Australia family vacation with a 7 year old

Old Mar 27th, 2011, 04:43 PM
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Australia family vacation with a 7 year old

We would like to plan a trip to Australia in 2012, dividing our 2 weeks between Fiji and Australia. Although our daughter is only in second grade, we are reluctant to take her out of school for 2 weeks and are considering a trip the beginning of August. Or would we be more pleased with the weather if we go the end of September? What about the end of May?

Should we divide up our time between Sydney and Port Douglas or is there enough to keep us busy just staying in Sydney? (I found a fantastic website detailing an intinerary suited for 6-12 year old in the Sydney area) We could stay in Sydney 4 nights, stay Port douglas 3 nights then continue to Fiji (we will be on United--not sure this is possible)

We do have a limited budget and are concerned that flying to Cairns,staying in Port Douglas, renting a car and visting Daintree might be too costly to add on. Or is it possible to see the Port Douglas area economically?

Since we will be spending a week at a beach resort in Fiji, we will not be interested in hanging out at the beach up north--rather focusing on wildlife.
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Old Mar 27th, 2011, 05:22 PM
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I think a better bet would be to stay in Cairns if you are interested in the wildlife rather than Port Douglas -there is a train that runs up the hill for kids and adults and wildlifepark =all nearer Cairns than Port Douglas. Also say a boat trip to the reef goes from Cairns. Also the airport is at Cairns so more chance of saving time. Weather is lovely at these times in thta area.
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Old Mar 27th, 2011, 05:27 PM
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Weather in Sydney is more likely to be pleasant in May or September. If thinking of following my lead below then suggest September.

As an ex-teacher I would not be worried about her missing two weeks of school.

Rather than stay in the lovely but tourist trap of Port Douglas where the attraction is the beach and the beautiful people, visit the Atherton Tablelands. There is a range of accommodation options available and heaps more to see than you could manage in a week. Driving is easy on the 'wrong' side of the road as you can head north out of town as you leave the airport.

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Old Mar 27th, 2011, 11:55 PM
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I go to Cairns about 4 times and year on business, and August that time of year is beautiful, while Sydney is cold and blowy...

I vote with the others- Cairns is the place to be based and LOTS to do for families- the cable car to the top, Kuranda markets, the free beachfront "lagoon" (no crocs in there!),the night markets downtown, and of course trips out to the reef- too many to mention but you'll see why Cairns is a must-do destination on the backpackers circuit. Good luck!
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 02:03 AM
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I also vote for Cairns. I would just mention that Cairns has an international airport, so you can fly in & out from there if you like (especially if going via Fiji). I would also recommend August as an ideal time, it is quite cool (in terms of being the tropics) the days are lovely and sunny but not hot, and the nights are just a little cool, which is really nice after being out in the sun all day.

Also, I would take your daughter. There are lots of things to do and see in Cairns. I would recommend Tjapukai Aboriginal Theatre and Snorkling trip to the Reef, day trip to the Daintree (I recommend Billy TeaTours ).

Hope this helps
Len from OZ
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 06:00 AM
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Slight change of plans. Logistically, Fiji won't work so we plan on staying in Australia the entire trip. Our new thought is to stay in Sydney 3 nights then fly to Cairns. Stay in Port Douglas for a week then return home again from Sydney. e want to be as close to the 4 mile beach as possible.

We are concerned that August might not be beach weather. Would the end of September be better?
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Old Mar 30th, 2011, 02:44 PM
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Our son was slightly older than your daughter when we made our first trip to PD. You won't lack for things to see and do with your daughter for a week there.

We have been to PD in June, July, August and early September. At no time did we ever find it too cold to go to the beach. According to the temperature chart on the Port Douglas Travel website, the average low/high temps in August are 63/77 degrees F. and the average low/high temps in September are 65/80 degrees F.
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