We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First trip to Australia-any advice welcome.

Halifax, United...
Level Contributor
47 posts
149 reviews
Save Topic
First trip to Australia-any advice welcome.

All my life I have fancied visiting Australia and now that I am 70, and unfortunately a widower, I have decided that I had better go soon or I never will.

So I am planning a 3 week trip in November and my ideas so far are as follows.

Day 1 Fly out of Manchester

Day 3 Arrive Sydney-hotel and relax

Day 4 Sydney Harbour, bridge, Manly ferry. Shelley beach

Day 5 Bondi and Coogee

Day 6 Drive to Huskisson/Nowra

Days 7+8 Merimbula/Eden--2 nights

Day 9 Lakes Entrance

DayS 10+11+12 Melbourne--3 nights

Day 13 Apollo Bay

Days 14+15 Warrnamboo--2 nights

Day 16 Geelong

Days 17+18 Aldbury--2 nights

Day 19 Young

Days 20+21 Blackheath--2 nights

Days 22+23 Sydney Fly home

I don't want to pre-book stopovers with the exception of Sydney so I can keep my trip flexible staying more or less time depending on how I feel. I would prefer budget motels with somewhere to eat nearby. Having a pool or garden would be nice to relax at the end of the day.

Advice welcome on above itinerary plus:

Is November a good month to go-I can go anytime?

A Hotel in Sydney handy for airport and getting around

Will not pre-booking motels be a problem?

Decent car hire company at Sydney airport.

Any recommended stop-over motels and places to visit.

Days to avoid certain places such as weekends

I appreciate that in 3 weeks you can only see so much and the main places I want to see are Sydney, Melbourne, The Great Ocean Road and the Blue Mountains, but I am open to suggested changes.

Finally I could do this trip flying to Melbourne instead of Sydney if there was any advantage to this.

All advice most welcome with thanks in advance.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
1,777 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
11. Re: First trip to Australia-any advice welcome.

Echuca would be a better choice than Albury if you wanted to experience the Murray River a little bit - if you're staying for a while you could take a day cruise on a paddle steamer. If you're willing to skip Geelong you could drive straight from Warrnambool to Echuca, which would be a bit over 5 hours, and a nicer drive avoiding Melbourne traffic. You will go through the towns of Ballarat and Bendigo, which are both worth a stop although you won't be able to dawdle too much on that schedule.

Then spend two nights in Echuca, and drive to Canberra (6 hrs, but mostly on the Hume so an easy drive), and two more nights there. If 6 hrs is too long, you could stop for a night at Wagga Wagga (a diversion off the Hume, but a more interesting town than Albury IMO).

Edited: 8:08 pm, June 08, 2014
Australia
Destination Expert
for Cebu City, Cebu Island
Level Contributor
8,804 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
12. Re: First trip to Australia-any advice welcome.

Thanks for your reply. Only calling at Young because it is about half way between Albury and Blackheath. Canberra would require a couple of days more than I have allowed.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was born in Young and used to live and work there. I of course would be happy to visit Young but I too agree that it should be Canberra. Just drive straight to Canberra from Albury on the Hume Highway and turn off for Canberra at Yass. It will take about 3.5 hours. After Canberra, head to Sydney on the Hume Highway but coming into Sydney, go straight ahead on the M7 instead of veering right on the M5. When you get to the M4, turn left and keep going without turning off until you get to Katoomba. In other words, after you leave Canberra, you will have one turn off, from the M7 to the M4 to get to Katoomba. The trip will take about 3.5 hours.

I used to also live and work in Albury, Wodonga and Wangaratta

This is my suggested place to stay in Albury.

http://lakehumetouristpark.com.au/. .

Most definitely try and visit the surrounding historic towns such as Yackandandah and Beechworth. And, if you like wine, make sure you do a winery tour in Rutherglen

visitalburywodonga.com/event/rutherglen-wine…

and if you have time, travel to the village of Milawa for my favourite winery, Brown Bros

http://www.brownbrothers.com.au/

Halifax, United...
Level Contributor
47 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
13. Re: First trip to Australia-any advice welcome.

Thanks Jeremy. Euchua sounds a good idea.

Halifax, United...
Level Contributor
47 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
14. Re: First trip to Australia-any advice welcome.

Thanks Jim. Food for thought.

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
1,215 posts
184 reviews
Save Reply
15. Re: First trip to Australia-any advice welcome.

Travelling the GOR, direction does not matter as all the sights have car parks off the road anyway and most of these sights are around the Port Campbell area. The Lorne, Apollo Bay end of the GOR is mainly beaches, nice coastline, lookouts and hikes but not the spectacular formations that are around Port Campbell. Geelong to Echuca is about 3 1/2hrs, Echuca to Temora, 5 hrs and Temora to Blackheath about 4 1/2 hrs. I can understand if this is a bit arduous, but the Hume Hwy is really, really boring unless you get off it and stop at some of the towns that are bypassed. Looks like you were planning on leaving the Hume anyway after Gundagai so you could get off just after leaving Albury and take the Olympic Hwy via Wagga Wagga. This would only add a 1/2hr to the Albury/Blackheath leg and be a little more interesting and let's you overnight in Temora.

As to some of your other questions, don't stay near the airport in Sydney, it's very industrial. Try the Menzies in Sydney, often has specials on the websites like Hotel Club, trip advisor (of course) and wotif. Restaurant on site, opposite Wynyard Subway train station with a direct link to the Airport right in the heart of the city. If too expensive, try The Cambridge north of Hyde park, buses run up and down nearby Oxford St into the city which is about 15-20 min walk. Also, the Vibe near Central Station and Chinatown, just bear in mind it is a gentle uphill walk into the city centre (10 mins). As for car hire, I always use Hertz or Avis which are fine. Budget is also there along with Europcar plus a few others. All close to the terminal, just pick whoever is cheapest. Also, I would book Blackheath when you have dates at least a few weeks in advance as they can get booked out. I haven't stayed anywhere in Blackheath but lived in the Blue Mountains for 20 years and most accommodations are excellent. Use the following website for reputable hotels, filter search by Katoomba Area. visitnsw.com/destinations/… Hope this helps,

Steve.

Halifax, United...
Level Contributor
47 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
16. Re: First trip to Australia-any advice welcome.

Thanks again bayres. Very helpful. I am now leaning towards doing the GOR west to east and calling at Port Campbell then going to the Blue Mountains via Echuca and Temora. Your info on this and on Sydney hotels and Blackheath is really useful. .

Australia
Destination Expert
for Cebu City, Cebu Island
Level Contributor
8,804 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
17. Re: First trip to Australia-any advice welcome.

Here is food for thought.too,

Along the route from Echuca to Blackheath via Temora. I have worked at Lithgow, Bathurst, Cowra, Young, Temora, Ariah Park, Narrandera and Finley. And for several years, my mother was a nurse in Ardlethan so I visited there regularly too. I find that route quite boring and would be very happy to have a highway like the Hume Highway to get me where I am going as fast as possible.

Your main view on the whole trip will be wheat paddocks, sheep and cattle. Interrupted by occasional other crops. You won't want to see emus or kangaroos as you will be in danger of running into them.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
Level Contributor
18,865 posts
182 reviews
Save Reply
18. Re: First trip to Australia-any advice welcome.

Horse for course I guess

One of my biggest inland highlights was an emu with a batch of chicks running alongside the car… wow….

(yeah alongside)

call me a child of the city but since being little tacker win my dad enforced our school holiday trips along with him doing his "maintenance calls" to inland universities I have always loved the aussie main streets lined with their verandah covered footpaths, country pubs and mixed businesses in places like Jerilderie (heaps of history), Cowras unique ww2 stuff, Urana with its pubs on the corner.. Junee has the liquorice factory and haunted house Cootas.. Bradman info ,.,,, away from the Hume with its Maccas pit stops

Halifax, United...
Level Contributor
47 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
19. Re: First trip to Australia-any advice welcome.

Hi Jim again. Looks like i will have to decide whether to take the faster route via Albury or visit Echuca and have the longer more boring drive up to Blackheath

Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
1,215 posts
184 reviews
Save Reply
20. Re: First trip to Australia-any advice welcome.

I have to agree with Gurus, sorry Jim but IMO you can't beat the Hume Hwy for boring. I was a rep covering this area for about 8 years and have driven all these routes many times since. If I ever had the time, I would choose the Newell, Oxley, Mitchell, Mid Western and Golden Hwys over the Hume every time. Nothing like driving from Dubbo to Goulburn via Orange and Blayney visiting a waterfall for lunch all while you are working. On the inland route via Temora, yes lots of wheat fields and paddocks but you also see some of the red earth that our outback is famous for, the towns that Gurus mentioned can make a 2 day trip on their own not to mention the fact you enter the "back" of the Blue Mountains through some lovely country and get to get to Blackheath via Hartley Valley and up Mt Victoria (I lived in the Lower Mountains for 20 years). Get onto Google maps and look at some street views in various towns on both routes to help you decide. All the best,

Steve.