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Off Topic :
Trip to Fiji and Australia next year - suggestions? Scuba sites?

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 gmc94 (original poster guide #62810) posted at 8:04 PM on Monday, June 20th, 2022

Soooo. - looks like I'm going to Fiji, and given the time to get across the globe, want to go to Australia too.

1st question is that diving the barrier reef is on my bucket list (for like 40+ years). I have really enjoyed scuba, but my last dive was >10 yrs ago (I think. - had hoped to do so during a 2018 trip to Roatan, but it was mere weeks after dday and I honestly did not feel safe w/in my own body at the time). So, I'm going to take the full course again and probably do check out here in the states. Any suggestions on best places / what's worth the travel time along the GBR? I know lots of snorkelers, but dunno if I know any divers who have done GBR.

Then there's trying to figure out if it's worth the travel time to go to the central corridor/Ayer's rock. I can fly US to Sydney then catch a flight to ayers area, then have a day or so before having to head to Cairns or Brisbane to dive for a day or two and then will have to head to Fiji (will be meeting a large group in Fiji). I'm just not sure it's worth the time and $$$ to see the central country. I've explored similar geography in the US (Utah, NM, NV, AZ, etc). I'm thinking I may rather try and find things to explore along the Gold Coast (not so sure I wanna add more diving, as I'll be diving in Fiji as well, and will need to consider the 18+ hr "rest" before flying again).

In Fiji, will have a day in Nadi before taking boat to the Yasawa islands for the rest of the week. That was a tough decision, as Suva and that end of Viti Levu looked pretty cool, with more cultural stuff than Yasawa side of things where it's a 3+hr boat ride to Viti Levu, so it will basically be a week of beach/water activities (which is great, but I DO like to try and get some feel for the county beyond the beach). Anything special to see / do in an afternoon & evening in Nadi?

I COULD extend another few days to hit NZ, but I'm just not so sure about that. Another option is to do a week in NZ, then fiji for a week, and then try and hit the barrier reef for 3 days and then back to the US. Extends the time away, and adds $$$ so not sure I could make that happen.

Anyone have any thoughts/experiences/suggestions?

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3809   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8741097
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ZenMumWalking ( member #25341) posted at 8:22 PM on Monday, June 20th, 2022

I'm not a 'diver', but I twice did gbr dives for 'non-divers' - there's a teacher, it is very safe. If you want to do it on your own, you will need to be padi certified (not sure of the time frame). Depending on the dive company, you may also need a medical exam.

Do make sure that you have enough rest time before flying.

I haven't been to central Oz, mainly because I have friends in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Freemantle!! So it's not something that I would do, unless it holds some very special pull for you.

Have a look at Lonely Planet guides, you can get a pretty good idea of whether what you are thinking of will appeal or not.

And one thing to remember - it is a BIG. COUNTRY.!!!!!!!! So forget jumping around from place to place - you've got to give it time.

I LOVE Oz (or is it just all my friends?? laugh laugh laugh Assuming covid doesn't rear it's ugly head again, this summer (ie, winter!!) will be my 5th time going. Probably won't dive this time, will mainly be staying in / around Melbourne, but probably will find some snorkeling to do.

ENJOY!!!!

Me (BS), Him (WH): late-50's
3 DS: 26, 25, 22
M: 30+ (19 1/2 at Dday)
Dday: Dec 2008
Wanted R, not gonna happen
Used to be DeadMumWalking, doing better now

posts: 8443   ·   registered: Aug. 28th, 2009   ·   location: EU
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getbusyliving ( member #71058) posted at 8:27 PM on Monday, June 20th, 2022

I can't help you with Aussie or Fiji but could make suggestions if you are thinking of coming to NZ smile What month next year are you planning to travel?

BS:54 (me). WS:54. together 30 yrs on DD1 March 2017.

TT /lies until DD2 July 2017OL,P, EA, Sex workers.

Dates known: 1991, 2004, 2009, 2011, 2016, 2017.

posts: 86   ·   registered: Jul. 21st, 2019   ·   location: Aotearoa /NZ
id 8741100
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tushnurse ( member #21101) posted at 9:11 PM on Monday, June 20th, 2022

I have zero recommendations for you, but I am so thrilled for you.
What an amazing experience.
Definitely take the recert class. It's well worth it, they go over how all the new watches work, no more doing math underwater.
Anyway I found it to be well worth it, and get Heliox cert'd so you can dive better/longer/more easily.

Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 22 & 25
Married for 30 years now, was 16 at the time.
D-Day Sept 26 2008
R'd in about 2 years. Old Vet now.

posts: 19321   ·   registered: Oct. 1st, 2008   ·   location: St. Louis
id 8741106
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sisoon ( Moderator #31240) posted at 9:38 PM on Monday, June 20th, 2022

I worked in SE Asia in the '90s with a lot of ex-pats from OZ, NZ, and North America. Everyone told us to go to the GBR and to NZ - South island, IIRC, but I could be wrong. Some people took the Beijing-Moscow RR trip, but they saw NZ first.

The project was mostly kids interested in night life and hooking up when they weren't working. Even so, they raved about NZ's scenery.

In the end, we couldn't do it, because my home office kept taking vacation days away from me (long story, not needed here). Also, all of our stuff was in storage, because my 8 month gig was a detour in a relocation from one city to another, and I felt homeless.

So ... I don't have personal experience with NZ, but the overwhelmingly positive words I heard again and again make me suggest you strongly consider going there.

Sounds like a great trip, whatever you do!

fBH (me) - on d-day: 66, Married 43, together 45, same sex ap
DDay - 12/22/2010
Recover'd and R'ed
You don't have to like your boundaries. You just have to set and enforce them.

posts: 27290   ·   registered: Feb. 18th, 2011   ·   location: Illinois
id 8741110
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Sally24 ( new member #70794) posted at 5:47 PM on Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

When we went 20 years ago, we flew into Melbourne. Drove down the Great Ocean Road and saw the 12 Apostles, then flew to Devonport, Tasmania and drove around the island to Hobart. Flew next to Sydney and then to Cairns where we dove the GBR. It's literally the only time I've ever gone scuba diving. The whole trip was 3 weeks in December, so we had time to explore at each stop.

We thought about going to see Ayers Rock, but there's just so much to do all up and down the east coast, we didn't think it was worth it to go all the way out there.

Never let your fear decide your fate

It's exactly the same only completely different.

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 gmc94 (original poster guide #62810) posted at 2:22 AM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Thanks everyone - and Sally. I'm thinking about skipping the rock too. Sounds like a long drive along the gold coast may be adventure and sighseeing enough?

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3809   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8741327
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getbusyliving ( member #71058) posted at 10:43 AM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

I thought I would put in a plug for NZ ha ha. Kiwis tend to like to have a friendly competition with our Aussie cousins, although our countries are nothing alike given Australia is a massive continent and we are mainly two tiny islands lol.

At the moment with a more limited Covid Airline service and only recently opening our borders, most people will travel into Auckland from overseas. If you were only staying a few days, then likely you would stay in the North Island and there are some nice diving spots in the top of the North Island as well as beautiful beaches and an interesting history (where our Treaty of Waitangi / Te Tiriti o Waitangi was signed). Central North Island is interesting with our geothermal areas but not far again are some beautiful beach areas in the Coromandel & Bay of Plenty region. When you see any adverts / photos of NZ, they are generally of our South Island, particularly our Fiordland region which is very beautiful. You would need more time though but could fly direct from Auckland to Queenstown and then explore. The best time to be in NZ is February / March. Our weather has settled and even better, all kids are back at school so it feels empty and prices are a bit more off season. While December and January are our summer months, our weather is temperate so can be a bit hit and miss, although some areas have really good summers. Our school holidays run from about mid December - early February so I would avoid those times if I had a choice. I love each part of our country for different reasons, both the north and south islands. We are very different from Australia e.g have very different bush (forests) to Australia and it is quite unique with our bird life from when we separated from Gondwanaland so many millenium ago. A positive plug for NZ - no poisonous snakes or spiders. (Well we have one - the Katipo where the female is poisonous and apparently there has been one death in known history. It is a shy spider and lives in specific places and I have never seen one.)

The only other thing is that it is a long way to travel and I find myself a bit more jetlagged coming home because of our time differences as well as the long haul flights. Most people would spend at least three weeks in NZ because of the distance. We are approximately three hours from Sydney and Fiji but it does all add up.

Anyway you may have decided on Australia where you will also have an awesome time, but I thought I would give you a bit more information about Aotearoa / New Zealand, just in cases grin . We are finally celebrating our first official indigenous celebratory holiday this Friday, called "Matariki", celebrating the 7 stars (others call the pleiades) which we will be able to see over the next few weeks. We all get a long weekend - yay. Much more relevant to many of us than the recent Queens birthday weekend (although I also liked the Monday off then lol).

BS:54 (me). WS:54. together 30 yrs on DD1 March 2017.

TT /lies until DD2 July 2017OL,P, EA, Sex workers.

Dates known: 1991, 2004, 2009, 2011, 2016, 2017.

posts: 86   ·   registered: Jul. 21st, 2019   ·   location: Aotearoa /NZ
id 8741354
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 gmc94 (original poster guide #62810) posted at 9:31 PM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Thank you getbusy! My kids are actually going to rent a Camp and do a week in NZ (tho haven't "decided", I think they will do North Island). Neither are big on scuba or THAT into snorkel, so it made sense (they will be there the last week in March, so sounds like a good time to go). And another family member are going to NZ for three months after the fiji leg, about which I am very jealous!

So - something to consider. I would love to do both, but I just don't think I can swing the time.

M >25yrs/grown kids
DD1 1994 ONS prostitute
DD2 2018 exGF1 10+yrEA & 10yrPA... + exGF2 EA forever & "made out" 2017
9/18 WH hung himself- died but revived

It's rude to say "I love you" with a mouthful of lies

posts: 3809   ·   registered: Feb. 22nd, 2018
id 8741419
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fareast ( Guide #61555) posted at 10:47 PM on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Very excited for you. Been to both Australia nine years ago for 19 days, and two trips to New Zealand and on to Fiji. Can’t help with scuba, but the snorkeling on the GBR out of Port Douglas was fantastic. Highlights for Australia were a three day visit to Kangaroo Island off of Adelaide, driving a rental car on the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne to the Twelve Apostles, and in New Zealand spending an overnight on the Milford Mariner on Milford Sound in Fiordland with the penguins and the dramatic mountains overhang on the South Island. Really can’t go wrong with so many great places to visit. We spent a week on Tokoriki Island on both visits to Fiji. A fantastic place to be pampered but I can’t speak to the scuba diving.

Never bother with things in your rearview mirror. Your best days are on the road in front of you.

posts: 3168   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2017
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getbusyliving ( member #71058) posted at 1:38 AM on Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

gmc94

End of March is our Autumn but it is still really settled right into April, just not as hot, although with our climate, you can still get really sunburnt. If your kids are here for a week in a campervan, I would really recommend they fly into Christchurch if they can (even if via Auckland) and focus on the South Island. We have some great travelling south with Lake Tekapo which has the clearest night sky and a very cold mountain lake, we have Aoraki, our highest mountain then travel south to Queenstown, and Fiordland where we have our sounds. If they like hiking (we call it tramping), there are some awesome tracks there, some require booking as there are huts to sleep in. There are also lots of great bike tracks etc as well as rivers to kayak etc. They could come back up via our west coast (glaciers) up to Nelson region - again some beautiful areas. While we have official camp sites we also have Department of Conservation (DOC) campsites which are really plain but are cheap and in the bush / sea and run by this government agency. They are on our government Department of Conservation website. I spent the summer in Southland doing one of our great walks, the milford track, and stayed at a place called Curio Bay where we literally swam with hector dolphins playing in the water when we went for a swim. It was amazing. If they want to do one of our "great walks", they could go on the DOC website and check them out to book. Most are in the south island and depends on their fitness. The Abel Tasman is an easier one though and can include kayaking if they wanted as you walk by the sea.

They can do a bit of research anyway to check it out themselves. Depends what they are into. Most people come here for the outdoor activities, scenery and quietness not our cities or awesome night life lol (cities are all the same really though).

BS:54 (me). WS:54. together 30 yrs on DD1 March 2017.

TT /lies until DD2 July 2017OL,P, EA, Sex workers.

Dates known: 1991, 2004, 2009, 2011, 2016, 2017.

posts: 86   ·   registered: Jul. 21st, 2019   ·   location: Aotearoa /NZ
id 8741469
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Tred ( member #34086) posted at 5:05 PM on Friday, June 24th, 2022

GMC,

I lived in the Northern Territory for 7 years, and Uluru (Ayers Rock) has been closed to climbing. It's quite a monolith to see, but it's over 400k to the nearest real town (Alice Springs) and there's not much to do at the resort other than go hiking. Of course, it's been 20 years since I've been there. For diving, on the west coast of Australia is Coral Bay - largest coral reef on the western side of a continent. Pretty spectacular, but not the size of the Barrier Reef. I never dove the reef, but we rented a 44' catamaran and did a self sail there and the Whitsunday Islands. Depending on the time of year, you may have to overnight in Sydney to catch the next flight to the center. Ayers does have an international airport now, but those flights mainly come from Japan. As ZenMum points out, it's a big country. Driving from city to city would pretty much be all you did. It may be best to pick a city to use as a base camp and see what interests you from there. Sydney and Brisbane both have a ton of stuff to do. It's not as dramatic of a drive from Melbourne to Adelaide on the Great Ocean Rd, but you could drive from Sydney down to Jervis Bay. It's about a 3 hour drive and has great views. Huskisson on Jervis Bay is quaint little town and a great spot for whale watching - the big ocean conveyor is real close to the coast there. And they have their own pod of dolphins that only live in Jervis Bay. Sydney is just full of stuff to do, from beaches to zoos to the Harbor Bridge climb, Opera house, and botanical gardens. A week isn't enough time! Brisbane is more artsy / laid back. The south bank there is a great area to visit - a big park where they've diverted the Brisbane river and turned it into a art and entertainment area. I'm certain if you go to Oz you'll find plenty to do! There is something at just about every cardinal point. Adelaide and Perth are both worth visiting as well. Hope you have a great time!

Married: 24 years (14 @JFO)
D-Day: 11/09/11
"Ohhhhh...shut up Tred!" - NOT the official SI motto (DS)

posts: 5817   ·   registered: Dec. 2nd, 2011
id 8741809
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