7 weeks in australia

Jan 18th, 2005, 01:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2005
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7 weeks in australia

I am planning a trip from Feb 14th until early April. I was thinking about flying into New Zealand for a week or two, then to Syndey, and working my way up to Cairns to check out the GBR (returning to LAX from Cairns). I would appreciate any advice on places to stop along the coast from Sydney to Cairns. I am a young girl backpacking on my own and would like to meet alot of people, do adventure activites, and enjoy local nightlife. Alo, any tips on what to do in New Zealand...? Thanks!
sabrina_aziza is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Hello Sabrina,

Congratulations -- on at least 2 counts. First of all, it's fabulous that you will be going to New Zealand and Australia for 7 weeks. Secondly, you are travelling in the right direction for the weather, a feat that not everyone accomplishes.

I imagine you will get some answers to your questions here at Fodors. For example, I recall some discussion about hostels in New Zealand a while back, and that information may be of interest to you. You could find it by doing a word search here at the Fodors Australia and Pacific forum.

However, if you have not already done so, it would be a good idea to pose your questions at the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forum, which is more oriented towards budget / adventure travel than this one is:


Happy trails.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jan 18th, 2005, 09:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi, sabrina_aziza!

Sounds like a great trip, and -- unlike so many whose planners ask questions on this forum -- not a rushed one where you have to cram everything into a two-week break. I think you should "weight" the trip a little differently -- while I have no doubt you could use five or six weeks on Australia's east coast very easily, you don't really NEED that much time, and New Zealand is worth a bit more than "a week or two"! If I were doing this, I'd spend 2 1/2 - 3 weeks in New Zealand first (the weather will be more comfortable there than Australia's east coast in February), and then, around the second week in March, plan to arrive in Sydney, where the weather will be just starting to be wonderful. While there, you ought to plan on a side-trip to Canberra, even if it meant shortening your northward stops by missing out on the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

The school holidays start, at least in NSW (Queensland may be slightly different), on April 9, after which time the Barrier Reef will become a much less-attractive option. Hope you can stay until April 7 or 8! That's just on a full month to see Sydney, the east coast and the Barrier Reef -- plenty, I would say, for a memorable experience!
Alan is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 01:14 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 235
Last response was half deleted .
As opposed to Alans response, I think it all depends on your likes/dislikes and how you would like to tour. For example, you could easily spend 4 or 5 days in the Whitsundays and carry out a 3 day sail trip on a maxi yacht. Airlie beach is full of backpackers like yourself and sail trips are a good way of meeting others. If you choose a company like prosail
http://www.prosail.com.au/vessels-st...ew.php?view=13 ,then I would recommend the Matador for a 3 day trip ( as of April last year it was the only yacht in their fleet used for extended trips whereby you can stand fully upright in the hull). You can email me if you like for further ideas
Hope it goes well for you.
navgator is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 01:23 AM
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Apologies "last response was half deleted" was not in reference to Alans reply. please ignore
navgator is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 02:34 AM
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Your trip sounds very sane. But unless you have time to burn (like stop everywhere known, and unknown, on the east coast route) then 4 weeks is enough - and that would give you an extra week in NZ. Even then u need to have some idea of what u want to do in NZ cos it's bigger than u think. North Is or South Is - or both.

4 what it's worth - 4 wks in Oz - go for (and this is based on the assumption that working my way up means by road):

5-6 days in Sydney, inc day trip to Blue Mts.
Break trip to Brissie at Coffs Harbour.
Break again at Byron Bay. I think it's overrated but most folk enjoy. Now at around day 11.
Pass thru Brisbane quickly - lovely city but not on your time frame.
Bus up to Noosa or Hervey Bay and visit Fraser Is.
Bus to Rockhampton.
Then I might look at flying to Townsville. now at day 17.
South a little to Airlie Beach for the Whitsundays and 3 day boat trip.
Bus to Cairns. day 22?
That gives you time to check out the GBR and go up to Cape Tribulation.

Alternatives - skip Byron Bay and visit Gt Keppel Is off Rockhampton instead.

Accommodation - loads of good hostels. It's usually dorm beds but some have private rooms.


or google on "backpackers".

I have some personal faves in Cairns, etc, if you are interested.

You will have an amazing time.

Oh, and try and get hold of a Lonely Planet or Rough Guide, or post on the Thorn Tree.
alice13 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 9,922
I have no personal experience of youth hostels, but lack of knowledge has never stopped me offering advice before. So ... from what I've heard hostels are definitely your best option for meeting other young travellers, picking up tips, organising activities, finding parties, nightlife etc.

NZ is very good for outdoor activities, even if you're not contemplating a bungee jump, and there are lots of backpacking travellers there. alice13's advice is good - a guidebook is a small investment compared to what you'll be spending on your trip, get hold of one (well, two) ASAP.

If you like you can join the International Hostels Association (HIHostels.com) before you leave and so qualify for various discounts.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Jan 19th, 2005, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 235
Hello again,

I just read Alice13's itinary and it looks pretty good. I live in Brisbane and agree with the idea of passing through the city unless you are a Steve Irwin Crocodile Hunter fan, in which case you can catch the train (or possibly bus) to his zoo.
Catch the "Crocodile Train" from Brisbane, and contact Australia Zoo for your free pick up from the Beerwah train station. For train times please contact TransInfo on: 13 12 30

The lonely planet guides are very good and there is a "East Coast Australia" version I have myself.
navgator is offline  
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