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First visit

Nottingham, United...
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842 posts
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First visit

Hi! Hoping you can help me decide on an itinerary please. I plan to visit Australia in February 2010 for the first time. I live in UK by the way. I should tell you that I am in my 60s but healthy! I'm interested in the "must-sees" but am not into museums etc. I want to experience some Aboriginal culture, and anything that is only available in Australia so Uluru, Great Barrier Reef etc. I don't want anything too energetic (!) but can do bushwalks and similar. I am in the middle price bracket, I would say - not backpacking but not rich by any means! I'm interested in Sydney, Melbourne, Alice Springs/Uluru, Cairns but don't want to miss anything essential as it's extremely unlikely I'll ever have the opportunity to come back. Is Western Australia a "must-see" or should I stick to the East Coast, NSW and Alice Springs/Uluru? Sorry this is such a long post but I want to give a good idea of the things I'm interested in seeing and doing. Any help gratefully accepted!

South Pole
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15,381 posts
36 reviews
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1. Re: First visit

february will be hot most places u travel, very hot in the centre eg. uluru and wet and hot up north eg. cairns, where it will also be cyclone season. the west has some pretty special places. if u have the time and the cash it would be good to fit it in.

a pom of similar age did a big trip around aus a little time ago and wrote some wonderful trip reports. search for his name, faultytowerswatch, on this site and read them. u will get a host of ideas and tips on where to stay and what to do.

Sydney Australia
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2. Re: First visit

Hi,

given your criteria for your visit, your age, and the fact that you normally live in a cool climate.. is there any way you could move your trip to the middle of the year when the heat won't be so bad in the centre and far north?

South Pole
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15,381 posts
36 reviews
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3. Re: First visit

talk about coincidence. fawltytowerswatch made a post today on the forum. here is the link to his forum contributions where u will find his trip reports on aus.

tripadvisor.com/members-forums/FawltyTowersW…

Narooma, Australia
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4. Re: First visit

February is a hot month in Australia - but don't let that dissuade you. If you want to go to Alice Springs and Uluru, please do so - you'll just arrange your sightseeing for early or late in the day, rather than in the middle of the day. If you can arrange airfares to take in both Perth and the east coast cities, please include Perth (and a tour, or self-drive tour of the south west). If not, the east coast has more to offer. Consider driving along the coast from Melbourne to Sydney and/or Sydney to Brisbane, Tasmania, the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne to Adelaide, Kangaroo Island...you'll find lots that will interest you and make your trip to Australia worthwhile. Just remember to buy some sunscreen and insect repellant when you arrive; and pack your swimmers and a hat. ...and we won't mention the cricket!!

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
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5. Re: First visit

Hi diberry

It's great that you have decided to come to Australia - so different from the UK.

How much time are you thinking of spending here? Will internal flights be included in your ticket or are you perhaps thinking of buying an Airpass to go to various places, or is train travel an option?

One of your options may be to hire a car, and as others have mentioned the Great Ocean Road is very popular amongst locals and tourists alike. After spending a few days in Melbourne, you could head up to Sydney via the Coast Road taking a few days to do so if you wished.

But in my opinion if you want to see all that you can, the "must see sights", then the weather in February is not conducive to Far North Queensland (Great Barrier Reef, Daintree), the Red Centre (uluru, Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon, the MacDonald Ranges) and Darwin (Kakadu) - all "must see" places for me. The best months (IMO) to visit these places are say July - Sept.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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30,038 posts
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6. Re: First visit

As others mentioned Feb is the "Wet Season " in Nth Qld, Nth WA and NT. The weather is extremely HOT, humid, sticky with the possibibilty of cyclones and its also Stinger Season. In certain parts of Nth Qld, NT and Nth WA the roads are closed.

However, if you really want to see these areas and are aware that the weather will be uncomfortable with plenty of flies and rain then you will enjoy this special part of Australia. The Wet Season can also be incredibily beautiful too.

The positive side is at least you will get cheap deals.

For information on these destinations click on the threads below.

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i18612-Darwin_T…

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i17672-Uluru_Ng…

Normal itinerary - Melb / Syd/ Uluru / Alice / Cairns / Sydney - home.

Happy Planning,

EM ☺

gk
Brisbane, Australia
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2,280 posts
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7. Re: First visit

I was going to suggest reading FawltyTowersWatch trip reports as well, like lien up there.

Nottingham, United...
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842 posts
16 reviews
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8. Re: First visit

Lien - thank you so much - that was very helpful and I LOVE being called a "pom" - that made me laugh! And thank you so much for the link to “fawltytowerswatch” – can’t wait to read that. In the West of Australia could you suggest some "must-sees" please?

Snodge – thanks for the idea but I’m always busy from May – September and there are family events in October and December so Feb/March are best for me. We go to Florida every August so I’ve had a bit of practice!

60yoAussie – thank you for all your very helpful suggestions. That made me laugh about the cricket! I don’t follow it myself but my son’s very very happy at the moment! Needless to say, with 3 more Tests to go I’m sure we’ll throw it away in true Brit fashion!!

DougoOz – I haven’t even thought about airfares yet. I’ve still got to think about all that – seems complicated! I can spend up to 2 months but hope to take in NZ and Fiji too. Thanks for mentioning the Airpass – I’ll look into that. I plan to fly or take trains, maybe a bit of car hire in between.

Ellemay – thank you for mentioning the cheap deals – I hadn’t realised that! And thank you very much for those links too!

Gk – thank you also.

Wow – so many helpful people – I’m impressed!!! Thank you all!

Melboune
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2,138 posts
178 reviews
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9. Re: First visit

For internal airfares, and to NZ, many of us use Webjet as a tool ---

http://www.webjet.com.au/

This allows easy comparison, but to avoid paying the Webjet fees, the same fares can be booked direct with the airline of your choice on its site.

If you're prepared to consider train travel, we can refer you to useful sites for this - depends on where you might have in mind.

-- G

Nottingham, United...
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842 posts
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10. Re: First visit

Thank you Gat16 - that link is very helpful.I'm finding it difficult to get my head around the vast distances involved, living as I do on a fairly small island! I would like to undertake a scenic rail journey although I plan to fly mostly.So far I've only planned to arrive in Sydney and maybe go from there to Melbourne. I definitely want to see Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef but haven't planned the bits in between yet. There's just so much to see!