Australia, You Devil
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Q. We plan to honeymoon in Australia and New Zealand. Any recommendations on how two high-energy people can see as many animals and unique sights as possible?
Lee Conger, Alexandria
A. Australia and New Zealand will tire you out before you tire of them. In New Zealand, you can tramp along the Great Walks trails, explore 14 national parks and get a rush in Queenstown, the "Adventure Capital of the World."And in Australia, the physical agenda includes diving the Great Barrier Reef, rock-climbing at Grampians and hiking the Blue Mountains or the Great Ocean Road, where sights include seals, whales and the Twelve Apostles.
However, to cut down on travel time yet still keep up the activity level, consider the Australian island of Tasmania, a popular vacation haunt among adventurous Aussies. "The island is a one-stop shop for wilderness and outdoor adventure," says Tourism Tasmania's Claire Ellis. "You can get your feet dirty by day and be pampered at night."
Just 124 miles from Melbourne, the West Virginia-size Tasmania is a mix of both countries: It has the "dramatic mountains and rocky outcrops" of New Zealand, Ellis says, and the laid-back culture of mainland Australia. The island also has several wildlife parks, such as Bonorong, where kangaroos and koalas co-mingle with Tasmanian devils and potoroos.
One of Tasmania's best long-distance hikes is the 38-mile Overland Track, which slices through the interior. You can hike it solo and stay in rustic public huts along the way, or trek with a small group, stay in cushy private cabins and have someone else lug your gear. Cradle Mountain Huts ( http:/
When you're ready to crawl out of the bush, Hobart is an artsy harborside city with renovated warehouses and luxury hotels, such as the Henry Jones Art Hotel (011-61-3-6210-7700, http:/
Info: Tourism Tasmania, http:/
We're planning a summer vacation in Poland with our young daughters. What are some kid-friendly places and activities?
Amy Alapati, Damascus
With its parks (real and manmade), diverse cities and castles, Poland is a playground for children. "Poland offers unlimited attractions for children depending on where in Poland you are staying," Jake Wolosz, of the Polish National Tourist Office (201-420-9910, http:/
Warsaw's tourist office lists kid-friendly activities on its Web site ( http:/
If the children need fresh air, Zakopane is a mountain resort in the Tatras that offers summertime cable-car rides, hiking, wooden churches and a market selling handmade toys and other handicrafts. At mealtime, many restaurants feature such picky-eater fare as dumplings and apple cakes, served by waiters in traditional dress. In addition, if your children want to see how Polish kids spend their summer break, catch a train to the Mazurian lake district, where young campers go to canoe, swim, fish and play with others.
Is there an easy way to find all nonstop flights from the D.C. area to international cities?
M. Cotter, Potomac
For Reagan National and Dulles airports, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority's Web site ( http:/
Send queries by e-mail (travelqa@ washpost.com), fax (202-912-3609) or U.S. mail (Travel Q&A, Washington Post Travel Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071). Include your name and home town.