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loop Sydney, Broken Hill, Kangaroo Island, GOR, Melbourne

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Colorado
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loop Sydney, Broken Hill, Kangaroo Island, GOR, Melbourne

I could really use some advice. This is our first trip to Australia. Husband and I have following tentative itinerary planned for 16-21 days next Feb/March '09. Any thoughts, comments suggestions on ANY of it would be appreciated.

Plan on arriving in Sydney-spend four days

take overnight Indian Pacific to Broken Hill-spend two nights (train arrives early am so have two days too)

From here we have two possible variations:

#1 variation: Fly to Kangaroo Island-spend three days

Ferry back to Cape Jervis, rent car

Drive GOR towards Melbourne: along the way, visit Hahndorf, Robe, Port Campbell, Port Fairy, Apollo Bay, Anglesea(?)

Fly home back to US from Melbourne or via Sydney

#2 variation: after Broken Hill, instead of flying to K.I. DRIVE to Mildura-spend two days

fly to Melbourne, rent car, drive GOR toward Adelaide--same interests and stops as above in reverse

ferry to K.I. from Cape Jervis

fly back to Adelaide, fly Sydney, US

Can we do all this in 18-21 days? Are all places mentioned worthwhile? Would love to hear from someone whose taken the train Gold Sleeper service--it is expensive so wonder if it's worth it. Maybe drive from Broken hill to Mildura will quench thirst for outback experience...

our budget is $15,000 US including air. are we nuts?

ALL HELP appreciated...thanks, Ana

sydney,aust.
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1. Re: loop Sydney, Broken Hill, Kangaroo Island, GOR, Melbourne

US $15 k for 3 weeks in oz....let the good times roll!

Variation 1 is the go.

Cut sydney to three days.

The indian pacific is not the orient express it is amtrak.and most of the time to BH you are in the dark.if you must take the train take the xpt to dubbo and then the REX flight dubbo-bh.REX flies saab props which fly at a great height to see the land below.Get a window seat and take a map

take three days in BH..check out tri state safaris for good options..mutawintji,white cliffs,huge sheep stations etc

http://www.tristate.com.au/

fly rex to adelaide and onto KI.

back to adelaide..rent a car..drive to melbourne via GOR..fly melbourne..lax..denver.

dont look in realtor windows in places like anglesea and lorne...you might never make it back to boulder,co.

Adelaide, Australia
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2. Re: loop Sydney, Broken Hill, Kangaroo Island, GOR, Melbourne

Hi

Mostly agree with Jacko - but I wouldnt cut Sydney. To me 5-6 day is not enough for my favourite city in the world.

I have clients who took the Indian Pacific - Sydney to Perth this year. They had previously taken the ghan and loved it but they found the journey Sydney to Broken Hill very looooong and boring and not very comfortable.

Have you checked whether you CAN hire a car at Cape Jervis. There is nothing there except the ferry terminal and a kiosk.

Personally I would do as Jacko says and fly to Adelaide. The ferry journey is nothing special and when Ive done it lots of passengers have been seasick.

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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3. Re: loop Sydney, Broken Hill, Kangaroo Island, GOR, Melbourne

itinerary suggestion..

www.rex.com.au

1. Fly into Sydney - 5 days.

2. Fly Sydney to Broken Hill - 2 days

3. Fly Broken Hill - Adelaide - 1 day.

pick-up car and drive down to the Fleurieu Peninsula to Cape Jervis. - 1 day

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g255093-d317…

stay overnight at Victor Harbour before driving to Cape Jevis..catch ferry over to Kangaroo Island.

stay 2/3 nights.

Drive back Great Ocean Road to Melbourne. - 5 days.

Melbourne - 4 days.

Fly home from Melbourne.

Melbourne
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4. Re: loop Sydney, Broken Hill, Kangaroo Island, GOR, Melbourne

I think Ellymay has got it just about spot on. the only thing to make sure of is that the remtal company allows their cars on the ferry.

With your two itineraries there are problems with the rental cars. In no 1 as Nozzie points out there is very little at Cape Jervis certainly nowhere to hise a car. The nearest depots would be Victor Harbour maybe, but more likely back in the suburbs of Adeliade.

In #2 where would you plan to leave the car? not Cape Jervis and I'm pretty certain no car company would let you leave the car on KI or if they did the one-way rental fee would be horrendous

You have picked some wnderful places to visit and would get a great overview of southern Australia.

Colorado
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5. Re: loop Sydney, Broken Hill, Kangaroo Island, GOR, Melbourne

Thank you all...good points...I hadn't thought about the drop-off fee leaving car on Kangaroo Island..duh...and didn't realize cape Jervis was so isolated..

the reason we thought of the train was to see a little of the outback (before it got dark) and knock out some of our driving; then came up with the idea of flying to Broken Hill and driving to Mildura instead for our outback fix..anybody think that's a good idea? anybody know how long it takes to drive that route and whether there are petrol stations or anything else along the way?...have heard Mildura and taking trip out to Mungo is pretty cool...

I am not totally sold on ferry to Kangaroo Island, would just as soon fly, but we very much like the ability to drive around and explore at will; do they rent cars on Kangaroo Island?...we hate buses and tour groups.

anyway, thank you for your kind replies..will keep checking things out...AE

Melbourne
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6. Re: loop Sydney, Broken Hill, Kangaroo Island, GOR, Melbourne

Its only 515kms from Broken Hill to Adelaide so nominally 5 or 6 hours driving time if you go direct or 700 via Mildura which is sort of doubling back on yourself. If you did that drive you could then either fly Adealide to KI & back and rent a car while you are there (there are car rentals on the island) and then rent another car from Adeliade for your GOR trip. Alternatively you could keep your rental car from Broken Hill & do the shortish (140kms)drive to Cape Jervis take that car with you on the ferry to the island and then on return use it for your GOR trip. Thsi would save on aisfares and you should get a better rate for the longer car rental.

Just two points I haven't done the drive from BH to Adelaide but see it is all sealed roads so there should be facilities along the way. Second you would have to check that you can get a one way rental from BH to Melbourne.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: loop Sydney, Broken Hill, Kangaroo Island, GOR, Melbourne

From the Kangaroo Island webpage.

"You can bring your vehicle from the mainland by ferry or you can hire a vehicle from Kingscote, Penneshaw or the airport. Four-wheel drive vehicles are not necessary. With care, you can enjoy all the Island has to offer in a conventional vehicle.

Please note that some mainland car hire companies have restrictions on bringing vehicles over to Kangaroo Island and on driving on unsealed roads.

Please check with your car hire company. Our suggestion is to hire a car from one of the following Island based companies."

Hire Cars

Budget

(08) 8553 3133

www.budgetki.com

Hertz

1800 088 296

(08) 8553 2390

www.hertz.com.au

FCBS 4WD Hire

(08) 8553 2356

www.eco-sanctuaries.com

oodles.com/car-rental/kangaroo-island-car-re…

www.budget.com.au

www.hertz.com.au have car rentals at the airport.

diycarhire.com.au/about_Kangaroo_Island_Airp…

Surfers Paradise...
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8. Re: loop Sydney, Broken Hill, Kangaroo Island, GOR, Melbourne

Sydney

Melbourne

Drive Great Ocean Road to Adelaide

then Broken Hill

sydney,aust.
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9. Re: loop Sydney, Broken Hill, Kangaroo Island, GOR, Melbourne

check out this fellows trip report for a good take on KI,,,,,

www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=3

take the tri state two day trip from broken hill to white cliffs via mutawintji and you will have an excellent ground level intro to the outback.

sydney,aust.
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10. Re: loop Sydney, Broken Hill, Kangaroo Island, GOR, Melbourne

sorry thread is wrong try this...

On May 22nd, we boarded a JetStar flight directly from Cairns to Adelaide. We arrived in Adelaide and switched over to a Regional Express flight into Kingscote, Kangaroo Island. We determined that it was actually a better option to fly then to take the ferry since the ferry only takes you to Penneshaw which is about an hour from Kingscote and and 2.5 hours from Flinders Chase National Park. We decided to hire a car since we figured a remote island would be a good place to practice driving on the left side. Upon arriving at the small airport on KI, we find that the Hertz guy was hanging around specifically for us. We got a free upgrade from a Corolla to an AWD Ford Territory, which I think is the same as the Freestyle, and we were on our way into town. We checked in at the Ozone hotel and got a room in the older building overlooking the ocean. The place is nothing fancy, but it's clean and has all you need. However, eating there is a different story. We were advised to not eat the KI garfish and that the whiting was much better. We took there advice, but if the Garfish is worse than the whiting, then it must also be worse than cat food. Maybe their other dinners are better, but they definitely don't specialize in fish.

Deciding against the penguin tour, we decided to have a drink and then turn in. The next morning, after taking some great sunset pictures over the sea, we made the hour drive west and into Flinders Chase National Park. From there, we first drove out to Admirals's Arch. I was not expecting this to be as magnificant as it was. The scenery off the coast here is just amazing. We took the boardwalk down underneath the cliff to the arch. It's basically a big hole in the rocks that has been carved out by the ocean over the past million years or so. There are also fur seals all over the rocks so we ended up hanging around for over an hour just marveling and taking pictures. Surprisingly, we had the place all to ourselves. However, If you come here, do not expect sweet smelling salt air. Since fur seals seem to enjoy wallowing in giant pools of their own urine, the place smells like an overflowing port-o-pot on New Year's Day. We then drove over to the nearby Remarkable Rocks. This is another must see if you visit the island. If you didn't know any better, you would swear that these rocks were put here as some child's playground. Instead, they are naturally formed by the ocean in an area all by themselves. We spent about another hour hear taking pictures and taking pictures of other families as they posed on the rocks. Since we still had plenty of daylight left, we hit one of the bushwalking trails in the park. The one we picked was called Snake River Lagoon. We learned later that this trail just opened as this area had recently been ravaged by wild fires. Most of what we saw were charred gum trees and very little wildlife. As we were heading out at around 4:30, we finally spotted our first Kangaroo. Being ignorant tourists, we got out of the car and took about 50 pictures of the thing. It was now time to meet James and Natalie at the nearby Hanson Bay Sanctuary for a nocturnal tour. Even though the Flinders Chase Park was great, this was probably the highlight of our stay on KI. James and Natalie met us at 5:30 sharp and we were the only ones on the tour. As we started walking around the property, he pointed out numerous wild Koalas in the trees. I had no idea they grunted as loud as they do. As we walked around with the spotlight, Kangaroos, Wallabies, and Possums were all over the place. It really made us feel like morons for making such a big deal of the first Kangaroo we saw. Now, we were surrounded by hundreds of them. We then entered a protected area where there were even more animals. One Kangaroo named Amy, who was orphaned when her mother was hit by car, came bouncing up to us and would eat out of our hands. We were even able to peer into her pouch to see her joey, which was only a few weeks old. I would highly recommend this walk on KI, and they only charge $20. I believe these same guides also manage some nearby cabins on the ocean, which I regret not staying in. Since we were staying in Kingscote, we now had to make the 100km drive back in the dark in an area teaming with nocturnal animals. I think I drove about 50 all the way back frequently stopping for wallabies on the road. It’s kind of ironic how on the way out we were hoping to see kangaroos, but on the way back, I was praying not to see them. As we neared the town of Kingcote, we surprisingly ran into a police checkpoint giving out breathalyzer tests. I found this odd because it was a Thursday night and there were literally zero cars driving around the island. I’m not sure if that’s common on KI or not, but definitely be careful if you drive there at night. We got cleaned up and took a pass on the Ozone restaurant and instead headed over to Bella one block back, which was recommended by James and Natalie who also concurred that the Ozone’s food is crap. They were trying to shut down their kitchen but offered to make us a pizza. The pizza was excellent and the beer was cold. Definitely choose the Bella over Ozone when staying in Kingscote. We ended up crashing for the night and again neglected the penguins, which were likely right across the street from the hotel.

On Friday, we awoke with visiting Seal Bay as the only item on our itinerary. We headed over to Roger’s Deli for some coffee and light breakfast and then made the 45-minute drive to the Southern part of the island. Seal Bay is a protected beach that is home to a colony of Australia sea lions. You have to go with a guided group if you want to walk on the beach near them, which we gladly did. We got some great pictures of us sitting within 20 feet of large bull sea lions. This is another must do if visiting KI. The guides are just as excited to watch the sea lions as you are, especially when they are surfing in the waves. There is also a long boardwalk that extends near the beach for more photo opportunities. On the way back, we took some side roads and explored a little bit. We ended up stopping at the Shoals Bay winery just outside Kingscote. The wines were pretty good and we bought a souvenir bottle of their port. We then wondered one last time around town and watched the daily pelican feeding at the wharf. This is really just some dude handing fish to pelicans. It was kind of cool, but nothing that you can’t see at any fish cleaning station back in the states. I would advise not paying to watch this, as I think there is a nominal charge. We then got back into the car and started making our way back to the airport for our 6:30 flight into Adelaide. However, we first had to fill up the car with petrol. I figured $1.70 was pretty high, but we were both stunned when after only pumping half a tank, the price read $83!!! Between the REX flights, the car hire charges, and the gas, KI is a very expensive place to visit, which probably explains the lack of tourists we saw. We still think it was worth it.