December Trip to Sydney, Cairns and Uluru??

Feb 20th, 2011, 05:54 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 77
December Trip to Sydney, Cairns and Uluru??

So I'm turning 35 this year and I was able to finagle two weeks off at Christmas from my job, with the intent to head to Australia. With some reservations from my boss, I now have my signed vacation request form Yay.

So this morning I start doing some preliminary research and looking at flights and figuring out what I need to save for this trip... and ran into a little snag. My goal was to take my two weeks and break it up between Sydney, the great barrier reef and Uluru. Of course I didn't fully account for the weather conditions. So before disappointment truly sets in and I change course, how bad of an idea is it to visit Cairns and Uluru in the wet season? I could look at taking these two weeks earlier in the year as well, but i'm not likely to get approved based on our project schedule. Thank you for any suggestions!
sjk1976 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2011, 05:11 PM
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sjk, I have visited Cairns twice in December, and it has been absolutely fabulous. Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think you are really full on into the wet season at that point. When you say 2 weeks at Christmas, what are your start and end dates?

Unfortunately, I can't speak to Uluru as I've not been there.
Toucan2 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2011, 07:45 PM
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Uluru is likely to be dry but hot. Cairns is likely to be warm with some rain, most likely in the afternoons. Sydney, being in the "temperate" zone could be anything. However it is best that you look yourself. From this site you can get records of averages and extremes. There are outlooks but not 10 months in advance I think.
AlanJG is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 07:28 PM
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my fear for travel to cairns was the visibility if i were to go out to the reef - either snorkeling or diving. i also seem to recall something about a lot of jellyfish in the water around that time.

Dry but hot .. AlanJG, that doesn't sound too bad. I was in Egypt in November and it got pretty darn hot in Aswan and Abu Simbel, but the dry heat was not too bad.

Maybe I need to go back and do some more research. I would love to make this work. My exact dates are departing NYC December 23 and returning on January 8.
sjk1976 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 01:43 PM
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For December I would say 80% chance of everything being perfect.
Kriol is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 01:50 PM
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Apart from the heat, the only problem with Uluru at that time of year is flies. You may need one of those hats with netting. Otherwise, should be OK.

If yo're planning to be in Sydney over New Year, start looking for accommodation now. Prices absolutely skyrocket about that time.
margo_oz is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 03:06 PM
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thanks everyone for the tips. i guess there's always something... heat, flies, rains, lack of affordable hotel rooms

For a 17-day itinerary, any ideas on how to do it by being in Sydney for New Years, but not doubling back three times? My thought was as follows - does this work?

December 23 - depart NYC.
December 25 AM - arrive Sydney - connect to Cairns?
December 25 - December 28 - Cairns & around
December 29 - AM flight to Sydney
December 30 - January 1 - Sydney
January 2 - 5 - Uluru & Alice Springs
January 6 - 8 - Sydney - possibly Blue Mountains

My other thought was to do this:
Dec 25 - sydney - Christmas on the beach
Dec 26 - 28 - cairns
Dec 29 - 31 - uluru
Dec 31 - sydney
Jan 1 - 2 blue mountains
Jan 3 - 5 - ??
Jan 6 - 8 - sydney

I prefer option 1 but I feel like I'm not optimizing my travel time. I have this image in my head of seeing the fireworks for the new year over the opera house and the harbor...

Thoughts on either option? Currently I plan to fly, although that's adding quite a bit to the cost, especially given the timing.
sjk1976 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 03:30 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 462
Far too short a time in the GBR area in either case.
Personally I would not be going to the Centre at that time of year and 3 days is too much as well. You have to think about the cost of going for a short time too. There are Aboriginal adventures around the GBR and also on the Spit to Manly walk in Sydney ( aboriginal paintings ).
It takes about 3 - 4 hours flying to get Sydney - Cairns and then there is the airport time each end and you lose a day - probably the same from Cairns to Uluru although I am not sure you can go that direct route anyway.
Also I would not be going from NYC to Sydney then to Cairns because that is one hell of a time on a flight without a break so the first bit of your second idea is the best - beach on Xmas Day.
ivenotbeeneverywhere is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 04:19 PM
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The reef can be at its very best in December and the winds at their lowest so conditions usually really good then.
ivenotbeeneverywhere is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 04:20 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Possibly from New York, and only speculating here, it could be quicker to get to Cairns by flying to Tokyo, then to Cairns. Only because I think there is direct flight to Tokyo and not Sydney. Depends on connections. Quick google on (not sure of reliability) says New York to Sydney 22 hours (25 then to Cairns) but only 12 to Tokyo, from Tokyo to Cairns 8 hours so 5 hours quicker. Would need to confirm but worth investigating.
Kriol is offline  

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