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Australia 18 day trip advice

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We will be traveling to Australia for the first time in May. I'd love any feedback on our planned itinerary.

We are a couple in our late 50's and love the outdoors, and photography.

6 a.m. arrival in Sydney, from the U.S. then spending 4 nights at the Russell Hotel in The Rocks.

Day 1 -Town Hall visit for leaflets, on DIY walking tours
I'm Free Tours of Sydney (tip the guide well). Their 3 hour tours are at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. every day.
Taranga Zoo Ferry ride over from Circular Quay probably limit ourselves to the Australian animals and bird flight show
Walk across bridge if time at dusk

Day 2 - Sydney Fish Market I'd love to do the morning tour, but I'm not sure if we can actually arrive so early. Tour at 6:40 a.m.
If not, just go in the morning later.
Ferry to Manly beach and do the walk along the coast.
Hyde Park Barracks Museum
Royal Botanic Garden and sunset photos

Day 3 - Trip to the Blue Mountains (Saturday) Taking the train independently Once there, there is a Trolly Bus or an Explorer Bus.
It seems that the Trolly bus runs in the opposite direction as the Explorer Bus. It is $25 while the Explorer bus is $38, but
runs more often. We'd like to arrive in Katoomba and return from Leura. I have mapped out where we want to hike here
using the site wildwalks.com

Day 4 - Market day in The Rocks
Bondi Beach Markets and walk to Coogee.

Day 5- Fight to Cairns, rent car We have 6 nights in this area. 1 in Yungaburra (Atherton Tableland), 1 Mosseman Gorge,
2 in Cape Tribulation, 2 in Port Douglas

Arrival in Cairns around noon. We overnight in Yungaburra, so I'm thinking of driving south, by Babinda Boulders,
Josephine Falls, Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway and Millaa Millaa Falls. We can't do all of this, what would be
our best choices? P.M. at the Williams Lodge

Day 6 - Atherton Tableland good map on the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service site for Wooroonooran National Park and
Talblelands Parks and forests (north & south) maps, and Misty Mountains region (map 1) Possibilities today: Lake Barrine,
Lake Eacham and Crater Lakes National Park, Curtain Fig National Park, Hasties Swamp NP and Mount Hypipamee NP.
Also the Granite Gorge with their Rock Wallabies interest me. What are the best choices? P.M. at Mossman Gorge B&B

Day 7 - Note we're skipping Kuranda (map on the same site for Barron Gorge National Park is good) The cost is to high for the skyrail and train.
I think it sounds to touristy.
We plan on starting the day at Mossman Gorge and the boardwalks. Taking the longer 3 km walk here.
Drive to Cape Tribulation stopping at several points on the way. Alexandra Lookout, Jindalba Visitor Area and Boardwalk,
Cow Bay Beach, Marrdja Boardwalk, Noah Valley walk, Kulki Lookout. P.M. 2 nights at Cape Tribulation Exotic Fruit Farm

Day 8 - Ocean Safari to the Great Barrier Reef, from Cape Tribulation. Half Day
Dubuji Rainforest Walk, Myall Beach 2nd night in Cape Trib.

Day 9 - a.m. Cape Trip, then the Daintree Discovery Center and aerial walkway
Sunset Cruise on the Daintree River 4:00 - 6:00
Drive to Port Douglas, Port Douglas Carnivale begins here tonight with a 7:00 p.m. parade p.m. By the Sea Port Douglas

Day 10 - Carnivale activities and beach time in Port Douglas

Day 11 - a.m. market in Port Douglas, Fly from Cairns to Darwin arrival at 2:45 rent 4WD Rental prices were SO high for our one
way rental here. We drop the car off in Katherine. Discovery Car Hire Australia was where I found the best prices.
P.M. in Darwin at the Travelodge Mirambeena Resort (so, so reviews but I got a good price) We'd love to see the Museum and
Art Galley museum here even if it's just for 1 hour. Botanical Gardens open until 7 p.m. Mindil Beach Night Market.

Day 12 - Leave early for drive to Kakadu. Stop at Fogg Dam, Windows on the Wetlands, Crocodile jumping cruise , Mamukala overlook,
Bowali Visitors Center. Is it $25 each for tickets into Kakadu or not? I see conflicting information on this on the web.
P.M. Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn

Day 13 - Nourlangie Rock walk, Anbangbang Billabong Walk, Bardedjilidji Walk, Manngarre Walk, Ubirr Rock formations and art,
Nadab lookout for sunset P.M. Gagudiju Crocodile Holiday Inn, night 2

Day 14 - Yellow Spring area, maybe just walks here since the a.m. cruise is almost $100 each. Does Australia have any coupon books
or National Park passes for reduced prices? This trip isn't to affordable:) with a weak dollar.
Warradjan Aboriginal Cultural Center, Mardugal Billabong walk (30 min.) Gungardun walk (1 hour)

Drive to Katherine return rental car here and board the Ghan - Red Service Day/Nighter Seat (airline type seats on this train,
early bird rate was less than flying to Alice Springs) P.M. on the Ghan to Alice Springs 6 p.m. departure

Day 15 - 9:00 a.m. in Alice Springs on The Ghan Rent Car See Simpsons Gap and Standley Chasm$10 admission, black footed wallabies there.
OR Desert Park. Which would be best?
Anzac Hill for views over Alice Springs.
We considered driving to Kings Canyon for the first night, but the hotel has absolutely horrible reviews now and we just couldn't stay there.


Drive to Ayers Rock 2 nights at Desert Gardens Hotel Sunset viewing from Car viewing area on Uluru Road towards the Cultural Centre.

Day 16 - Kata Tjuta Dune viewing for sunrise, Valley of the Winds walk at the Olgas
Whole base walk at Ayers Rock, in the afternoon start from the Kuniya carpark.
Sunset Talinguru Nyakunytjaku - Minymaku platform good sunset viewing. for Ayers Rock. The park website has great maps for the area.
P.M. Desert Gardens Hotel

Day 17 - Ayers Rock sunrise Talinguru Nyakunytjaku viewing area, Liru walk, 2 kilometer walk starting at the Cultural Centre,
then the 10:00 a.m (winter) or 8am Summer. ranger lead Mala Walk, 2 hours I think May is considered winter?? not summer?

1:30 flight to Sydney p.m. in Sydney at Castlereagh Boutique Hotel Great prepaid rate on Orbitz

Day 18 - Hyde Park area, then International flight

Thanks for your advice.

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