Cairns to Sydney - best route/highlites in 12 days

Old Apr 11th, 2006, 11:40 AM
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Cairns to Sydney - best route/highlites in 12 days

We're flying into Cairns June 1st and need to be back in Sydney by about the 12th (we fly back to Canada on the 17th and want a spell in the big city). Given that's a big distance, do you have any recomendations for mode of travel and must-sees. We're a couple, not into partying, prefer quiet, on a backpacker budget. Have heard that Cape Trib, Byron Bay, Whitsundays are must sees. And should we bring our own snorkeling gear? Thanks all in advance
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 02:12 PM
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In the amount of time you have, I certainly wouldn't drive the whole way. You'll spread yourself pretty thin, and you won't be able to see everything anyway. There's a lot to see around Cairns, so, no matter what, I'd spend a good amount of time there or in the general vicinity. I think renting a car is the best way to see things and gives you the most flexibility. A few reasonable possibilities: 1) Stay in general Cairns area (within a few hundered km) until the 12th, fly to Sydney from Cairns. 2) Drive south part-way, say to Townsville or Mackay. Fly to Sydney from there. Saves back-tracking to Cairns. Brisbane's a bit too far to drive in my opinion. 3) After seeing North Qld, fly to Brisbane for a few days (see Byron, Gold Coast Hinterland etc., then fly to Sydney. 4) After North Qld, fly to Brisbane, then drive south to Sydney.
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 05:40 PM
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jessdog, RalphR is right in what he is saying, Cairns to Sydney is a long, long drive.
jessdog - do you come from the US? the reason I ask this, is that a lot of Americans only seem to get a short period of holidays, and try to visit other countries in that period, trying to see everything there is to see. I can understand them doing that, with only a short holiday period.
Do as Ralph says, concentrate on certain area to get the most out of it, then fly to another region, doing likewise.
The other option RalphR mentioned is good also, being where you fly to Cairns, see the region, then rent a vehicle, dropping it off further south in Qld, then fly down to Sydney. I did exactly this some years, flying to Cairns, then picked up a rental car, and later drove slowly down to Mackay, dropping off the car, and flying back to Sydney.It was an enjoyable & relaxing holiday.
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 05:43 PM
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I forgot to mention, that instead of driving to Mackay, and dropping off the rental car, you could go south as far as Airlie Beach, see the Whitsundays, then drop off the rental in that region, and fly out with Virgin Blue Airlines (just another idea)
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Old Apr 13th, 2006, 04:44 AM
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Hi jessdog - I've read your post twice and can see no mention of a plan to drive from Cairns to Sydney.

Wise decision given the time you have.

You have 10 days. I'd spend 3-4 in the Cairns area - go out to the reef from Cairns once and then head up to Cape Trib (can recommend budget accommodation if you like). You can get to Airlie Beach for the Whitsundays easily by bus. The thing to do there really is a 3 day 2 night sailing trip, though it can be 2 days, 1 night.

Thereafter - pesonally I think Byron Bay is overrated, but you might like it. Fraser Island is a great destination. Either way fly from Proserpine (Whitsundays) to Brisbane - check out virginblue. Then go a few hours north or south, depending on what you decide. Buses available down the coast from BB - but it is a long way and takes a while. Or check out virginblue, and jetstar for flights down to Sydney.

Cape Trib and Whitsundays - brilliant. There are lots of other options but maybe not in your timeframe.

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Old Apr 14th, 2006, 10:31 PM
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we had one of our best adventures being stuck by flood waters at the Tully River crossing. If you are stuck at the Euramo Hotel side you get to pay for lots of beer in the afternoon switch to rum in the evening and enjoy free showers and complimentary brekky w/ swasages in the AM.

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