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Pacific Sandy

1 week Pre-Cruise in Oz - Ideas ???

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Hi - We just booked a B2B cruise out of Sydney. It will be our first trip "Down Under" and we are looking for ideas.

 

We'll fly down a week before the cruise and do some touring on our own.

 

Looking for advise on places to visit. We thought about renting a campervan. Can anyone recommend a good company to rent from.

 

Thanks - Can't wait to see Australia.

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Hi - We just booked a B2B cruise out of Sydney. It will be our first trip "Down Under" and we are looking for ideas.

 

We'll fly down a week before the cruise and do some touring on our own.

If it's your first trip down under, don't go anywhere else. The best use of your time is to spend a week in Sydney. You'd need a month to see the city properly, so don't waste time going to other places.

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Thanks - but we really aren't into big cities - We want to get off the beaten path and see places that tourists don't normally visit.

 

Any ideas?

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If you aren't into big cities then why not drive down the Princes Highway as far as Gipsy Point and Mallacoota in Victoria, then go across to Canberra from Cann River and return to Sydney on the Hume Highway.

 

That will take you at least a week and once you get down to Mollymook and beyond, it is a beautiful drive. We have just spent a week at Gipsy Point and we met many International visitors who thought they had come to paradise with the wildlife, birds and the quiet which I cannot describe.

 

Jennie

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If you want to rent a campervan try Britz, we see a lot of them on our highways. Here is the link: http://www.britz.com.au/

 

Good luck, you just need some good maps and remember to drive on the left hand side of the road!

 

Jennie

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Hi Sandy

 

A really big question - almost as big as our country (and yours)

 

Something you may want to consider is arriving in OZ via another gateway and hiring a vehicle on a one way hire to Sydney.

 

If it was me, I would look at arriving at Cairns and doing the best part of the East Coast - seeing landscapes from Tropical to almost desert. Cairns to Brisbane is 1800klms and it is another 1000klms to Sydney. A fair way in just a week, so perhaps arriving Brisbane and taking a more liesurely drive to Sydney might be preferable.

 

I hate to say it (as a Brisbane-ite), but another option is arriving Melbourne and driving up to Sydney - its about the same distance as Bne-Syd. Either way there are different routes (inland or via the coast) with plenty of opportunities for side visits.

 

One other point. I have always been a bit uneasy about overseas visitors wanting to drive in an environment completely different to what they are naturally used to. Australians drive on left side of road and cars have steering wheel on right side of cabin. I know from personal experience from when I lived in England (LH Drive) that to slip over to Europe (RHD) was easier said than done - especially going thru roundabouts!

 

Not appropriate to recommend specific car hire companies - but you will find all the usual majors available -(just Google) and if you opt for a one way hire you will almost certainly need to use one of those companies.

 

Not sure when you are in OZ, but see the surf, the barrier reef, an outback pub, a cricket match and/or an Aussie Rules football game.:D

 

cheers

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Thanks so much - You have given me some great ideas. Exactly what we are looking for.

 

We have driven in New Zealand (campervan), Cook Islands, & Fiji. It is very different but all part of the adventure.

 

Thanks again.

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Sandy, we spent two weeks in Sydney and surrounds last year. We especially enjoyed heading south to Bateman's Bay and spending a few days along the coast as we headed back to Sydney. The beaches are just gorgeous, and the towns along the way are very pleasant to visit. At Pebbly Beach, we interacted with the kangaroos in the wild and there are beautiful birds there, lorakeets and parrots, I believe. Jervis Bay is worth a stop and we spent a night in Kiama also.

 

Have a great visit.

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Thanks - but we really aren't into big cities - We want to get off the beaten path and see places that tourists don't normally visit.
I'd echo the suggestion of the New South Wales south coast - there are many pretty places between Wollongong and Batemans Bay, including some slightly inland towns like Berry.

 

An alternative is to head up into the Hunter Valley. It's not quite off the beaten track, but it isn't urban and if you like wine, it could be very interesting.

 

Or you could go and spend some time in the Blue Mountains.

 

None of these places are very far from Sydney, so you're not going to waste a lot of time getting there and back if you only have a week.

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Or you could go and spend some time in the Blue Mountains.

.

 

We also spent two days of our visit in the Blue Mountains. So scenic, and the town of Leura is quite charming. On your drive to the Blue Mountains, you could make a detour to Euroka Clearing to see the kangaroos and cockatoos in the wild.

For something off the beaten path, on our way back to Sydney from Kiama, we stopped at the Buddhist temple. Very interesting and beautiful grounds.

http://www.nantien.org.au/htmls/mainframe_events.htm

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OK, I'm going to stick my neck out here. I think if you've never been to Australia before and you only have 1 week you will regret not having spent more time in the cities.

 

I understand that you want to see more than just Sydney. Why not fly into Melbourne spend a couple of days sightseeing there and then drive up to Sydney via the coast taking about 3 days. That gives you plenty of time to stop and see things along the way. Then spend a couple of days in Sydney before your cruise and do some sightseeing.

 

I also think you would be better off in a car and staying at motels rather than hiring a campervan. it will make for easier driving.

 

I understand that you're not really into big cities, but you wouldn't go to Italy and not see Rome would you?

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Mochuck,

 

Great post. I agree with you. The drive up or down the Princes Highway is so lovely and there are some great places to stay on the way.

 

Both Sydney and Melbourne are great cities to visit and I am sure that Pacific Sandy would not get bored if she spent a day or so in each place. Anyhow, one does need to get over jet lag and if you are driving on the opposite side of the road to what you are used to, you do need a good nights sleep before tackling our traffic whether you leave from either city as they are both very busy traffic wise.

 

Jennie

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Some suggestions for where to stop and or stay on the way

 

Wilsons Promontory the southern most tip of the Australian mainland. National park - native fauna and flora (kangaroos wallabies, wombats) Lots to see and do. 200km from Melbourne, 3 hrs drive. Spend a few hours or stay overnight.

 

Lakes Entrance Beautiful spot on the coast to stay overnight. 3hrs drive from Wilsons Promontory.

 

Eden Old whaling town in New south Wales. Whaling museum, whale watching cruises. 240km from Lakes Entrance -3hrs drive from Lakes Entrance.

 

Merimbula - small fishing village on the coast. Just beautiful - half hours drive from Eden. Lovely spot to stay overnight.

 

Murramarang 2 and a half hr drive from Merimbula. If you want to get up close and personal with kangaroos you must go here. There are a few tourist parks here where you can stay in the cabins. The kangaroos are very tame and friendly

 

From Murramarang its about 4 hrs to Sydney with beautiful beaches almost all the way.

 

I would suggest staying overnight at Lakes Entrance, Merimbula and Murramarang. You're lucky, you'll be here just before school breaks up, so you could probably freewheel it and play it by ear.

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We have just returned from a weeks break in Gipsy Point which I consider to be one of the best hidden secrets here in Victoria.

 

Instead of staying in Lakes Entrance, I would go from Wilson's Promotory to Gipsy Point which is 2 hours on from Lakes Entrance towards Eden and Merimbula.

 

It is on a lake and close to Mallacoota Inlet. There is so much to see and do including wonderful wildlife eg. kangaroos, parrots - 3 varieties, kookaburras, goannas etc., surf beaches, fishing, walks in the forest, trips on the lake etc.

 

We stayed at the Gipsy Point Lakeside Resort and it was fantastic. We met many English visitors in the week we were there who were driving between Sydney and Melbourne and all of them wished they had booked more nights in this fantastic National Park.

 

Jennie

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Its definitely a well kept secret Jennie - I've never heard of it ;) But just goes to show you could just take off from Melbourne and follow the Princes Highway - there are so many beautiful places along the way.

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We are planning a 10-14 day land based tour in 2009 with possibly a add on cruise at the end. Would it be better to use a cruise company for the land based part or on our own? We want to see Cairns, the outback and Sydney.

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Uncle Doug,

 

I would look at some of our Australian companies or plan your own time here in Australia. I do think that the cruise companies charge "over the top" but it is convenient for people with limited time to spare.

 

With 10-14 days if it were me, I would use my own resources. I first would look at the plane schedules and then take it from there. It is not hard to do.

 

Here are some links for our domestic planes:

 

http://www.qantas.com.au/regions/dyn/home/qualifier-region-au

http://www.virginblue.com.au/

http://www.jetstar.com/au/index.html

http://www.tigerairways.com/home/index.php

 

and here are some other links for accommodation and info regarding the GBR and Uluru.

 

http://www.cityofcairns.com/cairnsaccommodation/

http://www.environment.gov.au/parks/uluru/

http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/worldheritage/sites/gbr/index.html

 

Hope this helps a little with your planning.

 

Jennie

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