Australian Itinerary - Please help

Dec 6th, 2003, 11:09 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 52
Australian Itinerary - Please help

This is our first trip to Australia. I'll be traveling with my 13-yr-old son. We're planning on 19 nights, mid July thru first week of August. Any comments or suggestions would be really appreciated. We're trying to make the most of our time there while not tying ourselves down with too many tours.

Sydney - 2 days getting aquainted with the city. Hotel in Rocks area (Stafford Hotel). Maybe brief helicopter/walking tour, visit Opera House and Circular Quay area, Royal Botanic Gardens.

Fly to Cairns, stay 5 nights in Palm Cove. Activities to include Kuranda Rail/SkyRail tour, free day, Lizard Island or Green Island day trip, Wildlife park in Palm Cove, and possibly another barrier reef day trip to Michaelmas Cay.

Drive to Daintree, 3 nights at Daintree Ecolodge. Activities to include guided rainforest walk, 4WD safari to Cape Tribulation, and a free day

Fly to Alice Springs for 3 day tour thru Alice Springs Holidays including Mereenie Wilderness, Kings Canyon, Ayers Rock and Oglas. Still deciding on whether to do Sounds of Silence dinner. Also considering Cave Hill 4WD desert tour with Anangu aboriginal people.

Return to Sydney for 3 nights before heading home. Include ferry to Manly beach, Darling Harbour area, bridge climb, and Taronga Zoo. I'd also like to take in a rugby or aussie rules game if possible.

How does this look? Too much or not enough time in any one place? I really appreciate the advice.
Ninja is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 06:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If time allows, whilst you are in Alice Springs, visit the Desert Park. It's only a few minutes from town and will give you excellent opportunities to see Australian animals (particularly the nocturnal ones) and birds.
Your itinerary sounds great.
marg is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 08:52 PM
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We did our first trip to Australia last August with four kids aged 9 to 15. One thing the kids really enjoyed (and we parents did too) was the Discovery Ecotours day excursion called Eyes in the Dark in Alice Springs. We went out to a remote cattle station, saw interesting old buildings and lots of great wildlife (including our only kangaroos in the wild!) and then had a fun campfire dinner under the stars. A very nice evening for all ages. Probably more fun for kids than the Sounds of Silence dinner (which we decided to take a pass on). Just an idea.

Your basic itinerary sounds good to me. Kind of similar to what we did. Have fun!
Miranda is offline  
Dec 7th, 2003, 10:04 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, especially about the Eyes in the Dark tour. I'll check into that instead. I'll also look into visiting Desert Park while in Alice Springs. We aren't renting a car, but I'm sure I can find other transportation there.
Ninja is offline  
Dec 7th, 2003, 08:04 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Hi Ninja - Definitely Lizard rather than Green Island if you don't mind spending the significant extra. Sadly, there's not much in the way of coral on Green these days. also, Rainforest Habitat near Port Douglas has more to offer than Wild World near Palm Cove and your son would love Hartley's Creek for crocs and other creatures. He's also just old enough for white water rafting on Tully River. for Michaelmas Cay would recommend Ocean Spirit - motor/sailer catamaran with great crew. Enjoy
pat_woolford is offline  
Dec 8th, 2003, 10:33 AM
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Thanks for all the helpful suggestions. We're pretty sure about Ocean Spirit but will have to see whether budget can afford Lizard Island trip or not. Sounds wonderful but I may have to cut back on a few of our other "extra's" if that's the case. One airline ticket is using frequent flyer miles, still need to book the other one.
Ninja is offline  
Dec 9th, 2003, 02:02 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 236
A few suggestions

Bush Breaks Outback Air Safari with proprietor/pilot Chris Lee ( 5 seater aircraft). he organises a variety of trips and my friends recently returned from a 7 day trip (can do shorter ones)--they flew to opal mines in White Cliffs, Flinders ranges, Uluru (Ayers Rocks), lunch at Birdsville Pub (Australian icon -read up on it) plus many other stops --check

In Sydney you do cover the usual tourist spots-and they are great-may I suggest a speed boat turn around the harbour-thrilling for the 13 year old-check at the tourist office try a sail on the replica of the Bounty (tall ship) or the ghost tour at the Quarantine station--check or any brochure will have details

If you want to email me please feel free to ask me--I live in Sydney with my troops -including a 13 year old
angelnot1 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2003, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 35
We just came back from Australia, had a day trip to Lizard Island with Greg from Daintree Air ( and yes, it was expensive, but worth every penny! Greg is super helpful from start to finish, and what an experience flying over the reef and visiting your own (almost deserted) island with exquisite fish and coral. Not to be missed!
clairdesol is offline  

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