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22-day trip in Australia - 5-person campervan, and no Brisbane yet...

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We are a family (DW, two kids 10 and 8) planning to visit Australia in end-April. We have cousins who stay in Sidney and we plan to spend 2-3 weekends there. We had a decent itinerary in mind and were about to make the various reservations when two 'scope creep' items happened. I give below a somewhat rambling list of queries that I still have not found answers for.

1. We reach Sydney on Apr 25 evening and would start our 'walkabout' on Apr 29. Two major plans are a 5-day visit to the Cairns area (Barrier Reef and forests) and a 14-day campervan trip to Melbourne, Adelaide, ending at Alice Springs.

Query 1: Considering the onset of winter, which one of these should be done first. (We are from South India and aren't really used to freezing temperatures.) My research so far doesn't indicate a strong tilt one way or the other.

2. Scope creep 1 - My father may join us and this would make it a 5-some. We drive a reasonably large car and the Britz Voyager, Mighty Double Down, etc. are just a bit bigger than my car and seemed like great choices. They would give us the campervan experience, without having to worry about a larger vehicle. Unfortunately, these have only 4 seats. Jucy Condo is supposed to have 5 seats but I can't find any availability for them.

Query 2: Are there other companies that have a not-so-large (< 6 m length) campervans that have 5 seats. It is not necessary for them to sleep 5, but that would be a good bonus. Camperman seems to have a decent range but they don't have an office at Alice Springs - neither does Jucy.

3. Scope creep 2 - We didn't have Brisbane in the itinerary, but that is a strong vote-in from the kids - thanks to Australia Zoo. Both Cairns and Brisbane can be included in our plan, but it would take out Ayers Rock from the plans. I was trying to find if there are any reef trips possible from the Brisbane area, but couldn't find any. We can skip the rainforests, but the Barrier reef is a must.

Query 3: Is there any possibility of a reef trip from the Brisbane area? We would have a car and can go a few hundred kms north of Brisbane if needed.

4. Issue - I had recommendations for the Big4 chain of campgrounds. The few that I looked at seem to require a 2-night or 3-night stay. I had believed that we could just do this - start from point A, drive 200-300 km, take in some sights, reach a campground at point B by late evening, sleep, and repeat.

Query 4: Is a 2-night stay the practice in all grounds? In the timeframe of our trip (late Apr, early May) are reservations required well in advance?

Thanks in advance.

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