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!!!!