#1 6-27-2017 6:09 PM

nomnommonster
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East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

Hello there,

I am VERY excited to visit Australia for the first time for a month(!!!) with my partner. We are travelling in from Canada and would love to see everything Australia has to offer.

A little about us: My partner and I are 29 and and 30. We are travel well and often. We love to snorkel and hike (I say, we are intermediate) We would love to try out scuba diving and surfing while we are there. Also, we are dying to check out some wicked rainforests you guys have. We love try new foods, wine and beer. Not much into partying but love drinking, meeting and getting to know new people. Also, kangaroos, platypus and koalas pls

The itinerary we have come up with:

Sep 2: Sydney - Land @8:15am

Sep 3: Melbourne - Land @7:40am

Sep 4: Melbourne

Sep 5: Great Ocean road

Sep 6: Great Ocean road

Sep 7: Cairns - Land @11:40am

Sep 8: Cairns - Great Barrier Reef tour

Sep 9: Daintree/Cape Tribulation/Port Douglas

Sep 10: Kuranda

Sep 11: Atherton Tablelands

Sep 12: Townsville

Sep 13: Magnetic Island

Sep 14: Magnetic Island

Sep 15: Airlie Beach

Sep 16: Rainbow Beach

Sep 17: Whitsundays Island

Sep 18: Whitsundays Island

Sep 19: Bundaberg

Sep 20: Fraser Island

Sep 21: Fraser Island

Sep 22: Sunshine coast

Sep 23: Sunshine coast

Sep 24: Brisbane

Sep 25: Brisbane

Sep 26: Gold Coast

Sep 27: Byron's Bay

Sep 28: Byron's Bay

Sep 29: Sydney

Sep 30: Sydney

Oct 1: Blue Mountains

Oct 2: Flight@10:10am

The flight to and from Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns are all booked. We are not going to book a campervan for Cairns -> Sydney. Not sure if we should do car in Cairns, then camper van to leave Cairns, return campervan in Sydney and rent a car for Blue Mountains OR just campervan it all the way.

Thought? Comments? Concerns? Standing ovations? Send 'em my way!

Thanks for reading and commenting!

 

#2 6-27-2017 9:57 PM

jacobi
Bendigo, Australia
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

Wow, you're barely touching Victoria and doing so much in Queensland. You're seeing so much similar scenery up there that you could probably skip Airlie Beach and Rainbow Beach and add a Day for the Daintree in my opinion. I take it you're heading out on the GOR and returning to Melb to fly to Cairns, so you're basically driving non-stop just so you know. It's a slow meandering drive, and be careful of Asians driving on the wrong side, which happens often. Bunderburg, is meh. Brisbane after seeing the beautiful beaches prior is meh, so perhaps take a day from Brisbane and put it elsewhere. My brother lives on the Sunshine Coast and works in Brisbane and I visited him a lot and seen most of it up there. Sydney is a different story. Maybe add a second day out in the Blue Mountains and make sure you do the Jenolan Caves.

 

#3 6-28-2017 1:28 AM

ulis
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

You will need vacations after such a packed trip

 

#4 6-28-2017 8:15 AM

shavy
Belinda
Belgium
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

Your itinerary sounds good to me. We also crammed our itinerary most of the time just to see a lot.
You have booked a few domestic flights and you have a car which is good planning, some days you gonna be driving for so long.

There are times we're driving for 8 hours, is your partner driving? is better both of you can drive so you can switch.

I been to Australia twice, the second time we spent one month travelling from NSW to Southern part with a rental car. We also book two internal flights, book twice a car, one in the mainland and one in the island of Tasmania

Just to clarify the driving situation over there, firstly they drive on the otherside of the road, but you quickly adjust the manouvre thing once behind the wheel.

Secondly, they are strictly about speeding. And be sure you are fully covered with insurance- prices you see on the internet are only basic, car damaged is not included in the price.

The most common thing happen in Australia even you are a good or careful driver,  animals crossing the roads without paying attention to you, if you hit them can't imagine how much damaged you have. We've seen some ugly cars hit by kangaroos

Anyway, rental companies asked to purchase extra insurance when you pick up the car. Do not drive at night some road doesn't have lights.

Last edited by shavy (6-28-2017 8:19 AM)

 

#5 6-28-2017 8:55 AM

harbinger
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

Much though I hate to agree with Jacobi, Melbourne is a fabulous place (my favourite city in terms of live-ability), so I do think you're short changing yourself by just bouncing through.
The Great Ocean Road is lovely, but in my opinion, Wilson's Promontory is even more beautiful, and more likely to deliver the sort of wildlife you want to see (although in Oz, wildlife is cryptic, and there are no guarantees).  I would strongly suggest an extra day to fit this in.  If you're interested in wildlife - albeit in an enclosed environment - I would also suggest a visit to the Healesville Sanctuary in the Yarra valley, which will allow you to encounter indigenous wildlife in a naturalistic environment.  The fact that it's also in the heart of a wineland is purely fortuituous wink

 

#6 6-28-2017 9:06 AM

harbinger
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

Given that you're also spending a lot of time in Queensland, I would also think about curtailing your time on the Sunshine Coast.  High rise hotels and theme parks and ... well, you get the idea ...
Much though it pains a former West Australian to say so, Sydney has a huge amount to offer, and I think it deserves more of your time.
You clearly have a passion for the natural environment, and Sydney offers that in spades.  I have spent days travelling around on the ferries that operate in the harbour and doing walks that connect with the various landing points. The best known is the Manly Ferry from Circular Quay, which is the departure point for a fabulous bush hike to the Spit Bridge, but there are many more.

Last edited by harbinger (6-28-2017 9:33 AM)

 

#7 6-28-2017 9:29 AM

shavy
Belinda
Belgium
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

Great Ocean Road and Wilson's Promontory are completely different view

We all see differently I can't see any beautfiul about Wilson's Promontory or maybe I'm blind hahaha big_smile

Great Ocean Road is fabulous, wow is a wow

To see a lot of koala's, drive to Great Otway National Park in Victoria you'll find them hanging on eucalyptus tree. We drove to Apolo bay after Ocean road we book a night there and drove in the morning to national park

For Platyfus we've seen them in NSW at "Bombala Platypus Reserve" but I heard you can see them in other places, but while we're in New Southwales we drove over there.

Kangaroos you'll see them overall, if you wanna get closer or feed them - you can do that in Kangaroo island.

Is you want to see Tasmasnian devil, you have to go to Tasmania. These are wildlife's we saw in Australia that we have not seen anywhere

 

#8 6-28-2017 9:45 AM

harbinger
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

Indeed, beauty is in the eye of the beholder smile
I loved GOR - more so as I drove it with an old friend who is a 6th generation Australian - but as I am a hiker and wildlife enthusiast, I enjoyed Wilson's Prom more.
To see a platypus is a very special thing - I have never seen them in the wild, and neither have many people who've lived in Oz for a very long time.  The challenge with Australian wildlife is that it is cryptic (difficult to see), and also much of it is nocturnal.  So - unlike Africa, for example - it may well be there, but you won't necessarily see it.  That's why it would be a good idea to pick up a bird guide to Australia, as the bird life is sensational, and birds are there even when the other animals aren't.

 

#9 6-28-2017 9:51 AM

harbinger
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

Here's a terrific website that details the coastal walks that you can do in Sydney - every one of these I've done has been wonderful, but the Manly-Spit Bridge and Bondi - Coogee walks were the ones that stole my heart:
https://www.sydneycoastwalks.com.au/sydney-walks/

Last edited by harbinger (6-28-2017 10:35 AM)

 

#10 6-28-2017 10:15 AM

shavy
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

harbinger wrote:

To see a platypus is a very special thing - I have never seen them in the wild, and neither have many people who've lived in Oz for a very long time.

We were advice to drive to the reserve early in the morning, because they are mostly appear only that time. The visitor office said to us they're not 100% sure if we can see them but we're so lucky to spot them there after waiting an hour.

Last edited by shavy (6-28-2017 10:15 AM)

 

#11 6-28-2017 10:34 AM

harbinger
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

shavy wrote:

harbinger wrote:

To see a platypus is a very special thing - I have never seen them in the wild, and neither have many people who've lived in Oz for a very long time.

We were advice to drive to the reserve early in the morning, because they are mostly appear only that time. The visitor office said to us they're not 100% sure if we can see them but we're so lucky to spot them there after waiting an hour.

How wonderful!  Such a special experience smile

 

#12 6-28-2017 8:05 PM

jacobi
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

shavy wrote:

....The most common thing happen in Australia even you are a good or careful driver,  animals crossing the roads without paying attention to you, if you hit them can't imagine how much damaged you have. We've seen some ugly cars hit by kangaroos..Anyway, rental companies asked to purchase extra insurance when you pick up the car. Do not drive at night some road doesn't have lights.

Belinda (Shavy) is correct, but more often that not, you'll only have issues with animals like kangaroos through the night and early morning, usually. If you see them bouncing across the road, DO NOT honk your horn to scare them on quicker. They just stop in the middle of the road to see what the noise was.

 

#13 6-28-2017 8:06 PM

jacobi
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

harbinger wrote:

Much though I hate to agree with Jacobi.....

Gees Harbinger, what did I do to make you say that?

 

#14 6-28-2017 9:58 PM

harbinger
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

Sorry Jacobi - old West Australian habits die hard ... wink

 

#15 6-29-2017 12:33 AM

jacobi
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

harbinger wrote:

Sorry Jacobi - old West Australian habits die hard ... wink

Oh, you mean by me suggesting Melbourne over Perth? Actually Perth is nice enough. I enjoyed my three weeks travelling around WA back in 2015.

 

#16 6-29-2017 1:08 AM

harbinger
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

More that it galls a sandgroper to say nice things about anything on the East Coast ... smile
Perth's a great place to live and fun to visit.  But just too far to incorporate into an itinerary like this.

 

#17 6-29-2017 7:42 AM

bula_niki
Niki
Cambridge, England
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

Honestly, I'd cut Brisbane (or just visit for half a day) and spend more time in Melbourne or the Blue Mountains. I'd recommend going to Healesville Sanctuary or Australia Zoo as well (not the same as seeing animals in the wild, but may be your only opportunity to see some of these animals).
Like some of the other comments mentioned, you will be seeing a lot of the same types of environments (beaches), so you may want to spend more time in the forests and mountains. I'd add a day on to Melbourne and go check out the Dandenong ranges, which are beautiful, and have gorgeous arty villages to explore.

 

#18 7-2-2017 6:10 PM

Tommy743
Montana, United States
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

Sounds like an awesome trip! Lots of the same areas I want to see....I hope you post pics or a blog

 

#19 7-6-2017 12:54 AM

gemmapurcell
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

Your planed itinerary is just perfect. Good luck with your trip. But why you are written same places twice in order?

 

#20 7-6-2017 6:45 AM

stefmuts
Stefanie
Neerpelt, Belgium
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

harbinger wrote:

More that it galls a sandgroper to say nice things about anything on the East Coast ... smile
Perth's a great place to live and fun to visit.  But just too far to incorporate into an itinerary like this.

Thats exactly my problem as well, trying to get the real must see parts of Australia and family visit near Perth in a 4 week trip (flights including)
I'm still trying to decide what the real must sees are for me ... already got it back to about 5 weeks so I still  have to let go of some ... but which ones ...

 

#21 7-7-2017 7:33 AM

harbinger
Cathy
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

stefmuts wrote:

harbinger wrote:

More that it galls a sandgroper to say nice things about anything on the East Coast ... smile
Perth's a great place to live and fun to visit.  But just too far to incorporate into an itinerary like this.

Thats exactly my problem as well, trying to get the real must see parts of Australia and family visit near Perth in a 4 week trip (flights including)
I'm still trying to decide what the real must sees are for me ... already got it back to about 5 weeks so I still  have to let go of some ... but which ones ...

The truth is that there is no right answer, stefmuts.  What's 'correct' is what's right for you ... and your budget ... and the time of year you visit ... and so on ... and so forth ...
Western Australia (WA) is just amazing in the (Southern Hemisphere) spring, when the wildflowers are out.  Heading down to the south west of the state over that period is just lovely, and not at all what you'd expect of such an arid part of the world.  Plus the whalewatching and the jawdropping coastline along the south coast from Albany to Esperance ... which unfortunately all takes time.
What many people overlook is Rottnest Island, just off the coast from Perth, and just a short ferry ride away from the CBD.  It is car-free and stress-free and just unbelievably gorgeous, with one of the most southerly coral reefs in the world and has a sort of retro charm that is intoxicating.  If you don't have the time and/or budget to explore the north of WA, Rotto is a fabulous alternative.

 

#22 7-7-2017 8:06 AM

shavy
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Re: East coast Australia itinerary - feedback please

stefmuts wrote:

Thats exactly my problem as well, trying to get the real must see parts of Australia and family visit near Perth in a 4 week trip (flights including)
I'm still trying to decide what the real must sees are for me ... already got it back to about 5 weeks so I still  have to let go of some ... but which ones ...

Is hard to see the whole Australia in 5 weeks Stefanie smile

You have to make a choice which part of Australia you want to see. I'm going back next year in May for the 3rd time and do the whole state of Queensland as I haven't seen it all.

Australia is huge and without a car you can't get that far, or else maybe one of your family will guide you

Also Australia is expensive compare to Belgium. I can't remember my first time as I went in group tour in  the Northern Territory, everything was included, so  i haven't noticed the price of food and drinks

From my last visit (second time individual trip) in December 2014 I'm so surprise how expensive Australia.
A price of bottle of water from 1.5 liter in Aldi supermarkt almost 5€, accommodation is not cheap we sleep mostly in a motels or in a camping caravan, if you go in December- January (school holiday) price of rooms are more expensive than others. That's why we're going next year in April-May

Last edited by shavy (7-7-2017 8:18 AM)

 
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