Australia from US

Old Mar 31st, 2011, 03:56 AM
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Australia from US

My daughter is studying abroad in Sydney and we are planning a visit realizing all so many choices to cover in a trip of a lifetime. We want to make the most of our time (approx 2 weeks). Our idea is to begin in Sydney for 4 nights visiting time with my daughter then visit Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef thus far. There will be a total of five of us, three adults age 50 and two adults 21 years of age. We also want to include a visit to the wineries and the three men who are avid motorbike riders want to venture out and ride for a couple of days near Cairns (i think) (btw they do not need a traditional guided tour) while the girls and I tour elsewhere. Is there an advantage to flying rt to Sydney or should we consider flying home from a differant location to include more . HELP!
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Old Mar 31st, 2011, 08:07 AM
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the $64 dollar question. First it depends on the airline you choose. Qantas and Air New Zealand usually have the best deals. Sign up and get the email notices on both. It also depends on where you are. Qantas now only flys from Huston and LAX which is a total total total nightmare to fly in and out of. So if your in the east or midwest Huston might be better. Air NZ does SFO which is quick and easy to get in and out of, customs a snap. United Also flys from SFO but planes and service are not as good as Q and ANZ and since the flight is long that makes a difference.
Yes, you can fly into Sydney and fly home from Melbourne or if Brisbane with stopover in New Zealand.
I will be flying from LAX in September into Sydney and then on to various points in the far west (9 other flights in country) and will be returning from Melbourne. Booking by leaving from one city and returning to another is called open jaw.
You will get lots of advice as there is a lot of traffic between US and Australia.
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Old Mar 31st, 2011, 12:26 PM
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Dear pdJRK

You should also be aware that Cairns has an international airport, so it may be possible to fly out of that port (maybe with Air NZ or Qantas). Also if you are flying internally there are regular sales with Virgin Blue - check out google. SYDNEY is great 4 days doesnt seem very long, especially as you will be jet lagged upon arrival. There would be great MB drives maybe to the Blue Mountains or south/north along the coast.

CAIRNS is brilliant, and very laid back. LOTS to do and see.

I'm not sure what time of the year you are travelling though, as that would effect my advice.

Len
from OZ
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Old Mar 31st, 2011, 03:28 PM
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>

Its Dallas and LAX

>

There are flights to Asia, NZ, PNG and Guam, but nothing to the US directly

It really depends on the time of year that you are travelling, as we are going into winter and the daylight hours will get shorter.

For vineyards, the Hunter Valley is a 2 hour drive from Sydney, there are tours available.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2011, 06:41 AM
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So now we are considering a package that includes airfare from LAX and accomadations $1999 in late Octobe.

$1899 -- Australia 12-Night Trip incl. 5-Star Hotels & Air
http://www.travelzoo.com/top20/85795991-1003740/
Source: Down Under Answers.

Really would like to motorbike the Gold Goast Road. Whadda you think?
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Old Apr 2nd, 2011, 03:51 PM
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To get an idea if this IS a good deal or not check other flight costs and then look at prices for hotels etc because you may get a better deal. Hotels look at www.wotif.com.au check out www.jetstar.com.au www.qantas.com.au and www.tigerairways.com ( the latter are usually very cheap if you can get the destinations and the dates right). When you look at jetstar see what prices the Sydney - Honolulu and then look up prices Honolulu return to you city in the US because those prices are sometimes a lot cheaper than direct flights to LAX and more interesting.
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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 12:39 AM
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Consider outback Queensland mid year is a great time to visit charters towers and the gulf country by train from north Queensland.
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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 02:04 AM
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PJDrk

I think the package as quoted is quite reasonable, and it is all done for you. You should be able to arrange a motorbike hire for the Gold Coast http://www.aussiebiker.com.au. I dont know your itinerary, but the north coast would probably be more scenic (google Sunshine Coast, Noosa hinterland etc for some ideas). Gold Coast is more touristy (think Miami but smaller), Sunshine Coast is more laid back and without the sky scraper skyline. Also if you're interested Australia Zoo is in that vacinity - you have probably heard of Steve Irwin "the crocodile man". Well, his zoo is on the north coast http://www.australiazoo.com.au/

Hope this helps

Len
Brisbane Australia
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Old Apr 4th, 2011, 04:39 PM
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Cannot agree with Len about the scenic areas of the Gold Coast versus the north coast ( Sunshine Coast). The Gold Coast hinterland has some of Australia's most magnificent countryside and also roads into the equally beautiful Northern New South Wales areas.
Sure the Gold Coast is a top tourist destination but then it also has a greater range of diversity and that is the reason for its popularity.
My husband used to motorbike around the Gold Coast hinterland at least once a week and never got tired of it. He also used to bike the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast but it is very limited in comparison.
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