Australia/trip advice


G'day Ian
I wanted to run by our tentative trip plans.  We are coming for 40 days in mid September to end of October, flying into Sydney.  I plan to not see Sydney at first but catch a flight up to Brisbane and rent a car and stay there for several days.  then go North as far as Bundaburg in order to go to Lady Elliot island for 2 to 3 days.  I would then backtrack south on the coast and see the coast line (gold Coast et) as well as the Australian Zoo on down to the Sydney area.  I would then by-pass Sydney but spend a week or so in Blue Mountains then on South via the Snowy mountains to Melbourne (and seeing Canberra along the way) for a few days and do the Great Ocean road as well as the Penguin walk. Also seeing one of the "B" towns (Ballarat et) and perhaps the Grampians.
Then leave the car at the Melbourne airport and fly to Sydney for 4 to 5 days before flying home.
what would you think of that itinerary as I am not going far enough North to see the Whitsundays but it sounds like as long as I have sampled the Great Barrier Reef at Lady Elliot that it would be a long drive (time needed) to do the Whitsudays also.

If we did the Great Ocean Road we end up about 1/2way to Adelaide would you go ahead and go on to Adelaide (we weren't planning to as we figured it would push it too much)

Although we could come back from Melbourne to Sydney via car on the A1 highway along the ocean we figured after the coast from Brisbane to Sydney and the Great Ocean Road that route would be a let down and to save time it would be best to fly back from Melbourne to Sydney
while we like wineries we have seen enough to satisfy us.   
Although Perth and the interior and Darwin/far North sound fun it sounds like it would be pushing it too much to consider those even if we did the train (Gahn/Indian Pacific) or flew.
Anyway, just wanted to get you thoughts on any other must see sights and whether you feel this is not biting off too much (or perhaps not enough)
If we did some time in the Blue Mountains would the Grampians or Snowy mountains seem to be a let down?
thanks much

Wow, you've set me a task here!
Try and do the best I can.
Firstly, great to see someone's actually put some thought into it, unlike the Sydney-Cairns-Uluru golden triangle as I call it.
Looking at your proposed itinerary, one thing you should really be aware of, if you like seeing gardens at all, is Floriade and the Southern Highlands - absolutely beautiful at this time of year.
If you do time in the Blue Mountains, Snowys won't be a let down but the Grampians might. Try not to miss Mount Wilson in the Blue Mountains and, if you check out my tips on, that will save me an hour's writing!  Highly recommend Grand Canyon and National Pass walks.
When coming back from Bundaberg, don't miss Montville and Maleny.  At the risk of harping on gardens, the Maleny Botanical Gardens are amazing, the aviary is never to be forgotten.
As for coast, northern N.S.W. is the best overall anywhere that I have seen.
If you like beaches, Crescent Head to Point Plomer is exceptional.
In the Snowys, don't overlook Yarangobilly Caves, Jersey is the best but make sure you book ahead.  There's also a brilliant thermal pool there.
A road in Victoria many overlook that is truly scenic is the Grand Ridge Road.  It goes through some of the prettiest rural scenery.
I leave it at that for the moment.
If you leave a message on virtualtourist, I'll get back to you.
Cheers, Ian


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Ian Smith


Very good knowledge of N.S.W. from beach to bush to Broken Hill. Have also travelled in a lot in Victoria, Queensland (to Townsville), Tasmania, South Australia and a few weeks in southern W.A. Used to be Hunter Valley Tourist Officer. Contact me for sights to see, not which disco or pub to recommend. Have also spent months in Europe, particularly the following: Italy, Germany, Spain, England, Scotland, Belgium, Holland, Austria and Czech Republic. I am a retiree and have a Winnebago Motorhome which I plan to use over the next few years (and have done some trips already).


I have surfed, raced motorcycles, ordinary cycles and a bit of fishing through much of the area as well as working there selling 5 days a week. I also have many photographs which I am currently working at putting on the computer. I have an extensive catalogue of where I've travelled at under "iandsmith".

Hunter Valley Veterans Cycling Club

REVS, Surfing World, Soccer Weekly, Australian Motor Cycle News, Womens Weekly.

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