Some of you may have remembered me posting about a long trip I was planning for Western Australia (tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g255101-i530-k7132…). I plan to spend 3-4 weeks there, cost-permitting, and one of my main draws is Ningaloo reef and diving.
Since then, I've been narrowing down some options and have also completed a few refundable bookings to be safe. Below is what I am thinking/planning so far. One of the things that I am struggling with is planning this while trying to determine the true impact of flight times on traveling between some of the vast areas--I realize Australia is huge, not unlike the US, and it can take a while to get anywhere. So right now I would love to figure out the best optimization between points (ie, should I switch the order of destinations, etc).
Starting in late April 2015:
- Fly San Francisco to Perth. Possible stay one night over in Sydney before going SYD-PER.
- Spend ~5 nights in Perth OR Margaret River region (my companion wants some land activities as he's not a diver ;)). I likely won't dive in Perth due to the water temps.
- May 2: Fly into Exmouth. Spend 5 nights there (hotel already booked, but can cancel/change nights). Allows enough time to dive the navy pier, snorkel with whale sharks, etc. Not sure yet if renting a car.
- May 7: Fly back to Perth. Stay 1-2 nights (breaks up the flight).
- May ~9: Fly PER to Cairns for ~5-6 nights. Originally, I had thought about going to Broome, but since there was no diving options there it didn't seem like a good trade-off, especially since it is also a little tricky to get to.
So, what I have above is somewhere around 3 weeks (when counting days lost to flights, etc). It's possible I could extend a bit longer if there is something I am completely missing. I tend towards trying to spend 1 week per location as I hate only spending 1-2 days in one spot. One nice thing about expanding my "Western" Australia trip to include Cairns is it puts me on the east coast for our last leg, and makes it easier when transferring back to San Francisco. I could also be tempted to go to the Whitsunday Islands instead of Cairns ;)
Thoughts on the above? Too much or too little time in any place? Something I'm blatantly missing? TIA!