Subject: Re: Australia
I agree with Muriel Auwerteer's comments that Mary Meyer's three week trip in Australia sounds very ambitious if it is all done by car. The time of the year (December/January) is an issue too for Darwin as the wet season is really very uncomfortable. Further south it may be hot but generally dry heat.

You can get more information about climate from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology pages: the link is

There you'll find that almost every day in Darwin is more than 30 degrees celsius in December (hot but not over 100 fahrenheit which is 38 degrees), it will rain more than 1/2 the days in the month, on average there is only 1 clear day a month, the 9am relative humidity at 9 am is 77% and at 3pm is 65%. I once had to travel there for work in the wet and it was most unpleasant. I went for a holiday in August - different place.

Alice Springs by contrast: average maximum temperature in December 35 celsius - very hot, it rains on average 4 days in the month but the average monthly rainfall is 36.3 mm (1.5 inches approx) compared with Darwin's 250mm (10 inches in the month), humidity at 9am 33% at 3pm 23% - it is hot and dry. They used to advertise See Alice while she's hot - its kind of fun - they wouldn't dare try to sell Darwin in that season.

I hope to fly to Darwin, rent a vehicle and drive from Darwin to Alice Springs /Ayers Rock to Coober Pedy to Adelaide to Melbourne to Canberra and back to Sydney.

Driving those distances is quite something - it is a day's trip to Kakadu from Darwin and another day back again. The same for Alice Springs to Ayers Rock (it is 450km one way). Darwin to Adelaide is 3051 km - 31 hours travelling time (non-stop), Adelaide - Melbourne 906 km 11 hours travelling time - a very tiring day most do it in 2. Melbourne Sydney via the Princes Highway (the coast) is 1040km - 15 hours - not a day trip, if you take the direct route it is 12 hours on the Hume highway.

Somebody mentioned dangerous animals. Crocodiles in NT need to be treated with healthy respect and if it says don't swim - don't! Some tourists have with unfortunate consequences. Other than that there are some snakes and spiders. There are certainly issues about travelling long distances but as long as you are sensible, take water, ...

I would fly between cities, drive from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock and marvel at the distances and the horizons, and otherwise spend my time at the places. I think Alice Springs and surrounds is just superb - the most gorgeous colours, Ayers Rock (Yulara) is stunning, Darwin and Kakadu terrific (in the right season), Sydney and its harbour superb. I was born in Adelaide and have lived in Canberra all my life...

My recommendation I wouldn't miss Alice Springs, Ayers Rock or Sydney. At Yulara we really enjoyed the Sails resort - superb food and lovely gardens. In Alice Springs the Red Ochre Grill was a magnificent eating experience.

happy to discuss more recommendations off-line

Regards Anne Canberra Australia