2 weeks - so much to do so little time!

Old Sep 10th, 2004, 12:14 PM
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2 weeks - so much to do so little time!

I posted here a few weeks ago with very little idea of what I might be interested in and have now managed to do a bit more research, including reading the amazing resources on this forum (makes me feel a little guilty about how little I know of my own country). It's been a learning experience for sure

Anyhow, I have 2 weeks in Australia, arriving in Sydney November 14 and departing November 27. Other than any time I spend in Sydney, I'll be on my own, but I'm pretty much game for anything. I'm in my mid-thirties and enjoy the cities, but also love the outdoors/wildlife.

I would be grateful for any thoughts on my proposed itinerary:

Nov 14 - 18 Sydney

Nov 19 - fly to Cairns, stay 4 nights - based on what I have read, I would like to snorkel the GBR, visit Undara and the Daintree Rainforest. Perhaps I've lost my head, but the Play Postie experience also has me very intrigued. Is 5 days/4 nights too little time for this area?

Nov 23 - fly from Cairns to Melbourne and spend the next 3 days driving the GOR. I am thinking overnight stops in Apollo Bay and Port Fairy (would I have time on the return drive to do Grampians or is another full day required?)

Nov 26 stay in Melbourne then fly to Sydney on 27 and back home.

Am I allocating too much time to Sydney - I would love to squeeze in a wine tour of Hunter Valley or Yarra Valley (the latter I know would require more time in the Melbourne area) but will I be spreading myself too thin trying to do that?

Sorry its such a long post but any feedback would be muchly appreciated -and I promise I will *not* complain about chipped furniture
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Old Sep 11th, 2004, 05:44 AM
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Hi, whiskey!

We'd also like a guarantee that you won't complain about mouldy tiles and loose mirror frames, thanks!

I think your itinerary sounds great, and I can't think of anything much to change. I don't think you're allocating too much time to Sydney; in fact, if I were you, I would take a day out of the GOR/Melbourne leg and add it to Sydney, so you could do a day trip to the Blue Mountains (great at this time of year) and another to Canberra (at its best in October-November, and a much undervalued destination... you'll get there and wish you had three days.)

If the Hunter Valley wine trip really appeals, then I'm sure you will enjoy it, but I must say that there are far more scenic areas and interesting activities closer to Sydney -- I don't know that the rewards are worth the travel time.

Have a wonderful time!
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Old Sep 11th, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Hi, Whiskey,
You certainly have done your research! Sounds a great itinerary. I think you have spread yourself very well for such a limited time. I really enjoy visiting both cities for quite different reasons. And Cairns is so different again. I would so like to Play Postie, too, but have a slight problem with flying in anything smaller than a 747!
Have a great time. Just a tip - my sister bought underwater disposable cameras to use when snorkelling, and the photos were just awesome.
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Old Sep 11th, 2004, 03:52 PM
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I would highly recommend staying in Port Douglas instead of Cairns. Port Douglas has a beach and is closer to both the rainforest and the reef than Cairns. Port Douglas is a great little town with lots of shops and restaurants and a great spot for day trips.
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Old Sep 11th, 2004, 06:29 PM
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whiskey - if you look at map on you will see that Cairns is as close to GBR sites as Port Douglas. There's a larger choice of snorkel trips out of Cairns at various prices. The Wet Tropics Rainforest (World Heritage) extends from just north and slightly west of Townsville at the southern point to south of Cooktown in the north and Ravenshoe in west. The area known as Daintree rainforest is only part of Wet Tropics and is do-able on a day trip from Cairns. Cairns is closer to Undara Lava Tubes and airport for Play Postie flight, which is well worth doing. Just a little west of Cairns is magnificent rainforest at Lake Morris - mainly only visited by locals - the only tour I know which includes it is Wilderness Eco Safaris - 4x4 - There are many other magnificent rainforest areas in Wet Tropics, but you have limited time and I don't want to confuse you.
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Old Sep 16th, 2004, 10:10 AM
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Thanks very much for your responses.

Alan I am afraid I would have to draw the line at moldy tiles - even we Canucks have our standards you know

Re the GOR trip, it seemed to me from what I had read and looking at the maps, that I needed 2 nights/3 days without it being too rushed - was I wrong?

I won't wade into the Cairns/Port Douglas/Palm Cove debate ;-) but after everything I've read on here, I couldn't *not* stay at Lilybank. Will definitely try to Play Postie if I can swing it.

Dotty thank you for the camera tip - though I am sure with even the most idiot proof camera, my shots will be dreadful!

A further question if you don't mind, can someone recommend a good vegetarian restaurant(s) in Sydney? I heven't decided where I am staying there yet so location doesn't matter at this point.

Thanks again.
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Old Sep 16th, 2004, 10:23 AM
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Hi Whiskey,

Most good restaurants in Sydney and for that matter in Australia generally have a vegetarian selection on their menus. Of course there is vegitarian and there is vegitarian. If you are an ultra vegan then I am sure that you will still find a good selection in the Darling Harbour precinct.


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Old Sep 17th, 2004, 06:29 AM
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Hi Whiskey, If you stay at the wonderful Lilybank as we did, you have immediate access to Pat and Mikes 'encyclopediac knowledge of the area and to the fabulous Garden Room Restaurant. In Cairns I believe you are also closer to the Atherton Tableland w/ beautiful waterfalls and crater lakes.

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Old Sep 17th, 2004, 09:12 AM
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If you stay at Lilybank while in Cairns and go to the Garden Room, you can have an incredible vegetarian Sri Lankan dinner. We did not seek out specifically vegetarian restauants, but were able to find good vegetarian items everywhere.
We took the Wavelength snorkeling tour which was fantastic, and they sell both a high quality underwater digital camera, or a CD for $20 of photos taken by one of the crew that were much better than anything we could have taken. We did not make it to Undarra Lava Tubes, which I greatly regret, but Pete Baxendell does lead a tour there. The tour we took with him to Laura and Split Rock was fantastic.
Have a great trip!
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