Ayers Rock Alternative


Jul 7th, 2017, 07:27 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 7
Ayers Rock Alternative

Hey guys! My husband and I have a trip to Australia planned for September. Our original plan was to fly into Sydney for three days and do a day trip to the Blue Mountains. Then to Ayers Rock for 3 days, followed by 3 days in Cairns for a live aboard, and then head to Port Douglas for 3 more days to see the Daintree tree forest and such.

However, the cost to go to Ayers Rock is kind of outrageous! The flights are going to cost us about $1300, the hotel room is $300 a night for 2 nights, and that doesn't include any activities or food. Spending well over $2000 for 2 nights in one location just doesn't seem worth it. So, I was hoping some of you could offer me some great alternative. My husband and I love nature (hiking, camping, national parks) and history. We could care less about gourmet food or nightlife. To clarify from above this is for 3 days/2 nights coming from Sydney and leaving for Cairns after.
Gawainator is offline  
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Jul 7th, 2017, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Uluru is unique so it's a bit difficult to recommend something that's interesting but won't be as spectacular. Here's two suggestions based on your travel between Sydney and Cairns.
Fly to Townsville and get the ferry to Magnetic Island - I think it's only about 30 minutes. You can hire a car on the island and check out the beaches and national park, plus explore some of Townsville.
Fly to Coffs Harbour (or get the train), hire a car and visit Dorrigo National Park, Bellingen, and the coastal areas - Urunga and Nambucca Heads are very pleasant and pretty.
You could also extend your stay in Cairns and use the time to visit the hinterland and the areas south of the city. - Mission Beach and Paronella Park are worth the detour.
marg is offline  
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Jul 7th, 2017, 02:51 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Yes it is costly - did you choose the cheapest hotel - pioneer outback is cheapest or there is a hostel. Food is expensive because of location . It's probably school holidays too. We pay $640 pp airfare from Melbourne . In a heartbeat I'd do it again . Worth every penny.
northie is offline  
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Jul 7th, 2017, 02:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Coober Pedy? We loved our visit there.
Melnq8 is offline  
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Jul 10th, 2017, 07:00 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Ayers Rock and the Olgas are each sui generis so there really is no way to substitute them, you'd just have to see something else.

Do you have miles or points to use?

Did you try to fly one of the intra-Australia low-cost carriers instead of qantas?

Also, don't try to book the hotels on the Yulara resort's own website. Use booking.com or similar because you can get better deals. We cut our lodging costs by 40% that way because the resort website only would allow us to book a two-bedroom suite in the Emu Walk Apts for our family of four, but booking.com allowed us to book a one-bedroom suite (which slept 5-6 easily because both the couch and chair in the living room had pullout beds).

Ultimately, Yulara is just more expensive - petrol was more than AUD$2 per liter there, 35% less in Adelaide; food is more expensive too. If you're American and have been to Alaska, you'd see similarities.
BigRuss is offline  
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Jul 11th, 2017, 11:39 PM
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 38
As you say "My husband and I love nature (hiking, camping, national parks) and history." so in my opinion you can go to Whitsunday Islands (Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Hamilton Island, Hook Island).
The majority of these islands are designated with national parks, and major attractions include snorkeling and diving at coral reefs, pristine beaches and clear, warm waters. It’s an awesome experience, to sleep on a sail boat and enjoy the islands through a multi-day sailing tour. The Whitsunday Islands form a part of the Great Barrier Reef.
gemmapurcell is offline  
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Jul 12th, 2017, 08:11 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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jetstar is the only budget airline that flies to Alice Springs / Uluru and that would show up on Qantas sites anyway .
northie is offline  
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Aug 30th, 2017, 11:33 PM
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Flinders ranges near Adelaide will give you a good outback experience. Wilapena Pound is the Uluru alternative ����
CultureClub is offline  
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Aug 30th, 2017, 11:35 PM
Join Date: Aug 2017
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You can the go Sydney- Adelaide- Cairns, a great multiple destination holiday and much more affordable. Look at Rawsley Park for outback accommodation , it's a great place to spend time.
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