We spent just under 3 months in Australia and crammed in a lot. We started in Port Douglas and made our way down the east coast all the way to Melbourne. We spent a few days on the Great Ocean Road before heading to Tasmania. After Tasmania we spent two weeks in the Sydney area before heading to the West Coast for nearly a month. We learned a lot and have tips to share.
-Spending time with friends we had met during our travels (and friends Simone’s dad had met 40 years prior on his travels)
-The Great Barrier Reef-even though it was a bit disappointing
–Tasmania, with cooler weather there were so many things outdoors to explore
–The Great Ocean Road-Beautiful scenery and great wildlife spotting
-Christmas with Simone’s dad-great to see family after 5 months on the road
-The West Coast-The Shark Bay area and Coral Bay were both spectacular
We wish we:
-had spent less time. Australia was just too expensive!
-had visited in Spring, not summer. Australia was really HOT!
-had visited Australia before New Zealand. It was really hard not to compare the 2 places and we loved everything about New Zealand.
-had spent more time in Tasmania. There seemed to be so much to explore and it was much cooler
-had taken others advice and flown more: the drive down the east coast was painfully boring and way too rushed.
We could have done it cheaper:
-By tent camping (not in the summer though)
-Staying at hostels
-Not doing the West Coast during school holidays
Things we missed:
-Darwin, Red Center, Alice Springs, Ayers Rock (Uluru)—again too HOT
-Daintree Rainforest and Crocodiles-the issue with the camper van cut our time up north short
-Adelaide and the Barossa Valley
-South West Coast-Margaret River area
-Kimberly region and Karijini National Park
All in all we were pretty disappointed with Australia. It was so expensive and the majority of the service industry we encountered were just plain rude. It really reminded us of the USA and was the polar opposite of the service industry we had experienced in New Zealand. We really enjoyed the wildlife, but we’re not sure we would return except to visit the friends we’ve made.