|Subject: Re: Escape From Winter: Australia|
We'll be making our 6th visit to Australia this February and I'd be happy to answer any specific questions for you. You'll obviously be doing a different kind of visit than we usually do as we're not sailors or big hikers nor do we visit for extended periods of time.
But here's a few thoughts:
When will you start your trip? If you're going to be in Oz around New Year's, I'd highly recommend that you visit Hobart, Tasmania then. Every year on Dec. 26th the great Sydney to Hobart race starts with the winners getting into Hobart around the 1st of the year. The whole town is race crazy and it's a lot of fun. Also, the 1st week of January is the annual Taste of Tasmania Festival. They set up a huge temporary venue on the docks and the food producers, farmers, wine producers etc set up booths and sell sample sized portions of their products. Some of the best food comes from Tassie and you'll see items like emu (carpaccio, pizza) fabulous fish n' chips, incredible blueberry's, wonderful wines. There's free indoor and ourdoor concerts, street artists, performance artists - it's a fabulous time to be there. Book hotel rooms early in advance!
Up near the Great Barrier Reef, book a resort on one of the great little islands, like Dunk or Haymen. Make sure to visit the Daintree Forest and Cape Tribulation - it's best to do this with a guide w/ a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Easy to book from your hotel or from a shop in Port Douglas, which is a lovely little town with a Key West feel. This area is about a pleasant 2 hour drive north of Cairns. If you're on a tight budget, there are some inexpensive hotels in Port Douglas. Port D. also has some funky bars and restaurants and great food.
I'm sure you'll go to Adelaide. As a photographer, make sure to allow enough time to get some awesome photo's of the Hills of Adelaide. They're just incredible looking. Make sure to visit Kangaroo Island which is off of Adelaide - via ferry or plane. We stayed one night and were sorry we didn't book two.
If you enjoy visiting wine country - the Barossa Valley outside Adelaide is wonderful. About an 2 hour drive from Sydney, we stayed in a fantastic B&B called Tizzana Winery where the owners make dessert wines.
Hope this is helpful.