Plan to visit these wonderful places within the next 12 months. Husband and I are in mid-seventies. We are still debating taking an arranged tour (like Tauck) or going on our own. Obviously, there is so much to see and we know we will miss some things. We are essentially city people and do not want to miss Melbourne and Sydney in Australia. Also have friends who live on the North Island, New Zealand. Any suggestions or horror stories are welcome.
This would have been a question for the “Let’s talk travel” section😉
Obviously, everybody is different but I believe Melbourne and Sydney are cities that can easily be traveled without a prearranged tour. Both cities are non-stop flight destinations from the U.S., both are home to several well known hotel brands if that’s important to you. And both cities are well connected to each other with several flights per day in each direction.
Once there, everybody speaks English (although with the occasional strong accent 🤣), so there are no language barriers of any sorts. All major sites are close to each other, either within walking distance or they can easily be reached by public transportation, so you don’t need a car. In case you get ever lost, Australians are very helpful, friendly and outspoken people, means you can ask for directions. You will never stay hungry, there are so many good restaurants, it’s impossible to try them all. Both cities are very walkable but taxis or other means of transportation are readily available if needed. Entertainment options are endless, from theaters to opera houses and concerts, museums to art exhibitions or just a plain ferry ride, it all depends on you. Both cities could keep you busy for days, there is just so much to see and do. Just go with the flow and you will discover.
If you ever get tired of the cities (hard to believe), you could book tours to the surrounding countryside once you are there through the hotel or any of the travel agencies. Potential excursions could be the Blue Mountains north of Sydney, Phillip Island with its Penguin Colony south of Melbourne or the Great Ocean Road with the famous Twelve Apostles southwest of Melbourne, just to name a few.
Those were are just a few thoughts...but you have to know that we are not fans of prearranged travel in general, we love surprises although we book our flights and accommodations always in advance.