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Best Places to Visit

Florence, Italy
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Best Places to Visit

Hi!! My cousin and I are planning to travel in Australia for a little over 2 weeks. We will be spending 5 days in Sydney and aren't sure where to go for the last 9 days or so we have left. Does anyone have any recommendations for the top 2 or 3 places to visit in Australia outside of Sydney? I've had one suggestion to rent a car and make the drive to Melbourne. We're pretty open and adventurous people wanting to experience Australia. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


Gales Ferry...
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1. Re: Best Places to Visit

Depends somewhat on the time of year. Definitely Far North Queensland - Great Barrier Reef, etc. (at least 4 days). Then, depending on time of year: the Great Ocean Rd in Victoria. the Top End (Kakadu, Litchfield) OR the Red Center (Uluru, Kings Canyon, etc). I would avoid the latter two destinations in the summer months.

With 3 destinations in 2 weeks (Sydney, Queensland and somewhere else), you will be pressed for time. Thus you might think about simply spending the 9 days in north Queensland - lots to do up there. Another reasonable possibility would be to drive along the coast Sydney to Melbourne (as you suggest) or Sydney-Brisbane over 3-4 days, then fly up to north Queensland for the remainder of your time. In general, I'd go north in winter, south in summer. Regardless, of which direction you go, make sure to divert off the main road here and there, some of the best places being well off the main road.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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2. Re: Best Places to Visit

As mentioned: it does depends on what month are you visiting Australia ???

The weather is very critical part when planning an itinerary in Aussie.

and also your interests ???

Sydney / Ayers Rock / Cairns - the normal tourist route.

Nth Qld / NT / Nth WA - in summer - stinger season./ cyclone season..

Lunenburg, Canada
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for Saint John, Foz do Iguacu, Iguazu National Park
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3. Re: Best Places to Visit

Buongiorno, Firenze!

Have you considered Kangaroo Island?

We loved it. From its name, you might think Kangaroo Island some kind of amusement park or zoo, but it isn't. On the map, Kangaroo Island looks small, but it's actually half the size of Corsica, 150 km long.

It’s off the southern coast of South Australia, about 100 km from Adelaide and an hour ferry ride.

You'll see animals there, kangaroos and a whole lot more. There's a koala park. Sea lions come ashore on the south coast of the island, and you can even sit near them if you're careful. We did!

Visit Flinders Chase National Park, which occupies the western one-third of the island. The park contains famous scenery and also seals. You'll see echidnas, the so-called "spiny anteater," wild and standing by the side of the road. You can even touch them, because they don't hurt you and they usually don't run away!

Tours go to many of these, but I'll give you a secret tip that most visitors don't get. Since we came in our own rental car, and stayed near the park, we were able to drive in during the early evening, after all the other tourists had left, shortly before sunset. It's 30 km or so from the main gate to the western tip, Cape du Couedic.

Shortly after the sun sets, drive your car very, very slowly along the paved road with your headlights on. If you're as lucky as we were, you will see literally hundreds of eyes, peering out at you, reflecting the light back toward you. They're kangaroos, wallabies and other animals that are too shy to come out of the woods, but are still curious about your doings. It's like out of the cartoons, with countless eyes peering at you from the bush.

Let me put in a plug for my favorite animal place, Paul's Place, in the north-central part of the island. Paul's is a combination farm and small zoo. He keeps a selection of the most popular Australian animals, but unlike big zoos, his animals are tame and most will allow you to approach them, touch them, feed them and even pick them up. His kookaburra is trained to laugh on command.

If I were a child, I'd give anything to get to a place like Paul's. Even as an adult, though (it's been so long since I was a kid that I now just tell people I was born at the age of 21), I found it a delight to see so many of the animals I'd heard about, in a close, comfortable setting.

Don’t stay in the big town, American River, where all the bus tour people do. We stayed at a self-contained resort called Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat for around US$120/night, in high season. It’s quality accommodation, but you’re deep in the bush, not in a tourist town.

You could go to big cities, but you already know all about cities from living in Europe, and anyway Australian big cities all look much the same. See one of the unique corners of Australia. It would be a shame to miss one of the premier locations for seeing the Australian animals you've traveled so far to meet.



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4. Re: Best Places to Visit

I highly recommend the Great Barrier Reef. Fly to Cairns and split time between Port Douglas and Cairns. You also have direct access to the Rain Forest. This is an amazing part of the world and a must see location.

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5. Re: Best Places to Visit

Kangaroo Island would be a great place to visit but a word of warning if you plan on taking capetien (David's) advice regarding the slow night drive... Make sure you are fully insured on your hire car if you plan on doing this ( including whatever extra you can pay to reduce or eliminate your excess). Any Aussie will tell you that driving at night in areas where you know there is wildlife, particularly Kangaroos, is a risky business. Kangaroos can be quite erratic if they bound out in front of your car and will change direction frequently. If you hit one with your car ( or they hit you) no matter what speed you're going, your car will suffer a decent amount of damage. Not to mention the fact that a dead native animal is never a pretty sight!

Apart from that his "of the beaten track" approach is the way I prefer to travel and you will get a good look at the real Australia on this island. If you are here in autumn or winter it will be cold in the south.

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6. Re: Best Places to Visit

Ditto the Kangaroos and driving at night comment. We were amazed at the quantity of wild kangaroo on or near the roads. It reminds me of driving in the Rockie mountains and see deer everywhere...only Oz is much worse.

Gungahlin, Australia
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7. Re: Best Places to Visit

I clicked on *Watch this Topic* in case anything I can help with turned up and I just got an email notification about it.

First of all I very much agree about the warning regarding wildlife on the roads at night, though it's best to keep alert during the day too (I once had to break hard on a suburban road at 4 in the afternoon).

>>Does anyone have any recommendations for the top 2 or 3 places to visit in Australia outside of Sydney?<<

Classic recommendation is Sydney-Rock-Reef so I suppose that qualifies as "top". But it really does depend on your interests and the time of year, which you have not come back to clarify. So, as requested, please tell us what month and interests?

8. Re: Best Places to Visit

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