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Australia/NewZealand/Fiji/Papau New Guinea?

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Australia/NewZealand/Fiji/Papau New Guinea?

Hi everyone!

I was wondering if I could get some input. I have 4-6 weeks (not entirely sure yet) starting at the end of this month to travel and I have had my sights set on Australia. While I'm around there, I figure I should visit New Zealand and possibly Fiji as well.

Some notes about me:

1. I'm from Toronto, Canada and I've only visited Asia and the West Indies

2. I love food. I want try new things that I can't get anywhere else. I and if there are "foodie" cities, that would be wonderful. I will happily plan a trip around FOOD!

3. I love hiking and the outdoors

4. I love exploring cities - not necessarily for monuments but taking in the culture and not feeling rushed to from site to site

5. I can't drive

6. I am not a resort or lay-on-the-beach type of girl

7. I'll most likely be travelling alone. I don't like the idea of tours very much.

My questions:

1. If you had 4 weeks would you just stick to Australia?

2. If you had 6, would you add a week of NZ and a week of Fiji?

3. Where would you start? I was thinking NZ first, then Aussie, work my way up to Fiji if I fit all three?

4. I would love to see Papau New Guinea. Perhaps that's something that I should trade Fiji for?

Thank you!

Darwin, Australia
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1. Re: Australia/NewZealand/Fiji/Papau New Guinea?

I will only answer Q4. PNG unfortunately is not a safe place to travel especially for a single female. Even in Port Moresby there have been attacks on people in the city area in daylight.

While there are some organised walks such as the Kokoda Trail it is very difficult and it is recommended that you travel it in a group.

Having said that the scenery there is very picturesque and you would need to fly to get around the country as the road network is not extensive. There are still holdups on the Highlands Highway by rascols as they are referred to.

Having lived there for a few years I did do some travelling around and enjoyed it and the people are generally pleasant but the exceptions are bad.

Planning a trip can be difficult due to the weather, like flying to the Trobriands in a light aircraft, the plane might have to return to base without landing due to the cloud cover and you just try again tomorrow.

Food: PNG is not noted for its culinary delights.

Four weeks is not long to see all of Australia but you can do it yourself safely and there are plenty of hiking areas. You might need to get a good guide book and work out where and what you would like to do, there is a lot to choose from.

Cairns, Australia
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2. Re: Australia/NewZealand/Fiji/Papau New Guinea?

There are some cruises for PNG that avoid the trouble areas and will provide a secure base. Please note what lsBob says plus there is a poster from Cairns who works there called MadsDad and am sure he will echo the same warnings. Have read that cruises can be a perfectly safe way to enjoy the country but please do loads of research and do not take my word for it. It will be a "tour' but hey, sometimes that is the sensible way.

Edited: 08 November 2010, 05:36
Brisbane, Australia
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3. Re: Australia/NewZealand/Fiji/Papau New Guinea?

I have been to PNG several times, a couple alone. In saying that I was with locals/ex-pats who knew the lay of the land and were on high alert for my benefit the whole time.

It is a specatularly beautiful country and yes there are some reputable cruises, particularly around the Sepik River, although you will find them very expensive.

If you cant join one of them sadly I wouldnt recommend it - just too risky , remote and ultimately dangerous.

In answer to your other question " if you had 6 weeks would you add on NZ and Fiji " - absolutely ! In fact try and give NZ a little more - 10 or 14 days will do it justice. All 3 countries are amazing and if you've come this far....

East Gippsland
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4. Re: Australia/NewZealand/Fiji/Papau New Guinea?

<I have 4-6 weeks..... starting at the end of this month to travel>

So, December which will take you slap bang into the school and business holidays for both Australia and N.Z.

If you had 4 weeks - Stick to NZ.

6 weeks - maybe 4 in Oz and 2 in N.Z.

1. Welcome to the Australian Forum . peperno from Toronto!

2. Food cities - Melbourne for sure is the food capital of Australia. Book yourself in to a cooking and food class at Victoria Market. Enjoy the tastes and smells of DeGraves St. or Hardware Lane. Indulge in a chocaholics adventure. Fresh crayfish at Port Campbell or Lakes Entrance.

3. In Victoria. There are a number of rail trails for you to explore. Maybe a good idea to have a small tent and sleeping bag. Catch the VLine train and coach to Lakes Entrance, Camperdown, Warrnambool, Wangaratta.

Or bus from Bairnsdale to Wangaratta with the Alps to hike around in the middle. Great scenery, clean mountain air. probably no snow. just the Alpine flora. Great Ocean Road Walk, Hans Heysen Trail in South Australia, Blue Mountains in New South Wales.

4. Cities? - Sydney, Melbourne, are the largest in Australia . Melbouirne has several selfguided walks, gardens, river. . But Sydney has several and the ferry to admire the beautiful harbour and Bridge backdrop.

However, slow the pace a little and visit Adelaide. City of churches. Maybe Alice Springs for a different side of the story. But it will be HOT there.

Not forgetting our capitol - Canberra, different again and Perth on the western seaboard. Its going to be raining in Darwin and Brisbane/Cairns

Or try a rural city - Bendigo,Ballarat, Albury, Wagga Wagga, Newcastle, Armidale.

5. Use public transport or take tours. Rent a push bike. Fly.

6. The beaches will be crowded on hot days so we won't suggest them - or resorts.

7. Have a look at some of the trip reports where many of our visitors have traveled alone and not driven every where. Do a search under Solo traveller trip reports.

Maybe just spend 6 weeks in Australia. That way you won't have the hassle of checking in and out of customs, security, longer flights.


1. 4 weeks - Australia

2. Maybe a week for Fiji, but need 2-4 weeks for New Zealand.

3. NZ first because of the time difference , Fly into Melbourne and down to Hobart. Next Adelaide, Alice Springs, Sydney, Broken Hill. Bus to Canberra.

4. ditto the other posts.

You don't have much time to do any research, but do try to find a Lonely Planet Guide for both N.Z and Australia.

Check out the Qantas deals of International flight plus 3 internal flights.

Fine tune your itinerary or just come and play it by ear when you arrive.

Good Luck.!

Gungahlin, Australia
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5. Re: Australia/NewZealand/Fiji/Papau New Guinea?

If you can manage six weeks I also would encourage you to visit New Zealand and maybe Fiji. Can I ask why you haven't posted on those forums? We get a lot of add-on New Zealand questions here and really it's not just a quick little add-on, as 40ishcouple says, you'd probably want 10 to 14 days there (I spent 4 weeks there but that sort of time would compromise what you have time for in Australia). Good point by gardenboffin that your visit will coincide with our main holiday season, also not the most ideal time for the tropical north. Maybe head south to Tasmania for the scallops?

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6. Re: Australia/NewZealand/Fiji/Papau New Guinea?

You guys are fabulous.

It turns out that it's VERY likely that I can get 8 weeks!! EIGHT WEEKS! I'm beaming with joy and anticipation. I might even get 10, if I forgo a side trip to Korea - still deciding if that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

So I'm toying with the idea of 5 weeks in Australia and 3 weeks in New Zealand, but not booking my New Zealand flight until I'm there to keep it flexible.

First of all, thank you for the great replies. I've noted everything. I have most likely trading PNG and Fiji for either Tasmania.or Solomon Islands.

Gardenboffin, thank you for pointing me to the solo trip reports - I actually didn't know of those reports until you mentioned them. Can't believe I missed it! Very useful indeed.

So after some research I've come up with a list of things that I'm interested in, but I know I can't hit them all. My priorities have become food, natural sites/animals, with a touch of city life here and there - but I'd rather see Aussie's natural beauty. I've fallen in love with so many sights after seeing the pictures.

1. Uluru & Alice Springs

2. Sydney

3. Melbourne

4. Tasmania

5. Perth/Rottnest Island

6. Purnululu

7. Cairnes/Karunda

8. Noosa

9. Shark Bay

10. Gold Cost

11. Katherine

12. Wolfe Creek

Phew! Research is exciting!

So I'm toying with this, understanding that I should be flexible and perhaps avoid booking flights and such until I get there because plans change. Also, flights are most likely the best way to go if I really want to hit places on both costs. Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth are all more or less the same price for starting points.

6 weeks in Aussie:

1. Start: Perth [3 days]

2. Fly to Ayers Rock & Alice Springs [6 days]

3. Fly from Alice Springs to Darwin, which will lead me to Purnululu [7 days]

4. Fly from Darwin to Cairnes/Karunda [7 days]*

5. Travel from Darwin to Gold coast, perhaps stopping in Noosa if convenient [4 days]

6. Sydney [4 days]

7. Melboune [4 days]

8. Tasmania [5 days]

*Due to timing however, I’m thinking of skipping Cairnes due to the wet season in favour of Shark Bay, or an extra week in New Zealand

Too ambitious? There are flights from Perth to Monkey Mia, but the Shark Coast seems inconvenient to visit for a tight timeframe due to the limited flights from there to other cities. thoughts?

Adelaide, Australia
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7. Re: Australia/NewZealand/Fiji/Papau New Guinea?

Juts a few random thoughts here.

1. you will not be able to go to pUrnululu at this time . The road will be closed due to the wet season. You will only be able to fly over it.

2. You are thinking of missing Cairns because of the wet season - but you will run into the same problems anywhere in northern Australia . It is all hot and wet and travel and tours are reduced from now until beginning of may. I woudl still go to Cairns.

4.. I don't understand how you are planning to travel from Darwin to GC - stopping at Noosa since I Expect that you will be flying - and flights will go to Brisbane. Noosa is north of Bris GC is south.

Gungahlin, Australia
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8. Re: Australia/NewZealand/Fiji/Papau New Guinea?

5 days isn't really enough for a complete loop of Tasmania, though it's fine for a short visit with specific goals, so what did you have in mind?

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9. Re: Australia/NewZealand/Fiji/Papau New Guinea?

Thanks Nozzie - that's too bad, but so glad you pointed that out. Hm... maybe I will go to Cairnes then! Whoops, I have to fix that, I meant from Cairnes to Gold Coast, stopping in Noosa along the way

MacKnee: Goals are primarily food and natural beauty. People-watching, wandering. I'm very open and relaxed. Hiking and trying things that I can't eat in Canada would satisfy me. I am less interested in city life these days. How much time would you slot for Tasmania, if you wanted to not feel rushed and wander around? If I take Nozzie's advice, then Purnululu is out of the window - perhaps I should slot that time to Tasmania...

It's to bad that I'm hitting this area at a time of the year that's not ideal for the Northern part, still so excited though!

Adelaide, Australia
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10. Re: Australia/NewZealand/Fiji/Papau New Guinea?

To really see tasmania I think you need around 10-14 days. Can I recommend the south west as a unique and really beautiful area to visit. http://paravion.com.au/heritage.html

As for food Tasmanian seafood - crayfish, and scallops cant be beaten IMO. They have salmon too - but it's not patch on Canadian wild salmon. Also raspberries are gorgeous in the summer too.