1 month in Australia -- itinerary help

Old Sep 10, 19, 10:47 pm
  #1  
_fx
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1 month in Australia -- itinerary help

Planning around a 1 month trip to Australia in November. Done a lot of research, and come up with this rough itinerary:

Arrive MEL
Wilsons Prom - 3 days
Fly MEL-SYD
Sydney / Blue Mountains - 4 days
Fly SYD-HVB
Fraser Island - 3 days
Lady Elliot Island - 4 days
Fly BNE-AYQ
Uluru - 3 days
Fly AYQ-ADL
Kangaroo Island - 3 days
Barossa Valley - 2 days
Depart ADL

I feel like it's cramming a lot in -- like the USA equivalent of trying to see everything on between Miami and Boston. But I also might never visit Australia for this long (or possibly ever) again, so I want to make the most of it. I am very activity-focused and enjoy nature and the outdoors (with a little dabble of urban adventure). A lot of sample itineraries I've seen include lengthy drives where you check out every town along the way. I'm not really too interested in that, and would rather jump around to see the best stuff.

My main questions are: How similar are KI / Wilsons Prom / Fraser Island? Worth doing all 3? Anything better? Is Wilsons Prom worth the extra MEL-SYD flight? Also, do I need time in BNE or MEL -- or will SYD give me the best city experience?

Any other suggestions or advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old Sep 11, 19, 2:25 am
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Would be a busy trip. The time and cost to get the destinations (fly/drive) will take a reasonable amount. With time to airport, hotel check-in, etc many will take the best part of a day. Some places will have limited air schedules. For AYQ may need to go via ASP as well.
Have you priced out cars, air fares & accommodation?
Great Circle Mapper
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayers_Rock_Airport
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Springs_Airport

Why both Fraser Island and Lady Elliot Island? I would suggest 1 only of these Queensland islands.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Elliot_Island

SYD may give the best city experience, provided you stay within 0.5 mile of water. BNE the worst.
November is a good time to travel.
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Old Sep 11, 19, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
.For AYQ may need to go via ASP as well.
Have you priced out cars, air fares & accommodation?

Why both Fraser Island and Lady Elliot Island? I would suggest 1 only of these Queensland islands.
There are fortunately direct flights to AYQ that fit with my schedule. The jumping around is expensive, but I'm willing to pay.

Fraser and LEI looked different to me (on paper at least), with LEI more scuba diving and snorkeling, and Fraser more lakes and beach camping. If you think they are too similar that's good to know.

Which location do you think is most worthy of additional time if I were to cut down on transfers?
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Old Sep 11, 19, 7:52 pm
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What do you plan on doing at Wilson's Prom?
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Old Sep 11, 19, 7:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Guvner067 View Post
What do you plan on doing at Wilson's Prom?
I was thinking of hiking the Southern Circuit as an overnight backpack.
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Old Sep 11, 19, 8:06 pm
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Pretty harsh track in some spots, I hope you're fit!. I think you still need a permit these days. Would pay to check well in advance as some permit types have number limits.
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Old Sep 13, 19, 12:38 pm
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It's refreshing to see someone coming to enjoy Australia's wild parts and not just the tourist traps. Looks like a great itinerary. Obviously a bit busy. but you know that.
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Old Sep 14, 19, 9:08 pm
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Just as a data point...i did a month in Oz two years ago:

5 days: 4 days in SYD, Up to Blue Mountains overnight, back to SYD next day
5 days: ADL overnight
4 days in Kangaroo Island.
5 days:
4 days in 'red center': Flew into Uluru, rented 4x4, two days at Uluru and surrounds, then drove to Kings Canyon, overnight,, then meenarie loop back to Alice Springs
7 days: Flew ASP to Cairns. Overnight in CNS then next day to Lizard Island, 6 days
5 days: Back to Cains, 4x4 rental- drove north, then to cooktown, then down through the Bloomfield track- Daintree, cape tribulation
2 days: Fly to SYD, home from SYD the next day

This was in March- April. There is nothing we did I wouldnt highly recommend. Oddly enough, Id do another couple of long outback road trips. Seeing the space between the things IS THE THING TO SEE/FEEL.

Enjoy. November? I planned mine for a year. Oh, have good friends in SYD, we hung out a bit when we first got there...then the very last night before we flew home- they were just blown away by the time span.. "You were here like a month ago and you're still here!"
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Old Sep 15, 19, 2:43 pm
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If you go to Kangaroo Island just make sure you stay at the southern end, away from the ferry, but IMHO we stayed too long, it wasn't that interesting, and apart from the KI Kangaroo sub-species, there wasn't a whole lot to do.
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Old Sep 15, 19, 4:44 pm
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KI- we rented a home for 4 nights on the north coast w a drop dead ocean view (Lifetime retreats @ Snelling beach). Had considered Southern Ocean Lodge but felt their activities were too insular for what we wanted. We hired a guide for a day, found some very off-the-beaten path trails. Caves at water level; old shipping 'port' when the island was first occupied. Did the other more main-stream stuff on out own (southern end of island; Cape Borda, seal colony, Flinders chase, etc) We saw wild echidnas, koalas and a (possibly) platypus.

Did laundry at Pardana, grabbed some snacks and ice cream at a supermarket there...had a chat with the proprietor while waiting. In response to his worried quizzing, I assured him Donald Trump wasnt gonna win.

I owe him an deep apology....


Last edited by Exec_Plat; Sep 21, 19 at 3:44 pm
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Old Sep 15, 19, 9:05 pm
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Thanks for the additional comments. Currently thinking of dropping Wilsons Prom in exchange for the Blue Mountains and an extra day in KI.

I'm telling myself I'll visit again and do it plus Tasmania in the future. Of course, I won't -- but it would save 6 hours driving and an additional flight connection, which is nice for the trip.

Exec_Plat Did you think Blue Mountains could've used additional time? Also any hiking suggestions on KI? The full multi-day trek looks just a bit out of reach, but I am up for some tough days on the trail.
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Old Sep 15, 19, 10:39 pm
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Originally Posted by _fx View Post
Thanks for the additional comments. Currently thinking of dropping Wilsons Prom in exchange for the Blue Mountains and an extra day in KI.

I'm telling myself I'll visit again and do it plus Tasmania in the future. Of course, I won't -- but it would save 6 hours driving and an additional flight connection, which is nice for the trip.

Exec_Plat Did you think Blue Mountains could've used additional time? Also any hiking suggestions on KI? The full multi-day trek looks just a bit out of reach, but I am up for some tough days on the trail.
Id been to the blue mountains 4,5 times before- including a long epic hike down to the floor (federal pass I think). I would have added a day, as it was we arrived one morning and left the next afternoon. We had a view room at Lilianfels, which was pretty amazing. Waking up to wild parrots on the deck and the sun rising in the valley- its like a bed on the three sisters viewing deck where the crowds cluster. But it was just ours. Drinks at sunset...coffee at sunrise. Worth the $....

On the KI hike, we hired a guy for a day, basically said 'we can find the stuff with signs that everyone does'. My recollection is that we visited Cape Borda, Ravine des Casoars hike out to the coast; and as I recall KI only had a lighthouse for many years on the southern end, and a place for boats to unload (Cannot recall the name). We also visited Admirals arch and Remarkable Rocks too, on our own.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 7:03 am
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"there wasn't a whole lot to do" is kind of Australia in a nutshell. There tend be cities or centres of 'activities' with organised tourist attractions / things to do and then vast swathes of 'nothingness' that is fantastically remote or wild. I far, far preferred the nothingness that was full of hiking, geology and wildlife.

KI full or 1/2 day hikes if you can drive your hire car / camper on gravel: Ravine des Casoars. Day 5 of the wilderness trail: Kelly's Caves to Hansen Bay and back (18 km return). Snake Lagoon hike to the beach (corrugated gravel to Snake Lagoon, you can walk all the way from Flinder's Chase NP visitors centre). Unfortunately the Cape Gantheaume trek is closed. There are shorter hikes in many of the conservation areas: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/find-a-p...angaroo-island

November might still be a bit cool for snorkelling, but there are organised swimming with seals / dolphins tours, snorkelling is calmest on the northern coast. Koalas are virtually guaranteed in the west (Hansen Bay, Western KI campsite or Flinders Chase NP) and kangaroos and wallabies around dawn and dusk and goanna (lizards). There are the seal and sea lion viewing areas. There are pelicans around Kingscote. There are also lots of foodie / wine / beer places in the east.
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Old Sep 21, 19, 3:48 pm
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Originally Posted by konagirl2 View Post
"there wasn't a whole lot to do" is kind of Australia in a nutshell. There tend be cities or centres of 'activities' with organised tourist attractions / things to do and then vast swathes of 'nothingness' that is fantastically remote or wild. I far, far preferred the nothingness that was full of hiking, geology and wildlife.
.



on my punch list is a drive from Perth to Darwin.... along the coast. only 4200 kms
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Old Sep 22, 19, 12:00 am
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Originally Posted by Exec_Plat View Post


on my punch list is a drive from Perth to Darwin.... along the coast. only 4200 kms
I did Sydney-Uluru-Sydney a couple of months ago. Fantastic drive if you love long distances of nothing. Some very interesting towns along the way. I did the whole thing in 12 days. It's a long way, but it's pretty easy driving. Not much traffic, and long straight stretches for overtaking.
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