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Australia-August 2003?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
It might seem strange, but this is not a skiing request.

My wife and I will be celebrating our 25th next August and would like to visit Australia. Skiing in not part of the plan (unless you can convince me), just normal sight seeing stuff.

Any info on Sidney-Melbourne-Cairns type of trips. Although it is the "off season", is it still worth the long travel from eastern US(N.Y.)? The travel agent will tell me anything...but the truth?

post #2 of 13
Originally posted by KeeTov:
My wife and I will be celebrating our 25th next August and would like to visit Australia. Skiing in not part of the plan (unless you can convince me), just normal sight seeing stuff.

You should think about adding a bit of skiing, if only to say you've done it. Our skiing is totally different from yours. For instance, no conifers, just twisted up gum trees (see link to Wise's Wilderness site I posted in Discussion forum for pix).
it's a lot warmer, but wettish. august is our version of your late Feb early March part of the season ie Peak.

Any info on Sidney-Melbourne-Cairns type of trips. Although it is the "off season", is it still worth the long travel from eastern US(N.Y.)? The travel agent will tell me anything...but the truth?

August is winter here (in fact winter officially started today! June 1st). So Melbourne is going to be very drizzly, grey and cold. It's a lovely, graceful city and more user-friendly than Sydney, but I'd not go there in winter unless you have things you really want to do.

Sydney has a climate very like LA, so it'll be milder even in Winter. It won't be at its best though, it's a summer city. Still, your flight will probably come in there so you'll see a bit! The eatin' and shoppin' are excellent.

It depends on whether you like colder weather, or are really into beaches and sun and stuff.

If you're after the sun, head north. Australia is about the same size as the US, I should mention.

so Cairns in August is actually fantastic, I'd not go there in summer cos it's too bloody hot and horrible, but August is very pleasant indeed. Our north is like your Florida, there's mangroves, tropics, cyclones in summer, coral reefs etc.

Cairns and Port Douglas and the islands off the coast would be a great place to go. Also, you might consider going to Kakadu in the Northern Territory, that's in the tropics and in August you won't get the monsoonal Wet that closes the Top End down for most of summer.
It'll still be pretty hot though.
Put Darwin into your "my yahoo" daily weather reports! You can chart it, then. I'm amazed at how many American travel agents book tours to Kakadu in The Wet and don't tell their clients about the sheets of water falling from the sky most of the time.

I usually issue an open invite to any ski forum people travelling to Oz to come and stay, but in August I'll be at whatever ski resort i'm teaching at, and August is peak month so I would have buckley's of getting away.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info. We'll do som emore research.
post #4 of 13
KeeTov - I live about 1-1.5hrs drive from 2 of our ski resorts & you are welcome to stay - but like Ant I will be skiing as it is peak season.

The best Oz resort is Thredbo Village if you are interested in trying there

I come from Melbourne & I can second the grey & stormy in winter part. It is great if you like standing on sanddunes watching the storms roll in! Remember the absolute temps aren't low - but the wind howls in from the Antartic - so it is wet & cold.

I'd think about the West Coast - Perth, Broome, Coral Bay etc. Bonnie should be able to tell you a little about NW too...
Oh SW is lovely too - Albany, Esperance, Stirling Ranges, Margaret River mmmmmmmm

South East shines in Early Autumn - March/April - so if you can do it on another trip

Like Ant says - North is not WET season - so a good time to go. (they have 2 seasons WET & DRY)
post #5 of 13
Researching a holiday is part of the fun of taking it! and the 'net makes this so much easier and more fun. Start looking at some of the places Disski and I have mentioned, they are a good starting point. then you'll have questions that we and others can answer.

Thredbo is our most beautiful ski village, you could easily add that to your itinerary, if you fly into Sydney, it's a fairly easy trip down, then you can head off to the warmer bits. Or do Thredbo last.
post #6 of 13
OK - now a quick word if looking at stormy seas & grey skis appeal.
Phillip Island penguin parade - yes it's full of tourists but they really are cute!

Great Ocean Road - an absolute must -if you REALLY want to visit the SE of Oz in Winter.(Much nicer in Autumn though)
post #7 of 13
Kee Tov
How long are you planning on coming down for?
Cairns (imagine how many days a year in the snow I get!)is were I am from and August/September is a good month to come, nice during the day 26-27 centigrade and balmy at night (well 17-18 so downright cool if you live here!). Good time to see the Great Barrier Reef.
Why not have the best of both worlds. Fly to Auckland and ski the North Island of New Zealand while having a look around. Fly Auckland-Cairns to stay at Port Douglas for a romantic 25th seeing the Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest before flying Cairns to Ularu to see Ayers Rock and complete the Australian triangle to Sydney before flying home.
Melbourne can be nice to, but in August, grey and Artic come to mind. (And before the Victorians get on my back, yes I have lived there to.)
Air New Zealand (Star Alliance) would get you through to Cairns. Qantas (One World)to Ayers Rock and through to Sydney.
We are up for 25 years in a couple, so whatever you do, have fun.
post #8 of 13
man, everyones dissin Melbourne...hmm. yeh it can get a little wet and wild at times, the weather that is . I'd have to agree with recommendations so far if you do decide to chance the weather, grt ocean rd is a must in my opinion. But if your looking for some heat try further Nth or Perth.

FYI - Todays weather in Melb is a wonderful sunny winter day.

post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Great suggestions from everyone. Thanks.

Nomad-all of this flying? Easy to do? COst?

More info: we can get away for 10 to 14 days.

We are not beach bums, but we also don't want to have to wear ski jackets during the whole trip either.

If the weather were to be in the 50's (F) and at least someone sunny, ... fine.

We use to live in northern New Hampshire, so we are use to changing weather, and cold. Love the beautiful breath taking nature scenes.

My wife wants to travel to each of the 7 continents within the next 7 years. Any hope of catching a flight and stepping on Antartic while we are down under?

We like the iddea of Great Barrier and CAirns. Looking at Thredbo also. Everything is flexible.

Keep the ideas coming, and again thanks. [img]smile.gif[/img]

[ June 02, 2002, 02:39 AM: Message edited by: KeeTov ]
post #10 of 13
Oh, 14 days isn't long to see Oz, it is a big place! I used to go for a minimum of a month.

I would recommend Cairns in August. It's not too hot, and you can make a trip out to Michealmas Cay (sp?) and see the Barrier Reef. Port Douglas is also worth a visit.
I prefer Brisbane to Sydney, but given your timescales, I think you'd be better to take some tips from the locals, rather than a tourist like me!

post #11 of 13

Ahh us in Oz know our country well. All advice so far is spot on. August is the best time to go North. South of Coffs harbour and it can get cold and wet .... but it can also be mild, beautifully sunny and stunningly bright with sharp colours and clear skies. Special picks would be the Cairns area, Great Barrier Reef off Port Douglas, Kakadu National Park, Darwin, mandatory Sydney stop, swing through Canberra and the Snowy Mountains and through the beautiful Kiewa Valley to Melbourne.

Qantas (OneWorld) goes N.Y., L.A. or San Fran to Sydney or Melbourne. A long trip but you could break it in San Fran.

Here is a website of my good mates travel shop. He does lots of custom itineries and caters for all budgets. He has a base operation in the backpacker market but also has some pretty cashed up international clients and does corporate travel within Oz. Have a look at the site and drop him an e-mail. Stewart is one very helpful guy. He can cover the lot for you and is excellent at getting the best price.

Lets Travel Australia

Happy travels
Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #12 of 13
Kee Tov
10 to 14 is not very long, but all things are possible.
For starters you probably need to fly straight through to Cairns. Home-LA-Sydney-Cairns - must be about 30 hours! This is what we do when coming home from BC (Vancouver-Honululu-Sydney-Cairns). The LA connection leaves around 11:30pm and gets into Sydney the following morning (but two days later - you pick it up again going home) and allows you to get the domestic connection at about 11:30am to Cairns - another 2 to 3 hours up the road depending on the plane. Probably Qantas (One World) is the best way to go so that everything connects. Port Douglas is an hour up the coast, lovely scenic drive, with easy connections from the airport.
The short trip would be;
Day 1 - Arrive Port Douglas; sleep, walk enjoy seafood dinner at the Marina.
Day 2 - Quicksilver Catamaran to Arlington Reef. Nice big boat and these guys know how to do it with a big pontoon to snorkel and dive off.
Day 3 - Daintree Rainforest experience
Day 4 - Connection to Sydney
Day 5 -10 Do the Sydney thing maybe hire a car and drive down to Canberra and Thredbo for a day or two before going back to Sydney
Leave Sydney for LA about mid-morning and arrive LA same morning after 13 hour flight.
If you have 14 days you may want to put the Cairns-Ayers Rock-Sydney bit in the middle. One day to look at Ayers Roack and another to do the Olgas. They are big rocks to. Many say more spectacular than Ayers Rock.
As for cost, don't know what it would be from your end but we have just booked a round trip Cairns-Sydney-LA-Vancouver-Kelowna and back for approximatley $US1120 per person for the end of this year. (Can't wait and it is only June) Adding domestic legs to an international ticket can sometimes be very cheap.

[ June 03, 2002, 01:22 AM: Message edited by: nomad ]
post #13 of 13
OK Keetov - more places to research

No order to this

Valley of the Giants(WA)
Geike Gorge(WA)
Katherine Gorge(NT)
Litchfield NP
Bungle Bungles
Wilsons Promontory(VIC)
Cape Leeuwin(WA) & the Jewel Cave there(longest straw stalactite in the world)
Blue Mountains(NSW)- including Katoomba
Kimberlies(WA) -including Argyle Diamond mine
Gibb River Road area(WA)
Flinders Ranges(sA)
Broken Hill & district(NSW)
Coonawarra(yummmm - red wine)(SA)
Rutherglen(VIC- NE)(yummm reds & dessert wines)
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