1 month Australia, recommendations for route
Replies: 23 - Last Post: Mar 8, 2012 1:55 AM Last Post By: yikocat
Jan 9, 2012 4:31 PM
1 month Australia, recommendations for routeHi,
I plan to travel for more or less 1 month in Australia and I am searching now for some inspiration. So I hope to get some opinions about my route below like recommendations, alternative
options if something is not that interesting, ... from you guys :)
I am also curious which of the cities and beaches are really special and worth to spent more time. Very interesting for me is how much I have to calculate more or less for this whole trip
without the flight from home. I already figured out that Australia is really expensive but it's hard to tell how much this trip will approximately cost. Some recommendations for most
economic transportation along the road would be awesome.
Day 1: Flight to Alice Springs
Day 2: Ayers Rock Tour
Day 3,4,5: Drive to Adelaide over Flinders Ranges
Day 6,7,8: Adelaide, Kangoroo Island
Day 9,10,11: Drive to Melbourne over Great Oceans Road, Melbourne
Day 12, 13,14: Drive to Cranberra, Canbera, Namadgi-Nationalpark
Day 15,16,17,18: Sydney, Blue Mountains
Day 19,20: Byron Bay
Day 21,22: Brisbane
Day 23, 24: Fraser Island
Day 25,26,27 Drive to Cairns,, Cairns, 1 Day Great Barrier Reefs
Day 28,29,30: Flight Darwin, Darwin, Kakadu
Day 31: Flying home from Darwin
I would like to balance it kind of:
- Nature, adventure and wildlife tours 50%
- Cities, culture, nightlife 25%
- Sport & relax: beaches, swimming, surfing, diving, ... 25%
Hope that you guys can help me with these, thanks a lot :)
Jan 9, 2012 6:43 PM
You have packed in a LOT!! They are amazing things though, so I can imagine you'd want to do it all. But take into consideration the driving time between places... They are long, don't underestimate it. If you do want to do it all, maybe flying between certain places might save you a lot of time. The drive from Ayer's Rock to Adelaide is great, but very very long. And for example from Darwin to Kakadu and back is quite some hours. Besides that the national park is huge and you can easily spend 3-5 days there as opposed to the 1 or maybe 2 you've got now. Maybe have a day or 2 in Darwin instead and a day trip to Litchfield? Or spend more time in Darwin so you can visit Kakadu properly. And around Ayer's Rock there is so much more to see and do. I would definitely recommend going to King's Canyon as well!
It's probably do-able, but you'll be completely exhausted by the time you get home. And you won't have much time to do your swimming/diving/surfing that's for sure. I'd rather do a bit less and spend some more time for example in Cairns or Darwin. Maybe skip Canberra instead. Possibly skip Byron Bay for the 1 day you've got there (if you're lucky), if you're planning to drive the whole way from Sydney to Brisbane only to go there. You're better off flying instead and saving a fair bit of time and stress.
Your trip will cost a fair bit indeed because you'll have to get flights, tours and rental cars at different locations. Besides that, the petrol is not cheap and you'll be driving lots and lots.
Jan 9, 2012 7:22 PM
2I agree with the previous post, you are trying to do WAY too much. Look up the distances - Fraser Is to Cairns is 1200Km - that's the same as driving from London half way to Moscow! Ayers Rock to Adelaide is even further - 1800Km. Even Melbourne to Canberra is 660Km, so a whole day's drive (speed limit generally is 100Kph and that's on the freeways and highways, it's usually 60Kph on major roads in built-up areas). If you're not going to drive you've got to fly and that will add heaps to your costs. I'd suggest choosing one or two areas and take the time to really explore them. It will also depend what time of year you're intending to go. Roads can be closed for days in the wet season in the north, whereas winter in the south can get pretty chilly.
So reduce your itinerary and take time to really enjoy our gorgeous country - and come back another time to do a different area!
Edited by: helenalligatorcreek
Jan 9, 2012 8:33 PM
3I agree with both of the above- far too much in a month and you will wear yourself out and not be able to enjoy it properly with all that driving. Namadgi isn't really that much of a highlight (if you are going to the Blue Mountains) so one day should suffice in Canberra to see the sights.
Cut down the itinerary and spend some time enjoying the country at a relaxed pace
Jan 10, 2012 3:43 AM
4you can see a bit of everything in the state of Victoria. We have alpine scenery at 1800 M. , red dirt desert , outback rocks, white sand beaches, turquoise surf, rain forests,marsupials, urban food & cafe 'culture' , wineries, green farmlands, warm summers, cool winters and much more.
It would be wise to focus on one region which has the most diversity.
Jan 10, 2012 3:52 AM
5The most important bit of information missing from your post is the time of year you plan to be in Australia. Australia is a big country, and the climate varies from Alpine to tropical, with pretty much everything else in between. There are also times of the year when some of the places you mentioned would not be worth visiting.
When are you thinking of coming here (and don't say season, unless you specify hemisphere)?
Jan 10, 2012 3:32 PM
thanks for all your helpful answers, I appreciate your help and feedback :).
As requested here some more information:
I plan to travel around beginning of february till beginning of march. I know that my plans are ambitious, I hear this often when I plan my trips since I plan them usually very ambitious (last travel inside South America was 22.000km in 28 days). I prefer to plan it that way on purpose, to bring in a lot of diversity in nature/culture and to get a lot of feedback which places are really worth the pain to stay longer and which places are similar experiences to other places on the route or less exciting. Later on I can cut it down by skiping some
destinations with a longer distance flight (if I want to enjoy some special place in more depth).
To the way of transportation:
It is very hard to tell for me what is the best deal for transportation in Australia since I have no experience with traveling in Austrialia right now and it is very different in some continents I traveled so far. I will travel alone so renting a car is probably very expensive as I would like to travel in the most economic way but with seeing as much as possible. In Europe and South America I had good public transportation (even in remote destinations) and it's easy to get almost to every place. In North America in comparision the public transportation
was very poor there I used a rental car. So I am really curious to hear your opinions about Australia whats the best deal to get forward fast / cheap. I would like to do as much as possible with public transportation (prefered overnight buses for longer distances) and some of the remote destinations with 4WD tours. I also thought about car relocations like on http://www.standbyrelocations.com/ -> Hot Deals, as well as find some other travelers with car on the road to share transport expenses.
Some of my thoughts:
The mentioned route between Melbourne -> Sydney (let's assume I skip Canberra/Namadgi because it's not so special?) I would for example do with an overnight bus (there is one leaving Melbourne at 7pm and arriving in Sydney at 10.30am ~100$. Sydney -> Brisbane is the same thing I would do it in an overnight bus which leaves at 7pm and arrives at 10am ~100$ so I would have traveled half of the east coast already with almost no time lost at all and saved some money on the hostels :) Brisbane to Cairns I think I would do with an flight (there is a really cheap one from JetStar ~100 dollar => 7am to 9am means also almost the whole day for enjoying Cairns afterwards, in comparision a bus I found on the Greyhound website would be $343.79. Cairns -> Darwin would be also possible with a flight (170$). So I calculated the way from Melbourne to Darwin with about 1 day losing time (the nights in the bus I don't count because doesn't matter for me if I sleep in a bus or a hostel) which is already 3/4 of the planed distance.
So here some adaptions to the plan, skiping Canberra, flying more:
Day 1,2,3,4,5,6: 6 day Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, areas around, drive to Adelaide over Flinders Range
Day 7,8,9: 2 days Adelaide, 1 day Kangoroo Island
Day 10,11,12: 1day drive to Melbourne over Great Oceans Road , 2 full days Melbourne, leaving Melbourne at night
Day 13,14,15,16: 1 full day Blue Mountains, 3 days Sydney, leaving Sydney at night
Day 17,18,19,20,21,22: arriving in Brisbane early at morning, going 2 days Byron Bay (2hrs from Brisbane), 2 day tour Fraser Islands, 2 day Brisbane
Day 23,24,25 Flight to Cairns early at morning (7am-9am), 1 Day Great Barrier Reefs tour, 2 full days Cairns
Day 26,27,28,29,30: 1 day flight Darwin (since time of flight is bad (afternoon), 3day tour Kakadu, 1 day Darwin
Day 31: Flying home from Darwin
So if I do the math for cost calculation:
All the way from Melbourne to Darwin: 470$
Lets assume 20 nights in a hostel (I am not picky so lets assume 30-35$ per night which is the average for cities like Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney on Hostelworld, maybe some of them I can do also with Couchsurfing) ~500 - 600$
6day tour Alice Springs, Ayers Rock down to Adelaide -> no idea probably expensive
2day tour Fraser Island -> no idea
1day Diving Great Barrier Reefs -> probably also expensive
1day Tour Great Oceans Road -> try to do this with car sharing, find companions
But I am also very open for alternatives in my destinations.
What is really interesting for me is your opinion about the places I mentioned to get out the most diverse experience possible in the short time I can enjoy Australia. I don't necessary what do spent a lot of time on architecture in the cities. After seeing many cities gets really similar for me doesn't matter if I see the 20th big cathedral in Barcelona, Rome or Rio de Janeiro or the 10th nice bridge in New York, San Francisco or
Lisabon or the 10th nice city park ... It's more the real typical lifestyle about australian cities that would be fascinating for me like eating real special australian food/drinks, cities with great nightlife like hanging out in nice bars on the beach, seeing typical national celebrations, sports competitions, ...
Same thing applies to the beaches, it is totally sufficient if I see some of the most amazing ones with nice waves for surfing, a lot of scenery for diving, ... On the nature I would be fascinated by the best spots for seeing australian wildlife (like kangoroos, wombats, koalas, crocodiles, snakes, ...), as well as rainforests which I didn't see so far. I am also REALLY interested to get a feeling for aborigines culture, ceremonies, religion, art, ...
Jan 10, 2012 5:42 PM
7I wouldn't say skip Canberra entirely (it's an amazing city but I'm biased) it does have some very important sites in terms of the history of Australia and does split up the Sydney-Melbourne route quite nicely.
You definitely want a full day in the Blue Mountains though. Lots of good hiking up there
Jan 11, 2012 3:33 AM
8Good surf beaches on Great Ocean Road, Sydney and Byron Bay, and should be warm enough for all of them in February.
Don't catch the bus (or plane) all the way to Brisbane, then return to Byron Bay. You will waste both time and money. Buses from Sydney to Brisbane pass through Byron Bay (or nearby) and planes fly to the nearby Ballina/Byron airport.
February is not a good time for either Cairns or Darwin, as it is both cyclone and stinger season.
Jan 11, 2012 7:04 AM
9Don't bother with Darwin and Kakadu at that time of year. Its wet season and a lot of Kakadu won't be accessible.
It can be cheaper to fly Melb-Syd and Syd-Bris than bus, and a lot quicker. You can fly Sydney-Byron too.
You are still going too quick.
For example, Alice to Adelaide in 6 days is not enough to do anything more than scratch the surface. There are BIG drives in there. Lets say you spend a day in Alice, then a day getting to and seeing Ayers Rock, but then what about a day doing the marvellous Valley of the Winds walk in the Olgas and driving to Kings Canyon? It'll take a day to drive to Coober Pedy, another day to look around Coober Pedy, a day to drive to the Flinders Ranges, a day to do some walking in the Flinders Ranges then a day to get to Adelaide. So that's 8 days and its still going QUICK.
1 day for Kangaroo Island is not enough when its 3 hours each way from Adelaide - its a reasonably sized island. To see the wildlife and national park you need to plan 2 days minimum, even for a quick traveller.
1 day Adelaide to Melbourne via Great Ocean Road is mental. Its almost 13 hours of driving which means you basically won't have any time to see anything on the Great Ocean Road. Has to be 2 days at least. Better make it three days and stop in the Grampians National Park too.
That's just your first few entries. But the theme continues. You will miss a lot of great stuff by blasting through each State in a dustcloud.
Jan 11, 2012 5:06 PM
10Rottnest Island in WA and Wilson's prom in VIC have the best beaches IMHO.
Jan 12, 2012 9:08 PM
11The East Coast ( Cairns-Sydney ) is way more compact than NT and SA, ie. you'd see way more in 5 days there than driving from Alice to Adelaide. Have you considered taking the a train like the Ghan ( Adelaide-Darwin ), could be good way to take it all in.
Kakadu is amazing a scenic flight is an expensive but awesome way to see Arnhem Land you get a good idea of how bloody big and vast the region is, might be a good idea if you're time trapped and going near wet season.
I personally prefer the Whitsundays/Airlie Beach over Cairns and the dive sites are just as good and less boats. But yeah if you can spare more time you'll appreciate more how big and diverse this place is.
My oldies are planning a trip over spending 30 days; Darwin-Alice-Adelaide-Melbourne and allowing $20000 for the trip ( for domestic flights/trains/food/trips/basic accom. ) so it is pricey, and there's MASSIVE distances which has been stressed in the above posts. Enjoy your time here, you can pack a lot into your trip in Queensland ( my favourite state and possibly the most diverse ).
Musafir, sorry mate but saying Rottnest Island has the best beaches is an insult to the rest of Western Australias' coast line. There's like 3000km of way better beaches over here, look further next time.
Jan 14, 2012 8:58 AM
12Would discount driving since fuel cost will kill your budget. go online and chaeck out GRAET SOUTHERN RAILWAY i got the AUSTRAIL pass since i come from canada got it online a 6 month pass i went to all your places mentioned on that pass. by train some trips overnight so slept in the recliner red kangaroo class. join hostel asociation and present yourself as a backpacker i did even though close to 70 raised a few eyebrows but what the heck it saved me a bundle and i travelled australia to my heart content. alice you must visit lots of hostels so no worries just book them online to get your space sate librarie shave free use computers which i found handy. darwin a great place to visit as well. you can go wherever you want on that pass even has coach link i used to go to the snowy river stayed at hostels all the time. you book your trips by phone on the pass check it out its a graet bargain plus you know your trip to darwin is covered and paid for.AUSTRAIL covers the east coast as well as perth etc. melbourne sydney adelaide you will find out when you check the itineray. not avail;able for aussies to buy just overseas backpackers pass JOIN hostel association for sure.
Jan 15, 2012 3:37 PM
Jan 15, 2012 7:01 PM
14Koala Hostels/Adventures are all over the East Coast and most their sites offer camping as well as hostel accomodation, think they do discount passes etc. They have good package deals and have an awesome campsite in the Daintree and their 'Pride of Airlie' sailing trip is one of the best in the Whitsundays ( You stay on an island as opposed to on the yacht ).
(5 star Hotel)
From US$269.30 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$176.45 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$204.88 per night