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I am planning my itinerary and need help!!!

cloverdale bc
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I am planning my itinerary and need help!!!

Hi!

My husband an I are going to visit our son who is working in Melbourne at the moment. We have never been to Australia and have about 6 weeks to travel, since we are in the area we would love to sneak in a side trip to New Zealand if possible. So far we are getting a lot of info from great sites, but would appreciate any other suggestions...

This is what we are considering:

Melbourne 10 days

New Zealand (Auckland area- 8 days)

Sydney 8 days

Gold Coast-Brisbane-Sunshine Coast 8 days

Cairns-Great Barrier Reef 8 days

Does anyone have any thoughts?

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: I am planning my itinerary and need help!!!

Hello,

The first thing that came to my mind is that you're being too generous to each of the cities you've listed, and not generous enough for New Zealand. 8 days in New Zealand won't do it justice.

You could cover substantially more in Australia in four weeks, than you've listed, and giving New Zealand two weeks would be better balanced - but that depends very much on how much you want to see in both countries, your interests and tastes.

If you're just in the early stages of planning, I'd suggest starting off with maybe four (4) days in each location, one half day for travel between destinations, and go from there. And with that much time, and since your travel is focused on your son in Melbourne, it would be a shame if you missed Tasmania.

And Uluru.

Just a thought.

Arlington, Virginia
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2. Re: I am planning my itinerary and need help!!!

Excellent advice from KVE. You're giving too much time for all of the places mentioned, except New Zealand. Also, depending on the time of year you plan to visit, you might want to eliminate some choices and add others due to the weather. So, when are you planning this trip and what are you main interests?

cloverdale bc
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3. Re: I am planning my itinerary and need help!!!

Thanks for the responses... We are planning to be in Melbourne by the last week of December. We have allotted quite a bit of time in Melbourne and Sydney because both my son and I are chefs (and the hubby likes to eat) and so we hope to go to as many award-winning restaurants as possible. We were also hoping to do a day trip from Melbourne to the Yarra Valley- we love wine too.

I was looking into Tasmania- but it seems so big and I am not sure that we would maximize our time if we went there too.

An option is to rent a Motorhome in order to see as much of Australia as possible- so there may be a lot of driving in between cities? Does anyone have experience with this? How long is the ferry ride from Melbourne to TAZ and will they take a motor home on the ferry?

We also enjoy hiking, snorkeling and are avid amateur photographers.

I realize it is peak summer and that appantly it is rainy season up in CAIRNS- I am getting various opinions.. some say it is the best time to go to the GBR and some say it is not worth it. We will be coming all the way from Canada and I cannot go to Australia with out seeing the reef- have no idea if I will ever be back!

My husband was also hoping to catch an All Blacks game while in NZ but we have just been informed that they will be on their summer hiatus, which is so sad for him... are there any local leagues in the North Island that we should be checking out?

Arlington, Virginia
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4. Re: I am planning my itinerary and need help!!!

OK, based on your stated interests (fine dining and wine) and the fact that your son will be in Melbourne, you could do an itinerary like this:

Melbourne: 10 days

Tasmania 7 days

Sydney: 7 days

Cairns: 4 days

New Zealand: 14 days

Here's why I chose this itinerary:

1) I cut out Brisbane and the Gold Coast completely because it's not particularly unique--high rise hotels, beaches, and amusement parks. You can see and do that in North America (e.g. California)

2) I cut down the number of days in Cairns because, as you know, the weather isn't the greatest at that time of year. Four days will still give you enough time for a GBR trip, a visit to the rainforests and some free time for other sightseeing/relaxing.

3) I included a week in Tasmania because with some planning you can see and do a lot in Tasmania in a week. We were there for 5 days and did quite a bit, but I would have loved to have had 2 extra days.

4) You will appreciate having two weeks in New Zealand. You could either spend 1 week on the North Island and one week on the South Island or spend all two weeks on the South Island. I've done each of those combinations and they were both great trips.

5) The distances in Australia are so great that with your destinations in mind, it makes the most sense to fly and rent a car where needed. I would not try to do either your itinerary or mine with a motorhome.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: I am planning my itinerary and need help!!!

Amongst dozens, this would be my shortlist at present (in no particular order);

Melbourne

* Attica

* Vue de Monde

* Mo Vida

* Cumulus Inc

* Cutler & Co

Sydney

* Sepia

* Marque

* Quay

* Rockpool Bar & Grill

* Tetsuya's

Westchester, New...
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6. Re: I am planning my itinerary and need help!!!

Hi! We spent two weeks in Oz last year, coming from the US, and loved it do much we are coming back next year. We spent part of that time in the Brisbane/Gold Coast area and found it amazing from a hiking/photography point of view. We didn't do amusement parks - we spent time in the Hinterlands in landscapes where I felt like Alice in Wonderland. We walked solitary beaches. The trees are all different - the birds exotic. We will never forget it. We also loved our time at Australia Zoo and Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

Next year we will visit Kangaroo Island. It is supposed to be gorgeous and full of wildlife. They also seem to be making a name for their food and wine. You may want to give it a look.

cloverdale bc
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7. Re: I am planning my itinerary and need help!!!

Thank you for your advice longhorn74 and Koalatravelor! Definitely somethings to think about...

KVE1005 all of those are on my list already... so excited!

I bought the Marque and Quay cookbooks a few months ago... and Tetsuya I have had since the mid-1990's... one of my first professional cookbooks.

Darwin, Australia
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8. Re: I am planning my itinerary and need help!!!

I like Longhorn74's suggested itinerary.

A week in Tasmania will give you a taste of this island, which appears to align perfectly with your interests. The landscapes are stunning for photography (esp Cradle Mountain and Freycinet National Park - just don't do what I did and leave your polarising filter in the car at Freycinet). The wildlife is easy to spot and not too shy (again great for photos). There are some lovely wineries and the food is magnificent. Seriously my husband says he would fly down again from Darwin (5 hours flying time with a stop) just for one more plate of Tassie scallops. Plus I had the best steak ever in Hobart.

But at the end of the day, I'm sure you will have a great holiday whereever you choose. Happy planning

Geelong...
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9. Re: I am planning my itinerary and need help!!!

Re your mention of the ferry to Tassie. You just cant roll up at the pier to get a passage on the Spirit.

Both Spirit of Tasmania's are large vehicle and passenger ferries of around 30000 tons in size. During Autumn Winter and Spring the trips are at night and take around 10 hours or so to travel between Melbourne and Devonport, in Summer they run during the day time.

Vehicles hire companies don't allow their hired vehicles to be taken on ferries and in any case passage for vehicles and passengers need to be booked well in advance of the trip.

In saying that its a good trip that can add a different dimension to your visit to Australia. Vehicles can be hired at Devonport and returned prior to doing a return trip back to Melbourne on the ship.

Another alternative is to fly into Hobart and hire a vehicle. Tasmania is a great place to visit that is rich in history and heritage. The state has a laid back feel about it and a week there will only give you a brief sample of what Tasmania has to offer.

Safe travels.

cloverdale bc
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10. Re: I am planning my itinerary and need help!!!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to my questions... We have booked out tickets... flying into Melbourne and out f Cairns... just the way it worked out, time wise and budget. So it looks like we'll be travelling in that direction. The decision to make now is when to insert the NZ trip... after Melbourne or after Sydney?