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Old 02-16-2019, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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Hello,

The title says it all. In June or July of 2020, we are planning a trip with 5 adults (ages 20-50) to Australia and New Zealand. So I'm starting to work out the logistics now.

The main cities we want to visit are

Auckland
Brisbane
Sydney
Melbourne
Perth

With a trip to see some of the outback while in one of the cities mentioned or while en route between them.

I'm hoping we can do this in 3-4 weeks.

Right now, I'm thinking of flying into Perth or Auckland one way and working our way across and then flying back out of Perth or Auckland. We are on the east coast of the USA, but will probably fly to the west coast for a day and then fly direct to Australia or New Zealand.

At one time, I thought about adding a stopover city such as Singapore for a couple of days, but it's looking like it might be better to just fly direct.

Any thoughts or ideas on airlines, routes, places to stay, how much time to stay in each city etc?

Thanks so much!
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:30 PM
 
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I wouldn't go to Auckland or Brisbane. The South Island of NZ is where you want to be heading. The outback is not close to any of those cities you've listed.

If it was me, I would do NZ South Island, Sydney, Melbourne, Great Barrier Reef, Uluru (for the "outback") and maybe Tasmania depending on time and interests. Distances are similar to the continental US so travel is long.
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Old 02-17-2019, 12:26 AM
 
Location: Brisbane
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Certainly doable in the time frame mentioned. Of course Perth is the outlier in terms of proximity. What is it that you want to experience in Perth?

Time in each city depends so much on your interests. They are just big modern cities much like in the States. If it were me, I would spend the bare minimum in each city to capture the "must sees" (whatever that means to you) and spend the rest of the time travelling to see the natural wonders of the country.

On NZ, I agree with BCC_1, if it were me I'd head to the South Island. But again it depends on your interests.
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Old 02-17-2019, 02:12 AM
 
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I'd knock Perth on the head, but consider The Kimberley region of WA and NT. Sydney would be a must, being the principle city, and one other location of choice but time is limited. (FNQ for example or Tasmania to experience something rather different) Australian cities are hardly must see's.


I've never been to South Island,NZ, but it would be my choice within that country as well. Was in Auckland, twice over past two years, okay but hardly essential.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:14 AM
 
Location: Australia
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As your visit will be in our winter you should consider going to Cairns, from where you can see the Reef. It is a beautiful time of the year up there. You can fly from there to Uluru (Ayers Rock) which is proper outback. I would leave out Brisbane and possibly Perth unless you have a particular reason (such as having people there to visit) where to go in NZ, as the others have said, depends on your interests. The South Island will be cold and it is a major ski destination. To get there you would probably need to go via Auckland but a couple of days there would be enough. Melbourne is a very nice city but it is chilly in mid winter, so depends on what you are wanting to see and do there. The Kimberley is amazing but it is a long way from most other places and very expensive. See it if the scenery interests you and you are prepared to spend the time and money.
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Placitas, New Mexico
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While i love Perth and Melbourne and have visited there numerous time, unless you love the buzz of big cities I think the logistics of getting there with your itinerary, and the fact that it is winter would lead me to suggest you skip them. Also Brisbane. I would agree with other posters, Cairn's and the Great Barrier reef are big draws, also Uluru. If you still want to consider NZ, then maybe Queenstown, if you are drawn to winter sports, winter landscapes and the like. Rather than Auckland. Queenstown has good air connections to Sydney and Melbourne.
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Old 02-17-2019, 01:15 PM
 
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I think you really need to hone down what you really want to SEE or are you just taking a general tour type trip to bum around each city just taking in what they offer.


The time frame you want is good if you like winter weather. Of course the north half of Australia, that's going to be the most pleasant time of the year IMO as I hate hot and humid weather. The southern half is going to be cool or cold at times. New Zealand in the north will be cool and the south island will have short days and even snow storms, depending on where you are or how the winter is.


In regards to New Zealand, Auckland is the business end of NZ. Unless you have business to transact there, it's a pretty boring city. Some of the North Island is scenic and easy enough to drive around. The South Island is more scenic, more tourist oriented and more fun. I always prefer the South Island for everything.


With Australia, the travel distances are significant and even though I like rural areas, much of rural Australia is flat, not all that great to look at and empty. So with all the places you want to go, the travel logistics are going to be much more important than New Zealand and you'll have to decide whether car, rail or air or a hybrid of all is going to work for you.
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Old 02-17-2019, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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Thanks for the ideas and suggestions so far! I figured people would tell me to skip one or two of these cities and spend more time elsewhere, but visiting cities is one of the main reasons I travel. I have a website where I photograph cities, so I would like to spent at least some time in each of these places even if I am not able to see all the attractions. Obviously I think we will spent the most time in Sydney, but the other cities may have to be shorter visits.

From what I have seen, Perth looks like a city we would really love. We like large, but easy to navigate cities with a high quality of life and Perth really seems to be a city we would enjoy even though it's so far. So I might spend only a day or two in a city like Brisbane and spend several days on the west coast.

For example, while we love Paris, we actually enjoy Rotterdam more on a trip last year. We prefer Amsterdam over London (even though London is amazing).

This is why I'm trying to fly into NZ and out of Western Australia (or vise versa) so we can work our way across without backtracking.

I still hope to have time to fit in at least some time in the more remote areas of New Zealand and Australia. We can just spend a day or two in Auckland and go to the South Island for a day or two.

However a true visit to the "outback" may be a challenge. Is Kangaroo Island worth a visit on the way to Perth?

Also, we are forced to travel in June or July. It doesn't seem like winter is all that bad there, but is there a better month of the two? Is the weather generally pretty clear with blue skies in the winter or is it lots of rain and overcast? Is the vegetation still relatively green?

Thanks again for any help.

Last edited by kcmo; 02-17-2019 at 09:57 PM..
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Old 02-17-2019, 10:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
Thanks for the ideas and suggestions so far! I figured people would tell me to skip one or two of these cities and spend more time elsewhere, but visiting cities is one of the main reasons I travel. I have a website where I photograph cities, so I would like to spent at least some time in each of these places even if I am not able to see all the attractions. Obviously I think we will spent the most time in Sydney, but the other cities may have to be shorter visits.

From what I have seen, Perth looks like a city we would really love. We like large, but easy to navigate cities with a high quality of life and Perth really seems to be a city we would enjoy even though it's so far. So I might spend only a day or two in a city like Brisbane and spend several days on the west coast.

For example, while we love Paris, we actually enjoy Rotterdam more on a trip last year. We prefer Amsterdam over London (even though London is amazing).

This is why I'm trying to fly into NZ and out of Western Australia (or vise versa) so we can work our way across without backtracking.

I still hope to have time to fit in at least some time in the more remote areas of New Zealand and Australia. We can just spend a day or two in Auckland and go to the South Island for a day or two.

However a true visit to the "outback" may be a challenge. Is Kangaroo Island worth a visit on the way to Perth?

Also, we are forced to travel in June or July. It doesn't seem like winter is all that bad there, but is there a better month of the two? Is the weather generally pretty clear with blue skies in the winter or is it lots of rain and overcast? Is the vegetation still relatively green?

Thanks again for any help.
As for Perth, it is not big. Certainly not the centre. (rather common feature with Australian cities) But it is very sprawling. The centre could be done in a little over a day, with metro attractions probably covered in three.
Perth is not an especially tourist 'must' city by any stretch. The time you are coming probably rules out beaches as well.


We do get many people from Europe coming to stay with us, during those months, (summer in Europe) and usually direct them out of Perth, after a few days, if experiencing the country is what they prefer to experience.


Nothing like Amsterdam, I city I have lived, and enjoy very much. Only less than half the size of Perth, but much, much more going on. Yep, I like Rotterdam as well.
London, can be amazing, but Perth lacks a city, metro vibe. In winter, it will be less going on. Don't expect much night life. Walkability is limited. Perth being one of the most auto focused cities on earth.


But if you insist of coming West, that time of year, a trip to Ningaloo Reef, over five days , probably wouldn't do less, though four is possible,(long drive though) would be an idea.


Yes Perth can be miserable in winter, cold nights (by local standards) and rain, or indeed you could be lucky and experience high 60's, low 70's and get a dip in the Indian Ocean. I have certainly been swimming on occasions, with foreign visitors, during these months.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:33 AM
 
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From an American who traveled many times to Australia, knowing very well with the timing involved, I'd skip Perth & Brisbane and focus on Sydney, Melbourne. It will be Aus winter then, so be prepared with Melbourne's weather, but it is an interesting city.

New Zealand is intriguing, you go all the way there, you might as well visit NZ, just having to deal with another currency etc. It is their NZ winter too so be aware of weather.
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