12 day trip

Old Dec 28th, 2004, 11:29 AM
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12 day trip

My daughter will be studying in Brisbane second semester. My husband, 18 year old son, 16 year old son and I will be visiting her. We arrive on the morning of 3/24 and depart 4/4 in the afternoon, all from Sydney. We are open to all ideas. The boys hate sightseeing and would be happy bungee jumping, snorkeling and exploring. My mother suggested Lizard Island. My brother suggested Port Douglas. Any ideas?
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Old Dec 28th, 2004, 01:21 PM
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Perhaps your daughter may like an input in this if she has time off. Wonder if waiting until she is in Brisbane first to see what she has to say about places to visit??
Otherwise the Gold Coast has all your boys would want and is only 45minutes from Brisbane.
There is nothing on Lizard Island that your boys would want to see other than the reef and that could be done better on a live aboard boat for them at least, ditto P/D. But we need more information from you as to what you are prepared to do in respect of bending to your son's wishes verses what you and your husband may wish to do.
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Old Dec 28th, 2004, 03:32 PM
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My daughter will be doing a five day orientation trip in Sydney, then going to Brisbane. She'll be traveling most weekends. My husband thinks that they would like to do more adventurous things than sightsee in Sydney. I figure that we are there three days. Do the harbour cruise, the bridge, the opera house, and the zoo. My mother says we should go see the Blue Mountains on one of those days. I've been looking into a liveaboard in Cairns and also saw that they do have bungee jumping there. Is it worth the time and effort to go to Ayres Rock? We do plan to spend a day in Brisbane before leaving. My husband hates organized tours.
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Old Dec 28th, 2004, 07:51 PM
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For your sons, I would suggest:

1. Climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge
2. Learning to surf at Manly or Bondi Beach (definitely at least visit Bondi).
3. Nighttime Ghost tour of the Rocks
4. Maybe going to the top of the Sydney Tower. The Skytour is silly, but included in the price.
5. Riding on an America's Cup yacht in Sydney Harbor. This was only running on Saturday when we were there. Unfortunately, the boat ran into the rocks below the Opera House while we were there.
6. Taking a jet boat ride in the Sydney Harbor. Can't remember the name of the operator, but they docked on the Circular Quay very near the Opera House.
7. If you go to the Blue Mountains, look into abseiling (rappeling) and visiting the Jenolan Caves. You might need to rent a car for this one.

Most things in Sydney can be reached easily by bus or train. Judging by the number of young school children on public transit by themselves, your sons could easily fend for themselves while you sightsee.

I would focus on Cairns/GBR, Sydney and Brisbane for this trip. Ayers Rock/Uluru is a long and expensive trip if it's not a must-see for your family. My husband and I loved Brisbane, although we weren't there long (and it rained). The kids might enjoy the theme parks and Surfer's Paradise (none of which we visited), although people have reported that the theme parks have nothing on the ones in the US.

If you have time in Cairns, attend a Reef Teach class, preferably before you snorkel/dive. Lots of info, but the farthest thing from dry and boring there is!
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Old Dec 28th, 2004, 11:00 PM
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Too hot still in the centre I think so I would skip that.
I don't agree that the theme parks in the USA are sub standard to those on the Gold Coast - the USA ones are neally as good but not quite! Seaworld is the best of all and is really a great day out especially if you are there when it is hot enough to ride the water slides. Dreamworld has its own Aussie style and is really only for those who like wild rides and having been to California land 3 weeks ago I think that California land is not quite as good but neally because it does have the "hotel drop thingie". However I don't think Movie World comes up to anything at all ( waste of time ) but then I was not that keen on Universal Studios much either.
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 07:52 PM
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Stormy has great suggestions, as does LizF. What would you suggest in terms of a liveaboard? Any good operators? We've operated sailing boats on inland lakes and 25' motor boats in the Bahamas. But I don't know that we are ready for barebone sailing.
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Old Dec 30th, 2004, 12:33 AM
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If you have operated boats before and are used to them then I would be the first to suggest getting/renting your own yacht in the Whitsundays and exploring the many inhabited and uninhabited islands of that group. It is a magnificent area, you get a little dingy with outboard also which means that you can hop onto any island you want with ease and stay as long as you want. The last time I handled a boat I upturned it and lost the mast into the sea - so much for my maritime skills!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 08:31 PM
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Went to Lizard Island with our two: ages 21 & 17. We were there for 3 nights. THEY LOVED IT! We all did. How can you not...3 foot giant clams that were iridescent teal, blue, and purple. We swam (right off the beach)with giant see turtles. Took one of their boats to a remote beach in the "blue lagoon" for a day. We also took a day rip to the outer reef. Wow! Sharks, eel, colors of fish that I never new existed and the food was amazing. A once in a life time experience!
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