For all the members from Australia and/or New Zealand, your input would be greatly appreciated!
My friends and I (3 of us) are planning to visit your awesome countries from mid-December to mid-January.
We are doing approx. 2 weeks in each country.
Any input in helping us sort out our itinerary would be awesome.
- planning to do New Year's Eve at Sydney Harbour and leave Sydney on January 3rd to head to Adelaide.
(a) Sydney, esp. on New Year's is $$$$ for accomodations - any suggestions for places that's close to the heart of Sydney Harbour, etc., but reasonably priced? We checked a few hostels, all booked up, as it's NYE. Boo!
(b) I'm guessing January 1st is a national holiday for you so everything will be closed. But, we don't want to waste a day, so we're thinking of hitting Blue Mountain (Three Sisters) and maybe Bondi Beach this day - as they're natural attractions so there's no "closed for holidays".
Am I right in this assumption? We're hoping to travel there by http://www.cityrail.info/.
However, going on the website, they do not yet have their schedule up for Jan 1, 2013. Do you know if they would run on this day, or be closed as well?
- Cairns - what to do, in and around here?* We're partial to nature and wildlife. Is Crystal Cascades woth a visit? What's the best (cheapest) way to travel there without going with a tour?
* We're already doing the Great Barrier Reef, scuba diving (so excited!)! And spending a few more days in Cairns aside from this....
For New Zealand:
- is there any other place to do Zorbing other than Rotorua?
- Do you think it's feasible to go from Rotorua to Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal park on our own? Or should we do a tour ($$)? If we want to include a early morning trip to Wai-O-Tapu and then to Taupo, for bungy jumping and seeing the lake, all within the same day, is that feasible or are we being over-ambitious?
- we want to go to Mt. John Observatory at Lake Tekapo (hehe, take a poo).......and are crossing our fingers for some solar flares so we get to see Aurora Australis (Southern Lights).....what are our chances to see this in late December?
[Short of commanding Nature, I know that there's no way to really predict this, but what are our chances? Anyone ever seen it first hand from Lake Tekapo?]
I may have more questions once we fine-tune our itinerary further. But, it's a hella expensive trip (my most expensive to date), and any help in planning to shave costs would be so helpful!