2 1/2 weeks in Australia in September

Old Apr 30th, 2009, 07:11 AM
  #1  
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2 1/2 weeks in Australia in September

What major areas do you recommend we see? My husband and I were planning a few days in Sydney, fly to Cairns and spend a few days there (we love to dive), fly to Darwin and go to Kakadu Nat. Pk. and spend a few days there, fly to Ayers Rock for a few days and then to Sydney. Are we crazy? Should we delete parts or do you think we can handle all. We love nature and the local culture. Do you have any recommendations?
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 09:32 AM
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We did something similar a few years' ago but skipped Ayer's Rock. We did Brisbane, Noosa, Fraser Island, sailing in Whitsundays (great diving) , Cairns and Cape Tribulation. Then spent an extra week between Sydney and Melbourne. We didn't find it tiring at all though we did a lot of driving. There is so little traffic compared to Europe and the road surfaces are brilliant. The flying was also easy. It kind of depends on style of travel. We always like to move a lot and see as much as possible. We don't travel to rest or relax but some people think we're crazy!
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 01:13 PM
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ALF
 
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Your trip sounds do-able to me. Consider taking a dive boat out of Port Douglas instead of/in addition to going out of Cairns. I think that the operator in PD tend to cater more to serious divers, compared to many of the Cairns operators.

In Sydney, I'd take a day to drive (or take a train) out to the Blue Mountains. In Kakadu, consider going on the Yellow Water Billabong cruise, near Cooinda, in the south part of the Park. At Uluru, check out the Valley of the Winds hike, in Kata Tjuta.
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 04:32 PM
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Yes, it will be busy but it's do-able.
Based on your choices of destinations, I'd recommend:

Sydney (3 nights)
Port Douglas instead of Cairns (5 nights)
Darwin & Kakadu (5 nights)
Uluru (2 nights)
Sydney (2 nights)
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 05:46 PM
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If you go to Kakadu, be sure to do the early morning Yellow Water Billabong cruise. At that time of year, it is the end of the dry season and all of the crocodiles and birds are concentrated in the limited amount of water. This early morning cruise was probably the most amazing part of our entire 5 week trip in Australia!! (We stayed at the Gagadgu Lodge in Cooinda, so we pretty much just had to roll out of bed to make it to the 6:45 cruise. Be sure to book the cruise in advance--it's very popular!).
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Old May 4th, 2009, 04:31 PM
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If into wildlife and scenery do not forget the Atherton Tablelands while in Port Douglas or Cairns. As you love diving why not maximise that with a live a board and then take a couple of days to see the hinterland.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 10:15 AM
  #7  
SnR
 
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Hi, since you love to dive, I would recommend the Spirit of Freedom dive boat out of Cairns. We are snorkelers, but the divers on board had a great time. We did a similar trip to yours in 2004 in 3 weeks, so it is doable. Make sure your flights are possible--we had to take a very early flight out of Darwin to get to Cairns, which meant positioning ourselves in Darwin which affected the number of days in Kakadu. We spent 3 nights in Uluru area which I thought was worth it (search forum for others' opinions) I agree with Saltuarius to spend some time on the Atherton Tableland if possible. Happy planning!
Sally in Seattle aka SnR and SnRSeattle
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