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2 months from Adelaide to Cairns in Feb '14

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London
posts: 5
reviews: 8
2 months from Adelaide to Cairns in Feb '14

We'll be flying from London to Adelaide via a couple of nights in Dubai in early February 2014.

The vague plan (which we're researching at the moment) is to go over to Kangaroo Island and then hire a camper van to drive to Melbourne. Then either camper van or car to Sydney via Blue Mountains/Hunter Valley. Then we'll either fly Sydney to Brisbane and drive Brisbane to Cairns or vice versa - what do you think?

We'll then fly from Cairns back to London via a week or two on a beach but not in Thailand.

It's very early days in our planning and so I'd appreciate any tips you might have, please.

Thanks very much.

9 replies to this topic
australia
Destination Expert
for New South Wales, Noosa
posts: 2,851
reviews: 5
1. Re: 2 months from Adelaide to Cairns in Feb '14

that plan could see you in Sydney end Feb, start March, coincides with Syd gay Mardi Gras. Parade night spectacular, but accommodation that weekend sells out at a premium price well in advance.

The drive Brisbane to Cairns would be the longest between major centres. Some might suggest too long and a lot of nothing. Sort of true in that there are 300 odd km stretches of road between some cities. But you have the time and will get to appreciate the vastness of the country and maybe explore some lesser touristy Australia. Its also the most practical way to include all/morr rather than some highlights.

Sunshine Coast. (perfectly do~able whilst in Bris).

Hervey Bay for (most preferred access) Fraser Island day or overnight trip (self drive NOT recommended for most).

Airlie Beach for Whitsundays.

Townsville for Magnetic Is (very different to Fraser and perfectly drivable).

Syd~Brisbane is a nice drive too but if you choose one leg of the two to drive Bris~Cairns wins hands down for me (let the debate on merits of the two options begin).

If Byron Bay and/or Gold Coast are to be included both have flights for similiar price as

Brisbane from Sydney. Lot fewer to Ballina (for Byron) but still practical.

Edited: 12:55 pm, November 03, 2013
London
posts: 5
reviews: 8
2. Re: 2 months from Adelaide to Cairns in Feb '14

Thanks very much, @dev1236. Mardi Gras... aaah - of course! Even after looking at my photos from MG in 2002 only this morning I still didn't consider that - thanks for the reminder! I went to Byron Bay before and I didn't really get what the draw was so I wasn't intending to do it this time unless my husband insists, having never been there himself. Do you think, that it may be a good idea to have a camper van on the Bris-Cairns stretch so that we've got our accommodation with us? I was thinking of doing a croc tour at Proserpine/Airlie.

australia
Destination Expert
for New South Wales, Noosa
posts: 2,851
reviews: 5
3. Re: 2 months from Adelaide to Cairns in Feb '14

i am a fan of campervan travel but would only consider on the bris~cairns leg if price was right. this is a long drive. a van is a little slower and certainly more thirsty on fuel. and you will have more refuelling stops outside major centres and with potential for higher pricing. unless either of you is extra tall or wide a smaller (economical) car would suffice for this part of the trip.

you could look at booking a car online with any of the major operators, who normally dont require any prepayment and do allow last minute cancellation without any loss of deposit etc. then when in Australia IF you are renting a van (from a nationwide company) earlier in the travels ask the company if they can offer any special deals brisbane to cairns. it is the time of year more rental vehicles are transferred north.

There is a relocation website www.imoova.com who do bookings for several companies however limited days/km are imposed on these deals and extra days at a higher normal rate are limited depending on forward booking of

the specific vehicle. As a full paying prior customer you might negotiate better directly.

Edited: 5:12 pm, November 03, 2013
Glenelg, Australia
posts: 62
4. Re: 2 months from Adelaide to Cairns in Feb '14

KI is great but there's other places around Adelaide/SA as well - how long are you allocating for the SA part of the trip? You may wish to contemplate the Great Ocean Road as the route to Melbourne - it's longer, but quite beautiful. I've never travelled by campervan (at least, not a commercial one for a holiday) and what has always stopped me is price and convenience. It always seems to work out cheaper to go by car and get accom along the way and then you don't have a cumbersome camper to drive through cities and go off the beaten track! The caravan parks are generally pretty good in Oz and if you do your research you can almost always find cabins at a reasonable price (try the wotif.com.au site). By the way, you haven't said who you're travelling with - another adult; kids? If it's just 2 adults, motels or backpackers might be the way to go. There's a couple of good YHAA's in Sydney but if it's Mardi Gras time accommodation is likely to be tight, I suspect.

London
posts: 5
reviews: 8
5. Re: 2 months from Adelaide to Cairns in Feb '14

I have been a bit vague, haven't I?! The plan so far (which is totally open to a complete overhaul) is to fly London to Dubai- 2 days there - Adelaide for a couple of days - KI - Great Ocean Road - Melbourne for 3 days - Philip Island - drive to Sydney/Hunter Valley/Blue Mountains - 5 days in the city - fly to Brisbane - couple of days there - drive to Airlie - Whitsundays - Prosperine Crocs - drive to Cairns - GBR - fly to somewhere en route to London - 1 or 2 weeks on a beach - London.

There are 2 of us and my husband's over 6' tall. We'd love to be as flexible as possible with dates and places but of course MG has us a little bit scuppered - unless we get there after the event we'll definitely be caught up in it... which is great for the party but not so much for the choice of accommodation. We really need to plan when to get to Sydney at this stage so that we can book something in advance.

PS. Don't you just love TripAdvisor?! Thanks both for your help - keep it coming, please!!

Edited: 5:07 am, November 04, 2013
Glenelg, Australia
posts: 62
6. Re: 2 months from Adelaide to Cairns in Feb '14

If you've only got a couple of days in Adelaide the you haven't got time for the Flinders Ranges... There's Cleland Wildlife for up clise with native animals, Monarto Zoo for an open range zoo ( if that interests you then you may wish to look at the Adelaide Zoo website for an animal encounter - I went in with the cheetahs a couple of yearsago and that was brilliant). If wineries are your thing we've got lots! Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills are quite close to the city, then there's a couple of hours drive north to the Clare Valley region, and you can check out the Coonawarra on your way down south. Just don't drink and drive, PLEASE! The east end of the city is a good olace to go for the cafe scene but there's spots all over town - having young kids, I'm out of touch... Adelaide's just made Lonely Planets top list so have a look at their website - probably much more in touch with the funky side of Adelaide than I am! Of course, you'll be here in the BEST beach weather so take your pick of kms of the best beaches - you can even learn to surf if you don't know already ( Surf and Sun are good for lessons). I think that you are probably going to be here a bit early for Mad March festivals but theremay be some early stuff on. Let me know if there's any other info you need.

australia
Destination Expert
for New South Wales, Noosa
posts: 2,851
reviews: 5
7. Re: 2 months from Adelaide to Cairns in Feb '14

OK, this outside the Aust part of your, but after all your time on coastal Australia I am hard pressed to think of any beach in SE Asia that will match any beach you will have seen/passed/stayed at here. After extensive travel in Thailand and Malaysia, plus Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam I would say, yes some nice locations but as special many Aust east coast beaches? No way.

Edited: 9:25 am, November 05, 2013
posts: 10
reviews: 19
8. Re: 2 months from Adelaide to Cairns in Feb '14

If you do get to hunter valley, do the Epic tasting at the hungerford hill winery. I did it this week and it was awesome -they match gourmet foods with wines and the landscape is beautiful with resident ducks around the lake. Or drop in at Nelson bay on the coast (45mins from newcastle city), it's a great coastal village.

All the best

Sydney, Australia
posts: 32
reviews: 2
9. Re: 2 months from Adelaide to Cairns in Feb '14

You are planning on going to Cairns when the rains start? Travel tip. Bring a raincoat. And an umbrella. If the floods don't get you, the humidity will. Even the locals sleep with the aircon on. You'll see what I mean when you get there. In the meantime, reasearch something called Paranella Park. Interesting side excursion.

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