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  • July 06, 2015, 12:20:57 AM

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Author Topic: Australia, transports and national parks  (Read 235 times)

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Carotte

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Australia, transports and national parks
« on: July 02, 2015, 06:19:29 AM »
Things are shapping up so that we might go to Australia for our 2015 big holiday.
It's still in the very very early stages, (we still need confirmation that my SO will be a speaker at a conference in Melbourne) but it would be in late october so still plenty of time.

Still, I was looking at what we could do and since we're part nature/part city (museum stuff mostly, not nightlife and shopping) I was wondering how easy it is to go from a city to a national park or trails transport wise, are those places that can only be attained in (personal) cars or would we be able to find buses?

We're not too keen on tour groups, like we would be good with a tour guide (if needed) at the location but would rather avoid the whole "pick up large group at hotel, planned activities, everyone eats at the same time/place, everyone shuttles back at the same time" if possible.

Psychopoesie

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Re: Australia, transports and national parks
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2015, 06:28:38 AM »
It would help to know a couple of things.

What sort of National Park? How remote/what sort of things would you want to do/see while there?

Where in Oz? You mentioned your SO might be a speaker at a conference in Melbourne, so were you looking for places within reach of Melbourne or other cities?

Here's a link to transport options for New South Wales (NSW) parks - in case you were thinking of Sydney.

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/askEnvironmentLineapp/question.aspx?qaId=AEL-122

Carotte

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Re: Australia, transports and national parks
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2015, 06:48:18 AM »
Well we will definetly stay in Melbourne and let's say Sydney*, I see that the Yarra Ranges National Park and Nattai national Park are not "far" from those, but once you are in the city, is it possible to find transport to the parks without having to drive yourself (I don't drive so I don't think we would rent a car for any part of the trip) ?

I'm looking at the Victoria parks website that sent me to the public transport one, I don't know the names of the stops but it seems that there's like a two buses journey/40 min ride from the city (Melbourne)  to a part of Yarra park (and more often than twice a day!) so I hope it will be "that easy" for other parks  (and that my search was for the park, not a suburb with the same name or something  :P)!



*I know, very vague, sorry  :-[ - my SO wants to do a good 2/3 weeks but we haven't looked into a budget yet so it's hard to say how long we will actually stay and how far we will be able to travel. His airfare would be payed by the conference so that's a plus but still.

Psychopoesie

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Re: Australia, transports and national parks
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2015, 06:56:09 AM »
Hopefully one of the Melbourne/Sydney ehellions can help, now there's a couple of specific parks you're interested in visiting.

Nattai National park website says that it's not accessible by public transport though.

http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/Nattai-National-Park/Visitor-Info#Getting-there-and-parking

ETA: Have you thought about visiting the Blue Mountains near Sydney instead? It's a beautiful area. You can definitely get there without a car. Not so sure on all the options of getting around once you're there but I'm fairly sure that it's doable.

http://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/blue-mountains/getting-to-the-blue-mountains
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 07:02:32 AM by Psychopoesie »

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Australia, transports and national parks
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2015, 07:16:08 AM »
Blue Mountains is easy to to by public transport. There are trains to Katoomba station from the city and busses to the tourist places. And places to stay up there too. Other National Parks aren't as easy to get to.

Carotte

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Re: Australia, transports and national parks
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2015, 07:18:38 AM »
Thanks for the links!, between them and following breadcrumbs I'm sure I'll be able to find a good itinerary :) (after all I did plan 3 weeks for 6 in Japan last year)

I'm pretty sure it won't be easy choosing tho, so many beautifull places!
If we go west instead of east (Perth) there's Rottnest Island and the quokkas that I would looove to see. That would make even the spiders worth it. And the drop bears  :P

ebelie

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Re: Australia, transports and national parks
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2015, 07:25:25 AM »
I'm in Melbourne and my immediate reaction is that you would want to hire a car, but yes, more detail would be useful.  For getting around Melbourne itself public transport is fine, but places like the Grampians or the Great Ocean Road and the Twelve Apostles (or however many are left!) are far easier if you're driving.

ETA: sorry, just saw your latest post.  The Yarra Ranges is a lovely area, with lots of attractions - as well as the National Park there's Healesville Sanctuary, where you can see native Australian wildlife and feed kangaroos, and the Yarra Valley is a well known wine producing region with lots of cellar doors you can visit on a weekend.  But pub transport doesn't make it easy.  By 40 minutes from Melbourne, do you mean the city centre, where most of the tourist attractions are, or Lilydale or one of the other outlying suburbs?  Because it takes at least an hour just to get to Lilydale on the train, so you'd need to add that to the travel time.  Personally I'd either sign up for a tour - and it looks like there are a lot of different ones, some focusing on the wine and local produce, and some on the animals - or maybe plan it as an overnight trip rather than trying to do it in a day, and take your time.

Ceallach

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Re: Australia, transports and national parks
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2015, 07:27:26 AM »
I think you really do have to decide what you want to see first, and base your decision on that. 

The answer is yes, there are places you can easily access via bus/train.  I don't know Melbourne well, but in Sydney you can very easily spend the day doing the many museums in the CBD and then catch a train out to the mountains to do the bush. 

.... And no, there are places you most definitely need to hire a car for if you want to get to them!    If you do need to hire a car I know the cheapest place, PM me if you want.  (It's a fairly common chain but we've had cause to rent cars a few times in the past few years so have done the legwork!) 

People complain about it endlessly, but I personally find Sydney public transport quite reliable and pleasant.    We didn't even own a car for four years.  Got one now as it's easier with kids but even now it sits in the driveway some days while we catch the train!   
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


Jape

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Re: Australia, transports and national parks
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2015, 10:36:47 PM »
The Dandenong Ranges are beautiful and easily accessible from Melbourne CBD.  Catch a train to Belgrave station and there is a bushwalk that starts right at the station.  http://walkingmaps.com.au/walk/224

From Belgrave you could also take a ride on Puffing Billy, a beautiful old steam train.  There are meal packages available, or you might like to catch Puffing Billy to Emerald Lake Park and start your bush walk from there.

PM me if you want more information.  I actually work in travel and I live in Melbourne.  Creating itineraries is what I do, so I'm happy to give you some tips if you want them.

JadeGirl

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Re: Australia, transports and national parks
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2015, 02:28:46 AM »
Happy to help out if you end up deciding to come to the West coast!  ;D

Carotte

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Re: Australia, transports and national parks
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2015, 03:25:31 AM »
Thanks everyone for your replies, this gives me a clearer idea of what to look for.

SO gently reminded me that I actually do have time to get my licence so who knows, (maybe being a young driver means it's actually easier to drive on the "wrong" side? ) a car might not be entirely out of consideration (I checked and we only need a translation of our licence to drive in Oz).

Psychopoesie

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Re: Australia, transports and national parks
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2015, 03:48:40 AM »
Thanks everyone for your replies, this gives me a clearer idea of what to look for.

SO gently reminded me that I actually do have time to get my licence so who knows, (maybe being a young driver means it's actually easier to drive on the "wrong" side? ) a car might not be entirely out of consideration (I checked and we only need a translation of our licence to drive in Oz).

A car would make it a lot easier to get to some places a fair click out of the city. It depends what you want to see. However, there are heaps of things that are still possible without a car, so please don't get too discouraged.

Btw - haven't done this walk myself but it's on my wishlist - the Great Ocean Road walk (it's in Victoria).

http://www.visitgreatoceanroad.org.au/greatoceanwalk/plan-your-walk