Michael and I are finally starting to hash out the details for Australia (thank goodness, considering we leave in less than a month!), so I am finally able to post about it :) This is kind of a rundown of where we're staying and what our general plans are.
Flight - we have a 12 hour layover on LA. We're thinking about maybe getting a cab to the beach or something, but I'm not sure. I've never been to LA. I also don't know that I want to play on the beach and then get on a plane for an 16 hour flight. (I think it's 16 hours, I'm still not sure!) Anyway, it's going to be one freaking long day.
We're arriving in Brisbane in the morning, and immediately renting a car and driving north to Beerwah where the Australia Zoo is (Steve Irwin's zoo). I'm super excited about this, even though I know it'll probably be uber crowded and touristy. I loved Steve Irwin and I want to see what he was passionate about. We're only spending this one day in Brisbane, so we got a pretty generic hotel, called Mantra South Bank.
I'm pretty sure it will be about 48 hours between leaving DFW and arriving at the hotel that night.
The next day our flight isn't until 2:00 or so, and we're planning on visiting a Koala Sanctuary or some botanic gardens or something to pass the time that morning.
We arrive in Adelaide late in the evening, and we're staying in a Holiday Inn that night. Not much is open after we arrive, so we'll just hit the town for dinner and people watching. The next morning we drive (rental car) to the ferry to Kangaroo Island. We're spending three nights on the island, staying at the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat.
It's on the border of Flinder's National Park, so we'll spend a full day in the park, another day touring the southern coast of the Island (Seal Bay and some other cool beaches) and maybe another day visiting a winery or honey farm. There's also a nightly Penguin Watching Party in the island's "big" city, so we'll definitely do that some day. I think it's going to be pretty chilly there in June, so we'll have to pack a jacket or sweater for these days.
We'll take an afternoon ferry back to the mainland and spend another quick night in Adelaide. After that, we fly to....
...for a change in scenery! We'll be in warm tropical Cairns for a look at the Great Barrier Reef. On our first full day there we are taking a boat out to the Reef and spending about 6 hours out there exploring a Cay and snorkeling on the reef. We're not sure what we'll do our second full day there. We're torn between doing a rain forest tour or another Great Barrier Reef tour. I just can't pick. I know in the future we'll visit other areas of the world with rain forests, but I doubt we'll ever return to the GBR. So.... that's still up in the air. What would you do?
We're staying at the Mantra Esplanade Hotel, which is just a short walk from the pier all the boats leave from.
I'll post Part 2 later with info on Uluru and Sydney!