Trip of a lifetime Mk2

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Trip of a lifetime Mk2

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Old 09-24-2009, 08:21 AM
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Trip of a lifetime Mk2

Having 'done' the east coast last year, we are once again toying with the idea of another trip to Australia. This time taking in some of the bits we didn't see last time. We are thinking of perhaps flying in to Perth, taking the Indian Pacific train to Adelaide and if it's possible driving to Sydney before flying out. We are flexible on times and could spend up to 6 weeks doing all this. My questions are

a. What would be the best time of year to come avoiding all major school holidays and giving us the best weather?

b. How long does it take to travel from Perth to Adelaide on the Indian pacific and is it worth the cost?

c. Is the drive feasible from Adelaide to Sydney and how long should we realistically allow?

d. Failing that would we be better cutting out the Indian Pacific, perhaps fly Perth to Adelaide then onto say Melbourne and drive the last bit up to Sydney?

We had such a great time last year driving from Cairns to Brisbane we would love to have a similar experience before we get too old!

Last edited by janda; 09-24-2009 at 08:33 AM. Reason: spelling

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Old 09-25-2009, 04:24 AM
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The touring holidays can be a great way to go Janda, especially if prepared to take your time and concentrate on less area rather than whizz through too much.

With the way our weather can change, I'm not too keen to say come at a particular time but I'll just give some insights to the variations you can expect and attractions.

First of all, flying into Perth and out from other side is a sensible idea and you might be interested in looking at Welcome to, The World's Best Low-Cost Airline for they have very cheap flights from Stansted in the UK via KL to Perth and also to/from Melbourne and the Gold Coast, so if you can get a cheap budget flight from Spain across to the UK [and probably many seeing as Brits love Spain warmer weather I understand] you could put together a good deal.

With the budget airlines like airasia you just book separate legs and so it lends itself to flexibility of asian stopovers if you are interested, eg. you might consider flying into KL and then travelling down to Singapore.
Welcome To Tiger Airways fly Singapore to Perth and you will see that both airlines have many routes about asia ex KL or Singapore and on way back you could fly ex Sydney to Macau with Welcome to Viva Macau! Simply Different and then via ferry to Hong Kong get a flight back to KL.

But back to Australia and in flying into Perth, one of the regions big attractions is Wild Flowers of early Spring season, particularly in what they refer to as the SW of WA though it is more actually south/SE of Perth and they also have areas of them to the north of Perth and abundance will vary from season to season and though years have been somewhat drier recently, extra earlier warmth may bring them out earlier.
August or an early September start would be a reasonably safe start for that, and therein lies something of a dilemma re predictions as I alluded to.

For whereas September was selected as best time of the year for Olympic Games in Sydney and they had beautiful weather in 2000, who would have thought of:
Sydney sees red as dust storm hits NSW

But that kind of hopefully irregular weather aside, September/October is generally not too bad with usually cooler to milder weather, not too cold and yet hopefully missing the later Spring and early Summer storms that can develop [ but no guarantees!]

There are the Spring break school holidays:
Australian School Holidays Public holidays dates
but because of year end tests/examinations looming it is not a time of year that too many families are off holidaying and getting accommodation nor additional road traffic would be a problem.

Perth to Adelaide on the Indian Pacific is going to be a two night/one day trip and possibly fortunate from the one day aspect because scenery is going to be very monotonous, a huge ammount of red soil to be seen, the same type enshrouding Sydney and the nights on the IP can be something of a social affair with a lounge bar, piano included I think and a good opportunity to interact with other travellers, but that you can do with other road travels if you stop at cabins in caravan parks, most being very well equipped with outdoor BBQ facilities and also a great way to meet many Australian travellers who will be keen to learn of Spain and any other travels you have done while also giving you good localities/sights info on Australia - a bit like going to a Tapas[is it?] bar for chit chat.
Indian Pacific Timetable

If you fly into Perth, I would think allowing a couple of weeks would be great to see Perth itself, a lovely setting on the Swan River, Fremantle for a bit of history, Rottnest Island and the SW/SE.
Getting Around the South West - Tourism Western Australia

You could spend longer if you wanted to go further afield and you may want to look at doing a SE loop down to Maragaret River wine country, the inland forests and Albany and onto Esperance before driving up to Kalgoorlie.
And one option to explore would be instead of driving back to Perth, catch the IP at Kalgoorlie and the trip across to Adelaide would at least allow you to see something of the expanse that the outback is.

You may even be inspired to see more of it and you can get cheap flights with Tiger Airways from Adelaide to Alice Springs and tours from there to Uluru, Small Group adventure tours and travel throughout Australia and APT Australian Pacific Touring, Book Travel Online, Europe River Cruises, South Pacific Vacations, APT World Discoveries being examples of range available and early September not being too bad a time to visit.
Mind you, even Tiger flights on short time to flight date will not be as cheap as they could be.

If you did that, three weeks is still a reasonable ammount of time to have a look about Adelaide, [the best part to be seen enroute leaving via Gorge Road [couple of good wildlife parks in that area]to Chain of Ponds and north a little to Barossa Valley[o/n] before following the Adelaide Hills roads back south via Birdwood[National Moror Museum] and other small villages to Hahndorf[a good o/n stop] and the motorway through towards Murray Bridge and Princes Highway to follow the coast towards Victoria]

and then the drive to Melbourne, several days there and then onwards via the coast to Sydney if you so chose, the south coast of NSW being one the prettiest parts of Australia and if you loved Cairns to Brisbane you will also likely love the south coast though it is more temperate forrested rather than the tropical look of the north.
One area - Nature Coast Tourist - South Coast NSW, Australia

And the drive from Melbourne lends itself to meandering between a nix of coastal to hinterland and alpine beauty, more than a week easy to be spent.

Without doing the centre, four weeks is even better and perhaps a third trip at some stage in about May - July would be great to see the Red centre, the outback, the top end as we call Darwin and Kakadu and the ruggedness of the NW of WA.

If your touring style is to use a vehicle and stay in cabins at caravan parks or hotels, you'll get to see a good mix of people and there are some lovely older style hotels dotted all around Australia.
We call them Pubs - The Great Aussie loop < Pub Trails | G'day Pubs - Enjoy our Great Australian Pubs

And like the Caravan Park BBQ, the pub bar like a Tapas bar is where you can get to meet some of the local characters.

As to when you go:
. going earlier and the weather will be colder
. going a bit later and you may run into more storms though if you wanted to chance an early November arrival in Melbourne you could always go to the Melbourne Cup Carnival 2009 the Cup itself being the greatest horse race in Australia and one of the great ones on earth, a time of year when cultivated flowers [The Roses for Flemington especially] bloom and the Dandenong Ranges are alive with flower shows and Cherries are ripening.
National Rhododendron Gardens, Olinda, Attraction, Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges, Victoria, Australia
And www.parkweb. is a good site to find many of the Melbourne and State natural attractions.
. going later still and it'll be more likelihood of storms and hotter weather
. and into new year it's main Xmas holidays and summer and heat can take hold, accommodation and traffic more of an issue with bushfire danger rising.
. February and heat and bushfire danger is at its peak and countryside gets that burnt browned off look.

So if I was to make a recommendation, it would be either
September/October or October/November.

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