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TOURS AND SUGGESTIONS

HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR TRIP TO AUSTRALIA

I have been operating this site now since 1992 and there are several things which I am constantly being asked. The main ones are:

“How do I organise a tour to include X places in X time ?”

“What is the best time to visit ?”

“Is X place worth including on my tour ?”

I am putting these pages of suggestions together to try and help you plan a holiday, of about 4 weeks, within a reasonable budget, and whIch will show you most of the major attractions Australia has to offer. You need to remember the size of Australia. In 1942 Paul McGuire wrote of Australia in his book ‘Australian Journey’:

“If the United States were reshaped; if it was something over 2,000 miles wide and 2,000 miles from south to north; if its eastern ranges were extended, and the Rockies eliminated; it there was a Great Rift Valley in the Mississippi basin; if there were huge salt pans all about Memphis and Little Rock; if there was a single river system draining the region of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia; if the country west of Mississippi was a high, semi-arid plateau, with only scattered humps;…then the United States would present a vague resemblance to the Australian mainland.”

There are around 3 million square miles of Australia. It is approximately the size of the US and half again the size of Europe (excluding the Soviet Union). If Perth was in the same location as London, then Brisbane would be somewhere near Tobolsk in Siberia. If Darwin was at the North Cape of Europe, then Hobart would be near Baghdad in Iraq….. So Australia is big !

DARWIN TO CAIRNS/CAIRNS TO DARWIN

From Darwin to Cairns via Kakadu, Ayers Rock, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, The Great Barrier Reef. Approximately 4 weeks by my suggestions. Travelling half-way around Australia in 4 weeks is not easy but the suggestions on this tour idea will make sure you get to see everything you need to see, and all the main features, in an organised way.

ADELAIDE TO MELBOURNE/MELBOURNE TO ADELAIDE

How to spend 4 days between Adelaide and Melbourne and see everything…well…nearly everything !

AUSTRALIAN STATES

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

The Australian Capital Territory was once a part of southern New South Wales and was excised in the 1920’s as the site of the National Capital because of its location between Melbourne and Sydney, the two largest cities in Australia.

The Capital, and really the only town or city is Canberra.

Total area: 2,358 sq. km.

Population: 340,800 (2007)

Approximate width west to east: 25km.

Approximate height, north to south:50km

Highest point: Mt Ainslee

NEW SOUTH WALES

New South Wales is Australia’s oldest state and was first settled in 1788 at Sydney. It was the site for the 2000 Olympic Games.

Largest cities:

  • Sydney (Capital)
  • Newcastle
  • Wollongong
  • Wagga Wagga

Total area: 800,628 sq. km.

Population: 6,927,000 (2007)

Approximate width west to east: 1,000 km

Approximate height, north to south: 1,000 km (coast)

Highest point: Mt Kusciusco

NORTHERN TERRITORY

The Northern Territory passed from South Australia to the Federal Government in 1911 and, despite forming its own government in 1978, is still administered from Canberra.

A referendum of Northern Territorians held in conjuction with territory elections in 1998 for it to move towards statehood was defeated by a slim majority.

Largest cities:

  • Darwin (Capital)
  • Alice Springs
  • Katherins
  • Tennant Creek

Total area: 1,335,742 sq. km

Population: 340,800 (2007

Approximate width west to east: 950 km

Approximate height, north to south: 1500km

Highest point: Mt. Gillen (MacDonnell Ranges)

QUEENSLAND

Queensland is Australia’s Sunshine State and includes the Great Barrier Reef, Sunshine Coast, and Gold Coast. The far north is tropical and subject to cyclones which the south is more temperate.

Largest cities:

  • Brisbane (Capital)
  • Cairns
  • Toowoomba
  • Mackay

Total area: 1,723,936 sq. km.

Population: 4,278,300 (1996)

Approximate width west to east: 1,000

Approximate height, north to south: 2,000

Highest point:

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

South Australia is recognised as the driest state in the driest continent on earth, a reputation which belies an extensive agricultural base and the fact a large portion of Australia’s largest river passes through it.
In the north vast salt lakes and deserts give it its reputation, while the mid north, eastern and south eastern areas are rich and fertile.

Largest cities:

  • Adelaide (Capital)
  • Whyalla
  • Mount Gambier
  • Port Augusta

Total area: 978,810 sq. km.

Population: 1,591,900 (2007)

Approximate width west to east: 800km

Approximate height, north to south: 1300km

Highest point:

Lowest point: Lake Eyre

TASMANIA

Tasmania is known as the “Apple Isle” and offers some of the best scenery and attractions of Australia.
Green and fertile it is a major primary producer of apples, hops, small fruits, potatos and more recently has earned a growing reputation for its late picked, fruity wines.
Kimg Island in Bass Strait is renowned for its cheeses and small-goods.

Largest cities:

  • Hobart (Capital)
  • Launceston
  • Burnie

Total area:64,519 sq. km.

Population: 495,800 (2007)

Approximate width west to east: 200km.

Approximate height, north to south: 200km.

Highest point: Mt Ossa

VICTORIA

Claiming the title of the “Garden State”, Victoria is the smallest mainland state and one of the most prolific producers of grain, vegetables, citrus and grapes.

Primary industry includes sheep, wool and beef, and products range from tobacco to sultanas. The north-west of the state is semi-arid to arid, while the south west, central and eastern areas are rich and fertile.
It is separated from New South Wales by the Murray River which flows for the majority of its northern boundary.

It includes the Great Ocean Road, the Grampians, Wilsons Promontory, and the southern portion of the Australian Alps.

Largest cities:

  • Melbourne (Capital)
  • Geelong
  • Ballarat
  • Bendigo

Total area: 227,010 sq. km.

Population: 5,246,100 (2007)

Approximate width west to east:

Approximate height, north to south:

Highest point: Mt Hotham

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Western Australia tends to think of itself as a place apart from the rest of Australia and this leads to the attractive and independent attitude of its population It is Australia’s largest state, with most of it harsh and uninhabitable, while the coastal and south western sections contain 95% of the population.

Massive hard wood forests, wineries, fruits of every type, and a wealth of minerals, especially gold and diamonds are the backbone of its economy, while massive cattle stations rival those of anywhere.

Largest cities:

  • Perth (Capital)
  • Fremantle
  • Albany
  • Esperance

Total area: 2,526,786 sq. km.

Population: 2,130,800 (2007).

Approximate width west to east: 2,500km.

Approximate height, north to south: 3,500km.

Highest point:

NORFOLK ISLAND

Norfolk Island is located south-east of Sydney and 1500km. off the shore.

Developed as a penal setlement, and populated mainly by the survivors of the Mutiny of the Bounty it is to a certain point self-governing under an administrator.

Largest cities:

Total area: 35 sq. km.

Population:

Approximate width west to east:

Approximate height, north to south:

Highest point:

HEARD ISLAND

Heard Island is a dependency near the Antarctic

No cities:

Total area: 370 sq. km.

Population:

Approximate width west to east:

Approximate height, north to south:

Highest point :

CHRISTMAS ISLAND

Christmas Island is located off the north west coast of Western Australia.

Largest cities:

Total area: 135 sq. km.

Population:

Approximate width west to east:

Approximate height, north to south:

Highest point: