!
2.It can be VERY cold in the outback at this time of year so don't forget to pack your warm coat, scarf and beanie.
3.Try not to miss Airlie Beach near Mackay. It is the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef (my fav part of Australia) Plenty of accommodation of all sorts, reef cruises, island stays - not all expensive - I think Koala Adventure Island might be a good bet, here's the link:
4.The information centres in every town and city are the very best place to go to ask what the best things to do are, and they will steer you in the right direction for your age group. If you asked me where to go, you will probably end up at all the museums

I don't know much about OZ Experience except that they have been around for quite some time so should be good value, especially the hop on hop off when you want option, and it looks like they cater for your age group so it should be an awesome holiday. Have a great time and best wishes!

Post 9 was removed by a moderator
10. Posted by so many qs (Budding Member 12 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for that Sharon T.
So i'm heading off next Tuesday. Very scared! Flying into Melbourne. How long should I spend in Melbourne? What should I see/ do there at this time of year? Is there any hostels that people would recommend? I've heard about Base. I do want to meet people so somewhere that's social but not a completely party place would be good. Thanks again!