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Eeek!!!! Help! First time Aussie

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Sep 10th, 2016, 09:23 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 3
Eeek!!!! Help! First time Aussie

To all lovely members out there!
Firstly hello,
This is my first post on here and I've gone through so many East coast Australia posts on fodors but I still find I'm struggling with a few thoughts- and I'd so very appreciate your expert advice! I'm just going round in circles here!
I am mid-twenties and travelling to East Coast Aus the first week of November with my partner. This is our first time! Eek!

I've done an itinerary and would very much value any input! (Any input whatsoever!)

In terms of interests, we enjoy going on walks, nature, culture, generally exploring cities, museums, beaches, nature reserves, wildlife, film/movies, eating (but not drinking!) ....
We don't plan to do any water sports.

Fly to Melbourne
DAYS 1-4: MELBOURNE
DAY 5: MELBOURNE PHILLIP ISLAND
DAY 6: FLY TO SYDNEY
DAYS 7-10: SYDNEY
DAY 11: BLUE MOUNTAINS
DAY 12: FLY TO GOLD COAST
DAYS 13-17: GOLD COAST
DAYS 18: DRIVE TO MT TAMBORINE (hike) + (stay the night)
DAY 19: MT TAMBORINE
DAY 20: DRIVE SPRINGBROOK, hike, return to MT TAMBORINE stay the night
DAY 21: DRIVE TO GOLD COAST AIRPORT, FLY to HERVEY BAY stay the night
DAY 22-23: FRASER ISLAND TOUR
DAY 23 eve: FLY HERVEY BAY to BRISBANE
DAY24: FLY HOME

So.... Here are my troubles

1) is the above time scale realistic for each area (obviously I realise this differs person to person- but I'm hoping I'm not being unrealistic in my time scales)
If you think I'm allocating not enough time to Melbourne and too much time to Gold Coast please let me know!

2) I intend to fly between each place ie Melbourne to Sydney- Sydney to Gold Coast etc
Is this the most efficient way of doing things ?

3) would you do a tour in the blue mountains? Or do it yourself?

4) where would you stay in Gold Coast? Lennox head and have to drive longer distances up to surfers paradise area ....or stay more central?

5) would you stay in MT TAMBORINE and do a day trip to SPRINGBROOK
Or stay SPRINGBROOK and do a day trip to MT
Or should we focus just 3 days in one area?

6) what is the journey like between the two? Safe?

7) would you do tours in both or do your own thing? I've heard people say that some parts of MT TAMBORINE are SO STEEP to drive! If we rent a car should we be driving around MT TAMBORINE or is it safer to be in a more suitable tour vehicle?

Phew....that's all I think!

Hope it all makes sense and apologies in advance if any of the questions are foolish!

I cannot thank you enough!!!!!!!
gemhr98 is offline  
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Sep 10th, 2016, 12:42 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,963
Your plan is mostly excellent.

The glaring thing that stands out is the Gold Coast. It is a stretch of sand behind which are concrete-and-glass highrises, tons of bars and pubs and cheap fast-food restaurants, and honestly not much else. If you don’t drink, and don’t do water sports, this is not for you.

Mt. Tamborine is pretty, no doubt, but not pretty enough to warrant a flight into Coolangatta (Gold Coast airport) when the Gold Coast itself is not for you. You’d have similar views and hikes in the Blue Mountains!

Search under my name - I just gave somebody else a detailed suggestion for a trip from Sydney down to Berry then Batemans Bay and inland to Canberra and up into the Blue Mountains and back to Sydney via the Hunter Valley - maybe 5 or 6 leisurely days during which you’d see lovely coast scenery, Canberra, the Jenolan Caves and more of the Blue Mountains, and nice inland drives through lush valleys and over many ridges.

That’s the trip for which you should rent a car - I can recommend
https://www.bayswatercarrental.com.au from many previous rentals.
michelhuebeli is offline  
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Sep 10th, 2016, 02:56 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,044
Just a few comments on your itinerary which in general sounds fine to me.
Re Philip Island - I assume you are going to do a day tour to see the penguins? Be aware that it is about a two hour coach trip each way and because the penguins don't start coming in until it is dark, then you will be very late getting back to your hotel. If you have an early flight the next morning, better to schedule this trip to another day.
Re the Gold Coast, Lennox Head is at least an hour's drive from the Gold Coast so whilst it is a really nice coastal town, you don't want to stay there. If you plan to hire a car, it makes a nice day's drive to visit Bryon Bay and Lennox Head. You can easily visit Mt Tamborine and Springbrook on day trips - only about 45 minutes from the coast. I'd prefer to do this by car as you are free to do your own thing, particularly if you want to do some long walks. Yes, there are a few steep roads around the area but nothing that a sensible driver can't manage easily.
Our favourite place to stay is at Burleigh Heads - not as over-the-top as Surfers Paradise and central to all the other places along the coast. We stayed recently at Gemini Court apartments at Burleigh Heads - nice apartments with views across the beach, the surfers and the skyline, and walking distance to shops and restaurants.
Re the Blue Mountains, you can take the train to Katoomba and then use the hop-on/hop-off bus to get around the area.
Hope you have a great trip!
marg is offline  
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Sep 11th, 2016, 02:38 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 15
I tend to agree with michelhuebeli about the Gold Coast and would cut down your time here for extra time in Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

I recently spent 5 days on the Gold Coast, using it as a base for day trips to Byron Bay, Springbrook and Mt Tamborine. The driving was not overly difficult - just a few narrow points and steepish sections - and having a car allows a better choice of walking tracks. Staying on the Gold Coast provides a wider range of food and entertainment choices for the evening.

If you wish to stay in the hinterland and do some longer hikes a better choice is Lamington NP, staying at O'Reilly's or Binna Burra. This has some lovely scenery and plenty of birdlife.
Ozian is offline  
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Sep 12th, 2016, 08:44 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,340
<<2) I intend to fly between each place ie Melbourne to Sydney- Sydney to Gold Coast etc
Is this the most efficient way of doing things ? >>

How could it not be? Cars and trains are far slower and your time is worth something. You're actually approaching this the right way by flying instead of thinking you can drive these distances without wasting days.
BigRuss is offline  
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Sep 12th, 2016, 10:32 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 33
As first timer the troubles are pretty much normal. I can just suggest you to consult with an Australian trip specialist. HE/she will tell you the perfect way and also create a perfect itineraries for you.
gemmapurcell is offline  
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Sep 12th, 2016, 11:08 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 3,191
People come on this site to ask advice of travelers not to be referred to travel agents -gemmapurcell
northie is offline  
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