My husband and I are coming to Australia for 6 weeks in September and
October (first time; can¹t wait; really excited!) I have been studying
books and monitoring this list for a couple of months to find out all the
good spots to visit and there are just too many! Right now our itinerary
includes Sydney, Melbourne, Numurkah, Brisbane (stops at O¹Reilly¹s and
Binna Burra), Cairns (stop at Kingfisher Lodge, Cassowary House), Darwin,
and Alice Springs.
I have lots of questions; hopefully not too many repeats from past posts.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.
First and probably one of the most important, I am looking for folks who
might be interested in sharing the cost of a late afternoon (5:00PM) and
evening on October 2 with Philip Maher looking for the Plains Wanderer. As
you can imagine, we are on a budget and would love to take this trip, but
it¹s a bit out of our range if it¹s just us. If you are interested, please
let me know.
What¹s the scoop on Werribee Sewage Plant? We would love to go, but I am
confused. Can we get a permit or do we have to go with someone who has one?
If we can get one is the address in the Thomas¹ book still good? If not,
how do we go about finding someone to impose on or are there scheduled
Our first stop is Sydney. Since we Yanks drive on the wrong side of the
road, I am a bit nervous about driving around town (bad experience in
Trinidad!) Does the public transportation in Sydney go to the popular
birding places or should we rent a car right when we get there? Same
question for Melbourne (our next stop). Any suggestions for good places to
stay in Sydney and Melbourne? We would like to see some of the ³touristy²
things, too, so would be interested in a good central location (I guess).
Can the Blue Mountains be birded (at least some) in a day (from Sydney and
back) or should we plan to spend the night somewhere in the mountains?
I don¹t have a good feel for how much time it takes to get from one point to
another. I know it depends on the road, but, for example, in the US I can
count on averaging about 60 miles an hour (on a day long trip) on the
interstate, about 50 MPH on secondary highways. What¹s it like there (in KM
Given our itinerary, will we need 4-wheel drive/high clearance anywhere?
Seems like there are enough good places to keep us busy without it, but
obviously I don't know! Any suggestions for cheap rental car places?
What's a good map to buy?
In getting from city to city, is it better (read cheaper) to just go to the
airport to get a flight or are reservations a better deal? Since we are
staying longer than a month, we don't qualify for Quantas' kangaroo deal (or
whatever it's called). I think there are alternatives to Quantas, yes?
Do we have to do an "organized trip" to see Little Blue Penguins on Phillips
Island or can we go on our own somewhere?
I can¹t find too much on birding around Numurkah. We will be there about a
week. Any suggestions/places not to miss?
We are signed up for a pelagic out of Wollongong. Are there others that
time of year that we should not miss?
OK, here is at least one question where you will roll your eyes and think I
am really ignorant of your country (and I am; so sorry), but I would like to
see a Koala in the wild. Given the places where we will be, am I likely to
see one and where should I go?
What¹s the scoop on biting insects that time of the year and suggestions for
prevention? Other hazards we need to know about?
How prevalent is internet access outside of cities? (I would normally care,
but we have a grandkid on the way.)
Any ³must not miss² places? Since we haven¹t been to your country, the
birdier the better, but I am also interested in the rarities, too.
Anything else I need to know that you can think of?
Hope I haven¹t taxed your good nature and patience. Thanks again in advance
for any help.
Marcia E. Balestri
Frederick, MD USA
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