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HI,

 

I have a lot of time on my hands at the moment so have decided to try and plan our trip we have been talking about for some time to Australia and New Zealand.  We would like to do a 2 week cruise of New Zealand but before that we would like 4/5 weeks around Australia. We are talking about Perth, Darwin the Gold Coast, Great Barrier Reef, Brisbane Melbourne and Sydney. We are hoping to send a case to be stored in Sydney airport (if possible) and travel fairly light after that, we don't mind hiring a car, going by bus, train or plane we just want to travel around. I am looking for information that can help us to decide what towns, cities to visit like going to the Gold Coast and travelling down towards Sydney, places of interest to stop at we don't plan on rushing around any information will be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks

Tracey

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Remember one thing, Australia is BIG joint, as big as the USA, near enough. So if you are planning on going from say Darwin to Sydney you will lose one whole day, by the time you get to and from Airports, wait to board and fly. Next thing is it can get Hot. I would seriously look at a more limited itinerary. But then what interests you, that may change what cities are best for you to visit.

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I agree with gut ,Australia is big and I think one of the biggest mistakes is to try to do too much.

What you do ,do it at a reasonable time. Pick your destinations and fly between them.Dont try to drive from Darwin to Sydney in a week.

 

A one way cruise from Australia to New Zealand is a good time efficient idea.And do a road trip before and after the cruise.

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Also, climate and time of year is a major factor. Most Europeans like the idea of travelling in summer but actually the middle of summer is a bad time to travel in much of Australia especially the North (way too hot and humid and also prone to cyclones). Spring and Autumn are better times for travel. Winter is pretty cold and miserable for much of the south but the best time to go north.

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The best time is late February/March. Start in NZ and do some land touring, then cruise to Australia. Leave any travel to the northern parts of Australia to last when it's started to cool off.

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I am going to go off on a tangent and suggest you flip your whole strategy around. Do a road trip around NZ and circumnavigate Australia on a cruise.

 

I have cruised around NZ and have spoken to quite a few people who have driven around NZ. Based on our NZ cruising experience (we were underwhelmed, nice holiday but nothing special) and how those friends/relatives who drove around all rave about how great it was I would strongly recommend 2-3 weeks driving in NZ and then a 4 week cruise around Australia.

 

NZ is very well set up for people to holiday in a small motor home and the distances to drive are nothing like Australia. NZ is compact, Australia is vast (even if flying). You do not get to see some of the best parts of NZ on a cruise, eg Queenstown. Of course the same can be said about Australia but I think this strategy is well worth considering.

 

Princess do a great around Australia cruise which you can start in a number of cities, I would suggest Sydney - it is a great city to explore on your own before or after the cruise (make sure you check out the Rocks area, catch a ferry to Manly). You can also disembark in say Melbourne and explore that city/region on your own after the cruise (or do Bisbane -Sydney, Adelaide to Perth). You get to see the Great Barrier Reef, Darwin, Broome, Perth, Adelaide (go to the Barossa Valley), Kangaroo Island, Tasmania, etc.  You could then fly to any particular destination not covered by the cruise (eg Ayers Rock). I know that Holland America also offer an Australia circumnavigation option and there may be others. 

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Having spent some time talking on these boards I have come to the conclusion that we will need to go back to New Zealand for a land tour at another time.

We have a cruise booked for late Jan that starts in Auckland and stops in Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Picton, Christchurch and a few others I can't recall right now. Also cruise throughs of Dusky, Doubtful and Milford sounds. The cruise ends in Melbourne, we planned 3 nights there and then about 8 days self driving in the state of Victoria then we will fly from Melbourne to Sydney. Our entire trip is a little more than 4 weeks total. You will find lots of helpful people on this board and a few that will suggest that you may not be allowed to visit Australia or New Zealand "for the foreseeable future" in these "unprecedented" times.

You should give a few ideas of your interests and you will get lots of help.

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Posted (edited)

You might also like to read through the Virtual Aus/NZ Cruise thread. There is a lot of useful info there about the various ports as well as some great photos. And the flights of fancy might give you a bit of a giggle as well. 

Edited by OzKiwiJJ

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I kind of agree about cruising round Australia as driving from say the Gold Coast to Melbourne can get pretty repetitive.  

And if you do cruise, I think Hobart is a pretty good place to visit. MONA is there, as is the very interesting convict history. Are you not considering Uluru? It is pretty iconic. I went there 3 years ago and the landscape is obviously quite amazing and very different to Wales. We flew with Jetstar which was really cheap from Sydney, and we had a fantastic view of the deserts of Australia.

 

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Nangs idea is a great solution for you in my opinion

Cheers Carole

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