April Honeymoon in Australia - Please Help

Old Dec 27th, 2002, 03:09 PM
  #1  
Brian
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April Honeymoon in Australia - Please Help

All of you are the best. I have looked at every chat room on Australia and this one provides the best information. I hope you are not sick of offering advice as I need it greatly. Planning a honeymoon (surprise itinerary) for my wonderful fiancee and want to be able to blame someone else if something goes wrong. Here is our itinerary

12 Nights in Australia
- Land in Sydney and decompress (3 nights at the Four Seasons)
+ Bridge Climb
+ Harbor Cruise
+ Opera House
+ Walk from Spit to Manly
? Day Trip to either Hunter Valley or Blue
Mountains - is it worthwhile

- Great Barrier Reef (4 Nights at Hayman)
? Wanted to do Lizard but twice as
expensive. Going to scuba & snorkel so
please tell me if there is something I
shouldn't miss

- Rainforest (3 Nights at Silky Oaks)
+ David Armbrust's 1/2 day safari (no
outback)
+ Tully River-rafting trip
? Do I need to do another safari trip to
Cape Tribulation, Skyrail or Daintree
? Should I head into Port Douglas for
dinners or just stay at Silky Oaks

- Sydney (2 Nights at Observatory)
+ Catch anything we missed on first go
around
? Fun places to go out late-night

THANK YOU for any advice - even if it flies in the face of my preconceived notions. Can't wait to see if Australia and its citizens live up to their esteemed reputation as the best.
 
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 08:31 PM
  #2  
marg
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Just some general comments.
In Sydney, also consider visiting Taronga Park Zoo (ferry from Circular Quay - take the bus to the top gate and gradually work your way back to the ferry).
Spend some time wandering around the Rocks
Take the ferry to Manly for lunch and wandering.
Hunter Valley is good if you are into wines, if not take a tour to the Blue Mountains - yes, it is worthwhile.
Sydney has a good art gallery within walking distance of the CBD.
Re your time in Queensland - I think Silky Oaks is near Mossman??? If so, Tully is about 200 km south of Mossman - do you want to travel 400 km for white-water rafting?
You could consider staying at Palm Cove - really pretty little village on the beach with a good choice of hotels and restaurants. (Palm Cove is about 20 minutes drive north of Cairns and is connected by public bus.)
Consider hiring a car - traffic is reasonably light and the roads are well sign-posted and take the ferry across the Daintree river to Cape Tribulation - this will give you freedom to stop and look and swim whenever you feel like it. Actually if you are staying at Silky Oaks, you will need to hire a car as it is off the beaten track and not near public transport.
Hope this helps.

 
Old Dec 27th, 2002, 08:56 PM
  #3  
Alan
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Hi, Brian!
You have chosen a great month to come to Australia, especially for a honeymoon which begins and ends in Sydney... there is no more pleasant month in Sydney than April (sunny days guaranteed!)
You would probably enjoy a day at the Sydney Royal Easter Show (adjacent to the Olympic site.... you go to Olympic Park Station)if you are in Sydney around that time.... it will probably begin around April 11, and the earlier in the two-week season you go, the better the time you will have.
Since you have a very limited time in Sydney, I don't think I would try for the Blue Mountains AND the Hunter Valley... just the Mountains would probably be the best. Try for two days and one night there.... train it to Katoomba on the morning of the first day (it takes two hours, so leave Sydney on the 8 a.m. train), and see everything around that area for a day. There are stacks of romantic little places to stay in Katoomba, Leura, or Wentworth Falls.)Arrange to hire a car for the second day (there are several hire companies in Katoomba and adjacent Leura), and on the second morning get up EARLY and leave Katoomba around 7:00 a.m. (lovely and crisp up there at that time of year). Head west towards Lithgow (this is the main highway) and turn left at the Jenolan Caves turnoff. At that time of the morning, this road should be practically deserted, and you will get to Jenolan Caves before the ticket office opens (around 8:30). This is the way to avoid the crowds and get tickets to all the best caves (the office will tell you which ones to choose to make up a memorable day... either the Orient or the Temple of Baal are "musts", but on different days they open different caves, depending on which guides are on duty). By mid-afternoon you will be ready to drive back to Katoomba again and return your rental car.This should be a great two days!
Better and cheaper than your harbour cruise would be to take four of the many commuter ferries which go to various spots in the harbour all day. You can buy a one-day ticket ($AUD13.40) which will let you go on as many as you like, and you will be able to get on and off whenever you see something that takes your fancy... whereas on the cruise you have to listen to their commentary, eat what they are serving, and go where they choose. There are a couple of great restaurants on the harbour right where the ferries stop... Doyle's at Watson's Bay, and another one (name forgotten!) at the Mosman wharf. The best ferry of all is the Manly Ferry, but you won't need to do that on your "ferry day", as this will be the end of your "Spit Bridge to Manly" day.
I can't think of another way to improve your honeymoon, except to say that you really should try to extend by a few days, as twelve days in Australia is like... well, it's like twelve days in the US! I would have told you to include a two-day-one-night trip to Canberra, too, but I don't see how you will fit it in, unless you cut down your Hayman trip to 3 nights (which might be enough anyway... what do other posters think?)
Have a great time, and I hope some of this has been of some use!


 
Old Jan 2nd, 2003, 02:07 PM
  #4  
Dawn
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Brian --

I am planning a VERY similar itinerary. . . we are spending a bit longer in Sydney ( 5 nights - Four Seasons) as to do Blue Mts and Hunter Valley along with other thigns you listed.

My fiance and I jsut got scuba certified and have been VERY intrigued to shell out the money to go to Lizard but are having heart attacks over the money -- did you check out Bederra? is that just as expensive? I am worried about the time of year we are going and being further north seemed more logical for us ( but expensive! )

I have also heard that doing the Taronga Zoo in Sydney is good. In the PD area we are thinking about staying at Portsea ( less expensive ) and are planning on doing the Kurunda Sky Tram thing as well as David Armbursts trip. I would rent a car while in Silky Oaks so you can come into PD if you want for dinner. I think the transportation to and from is very limited, and there is not much near Silky Oaks although everyone says its beautiful and worth the visit.

Where's the Observatory in Sydney? I assume a better rate? Let me know.

What trips have you booked in advanced and what trips are you booking after you arrive? Did you do a package or plan the flights/hotel through the net. I haven't booked anything yet except our flight to LA ( from Philadelphia, PA ). . .We should have done it over the holiday but things came up.

I'd like to do it within the next week or two.

Looking forward to your post. . . or email me directly at [email protected]

Thanks!
Dawn
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2003, 02:52 PM
  #5  
Katherine
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It sounds like you will have a great trip. We are in NZealand and just left Australia. I have two comments.

First, we highly recommend you take some time on the reef (4nights should be enough) and take one of the crusies that goes out far -- like to Cod Hole. We did a 2 day trip and found that the reef was crowded and fairly dead. We've heard the diving out further is really amazing.

I'm not sure how adventurous you are but we did a sail around Sydney harbor on Spirit and old Americas Cup boat and really enjoyed ourselves. It was a good way to see the city. But, the day that we went there were only about 10 other passengers. They can take up to 30 so it may be a different experience. You can get in touch with them when you get to Sydney. They run ads in most of the tourist mags or your hotel will know how to contact them.

You can read about the rest of our time in Australia if you are interested at www.browndogdaily.com. Feel free to email me questions and enjoy your trip.

Katherine
[email protected]
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2003, 03:19 PM
  #6  
Bruce
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Brian,
I also wanted to do Lizard Island but it is way too expensive. If you want to give your fiancee the trip of a lifetime then do the one day Lizard Island tour with Daintree air. You can go on their web site at DaintreeAir.com.au All the info on the trip is there. You get a private plane ride over the reef and spend six hours swimming in the blue lagoon and on watsons bay on lizard island. Snorkling gear is provided and you have your own personal tour guide. On the way back you fly very low over the rain forest and get a birds eye view of what northern queensland looks like. We are going on June 5th and I can't wait. It is our 25th wedding anniversary. ALso you may want to stay in Port douglas at the peninsula hotel. You can check there web site out at Peninsulahotel.com.auIt is a beautiful private hotel with only 32 suites in the whole hotel. Right on the four mile beach and very private for a couple on their honeymoon. The cost of the one day plane ride and the beach excursion is 225 US dollars per person. I am told by people that have gone it is the trip that you will never forget. The cost of the peninsula hotel is 175 US dollars per night. I am not wealthy by any means but I feel that this is a once in a life time trip and you might as well do it right. If you would like to email me I can be reached at [email protected]. Talk to you soon. Bruce
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2003, 09:39 PM
  #7  
aussie
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Silky Oaks is Relaxing tranquil just wonderful.
No you do not have to go to Port Douglas for dinner as the food you will get at Silky Oaks is outstanding.
I would not hire a car as you will be able to get the tours you require from here.
I would take the 4 wheel drive tour to Cape Tribulation. This will take you over the Daintree River.
Yes Silky Oaks is north of Mossman so the Tully River rafting is the oppisite direction... but when you are on holidays it doesn't matter if someone else is driving !
Have a wonderful time.
 
Old Jan 3rd, 2003, 11:55 AM
  #8  
liz
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Hayman Island is just wonderful Brian xxx so although Lizard is very exclusive I don't think that you will miss all that much. However it is about 500 miles south of PD and so the area around is quite a bit different. The 70 or so other islands around are also very interesting too.
Just make sure that where you go diving is NOT where 5000 people go each and every day because you cannot have an area of pristine underwater wilderness with all those people and all that boat fuel around - hense some people's comments about the reef not being as good as they had expected.
I noticed that Dawn said that she is worried about the timing of her trip up north but didn't say just when that was so cannot comment Dawn!
The rest of your trip Brian looks just wonderful - want someone to carry your bags????
 
Old Jan 3rd, 2003, 06:27 PM
  #9  
Dawn
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My honeymoon is scheduled from June 2 - 20th --- hoping to end with Lizard so I was assuming that we'd need to be more northern (Lizard) rather than Hayman or Bederra ( more southern ) given the time of year. . .

Am I correct?

After hearing Bruce's itinerary -- I am very interested in trying to fit in Ayers Rock despite it being like doing an East Coast tour of the US with a stopover in Denver!!!

Dawn
 
Old Jan 3rd, 2003, 09:29 PM
  #10  
liz
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Absolute best time to go north Dawn, however Ayers Rock is not like doing the east coast and stopping over in Denver because at least Denver has a great number of flights and also is not out of the way and comparatively expensive.
You are probably right about going further up north at that time of year. However the Whitsundays can be very pleasant in our winter but that really depends on where you come from. I have been there and not wanted to swim because it was too cold for me but then I was from a hot area in Queensland and other people thought it was wonderful. Really depends on the water temperature.
Some people have had a wonderful time going to the Rock but I would not do it - its just a rock in the middle of nowhere, I prefer the northern part of the Northern Territory and what it has to offer. But then if everyone liked the same things we would all be in the one place.
You would have to take at least 3 days out of your time to do Ayers Rock because of getting in and getting out so it really depends on how much time you feel you need elsewhere.
 
Old Jan 4th, 2003, 01:43 PM
  #11  
Steve
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Greetings Brian, sounds like a wonderful trip already. We were in Oz in August and had the time of our lives. Your itinerary already sounds excellent. In PD if it isn't to hot you might consider dinner at the Nautilis Restaraunt, its entirely outdoors and under the canopy of the rain forest. Spectacular setting, great food, the best service.

The Blue Mountins is also an excellent stop. We took the train up for a day and then drove back up there later on our way to the Jenolin Caves. When we are also going back this April and plan to stay at the Crystal Lodge in the Blue Mountains, it is a hotel/spa that seems to have more local guests than foreign, I guess it is just a closely guarded secret. Again it has a great staff and the pricing for services is very reasonable.

When you go out with David Armburst say hello for us.

Cheers

Steve and Andrea
 
Old Jan 4th, 2003, 11:36 PM
  #12  
Kate
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Comment about Hayman - 4 nights may not be enough! I was there 8 nights for my honeymoon in 2001. The tides at Hayman are quite extreme. On the worst days, there is only 2 hours of high tide, i.e., you can only do water sports for 2 hours AND it might be from 8-10am. A friend of mine was there for 3 nights in the Spring and it was low tide the entire time she was there. Other than that, you will love Hayman - there's a lot to do, the service is great, our room was excellent (lagoon deluxe). Take the seaplane out to Whitehaven beach - you will love the amazing sand! Hayman will pack some champagne, drinks, food, blanket and umbrella for your time out there. Be sure to ask for the honeymoon package - it's more economical. Have fun!
 
Old Jan 5th, 2003, 12:58 AM
  #13  
Pete
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LIZ !!!! Hayman Island is exactly 306.5 miles South East of Port Douglas. Not 500 as you said. And yes Hayman is wonderful. But you should not be telling people they will not be missing much by not going to Lizard. I really do not think you have actually been there, ( to Lizard ) and if you have, you certainly were not taken to the magnificent reef which can be found in the area. I have dived in many places,around the world and have not ever seen what can be seen off Lizard, if you are with some one who really knows what they are doing. I think you should book a trip to Lizard , not on a boat with a hundred other people where you are not allowed to swim on the best reefs. Not with a company which employs 19 year olds whom just arrived in North Queensland yesterday, and certainly not by yourself as you will see bugger all.
For the people from the U.S. reading this Bugger All means nothing. Especially if you get stuck in the bar at the resort telling stories. Look around a little Liz, try to find some one whom really knows what they are doing, some one whom has been to Lizard about 2000 times, some one whom has been to Hayman at least 300 times. Some one with a little back up when it comes to giving advice. There are people out there whom have dedicated their lives to preserving these places and who are very proud to show these places off to visitors from other countries. So unless you really do know what you are talking about, you might be better to remain quiet about certain things. How dare you say YOU !!!! do not think these people will miss much by missing Lizard. Im just stunned at that comment Liz. Pete.
 
Old Jan 5th, 2003, 01:25 PM
  #14  
liz
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Well thank you Pete I didn't know anyone knew me better than I knew myself but I certainly will bow to your superior knowledge of what I know and what I don't. Suffice it to say that I have lived in Queensland for 39 years now so I am not really one who has just come on the scene.
There is a vast $ difference between Lizard and Hayman and although Hayman is not as exclusive as Lizard you CAN take trips to very exclusive dive spots from Hayman ( as you can from all of the islands in the Whitsunday group) but I didn't realize that I said that you could see great coral right off the beach there???
If you wish to give an opinion which will help someone to decide on where they would like to go it may be better to just 'give your opinion' rather than give someone a "serve" as you gave me. We all have differing opinions and I still stand by my statement that Brian would have a wonderful time at Hayman if he could not get to Lizard!!!!
My most humble apologies for not saying that the Whitsundays were about 500 Klms ( not miles) south of the PD area but next time I want to avoid someone like Pete who is going to split straws I will look up the details myself.
 
Old Jan 5th, 2003, 01:29 PM
  #15  
Trevor
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Pete:
YOU ARE A PRICK!
 
Old Jan 5th, 2003, 02:06 PM
  #16  
Pete
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Thanks for showing your true colors Trev.
Pete.
 
Old Jan 5th, 2003, 08:04 PM
  #17  
B ruce
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Please won't everyone stop fighting. Anyone who gives there opinion is allowed to. Remember it is there opinion. I have spoken to liz in the past and even though we disagree it is still her opinion. Liz has told me that she feels the tour that I am taking with Daintree air to lizard for a one day excursion is much to much. I disagreed with her but we did it cordially. I think the best way for people to find out advise on this site is to hear from people who have actually been there and done that. I met two people on this site who actually took the daintree tour and loved it. I also met someone in my town that actually stayed on lizard island. She said she stayed at the resort and it cost her for five days about four thousand dollars. She said it was worth every penny of it but that is too rich for my blood. But from hearing from everyone on this site. Lizard Island is more beautiful than the other parts of the reef. Maybe that is because it is so expensive to visit that the reef is not disturbed that much. This trip on daintree is the only way I could really afford to see lizard and having heard so much about it I did not want to travel 14 thousand miles and not see it. So to spend the 223 us dollars for the entire day and have a flight over the reef an lunch and a private guide for the day while we snorkled I felt it was well worth it. Liz disagreed but it was her opinion. It is my money to spend. But as she has said numerous times if everyone felt that they all wanted to go to one place that place would be to crowded. So lets take this site for what it is worth and that is a medium to express our opinions. Just as I have just done. Take care everyone and thanks for listening. BRuce
 
Old Jan 5th, 2003, 09:28 PM
  #18  
Lucy
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Brian I think your honeymoon sounds fantastic & captures the very best of Australia with your combination of Sydney, reef & rainforest! Have a wonderful honeymoon & very happy marriage!
 
Old Jan 6th, 2003, 12:03 AM
  #19  
bev'an
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Gee I hope that Pete ( I have been everywhere 2000 times) can get on the other posts and give as much mis......oops information as he has here. I agree with Trev, I think he is a prick too.
 
Old Jan 6th, 2003, 08:43 AM
  #20  
Brian
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You guys are the best - wish I could you buy all of you a pint at the GBR as a thank you.

The advice everyone has given has been extremely helpful - especially about the Tully River being so far away. As far as Hayman vs. Lizard, I think it is debating the benefits of two unbelievable resorts. We chose Hayman to be somewhat economical (Ha, Ha considering the luxury of the resort) and heading to Lizard for a "second honeymoon" will be a great excuse to head back in a few years.

The itinerary has remained mostly the same but I will definitely need some advice on some of the more micro-activities (restaurants, activities, etc). Just wanted to send out a big thank you to everyone now that I am back from the holidays.

Also, no need to criticize anyone's post or attempts to be helpful. It was a surprise (and kind of funny) to see the word "Prick" attached to my honeymoon itinerary but it kind of sucks the romance from the whole honeymoon itinerary.
 

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