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itinerary request (long)

durham nc
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itinerary request (long)

Trying to plan a 16 day itinerary to Australia for our 40th wedding anniversary. We are in pretty good shape medically and physically, no trouble walking several miles at a brisk pace. We arrive midday October 6 in Melbourne and fly out of Perth on morning of October 22 (had to book frequent flier tickets before I did all the research).

We have a 7 thousand dollar budget for the 16 days.

I understand the size of Australia and the significant distances from place to place. We are from the southern USA and understand heat and humidity.

What I can’t seem to do is decide on an itinerary. Would like a trip with variety of scenery and experiences.

We are not campers nor do we have experience at all with a campervan. My husband does have experience with 4WD vehicles and roads that require them.

I have hotel reservations at the Ovolo (Little Bourke) in Melbourne Octboer 6 and 7. My husband will be bonefishing out of Exmouth on October 17. In spite of the cost, we may consider a two night stay at Sal Salis with the basic package.

My priorities are, in this order : Aboriginal culture and rock art, whale watching, kangaroos, wildflowers.

My husband loves fishing (which he will do in the Exmouth/Cape Range area), interesting scenery and driving desolate roads. I had hoped to see a cricket match but I think we are too early.

We do not care for excessively touristy venues. I love cities but husband can only take in small doses. I think he would like the restaurants in Melbourne, the south australia museum in Adelaide.

Looked at Kakadu/Arnhem lands (rich in Aboriginal Culture but maybe too far out of way), Kimberley/Gibbs Road (too isolated?), Southern Australia/ Adelaide/Flinders Range (best area for variety?);Oodnadatta?; Kangaroo Island or GOR (yes I know they are not equivalent); train from Kalgoorlie to Perth?; Uluru seems very expensive, touristy. Would be happy to stay for a bit at a cattle station.

Apologies for the long request but I have read guidebooks, looked at youtube videos, and searched online and cannot seem to pin it down. Suggestions are appreciated. Thank you.

Darwin, Australia
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1. Re: itinerary request (long)

If you have 16 days, it would be best to focus on three, maybe four destinations.

You already have three on your itinerary - Melbourne, Exmouth and Perth.

You could spend a couple of days in Melb then hire a car and drive the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide (allow a minimum of 3 days). Then a couple of days in Adelaide.

Fly to Exmouth/Cape Range for 4 days - gorgeous area.

Fly to Perth for 4 days.

Trying to fit in anything further north will be too rushed, plus October is not the best time to visit tropical Aus.

Enjoy

adelaide
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2. Re: itinerary request (long)

there is an aboriginal cultural/art centre in Adelaide called Tandanya

google it and see if that would be of interest

it is in the city and could easily be included with State Museum and Gallery

3. Re: itinerary request (long)

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durham nc
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4. Re: itinerary request (long)

Thank you both for responses. I did look at Tandanya.The museum/exhibit area looked interesting.

Whale watching is a priority but am thinking that Perth may be the best option for that time of year.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: itinerary request (long)

Depending on your time lines - whale watching along the West Aus coast is at its prime through Sept and Oct. We go on the last weekend of Sept every year (since the 80s).

We go with Mills Charters from Hillarys Marina in Sorrento, Perth.

Adelaide, Australia
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6. Re: itinerary request (long)

If you take Shazdawns advice of driving between Adelaide and Melbourne you may also see whales at Warrnambool in October.

Jeremy you know Sydney is not the centre of EVERYTHING!

I've seen the rock carvings around Sydney - certainly not worth spending time looking for them IMO. The OP will find much more interesting examples of Aboriginal culture in other destinations.

And to top it off - actually the prime whale watching area in Australia is on the Nullarbor where up to 100 Southern Right Whales congregate to calve and feed in season!!! www.sawhalecentre.com/head_of_the_bight.html We also get fair few sightings around Victor Harbor just south of Adelaide www.sawhalecentre.com/whale_watching.html however October is probably too late for them.

Melbourne
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7. Re: itinerary request (long)

You could do a great south coast itinerary in 16 days, particularly because you are starting in Melbourne and need to finish in Perth. You have your first 2 days in Melbourne sorted, I'd spend this exploring the city. Then you could hire a car and drive to Adelaide over 4 days, spending time in Warrnambool for Whale watching. Then a few days in Adelaide exploring the wine region and most likely the wild flowers that would be out for spring.

Alternatively you could fly to Kangaroo island from Melbourne and spend a few days there instead of the GOR. I'd do some research to see which appeals to you most.

After Adelaide to could fly to Perth and spend the time in the city or even exploring the southern region until you need to fly up to Exmouth for your fishing trip. Then back to Perth and do the region you didn't the first time.

durham nc
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8. Re: itinerary request (long)

Many thanks to all for responding. Flying from MEL directly to KI for some reason had not occurred to me rather I was focused on getting to Adelaide then KI. I will certainly check into this possibility.

Wine tastings are not on the priority list but rather some driving on 4WD roads perhaps north of Adelaide to desolate areas is on my husbands. And of course we will pack extra water, tire etc.

Any advice on where in Southern Australia is best for Aboriginal Rock Art? Arkaroo in Flinders Ranges?

Adelaide, Australia
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9. Re: itinerary request (long)

I have seen whales far off the coast at victor harbour and kangaroo island, but nowhere better than at Harvey Bay in queensland, on a boat tour, they came right up to us metres away, and were playing games going under the boat. Thrilling!

aboriginal artifacts...good historical and wide collection at the adelaide museum on north terrace, then get the free bee line bus around to tandanya, you can do both in half a day. Many years ago I went with some people to some rock art on private property in the adelaide hills, but I dont know if open to public, and sorry dont remember where it is. Department of conservation may have some ideas. Uluru is really worth seeing, but will be warm in october, not humid, just sunny but not as bad as in mid summer. You could fly up from adelaide and stay in a nice hotel with a pool....lovely! Alice springs has some interest there also and you may be able to do a station stay....google farmstays in northern territory.

I once read an article from an american travel writer who went on a holiday to kangaroo island in South aust, he said the place was so amazing and so unique, he wasnt going to write about it when he got back home, as he doesnt want it to be overrun with tourists and be spoiled. Drive the GOR along the coorong, go south past the murray mouth and over to the ferry departure at cape jarvis and spend 2 days over there, then drive up to adelaide. You wont be dissapointed if you like natural scenery. One of the beaches was voted best in the world one year. Then when in adelaide you can return the hire car, fly over to WA you dont have time for a train trip or to drive over, and enjoy WA.....whew,

Wildflowers...plenty left to see in kings park at that time of year , yes the wildflower festivals are just over but there will be plenty left in the park right in the middle of the city. The tourist office can give you some ideas for a drive to not far out in the country to see more.

Adelaide, Australia
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10. Re: itinerary request (long)

Well you cant fly directly to KI from Melbourne. You do need to go via ADL.

The Flinders Ranges sounds like a good destination for your husband and there is rock art at Akaroo but it is a very small and disappointing site IMO.

If you really want to see great Aboriginal art you need to visit the Kimberley, Kakadu or Cape York in Queensalnd.

And really whale watching is a very dodgy thing. Unlike magpie I have seen whales putting on a magical display at Kings Beach very very close to shore near Victor Harbor. They are wild animals and cannot be relied upon to appear on request.

I've watched whales all over the world - even including Antarctica and Kings Beach and Head of the Bight are 2 of my most memorable experiences.