Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Australia & the Pacific (
-   -   A Great time in Oz ! (

Lesg Mar 14th, 2005 05:40 AM

A Great time in Oz !
I'm trying to persuade my wife to venture further afield and take a visit to Australia.
If you had one area to visit - WHERE WOULD YOU GO ?

Taking into account shopping,sightseeing, beaches etc.,. where is the best place to visit - Sydney and the Blue Mountains,Brisbane and the Barrier Reef,go south to Melbourne or Perth and the Wine Country ???

Neil_Oz Mar 14th, 2005 01:07 PM

The two must-see destinations for a first-time visitor to Australia are Sydney and Far North Queensland (which includes the GBR), but the choice depends to an extent on whether you're city or nature people. Sydney (and Melbourne) are both large cities with good shopping, dining, entertainment and sightseeing choices, and Sydney has excellent beaches and a stunning natural setting (as long as you stay fairly close to the harbour and coast).

Brisbane is a very long way from the GBR, even though they're in the same state, so I wouldn't bracket them.

Weather is also a factor - Australia, like the USA, encompasses a wide variety of climates, and some destinations aren't at their best at particular times (e.g. anywhere in the north or centre in summer, Tasmania in winter).

All the other destinations you mention have their attractions, as are Adelaide and its wine regions, Tasmania, the Red Centre, Northern Territory and Kakadu National Park, and Canberra, the national capital (which is reachable as a 2-day side trip from Sydney). Etc...

You can find a lot of info about these places by running a search on this forum, also check out the official tourism website, Individual states and regions also have informative tourism websites. I would also recommend buying a good guidebook.

Alan Mar 14th, 2005 02:22 PM

I second everything Neil has said. If you can only visit one area, make it Sydney, where you can do day-trips (or two-day trips, much better!) to the Blue Mountains and Canberra.

Depending on the type of weather you like, Tasmania is another strong recommendation.... it's about as different from far north Queensland and the Barrier Reef as you can get. Think Scotland.

I hope, Lesg, that if you do convince your wife to visit our shores, you will try and allow yourselves sufficient time to do more than one area -- as Neil says, it's a long way between Sydney and the Reef, or Sydney and Tasmania; however, to really see Australia, you need to see more than just one small part ( a bit like going to Los Angeles -- as many Australians do -- and then saying "I've seen America!")

Just as a point of interest, there is an overnight ferry plying between Sydney and Devonport, in Tasmania.... maybe a nice way to see Tassie while still being based in Sydney? Alas, there are no such facilities for seeing the Reef... you'd have to fly up to Cairns, which (thanks to some cut-rate airlines) often isn't as expensive as you might think, but, of course, involves all the hassles of getting to and from airports -- a good way to kill a holiday, I always think!

Lesg Mar 15th, 2005 02:25 AM

I went to Sydney a long time ago (1989 to be exact)and it would be nice to go back and see how things have changed but it's trying to persuade the wife,her first time to OZ.Back to old haunts like Manly Beach which I found to be better than Bondi.

RalphR Mar 15th, 2005 12:17 PM

I think you'd get the most "bang for the buck" in North Queensland. There is a LOT to see and do, not just the Barrier Reef, but the islands, rainforests, mountains, beaches, waterfalls, the outback, volcanic features etc. etc. Two weeks in the area would be near ideal, not during the Wet Season. Undoubtedly better shopping in Sydney and Melbourne....but maybe you can do couple of days in a big city en route.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:00 PM.