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Australia

 
Author carlosarion
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 20 Apr 2022 01:19 | Edited by: carlosarion 
Hi everyone,

I am quite excited to finally be able to travel abroad after being happily stuck here in NZ for the past 2.5 years. I thought of asking your feedback on an itinerary I made for my trip to Australia next month. In particular, I'd like to know if the properties I included in my itinerary and the amount of time I am spending there are reasonable to appreciate the OUV.

26 May - Auckland to Gold Coast flight, landing at 8am. Hire car or book a tour to visit Lamington National Park (Gondwana Rainforests of Australia)
27 May - Hire car or book a tour to visit Springbrook National Park (Gondwana Rainforests of Australia)
28 May - Join overnight tour of K'gari (Fraser Island)
29 May - K'gari (Fraser Island)
30 May - Sunshine Coast
31 May - Sunshine Coast
1 Jun - Sunshine Coast. Noon flight to Sydney. Take train to Leura
2 Jun - Day hike in Greater Blue Mountains Area
3 June - Morning hike in Greater Blue Mountains Area. Take train back to Sydney late afternoon
4 June - Sydney. Visit Sydney Opera House again
5 June - Sydney. Visit Old Government House and Hyde Barracks (Australian Convict Sites)
6 June - Sydney
7 June - Sydney
8 June - Sydney. Afternoon flight to Melbourne
9 June - Melbourne. Visit Royal Exhibition Building
10 June - Melbourne
11 June - Melbourne
12 June - Melbourne. Late night flight back to Auckland

I am also wondering if there are sites I can add. I realized that many WHS in Australia could only be accessed by car and I am not really used to driving on the left side of the road (I don't drive here in NZ at the moment), although I may have to do it in Lamington & Springbrook.

Thank you!
Carlo

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 20 Apr 2022 11:48 
Seems like a nice trip, plenty of time to see things other than WHS (which apparently people like to do:))

If I was following your broad itinerary, the only one that I think I would look into adding would be Budj Bim on one of the days in Melbourne.
It is about a 3:45 drive from Melbourne. There are plenty of organised day trips along the Great Ocean Road which would cover similar distances to Port Fairy and back, though I doubt Budj Bim really has the pull to get a organised tours heading to it, so it may have to be a day with car hire.

In terms of driving on the opposite side of the road after the first 5 minutes it is actually pretty straight forward, even more so if you don't currently drive as you don't have so many habits to break.

I say that from experience. As someone who regularly has it in reverse, coming from the UK to most other destinations. For a decade lived in cities with decent public transport (Dublin and London) so didn't have a car, thus if I ever did drive it was mostly on the opposite side of the road to what I grew up with.

Australian roads were very good and if you hire a car at the outskirts of a city (e.g. from Melbourne airport) you won't have to deal with city driving which is when things get little more complex (especially in Melbourne with the unique turning systems around trams)

Author elsslots
Admin
#3 | Posted: 20 Apr 2022 12:06 
carlosarion:
30 May - Sunshine Coast
31 May - Sunshine Coast

If you have got some money to spare and are staying at Hervey Bay, you can also do a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef.

Author carlosarion
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 20 Apr 2022 19:36 
meltwaterfalls:
If I was following your broad itinerary, the only one that I think I would look into adding would be Budj Bim on one of the days in Melbourne.

Ah! Yes thank you for this. I was so set at staying in Melbourne and thinking of crossing the Bass Strait to get to Tasmania but I think I will just consider Budj Bim. I also thought of staying in Hamilton so I can also visit Naracoorte but let's see. I am staying with friends in Melbourne and I'd ask them if they're interested in doing that trip.

meltwaterfalls:
For a decade lived in cities with decent public transport (Dublin and London) so didn't have a car, thus if I ever did drive it was mostly on the opposite side of the road to what I grew up with.

Thanks for this! Public transport sucks here in Auckland but I didn't really need a car as the campus is beside my accommodation and friends would always drive whenever we go around or outside of the city.

Author carlosarion
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 20 Apr 2022 19:38 
elsslots

Thanks Els--hmm I am staying in Sunshine Coast but hey I can surely consider staying in Hervey Bay for a taste of GBR. :)

Author joelonroad
Partaker
#6 | Posted: 25 Apr 2022 08:18 
If Shandos and I are around in Sydney we can potentially have a small-scale meetup!

Just a couple of thoughts:
- are you 100% set on K'gari? You could potentially use that time and the Sunshine Coast time to head for Cairns/Port Douglas instead, and visit both the Reef and the Wet Tropics (Daintree National Park is easily the best section of it). You could then fly directly to Sydney from Cairns. K'gari/Fraser is a cool place, but I think the Reef and Daintree are two of Australia's best.
- Sydney Opera House and Hyde Park Barracks are within a kilometre or so of each other, and neither requires a full day. Old Government House is probably a half-day trip.
- Elsewhere in Sydney, if you aren't doing the Bridgeclimb I recommend getting the train to Milson's Point and walking back across the Bridge. The pylon closest to Circular Quay has a museum in it about the bridge's construction etc, and you can climb to the top of the pylon for a fantastic view. It's about 80% of the Bridgeclimb experience at 10% of the price.
- All of the sites around Melbourne aren't particularly close (REB aside, of course!). Budj Bim is a long way to go, and honestly unless you're driving on to Naracoorte and then Adelaide it's really not worth it. Mungo National Park/Willandra Lakes is a pretty good site, but it's a 2-3 day return trip from Melbourne.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 25 Apr 2022 09:49 
joelonroad:
- Sydney Opera House and Hyde Park Barracks are within a kilometre or so of each other, and neither requires a full day. Old Government House is probably a half-day trip.

Hyde Park Barracks, Opera and Cockatoo Islands are an easy day trip. Sydney central isn't that big.

The Old Government House can be done when returning from the Blue Mountains to Sydney. If you are travelling by public transport, Parramatta is a train stop. And you can take the ferry back to Sydney incl. a stop at Cockatoo Island.

Author Euloroo
Partaker
#8 | Posted: 25 Apr 2022 10:40 
https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/royal-national-park
https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/kurnell-area
For potential future WH sites near Sydney. easy day trip by public transport to Kurnell (short bus ride from Cronulla Railway Station) or Royal National Park (ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena) or train to Waterfall.

Author carlosarion
Partaker
#9 | Posted: 25 Apr 2022 16:31 | Edited by: carlosarion 
joelonroad:
If Shandos and I are around in Sydney we can potentially have a small-scale meetup!

Hi Joel, would definitely love a meet-up and chat over craft beer!

Euloroo:
- are you 100% set on K'gari? You could potentially use that time and the Sunshine Coast time to head for Cairns/Port Douglas instead, and visit both the Reef and the Wet Tropics (Daintree National Park is easily the best section of it). You could then fly directly to Sydney from Cairns. K'gari/Fraser is a cool place, but I think the Reef and Daintree are two of Australia's best.

The lure of visiting GBR and Wet Tropics was just overwhelming I decided to fly at an earlier date (put a dent on my wallet though):

21 May - Gold Coast, stay for a day - any recommendations on how to spend a day in Cooly?
22 May - Gold Coast to Cairns, landing at 7.30am. Do Barron Gorge trails (might do the railway to Kuranda and do hikes from there) (Wet Tropics of Queensland)
23 May - Cairns - Fitz Roy or Green Island for Great Barrier Reef
24 May - Cairns - free day
25 May - Cairns - free day
26 May - Cairns to Brisbane

I still don't want to hire a car as it is quite expensive... :(

Author Zoe
Partaker
#10 | Posted: 25 Apr 2022 18:47 
You'll do yourself a disfavor by saving money while you are already there, in the end wasting money to do nothing. There are lovely trips you can take to Kuranda and mango vineyards, waterfalls, there is/was a train ride through the area that stops at some highlights for pictures before moving on (it's been a while but I drove anyway). Whereas Cairns is a chill place I wouldn't hang out there doing nothing. I also stayed at a place run by a Belgian guy and his Kiwi wife right in the middle of the rainforest, he has birds, can show you frogs and even snakes it's almost better than taking a tour lol

Author carlosarion
Partaker
#11 | Posted: 25 Apr 2022 20:51 | Edited by: carlosarion 
Zoe:
I also stayed at a place run by a Belgian guy and his Kiwi wife right in the middle of the rainforest,

Would you remember the place where you stayed? Looks like an amazing place to stay!

nfmungard:
Hyde Park Barracks, Opera and Cockatoo Islands are an easy day trip. Sydney central isn't that big.

The plan is to visit an individual site each day to allow for other non-UNESCO activities and of course to meet up with mates. This trip is a revenge travel to meet friends as much as it is a UNESCO WHS tour. I forgot to include Cockatoo Island in my itinerary--thanks for the tip!

Euloroo:
For potential future WH sites near Sydney

Thanks for this Euloroo--Royal National Park looks amazing!

Author Zoe
Partaker
#12 | Posted: 26 Apr 2022 06:44 
carlosarion:
Would you remember the place where you stayed?

Kuranda Ngorongoro Lodge, if you stay in there say Hi to their parrot Fritzi for me lol

Author carlosarion
Partaker
#13 | Posted: 26 Apr 2022 16:43 
Zoe:
Kuranda Ngorongoro Lodge

Certainly! Thanks Zoe! Have you dived in GBR? Any recommendations on the best liveaboard or day dive provider would be appreciated!

Author joelonroad
Partaker
#14 | Posted: 4 May 2022 23:50 
carlosarion:
Certainly! Thanks Zoe! Have you dived in GBR? Any recommendations on the best liveaboard or day dive provider would be appreciated!

I'm not a diver, but for snorkelling at least (and probably for diving too), the best part up there is the Outer Reef. Tours generally leave from Port Douglas (about 1 hour north of Cairns), and if you haven't booked anything I'd recommend staying in Port Douglas rather than Cairns itself (or Palm Cove if you've got a comfortable budget).

For the Reef, book something that's going to the Outer Reef (Agincourt is a pretty common destination), and clarify you're going on a small boat. Note that in this context, "small" means a couple of hundred people - the large boats take a couple of thousand people and often dock at fixed pontoons.

Since you're asking about dive stuff I'll assume you're competent, but it's worth mentioning as well that the Reef here is 20+ kilometres offshore, and most days you won't be able to see land at all. Plus the water is quite deep in places, 15+ metres, so it can be a little unnerving to jump straight into deep water when you can't see land!

Final thing I'll mention is that don't book any close flight connections, particularly through Sydney airport. Because of Covid, a lot of people left the industry and so there's colossal lines for basic stuff like check-in, security, passport control etc. There's stories of people waiting 5+ hours in the security line; that was during Easter peak so it's not as bad now, but most days it's still pretty packed.

Author carlosarion
Partaker
#15 | Posted: 5 May 2022 07:32 
joelonroad:
I'd recommend staying in Port Douglas rather than Cairns itself

Thanks for this tip Joel, though I have already booked my place in Cairns :(

joelonroad:
book something that's going to the Outer Reef

I am considering Hastings Reef or the more southern Moore and Thetford Reefs. I thought of doing an overnight liveaboard (I saw one that has a max of 15 people) but I am more set on doing just day dives (I saw some that max passenger taken is 100 even if capacity is 150).

joelonroad:
Final thing I'll mention is that don't book any close flight connections,

Thankfully I have no flight connections, and all flights are days apart. I assume you and Shandos live in Sydney? I got 5 days there so it'd be nice to meet up if you guys are free.

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