First family trip to Australia for 25 days

Old Feb 4th, 2017, 06:45 AM
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First family trip to Australia for 25 days

Hello all
It's time to plan the summer vacations and what would be a better place than Fodors.

Family of 3 from Pakistan with a girl child 10 years now planing to visit for the first time to Australia on June 24, 2017 at Melbourne. Have immediate family in Melbourne therefore would be staying few extra days

Our interest include modern city life, green and scenic mountains, lakes , couple of days at beach, thrilling amusement parks

Itinerary is as follows
Arrive Melbourne June 25 (3 nights) - would stay more at the end of trip
Arrive Sydney By Air on June 28. (4 nights)
Blue mountain on Juky 02 (2 nights)
Arrive Gold Coast July 04. ( 4 nights)
Arrive Cairns or PD July 07 (3 nights)
Daintree or cape tribulation July 10. (2 days)
Arrive Melbourne July 13 (6 nights)

Am open to any suggestions on the above itinerary

Questions are as follows
1. Is blue mountain a good place to visit as we love to see green and scenic mountain. Should I stay 1 or 2 nights? Will I have to rent a car for more convenience

2. How to reach Gold Coast from Sydney

3. Best and thrilling amusement/ride park

4. Wife is not into snorkelling or going down in the sea to watch reefs, should we still visit Cairns or PD

5. Should we visit Daintree or Cape tribulation ? How r they different from Blue mountain

Would welcome all suggestions and advise
asimm is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2017, 07:07 AM
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Glad to see your itinerary coming together. Overall I think you did a good job for your time in Australia given your interests. Instead of splitting your time between Cairns / Port Douglas and Daintree / Cape Tribulation, it may be easier to stay in one place and do day trips. With regards to your questions:

1. The Blue Mountains are a great choice for great mountain scenery and some fresh air. Just be mindful that you will be there in the winter and hope for a clear day so that you get beautiful views. Renting a car and driving from Sydney is a popular option, but you can also take a train direct from Sydney to Katoomba or Leura (about 2 hours). While you could base yourself in a few different places, these two places are the easiest for restaurants, shops, and indoor activities should the weather not be so good. If you have a car, you can also visit Featherdale Wildlife Park to or from the Blue Mountains; it focuses on Australian wildlife and you are able to get your photograph taken with a koala.

2. Fly. There are flights from Sydney to the Gold Coast as well as nearby Brisbane. And from there you can fly to Cairns.

3. In Sydney you can go to Luna Park, right underneath the Harbour Bridge, for a few rides; it is not a big park. Most of the amusement parks are in the Gold Coast / SE Queensland area.

4. The Great Barrier Reef, in my opinion, is one of the classic sights known around the world for good reason and well worth a visit, especially given the time of year you are visiting. Just choose a large boat with amenities that do not require knowing how to swim. There are glass-bottom boats, submarines, and you can go helmet diving.

5. The Blue Mountains and the Daintree Rainforest are in 2 different ecosystems with very different climates, vegetation, topography, etc. I would go to both.

If the weather is cooperative you may also want to visit Port Campbell National Park and the 12 Apostles while you are in Melbourne. It is gorgeous. And if you go via Cape Otway, you can usually spot koalas up in the trees.

Hope this helps.
tripplanner001 is offline  
Old Feb 4th, 2017, 02:34 PM
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Good advice from Tripplanner & I think you're on the right path with your Itinersary, too.

Have a look st the Gold Coast website for a summary of the Theme parks.

I would also include the Great Barrier Reef area - flying into Cairns & probably staying in Port Douglas. It's a wonderful area, with plenty to interest everyone.

If your wife doesn't want to go out in the reef, there's nothing to stop her having a day in town or going in a tour that interests her & you taking your daughter out for the day.

Have fun. Pack warm clothes for Melbourne.
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Old Feb 5th, 2017, 01:50 AM
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Thank you for your suggestions

So the basic itinerary is intact, now getting into few details

1. Yes when in Melbourne we would be going to GOR for a one night trip but Adelaide being close would it be a good idea to visit Adelaide or maybe drop GD or Cairns and visit Adelaide

2. Should I stay in GD or Brisbane ? I guess GD so is Brisbane a must visit for a day

3. Flights from GD to cairns are double the price compared from Brisbane to Cairns, so if I am staying in GD should I use Brisbane airport

More questions may follow.
asimm is offline  
Old Feb 5th, 2017, 04:30 AM
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You're welcome.

1. It all depends on your interests. If you want to visit amusement parks, stick with the Gold Coast. And if you want to visit the Reef and Daintree, stick with Cairns / Port Douglas. Adelaide to me would be good as a jumping off point for Kangaroo Island (wildlife) as well as the city itself and the surrounding wine region. Adelaide and Kangaroo Island would be about 5 nights at a minimum and you would want to fly from Melbourne rather than drive given your time limitations.

2. Brisbane and the Gold Coast seem like one large metropolitan area to me, so I am not sure if it makes a difference. Others may be able to give you better advice here.

3. If you stay in Gold Coast, make sure you think about how much it would cost to drive or taxi from your hotel to Brisbane, but I am sure people use the two airports interchangeably. Go with whichever makes the most sense to you economically and logistically.
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Old Feb 5th, 2017, 01:38 PM
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Can you organise your trip along the GOR to allow for an overnight stay (perhaps Port Campbell or Warrnambool) then return through Ballarat allowing enough time to visit Sovereign Hill which your daughter would enjoy. It's a folk museum focussing on the gold rush days in Victoria and extremely well done.

Re the Gold Coast, there is a train to Brisbane. The stations are inland from the coastal highways so you would need to get a taxi or bus to the nearest station.
marg is offline  
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