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Need advice on my 8-day itinerary in Nov (with kids)

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Kuala Lumpur...
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Need advice on my 8-day itinerary in Nov (with kids)

We will be traveling with 3 kids (12,10 and 6) from 10 - 18 Nov 2012

The plan is to rent a car and visit all out of town attractions for the 1st half of our journey and CBD will be covered using the public transport.

10 NOV 2012 (Sat)

9.30am land at Tullamarine Airport and pickup our ride (Tarago)

Detour to Essendon DFO for WorldKitchen, food supply and clothes (we bring minimal clothes so can buy more new clothes :P)

Head to Sovereign Hill (close @ 5.30pm)

Spend the night at Grampian/Halls Gap

11 NOV 2012 (Sun)

Visit all attractions at Grampians/Halls Gap (is walking to Balcony too heavy for my kids ?)

Midday or few hours after, head to Warrnambool (maybe detour to Port Fairy if time permits)

Visit 12 Apostle at sunset (checked sunset on 11/11/12 is 8pm, is it correct? A bit off to me)

Backtrack and spend the night at Warrnambool (or should I just stay at Port Campbell)

12 NOV 2012 (Mon)

12 Apostle during daylight

Drive slowly and visit all attractions along GOR

Spend the night at Lorne/Geelong (which is better ?)

13 NOV 2012 (Tue)

Head to Queensliff & catch ferry to Sorrento

Visit Mornington area and continue to Philips Island

Spend time visiting PI’s attractions until it’s time for Penguin (7.15pm)

Spend the night at PI

14 NOV 2012 (Wed)

Head to Puffing Billy to catch 1st train ride (10.30am)

Visit other attractions nearby

Head to CBD (maybe detour for Brighton or St Kilda)

Check in hotel and return our Tarago

15 NOV 2012 (Thu) – 18 NOV 2012 will be spent to visit attractions in town on foot or using free/paid transport.

Big question: is GOR less attractive or troublesome to stop and cross the road since we’ll be traveling at the other side of the road instead of the one next to GOR amazing view. Should I reverse my itinerary by starting with Puffing Billy first and only head to CBD from Ballarat .

Your advice is very much appreciated.

East Gippsland
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1. Re: Need advice on my 8-day itinerary in Nov (with kids)

Your itinerary sounds quite good. Since when you land you will be on the Ballarat side of Melbourne you could do that first as per your suggestion. There is also a mini Australian zoo at Ballarat which the children would like. Maybe a better idea to stay o/night at Ballarat and head off early for the Grampians. where you may be lucky to see kangaroos, koalas and echidna in the wild.

Leave out Port Fairy.

Visit the Maritime Museum for Pirate stuff at Warrnambool and /or the Childrens Park(can't remember the name)

On the GOR so long as you keep to the road rules and keep your eyes alert for crazy drivers you will be fine driving the opposite way to the traffic. The 12 Apostles parking area will be on your side of the road, but the other attractions you will need to cross over the oncoming lane.

Stay overnight at or near Port Campbell. There is a Farm Stay very close by to the Apostles- Mackas- and a couple of others. No good back-tracking. Maybe your Farm Stay can take you or direct you to the Gloworms at Melba Gully for a late evening trip. (can only be seen at night-take torches, its fun)

Be sure to pick up some warm clothes as November can still be quite chilly,especially along the coast.

After the GOR spend the night at Queenscliffe taking the road through Ocean Grove to arrive there.

Kuala Lumpur...
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2. Re: Need advice on my 8-day itinerary in Nov (with kids)

Tqvm gardenboffin, really appreciate your effort in 'scrutinising' my iti.

One more question, if we book a room which can fit all of us (2A3C) but the room is categorised fit for 3 or 4, would that be an issue During check in when the they found out we hv extra body? Reason being we dont need sophisticated place since we just need a place to sleep & will checkout 1st thing in the morning, its not worth paying so much for big space, we a tiny & queen bed easily fit 3.

Or should we just rent a motorhome ? How difficult it is to move around esp in town ? Parking wise i mean

Edited: 07 June 2012, 11:06
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3. Re: Need advice on my 8-day itinerary in Nov (with kids)

Hi there,

My opinions -

Day 1 - you will not fit everything in. By the time you leave the airport say 1030 and get to DFO (not far) and shop (say 2 hours) it will be around 1.00. It is then at least an hour to hour and a half to sovereign hill. Sovereign hill is usually an all day thing. It is really big with lots to see and do. It's pricey to get in too so why waste your money by racing through it? It is then another 2 hours at least drive to halls gap.

Halls gap - the balcony is not a tough walk. They will be fine. I was there last December and self and 2 kids walked to the bottom and top of the falls and then to the pinnacle - prob 10 k's all up. Recommend the pinnacle and the falls. You have to drive to different car parks for them - download and print the map from parks Victoria web site. Again I think you are trying to do too much in the day. Don't bother with warrnambool. Or port fairy. Pretty town but a fair way out for a flying visit. Don't stay in port Campbell - go to Apollo bay.

Lorne or Geelong - Lorne. Geelong is a lovely town but Lorne better for visitors.

Remember it will take at least 1.5 hours Phillip island to Belgrave (puffing billy). Don't go all the way to Gembrook. Lakeside is plenty. Take a picnic that you can get from the main street of Belgrave. 5 min walk from where you park car. After puffing billy a popular tourist attraction is feeding the wild birds at grants picnic ground in kallista which is about 5 minutes drive up monbulk road from Belgrave. Parrots and cockatoos. Cockatoos are a real pest but visitors love feeding them!! The kids will love it!!

A side trip to Brighton or st kilda - don't worry about Brighton. Go to st kilda. Walk down acland street or go to the sea baths or Luna park. You can buy single rides there. It's a bit expensive that way but limit it to say 2 rides each. There is no admission fee.

What I would do

10 -arrive. DFO but limit it to 1 hour. Sovereign hill - it will be rushed but you might get 4 hours in. Stay in ballarat.

11 - halls gap. Walks. Not a lot else in halls gap. Great aboriginal centre 5 min out of town can't remember name.we spent 2 hours there. Kids painted their own boomerang and one of the guys showed them how do do it properly and what all the symbols meant. Stay in halls gap.

12 - drive to 12 apostles and then Apollo bay for the night

13 - GOR to Queenscliff and ferry across. Phillip Island - penquins. Again this is alot of driving and won't leave you much time to look around Phillip island. But if you can go to amaz'n things. It's fantastic.

14 - puffing billy grants then into cbd. St kilda for the afternoon.

So then you will have from 14 to 18 in cbd. 4 or 5 nights? Why not take longer doing the regional stuff and only have 2 nights in the cbd? What are you wanting to do in the cbd and where are you going to stay?

Sorry for such a long response - got a bit carried away!!!!

Kuala Lumpur...
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4. Re: Need advice on my 8-day itinerary in Nov (with kids)

gogirl123, you're such an angel. TQ TQ

Reason why we need to stop at Essendon is bcoz we plan to bring minimal clothes, we'll buy new one @ essendon to be worn during our journey. Yup u r right about not being able to fit in everything for Day1 (not to mention if there's flight delay). It may not be worth paying so much to only enjoy sovereign for few hours especially when you have kids. Point noted.

I'm estimating the driving time + toilet break based on googlemap.

Puffing Bill - ok our plan is up to Lakeside only

Based on my ori plan, we will have 4days3 night@CBD, we plan to stay around Swanston St to cover the town (sightseeing) + 1or half Day at Melbourne Zoo.

We might change the plan by starting with CBD 1st then only rent a car to cover the regional starting from Puffing Billy and spare 1 last day in case we need to cover the town again.

Ok, tq to you both gardenboffing and gogirl123 for your valuable input, so now back to drawing board.

Gungahlin, Australia
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5. Re: Need advice on my 8-day itinerary in Nov (with kids)

>>Reason why we need to stop at Essendon is bcoz we plan to bring minimal clothes, we'll buy new one @ essendon to be worn during our journey.<<

I've bought clothes and worn them while on holidays in the past but these days with most coming from overseas and being fumigated in addition to the other treatments I'd wash them first, in fact I've noticed increasingly the care labels do tell you to *wash before use*. Stopping to do laundry will delay you even more. Sovereign Hill is a great uniquely Aussie experience, shopping for cheap imported clothes is not, I know which I would prioritise. November should be warm enough that you already own suitable clothing.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Need advice on my 8-day itinerary in Nov (with kids)

rbj: I agree with MacKnee, you won't need any extra clothing that you can't buy in KL. It will be almost Summer here and about 25 degrees. The only thing I would suggest is a cardigan or long sleeved t-shirt to wear if it gets cooler in the evening. Possibly a windcheater/sweater/hoodie for the Grampians trek as it will get cooler up on the mountains and of course, suitable shoes for your bush walk.

Kuala Lumpur...
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7. Re: Need advice on my 8-day itinerary in Nov (with kids)

Thxalot MacKnee and Beryl-be,

we tend to shop alots of kid's clothes overseas during trip esp branded items to stock up not necessarily to wear during that journey only, coz it's much cheaper as compared to KL so instead of lugging our old clothes & pay more luggage fee to bring it back, we normally buy new one & definitely will be washed 1st (we will be staying @ places with laundry). We will pack at least 2 days worth of clothes, it's not like we travel with nothing packed but those we put on. hehe

Based on earlier input from others, Im now revising my plan so we can have more time @ Sovereign. We might start with CBD first and we'll be Q-ing at sovereign early morning :)

What about melbourne zoo ? I read it that 4 hours is more than enough. That will be part of our CBD itinerary, we have 4d3n (possible ??), We plan to do sort of lazy days and no rush in CBD since we have to drag 3 kids along, tired kids are no fun. Then only proceeded with on road trips.

For grampians, is a bush walk a must ? is going up to the Balcony involves the bush walk ? (need to google more, thx for the heads up) .All of us will be in our sports shoues/sneakers but I dont think I want to do any so-called outdoor xtvts.

Kuala Lumpur...
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8. Re: Need advice on my 8-day itinerary in Nov (with kids)

Haha funny, just googled bushwalking & it says hiking, my goodness. How a simple word can mislead me so much. I think we are ready for the mild part of Grampians.

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Need advice on my 8-day itinerary in Nov (with kids)

Hee hee, yes 'hiking' is more like it but I have to tell you that the Grampians are one of the most beautiful places I have been. It is definitely worth the hike. Given that you have kids, just take the shortest, easiest walk and do be careful with the allocated times they allow for the walks. I think they are not accurate and take longer. Just check with the ranger for more information.

n.b. 4 hours at the zoo is plenty. You just have to decide which animals you want to see and avoid the rest!

Happy travels

Kuala Lumpur...
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10. Re: Need advice on my 8-day itinerary in Nov (with kids)

beryl_be, am sure it's gonna be worth it, saw few pictures on the net & I know it's a must visit for me (yet to tell the kids haha can imagine my youngest pleading for pram, sorry kids we gonna bushwalking :P).

TQ very much to all of you gardenboffin, gogirl123, macknee and beryl_be, I've revised my plan according to your input and will start my journey with CBD first, whateva shopping needed can be done here & also stock up some food for roadtrip.


Then only we'll do the regional roadtrip starting with puffingbilly and end with SovereignHill. We will spend more time at GOR and if weather permits, may walk the beach and really smell it. Can't wait

Will start our last day with Sovereign and afterward spend whateva AUD left at Essendon before fly back to KL, our flight scheduled at 1am (can imagine lugging the luggage and dragging the sleepy kids but surely it would be great like what we had during Brisbane & GC trip). Thanks again.