Australia, New Zealand, or Africa

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Gonzo130. Show Gonzo130's posts

    Australia, New Zealand, or Africa

    Has anyone been to any of those three places on a honeymoon, or other trip, for that matter?  I want to go someplace far since a honeymoon is one of the few times I foresee being able to get away for a couple of weeks.  I love the idea of Africa but am nervous because of safety concerns.  Australia and New Zealand are probably the top contenders.  I just don't know exactly what you do there and I don't want to have a trip where we're staying someplace different every three days because I'm not a fan of packing and unpacking a ton.  We're not super-outdoorsy and like the beach but I'm looking for a bit more than just a beach vacation.  Any thoughts?  We're going the beginning of February, if that makes a difference. 

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Sept2010Bride. Show Sept2010Bride's posts

    Re: Australia, New Zealand, or Africa

    Tanzania is completely save and the country is going through no war or turmoil right now. They have amazing safari packages at Thomson Safaris and even honeymoons! There is an office in Watertown. I would definitely check it out.
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Prill. Show Prill's posts

    Re: Australia, New Zealand, or Africa

    You could easily do both Australia and NZ - they are only a few hours flight between the two.

    How long are you planning on going for?  What type of things are you in to doing/interests, as that will also allow for more ideas.

    Feb is the hottest month in Australia, so it will be warm everywhere. 

    As far as beaches go try looking in to the following:
    Sydney (obviously!) has some of the most amazing beaches, but also has plenty of other things to do (plus ia also a short drive to a two different wine regions and spectacular Blue Mountains area - if nature is your thing).

    The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland.  Stunning! Stunning! Stunning!  You can do as much or as little as you like at most of the islands there.  February will be during the box jelly fish season though, so you would have to wear stinger suits if you go on the wayer (most resorts and tours operators all provide these).

    Byron Bay/North Coast of New South Wales - again, beautiful areas, rain forest meets the sea type are.

    The other side (west coast) there is Perth, which is a beautiful city, some beach towns to the north and south of the city and a wine region about two hours to the south.

    There is a beautiful drive called "The Great Ocean Road" that you can drive along the south of the country, from Melbourne (second largest city) to Adelaide. This also offers up spectacular scenery and cosy B&B accomodation along the way.

    Just some ideas anyway to start you googling!!
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: Australia, New Zealand, or Africa

    I've been to all three. I think it really depends on what you want to do and see. My suggestion for Africa is that you make sure are on a tour or with a guide. I travelled with 4 South Africans (through SA, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, and Tanzania), and I would not have wanted to be without someone who really knew local culture, etc. Obviously, stay out of Zimbabwe at all costs at this point. I would recommend either SA or Tanzania. I've also heard good things about Kenya. Africa is great for game sighting, Cape Town has lots of sights and history, and Zanzibar (off Tanzania) would be good for beach culture.

    Australia is definitely more conducive to a combo beach/sightseeing vacation. The weather will be perfect in February, if you like the warmth. Brisbane has the Gold Coast for beaching, as well as Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo. Cairns is a beautiful city and the place to be to see the Great Barrier Reef. Perth has some beautiful beaches, but it is quite a young, new city, so there's not a ton there besides the beaches. Melbourne is my favorite city--very cultural: lots of museums, concerts, history, etc. Sydney is a big sprawling city, but there's lots to see and do.

    As for New Zealand, if you want warm weather, you should stick to the northern part of the North Island, Auckland and above. Even in summer, you can get very cool days in NZ. Auckland is another big sprawling city, but there's some fun historical and nautical/sailing stuff there. I haven't been north of Auckland, but it's supposed to be spectacular. Other North Island highlights--wine country in Hawkes' Bay, along with lots of art deco architecture, Rotarua--the Maori cultural capital and a wonderful kiwi bird preserve (the Kiwi Experience). South Island will be fairly cool temperature-wise, but that's where much of the stunning natural beauty (think "lord of the rings") is as well as the adventure culture (bungi jumping, flying foxes, speed boating). There's also wine country on the South Island in the Marlborough area.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you have other specific questions.

    ETA: Queenstown is the place you'd want to base yourself on the South Island if you're interested in the nature parts of NZ. Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island and there's a fair amount going on there as it's a big university town.
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Gonzo130. Show Gonzo130's posts

    Re: Australia, New Zealand, or Africa

    The needing a guide thing is what concerns me about Africa.  I was thinking the countries you recommend (I realize that my saying just "Africa" was not at all helpful).  You're totally selling me on Australia and NZ.  I obviously thought about the Great Barrier Reef (ugh to jelly fish though) as a good beach alternative.  We are kind of chill site seers.  I'm slightly more outdoorsy than my fiance but neither of us is particularly outdoorsy.  The selling point for him for NZ was a Lord of the Ring tour, which sounds pretty but I was afraid that just nature for two weeks would get a bit old.  I love the idea of wine tasting too.  I love Napa. We will do more googling.  I'm feeling much more encouraged.  Thanks! 

  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Prill. Show Prill's posts

    Re: Australia, New Zealand, or Africa

    Wine areas in Australia to try googling:
    Hunter Valley
    Southern Highlands of New South Wales
    Margaret River
    Barossa Valley

    In Sydney, other than beaches, there are parks, buildings, the harbor (obviously the harbor bridge that you can walk over), over summer there is plenty of out door concerts/festivals.  Like any big city there are different suburbs that offer different things (Manly and Bondi for beach culture, beaches of the eastern suburbs for a more "elite" beach culture, clubbing/nightlife in Paddington/Oxford Street and Kings Cross, cafes/quirky shops/galleries in Newtown).

    Another thing to consider is a be trip to Uluru (Ayres Rock) - but it will be SUPER hot in the "outback" in February.

    The thing that many people don't realize is that Australia is geographically a similar size to the States (yes, really, many people think it is just a small blip in the ocean!), so there is just as much diversity and things to see and do as there is here.
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    Re: Australia, New Zealand, or Africa

    Oooh, good tips, thanks.  We run hot so I am a bit worried about being in the outback in the middle of Australian summer.  I do realize it's a big country so feel like we'd need to plan well so we aren't constantly packing/flying/unpacking. 
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Prill. Show Prill's posts

    Re: Australia, New Zealand, or Africa

    Another thing, flights within Australia are really cheap - especially between the main centers like Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns etc.  And at the moment, flights over there are REALLY cheap, like $280 (+ tax) each way from LA to Sydney!!!