2 weeks in Australia - Itenarary help

Old May 5, 19, 3:26 pm
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2 weeks in Australia - Itenarary help

Family of 4 which includes a 7yr old daughter and 2 yr old son getting into Melbourne on May 25th (have 4 day work commitment in Melbourne) and have return flight out of Sydney on 8th May. We are not into hiking but are pretty much open to anything else that would work with 2 small kids between May 29th - June 8 . I would appreciate any help with suggestions on places/cities to visit in those 2 weeks ( we completely understand that Aus is a huge country and 2 weeks is very small but our plan was not to cover the entire country from the beginning with time off limitations)

Last edited by Stivelio; May 5, 19 at 5:06 pm
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Old May 5, 19, 3:56 pm
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May 25th to 8th June will be brisk in Melbourne (approaching winter)
A good time to go far north Queensland (Cairns etc) or the red centre (Alice Uluru), for a cost.
But depends what you like to do and how much you are willing to spend.
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Old May 5, 19, 5:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
May 25th to 8th June will be brisk in Melbourne (approaching winter)
A good time to go far north Queensland (Cairns etc) or the red centre (Alice Uluru), for a cost.
But depends what you like to do and how much you are willing to spend.
We have to spend first 4 days in Melbourne for sure and at least last couple of days in Sydney because of work related commitment but good to anywhere between those as dates even it costs a bit
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Old May 5, 19, 6:06 pm
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So basically a week to go north (for better weather)
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Old May 5, 19, 6:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
So basically a week to go north (for better weather)
Oh ok. Any specific place recommendations and things to do north with small kids on the north side for that week?
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Old May 5, 19, 7:10 pm
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What is your budget? As Mwenenzi said, the weather will be better further north, but 4 plane tickets on short notice could be pricey.

Since you are in Melbourne but need to travel to Sydney, you can do a 'triangle' with 2 one-way flights MEL-X and X-SYD, and save time and money (assuming you haven't already booked flights to Sydney). Australian flights are usually priced one-way so unlike the USA you don't pay a premium to book as one-way tickets.

I would suggest the red center. It's quintessential Australia, and that is a good time of year to visit. You can see heaps without hiking. Fly to Alice Springs, check out the Kangaroo Sanctuary (a must-see but sells out, make sure they have bookings available before you lock in your dates!). Fly to Uluru (or drive/bus, about 6 hours) and see the 'big rock'. It's pretty special. You can fly from Uluru (AYQ airport) back to Sydney.

Here are some photos from my trip to the red center:

Another option might be Perth, a bit further to fly but the weather is usually nice in late May / early June. Rottnest Island is a main attraction out there, as well as the Margaret River region.

If your budget is tight, I'd stay around Melbourne, especially if you don't mind if its a bit colder. There's lots to see in Victoria, and plenty of threads on that.
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Old May 5, 19, 7:23 pm
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Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
What is your budget? As Mwenenzi said, the weather will be better further north, but 4 plane tickets on short notice could be pricey.

Since you are in Melbourne but need to travel to Sydney, you can do a 'triangle' with 2 one-way flights MEL-X and X-SYD, and save time and money (assuming you haven't already booked flights to Sydney). Australian flights are usually priced one-way so unlike the USA you don't pay a premium to book as one-way tickets.

I would suggest the red center. It's quintessential Australia, and that is a good time of year to visit. You can see heaps without hiking. Fly to Alice Springs, check out the Kangaroo Sanctuary (a must-see but sells out, make sure they have bookings available before you lock in your dates!). Fly to Uluru (or drive/bus, about 6 hours) and see the 'big rock'. It's pretty special. You can fly from Uluru (AYQ airport) back to Sydney.

Here are some photos from my trip to the red center:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/149998...57673508059797

Another option might be Perth, a bit further to fly but the weather is usually nice in late May / early June. Rottnest Island is a main attraction out there, as well as the Margaret River region.

If your budget is tight, I'd stay around Melbourne, especially if you don't mind if its a bit colder. There's lots to see in Victoria, and plenty of threads on that.
I have lot of points/miles with airlines and hotels and so budget isn't really an issue fortunately. I will start looking for tickets for the places that you mentioned just to double check if the stash of miles that I have will help us get last minute tickets without a lot of money of out of pocket. A big thank you to you and Mwenenzi for the quick recommendations.
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Old May 5, 19, 7:55 pm
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Uluru has very limited accommodation, all owned by the same company. They do have an affiliation with Accor Hotels so if you have points with them it may help. Otherwise expect overnights in Uluru to be pricey.

Otherwise, Alice Springs does have some hotel point options. I stayed at the DoubleTree in Alice Springs and it was probably one of the better options.
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Old May 5, 19, 8:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Stivelio View Post
I have lot of points/miles with airlines and hotels and so budget isn't really an issue fortunately. I will start looking for tickets for the places that you mentioned just to double check if the stash of miles that I have will help us get last minute tickets without a lot of money of out of pocket.
In Australia main airlines are:-
  • QF (Oneworld) so an AA & also AS partner
  • Virgin Australia. Not in an alliance, but a DL ff partner
  • No Star Alliance airline in Australia (RIP Ansett)
And low cost carriers Jetstar (owned by QF) & Tiger (owned by VA)
If considering those look at the ticket t&c's carefuly and cost for add on's.
And a few small regional airlines (REX and others)

Some of the international hotel chains/brands in Au, but read some where Accor has the most rooms in Au.

SFO to MEL by OP on QF with AS ff miles-->Consolidated Qantas (QF) awards availability/booking/routing thread

Last edited by Mwenenzi; May 5, 19 at 9:07 pm
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Old May 6, 19, 1:15 am
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My only 2c is not sure how kid friendly Yulara is, especially considering the costs to get there youíd want it to really work for all of you? Is it possible that the reef might be a better fit? Iím kind of thinking glass bottom boats but other options could work too
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Old May 6, 19, 1:45 am
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I had thought that having a 2yo on a boat would be much worse than in the red center, but I'm not a parent so very far from my area of expertise

You can see the main sights around Uluru with very short walks that are stroller-friendly.
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Old May 6, 19, 2:03 am
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Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
I had thought that having a 2yo on a boat would be much worse than in the red center, but I'm not a parent so very far from my area of expertise

You can see the main sights around Uluru with very short walks that are stroller-friendly.
yeah I guess. 2 year olds are quite variable as well
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Old May 6, 19, 5:27 am
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Originally Posted by CPMaverick View Post
I had thought that having a 2yo on a boat would be much worse than in the red center, but I'm not a parent so very far from my area of expertise

You can see the main sights around Uluru with very short walks that are stroller-friendly.
All hotels show sold out for dates this month. Would a day trip from Alice Springs to Uluru be a good idea? Also I guess 1 week at just Uluru + Alice springs may be too long. Should we look at flying somewhere else as well from Uluru to fill up some of the other days in that 1 week?
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Old May 6, 19, 5:29 am
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Originally Posted by nancypants View Post
My only 2c is not sure how kid friendly Yulara is, especially considering the costs to get there youíd want it to really work for all of you? Is it possible that the reef might be a better fit? Iím kind of thinking glass bottom boats but other options could work too
This should also be fine. Would we need to go to a different part of Aus for this?
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Old May 6, 19, 5:45 am
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Iím assuming you looked at a third party website as there is limited availability showing on the official Ayers Rock resort website- I searched 29/5 for 3 nights which should be enough (ayersrockresort.com.au). With kids I would suggest Emu walk apartments although iím Not sure if they have access to a pool which may or may not be relevant

(I believe all the Yulara hotels are affiliated with Accor, points stays may be more limited than paid, I donít know enough about the program to comment on that)

you will probably do well to rent a car. Booked directly they usually have a pathetic 100km a day limit although I believe arranging it through tourism NT means it has unlimited KMs (the tourist office in Alice Springs would be able to help with this). You may decide you want to go to kings canyon and do the rim walk- then again with small kids you may not

thereís not a huge amount of flight options out of Yulara to go somewhere else as well. I also wouldnít really recommend using it as a base cos it is crazy expensive. Although there are Cairns-Yulara flights (itís a triangle route at the moment with one way via Alice Springs), which could work nicely

the reef (great barrier reef) is more towards the coast, cairns is probably the most sensible jumping off point

ps Alice to Yulara is about a 4-6 hour drive with not a huge amount of diversions on the way. With 2 kids iíd Probably not recommend it. The flights are generally a fairly good deal on points, especially the cairns triangle I mention above)
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