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Once in a lifetime to Australia

Rugby, United...
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2 reviews
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Once in a lifetime to Australia

My wife and I (both retired) are looking for a trip to Australia next year from the UK. We want to 'do' Sydney, Ayers Rock and Cairns and the Barrier reef as a minimum. We'd like stop overs en-route in Singapore, going out and maybe Hong Kong coming back. We'd appreciate some advice as to where we can start to get costings and an itinery. Our timescale is to stay at least a month. We love driving, so this could also be included.

Thanks!!

Brisbane Aus
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1. Re: Once in a lifetime to Australia

The first thing to consider is the time of year you are wanting to travel.you are considering visiting GBR and Uluru so the middle of the year may be most suitable as the heat will not be so extreme and swimming conditions will be more favourable.

There are many reports on TA for the best way to see the places you have indicated so do a bit of reading etc to make up a timetable.

Australia is a huge country so don't think about driving. Flying is more cost effective and will make better use of your time.

Singapore Airlines is the obvious choice if you are wanting to stop over in Singapore. Qantas and Emirates do too but not all flights. It may depend on your final destination. Cathay is based in Hong Kong but you can fly Qantas also.

You have many decisions to make but that is part of the beauty of travel. Enjoy.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
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2. Re: Once in a lifetime to Australia

Are you thinking of one month in Australia or one month all up ?

If it is a month in Australia you'll have time to see Uluru, Cairns, Sydney and another city / area or two without being too rushed. However if you plan to have a month away from home, I'd recommend 2-3 weeks in Australia with say 4-5 days in Cairns, 4-5 in Sydney and 3-4 in the Red Centre.

Travel between Sydney and Cairns is about 3 1/2 hours and from Cairns / Sydney to Uluru is about 3 hours so you lose a few hours during the day for sightseeing and checking into / out of accommodation. Flight time from Singapore to Sydney is about 8-9 hours and about the same Sydney - Hong Kong whereas Dubai to Sydney is about 12 hours.

Definitely come around July / August for Uluru as the weather will be warm in the red centre during the day but not unbearably hot. It does get very cold in the dessert at night so you will need to bring polar fleece or something warm, beanie and gloves especially for night but also early morning sunrise at Uluru.

Consider a side trip to Kings Canyon a couple of hours from Uluru.

If you don't want to drive, consider a flight to Alice Springs and a coach trip with a company such as AAT Kings that takes in Uluru and Kings Canyon and no doubt a side trip to Kata Tjutu.

And as BuckBrisbaneAus, the trip reports to the right hand side of your screen will be useful to you.to see what others have done, and how long they spent here.

Brisbane, Australia
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for Brisbane
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3. Re: Once in a lifetime to Australia

If you want to travel to separate destinations going and coming with stopovers ... and who wouldn't ... I think this is a case to use a travel agent to give you the best options. Or at least sit down with one and get a quote, it's easy to make mistakes with on-line multi city ticketing and can be confusing.

Rugby, United...
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2 reviews
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4. Re: Once in a lifetime to Australia

Thank you so much for the reply, really helpful. We will follow up on your suggestions.

Best regds

Rugby, United...
3 posts
2 reviews
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5. Re: Once in a lifetime to Australia

Thanks for replying. I think you're right, we'll get a travel agent to work it out for us.

Best regds

Sydney, Australia
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for New York City
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6. Re: Once in a lifetime to Australia

Another thing to consider is maybe driving at each destination after you have flown in. Picking up a hire car and doing a self drive can be a great idea but you need to do your research. In Sydney you wouldn't need it right in the city, unless you wanted to drive further out and do some day trips. Sometimes a coach tour is restrictive.

To get an idea of what hire car costs would be you could have a look at www.vroomwroom.vroom.com.au

Adelaide, Australia
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31,191 posts
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7. Re: Once in a lifetime to Australia

You can easily book online a multi city air ticket eg: www.qantas.com.au

London - Singapore - Sydney - Ayers Rock (Uluru) - Cairns - Hong Kong - London

Accommodation www.venere.com

www.australia.com

Sydney, Australia
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6,181 posts
31 reviews
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8. Re: Once in a lifetime to Australia

I can't imagine why you'd need a travel agent. All you need to do is find carriers that stop in Singapore & Hong Kong. I haven't done the routes or maths, but it might work for you to take one carrier out, another home.

Once you're here, the domestic stuff is easy.

Decide when you want to come. Hint: Spring & Autumn ( September - November & April - May ( I've deliberately left out March as it can be hottish & humid in the north)) are the most reliably temperate months, IMO.

Theb come back & we'll give you heaps of info, tips & ideas. And we live here & probably travel a lot more than your travel agent.

That said, I do use a travel agent occasionally - because she can get prices I can't, and more importantly, visits that destination regularly & has family there.

Otherwise. Is prefer to do it myself. It's not as if you're going to Outer Mongolia.

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane
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9. Re: Once in a lifetime to Australia

Please let us know how you went if you decide to do your booking on-line by yourself. I always find it can take hours for it to be successful. All I ever get is "no fares can be found for that destination"

Somerset
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for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
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10. Re: Once in a lifetime to Australia

Flights are cheapest June with July and August following and pleasantly warm for us 'northerners'. With it being winter the sun is low and you have less danger of getting sunburn. You may also have a tan from home so don't look so startlingly white on the beach.

Being quieter you can get better deals and places won't be so crowded except in the cities so it is easier to get around. Public transport is a doddle compered to the UK, clean and polite and frequent. I have done the Blue Mountains by bus and Sydney surrounds by train, bus and ferry.

I would suggest avoiding the travel agent except maybe for main flights. Most charge like a wounded bull for trips round OZ where you can do it better, see what you want to see and be flexible if you do it yourself. About half the price or less.

Lots of great local tours when you arrive if you want it organised for you. Much like England there are Tourist Info Centres, free papers and flyiers with tour offers etc. Most things, even bus timetables are online so easy to organise.

Just think 'home' but with great weather, better transport and more cheerful.

Edited: 01 September 2013, 00:00