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Another vote! Cairns to Brisbane or Brisbane to Sydney

Another vote! Cairns to Brisbane or Brisbane to Sydney

Old Mar 21st, 2004, 02:05 AM
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Another vote! Cairns to Brisbane or Brisbane to Sydney

Hello all

Okay another one... and advice please...

We are going to hire a camper van however only really have time to do one drive
either

Carins to Brisbane
or
Brisbane to Sydney

I have done quite a bit of reading up on this both books and this site but still not too sure which part to drive and which part to fly.

Hope you can help us decide

Thanks

B
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Old Mar 21st, 2004, 02:24 AM
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Hi British - the most important questions are what time of year and how much time have you got for either leg?
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Old Mar 21st, 2004, 12:28 PM
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yep that would be helpful

January 2005
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Old Mar 21st, 2004, 12:47 PM
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no question about it - Sydney to Brisbane drive and fly from their to the north.
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Old Mar 21st, 2004, 01:02 PM
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Hi, British!

Never having done the Cairns-Brisbane trip, I can't compare the two; however, I must say to you that for most of its length, the coastal road from Sydney to Brisbane is supremely boring, totally unscenic, and (if the traffic reports are to be believed) not even safe in some spots (although I would imagine that the volume of traffic on this road, rather than the condition of the road, is responsible for the statistics -- for whatever reason, though, there are some notorious stretches). While it woul;d be a shame to take this long drive and miss seeing the coastal scenery, I think if I were you I would try to vary the route by taking the inland road (New England Highway) for at least the first half of the journey -- thus seeing some country towns that seldom see a tourist -- and then, perhaps around Walcha/Wauchope, cut through to the coast and continue from Port Macquarie up the coast road, when the chance of seeing the water improves somewhat. As a Britisher, you will enjoy the New England Highway for its place names, if nothing else -- Scone, Aberdeen, Tamworth. Certainly, it's closer to your vision of what Australia should be than the motel-infested highway which follows the coast -- though usually just too far away from it for you to know that it IS the coast.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2004, 12:17 AM
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Still not sure!!!

how long would it take to drive the Sydney to Cairns (with stops) - I take it quite some time we have approx 9 days

b
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Old Mar 22nd, 2004, 01:31 AM
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Well British, we've done it in 3 days but wouldn't recommend it. 9 days is feasible with overnight stops at places that appeal - just remember, there are some appallingly boring long stretches, especially the bit between Rockhampton and Mackay in Queensland. As mentioned in previous postings, the coast road is not actually on the coast for most of the trip, so you need to turn off the highway, sometimes for half an hour or so to actually stay on the coast. It'll be summer so you'd probably like to be as close to a beach as possible when you overnight.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2004, 03:18 AM
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Hi British - is 9 days your total time in Oz? Or have you already factored out time you plan to spend at the start/end of whichever journey you decide on?

If the latter. You might think of hiring a camper van to do a syd-syd circuit over the Blue Mtns, up to Barrington Tops - Pt Stephens and back. Pretty varied landscapes there and a bit not-the-usual. TYeghereetyvYU this
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Old Mar 22nd, 2004, 03:21 AM
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Hi British - is 9 days your total time in Oz? Or have you already factored out time you plan to spend at the start/end of whichever journey you decide on?

If the latter. You might think of hiring a camper van to do a syd-syd circuit over the Blue Mtns, up to Barrington Tops - Pt Stephens and back. Pretty varied landscapes there and a bit not-the-usual. Then fly with Vblue to Townsville and hire a van again (there will, or course, be oneway drop off charges - I'm just casting out ideas) and drive down to the Whitsundays, and up to Cairns. You could fly to Mackay or ProselT
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Old Mar 22nd, 2004, 03:25 AM
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Hi British - is 9 days your total time in Oz? Or have you already factored out time you plan to spend at the start/end of whichever journey you decide on?

If the latter. You might think of hiring a camper van to do a syd-syd circuit over the Blue Mtns, up to Barrington Tops - Pt Stephens and back. Pretty varied landscapes there and a bit not-the-usual. Then fly with Vblue to Townsville and hire a van again (there will, or course, be oneway drop off charges - I'm just casting out ideas) and drive to Cairns. Or maybe fly to Prosepine and visit Whitsundays, then bus it to Cairns and hire a van for a bit of a wander up there.
I guess it depends on whether a long road trip is part of your personal 'must do' or whether you want to make best use of limited time.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2004, 08:03 AM
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In January this year, we drove over about 10 days from the Whitsundays (Airlie Beach)all the way south to Sydney, going inland to the New England Highway between Brisbane and about Coff's Harbour. We wanted to avoid the Gold Coast at that time of year, and we also spent some time in the Granite Belt wine region (which would have little interest to someone other than winos like ourselves). We came back to the Coast from Armidale through Dorrigo and Bellingen. Dorrigo National Park was a lovely stop and the road from there to the coast was quite scenic (but steep)

The stretch from Airlie Beach to Hervey Bay is definitely appallingly boring and we would not repeat that experience. There was a great little National Park (Cape Hillsborough)just north of Mackay, that would be a good caravanning stop for a couple nights if you decide to do the north drive.

The Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane had lots of attractions. We enjoyed Eumundi (great market on Wednesdays and Saturdays), and driving around the small towns between Eumundi and the Glass House Mountains area (Maleny & Montville). The mountain roads were quite beautiful. Noosa Heads was good for one night for dinner, but it was very crowded.

The coast highway between Coffs Harbour to about Taree was pretty boring. We stayed at Forster/Tuncurry and enjoyed a side trip to Seal Rocks, near Myall Lakes NP.

Overall, we were glad to see so many different parts of the coast, but usually after each stop felt like it would have been nice to be able to stay there another night or two rather than have to pack it back in the van to head to the next stop. (Because of the time of year, we had our lodgings booked every night)

Karen
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Old Mar 22nd, 2004, 01:59 PM
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If you are thinking of driving anywhere then I still would suggest the Sydney to Brisbane rather than the Brisbane to Cairns trip.
I note the previous writer said that she avoided the Gold Coast at that time of year yet went to the Sunshine Coast!!! Perhaps it should be noted here that at that time of year there is much more going on on the Gold Coast and much more to see that at any other time of year and I certainly would not go all the way to the New England route where it is as boring and dry as can be to avoid an area with an exceptionally good highway road around it and vast areas of interesting countryside and possibly the prettiest countryside from Brisbane to Sydney ( I am referring to the South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales section of that route which in my opinion cannot be beaten for beauty) with extremely easy access to highlights and venues of world class.
Having lived in Queensland for most of my life and having driven the road to Cairns and the one to Sydney I would choose Syd-Bris all the time. From about 250 miles north of Brisbane the area becomes about as boring as you can get until you are about into Mackay - another 500 miles. Then you have some nice areas for a while ( about 150 miles) before boring sets in again for another 300 miles. The countryside only gets interesting when you get to Cardwell which is about 100 miles north of Townsville and about 150 miles south of Cairns.
I recently drove the Brisbane to Sydney trip and yes, it is not all coastal but you certainly do have easy access to lovely seaside areas and/or the Waterfall Way which is from Coffs Harbour to Dorrigo BUT that is inland and anything inland is going to be HOT AS! I thought that the northern Rivers area was really lovely even though you are not ON the coast you are near it and along some lovely rivers. You can at least swim in the sea in these areas rather than from Mackay up to Cairns which will be stinger season.
Our airfares are very good and you could think of stopping at the Whitsundays first before going to Cairns. If you have 9 days up your sleeve then you will have time to drive to Brisbane or Gold Coast and see some lovely countryside around there and spend real quality time taking in the attractions. You can go over to Stradbroke Island and stay and swim with dolphins - you could go up to Fraser Island - see area Byron Bay etc.
Lastly, Australian drivers are dreadful ( yes I am one) Queensland drivers don't know the meaning of LEFT as in "keep to the left" and the frustration starts when you are on a lovely 4 lane highway with 4 cars going under the speed limit in ALL of the lanes, 4 abreast! Spead limits are not exceded - they are demolished! Courtesy and road sense is unknown.
So they are my reasons but whatever you do - good luck. PS The other reason I didn't suggest the Brisbane to Cairns is that you will be in the Wet season and if we get a good wet you might not like the idea of sitting by the road-side for days waiting for water to go down so you can use the road.
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Old Jan 13th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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Hi
Having driven from Brisbane to Sydney myself I recommend...........don't do it! There is no Ocean to be seen on the Great Ocean Road except the occasionally and only done by the passenger, not the driver. It is a loooong drive and the only funny tacky thing we really enjoyed was THE BIG BANANA about 1/2 way between Brisbane and Sydney. I know this an old post but giving my reply to anyone doing research like me.
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Old Jan 13th, 2007, 02:23 PM
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I did whole the Cairns to Sydney drive with stops in 2 weeks (with a few days in Sydney at the end.)

2 nights Cairns
1 night Mission Beach
2 nights Airlie Beach
3 nights sailing Whitsundays
1 night (Hervey Bay) Fraser Island
2 nights Noosa Heads
1 night Byron Bay
1 night Port Macquarie
3 nights Sydney

There were some long days of driving for sure but it was great. I would definitely drive the Brisbane to Cairns journey. I wish I had stopped at Magnetic Island and skipped Byron Bay but other than that I loved the itinerary.

I was there in January too. It was hot, hot, hot!
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Old Jan 13th, 2007, 03:50 PM
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auntiem, there's a vast difference driving Brisbane-Sydney which is just a short hop compared with Cairns-Brisbane-Sydney. That would have been the Pacific Highway you were on, the Great Ocean Road is in southern Victoria. Its a shame you didn't take some time to deviate from highway as there's a lot more to see than the tacky Big Banana at Coffs, both inland and coastal.

neverthere, it would have been hot in January, hottest month of year, but you did allow a sensible amount of time for Cairns-Sydney - many try to do this in far less than 2 weeks.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 04:34 AM
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Ok I know the original psot is old but I'm doing the Brisbane to Cairns drive in a motor home in June 2007.I have 10 days for the trip including a couple of nights in cairns. Is this enough time? Having read the posts I'm worried! I'm from Dublin Ireland
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 09:11 PM
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Having driven (in a rented Ford Falcon wagon) from Cairns to Sydney over 11 days in August 2004, I think I can offer a bit of advice.
Many parts of your drive will be tedious -- you had better be prepared to drive between 6 and 8 hours on some days. Brisbane to Cairns is roughly 2000 km. We stopped in Bundaberg (to be near the coast, although Hervey Bay may have been a better idea), Rockhampton (just because we needed to stop), Mackay (had a super motel unit near the coast), Townsville, then Cairns. Make at least a day trip via ferry to Magnetic Island from Townsville. In June I would consider going directly via air to Cairns rather than doing your proposed drive and travelling in the Cairns area in a campervan. In any event, stay near the coast when you stop, even if it costs a bit more. Good luck in your planning.
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