Australian road trip

Here we go: the next big adventure with my sister: we’re finally taking our three-week Australian road trip.

Here’s the planning:

4-5 February: the flights

We start our journey in the morning at 9.00, taking Qatar airways QR196 from Brussels to Doha.

It will be my first flight on a Boeing 787, the Dreamliner. After a 3h45 layover in what I expect to be a big shopping mall with airplanes, we board QR908, an A380, the queen of the skies, on our way to Sydney.

We’ll land at 7pm local time the next day, exactly 24h after takeoff.

I hope we can stay awake a little bit. Our lovely Hotel Challis in Potts Point awaits us, and maybe we’ll manage to have a stroll to the Opera House and have a cocktail at the harbor.

Always vital to immediately integrate into the local time zone! Read about my tips to prevent jet lag.

 

5-7 February: Discovering Sydney

 

Our two days in Sydney will be packed: visiting the Opera House, walking over the Harbor bridge (not sure we’ll climb it up),  strolling through the Botanical Garden, maybe visiting the National Gallery of NSW, or Surry Hills.

We also would like to take a ferry through the harbor to Bondi beach and enjoy some cocktails.

As I’ve been there three times already, we cut this part somewhat short.

The next day we’ll likely board a train to the Blue mountains and walk through the woods. No details yet, we’ll plan that on the flight.

In the evening I hope to see some friends for drinks and dinner.

 

8-13 February: Road trip through Tasmania

 

Off we go, on a morning flight to Hobart, Tasmania. After settling in we plan to visit the amazing MONA museum of old and new art, and have come cocktails in Hobart.

The next day we might discover Hobart a bit, the Salamanca market, and drive up to Mount Wellington, for the views.

Then we’ll be off to our Tasmanian coastal trip. We’ll drive up to Bicheno and see Coles Bay and the famous Wineglass Bay.

The next morning we’ll drive up to the Bay of fire, making stops at Binalong Bay and Ansons Bay, till we find our hotel at St. Helens.

We’ll drive along the cost, till eventually we arrive in Launceton, from where we’ll take a flight to Melbourne in the evening.

We first wanted to do the overnight ferry from Devonport, but in the end the flight was cheaper and faster.

In total, some 500 kilometers to drive. Well, probably add 200 km for the back and forth to various bays and beaches.

 

13-17 February: Melbourne

 

Melbourne. My favorite city. I can’t wait to show it to my sister.

We’ll check into our cool Airbnb in Collingwood, right across the street from where I usually stayed. First night: rooftop cocktails in the CBD.

Then, over the next days we’ll discover Fitzroy, have cocktails with my friends at Naked for Satan, discover the lane ways or stroll through St Kilda. And we have tickets for Amanda fucking Palmer taking over The Gasometer Hotel in Collingwood.

Maybe we’ll throw in a visit to the wineries in the Yarra Valley.

It’ll be a little break from traveling, and I can’t wait to see my friends again.

 

18-21 February: Mornington Peninsula & Great Ocean road

 

After those four days, we’ll take off south to discover the Mornington Peninsula, the wineries and the coast, down to Cape Schank and the Mushroom Reef sanctuary. In the evening we’ll relax at Peninsula Hot Springs.

The next morning we’ll take the ferry from Sorrento across the mouth of Port Philip Bay, over to Point Lonsdale, and drive on along the coast, via Torquay and Lorne, to Apollo Bay.

Over the next two days we’ll explore the coast, notably the 12 Apostles, Cape Otway and its lighthouse as well as the various parks and rock formations, up to Port Fairy and the Tower Hill Wild life Reserve.

On the last day, we’ll drive back, mostly inland, and have another night in Melbourne.

Rooftop drinks or dumplings at Shandong Mama, anyone?

Total distance: some 800 kilometers.

 

22-24 February: Uluru

 

Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Uluru_(Helicopter_view)-crop.jpg

In the morning, we’ll fly to the red heart of Australia, Uluru, aka Ayer’s Rock.

We pondered for a long time how to get there: continue the Ocean road to Adelaide and drive ourselves? Too long… Taking The Ghan train to Alice Springs? Bad schedules, and a long ride, too. Flying to Alice Springs… then it’s still a 500 km trip to that rock.

So in the end we booked a direct flight, and we’ll have more time there, two days. Enough to see sunsets and sunrises, take a star tour, and maybe a helicopter ride, and also explore a few other sights nearby as the Kata Tjuta rock formations, also known as the Olgas. I’ll have to find out, why…

We’ll fly out around noon, for an afternoon arrival in…

 

25-26 February: Melbourne & return

 

Last day in Melbourne, with a gay night out with my friends I hope, and some walks or a bike ride along the beach. We’ll see.

We’ll board our return flights late in the evening, taking QR905 to Doha, and then QR039 on to Paris, where we’ll land in the afternoon of 26 February.

 

Do you have any tips?

So, this is the plan.

Any tips are welcome, if you know a quirky sight off the beaten path, or a good restaurant along the way, a wine bar…?

Please let me know in the comments below!

 

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