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Thread: Yank needs travel advice

  1. #1
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    Yank needs travel advice

    My bride and I will be heading down under in November for a three week trip. Being from Alaska we plan to stick to the south to avoid the heat. We've pretty well settled on sticking to Sydney for the first five days or so after we land. Then plan to spend several days driving down the coast and on around to the great ocean road. Then we'll spend a day or two in Melbourne and then back on across to fly back out of Sydney.

    So my questions are:

    For landscapes along the coast as described, other than the great ocean road end of the trip, what spots along the way are "must see" spots and what time of day is best to be there for photos. We're not urbanites so mainly interested in natural wonders. Or boats.... And beaches....

    Are there any spots along the way as described with a reasonable chance of some decent bird/wildlife photography without making a major safari out of it? My plans are to be packing a Nikon D7100, 300mm f4, and 1.4x. So ranges equivalent to 600mm full frame would be reasonable. Our idea of a perfect outing is a walk on the beach where I can crawl around on my belly taking bird photos while my bride walks a few km without risk of being kidnapped and held for ransom.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Regards,
    Dan
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    Ausphotography Regular Cargo's Avatar
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    Hey Dan,
    Cant advice on your trip as i live in Nth Queensland, though there will be some on here who can. Just want to wish you happy travels while in Oz and after browsing your website I'm looking forward to seeing some photos taken on your trip here.
    Cheers Cargo

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    in my humble opinion, just drive and keep the ocean to your left, there is a wealth of spots from Sydney to the ocean road that you could not cover in a year of roaming about, look for beaches located on or near national parks, then head inland and explore the national parks and bush walks, all major or decent sized towns have a info centre with very helpful people to push you in the right direction. As for the bride, kidnapping is rare and ransom even rarer as you are in Alaskan dollars, unless they have a taste for salmon, more likely she would be taken by a dingo, bunyip, drop bear, or at worst berated by a person from Melbourne telling her why Sydney is a dreadful place, could be worse in Queensland its the crocs, mossies and electricity companies that have it in for you
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    Go the Rabbitohs mudman's Avatar
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    as Rossco said, except for the kidnapping bit. i will take Alaskan curancy in in the form of full oil barrels.
    i would also suggest a more standard size lens for scenics
    you will literally see a hundred or more beaches on your drive, which should give you some good surfing (between the red an yellow flags) and sunrise landscapes. also bring or buy insect repellent as the flys and other insects will be out with the warmer weather. lastly, drive on the left side of the road, it can get a bit exciting otherwise.
    happy travelling
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    Quote Originally Posted by rossco View Post
    ... just drive and keep the ocean to your left...
    OK, that was pretty much our plan. We try to wing it as much as possible when we travel. Over the years we've found that for our personalities we tend to be interested in stuff that doesn't make the guidebooks.

    I will have a landscape lens and some form of tripod along. Only mentioned the 300 due to asking about the birdies. Good reminder about the driving on the left. You're some tough folks living down there with everything being upside down and backwards. And thanks for the heads up about the flies.

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    Ausphotography Regular wmphoto's Avatar
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    and a good macro lens for close ups of snakes

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    esprit de corps Belly's Avatar
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    Congrats and enjoy your trip here, so much to see so little time to see it. For a real cultural experience you gotta come to South Hedland

    Enjoy mate and look forward to seeing your photos.

    Cheers
    BELLY


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    Just be careful when you drive through country areas, especially just as the sun is coming up or just before sunset. You will find many kangaroos in and around the National Parks and they will just bound across the road with out warning. They also frequent many areas along the roads and in the towns as well. We have even seen them in suburbia!! over here in South Australia (saw them along Commercial Road at Seaford Rise for all you Adelaidians) If you see big yellow sign with a picture of a kangaroo on it, be careful, because these signs are put up to warn you of places where kangaroos are prevalent. You do NOT want to hit one, and watch out for wombats as well.
    Last edited by aussie girl; 15-08-2013 at 11:14pm.

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    This is someone from the area you wish to explore speaking - On leaving Sydney make sure to travel the "Grand Pacific Drive" there are some spectacular areas along the drive for some great seascapes, and then there's the "Sea Cliff bridge" a must walk experience. Taking the coastal route to Melbourne has some magnificent beaches and rural landscapes - but as "Aussie Girl" says watch out for wildlife along this drive.

    Cheers and have a great time - Chris
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    I would like to know if you plan to stay overnight along the east coast anywhere. Will you be in a campervan or similar? There are some good fishing villages along the way. Eden and Lakes Entrance between Sydney and Melbourne are just 2 that comes to mind. Grand Pacific Drive as suggested above is spectacular in the right conditions. Between Sydney and Wollongong you could spend a month taking images, and be in a different location every time.
    When you do decide on an itinerary, let us know.. We could possibly organize meet ups along the way, which help with your holiday experience.
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I agree re the above. The eastern seaboard is generally the 'green belt' and there are some wonderful places for photography, visit the national parks for stunning views, animals, so along with beaches and coastal areas, go inland a bit and hunt out a waterfall or two as well.

    As for staying south for cooler weather, remember that Australia is a country of extremes and you might find you get high 30s (35 celcius = 95f) in Sydney and Melbourne. Staying south does not mean cooler at times, where the southern states can be hotter than the northern parts of the country.

    Once you have the basics of your plan laid down, we could specify more detailed information about particular places to visit along your route, and around your overnight stay locations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmphoto View Post
    and a good macro lens for close ups of snakes
    if you let them close enough you need a wide angle not a macro
    you don't have to worry too much about things biting you, it's when they swallow you have a problem.
    as stated above, if you have questions just ask. we should be able to give you the info you want?
    Last edited by mudman; 16-08-2013 at 8:36am.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    snakes, spiders, sharks, jellyfish, insects... stay calm and carry on!
    Last edited by ricktas; 16-08-2013 at 8:50am.

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    Last edited by Kym; 16-08-2013 at 2:28pm.
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    Wow, thanks for all the replies. Sounds like we are going to need to slow down a bit. There is precious little in any books we've found to-date about the southeast coast. If there are that many beaches we can spend the whole vacation there We won't be traveling via caravan. Auto and staying in whatever accommodations we can find along the way. We're not too picky though poisonous bugs in the bunk would stretch our comfort level a bit.
    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    snakes, spiders, sharks, jellyfish, insects... stay calm and carry on!
    Sharks and stinging water critters aren't a problem. I used to fish for a living and don't plan on getting in the water and offering them the chance to settle the balance sheet. Grew up in the southern US so snakes don't bother me that bad. It's the bugs that I don't like What is it about warm climates that everything living want to have you for lunch?

    And as to the heat, one good thing about being on vacation is that we don't need to move faster than a slow walk or lift anything heavier than a knife and fork. By the way, do you folks call it vacation or do you say holiday? or 'oleedie or something such?

    Those kangaroos sound like a real problem. All we have on the road here are moose. If you steer the car quick enough you can dodge between their legs. Granted the small ones bellies will dent the roof once in a while but that usually won't even pop the air bags. A bigger problem for us is raising the garage door when you come home and finding a bear in the garbage. I guess that's the bin to you? We keep it in the garage to keep the bears from spreading it around but sometimes if you've had fish for dinner they get bold and come on in when you're not home.

    We'll give it a bit more thought and then I'll ask more specific questions. First order of business it so ditch the travel books and pull up Google Earth on the computer and look for beaches

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    It's all about the Light!
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    There has been a good dose of Aussie humour in this thread - get used to it
    Last edited by Kym; 16-08-2013 at 2:35pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    There has been a good dose of Aussie humour in this thread - get used to it
    I gathered I've had a few opportunities to work with a few Ozzies over the years. I usually get the joke a few minutes late It's a bit easier this way.

    Thanks for all the links.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernFocus View Post
    First order of business it so ditch the travel books and pull up Google Earth on the computer and look for beaches
    Hmm, beaches, birds, bugs ( limited in Nov ) bunk beds and bush but NO bears --- that kmz will put you right in the middle of all the aforementioned attributes.
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernFocus View Post
    And as to the heat, one good thing about being on vacation is that we don't need to move faster than a slow walk or lift anything heavier than a knife and fork. By the way, do you folks call it vacation or do you say holiday? or 'oleedie or something such?
    Knife and Fork?? .. fingers are best

    We tend to call them holidays, leave, hols, or days off.

    Most people when they come to Australia miscomprehended the distances between places. Sydney to Melbourne taking the coast is over 1000kms, when you want to take in the views and enjoy the towns along the way, it can be a leisurely drive for a week.
    Last edited by ricktas; 16-08-2013 at 3:06pm.

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    I would suggest after you do the GOR you get over to Tassie and get up to Cradle mountain and see a bit of it and fly back to Sydney from Hobart on your way out rather than hoof it back to Sydney by car along the highway.

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