Travel Australia advice for a MONTH!!!!

Tash1

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Jan 15, 2008
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........Hellooooooo there!!! So, DH and I are going to Oz :yahoo:for the very FIRST time for a month at the end of this year (I can't frigging wait) then will be stopping off in Singapore for a few days (as usual to eat and shop......and EAT!!) :nuts: We're flying into Sydney and have no itinerary at all, and was hoping to get some much needed advice from those that know the country well, with regards to where to go, stay (with a gym!), eat, shop, sight-see, and anything else that may be of interest. What kind of itinerary would you advise, taking in the essentials. Is there anything that is an absolute MUST?? :smile:

We did consider camper-vanning along the East coast, as we :heart: to adventure, but think it would be too tiring, and also as we're first-timers, and we've only got a month, may not be feasible. Basically we want to explore, and chill during our time there. Not asking for much are we??!! There's not really a budget, but would be interested in all price ranges. :nuts:

Any help and advice will be greatly appreciated.....oh, have I said I'm sooooooo excited to be going, can't wait to explore the country! :yahoo:........THANK YOU!!! :heart::heart:
 

nasyarayna

Member
Aug 6, 2009
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Japan
wow... I went to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth for a trip on March this year. I like Sydney most, but Melbourne is nice too. Perth is a bit far from everywhere, the most isolated city I think.. LOL

I think one month is enough already! Since I spent there only for 10 days, but it was an awesome experience for me.. I wonder if I have a chance to stay in aussie someday..

My advice, please visit all of the town in Aussie.. They have different taste... Dont forget visit Koala..they are really cute...
 

jen_sparro

Jen
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Mar 27, 2009
6,413
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Perth, Western Australia
I love Sydney, fantastic nightlife and shopping, Melbourne is an absolute MUST (I cannot emphasize that enough!). Perth has the beaches if that's what you're after (so much better than Bondi etc!).

I'm an Aussie born and bred and I've been to just about everywhere except the Northern Territory... Sydney and Melbourne have the best shopping and nightlife. As for hotels I'd recommend you have a look at some hotels that take your fancy on trip advisor (I'm pretty picky about hotels). Most hotels at all price points are pretty reasonable here, just try to get a hotel that's in the CBD, makes it easier to get around!

Sydney has so much to see, the Opera House (cliche but beautiful) and the Harbour Bridge, you can climb the bridge if you want, it's a huge amount of fun (unless you're scared of heights :P) and an adrenaline rush. Taronga Zoo is lovely, if you're after that sort of thing. You can also go to lots of native animal parks and feed koala's and kangaroos (I love kangaroos... just avoid the males, they do kick hard ;))

Are you only staying in Sydney? If not I can recommend some more things. Just be aware that things here are actually further away than you might think and the weather difference is huge between states haha. You can have four seasons in one day sometimes!
 

Bitten

Chic, not cheap.
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Feb 6, 2007
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It depends a bit on you and your DH's tastes, what do you like to do? I'm Australian and I honestly like nothing more than holidaying in my own backyard where there is literally a bit of everything to enjoy.

If you're coming towards the end of the year, Christmas, that's summer in Australia and the climate is superb - warm everywhere. I live in Brisbane, Queensland, and in summer it is hot and humid but beautiful (as a Queenslander, I love hot weather but am a complete pansy in cold weather. Snow I don't do at ALL). Sydney and Melbourne have more temperate climates generally, but it can be variable. If you are interested in beaches, I'd suggest a trip to Queensland's northern coast, with some time on the Barrier Reef as it will be peak season in summer and there will be lots of tourist activity. Don't bother with Brisbane except as a stopover on the way - I LOVE living here, don't want to live anywhere else, but I can't honestly call it a worthy tourist destination.

If you're up for campervanning generally, but don't want to necessarily spend a month doing that, why not hire a car in Melbourne, Victoria and do 10 days driving through the wine regions? B&Bs are plentiful and the driving isn't too arduous, not like 4WDing through NT.

For city stops, I have to say I love Sydney. It's so vibrant and literally bursting with great restaurants, theatre, shopping, for all budgets and tastes. I go to Sydney between 3 and 5 times every year just for long weekend trips. I stay in the Sheraton on the Park, which is located centrally in the city. It's not really possible to have a bad time in Sydney, especially if you love good food - check out King's Cross.

I also love Melbourne - I go there 2-3 times each year and stay at the Westin. Melbourne has a different vibe to Sydney, more moody and dark. Great shopping again and good theatre options.

If you and your partner want to do something 'adventure-y' may I suggest one of my favourite things to do in Australia - Cradle Mountain in Tasmania. There is a tour group that does catered guided walks along the Overland track for 6 days, staying in eco-lodge cabins along the way. You'll need a fair bit of equipment to do this walk, so it might not be practical from your perspective, but check it out anyway. Tasmania is a gorgeous part of the country, pristine national parks and fantastic local food. If you can't do the full Cradle Mountain walk, perhaps just stay at Freycinet lodge and take some day hikes through the national park.

I'm obviously not familiar with Western Australia, but there are a number of tPfers who are from Perth and they will be able to advise you better for that part of the country. I don't mention the Northern Territory simply because it will be very hot at that time of year then and probably not the most appealing weather to visit in. I have done a number of 4WDing trips through NT and Uluru and Kakadu national park are absolutely breathtaking but I think in December it's the wet season and so access can be limited (may be wrong about that though - I've only ever done trips in September and July)
 
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Tash1

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Jan 15, 2008
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Firstly, a massive THANK YOU for ALL the advice and suggestions, I really appreciate it!!!!!!!!! :heart:

I have to say, I'm rather embarrassed as I've been so busy, I completely forgot that I started this thread. Now that time is ticking away, it reminded me that I need to finalise our travel arrangements!!! :nuts:

Well, this is a rough itinerary of where we'd like to go;

NSW Sydney for about 4-5 days, to get over jet-lag and take in the city. We'll most certainly do the Harbour bridge climb, and take in the iconic sites of Sydney. Then, off to the Blue Mountains for a few days. :biggrin:

Queensland The Great Barrier Reef, still deciding where to go, Port Douglas? Hamilton? it all looks SO stunning!! Wherever we choose, I'm sure we'll be able to CHILL LOTS!! :nuts: Has anyone been on a Whitsunday cruise? Prob spend about a week here.

Northern Territory Even though at this time of year, it will be scorching here, this is the part of the trip, I think I'm MOST looking forward to.....Uluru, and taking a hot air balloon, and camel ride along the desert!!! I actually want to spend about 4-5 days here, not sure if that's a bit too long?

So, that's it so far!!! We may do a self-drive to Melbourne, and Tasmania looks breathtaking, but we want to be back in Sydney for New Years....DH wants to see the fireworks!!!! I do want to see some more of the outback, any suggestions or will it be just too hot? :nuts:

We're trying to mix in a bit of adventure, with some chilling out, we don't want to wear ourselves out!! No wineries for us, unless MIL Is coming, she'll drink the place dry! (I love my MIL really!!) as I'm tee-total, and DH hardly drinks. I still can't believe it's only just over 2 months away!!! :nuts:

Thanks again for all your help!!!!!!! XXXX :heart::heart:
 
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jen_sparro

Jen
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Mar 27, 2009
6,413
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Perth, Western Australia
Your itinerary sounds great!

If you want to see the Great Barrier Reef then I suggest Hamilton is the better place to start from in that respect. My family and I tend to go to Queensland every couple of years, we stay at DayDream Island (one of the Whitsunday Islands), but lots of good charters leave from Hamilton to see the reef. I don't want to dampen your excitement but the reef isn't what it used to be in a lot of the parts anymore... but if you have a good charter they'll know the best places to go!

As far as the NT goes 4 days is probably enough... it will be extremely hot so bring plenty of sunscreen and insect repellant (because there will be plenty of flies unfortunately). Bear in mind in the NT at night it gets very cold so bring some warm clothes for night!

Tasmania and Melbourne are both amazing so if you have time for either I'd definitely try to go, at least to one. If you're more outdoorsy than Tasmania is your better option, but if you're in need of some city life etc. Melbourne is fantastic.

I'm sure you'll enjoy your trip and let us know if you need anymore advice etc. :biggrin:
 

Tash1

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Thanks a bunch jen_sparro for all the advice and tips!!!! :heart:

This is a rough schedule that I've drawn up with my travel consultant, but I'm wondering if it's a bit too much to do in a month, not to mention the PRICE!!? :shocked: I know there wasn't a budget as such, but when it reaches 5 figures.....in UK pounds!!! I think we need to do a bit of back-packing round Oz instead!! :nuts:

Anyway, tell me what you think, I've omitted the dates and hotel names for privacy reasons,

Sydney - for a few days....
Fly to Melbourne - Self-drive for about 8 days, take in Adelaide, Port Fairy, the coast etc...back to Melbourne*...
Fly to Alice Springs - 4 day tour taking in AS and the Rock, Olgas etc..**
Fly from Ayres Rock to Cairns, QL - Stay for about a week in Port Douglas (rainforest). We can take several outer barrier reef tours, ballooning etc....
Fly to Sydney - to do the typical touristy stuff, and a must which is the bridge climb, then self-drive to the Blue mountains for 3 days, then back to Sydney for a few more days........

* Melbourne, we're still a bit unsure about Melbourne, as we're covering Sydney, and possibly that might be a bit too much city for this trip. (I'm a Londoner born and bred, so used to city life!)

** We did want to go to Darwin and take in Kakadu NP but they said due to the conditions may be difficult, so don't want to risk it.

THE END (of our Australia trip anyway!!!)

OR

Start a new itinerary!!!! :nuts:

I was thinking of maybe just doing a self-drive from Sydney along the coast up to Brisbane or Cairns, not sure if that's too much driving and spend about 10-14 days doing that...

Then, fly to Alice Springs/Ayres rock for 4 days...

Fly to Melbourne* and self-drive OR Tasmania for a week.......

Back to Sydney for a week and do the Blue Mountains, Katoomba, Bridge climb etc....

It's been SO difficult to choose where to go, and what to see, as DH and I are very hands-on type of people. We like to mix with the locals, and we want to take in and experience Australia RAW!! We're so up for this trip and I so wish we had about 6 months to travel around.

So, does my itinerary sound adventurous, or just completely mad!!? :nuts:
 
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jen_sparro

Jen
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Mar 27, 2009
6,413
103
Perth, Western Australia
I can imagine the budget is an ouch, just the flight costs alone! Just think of us poor Aussies when we want to go to Europe :P
Well if you think that Sydney is enough city for you then I think if you want to cut costs Melbourne can probably go...

Darwin itself is quite nice for beaches etc. but yes the time of year is not the best for up north... it's our 'wet season' which means huge amounts of rain which can cause flooding in the gorges and can be quite dangerous. Also this can sometimes extend to areas like Ayres Rock, so be prepared for rain as well as hot humid weather.

Given you seem keen on the outdoors a week or so in Tasmania might be a good idea to look in to. It has some amazing hikes and the scenery is incredible. I don't think your itinerary is crazy, just make sure you plan out the routes you are going to take (as far as driving goes especially) so this will cut down on working these things out and causing undue stress :smile:

Oh and btw backpacking around Oz is very do-able if you want a second go :graucho:
 

bipolarbear

Member
Jun 10, 2009
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I'm so glad you'll make it to Uluru - it's stunning, but you could probably even shave another day off there. I've just got to 2nd (or third or fourth, I've lost count above) Tasmania. I spent 2 1/2 months travelling about Australia and NZ many years ago and my time there was the most amazing of the trip, even though I mostly went to be a scuba bum on the Reef. Especially if you like hiking and the outdoors, I can't recommend it highly enough.

Your itinerary looks very doable and like great fun with any of these locales! I'm sure you'll have a great time and this will end up only being your first trip down under. Keep us posted on the final plans and trip!
 

Tash1

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Jan 15, 2008
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:yahoo: FINALLY, EVERYTHING IS BOOKED!!!!!!!!!!! :yahoo:

Thanks jen-sparro and bipolarbear for ALL the advice!! Mucho gracias!!! The price of the flights were cheap as we got them on the SIA sale!! I totally sympathise with the current exchange rate, the Pound has tanked, but thank goodness we also have the choice of Euros, which isn't too bad!! As for the hotel prices over NYE....OY OY OY!!!! :shocked:

I just want to give a big shout out to my travel consultant at Trailfinders, UK. if anyone ever needs to build an itinerary, he was FAN-BLOODY-TASTIC!!!!!!!! He had the patience of a saint, we re-jigged the itinerary about a million times, just to make sure we were in Sydney for NYE, and to keep the costs down, being the tight-arse I am!!! LOL!!! At one point we were discussing motor-homes, but my DH was concerned about the 'waste' and thought he had to slop out!!! LOL!! Phew, no more back-packing for me, those days are OVER!! :nuts:

We're not doing Alice Springs and Darwin due to the weather conditions and the time and cost of getting there for just 3-4 days, but I'm hopeful we'll be able to visit one day. We're staying in some of THE loveliest places, and when I checked the hotels myself to check their facilities, rates etc and found some were offering advance rates, which were less than their rates, he was more than happy to look into it, and managed to negotiate it even CHEAPER!!!! (Lilianfels and Cradle mountain) :nuts:

He really exceeded my expectations for CS, nothing was too much trouble. I'm such a happy camper I've recommended him to everyone!!! :P

Thanks ladies for all your advice, ooh just one more thing, I know there are a few threads on Sydney, and I've taken notes, but is there anything else you recommend to do/places to eat/where to go in Sydney? We're scheduled for the 'Discovery Bridge climb' a few days after we get there .....CAN'T WAIT!!!! :yahoo: :heart:
 

sparkelyfish

winters love
Aug 1, 2008
135
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I stayed in Sydney a whole month this summer/their winter. If you like the outdoors I suggest the tours around the Blue Mountains :smile: Darling Harbor has a ton of good places to eat btw
 
Sep 7, 2008
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Lilianfels in the Blue Mountains in NSW is nice, so that's a great choice, and there are plenty of great tours you can go on in the area. The Hunter Valley wine region is also in NSW and is another good way to spend a couple of days, and again, there are plenty of tours to choose from if you don't want to do the driving.
I second (or third) visiting Tasmania. It's truly beautiful and I personally don't know anyone who has visited Cradle Mountain and not liked it. I'm sure you'll like it too.
As for restaurant recs, I dine out (mainly in Sydney) several times a week and write online restaurant reviews, so feel free to PM about all things food if you want.
I'm excited for you. I bet you're counting the days.
 
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Tash1

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Jan 15, 2008
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Thanks for your responses sparkelyfish and Necromancer!!

Necromancer, I would really appreciate some restaurant/food recommendations in Sydney, we :heart: our food!! Thankyou! :heart: Can you hear the excitement in my posts!!!! LOL!!! I'm actually getting goosebumps just thinking about this trip, this has been a long time coming. :nuts:
 

teinna

O.G.
Oct 20, 2008
95
1
it's so funny to see a european excited to come to australia when I'm australian and there's nothing more I would like to do than escape to europe for a year.

Anyway, if you want to eat in Sydney: Tetsuya. It's a japanese place. Apparently very famous. Ranked one of the top 10 restaurants in the world or something. Very expensive too.

Are you going to melbourne? I live in melbourne so more familiar there: The Point (in Albert Park Lake). Won the best steak restaurant in Australia. And it's the best steak I've ever had in my life. Get the wagyu beef - it's worth it!
For lunches, you can go to The Brasserie (in Crown Casino complex). They have nice french, and awesome prices at lunch. $45 for 3 courses plus side. And you get free valet parking for lunch. The Crown casino also has shops like prada, lv, burberry, versace. It's located next to the river too.

Also, there is this chain restaurant called 'Hog's Breath Cafe'. It's in many cities. Their signature steak is the prime rib slow cooked for 18 hours. Second best steak i've ever had in my life.

For shopping, i recommend not to buy anything international in australia (like designer stuff, or anything that had to be imported from europe/US). It's much more expensive. But you can shop local stuff at markets.

The great barrier reef is awesome. But make sure you go more into outer reefs as the inner ones are not good anymore (blanched and crumbly). Definitely go scuba diving at the reefs.

At perth, you can drive out for about 5 hours or so and reach this beach (i don't remember the name sorry), but it got voted the best beach in australia. And it's much better than gold coast, sunshine coast, bondi beach. Crystal clear waters and white, white sand.

Brisbane is not worth visiting (it's my hometown). Gold coast is much better, I love the atmosphere and the sun.

Well have fun! I'm going to europe in january! I'm so excited!!!!