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Discussion Starter #1
Question for our Australian compatriots:

Looking at a trip to Eastern Australia and I wanted to see if any forum members had any suggestions as to when and where (with the wife alas so no biking). Concentrating more on natural areas/ parks/ small towns vs. the big cities. I know it's a big country but any suggestions would be appreciated. We did New Zealand 10 years ago (pre- earthquake/ volcanoes).
 

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Depends a lot on the time of year as to where you go

https://500px.com/macdoc/galleries

Dry season ...you don't want to miss Yellow Water ..in the north end south of Darwin.

https://kakadutourism.com/trip-planning/tours-activities/yellow-water-cruises/yellow-water-cruise/

The only park in the world afaik that has a complete river system from source to out to sea.
Lots of other stuff in the top end too Katherine Gorge is spectacular ....

Be very careful with car rentals ....it's not unlimited and the distances are long.

Wet season FUGEDABOUD it.

We are in Cairns - 1600 km north of Brisbane and on the East coast and it's generally lovely between April and Sept.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/euDHcdtagQtV8zrd6
It's where to go for the Great Barrier Reef ...spending a night on the reef is once in a lifetime adventure.
https://www.sunlover.com.au/great-barrier-reef-experiences/sunlover-by-starlight

https://www.australia.com/en-ca/places/cairns-and-surrounds/guide-to-cairns.html

You can catch Uluru up that end as well ) Alice Springs as base. Happy to help you plan.
Accommodations can be brutal and expensive ...we rented a camper van for a week and that worked out well for us.
You can catch Kings Canyon as well.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ZXXJbGwXcMGDRonL9


You reallllllly need a lot of time ..I'll leave the south to others...
 

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How long do you intend to be here. I'd have thought that Darwin and Uluru are off the table because of time.

Go to Google maps and stay mostly inland and AWAY from S.H.1 (M1). Return to the coast for things like a trip to the Great Barrier Reef etc.
April to September is best, although cooler down south. I am inland from Brisbane and the last 10 days have all been 93F to 106F. The next 10 days at least are predicted to be the same.

Cairns to Melbourne is 3,000kms direct, with no detours.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As we're in the early planning stages no duration is set. We spent 3 weeks in Scotland (a much smaller place!) so probably ~4 weeks. I realize that we can't do it all but would appreciate any suggestions (i.e. don't miss ____ whatever happens!)
Thanks for all the suggestions so far.
 

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What part of OZ will you arrive at and how will you get around when you arrive, car, train, plane, 4x4 ?

What sort of accommodation will suit you best, EG: 4 to 5 star or pubs with shared bathroom facilities ?

As you said it is a big place and getting around takes time.

What things interest you, sand & surf, night life, wine, food, nature & wildlife ………..

My bride & I love the beach so the major parts of our holidays are spent on the coast but we get there via the inland routes like wineries and older, smaller towns & by Vstrom.

On the coast and around our big wineries are far more expensive than the rural areas & our bush is doing it tuff so they would love for you to spend some of your hard earned cash in their towns.
 

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You will have to do some of the touristy things - if you get to the gold coast visit the marina at Sanctuary Cove and take a ride and tour on the old wooden tourist boat to see the millionaires mansions and super yachts.
Away from the main centres every town has some version of a founding settlers museum with explanations of why they settled there.
Then there's the pubs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What part of OZ will you arrive at and how will you get around when you arrive, car, train, plane, 4x4 ?

We have no constraints at this point on where we fly in (or out)
We normally drive a rental car but would consider a campervan

What sort of accommodation will suit you best, EG: 4 to 5 star or pubs with shared bathroom facilities ?

We typically stay at a modest hotel or an AirBnb

As you said it is a big place and getting around takes time.

What things interest you, sand & surf, night life, wine, food, nature & wildlife ………..


National Parks, interesting towns, wineries, etc.

My bride & I love the beach so the major parts of our holidays are spent on the coast but we get there via the inland routes like wineries and older, smaller towns & by Vstrom.

On the coast and around our big wineries are far more expensive than the rural areas & our bush is doing it tuff so they would love for you to spend some of your hard earned cash in their towns.
Thanks again for any suggestions
 

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I reckon a week in Cairns, a week in Brisbane, a week in Sydney and a week in Melbourne.

If you get to Cairns you'll be amazed at the reef and the range behind.

At Brisbane you can stay on the Sunshine Coast or Gold Coast. From the Gold Coast you can enjoy the beaches and hinterland. Nth NSW is beautiful.

At Sydney you can do Manly, the harbour and all the art galleries museums etc

At Melbourne it is a very different city, but also has beautiful coastline, east and west of Melbourne and ofcourse the Great Ocean Road. Bush, beautiful countryside and goldmine towns are in pretty easy access from Melbourne.

In places like Cairns and Gold Coast you can hire 'rent a wrecks' rather than the major hire car companies.
 

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Port Douglas is my favourite destination and I like to hire a 650 Strom while I'm there but it seems now you must hire them from Cairns not Port.


If you like to get wet/swim and are visiting northern OZ check you are not visiting during stinger season, it can complicate things.

Also check the wet season for your desired destination, if you like it hot stay north if you like it cooler head south.
 

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When? The fires have devastated much of the bush, Total burnt area roughy equal to the of West Virginia but spread over several states.
 

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"Looking at a trip to Eastern Australia and I wanted to see if any forum members had any suggestions as to when and where (with the wife alas so no biking). Concentrating more on natural areas/ parks/ small towns vs. the big cities. I know it's a big country but any suggestions would be appreciated. We did New Zealand 10 years ago (pre- earthquake/ volcanoes)."

The first thing I would ask is what interests do you and your wife have? How do you intend to travel in Australia? How long will you be here? Are you more into free/low cost attractions or paid attractions? Where would you stay (accommodation [level] or camping) and what costs do you expect? What time of year will you be here?

If you want to and have the time, if you look at my photos at Doug Mullett's collections on Flickr, that will give you an idea of what parts of the country I've been to and how I saw USA, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, Scandinavia, Turkey, Egypt and New Zealand. That may help you decide whether what I say is helpful or not.

Don't be put off by the fact we have bushfires at the moment. There's a lot of country unaffected and many places which will welcome tourists as they seek to rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Again thank you for your collective input. It seemed like the brush fires really took off right after I posted my inquiry so I was concerned about traveling.

"The first thing I would ask is what interests do you and your wife have? How do you intend to travel in Australia? How long will you be here? Are you more into free/low cost attractions or paid attractions? Where would you stay (accommodation [level] or camping) and what costs do you expect? What time of year will you be here?"

Our interest primarily involve natural areas, small towns, less so big cities
We normally rent a car (but it's obviously a big country so we may wind up flying between areas)
3 weeks or so, duration is not fixed (semi-retired)
I won't say money is no issue but if we can afford to get there we can afford to pay
We normally stay at modest AirBnb, etc. locations, no camping (unless it would be a campervan which we've never done).
As far as time of year- I'm open to suggestions as I don't know when would be optimum- we're not limited to normal vacation periods (we had our own minor [by comparison] skirmish with fires in 2016 so I'm happy to wait until after fire season- also- we get about 150 cm of rain a year so some precipitation doesn't bother me).
 

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If you want to and have the time, if you look at my photos at Doug Mullett's collections on Flickr, that will give you an idea of what parts of the country I've been to and how I saw USA, Canada, Western Europe, Japan, Scandinavia, Turkey, Egypt and New Zealand. That may help you decide whether what I say is helpful or not.
Hey Douggie,

You might not wish to remember but I just got an email from the Moto Trekkin tour people re their upcoming Hunter Valley to Gold Coast tour.

The email version is far more extensive. https://www.mototrekkin.com.au/info-kit/Event-Info-Kit_Ridge-Rider_2020.pdf
Warning. You feature on page #11. You may not wish to be reminded. 😢
 
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