extra day..... Where???

Jun 10th, 2009, 07:51 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,039
I have to agree with Sally. Based on your stated travel preferences, "adventurous" and "scuba", I can't see how you could pass up an opportunity to scuba at the Great Barrier Reef. Unlike Sally, I have been to Melbourne several times and while it is a nice city, it's not the Great Barrier Reef! Late September is a good time to be in Far North Queensland so I, too, recommend 4 days Sydney and 4 days in either Cairns or Port Douglas (our personal favorite in FNQ).
longhorn55 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2009, 05:13 AM
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Love the Cairns idea, esp since we are all divers. Unfortunately the package we got...4 nights Sydney & 4 nights Melbourne with air from SFO & daily breakfast for $1100pp inc tax did not offer Cairns. We plan on doing this area & later make another trip back to do Port Douglas, Alice Springs & Ayers Rock. Who knows maybe we will need to make several trips. Since we are all still working can't afford time off for 3-4 weeks have to make do with what we can.

As for big cities, that isn't really us which is why we are looking for day trips out of town.

Keep bringing on the suggestions.
Neuman605 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2009, 05:37 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Yes, gathered that you may have been committed or otherwise most people would have started with a more open approach and now at least suggestions might be kept on track - taking advantage of the accommodation provided really rules out extending day trips to touring a bit as well.

But whereas the BM west of Sydney can be done out and and back in a day, either train/bus or car, you can also easily get by train/bus/ferry to both the Royal National Park south of Sydney or Kuringai Chase NP on northern doorstep, both virtually adjoining suburbs in those directions and offering some great walking opportunities.

You could do Port Stephens or Barrington Tops regions as longer day trips.

Melbourne does not have NPs as close of the same ruggedness but Dandenong Ranges NP can be reached by suburban train to the east, a car trip down to the Mornington Peninsula will offer some good walks down around Port Nepean and Hanging Rock/Mt Macedon to the NW likewise, and Lerderberg Gorge out to the west is supposed to be an interesting walk though haven't done it myself.

If we get an extended snow season and you're interested, you should be able to pick up a day trip to Mt.Baw Baw or Mt. Buller or drive yourself as far as Mansfield for the latter and get a bus up the mountain.

Another extended day trip would be a drive down to Wilsons Promontory NP for some great walks though there was a large bushfire there this summer just gone and it will not look its best, and on way back you could schedule in the Phillip Island Fairy Penguin parade [a bit tame but adventurous for the little guys] before a late night drive back to Melbourne.
Bushranger is offline  
Jun 11th, 2009, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 187
Too bad about the GBR but I KNOW you'll be back! From Melbourne you can take a day trip for part of the Great Ocean Road and also a day trip to the old mining areas (around Barrarat??) and/or to the wine areas outside of Melbourne. Did you get rooms included in that price?
p.s. isn't there a koala sanctuary near the Phillip Island penguin place? I think I remember reading a trip report out of Melbourne. It's worth it putting "Melbourne" in the search window here and reading what other people have done to get an idea of what is available. Have fun planning!
SnR is offline  
Jun 11th, 2009, 12:14 PM
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Yes, we got 8 nights hotel accommodations total, our trans-pacific air, dom air in AU & daily breakfast. We need to decide on touring options, independent or guided and best options for transfers to & from airports.
We have traveled both types of trips, the no-brainer all inclusive with all tours & meals included and we have done air, hotel packages where we do everything on our own, depends on the deal we can make.
This time we are independent with activities so need all of the recommedations we can get.
Neuman605 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2009, 05:45 PM
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Well, I think about all points of the compass have been covered from Melbourne and Sydney and for sure a car hire will be far cheaper and flexible than tours for four.

Getting into the cities from the airports is easy enough there being an airport bus you buy a ticket for at a kiosk on footpath and catch the bus near southern end of the terminal, buses running about every 15 minutes during day and taking about 20 minutes to get you into basement level of Southern Cross Railway Station and they have free shuttle bus connections to hotels.
Buy a return ticket at $26 and cheaper than two singles at $16 ea. or for four, you'll about break even I suspect with a taxi both ways.

Sydney offers a similar pricing structure to bus if taking train from airport into city, there being an undergound loop after central station and if a station is handy to hotel, one way to go, there also being small mini bus shuttles or again taxi for four should work out OK.

If you're hiring a car, getting out of Sydney could be fun![not], and Melbourne not so bad, more of an open feel with wider streets to it.

Not that they are mountain ascents but both cities have some good walking around interesting landmarks or in Sydneys case an Ocean cliffs walk if you head over Bondi way.
Great Visitors Information Centre in Rocks area, just across from ferry terminal has historical walking trails maps to meander about the city, a loop from the Rocks around to Darling Harbour and then across through City/Hyde Park to Wooloomooloo [Lunch at the finger wharf or Harry's famous Cart de Wheels for a pie] and back around past Mrs Macquaries chair and Botanical Gardens/Opera House, a ferry across to Milsons Point to walk back across the Harbour Bridge will be a good days outing.

Similarly, Melbourne has a Visitors Information Centre right in heart, downstairs at Federation Square where you'll see some extraordinary looking buildings, extraordinarily ugly to some but sort of growing on you with the full effect there now and distant parklands/government house/MCG/Tennis centre sporting precincts backdrop about the Yarra all having a great impact.

You ought to catch a free city circle tram for about a 45 minute circuit of the CBD and rebuilt docklands area to get a feel for what's about and then as with Sydney, you can spend a good day on foot if you wish, there being a good belt of parklands on eastern edge of CBD from Carlton Park with old Royal Exhibition Building and down over to Fitzroy Gardens, across to MCG, across the footbridge to Tennis Centre and then across the Yarra to Botanical Gardens, through them to near Government House and back through adjacent Kings Domain and parklands about the Myer Music Bowl, take care crossing road to Yarra walk and head down stream to Southbank precinct, Casino, new exhibition centre and developing area
and on if you wish to Polly Woodside/dry dock and a footbridege over to docklands for some lets say unusual sculptures about and often something of interest on at docklands.

A further 1-2 km. walk back towards the city up Latrobe Street will get you close to Victoria Market or use the free city circle tram if feeling weary, but another good days outing.

Probably a good idea to be walking rather than driving to get you time adjusted whichever city you fly into first.

Sally's Barrarat is Ballarat [ Sovereign Hill to Snozzas constipation] and yes Ballarat forms part of what has always been known as the Golden Triangle of Victoria, Ballarat to Bendigo to ?, still mine shafts in the heart of Bendigo and gold still to be extracted from some workings or tailings about and a place called Maldon is a kind of historical if touristy place.

Yep, Koala sanctuary also on Phillip Island and GOR could be done in a long day with an early 6amish start and ditto for Wilsons Promontory and for Sydney Port Stephens trips.
Bushranger is offline  
Jun 11th, 2009, 06:52 PM
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Bushranger, thanks much for the details, seems you know the area well. Let meknow if you ever need info on Cleveland Ohio! LOL
Neuman605 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2009, 08:21 PM
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I definitely recommend a taxi from Sydney airport to town. The shuttle "bus" is loooooooooooooong (unless you happen to be the first stop) and hot and crowded. It wouldn't make sense for 4 people.
Sally in Seattle
SnR is offline  
Jun 12th, 2009, 04:07 AM
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We travel pretty light & 4 of us can probably fit easily into a taxi. How far is it from airport to city?
Neuman605 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2009, 05:24 AM
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About 6-8 km. from the international terminal at Sydney, a little closer from domestic and about 20 km. for Melbourne unless you luck out on a domestic from Sydney with Jetstar that takes you to Avalon which is closer to 50 km. and an airport bus in that case would be the go.
Bushranger is offline  
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