Feedback on OAMD (Melbourne to Darwin) or OAAD?

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Feedback on OAMD (Melbourne to Darwin) or OAAD?

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:45 pm

I'm wondering if anyone has done the trips from Adelaide or Melbourne to Darwin and has any feedback on them. I still haven't done my big vacation for the year so am contemplating either Melbourne-to-Darwin trip in November, the Amazon rivercruise in October or helping with some conservation research in Namibia in November. I've done the conservation research project before and it was fun but Australia would be a chance to get my last continent down.

How are the hostels and vans for Melboune-to-Darwin (or Adelaide-to-Darwin)? Best part of the activities?
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Re: Feedback on OAMD (Melbourne to Darwin) or OAAD?

Postby kcupp95 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:22 pm

Someone else who is thinking about the Melbourne to Darwin trip and would love to hear other people's experiences!
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Re: Feedback on OAMD (Melbourne to Darwin) or OAAD?

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:34 pm

Wow, guess the people who've taken it don't bother with the Watering Hole. I'm thinking real hard about pulling chocks and going on this anyway -- doesn't seem like it's worth taking any extra days in Darwin but may be worth an extra day or two in Melbourne?

I see a flight out of Darwin at 12:45 AM the night we would finish the tour -- anyone have any feedback on whether it's worth grabbing that flight to Sydney or should I grab a night's sleep and try to go out the next night?
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Re: Feedback on OAMD (Melbourne to Darwin) or OAAD?

Postby markmol » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:29 pm

hi I have not been on this trip but have been to most of the places the trip visits, Darwin is worth an extra day, Darwin was bombed by the Japenese in WW11 & ther a couple of tours that takes you out to East Point Military Precinct & around the city it self, the sunset markets at Mindil Beach you can get a cheap meal watching the sunset over the ocean, if you want a good feed of seafood head down to Stokes Hill Wharf. If you are up to it you can jump into the 'Crocodile Cage of Death'.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
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Re: Feedback on OAMD (Melbourne to Darwin) or OAAD?

Postby kcupp95 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 10:05 pm

Definitely get the flight the next night. The itinerary has you getting in Darwin around 6pm, but it all it would take would be a crash on the highway to delay that by a couple of hours and potentially miss the flight.

As a previous poster mentioned, there's lots of history and multi-culturilism in Darwin to explore.

Definitely do a couple of days in Melbourne before hand. Depending on what time of year you come, AFL (Australian Football League) season runs March-September with quite a number of clubs in Melbourne, that would be awesome to be able to catch a game. Games are played Fri and Sat nights and Sunday arvo.

I would definitely book the trip, it just covers so many different areas of Australia. You get the major city of Melbourne, the Great Ocean Road, then up to the wineries area, Uluru and the outback and then onto the tropical rainforest and national parks. You cross the entire country!

My only concern was the driving times, as the tour covers a massive distance, but they've allowed 2 weeks to get from Melbourne to Alice Springs and then are covering Alice to Darwin on the overnight train and the driving times/distances given on the itinerary look pretty reasonable.
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Re: Feedback on OAMD (Melbourne to Darwin) or OAAD?

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:57 pm

Thanks for the advice. I'd really like to catch the Defence of Darwin experience and see some of the history. Unfortunately, there's no midnight flight the next day (Sat night/Sun morning) so I either grab the Fri night/Sat morning midnight flight to Sydney or I spend a night each in both Darwin and Sydney which is 2 more days of vacation .. just not sure I can do that with Christmas right around the corner.

G's pretty good about making their itineraries so at this point I think I'm going to chance it and grab the midnight flight out of Darwin. Fares have gone up $80 since I asked the question but at least I've had a chance to consider what I'm missing out on. I think I will try to get into Melbourne 2 days early so will entertain options on what to do with those two days.
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Re: Feedback on OAMD (Melbourne to Darwin) or OAAD?

Postby kcupp95 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:51 am

Explorerwannabe how was your trip?

Did you feel you had enough time at each place and where the driving times horrendous?

Would love to hear all about it!!!
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Re: Feedback on OAMD (Melbourne to Darwin) or OAAD?

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:41 pm

kcupp95 --

It was fantastic. You have to look at tours like these as tasters because of course I'd like to have spent another day or two at every location we hit but what we did was incredible. We kept talking about things we had done as if they had been a week ago and then stopped ourselves realizing it was only a day or two before.

Our CEO, Duffman, was on his very first G trip but has years of experience as a guide in Australia and it showed. He planned and managed the trip very well and was incredibly enthusiastic about it all. I would probably rank him right up there with Elbie as one of the best guides I've ever had.

As far as driving times go, I would ignore the times listed in the G trip details but the drives were interspersed with breaks and activities so other than the last day on the road to Alice, it wasn't like we were just driving and driving with nothing to see or do for hours upon hours.

I still have to put up about 10 days on my travelog (http://gadget-travels.net/travelog) and then I want to write a full trip report to collapse my observations and recommendations into a single document but you're welcome to peruse the days that are on there.
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