Good destinations in Australia/New Zealand

By djtech | Dec 02, 2018, 11:13 PM
Planning a family trip for April of next year. Will include my parents which are in their 70s and 80s. What would be good destinations/cities to visit and what specific attractions would you recommend?

Keep in mind that minimal walking (less than 1km) and definitely no hiking or the like. They prefer to look at architecture, museums and the like. Not a very nature orient family (so no bush trails or botanic gardens). Have already been to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and is looking for something new.
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By LatteLaptopLoon | Dec 02, 2018, 11:53 PM
Maybe Canberra with all the museums and art galleries. I enjoyed the harbour areas of Hobart and Auckland.
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By Sibelius | Dec 03, 2018, 12:01 AM
I think it's probably fair to say that both Australia and NZ have more to offer by way of "nature" than architecture, museums etc. And not all of it involves a great deal of walking. Maybe some sort of cruise might suit your needs? If you can afford it, a Kimberley cruise would be spectacular and eye-opening.

I haven't been to Adelaide so I can't speak for what's there but here are some other possibilities:
  • Canberra: a designed city with some interesting architecture, the National Gallery, War Memorial, Parliament House etc.
  • Hobart/Tasmania: Australia's second oldest city so architecturally may be interesting. MONA is a world class gallery but it could be a little confronting for people in their 70s/80s and not always suitable for children. There's some interesting stuff in the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery but you really don't need more than a couple of hours.
  • Perth: the city itself is a little underwhelming (if you're not interested in the Swan River and/or Kings Park) but Fremantle is great and it goes without saying that the architecture is interesting. Margaret River has great wineries and some pretty good restaurants.

Further afield, the NZ national museum in Wellington is fantastic but really, if you go to NZ you should go for the scenery.
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By tommygun | Dec 03, 2018, 06:45 AM
The most interesting architecture in NZ is Dunedin (19th century) and Napier (1930's art deco) I'd say, but there really isn't much otherwise.
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By sid | Dec 03, 2018, 07:46 AM
Another nod for Canberra, which has developed into a great city with culture, art, food, and even wineries in the local area.


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By ji | Dec 03, 2018, 09:46 AM
Agree with others re: architecture and just a quick point about NZ scenery:
There are some good train journeys in NZ that might be worth looking at.

How about Auckland to Wellington, ferry across and then down to Christchurch. Followed by Christchurch to Greymouth?





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By kimshep | Dec 03, 2018, 10:25 AM

Speaking of New Zealand, I would recommend hiring a car and drive from Auckland up through Whangarei and terminating at Russell on the extreme North Coast. Russell, formerly known as Kororareka, was the first permanent European settlement and seaport in New Zealand. It also served as the original capital for many years. It is situated in the Bay of Islands, in the far north of the North Island. The architecture and geographic surrounds are somewhat different to much of the North Island and Russell has a recommendable artisan vibe. This can easily be done as a day trip .. and also involves a water crossing (minimal cost) on a basic car-ferry.

To the south, don't discount Rotorua either. Far more touristy, but there are substantial cultural institutions explaining and displaying Maori culture. Both destinations are highly suitable for elderly visitors and walking is generally flat.

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By aklrunway | Dec 03, 2018, 12:41 PM
Queenstown. Simply stunning
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By tommygun | Dec 03, 2018, 01:26 PM
Queenstown is certainly stunning, but it is an "adventure" destination with little to interest older people who aren't into scenery. Some of the restaurants are good, many are overpriced and few can match those in Australia's cities. There isn't a museum (a small one nearby in Arrowtown looks at early settlement). Queenstown architecture has little of interest compared to say Canberra or Adelaide or even Wellington.
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By Rav | Dec 03, 2018, 03:48 PM
Adelaide, the people make it just worth it, lots to see and good public transport, a nice large country town.
Canberra, lots and lots to see,
Come via Melbourne and go for a tour either west or east of the city is worth a day trip.
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By Pabs | Dec 03, 2018, 06:12 PM
Based on what you'd like to see I would definitely recommend either Hobart or Christchurch & Wellington.
Hobart has a beautiful water front space with great early 1900s architecture, great food, you can drive up mount Wellington for a cool view of the entire area and a handful of museums and art galleries.
Christchurch and Wellington, Christchurch has really cool memorials and architecture being restored after the earthquake, some art galleries, Antartic museum and great food and in April you can go for a 1hr drive up the mountain for snow, and wine by a fire. Then you can fly to Wellington for the History museum there and art galleries.
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By Brassy | Dec 03, 2018, 11:29 PM
Adelaide!!
We have....um....two tram networks!!!
TWO!!!!!
We also have beautiful botanic gardens, a decent museum, good art gallery, a literal truck load of churches, zoo pandas (F$&@ing pandas, man!) (actually, they won’t f&@k and that’s a bit of a sore point coz they do bugger all else and we’d really like baby pandas) and the Mall’s Balls (shopping) all within a Km of each other. If you were to stay on north terrace (Stamford or intercontinental) you could easily do them all. Most inner city hotels are a short wander to the tram.
The oval is just over the river too, if they’re footy fans.
And we have awesome dining, from super expensive ‘n fancy (Orana, Africola) to cheap and awesome (Chuck Wagon) and great Thai.
Plus the tram goes all the way to Glenelg, which is like Bondi or St Kilda beach but has dragons* and awesome ice cream.
Plus it’s the only city Ben Folds sang a song about.
And if you wanted to do a drive, Hahndorf is only an hour from the city, has good parking, crazy old bluestone buildings, can be walked in an hour and has 1L beers. 1L!!!!! And awesome icecream.
Our airport is really easy to get out of (but the VA lounge still doesn’t have beer on tap) and there’s an ikea nearby. And a masters. Wait....never mind.
There’s also the wineries. Bugger the Barossa, drive into the hills and experience gorgeous Pinot, delectable Savvy B and Tenpren....tampein....other wines what are good too.
Did I mention the TWO tram lines, pandas and litre beers?

Brass
*dragons not guaranteed.
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By Ourmanin | Dec 04, 2018, 12:57 AM
If they like their food and drink then Adelaide and it’s surrounds are fabulous (I arrived in Australia 7 years ago from the U.K., my biggest regret, asides from ashes tours, is the fact it took me 3 years to get to Adelaide). Tasmania also incredible on that front as well.

Canberra I do like, but not sure how long I’d want to spend there, for me it’s a place to spend a weekend.


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By londoner | Dec 04, 2018, 02:37 AM
Art Deco City - NAPIER - North Island - absolutely majestic !!!!! Bay of Islands equally - stunning and well worth the travel ex Auckland city
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By gnhansen29 | Dec 05, 2018, 07:11 PM
What about somewhere in Queensland like Cairns and see some of the local museums and some of the architecture of the Queenslander houses?

Another place could be Echuca with the paddlesteamers and then take a side trip to Bendigo to see the heritage surrounding the Gold rush. I don't know what others think.
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