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16 nights - Need Australia Itinerary Help Please!

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Hello - My husband and I will be traveling to Australia for the first time at the end of November. We had a great itinerary set up, but after having a hard time finding room in Byron Bay we found out about "schoolies" week - so we are trying to come up with a new itinerary to avoid the schoolies as much as possible.

We fly into Sydney on 11/17 and fly home from Brisbane on 12/2. Our only MUST do is to take an overnight sail charter around the Whitsunday's. We want to have a good mix of relaxing beach time and active adventure on our trip (think - hike to waterfalls, snorkel/diving, climb the bridge in Syd), here is what we are thinking (each is the place we will be SLEEPING in:

Night 1 - Sydney
2 - Sydney
3 - Sydney
4 - Port Douglas (flight to Carin)
5 - Port Douglas
6 - Port Douglas
7 - Port Douglas
8 - Noosa (fligt from Carin to Brisbane, rent a car)
9 - Noosa
10 - Noosa
11- Airlie Beach (flight from Brisbane to Airlie)
12 - Whitsundays
13 - Whitsundays
14 - Airlie Beach
15 - Brisbane (flight from Airlie to Brisbane)
16 - Brisbane
17 - fly HOME

My worry is that we will be spending too much time in planes - am thinking about cutting out Port Douglas if that is the case as we will be going out to the GBR while in the Whitsundays.

We have also toyed with the idea of adding a couple days to see the Blue Mountains. I am from Montana and we now live in Seattle, so we have some very beautiful mountains/scenery around us - do the Blue Mountains compare to Mt. Rainer/Glacier National Park ect?

I would love some thoughts/recommendations.


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