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Help! Honeymoon in two weeks in Australia and Need Advice on Where to Go

Help! Honeymoon in two weeks in Australia and Need Advice on Where to Go

May 15th, 2004, 05:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,283

no I haven't had a chance to check out that area, and thank you for adding to my ever growing list of places I still need to see! Sigh. It's the typical complaint....too little time, too little money!

I must admit that while in Oz and NZ I tend to concentrate on areas I know my clients will visit, and tours they may want to take. This is not always in sync with what I'd want to do! For example, I still haven't taken the Bridge Climb in Sydney, as it's 3 hours and the last time there, I spent that time doing site inspections of hotels. (as we say around the office.."we do the work so you don't have to").

If only I had FIVE weeks, like Atlhorn instead of a mere three!


wlzmatilida is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 05:22 AM
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Some people just should not join in a discussion unless they verify their knowledge. For everyone's information the "resort" on Lady Elliot Island is about as primitive as Gilligan's Island and Liz F is quite right in rejecting it as it is not worth the mention. I know because I go there just about every week.
oldfogey is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Oldfogey: So what you are are saying is that second hand knowledge is not good enough? The websites and guidebooks call it a resort. I have friends in Brisbane who have been there a few tmes for scuba and have come back with favorable reports. I have also read positive first hand reviews on the internet.

Yes, Lady Elliot is a budget island compared with many other Qld islands. How do you know what Atlhorn's budget is? Other reef islands may be out of his league for all you know. Truth is there are VERY few islands like Lady Elliot that are actually on the GBR and which offer overnight accommodation and meals. It's nice to know that there are alternatives to reef islands such as Lizard where you practically have to drop a life's savings if you want to spend a few nights with the GBR at your doorstep.

So, go ahead, don't dare tell anyone about the resort on Lady Elliot. But you're not doing the greater public much of a service.
RalphR is offline  
May 18th, 2004, 03:53 PM
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A few of those reports on Lady Elliot Island, gleaned from rec.travel.australia+nz.

From: "Kissingers" Subject: If you only have a short time in QueenslandDate: 2000/02/22 Newsgroups: rec.travel.australia+nz

My wife and I only had a week in Australia. My wife was on business. Wetraveled to Hervey Bay (Pronounced Harvey Bay). We went from there to Fraserisland for an overnight excursion for 2 days, and then back to Hervey Bayfor 2 days at Lady Elliot Island. Both places are excellent. Accommodationsare basic but the sights are unbelievable. On Fraser Island we saw huge sanddrifts as well as massive rainforests. We saw dingoes, fresh water eels,cockatoos and more. Lady Elliot is a coral island and part of the barrierreef. It is a bird sanctuary with thousands of birds. We saw giant greenturtles laying eggs, starfish, stonefish, and many tropical fish. I havenever dived before so I am planning on getting certified and returning tosee the reef. I just thought people should here from someone who has beenthere. Good luck.

From: Geodyne Newsgroups: rec.travel.australia+nzSubject: Re: Lady Elliot IslandDate: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 07:53:39

I have been to both Heron and Lady Elliot Islands. To the researchstation on Heron in 1996, and as a guest for a weekend on LE in 1996.This makes my information fairly old, so take it as you will.Lady Elliot is a very relaxed place - no keys to any of the rooms, soyou must place any valuables in the office safe. There are two typesof accomodation - permanent tents, or small demountables. While theseare a little aged, they are also right on the beach. The real attraction to Lady Elliot is that it is one of the few truecoral cays on the Great Barrier Reef with a resort on it (the resttend to be submerged mountains). As it is also the smallest of theresorts in that area, there has been remarkably little impact on thefringing reef and the snorkelling is incredible, just a few metres offthe reef.I have grown up on the GBR and been to (or worked in) most of theresorts along the Qld coast. Lady Elliot is in my opinion one of thebest I have been to, and most definitely worth the cost. I would loveto go back there. Geodyne

From: [email protected] (Kevin McAuliffe)Subject: Re: Great Barrier Reef - which Island to choose?Date: 1999/01/25Newsgroups: rec.travel.australia+nz:

Well it might be slightly above you above your price range but I'd check outLady Elliot Island atwww.oztravel.com.au/travel_mall/hotels/Lady_Elliot_IslTorquay.html#ratesThe tent and lodgecabins are $150 for twin (extra person $75)... includingall meals. I was there five years ago and loved it. But it's not the placeto go if you are looking for an active nightlife. E-mail me if you wouldlike more of my impressions of the place. Kevin

RalphR is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 09:27 AM
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I have to add that my brother, who lives in Mermaid beach, also loves Lady Elliot. Based on his recommendation, my dentist and his wife stayed there last year. They are passionate divers and loved it as well.
If you go there knowing it isn't a fancy resort, but expecting more of an "exotic" getaway, it seems to be great!
lcuy is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 07:02 PM
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I feel I have to put my 2 bob's worth in on Fraser Island. You can fly to Hervey Bay from Brisbane, and fly and land right on the beach at Happy Valley on Fraser. Kingfisher Bay Resort is a 4 1/2 star resort on the western side of the Island, and you can get there by catamaran from Hervey Bay or take a 4WD across in a barge and drive around the island's sand roads and beach. I wouldn't recommend it to Althorn for his limited time, but it is a wonderful unique experience.
Adelaide is a small city like any other.
Sydney and GBR are great - go for it Althorn!
Amanda is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 09:52 PM
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So Atlhorn, what did you decide?

I'd put my vote with the others for Cairns/Palm Cove/Port Douglas. Whatever you do, I am confident you will love Australia. I adore it. I adore Australians. So much that I hope to import one to the U.S. in the near future. (Harder for me to move there!)

I do think Palm Cove might feel more romantic since it's your honeymoon, although Port Douglas was definitely my favorite. But a single gal's P.O.V. would probably not be exactly what you are looking for!
crazymina is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 10:44 AM
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We are going to be in Sydney staying at the Sydney Harbor Marriott from May 29th until June 2nd. We are flying to Cairns on the evening of June 2nd and staying at the Sebel Reef House in Palm Cove from June 2nd until the afternoon of June 5th. We are flying back to Sydney on the evening of June 5th and departing Sydney for the U.S. on June 6th. I was hoping to climb the Bridge in Sydney one day, but do not have any other plans. I hope to go to the GBR on June 3rd but am not sure where at this point. I was thinking about taking the skytrain on Saturday to Kuranda. Any thoughts on how to spend the three days in Palm Cove? Our flight from Cairns to Sydney on Saturday June 5th is at 4 P.M. BTW, my wife has braces. Does anyone know if you can snorkle with braces?
Atlhorn is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 11:10 AM
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Sounds lika good trip. You'll have a blast. We sure did in Australia. We drove by Seble on the way up to PD. Very nice place. PC is really quaint probably like how PD was about 10 years ago.

You can snorkel with braces. Shouldn't be a problem it is the sun you gotta watch out for.

cguest88 is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 01:35 PM
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Atlhorn, although I really did enjoy taking the Skyrail to Kuranda, what was even more interesting to me was a tour of the tropical rainforest from the Daintree River to Cape Tribulation. If it was my money, that is what I would do on June 4th.

June 5th is a bit awkward, because you'd pretty much have to set out for the airport around 2.00 p.m., I would have thought.

If this were my trip, I might be tempted to sleep in on June 5th, enjoy the next to last morning of my honeymoon, and have a last decadent lunch in Palm Cove.

If you REALLY want to do more sight seeing on June 5th, I think you may have time to squeeze in a visit to Kuranda or a hot air balloon ride or some such thing.

The Far North Queensland experts around here would be in a better position to recommend a half day activity than I am.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 03:28 PM
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Hi Althorn - completely agree with Judy - as a local I would choose the Cape Trib. trip any day. The Daintree is a world heritage listed rainforest and it is much wiser to appreciate it with a knowledgable driver/guide than drive it yourself. Trek North - www.treknorth.com.au is a local company of about 15 years standing - check out their website - the tour you're looking for is CT1. They'll pick you up and drop you off at the Sebel in PC.

For the next half day, and you'd have to get up very early, you could do a hot air balloon trip. Hot Air Ballooning or Champagne Balloons are both excellent. They take you over part of the Atherton Tableland (now called Cairns Highlands) which is some of the finest agricultural land in the country. They'll also pick you up (at some ungodly hour -4.30-5.00 am), drive you to Mareeba via Kuranda for the balloon ride, provide breakfast with a glass of champagne and drop you at Kuranda from where you can Skyrail down,then pick you up at Skyrail's bottom station and take you back to PC. If all that sounds a bit much, I'd take Judy's suggestion and take it easy in PC.
pat_woolford is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 05:46 PM
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Thanks Pat. I just emailed Trek North to see if they have room for the CT1 tour on June 4th. Do you have recommendations as to which reef and what service I should use for the Great Barrier Reef on June 3rd?
Atlhorn is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 08:44 PM
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Why hasn't anyone suggested Oberon and the Big Trout Hotel for Atlhorn and his /her bride or groom or maybe thanks to the Supreme Court in Massachusetts, Atlhorn and spouse to be: groom and groom or bride and bride?


AndrewDavid is offline  
May 20th, 2004, 09:37 PM
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Hi Atlhorn - I like Ocean Spirit to Michaelmas Cay - it's a lovely motor/sailer catamaran with its own semisubmersible for those who don't dive or snorkel. Reef Magic is excellent value - has permits to visit 10 reef sites and picks the best of the day in relation to weather conditions. Reef Magic includes a free introductory scuba dive. Both trips pick up at Palm Cove. Have a great day!
pat_woolford is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 10:55 PM
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I emailed both Trek North and Ocean Spirit and they have availability on June 4th and 3rd respectively. Would you recommend that I book them now? (Basically, I want to know if there is any reason that I should not book the tours now). Thanks for the advice.
Atlhorn is offline  
May 21st, 2004, 11:59 PM
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Hi Althorn - no reason why you shouldn't book them now - weatherwise it might be wise to wait until the day before and have the Sebel do the booking, but then you take the risk of one or the other being fully booked. And as you only have two days you don't have much room to play with.
pat_woolford is offline  
May 30th, 2004, 12:16 AM
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I arrived in Sydney last night (Saturday). A beautiful city. Today we walked around the Rocks, Sydney Harbour, took a ferry around the harbour and went to Sydney Aquarium. I want to thank Alan for his suggestion that I ask the hotel if we can switch our Wednesday night priceline reservation to Saturday night. They switched it without too much trouble. We are climbing the Harbour Bridge tomorrow morning and plan to tour the Opera House later in the day. The concierge recommended that we take Dal Myles tour of the Blue Mountains. What do you all recommend? Is that a good tour? Is there a better tour? Should we just take a train there ourselves? Or should we do something else instead? Any other recommendations for Sydney would be appreciated. Thanks to everyone for your help.
Atlhorn is offline  
May 30th, 2004, 02:30 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Hiya Althorn,

Welcome to Sydney and happy honeymoon.

Sorry it is a bit chilly but hey it is brink of winter here.

Just cruise from now on to soak up Australia. Take the tour or not. The train to Katoomba can be a bit tedious but probably cheaper. Go to Paragon cafe in Katoomba for chocolate or a coffee or the Carrington for a cocktail in a victorian relic. Or even drop by the Hydro one stop down for a Irish coffee and a slice of cake. Go for a really decent walk to the valley floor to see the real beauty of the blue mountains but be prepared for a painful walk back up.

Try Leura for a quaint village atmosphere with cherry blossoms (though probably not in bloom)

Or you can take a train south to Cronulla and see a real Aussie lifestyle and even maybe catch a ferry to Bundeena and try some of the coastal walk in the Royal National Park (blows me away still and I have lived here forever).

Or go to the northern beaches via Manly ferry ( a trip in itself) then transfer to bus (after checking out Manly surf beach) to the northern beaches, some are really nice but maybe cold this time of year.

Or maybe just stay local and do the harbour walks mentioned on here so frequently.

But most importantly be relaxed with whatever you do and have great fun.
DropBear is offline  
May 30th, 2004, 04:07 AM
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Hi, Atlhorn!

Welcome to Sydney! It seems you brought the winter with you!

If the Dal Myles tour takes in an early-morning visit to Euroka Clearing at Glenbrook, then that is one thing you can't do by an independent tour, as it is far from Glenbrook Station and there is no transport. You could, perhaps, hire a car and do Euroka, Katoomba and the beautiful Mt Wilson all in the one day (apparently there is still some autumn colour at Mt Wilson, but not for long now!), but if all you want is a look at Katoomba and a walk down past the Three Sisters into the valley below, then a train journey is probably the best way to go, as you're not likely to waste all your time in the inevitable souvenir shops that tour buses seem to love so well. There is plenty of public transport in Katoomba, leaving right from the station. The journey takes about two hours. Go down into the valley early, because, in the colder weather when the days are short, it will start to get dull and cold on the valley floor by 4 p.m., and by 5 you will practically be climbing up in the dark. Just in the last couple of days the night temperature in Katoomba has dropped to zero, so take something warm.

I was so happy to hear about the switching of the dates for your booking! Hope you have a great week!
Alan is offline  
May 30th, 2004, 05:50 AM
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Hi Althorn - glad to hear you've hit the land of Oz and you'll thaw out by the time your reach the Far North - just a balmy 28C max today with a perishing daytime minimum of 22C - it does get a bit nippier at night.
pat_woolford is offline  

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