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3 week itinerary - first Australia visit - ? where to visit

aceSeattle
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3 week itinerary - first Australia visit - ? where to visit

We are planning on spending 3 weeks in Australia in Jan/Feb 2011 and are just starting to figure out our itinerary. We would love suggestions. We are fast travelers who like to see a wide variety of sights and have a lot of different experiences without lingering too long in any one place. We have never been to Australia and so do not have a handle on how long to allow for each spot. Thanks for your help.

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: 3 week itinerary - first Australia visit - ? where to visit

So what places are you looking at visiting? As Australia is much the same size as the US, it's helpful if we know what your interests are or what places you really want to visit.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: 3 week itinerary - first Australia visit - ? where to visit

Note that January is school holidays here, so accommodation will need to be booked early, especially along the coasts.

Gungahlin, Australia
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3. Re: 3 week itinerary - first Australia visit - ? where to visit

Hi aceSeattle. The classic recommendation for a couple of weeks is Sydney-Rock-Reef (Uluru and Great Barrier Reef) but as you will be here for longer and don't plan to linger, you could certainly manage more. Also the time you are coming is not the ideal time for the tropical north (Reef) or the hot outback (Uluru) so depending on your interests you might want to substitute something else (walk to the top of our highest mountain or take a flight to a dirt airstrip in the Tasmanian wilderness which is unreachable by road maybe?). January is our main summer school holidays so it will be busy. Also January and February are our hottest months everywhere, IMO nice for swimming in the southern states but not as pleasant as spring or autumn for touring and sightseeing. Are you committed to that particular time? Given the size of the country it's best to fly between at least some destinations. Will you be hiring a vehicle or relying on public transport/tours? You might like to have a look at the information in the Top Questions panel on the right, and have a read of the Trip Reports, and then get back to us with more info about your interests, budget, etc... anything in particular that attracts you to include in your itinerary... the more you can tell us the more we can help you.

http://www.anbg.gov.au/maps/aust-usa-map.jpg

http://www.australia.com/index.aspx

aceSeattle
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4. Re: 3 week itinerary - first Australia visit - ? where to visit

We are hoping to spend 1 week in New Zealand (drive from Auckland to christchurch and then fly to sydney) prior to our Australia trip and therefore thought that Jan/Feb would be a better time to go. When is the Jan. holiday? We are not set on Jan/Feb but did want to have pleasant weather in New Zealand. When would you suggest we plan our trip if NZ is in our itinerary? Yes we are planning on flying to various cities --are not on a tight budget. Thank you for any info.

Gungahlin, Australia
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5. Re: 3 week itinerary - first Australia visit - ? where to visit

Although New Zealand is much smaller, it's actually a bit Tardis-like :-) One week is NOT long. It sounds to me like perhaps you've identified two major cities with international airports and plan to drive between them, which is one way to approach it, but IMO it seems a shame to miss Rotorua, or the southern part of the South Island. You won't do it all, I didn't do it all in four weeks (Sep/Oct btw, very pleasant but jumpers required). Suggest a bit more research on the NZ forum.

The main summer holidays in Australia (with some variation I believe between states and between public and private schools) go from about a week before Christmas till the end of January. There's a public holiday for Australia Day towards the end of January, you might like to arrive in Sydney in time for the celebrations, then February would still be plenty hot but quieter after the holidays. If you want to go to the outback and reef you might want to make it even later (see the FAQ for more about the wet season, the stinger season, etc).

Adelaide, Australia
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6. Re: 3 week itinerary - first Australia visit - ? where to visit

Starting off in Sydney www.visitnsw.com

Fly to cairns www.cairnseguide.com for the Great Barrier Reef www.virginblue.com.au www.jetstar.com

Cairns to Uluru www.ayersrockresort.com.au on www.qantas.com.au

Uluru via Alice Springs qantas.com.au to Adelaide www.southaustralia.com Drive the Great Ocean road from Adelaide www.greatoceanrd.org.au to Melbourne www.visitvictoria.com and fly Melbourne to Sydney for return flight home.

Three weeks you can work out an extensive itinerary.

Car rental rates www.drivenow.com.au distances www.auinfo.com

Accommodation www.wotif.com

Gungahlin, Australia
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7. Re: 3 week itinerary - first Australia visit - ? where to visit

>> Starting off in Sydney... and fly Melbourne to Sydney for return flight home. <<

Just wondering, any particular reason why not depart from Melbourne?

Wellington, New...
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8. Re: 3 week itinerary - first Australia visit - ? where to visit

January is not the best month for weather in NZ, late February/March is our best weather and all of January is school holidays. Have you thought of going to Adelaide and doing the Barossa Valley and Murray River?

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: 3 week itinerary - first Australia visit - ? where to visit

This is the wrong forum, but if you do like "fast travelling", I would recommend the Overlander train from Auckland to Wellington - it's a great way to see a large part of the interior of the North Island in one day. You do miss Rotorua/Lake Taupo and the eastern part of the North Island (you can do two trips and stop in the middle if you wanted to), but it's a good way to cover a large part of the country quickly and still enjoy it.

tranzscenic.co.nz/services/overlander.aspx

Back to Australia... in Jan/Feb there are parts of Australia that will be very hot at that time. Uluru/Ayers Rock will be especially hot in the middle of summer, and Cairns, while nice for swimming, will be very humid for anything else. I'm not sure if you like hot weather, but if you don't you may want to consider some cooler parts of the country as well as hot ones... coastal South Australia and coastal Victoria, and Tasmania are good places to visit in January/February (although they will be busy so you would need to book soon).

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: 3 week itinerary - first Australia visit - ? where to visit

Hi,

You do need to take into consideration the weather - Jan/Feb is very hot, humid, sticky, stinger season and cyclone season in Nth Qld and NT.

www.marinestingers.com.au

Jan / Feb is also our very busy summer school holidays - peak season in most places.

You haven't really put down your interests which would narrow down giving you ideas and suggestions.

Does your 21days also include Australia ??

Do you want to hire a car and self drive ?

What airline are you thinking of traveling with ?

Look into the Qantas Airpass or VirginBlue pass.

qantas.com.au/travel/…en

www.virginblueairpass.com/

Itinerary suggestions - 21days + 7 days NZ.

For NZ - 7 days - Auckland - 2 days - fly Auckland to Queenstown - pick up car and explore southern region which IMO is stunning (winter or summer).

Fly Queenstown to Sydney - (3hrs) - stay 4 days.

Fly Sydney to Melbourne - stay 3 days.

Fly Melbourne to Hobart - drive a little of Tassie - 4 days.

Fly Launceston (Tasmania ) to Brisbane - 2.5hr flight - pick up car.

Brisbane - 2 days / drive up to Noosa - 4 days / drive down to Byron Bay via Gold Coast - 3 days.

Fly Ballina to Sydney - 1 day / fly home.

happy planning,

EM.