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Private Tour Guides for Brisbane, Cairns, and Sydney?

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My spouse and I are planning a trip to Australia in late August 2012. We plan to spend 14 days split between Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns. Because we will fly between cities and we don’t plan to rent car, we aren’t sure how we’ll travel around for sightseeing. We’re most concerned with getting around in Brisbane and Cairns, and less concerned with getting around in Sydney.

We generally avoid group tours, preferring to hire a private tour guide instead. However, we haven’t been able to find many (if any!) names of private tour guides and/or drivers in Brisbane or Cairns. We can probably make do with just a private driver, since we are from the US and won’t have a language barrier. Does anyone have recommendations? Or alternatively, how difficult is it to reach some better-know sights via public transportation? We are still in the preliminary planning stages, but our wish list of sights follows.

• Brisbane Area Wish List: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo, Fraser Island for whale watching
• Cairns Area Wish List: Kuranda scenic railway, Cape Tribulation, Great Barrier Reef helicopter, Quicksilver cruise or Subsea Explorer, Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park
• Sydney Wish List: Opera House, Harbour cruise, Harbour Bridge Climb, Taronga Zoo, Bondi Beach Coast Walk, Blue Mountains (Katoomba Skyway and train), Hunter Valley wineries, Jervis Bay for whale watching

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