Are we out of our minds?

Old Dec 31st, 2006, 11:18 AM
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Are we out of our minds?

Folks,

We are still considering a trip to GBR after arriving in Sydney. Given our limited time in OZ (7 1/2 days), our son's grad school schedule, and our trip from New York, here's the possibility for your thoughts:

Arrive in Sydney 9:00am on Friday in mid-February and leave for Cairns at about 1:00PM. Get there about 4:00PM and travel to Port Douglas and rest/crash til the next AM when we'll go on a day long tour to the Rainforest. Back to Port Douglas and leave the next day (Sunday) for a day long trip to GBR (no diving). Fly back to Sydney on Monday for the rest of the week (maybe a day trip to the Blue Mnts. if time permits)and fly home on Sat.

I know it's a lot, but that's all the time we have. We are a fairly fit couple just about 60 yrs. old.

Are we out of our minds?

Thanks.

Spedprof
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 11:32 AM
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Yes you are out of your mind.
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 11:58 AM
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Spedprof, you might be out of your mind to travel so far from NY and spend so much time traveling in Oz for just a week; but I don't think it is age related. Sure you can do it; I'll let someone else say stay in Sydney or go for 3 weeks.

OK, it's all the time you have and you really want to see those places- why not stay in Sydney for 3 nights [see the city Fri., Blue Mtns one day and ferries/zoo or beaches (Bondi or Manly) next day]. Then go to Cairns for 3 nights [rain forest & GBR trips]. This will leave a full day in Sydney for some of all you missed before flying back on Sat.

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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 01:03 PM
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Now that I have more time than when I wrote my earlier post I will explain why I would not make arrangements to do what you are thinking. It can take an entire day to get from your place in Sydney until you are in a place in Cairns. You are thinking of going in the middle of the rainy season ( although this time is unpredictable and it could be fine) but you could find it pouring down with monsoonal rain for the entire time. Most people either walk on the reef, snorkle the reef or dive the reef because that is the most wonderful way to see it. There are semi-submersables and you can see it in them but it is not the same - a bit like watching a movie on it. There are other very nice and interesting places to see in and around Sydney or within a one hour flight from there which are just as enjoyable to go to in their own way.
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 03:42 PM
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The Great Barrier Reef is unique and a world class tourist attraction. If you have the opportunity to go there don't miss it. The Blue Mountains is vastly overrated in my opinion and there is much more spectacular scenery in the US. By travelling to Green Island from Cairns (boats leave from the Cairns wharf) you can get a great feeling of the GBR and see many of the fish species that make it so special, so try and factor that in as well. I don't agree that the scenery around Sydney is enjoyable as the GBR especially with the country in the throws of a drought and Feburary always a very hot month.
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 03:46 PM
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I assume you think this will be your one and only chance to see the GBR which is why you are considering splitting your trip this way.

If you believe you are fit enough to keep up with the pace and know that it will be a very hectic trip, I don't have a great problem with trying to fit so much in. I personally don't find it too hard to be on the run like that for just a week - you just go prepared that I am not doing this for a peaceful, relaxing holiday but as a chance to see as much as possible. If you decide to go for it I would rather 3 full days at GBR and 4 in Sydney to make it a bit more manageable.

Liz has suggests choosing a second destination that is only an hour out of Sydney, but when it comes down to it Cairns is only two hours out of Sydney. What is one more hour compared to the flying time you are already doing.

My main concern would be the weather at GBR though. As Liz has pointed out, it is the wet season so it would be a great shame to go to that much trouble and rushing around only to have it pouring with rain most of the time. I have heard that even during the wet season the rain tends to be limited to a really heavy downpour in the afternoon rather than constant rain but will let someone like Pat comment on that.
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 04:22 PM
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Thanks for the input... we have to go to GBR on the weekend so our son does not miss too many classes.... It is possibly our only trip to OZ so we'd hate to miss the GBR. If it rains, I suppose it is no fun, but then we have little alternative except to come back in a drier season. Am i right to think that visiting the rain forest or the GBR in the rain is OK, but not in a monsoon? How might an extra day help us... would that be for taking it easy? I also think that anyway I do it, we'll be beat while we want to be seeing stuff, whether it be in Sydney or on this sidetrip.... I guess the jet lag and the sleep loss on the plane is a real unknown.

Thanks.
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 06:39 PM
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Nothing ventured nothing gained. I think you are making the right decision. Waiting for the weather achieves nothing and in this era of climate change who can predict the weather anyway. The GBR is great rain, hail or shine.No you are not out of your minds. When Aussies go to Europe they usually see ten countries in ten days so your trip is a cinch.
Happy New Year from downunder and enjoy your trip!
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 07:45 PM
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I was really only suggesting another day at GBR in order to slow down the pace a tad and I thought 4 days would still be sufficient for Sydney. However, if you really only have the weekend to play with, you go with what you can.
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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 10:06 PM
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Don't ask me about weather! After a wet "dry" season in FNQ and so far much lower than average rain in "wet" season which supposedly starts in December with only 63mm of rain for the month for Cairns, who can tell? All I know is that so far FNQ has had no northern monsoonal influence, could be different by February though. If its your only shot at GBR would be inclined to take the gamble, at least it won't be cold and rainforests benefit from rain.
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Old Jan 1st, 2007, 01:04 AM
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Any reason for not doing this trip at another time of the year when you might have more time? June and July are good times for traveling to your destinations and most graduate schools tend to have some break in the summer.
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Old Jan 1st, 2007, 02:53 AM
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Wish you luck. But remember when it rains in FNQ it really rains - chucks it down. Like a monsoon even if technically it might not be one.

If that's the only time you can go then hats off for doing it. But I must admit I really do not understand why anyone would choose to fly all that way for 7.5 days. And your son "missing a few classes" - I aasume Grad school means post graduate - isn't that independent study - research? - I didn't know it involved "classes" that one can't miss.

And if these classes are so important, why not wait till they are over and done with. You say you are 60 - still working full time? Brilliant if you are - all in favour of older folk in the workforce

.. but there is more to life than work.

Yeh - just don't understand at all.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 03:59 AM
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Oh come on fuzzy, when it rains in FNQ for most of the time its like everywhere else's rain, spotty, medium and short showers if there's a thunderstorm about. When monsoon influence hits, if it does, there'll be heavier downfalls, interspersed with bright sunny weather.

For what its worth, and am quoting from local Cairns Post newspaper, "the weather bureau's rainfall outlook is showing that there's a 60% chance that FNQ will not receive its average rainfall for next 3 months". This is actually bad news from a small city with an ever-increasing amount of migration from other parts of the country and only 2 dams to cope with the influx.
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Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 06:12 PM
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well spedprof I've said it before and i'll say it again...

for a meaningful "overnight" trip to the reef ex sydney go to Lady Elliot.

Get Jetstar or virgin blue from sydney to fraser coast airport and then take seair out to the island direct.
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Old Jan 4th, 2007, 02:54 PM
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One word NUTS, why not do a side trip to NZ in the same week!!!!!
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