We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Revised 2015 itinerary

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
15,846 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Revised 2015 itinerary

I started a new thread because we've made a major change in the itinerary And I worried it would get lost at the end of my other thread.

As previously stated, we will be visiting in September of 2015 for about five weeks. Our plan is as follows:

Port Douglas, about a week

Fraser Island/Lady Elliot Island, 5-6 nights

Sydney, about 5 nights

Tasmania, about 7 nights

Darwin/Kakadu/Litchfield/Katherine Gorge, about 7 nights (I just couldn't let it go! So we had to choose between This and Melbourne/GOR/Grampians, and both of us feel we will find more of what is unique about Australia in The Top End)

Now that we've added Darwin, I'm unsure of the chronology. I'm thinking to start in Port Douglas (flying into Cairns from LAX) but now wondering if it makes more sense to fly into Brisbane first, do the Hervey Bay area, and then fly to Cairns, on to Darwin, back to.Sydney, down to Tasmania, and fly home from Melbourne.

Doesn't seem the most efficient way, but we ARE talking great distances here. Can anyone suggest a more sensible route, keeping in mind the time of year?

We will have a car at all destinations except Sydney. Since much of this itinerary mirrors the trip we had to cancel three years ago, we pretty much know what we want to see/do in PD, Sydney and Tasmania, but Darwin and the Hervey Bay area are new to us.

Thanks for all your patience with my ever-changing itinerary. Hey it isn't MY fault there are so

many great places to see in your country! Haha. As it is, we will have to come back to see the Kimberleys, and the west and southwest coasts!

Edited: 14 June 2014, 07:33
Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
Level Contributor
4,431 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Revised 2015 itinerary

Given the time of year I would start in the north and move south.

The order I would recommend is:

1. Darwin (with 7 days I would recommend Darwin/Kakadu/ Litchfield without trying to squeeze in Katherine - unless this is an absolute must see for you)

2. Port Douglas

3. Hervey Bay/Fraser Is

4. Syd

5. Tasmania

Sounds like a great trip.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
Level Contributor
30,076 posts
1,389 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Revised 2015 itinerary

Hi,

Other route suggestions.

Sydney - Uluru - Darwin - Cairns - Brisbane - Tasmania (Hobart) - Sydney.

Cairns - Darwin - Melbourne - Tasmania - Brisbane - Sydney.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
15,846 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Revised 2015 itinerary

thank you. So Shaz, we should start in Darwin (ie, fly there from LAX?) wow that's a VERY long flight....

maybe we can squeeze in a day or two more, because we'd really like to get down to Katherine.

Elle, we are not going to Uluru this time, or to Melbourne, or Brisbane except as a way to get to Hervey Bay. not interested in Brisbane itself.

thanks again. so much to work out!

Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
Level Contributor
4,431 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Revised 2015 itinerary

Yes LAX to Darwin is a long way. We did it in reverse last Nov - red eye Darwin to Syd, approx 3 hour wait then Syd to LAX. To be honest our eyes were popping out on stalks by the time we got to our hotel in Santa Monica.

If you can I would break up the journey with an overnight in Syd. Or on second thoughts maybe do your Syd leg then Darwin, Pt Douglas etc. My previous advice was given mostly with the weather in mind and minimising back-tracking. But now Syd first makes more sense to me.

Edited: 15 June 2014, 06:06
Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
Level Contributor
30,076 posts
1,389 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Revised 2015 itinerary

Hi,

Okay... I agree with Shaz do your Sydney leg first.

Sydney - Darwin - Cairns / Port Douglas / Brisbane (Hervey Bay) Tasmania / Sydney.

Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
Level Contributor
4,431 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Revised 2015 itinerary

Oh one more thought. With Tasmania consider flying into Launceston and out of Hobart (or vice versa) to save back tracking. I would definitely recommend hiring a car for this leg.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
15,846 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Revised 2015 itinerary

thanks all!

this is why i begin trip planning so far in advance:

over a bottle of champagne this morning (happy father's day to all who celebrate it today) we had a very frank talk with ourselves and we just can't give up the Kimberley. As we get older we are less likely to do the more adventurous stuff, so we figure we'd better do it soon (cuz tick tock tick tock...haha)

So we moved things around, dropped Tasmania, and added a week. hey you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince (ie, the perfect itinerary!) Mr S is now super-excited about this. we figure we can self-drive Tasmania, Perth area and south, the GOR, and Uluru all on the next 6-week trip.

So now we are back to wondering about chronology, keeping in mind the timing and stinger season. we thought to leave the first of September, for 6 weeks, to include:

Port Douglas and environs for 7 nights

Darwin and Kakadu and Litchfield, maybe 6 or 7 nights.

then a tour through the Kimberley and along the GRR to Broome, maybe 13-14 nights. a Couple of nights in Broome at the end. I've been scoping out tours for months now!

Hervey Bay/ Fraser/Lady Elliott, 5-6 nights

Sydney, 5 nights.

The problem with doing Sydney first is that it pushes us into October for both PD, and the Hervey Bay area, and we don't want to be anywhere near possible stinger season. I would hate to say, oh damn, we should have been here two weeks ago! we might be able to come the last week of August, but that would not be optimum for us.

also I noticed that the flights out of Broome are limited....so there's that to consider.

anyway, that's where we stand, and it offers us what we want to see and do most in Australia on our initial trip. I know it's not the "normal" first trip itinerary but....it speaks to us!

Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
Level Contributor
4,431 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Revised 2015 itinerary

Good on you for really thinking about what you want to do and see and then going for it.

With your revised itinerary, I would suggest (if you can make the flights to and from LAX work - maybe just stopover in Syd one night on the way through?):

- Port Douglas/Darwin/Kimberly/Sydney/Hervey Bay etc.

In making your decision keep in mind a couple of things:

- stinger season will not stop you visiting the Great Barrier Reef as you will be provided with lycra stinger suits to wear (not exactly sexy but good protection from both stingers and sunburn). It can imact you though it you wanted beach time on this leg (Port Douglas has a stinger net but they are not 100% effective in my opinion).

- I don't believe the stingers go as far south as Hervey Bay/Fraser Is/Lady Elliot Is so leaving this to the end of the trip is ok

- a couple of weeks either way should not impact your Top End (and I assume Kimberley but I am not as familiar with that area) portion of your trip. In Sept/Oct it is generally too early for rain (or rain of any significance) the difference is that the humidity will continue to build as you get later into the month. Drink plenty of water as it will be hot at this time of year.

- I put Syd after the Kimberly as you can get direct flights from Broome. Other wise you could swap the last two destinations.

Hope this helps

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
15,846 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Revised 2015 itinerary

Thanks Shaz! I will take everything under advisement.

I did come across this (and other related articles from last year):

frasercoastchronicle.com.au/news/…

Apparently there is some question whether the stings were really "irukandj" or another type of jellyfish. But nonetheless....stingers in the waters at Hervey Bay. So that's why we don't want to wander too far into October--better to be safe than regretful!

Edited: 17 June 2014, 01:17
Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
Level Contributor
4,431 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Revised 2015 itinerary

Intersting article.

It is worth noting that traditionally the term 'stingers' has referred to box jellyfish, also known as Portugese Man of War, not Irukandji. Although that seems to be changing (which causes some confusion as box jellyfish are not found as far south). In my view Irikandji are scarier though because they are so tiny as well as being dangerous (not that I would go swimming with a box jellyfish either, had a tiny tiny sting once from a tentacle on a fishing line and boy did it hurt, and made me feel sick).

Given your concerns, consider doing Qld first, then NT and WA - as I said earlier a couple of weeks is not going to make a huge difference in those areas.

Happy planning