Welcome guest! You are invited to register a free account to access our member-only forums.

40th birthday trip

User avatar
BornToLove
Member
Posts: 351
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2020 11:43 am

Awards

#1

DH turns 40 in August. The original plan was to do a big European adventure, but obviously that’s not an option. Sigh 😔

I’m looking for domestic trip ideas. A week away someplace warm (we’re in Melbourne so want to escape winter) and fuss free. We have been to all the usual Queensland spots, so open to something off the beaten path.

We like to snorkel, kayak, hiking and sightseeing. Lounging by the pool or on a beach is equally enjoyable for us.

Any suggestions welcome, we are drawing a blank.
User avatar
MsLaurie
Member
Posts: 658
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:54 pm

Awards

#2

What about Darwin? It’s absolutely amazing that time of year. Fabulous food and the gorgeous sunset market. You could go out to Kakadu and/or
across to Litchfield National Park. In Litchfield there’s amazing water holes you can swim and snorkel in with stunning clear water.
User avatar
Kiwi Bicycle
Subscriber
Posts: 1377
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:14 pm

Awards

#3

If you are feeling up to it what about NZ? I used to love winter days in Rotorua with hot pools in most motels and hotels, walking around the thermal areas on a cold day and more. Just another option.
User avatar
Fruitmincepies
Moderator
Posts: 1481
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:32 pm

Awards

Team Member

#4

Broome is lovely, Darwin has lots to do. I haven’t been to Broome in many years. However @Bornagirl has just been to both - any suggestions BAG?
User avatar
Catzilla
Member
Posts: 326
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:56 pm

Awards

#5

My husband turns 60 in September, so we're taking a week away in the September school holidays (along with SIL, BIL and BIL's wife) and heading to Alice Springs, including spending a day around Uluru.
Formerly Sandy Paws
User avatar
Jersey Caramel
Subscriber
Posts: 154
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2020 4:59 pm

Awards

#6

My DH turns 40 in October and we too had been planning for a European adventure. Sigh. Anyway, I have booked 2 weeks in Darwin/Kakadu. We're hiring a 4WD with all camping gear. Fingers crossed for no border closures etc!

The other option I was looking at was Lord Howe Island - it is pretty expensive, so probably a good option for a milestone trip. Not sure what weather is like in August though, it might not be far enough north to be warm.
User avatar
Bornagirl
Subscriber
Posts: 1845
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:51 am

Awards

#7

I've just been to Broome, Kununurra and Darwin.

Wherever you go, make sure you've got accommodation and car sorted before you commit to it. The places we stayed at in Broome and Kununurra were pretty much booked out for a while.

Darwin is probably cheaper than Broome or Kununurra, where most of the things you might want to do are not cheap.

Virgin was apparently on the verge of doing a direct Melbourne - Kununurra route prior to Covid, so that might resume at some stage, so probably better to wait for that, to go there. The Ord River, Lake Argyle & Bungle Bungles are pretty extraordinary, but accommodation (other than camping, which IS available with a serious 4WD) is at one place only which is otherwise only accessible by light plane, & is a package deal of over $3 per couple for two nights, all inclusive (meals, flights, walks around the bungle bungles.

Broome means two flights and with a week, I certainly wouldn't consider it, but it's definitely beautiful. Sitting down on the beach at sunset costs nothing, but things like going out to Horizontal Falls ($800+ ea) and many of the other things you can do there don't come cheap, but there's also heaps to do that doesn't cost that much. One of our best was a small boat (and I mean 'small') out to a reef with food and sparkling on the slow cruise back.

In your shoes I think I'd pick Darwin. One of the hghlights for us was going out to the Tiwi Islands for the day ($350 each), which involves 2.5 hours on a boat each way, and was pretty rough some of the way, so no good if you get seasick. It's all low key, but really was one very special day. If you go down to Litchfield, stay down there, but don't ask me for accommodation recommendations. :rofl: There is a lot to see and do, plenty of small hikes, and great variety. We went too early (just back today) and some parts were still closed due to not yet being cleared of crocodiles. Some of the places to see (not major ones) require a 4WD. You can 'see' Litchfield in a one day trip, but you won't get much hiking or relaxing swimming done. We covered most of it over two days. Another fabulous trip we did (about an hour from Darwin) is a nature cruise in the Mary River region - no jumping crocs in sight, but plenty in their natural environment. Ironically the bloke taking us is the son of the man who was the taxidermist for Sweetheart, the massive saltwater crocodile who lives at the Darwin Gallery & Museum (well worth a visit). Lots of WW2 exhibitions (one combined with the Royal Flying Doctor service) at the wharf, where there's loads of food.

We've been to Darwin twice, but not yet managed the Botanic Gardens. Nor have we been to Kakadu, which by all accounts, to be seen properly, deserves a week, so just that is an option for you.

Public transport is probably fine for the locals who know how the timetables work with their routines, but on our first visit it was pretty hopeless using it to get around.

I don't know what airfares are going to be like, we were booked with Virgin ($200 ea, one way) who cancelled the route. Ended up paying $220 for Qantas, but added three days to the trip to get that, otherwise it was $350 one way.

Apologies for the essay, it's all still fresh in my mind, given 12 hours ago we were sitting by the pool in our bathers in high twenties near midnight.
User avatar
BusbyWilkes
Member
Posts: 243
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 9:51 pm

Awards

#8

If you could stretch to at least 10 days (and money isn’t a major concern - assumption based on planned European trip) consider Cocos- Keeling Islands. Good time to go there and definitely a different/special trip.
User avatar
Bornagirl
Subscriber
Posts: 1845
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:51 am

Awards

#9

Catzilla wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 11:10 am My husband turns 60 in September, so we're taking a week away in the September school holidays (along with SIL, BIL and BIL's wife) and heading to Alice Springs, including spending a day around Uluru.
Enjoy! Alice Springs and King's canyon are on my bucket list. We went to Uluru (in December of all times) but couldn't stretch to cover King's Canyon at the time. So much to do in Alice Springs, have only scratched the surface the one time I've been there.
User avatar
Catzilla
Member
Posts: 326
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:56 pm

Awards

#10

Bornagirl wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 12:57 pm
Catzilla wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 11:10 am My husband turns 60 in September, so we're taking a week away in the September school holidays (along with SIL, BIL and BIL's wife) and heading to Alice Springs, including spending a day around Uluru.
Enjoy! Alice Springs and King's canyon are on my bucket list. We went to Uluru (in December of all times) but couldn't stretch to cover King's Canyon at the time. So much to do in Alice Springs, have only scratched the surface the one time I've been there.
I’ve never been to Alice Springs before, and neither has DD. It will be an experience for sure.
Formerly Sandy Paws
User avatar
lexicon
Member
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 6:31 pm

Awards

#11

Another thing to consider, even though you have been to the usual Queensland spots: a sea kayaking trip in the Whitsundays. You can hire kayaks (and camping gear, if you don't want to take your own) and spend a week kayaking around the islands, camping on beaches as you go. There are lots of snorkelling and hiking options to break up the paddling as well. If you are interested, Salty Dog is the company that do the gear hire, and they are very helpful with suggestions for an itinerary as well. Highly recommended! There are also guided trips for the inexperienced, these are a lot more expensive but do include meals and all organising if you prefer just to turn up and enjoy.
User avatar
Prancer
Member
Posts: 377
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:44 pm

Awards

#12

Exmouth and Coral Bay in WA are just lovely. Ningaloo reef is gorgeous and as are the beaches. Also smaller towns so not a big city feel.
User avatar
lozoodle
Member
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 10:10 pm

Awards

#13

I'm going to Port Douglas with friends for my 40th this weekend.

Its my happy place :)
User avatar
Pigeonpairplusone
Member
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:38 pm

Awards

#14

North Queensland for me - we love Palm Cove or Port Douglas as a base & so many things to do. The Daintree, day tours snorkelling or diving, Kuranda village, Mossman Gorge. We stayed in Peppers Palm Cove two years ago & it was so good!

We are planning on doing Hamilton Island for DH’s 50th in two years time.
User avatar
Phillipa Crawford
Member
Posts: 176
Joined: Thu Oct 22, 2020 7:31 pm

Awards

#15

Lady Elliott Island for the snorkelling.
Although it won't be that warm - it is amazing.
Ideally I would delay a little, until November for turtle laying
Post Reply