Who can help us with our honeymoon planning?

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Philipp
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Re: Who can help us with our honeymoon planning?

Post by Philipp » 06 July 11 7:57 am

*BaJo* wrote:What do you recommend if we have only 6 weeks?
- Add the Grampians. Absolutely worth it
- Plan only half a day for Melbourne (not much to see anyway except for freaky nightcaches)
- Skip Phillip Island >> You can do a whale/dolphin/seal/penguin watching tour in Narooma. One trip and you see all of them
- Add Narooma
- Skip Canberra - I never met a traveller who didn't say it was a waste of time (Sorry guys @ACT)
- Add Australia Zoo http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos- ... 9714_n.jpg
- Skip Uluru. I know it is an Australian icon but it takes of almost a week of your schedule

We also had 6 weeks and we didn't stay longer than 3 nights in the same place. That was in Lennox head but that meant we had to stretch the last bit of our trip = 700 km of driving to Cairns in one night.
*BaJo* wrote:How long do you think we need in weeks to our route in a comfortable way?
If comfortable means staying in every place at least two nights, not driving too much in between and having enough time for some caching detours: I'd reckon at least 12 weeks incl. Uluru, Grampians, Phillip Island, Fraser Island and a Whitsunday Cruise.

And some other thoughts:
- Book the 4WD for Fraser Island and the cruise for the Whitsundays well in advance so you can fit it into your schedule. Last minute adjustments mean missing out on something else
- avoid the "riverside tourist park" in Rockhampton http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos- ... 3882_n.jpg

belken
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Re: Who can help us with our honeymoon planning?

Post by belken » 06 July 11 1:42 pm

*BaJo* wrote:
Taiko'sFamily wrote:I would probably go to a wildlife park instead of all the way out to Dubbo Zoo. You can visit any zoo and see lions etc. Wildlife parks will get you closer to Aussie animals. Check out Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney for example. Jenny
Jo* loves tigers soo much. Therefore we would like to go to Dubbo Zoo.
I would miss the Dubbo zoo as well. That $495 at Dreamworld becomes better when you take off the entry to the zoo and the fuel to get there. I have been at the Dubbo zoo through recreation and work 3 times and seen the tigers once. I had to wait a long time for them to get up and move around.

The photo at Dreamworld takes 4 people. Find another couple and you only need $250 and the Jo can actually touch one.

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Re: Who can help us with our honeymoon planning?

Post by roundcircle » 06 July 11 2:39 pm

belken wrote:
*BaJo* wrote:
Taiko'sFamily wrote:I would probably go to a wildlife park instead of all the way out to Dubbo Zoo. You can visit any zoo and see lions etc. Wildlife parks will get you closer to Aussie animals. Check out Featherdale Wildlife Park in Sydney for example. Jenny
Jo* loves tigers soo much. Therefore we would like to go to Dubbo Zoo.
I would miss the Dubbo zoo as well. That $495 at Dreamworld becomes better when you take off the entry to the zoo and the fuel to get there. I have been at the Dubbo zoo through recreation and work 3 times and seen the tigers once. I had to wait a long time for them to get up and move around.

The photo at Dreamworld takes 4 people. Find another couple and you only need $250 and the Jo can actually touch one.
Whilst you can get really close to the tigers at DreamWorld, and for a bit extra get you photo taken with them and touch them, they are effectively domesticated. The tigers at Dubbo are in a large open range zoo, so they are close to wild. At Dubbo you may find you don't get to see them that well.

Someone previously suggested you add a few big drive days, to cover some ground. I'd suggest driving direct from Melbourne to Sydney, or Canberra, in a day. You'll need a few days where you do more than 200km / day. You should use an average travel speed of 75km/h, or 80km/h to calculate travel times. This allows for road works and towns.

The trip you have planned could easily consume 6 months. Sounds to me like your at the point where you'll need to make some choices, as you can't do everything. Keep in mind that if you have a few days at the beginning and the end in a hotel, you'll really be doing the travel in closer to 5 weeks.

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Re: Who can help us with our honeymoon planning?

Post by *BaJo* » 06 July 11 5:23 pm

Yesterday we made a detailed plan of our journey.
It is now for 50 days and 6.250 km of driving. We think this is possible to have in this way a relaxed holiday but see also a lot of Australia.

So now we have to determined which caches we absolute would like to do. This is a next step of investigation.

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Re: Who can help us with our honeymoon planning?

Post by Bundyrumandcoke » 06 July 11 6:57 pm

Bajo

For your cache planning, look at my post, 7th from the top, in this thread, about searching for caches using our postcode system. http://forum.geocaching.com.au/viewtopi ... 18&t=16104

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Re: Who can help us with our honeymoon planning?

Post by belken » 06 July 11 8:14 pm

*BaJo* wrote:Yesterday we made a detailed plan of our journey.
It is now for 50 days and 6.250 km of driving. We think this is possible to have in this way a relaxed holiday but see also a lot of Australia.

So now we have to determined which caches we absolute would like to do. This is a next step of investigation.
You could always hire a bigger camper and then hire me to drive it and you. :wink:

I will swag it outside so not to spoil the honeymoon part of course.

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Re: Who can help us with our honeymoon planning?

Post by *BaJo* » 07 July 11 4:54 am

We were just looking to the
Taronga Zoo in Sydney itself - adults $44
Australia Zoo in Beerwah - adults $59
Western Plain Zoo in Dubbo - adults $46
We are complaining about the prices of our zoo's, and the most expensive one is not more than $35.


So is Australia in general so expensive?
What costs for example:
a) a normal dinner for two
b) a pound of steak or chicken
c) a bottle of beer
d) a loaf of bread

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Re: Who can help us with our honeymoon planning?

Post by *BaJo* » 07 July 11 5:50 am

Maybe we do not say it every time, but we are really happy with all your postings.

Until yesterday we have made this version of our journey (which is in Dutch, but for sure you can understand it for the most part):
Image

With all given suggestions we are thinking about:
- not to visit Philip Island but Narooma
- we still hesitate about which Zoo we would like to go, because when we take the one in Dubbo, we see also some part of the inland and not only the coast.

We have made a new map, which you find here:
http://maps.google.nl/maps/ms?msid=2135 ... ,57.084961
- blue = visiting
- red = probably not
- green = thinking about adding to trip

Has someone ideas for place to visit between:
- Fraser Island and Airlie Beach (because there is a big gap)
- Willson Promontory NP - Canberra - Huskisson

Thanks again

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Re: Who can help us with our honeymoon planning?

Post by Bundyrumandcoke » 07 July 11 9:22 am

Can I suggest, you are doing a bit of backtracking around the Canberra-Sydney-Dubbo area. You could go Melbourne-Wilsons Prom-Canberra-Dubbo-Blue Mountains-Sydney then up the coast to Byron Bay.
The Fraser Island to Airlie Beach leg- about 800km, has a lot to see. Thats around my old area. Make the detour into Bundaberg to see where Bundaberg Rum, an iconic Queensland and Australian made rum is made. Hervey Bay just outside of Maryborough is also worth a look, very pretty coastal city- and if they are running at that time of the year, go on a whale watching boat tour. Gladstone is a large industrial city- but still nice in itself. The many and varied industries themselves ate the attraction here. Watch out for the huge coal trains transporting coal from inland mines for export from Gladstone. Yeppoon and the Capricorn Coast are worth visiting- east of Rockhampton, also the Capricorn Caves- at the town of The Caves, just north of Rockhampton, are worth looking at. For a bit of a detour, you could head inland from Rockhampton to Emerald for a different perspective of the Australian way of life- agriculture and mining play a big part in life out here- possibly also visit the Gemfields and look for Sapphires. Then head north from Emerald to Clermont, Moranbah, Nebo and back on the highway north at Mackay to Airlie Beach.

YUou will find that if you are fairly self sufficant in a camper, there are a few options for places to stay. At Gin Gin, west of Bundaberg, there is a large rest area popular with campers, free camping, with toilets on site. Same at Granite Creek, between Gin Gin and Miriam Vale, Same at Calliope River, west of Gladstone. If you go straight up from Rockhampton to Mackay, free camping available at Waverley Creek or Clairview. Or if you come west from Rockhampton, Blackdown Tableland NP, between Dingo and Blackwater has good paid camping.

Now, regards your question about costs of living, is hard to compare prices with overseas, but Fuel- budget around $1.50-1.70 a litre, meat from a supermarket- around $8-15 a kilo depending on the cut and where bought from, Chicken- $10 for a cooked chook- similar for uncooked breast fillets, Milk say $1-1.50 a litre, Loaf of bread- say $2-2.50 a loaf, Beer about $15 for a six pack of 375ml bottles or cans, a night out for dinner for 2- from say $25-30 and upwards for the 2 of you.

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Re: Who can help us with our honeymoon planning?

Post by Taiko'sFamily » 07 July 11 10:58 am

The Blue Mountains leg (which is where I live) is easy to get around without an organised tour (save some pennies). There is a caravan park in Katoomba, or for free camping see Bulls Camp Rest Area in Woodford or Sutton Park rest area in Blackheath, or Perrys Lookdown in Blackheath is a little more remote. I'm sure there are others too.

Then in Katoomba there are 2 companies that do hop on and off bus trips that stop at the major tourist locations. Like the 3 sisters.
http://www.explorerbus.com.au/
http://www.trolleytours.com.au/

This is well worth it as the bus comes around every hour and saves you the bother of driving and parking.

Make sure you don't miss this
http://www.scenicworld.com.au/

Also go to Wentworth Falls, spectacular waterfall.

There are plenty of caches around, Rogerw3 has a series of views caches that are usually recommended.
Not sure of your travel dates but there is usually a get together event on here in mid May.
Jenny

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Happy Chappies
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Re: Who can help us with our honeymoon planning?

Post by Happy Chappies » 07 July 11 2:36 pm

I'd also suggest on your Melbourne leg to skip the Dandenongs - Since you're visiting the Grampians and Wilsons Prom already, the Dandenongs won't add much. They're not that amazing really - they just tend to be a day-trip/afternoon tea excursion for locals, but it's really just forest and hills. You'd be better of spending that extra time just exploring Melbourne city. If you cached your way around town you'd discover an awful lot of interesting, quirky places and have a much better experience (in my view) of Melbourne.

I'll also echo other people's comments that that's a LOT of travel for the time you've got. I really do understand the desire to see everything, but with that schedule you run the risk of getting too little time in most places and seeing most of Australia through a car window than actually engaging with it - especially if you want to cache as well. Some of those days of driving are huge and you'll be exhausted and need time to recover. At the risk of offending our South Australian friends (and I don't do that lightly as I'm a SA boy myself!), you might be better off to start in Melbourne and head up the coast from there at a slightly more leisurely pace. It'll feel like a sacrifice now, but I think you'll have a better experience.

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Re: Who can help us with our honeymoon planning?

Post by roundcircle » 07 July 11 10:11 pm

When you go from the Grampians to Apollo Bay, you'll need to go via Warrnambool to see the 12 Apostles. Your itinerary won't allow any time in the Grampians, but your going to have to accept that if you want to cover the distance.

I'd suggest you visit the Cape Otway Light House, and camp at Blanket Bay, in the Great Otway National Park, instead of Apollo Bay. There are some dirt roads into these sites though. You won't have any problems accessing them, but you need to check the vehicle insurance allows it. If not, you could camp in the Aire River camp site in the same park.

http://www.lightstation.com/
http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/resources05/05_1469.pdf

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Richary
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Re: Who can help us with our honeymoon planning?

Post by Richary » 08 July 11 1:18 am

To be honest I think it is a pretty ambitious plan. For example you say Blue Mountains to Dubbo (300km) and do Western Plains Zoo. While I haven't been to that zoo it would be a pretty full day driving there, having lunch and then having time to do the zoo justice.

Kangaroo Island for a day back to Grampians is also an optimistic timetable at 700km by the time you add the ferry trip across back to the mainland, and from Cape Jervis back takes a while before you even turn right and head for the Grampians. We don't have German style freeways in Australia, and while much of the route you have chosen will allow 100 kph as a top speed in reality except on the main highways the real speed is a lot lower, and there are many towns to travel through with a 50-60 kph limit.

A good site is http://www.travelmate.com.au

This allows you to put in your start and end points, it will give you directions as well as estimated distance and time to do the trip. That might allow a bit more accurate planning of times taken; but of course doesn't allow for time taken to stop and find caches along the way. I have done plenty of trips planning on picking up a few finds, suddenly realising I had 500km to go to where I needed to be at that night and had to start ignoring caches along the way.

Personally I prefer a rough plan for a trip, changeable along the way as you might get to somewhere you like so stay a bit longer, or you don't like it and move on. Wilsons Promontery to Canberra at 700km will also be a long day driving on those roads there.

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Re: Who can help us with our honeymoon planning?

Post by Philipp » 08 July 11 7:38 am

I did enter the trip we did in 2009 into Google Maps:
Martina & Philipp in Australia 2009

Google says it's "only" 5500 km but in reality we clocked for the very same route 7300 km. That's just because you we were doing detours, daytrips and once in a while we got a bit lost. I absolutely agree with Richary that it is a pretty ambitious plan.

Honestly: We didn't like it. We are used to driving and being on the run. Previously we did a trip around Lake Michigan in 7 days which is a 1600km trip and that was awesome but the roadtrip in Oz was too much. In retroperspective we would have done less in the same time and I strongly advise everyone who asks to strike off some bullet points of the itinerary.

>> Australia is a continent - just imagine to do a 6 weeks roadtrip in Europe where you want to see everything without being in a hurry. That's impossible.

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Re: Who can help us with our honeymoon planning?

Post by Bundyrumandcoke » 08 July 11 8:53 am

And I will chime in again, and agree with what others have said about long distances. On paper, it does look easy. And distances like 2000km, or 5000km roll off the tongue easily. But as others have said, we dont have European style motorways in this country, apart from some that come close in and around some of the capital cities. If you look at a distance between 2 towns, lets us an example of a couple of places on your list that I know well- Brisbane to Rockhampton. On the map, its around the 660km mark. Now, thats roughly 6 1/2 hrs drive, as its 100kph speed limit. Easy- unfortunately thats not the case. Most of it is single lane each way, and a lot of it is still being repaired from the floods earlier this year. Cars get stuck behind trucks, accidents happen (the highway was closed yesterday by a truck accident, for a number of hours) roadworks, ect. And this doesnt include stops for sightseeing, or breaks for a stretch or something to eat. For that 660km trip, you could easily drop the average speed to 70kph, so that makes the trip more like a 9 hr trip. In fact, for what you are wanting to do, and if you include caching along the way, then its turns into something like a 2 day trip. And that is just to drive almost straight up, no big side trips.

Having worked with travellers in the past, in a volunteer job, the standout memory is, and especially from European tourists, how big Australia is, and the huge distances it is between here and there.

Over the last couple of years, my wife and I have done 3 big caching trips, in 2009 we did 8600km on a motorbike in 29 days (incidently over a lot of the roads you are thinking of doing) In 2010 we did about 9800km in 5 weeks, and this year about 11000km in just under 5 weeks. The one constant thing about the 3 trips, was the huge distances we did, 6-7-or even 800km in a day. It does get very tiring when you try to do it day in, day out. No, your not planning that each day, but the travel will get to you. I have to say, I am used to constant travel, I enjoy it, I do it for a living, but after a while, the travel, the caching, the touristy bit, then at night, doing the logs (I dont just write TFTC- I actually write a log for each find or DNF) does get to you.

The others who have offered advice here, and myself are not trying to dissuade you from your trip. We love tourists here, and are proud to show off our country. Its just we dont want you to leave disappointed because you have tried to do more than is possible in the time frame you have allowed.

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