3 week itinerary with family of four in Australia
Replies: 8 - Last Post: May 14, 2013 3:39 AM Last Post By: nawlins
May 13, 2013 10:16 AM
3 week itinerary with family of four in AustraliaWe are looking at a possible trip to Australia in March 2014. We have two kids-ages 14 and 11. Pretty adventurous and travel a lot. Any help with itinerary/accomodation/flights would be greatly appreciated! We will be coming from Toronto. We are also open to apartment rentals as we're both chefs and cooking isn't a big deal some of the time.
Never been to Australia so open to any and all suggestions.
Thanks in advance!
May 13, 2013 5:44 PM
1Whats your budget like?
There is a Crowne Plaza at Coogee, the bees knees, expensive, but it seems the place to be, and its more an apartment sort of place, rather than a hotel.
Reachable by bus from the city centre of Sydney.
Maybe a few days there, then fly off to Uluru (Ayers Rock), then back to the east coast for either Melbourne or Adelaide (Kangaroo Island/Adelaide Hills)...
Or you might want Darwin for the hot humid weather, or Queensland, for a bit more humid than Sydney, but not weather hot.
Darwin is the only Australian city I have not been to... (or Alice or Ayers), but I have been to all the rest.
Sydney is the most interesting, if any of the kids are history buffs, Melbourne has a wider free tram network in the city centre, Sydney now only has its free bus route (pretty smallish in the city centre)... whereas Melbourne's free city circle tram goes a bit wider out (near Docklands).
May 13, 2013 5:56 PM
2Pricey, its $274.67 per night, at the Crowne Plaza Coogee, but its two double beds, some places might need to take an interconnecting rooms for 4 people...
You could could probabally find something slightly cheaper at Olympic Park, the old venue of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
For that one, you can get the train from the city, rather than the bus.
If hubby is confident driving the "other way", maybe renting a car and spending more time in NSW might be ok to do.
OR you could consider taking a 4 berth room at Railway Square YHA in the city centre of Sydney, which might be a bit cheaper than the Crowne Plaza.
As for flights, it might be cheaper to get an airline that goes from Canada to Australia, via northern Asia, say Taiwan or Korea, rather than the US ones that are linked to Qantas or Virgin.
I have not done the intenational route you are planning, but just one thing to say, join Qantas if you want that, or of their affiliates FF program or Delta linked to Virgin, ...
Maybe fly via Kuala Lumpur (MAS) if you want to, less time in Australia, but gives the kids a wider exposure to the world, and yes, the holiday will end up more expensive.
May 13, 2013 6:26 PM
May 13, 2013 6:48 PM
4Flying from Canada via the US with Delta & Virgin to Aust, total just short of Cnd$10,000 flights only.
Seen from the Delta website, test flight month is October this year. flying out about the 4/5/6 and back to Canada end of that month.
This is pricing for 4 adults, if you go to a travel agency, they could probably price it cheaper for the two kids under 18.
Add on hotels, as it a package, it might be cheaper overall rather than booking flight and accomodation separately.
Qantas with American Airlines, comes up a tad over Cnd$10,000 for all, taking into account 3 adults & 1 child, (cut off age is 11) with them.
You will all need ETA (Australia does not do Visa on Arrival).
Ok, that its from me.
May 13, 2013 10:14 PM
5Just a couple of my take on a couple of things, and please remember these are just my personal views on a few things.
Firstly i would say that March is not a perfect time to travel between hemispheres, i would have gone for mid April/May or mid September/October, and remember the far North of the country is fairly tropical and can be quite humid at times.
And as i have traveled a fair bit in Australia, here is my take on its state capitals..........
I would say that being from Toronto you should forget Darwin completly.
Brisbane is a pleasant city based on the Brisbane river, that to me is very spread out, and does to me have the feel of a large country town rather than a city, but it is the centre of Australia's fastest growing region, and it is blessed with a great climate and a great life style.
Sydney is Australia's largest city and its birth place, it is were i live and has a very hedonistic life style, and we endlessly talk about its harbour, fine beaches, Opera house, great location and i suppose the closest we Australians have to a big world city, but too me is is like a puppy waging its tail and hoping for a pat on the head..................Very cute to look at, and seems that it needs to be told it is too.
Melbourne to me is the most european city we have, with its trams, it alfesco dining, endless lanes and small streets it is far, far more interesting that Sydney for me, a far more assured more grown up place than Sydney, with the best shopping in Australia and is foodie heaven, but sadly it does not have the beauty that Sydney has, or the beaches.
Adelaide for me is way, way the most boring of all our capitals, and is the only state capital that was not a penal settlement, and it does reflect its very staid past i guess, but in saying that the city is a great jumping off point to all the attractions that surround it, like the wine growing regions, Kangaroo island, the Adelaide hills and further afield the Flinders Ranges, perhaps South Australia has more to see than any other state.
Hobart is the capital of the island state of Tasmania, and the smallest and with the proud boast of being the greenest, most underdevoped of all Australian states. A place of history full of convict built sandstone buildings and very proud of its produce it sells from all over Tasmania, and as some would say a different part of Australia.
Perth for me is very much like a small version of Sydney, it for me a place with a very hedonistic life style, but more laid back and i have really enjoyed my visits there, but for me it is also like Sydney and its state it is not as compact as you would like.
May 14, 2013 2:25 AM
6It depends on what you want to see and do! Do you like cities or do you fancy an adventure and get out into the bush and see what you don't have in Canada?
I have lived in WA, Perth and the bush and know Sydney well too and reiterate what #5 said. I live in the UK now but regularly travel back to see family and friends and have discovered a lot more in my holidays. I'd go in April/May rather than March, will be very hot, if you can.
If you want to do something you can't do in Toronto, I'd include Perth on your itinerary and hire a car and drive north to Exmouth, and Ningaloo Reef (far nicer than the GBR and less touristy) - from April onwards you can swim with whale sharks and dugongs and snorkel the reef, which is close to shore so no boat needed to get you there. En route you can stay at Shark Bay and Monkey Mia and paddle with dolphins. Back in Perth, stay in Fremantle for its history, restaurants and markets plus god beaches, the marina and great fish! But coming from Canada, fly to Sydney, spend a week there including a two day trip to the Blue Mountains, then fly to Perth because then you get a a great contrast.
But Australia is very expensive for the tourist at the moment and any budget you think is right, double it!
May 14, 2013 3:30 AM
7I too am traveling from Toronto to Australia. I am heading there in November 2013. I watched the various flight sites online, and was checking out Flight Centre and looking at their various flights and noticed that most have connecting stops. I had been watching them for a few months and then I noticed one day that the prices had dropped. On a whim I checked out Air Canada and low and behold they have a direct (ish) flight from Toronto to Sydney. (It lands in Vancouver, then heads to Sydney) and I was lucky enough to catch a seat sale.
I would sign up for all the email alerts etc that you can from the various flight companies and sites and then hopefully you can get a decent flight.
I to am looking for accommodations in Sydney. I checked out a couple of sites that you might be interested in. VRBO.com and Airbnb.com both apartment type rental places. You might be able to find decent apartments for around $1000 a week or less.
May 14, 2013 3:39 AM
8As an Australian who travels regularly (including Toronto and London, Ontario to visit family) I would have to suggest you do some homework and decide what you'd like to see and in which sort of events you'd like to participate. By way example, on my first trip to Toronto in 1989, I wanted to (i) see a Bluejay's game while eating at the Hard Rock Hotel in the stadium, (ii) visit a Roland Emmett exhibition at the Science Museum, and (iii) see both PATH and the tram system. This was pre-internet of course, but they were my must do's!
So in Australia, in March, you should consider in no particular order:
- Great Barrier Reef
- the alps
- the beaches (suburban in Sydney, Great Ocean Road in Melbourne etc.)
- the outback (the greater part of QLD, SA, NT and WA)
- Ayer's Rock
- Tasmania (yes, the whole island state)
- basketball finals
- Aussie rules football
- soccer (football)
With kids of that age (we have a 13 year old and just spent two months in Europe and USA), there are three theme parks in Queensland on the Gold Coast, an hour south of Brisbane. On the Great Barrier Reef, the tours to the reef would fill in a day (and perhaps cripple the wallet!) - I personnalyt suggest Wavelength who we used last time.
And from my daughter:
- theatre in Sydney and Melbourne; several professional shows and several amateur shows available at any time (we saw the world premierre non-professional Phantom on Sunday and we're off to Sweeney Todd this weekend)
- museums, particularly science museums in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne
- special exhibitions
- ferries in Sydney
- probably not trams in Melbourne since you're from Toronto!
- preserved steam trains, e.g. Puffing Billy in Melbourne's Dandenong Ranges
Have fun - it's a great place!
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