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Thread: Australia and New Zealand

  1. #1

    Default Australia and New Zealand

    All,

    Planning a "Bucket List" trip, from Florida to Australia and New Zealand !

    Talked to a travel agent to handle it all, but didn't like her attitude, or her prices ! ...decided to go back to our early days, and plan it ourselves !!! We put together a Europe trip, on our own, back in 1995...best trip... EVER !!!

    Sooo...got most booked !!! The internet is COOL !!! We're doing various land tours in Australia, and then a cruise to New Zealand...

    Planning is pretty much going well...seeing sights in Sydney, Alice Springs, Uluru/Ayer's Rock, Darwin, Adeleine, and Coober Pedy.

    The Uluru part is giving us fits, though...hotels are full...working out options...

    The 12 day New Zealand cruise hits all the places we want to see there !

    Drop us a note if you've "been there, done that"...OR if you rave about a "must see" !!! We don't want to book any stinkers !!!

    SOOO looking forward to this trip !!! It's good to be retired, with a decent Fed balance !!! Y'all keep stashing that TSP money !!!


    Stoplight...
    "Too old to rock and roll...too young to die"... - I. Anderson


  2.  
  3. #2

    Default Re: Australia and New Zealand

    All your effort, time, research and planning will pay off! You're going to have a great time! AU/NZ are on my bucket list too and I can't wait to hear about your travels. Don't forget to send me a postcard!

    Happy Trails !

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  5. #3

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Australia and New Zealand

    Enjoy SL sounds like a good time.
    05/09/2021
    LS CRUDE Oil
    =$59.32 a Barrel, Daily Status -$.28

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  7. #4

    Default Re: Australia and New Zealand

    Keep us posted. I would love to hear about your trip, favorites, busts, excursions, dining. I have a similar trip planned in the next 2-3 years, minus cruise cuz wife won't do boats. Last year we spent 2 weeks in Hawaii and the plane travel was brutal coming from Midwest. It was the trip of a life time, got us really excited about traveling. We just got back from Costa Rica for 9 days and loved it. Our thoughts on flying that far in the future would be to spend a night in Cali on the way there and on the way back. Some friends of ours spent 4 days in Oahu prior to flying to Sidney.

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  9. #5

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Australia and New Zealand

    Stoplight,

    The wife and I just did an Australia/New Zealand cruisetour with Princess Cruise Line last January/February (2016). We did 5 days in Australia and a 12 day cruise around New Zealand. In Australia we visited Sydney, Port Douglas (Great Barrier Reef) and Alice Springs. We flew to all our destinations because it would take to long to drive. Two hours on an airplane is better than hours and hours of driving. To cut down on the flying hours to Sydney we spent a day in LA then flew LA to Sydney about 15 hours in the air. We flew Virgin Australia and friends of ours flew Delta.
    One thing for sure you will need a head net when you visit Uluru/Ayer's Rock. The little flying gnats were terrible.
    I will be happy to answer any questions you have.
    May the force be with us.

  10.  
  11. #6

    Default Re: Australia and New Zealand

    Quote Originally Posted by NellyBelle View Post
    Keep us posted. I would love to hear about your trip, favorites, busts, excursions, dining. I have a similar trip planned in the next 2-3 years, minus cruise cuz wife won't do boats. Last year we spent 2 weeks in Hawaii and the plane travel was brutal coming from Midwest. It was the trip of a life time, got us really excited about traveling. We just got back from Costa Rica for 9 days and loved it. Our thoughts on flying that far in the future would be to spend a night in Cali on the way there and on the way back. Some friends of ours spent 4 days in Oahu prior to flying to Sidney.
    NB,

    Will do !!!

    Too bad about the cruise, though...they can be a LOT of fun, but they can sometimes be nasty, too We did our first cruise, to Alaska, on our honeymoon...it was an "old" ship, even at that time...1985 !!! It didn't have all the fancy gadgets the ships have now, like stabilizers, azipods, etc... Got laid out a few days on the trip down to Vancouver...discovered that those pills they offered make you sleep !!!

    The Wife recently did a short hobby cruise (she's in to beading...) and got a little queasy...but geez...there was a hurricane off to the west !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by nasa1974 View Post
    Stoplight,

    The wife and I just did an Australia/New Zealand cruisetour with Princess Cruise Line last January/February (2016). We did 5 days in Australia and a 12 day cruise around New Zealand. In Australia we visited Sydney, Port Douglas (Great Barrier Reef) and Alice Springs. We flew to all our destinations because it would take to long to drive. Two hours on an airplane is better than hours and hours of driving. To cut down on the flying hours to Sydney we spent a day in LA then flew LA to Sydney about 15 hours in the air. We flew Virgin Australia and friends of ours flew Delta.
    One thing for sure you will need a head net when you visit Uluru/Ayer's Rock. The little flying gnats were terrible.
    I will be happy to answer any questions you have.
    Thanks, Nasa !!! Pretty scary that our minds seem to think a lot alike !!!

    We struggled with the whole timetable issue...thought about laying up in L.A. for a few days...Wife has relatives there... Also thought about laying up in Hawaii a few days...never been there !!! Ultimately decided to do exactly what YOU did ! Bite the bullet ; get it over with ; do the 15 hour direct flight from LAX to Sydney...EVEN flying on Delta/Virgin Australia !!! What class did you take ? We took a deep breath and booked in 1st class...Wife said "If I'm gonna be on a plane for 15 hours, I need a bed !!!" We start in Florida, and end up in Sydney, 27 hours and 2 days later !

    Land tours in Australia include 17 days ; stuff in Sydney, Alice Springs/Uluru, Darwin, Adelaide, and Coober Pedy. We WANTED to do the Cairns and the Reef, but just couldn't work that in...

    Also flying pretty much between all internal destinations, for the reason you said !!!

    Cruise is a 12 day cruise on Holland America's Noordam, from Sydney to Auckland...fly back to Sydney, crash 1 night, and then get on the plane for home...this time, a 28 hour travel time, yet gets in the same day !!! Go figure...

    Thanks for the tip re: the bugs !!! Keep those thoughts/ideas coming !!!


    Stoplight...
    "Too old to rock and roll...too young to die"... - I. Anderson

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  13. #7

    Default Re: Australia and New Zealand

    WOO HOO !

    Final piece of the puzzle fell in place today...hotel in Ayer's Rock/Uluru !!! It was touch and go...

    Time to start booking the day tours in the area !!!


    Stoplight...
    "Too old to rock and roll...too young to die"... - I. Anderson

  14.  
  15. #8

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Australia and New Zealand

    Stoplight,

    We stayed at the Sails in the Sand by Ayers Rock/Uluru. They offered an evening under the stars. We missed the opportunity because we found out about it too late.
    We flew coach but drinks and food was offered during the whole flight.
    Have you signed up for TSA Precheck? If not do it if you have time also sign up for the international portion its just a little more but helps get you through security quicker, here and in Australia. Also if you can get the Customs "Mobile App" Mobile Passport App - The App for U.S. customs and immigration do it. We breezed through Customs after our last cruise in Ft. Lauderdale.
    Last edited by nasa1974; 01-17-2017 at 08:15 AM.
    May the force be with us.

  16.  
  17. #9

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Australia and New Zealand

    When we stayed in Sydney we were in walking distance of Sydney Harbour and the Rocks, about a 10 minute walk.
    Toured the Opera House, a must do.
    We signed up to do the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb but it got cancelled because of a thunderstorm. We had already started when the storm blew in. We waited it out in a safe area for an hour but still had to cancel. We got our money back but it took a little convincing that we wouldn't be coming back in the next month or two and our cruise was leaving the next day.
    We toured the Royal Botanic Gardens.
    We didn't have enough time to take a ferry over to the Zoo.

    I'll try to post some pictures.
    May the force be with us.


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  19. #10

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    Default Re: Australia and New Zealand

    Stoplight,

    If you are a fan of "Lord Of The Rings" you have to take a trip to Hobbiton while visiting New Zealand.
    May the force be with us.

  20.  
  21. #11

    Default Re: Australia and New Zealand

    Nasa,

    GREAT stuff....thanks !!!

    Not sure how that TSA Pre-Check works, but the last few flights we’ve taken, we’ve had it !!! Never signed up for it, or paid a dime... Perhaps because I’ve had a DOD background check/security clearance as part of my career ? Who knows...

    I believe airlines can “pay” the fee for you to use the faster lines...heck, our last cheapie 1 hour flight, on Southwest, had it on our boarding passes....didn’t even notice it until the TSA checker directed us into the Pre-check line !!! With the amount of $$$ we’re paying Delta/Virgin Australia, I’m gonna assume we’ll have it from them again, too ! They are already showing us as "Sky Priority Boarding", whatever that means !!!

    Good tip re: the Customs app...will check it out !!!

    The Uluru hotel was the sticking point...wanted “Sails”, too, but they were completely booked...web site said “Unavailable, but Call” for the Desert Gardens. I sent them a sob story email, and the nice lady at the resort said she’d see what she could do ! Got a confirmation into the Desert Gardens on the dates we HAD to have !!!

    Now we’re worried about the ground transfer from Alice Springs to Uluru...web site sez only 1 bag allowed !!! We’ll probably leave a small bag with cruise-specific stuff in the Sydney hotel we’re staying at...it’s the Holiday Inn Darlington Harbor...looks pretty close to stuff, and we return there before the cruise. !!!

    We worked around that limitation on the Coober Pedy leg, too...leaving bags at the hotel in Adelaide we’re also returning to ! , but don’t have any options figured out yet, for Uluru....

    We’ve read about the “Sounds of Silence” dinner, and booked that through the resort....hope the weather is great ! Sorry you missed it !!!

    Definitely will do the Opera House Tour...as a civil engineer, I want to see that weird roof that defies the structural engineers !!! NOT doing the bridge climb...learned that lesson in Peru, Machu Picchu...Wife’s knees can’t hack that workout ! Probably do a hop on/hop off tour the first day there, while we acclimate out of zombie mode... Do the harbor cruise/zoo tour the 2nd day, although we’re not gonna book that in advance ! The third day we’ve booked a day tour to the Blue Mountains ! Also booked another day tour when we get back to Sydney, before the cruise starts...”Aussie Farm Food and Wine”...sounds right up our alley !!!

    We ARE big fans of “Lord of the Rings” ! Still trying to decide between 2 separate tours/shore excursions offered by Holland America... in 2 separate ports ! One seems to be in the mountains where the awesome scenery was filmed (South Island ???) ; one is the Shire set, etc...we want to see the first one !!! Hobbiton ? Meh... To be honest, we haven’t yet focused on the shore excursions we’re gonna take...so any recommendations ???


    Stoplight...
    "Too old to rock and roll...too young to die"... - I. Anderson

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  23. #12

    Default Re: Australia and New Zealand

    Trying to nail down some of those annoying little trip tours and details...getting conflicting info on the baggage limit to Ulura...Wife spend almost an hour on a 3-way conference call to Australia...FINALLY hung up !!! She couldn't take the Musak any more Decided we'd just book the transfer, and play the "Ugly American"...I'm SURE many of you that have traveled overseas have seen those people... We'll just claim we didn't know there was a baggage limit !!!

    So then, I try to book the transfers and tours, and the web site keeps dumping me out !!! GRRRRR....


    One month to get this all straightened out !!!


    Stoplight...
    "Too old to rock and roll...too young to die"... - I. Anderson

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