Australia 14, any advice much appreciated
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Dec 22, 2012 1:51 AM Last Post By: catherine30
Dec 18, 2012 12:46 PM
Australia 14, any advice much appreciatedHi All,
Myself and partner have booked to visit Australia the beginning of 2014 for a 5 week trip. We have never travelled before so new to all this.
Our plan is as follows: We fly from the UK to Cairns via Sydney. We spend 4 nights in Cairns. We plan to do a Great Barrier Reef tour, does anybody recommend any tour company in particular? We'd love to dive/snorkel. Also i would like to visit the Daintree Rainforest, is this a long way to travel from Cairns?
We then fly to Hamilton Island where we get a boat transfer to Airlie Beach for a 4 night stay. We plan to spend most of our time here on the Whitsunday Islands. Is there much else to see at Airlie Beach? Myself and Partner are early 20s so we do enjoy going out and socialising.
From here we fly to Brisbane where we spend 1 night, before setting off on a 3 day Fraser Island trip.
A transfer is then made back to Brisbane where we can spend 7 nights at the Gold Coast. Any recommended things to do/see here? We have plenty of time so hopefully see as much as we can (i.e. *Surfers Paradise, Byron Bay*).
From here we fly from Brisbane to Sydney where we spend 7 nights. Here we plan to do a sky dive, bridge climb, explore Sydney, Blue Mountains etc.
From Sydney we fly to Melbourne where we collect a car for 2 days whilst we travel as far as we can along the Great Ocean Road. We have a one night stay booked in Apollo Bay. We then have 4 nights to spend in Melbourne, where i would love to do a Phillip Island trip. Then it would be time to return to the UK.
If anybody has any advice, and views on our trip then please let us know.
Obviously our flights accommodation transfers and car hire are paid for. So we are trying to come up with a rough budget for how much we'll need per day. It will be food, tours/trips, travel i would say we were mostly spending our money on.
Any guidance would be much appreciated.
Dec 18, 2012 1:09 PM
1If it was me (and it isn't) I'd do less time in Sydney, (still see it but not a whole week) less time on the Gold Coast (Beaches - wow....too far to go for those) and more on the Great Ocean Road, adding places such as Halls Gap for a return loop.
ah....but I see it is all booked. Oh well. For costs; expensive, although it depends what the exchange rate does nearer the time.
Dec 18, 2012 1:25 PM
2Sounds like a great trip. Apart from tweaking an odd day here and there, I think you have it just right.
Cairns is the starting point for Daintree trips, you'll have no trouble finding a tour, or doing it yourself if you want to drive.
Gold Coast has beaches galore, plus there's Byron Bay, the hinterland, Nimbin, the theme parks - plenty to keep you busy.
Dec 18, 2012 4:01 PM
3All I can add is: get yourself plenty of sunscreen, long sleeved shirts and a broad brimmed hat. Take an umbrella to Cairns, as it will be the wet season so you can expect it to get wet and humid (not all the time obviously, but it does rain alot at that time of year). Drink plenty of water. Don't spend too much time in the sun - you'll end up with sunstroke.
Have a good trip.
Dec 18, 2012 5:17 PM
Sounds like a great trip you have planned and it's good to see you'll fit in a lot of the highlights, you'll have to come back again to do the west coast!
I'm from Cairns and have done a lot of the reef trips so might be able to help here. There are a lots of trips going out to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns but a few of my favorites are Passions of Paradise (Because it goes out the the reef and also stops at a coral Cay called Michaelmas Cay. They have a new sailing boat and they have great service and not too many people). Great Adventures also have a trip that goes to the Reef and Green Island in the same day (They also have a pontoon on the reef with lots of activities) and Tusa Dive is also another good trip for diving and they go to two different dive sites. There are a lot of options so do your research but these would be my picks.
Airlie Beach is good fun and not bad nightlife for a party night but the beauty of the Whitsundays is certainly in the Islands. Sailing trips are good fun and you can do overnight trips and make sure to see Whitehaven Beach, it's amazing. If you want to take it to the next level you can even get a seaplane or helicopter to take you for a picnic on Whitehaven beach.
7 nights on the Gold Coast is a long time so I would recommend getting out and seeing the surrounds. In the 'Goldie' there are the theme parks Dreamworld , Movieworld , Wet N Wild and Seaworld and little attractions like infinity and Ripley's Believe it or not. There is also a themed restaurant called Dracula's that can be a bit of a Laugh. The main things about the Goldie are the beaches so I'd say make the most of them and maybe do some learn to surf lessons. Places around would be Moreton Island and Tangalooma where you could stay a night and feed the dolphins (can also see dolphins at Seaworld) Australia Zoo (Sunshine Coast) Mt Tamborine National Park (Glow worm caves are interesting) and yes of course Byron Bay is worth a look. There are a lot of nice things to do in Byron Bay and one of my favorites would be Cape Byron Kayaks , worth doing if you're into that sort of thing. Fraser Island is a bit of a trip but might be worth looking into.
You can now Skydive out of a Helicopter in Sydney so that could be a good way to do it and the Blue Mountains are worth seeing. the Dinner Cruises on Sydney Harbor are nice and there are a range of options like comedy show, dance cruises etc. 7 nights is a lot of time to explore so you could also consider the Hunter Valley for a wine tour, trip to Jenolan Caves or Jervis bay.
Sounds like you have Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road sorted and the Phillip Island penguin experience is worth doing, get the upgraded package if you can though so you can sit down the front.
It all really comes down to what you like doing and how much you want to spend but there are no shortage of things to do in Australia and in particular the destinations you're going to. Anyway that's my thoughts, I hope it helps and you have a great time in Aus!
Dec 18, 2012 5:40 PM
5Oh and the Daintree/ Cape Tribulation is about 1 and a half to 2 hours drive from Cairns including the Ferry crossing and is a really nice coastal drive. You can do it with a hire car if you have one or there are a range of different tours and day trips that can take you from Cairns. There is also Port Douglas on the way which is a nice place for food and shopping. There is Jungle Surfing up there too which is Zip lines through the forest, did it with some friends a while back and it was fun.
Dec 19, 2012 2:27 AM
67 days seems a long time in Sydney and on the Gold Coast unless you have specific things in mind.
The beauty and exceptionalness (yeah, I'll just make up words) of Oz is, IMO, outside the cities. With that in mind I would second Halls Gap and make Philip Island more than a day trip and add Wilson's Promontory.
Dec 19, 2012 5:10 AM
7Australia Zoo is on the other side of Brisbane from the Gold Coast - you would probably be better to see Australian animals at Currumbin Sanctuary, and exotic animals at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. I can never understand why people suggest it to people visiting the Gold Coast.
It would probably be a good idea to hire a car for a few days while on the Gold Coast -much easier for visiting Byron Bay, and the surrounding villages, and Mount Tambourine, O'Reilly's and Binna Burra.
Dec 22, 2012 1:51 AM
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