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Trip report - of sorts

Ontario, CAN
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Trip report - of sorts

We have recently returned from 6 weeks in Australia and 2 weeks in New Zealand. Although I posed only a couple of questions prior to departure I was an avid reader of this board, and therefore as a thankyou to all who contribute – experts and travellers alike – I wanted to post a trip report for those still in the planning phase...and may I say to you....YOU LUCKY DEVILS!!!! It was fabulous!

We left with only a hotel reservation in Sydney, and flights booked from Sydney to Ayres Rock and then to Adelaide, after which it was a wing and a prayer (and tons of research!) This posed absolutely no problem during our travel time. We also managed to stay “within budget” for our trip and yet never felt deprived of a great meal or tour etc (except for Cairns, see below). On the other hand, we made a point of staying in almost every type of accommodation...motel, hotel, self-contained apartment, farmstay, holiday park (Big 4), B & B....everything except a backpackers I think. I’d be happy to share more details on these should anyone request.

We flew with Qantas, Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand and would rate all our experiences highly – oh did I mention Air Canada as well, and you guessed it...they were the worst.

We rented cars 4 different times and did several thousand km and had not one problem...we did have the cleanest windshield in the country as we confused it with the signal arm almost every time!

We walked wherever and whenever possible.

Our itinerary in summary:

Sydney 5 days

Ayres Rock 2 days

Adelaide 3 days

Barossa Valley 2 days

Kangaroo Island 2 days

Melbourne from Kangaroo Island and points in between 5 days

Melbourne 4 days

Hobart to Launceston 6 days

Cairns 2 days

Noosa/Brisbane to Sydney and points in between 12 days

New Zealand 15 days

The highlights are just too numerous to itemize (unless requested), but suffice to say that the only “pity” on the whole trip was the weather in north Queensland which unfortunately caused the cancellation of our Daintree tour with Tony’s, and the high winds and huge seas which meant we did not get to dive on the reef. We actually left Cairns after only 2 days in order to move south and avoid the effects of the cyclone.

I cannot sign off however without a big thumbs up to two special places...Binnalong Bay, Tasmania and a small town on the east coast of NSW River Country that starts with “Y” – (thanks to Ellemae). I’m hesitant to spell it out in case it gets discovered and we’d like to winter there next year!!!!

Washington State
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1. Re: Trip report - of sorts

Please share your experiences in more detail during the Adelaide-Barossa Valley-Kangaroo Island-Melbourne legs of your trip. My wife & I will be traveling this area by car mid-August and are looking for suggestions.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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2. Re: Trip report - of sorts

Hate to say this but Y is an up and coming tourist destination...I'm sure you noticed the building and new things around the town. it's also a very much busier place during our summer peak..still beautiful tho..i think they have the best prawns straight off the trawler!

Regards the wiper arm...LOL it's the same for us when travelling OS..the car we hired in Adealide at Xmas had European controls so we cleaned the window a lot there!

Australia
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3. Re: Trip report - of sorts

Thank you for your report, and I'm sorry that you missed the trip with Tony's to the Daintree and the dive on the GBR. It would have been two more highlights of you trip.

Do come back and give the Far North another try...the sun does shine(without the rain)most of the year..lol.

It's even shining for us this morning,even with another cyclone hovering up north.

Ontario, CAN
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4. Re: Trip report - of sorts

Guruswife...re "Y" ...I know, I know...we could see it coming!! With a pop. of 6500 it's just our kinda town....we too have an influx of tourists in the "high" season so familiar with that, and the resulting development that "discovery" brings!!! >:)

Imrum...I'd be happy to elaborate...are you interested in anything in particular so I can make sure to cover - ie. driving conditions, lodging, food, tours????

Ontario, CAN
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5. Re: Trip report - of sorts

Travelport....can I put in a good word re Tony's even though we never went on the tour!!?? We stayed in Cairns and were to meet them in Port at 9:30. Due to road work we were barely going to make it on time so I called Tony's from the road to let them know and the kind lady was frantic - said she had been trying to reach us since 6 am to let us know the tour was cancelled and not to drive north. Tony was also waiting at the meeting spot to let us know, but she called him home once we made contact. It was the one day my cell was not charged!!! It actually didn't matter since we were staying in Port that night anyway, but it was a downer....I had heard so many good reports of this tour and company....you're right...next trip.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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6. Re: Trip report - of sorts

Hi Canuck,

Sounds like a fabulous trip...pity about the weather but thats Aussie for you...we stayed at Broome a few weeks ago and just missed a cyclone there ..so bloody hot you felt like you were inside a furnace.(not nice)

Yes, Y is terrific...but getting well known now, so hence one is reluctant to give tips sometimes. I remember years ago we discovered a real gem on the Sth Coast and I unfortunately told some friends..who told their friends..and so on..now when I go there I see everyone in my neighbourhood!!

If you do go again...there are some other little hide aways tucked secretly .. close by.

Also if you want some fresh seafood...well my brother is the local fisherman..used to specialize in prawns but now its mud crabs, which are sold directly to Sydney Fish Markets...(we always have a lovely seafood xmas !)

I love Tassie too...there are some real gems(places) there.

Ontario, CAN
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7. Re: Trip report - of sorts

Ellemae....we had a fab seafood dinner at Gormons (SP?) down on the water...very jungle like with plants!!....so I can only imagine what comes directly off the boat. We drove west along the river and there are definitely places I could explore further - no names of course!!!

Ontario, CAN
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8. Re: Trip report - of sorts

Sorry...a PS for Ellemae....on our final day in Australia we were back in Sydney and spent it at - none other than - Manly Beach! It was our second trip and we wanted a memorable final D Day!! Loved it....unfortunately the beach was closed to swimming due to huge surf and strong tide....that was fine...we just got a shade umbrella and enjoyed the afternoon. Two food notes....had a wonderful Chinese dinner at a restaurant at the Manly wharf right in the terminal building - can you supply me with the name? And secondly...could you or anyone from Sydney send me some laksa from the little Malaysian restaurant in the basement of the QVB?? tee hee

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: Trip report - of sorts

The restaurant you are thinking of is called Manly Phoenix Chinese restaurant ...they do a great yum cha..next door to the Manly Wharf Hotel.

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Trip report - of sorts

I forgot to say, next time you are in Manly you should try The Bower Restaurant..half way along the footpath to Shelley Beach for lunch ..its my favourite.

Pity about the sea..everyone told me it was huge..i just got back from Greece..so missed watching the waves roll in.