6 days in Australia please help

Old Mar 6th, 2008, 06:44 PM
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6 days in Australia please help


My husband has a conference in Sydney in mid march. We are planning to be there for 6 days.
We thought we will keep 2 days for Sydney and don't know what to do with the rest. Would definitely love to see the great barrier reef.We definitely want to do the hot air balloon. Can we also fit in gold coast ? Please suggest a good itenirary. We will be starting out of Sydney. Is Melbourne worth going to ? What about canberra ?
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 07:09 PM
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Well being a Melbournian I certainly think Melbourne is worth going to after all it is considered one of the world's most liveable cities with lots of things to see and do. But I am also a realist and with the short time you have I would suggest you spend a few days in Cairns to explore the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Forest etc. You will get lots of tips on that area from this forum. If you do decide on Melbourne there is not only the city, but the Great Ocean Road, the Yarra Valley etc. to enjoy.
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Old Mar 6th, 2008, 09:22 PM
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With 4 days (after the 2 in Sydney), I think I'd stay flexible until you arrive. Reason? It might be too wet to really enjoy the GBR in the next week or so.
Given that mid - March is next week, you wouldn't be getting super, super discounts for early bookings, anyway.

If the weather's great in FNQ when you arrive, just hop a flight to Cairns.

If not, you could go to Melbourne, see the Great Ocean Road, Yarra Valley (hot air balloon there, or over Melbourne city).

You could also take a scenic drive South from Sydney, taking in Canberra, some of the high country and end up in Melbourne. Leave the car there & fly back (I'm assuming your departure point is also Sydney?)

You can also hot air balloon in the Hunter Valley, a couple of hours North West of Sydney.
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 02:01 AM
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It's so close to your arrival date that I would do just as previous posters have said. All the places on your list have a lot going for them (except the Gold Coast) so I would wait and see. You can hop on a plane anytime if you are not fussed about paying top whack. And you clearly aren't else you would have planned this all a long time ago when cheapies were available.

Having said that, it's great to hear from someone who hasn't planned it all out in advance! Downside - you pay more. Upside - you are not pre-committed and have the freedom to choose on the spot.

It's always a trade off, isn't it?

But you should know that it'll take you a day to get from SYD to CNS. Only 3 hours flying time but with the getting to the airport and the getting to your place to stay at the other end - yes, a day really.

So if you want to go there - that's your spare time gone. And it's not the best time to go - so .. I'd head south.

I would also get hold of a map (not an atlas that makes Australia look tiny) but a map, a real map. Then you might appreciate how great the distances are.
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 11:04 AM
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Virgin Blue has daily "happy hour" specials - 12 noon to 1pm AEST

Qantas often has specials to the holiday destinations also. www.qantas.com.au

Or try Jetstar (QF's budget carrier)
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 10:26 AM
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These are the Cairns tours I happen to be taking. I think they include everything you want in Cairns. I f you want to see the Cairns sites, I recommend three full days in Cairns and the rest in Sydney. Come back to Sydney another year.
Tour #1.
WAVELENGTH and snorkeling on the reef.

PO Box 764
38 42 Wharf Street
Port Douglas QLD 4877

Tel: 07 4099 5031 Fax: 07 4099 5013
email : [email protected]

Tour #2 (also see tour 4 below)
Tour Code: KFD Kuranda, Rail, Birdworld, Butterflies, Koalas & Skyrail (KFD)

Down Under Tours Australia
26 Redden Street, Cairns,
Queensland, 4870, Australia
Email: (07) 4035 5566
(07) 4035 5588
[email protected]

Tours #3 and 4 same day
Tour #3 Balloon ride
Choice: Luxury Hot air ballooning, LXPD60
Returns by noon: Can ask to be returned by 11:00
more specific web page:

Tour 4 Hartleys Crocodile Adventure: Pickup is at noon.
Tour Code: HCPM
http://www.downundertours.com/kfd.html (see above)
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 12:08 PM
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id wait and see...doubt you willhave problems getting flights to cairns
i love far north queensland
lots to see :from cairns you could visit palm cove and portdouglas and even get up to cape tribulation for a day ..im not a fan of the reef....its not as colourful as the postcards suggests but if youre a diver or scuba person you might enjoy the variety of fish and turtles..if youre in cairns or anywhere up there you will certainly do the reef....just remember that if youre in a glassbottomed boat..the colours are very much subdued

melbourne is a nice city but its not my favourite holiday destination ...nice restaurants good shopping ( there are factory outlets)..i prefer the south coast of nsw

canberra is our cute capital...the bush capital..i love it but many sydney people look down upon it lol...say its boring..i on the otherhand could quite happily live there ..love the brindabella ranges and the way the whole city was designed..has weather extremes though

gold coast is very commercial//fun for the kids with all of the theme parks but i dont like the stretch of beaches...i prefer small coves

around sydney..look for the lighthouse walk at palm beach..great views even if you dont get to the lighthouse lookout
take a trip to kiama and see the blowhole and lovely beaches...very different from sydney beaches..otherwise get a gelato from bondi promenade and take a walk from bondi to bronte or further on to clovelly and even coogee..its along a cliff and some suburban streets but is totally safe ,,,lots of people ..great photo opportunities..great way to see lots of beaches up close

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Old Mar 15th, 2008, 07:20 PM
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Thank so much for the replies.
We have decided to do Sydney and Cairns only.
Is there any wild life around Sydney or are we better off seeing it around Cairns ?
Just have to do the GBR and hot air balloon. Will it possible if our flights are like this ?

Day 1
arrive at 9:00

Day 2
all day available

Day 3
leave for Sydney

You guys are the best.

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Old Mar 16th, 2008, 09:02 AM
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I spent 3 months travelling Australia and spent time in both Cairns and Port Douglas for Reef activities. I think you might enjoy Port Douglas as a base much more than Cairns.

From Port Douglas (1 hour north of Cairns by car, but you can also get an easy and cheap transfer via a shuttle service from the airport to your hotel in Port Douglas), you are easily able to get out to the GBR with a number of charter boats to snorkel, dive, etc. Port Douglas also makes a nice base if you want to spend time exploring the Daintree or Cape Tribulation. A number of jeep guides can be hired out if you don't want to drive.

The Blue Mountains outside of Sydney makes a great day trip and there are wildlife preserves in NSW within an easy drive from Sydney.

You can see lots of wildlife in Queensland, too (in aforementioned areas - plus Atherton Tablelands).

Glad to hear you cut out the Gold Coast - it's really commercial and if you want to get a feel for what it's like, just take a trip to South Beach in Miami.
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Old Mar 16th, 2008, 05:54 PM
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If you havent left yet:
This is what I have learned (but haven't been yet). There is a major zoo and a major aquarium in Sydney. They have VIP tours.
The Sydney Opera is world reknowned, and you can get a backstage Opera house tour. It is probably too late to get a ticket to the Opera itself.
You can get a combo zoo/opera-house tour. Sydney is also known for opals and there is an opal museum and shop.
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Old Aug 12th, 2009, 10:06 PM
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I have the same issue - we 5.5 days in Australia (flying in and out of Sydney). Nov 6 - Nov 11

I know it isn't much time - what should we do? Was thinking Sydney plus 1 other thing?

We arrive Friday at 10am, leave the following Wednesday afternoon.

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Old Aug 15th, 2009, 08:30 PM
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Hi Frank, where are you flying in from - will you be jet lagged??

What are your interests - shopping, beaches.

You could easily spend 5 days in Sydney, but I can understand you want to see something else as well. From Sydney you can fly south to Melbourne and see some of that city. Or you can fly north to Coolangatta (Gold Coast) or Maroochydore for a taste of the Qld coast. My preference is Maroochydore to see the Sunshine Coast which has really beautiful beaches. Otherwise you could fly further north and visit Cairns or Port Douglas - both really lovely.

Australia is known for opals, Sydney not so much.... however, you will find opal shops if you are interested in purchasing, I think in The Rocks and maybe at Darling Harbour.

Taronga Zoo is really worth a visit as apart from the obvious animals, it has AMAZING views of the harbour bridge and opera house. You can catch a ferry there from Circular Quay which is near The Rocks.

I hope you love my beautiful city and enjoy your stay with us.
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Old Aug 16th, 2009, 03:35 PM
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Thanks for the reply Cathies.

We've been convinced to operate in the Syndey area for 5.5 days (coming from LA).

We're planning on making a day trip to the Blue Mountains one day.

I'd like to see some Kangaroos out in the wild, I've been told there are some spots in Euroka (?) or at a wildlife sanctuary, not sure where these are.

Our third planned sojourn is to Hunter Valley. We hear it is pretty. I like wine, my wife does not, so we might just spend 1 day or 1 day and half there.

Should we stay in Hunter Valley or is better to stay in Sydney and make it a day trip? If we stay in Hunter Valley for a night (maybe a Sun or Mon) where should we stay?

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