2 wks in Aus - need help with itinerary

Apr 18th, 2016, 04:16 PM
  #1  
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2 wks in Aus - need help with itinerary

Hi, we are planning to be in Australia for 2 wks in July. We are flying in and out of Sydney and would like to do Cairns and either Uluru/Alice Springs/Kings Canyon or Byron Bay/Coffs Harbour/Nelson Bay. We are traveling with two kids, who are fairly good with travel, but would prefer places where there is enough to keep them busy - hikes/beaches etc. Our initial itinerary is below and we are leaning towards Byron Bay/Coffs Harbour/Nelson Bay. Would like your feedback on the itinerary and also whether it would be better to stay in Cairns or Whitsunday islands? Also, we are trying to avoid moving every night as we get back from Cairns, so please advise on what would be a good point to break in between and do day trips from. Is it also possible to visit Fraser Island with this itinerary without adding too much of a drive?

day 1: land in sydney, sydney city tour for day 1 and 2

day 3- blue mountains/Katoomba : not sure whether to drive or do a tour company

day 4 - fly to cairns

day 5, 6, 7, 8 - Cairns (Green Island, GBR, Daintree, Kuranda)

Day 9 - Fly from Cairns to Brisbane/Byron Bay and rent a car : whats a good place to make a base rather than jump around?

Day 10 - Byron Bay

Day 11 - Coffs Harbour and Dorrigo National Park

Day 12 - Drive to Nelson Bay and explore there

Day 13 - Drive from Nelson Bay to Sydney

Day 14 and 15 - Spend in Sydney



thanks in advance
1travlr is offline  
Apr 19th, 2016, 07:13 AM
  #2  
 
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First of all, I would go to Port Douglas rather than Cairns. (Fly into Cairns and rent a car for the 1-hour drive to PD). The main reason , among many, for this is that Cairns itself does not have a beach. You'd have to go to the northern suburbs for that. On the other hand, PD has the aptly named Four Mile Beach which your kids will love--mine did on the several trips we made there.

Also, skip Green Island. There's nothing there, especially the snorkeling, that's worth your time.
longhorn55 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2016, 11:02 AM
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Fraser Island is in the wrong direction - 3.5 hours north of Brisbane. Too far for a day trip.
Brisbane has a lot of toll roads so get a car with an electronic tag which will charge any tolls to your credit card.
We went on the Quiksilver Agincourt Reef GBR trip from Port Douglas - I really enjoyed it but it was 3 hours in the cat out to the reef and 3 hours back. My son (then 15)got a bit bored with the boat trip and the time on the floating platform as he's not much of a swimmer. It was $300 each so an expensive day out. I'd pick a shorter trip next time.
tasmangirl is offline  
Apr 19th, 2016, 03:06 PM
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While I have never gone out with Quicksilver, I have gone out on several other boats from PD to the Outer Reef and the travel time has always been close to 1.5 hours, not 3 hours. And the Quicksilver website also says 1.5 hours for the trip.
longhorn55 is offline  
Apr 19th, 2016, 11:23 PM
  #5  
 
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Oops got that wrong then..must have felt like 3 hours each way as it was quite bumpy.
It was worth the money however. If you are interested in the helicopter trip then wait until the afternoon and you might get a discount flight. We did because they had the helicopter only half full and offered a half price fare to fill it up. It was truly awesome.
Getting back to the original post - we also went to Airlie Beach on the same trip as my husband had an urge to revisit some of his holiday memories there but it was a bit hippie/surfy/backpacker for me. A good place for young people. We wanted to get to Whitehaven Beach but the weather was bad so didn't go. Cairns/Port Douglas would offer more activities for the family.
tasmangirl is offline  
Apr 19th, 2016, 11:31 PM
  #6  
 
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In July (our winter), I think Uluru would be preferable to the Byron Bay area. July is an ideal time to see the outback - the weather will be warm and dry. I'd suggest hiring a car when you arrive at Yulara - there's basically only one road and you can't get lost, plus the traffic will be extremely light.
Allow at least five nights in the area to give you time to get to Kings Canyon. If you are considering doing the canyon walk, it will take at least three/four hours and is reasonably easy for adults - may not be suitable for your children.
marg is offline  
Apr 20th, 2016, 11:33 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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<< July is an ideal time to see the outback - the weather will be warm and dry.>>

AND the flies will be far less numerous.

Don't underestimate this factor - go to the Red Centre in Aussie summer, and you'll be caked in dipterans crawling all over you (this is why flailing your arms in front of your face to get insects away from you is called the "Aussie salute"). Go in Aussie winter, and they're intermittent.
BigRuss is offline  
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