Help - I need to plan My Australia Trip

Mar 5th, 2009, 03:18 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 70
Help - I need to plan My Australia Trip

Hi,

Need help to organize my Australia Trip - starting from around 20 May, 2009 onwards.

We are 02 Couples – with 2 kids – age 13 and 14 years.

Duration of the tour – I think ideally around 15 days or so.

Places I have in mind –
Kangaroo Island
Great Ocean Road
Sydney – at least 3 to 4 days – 2 days for local sights (Bondi, Syndeny Harbor, Opera House, Paddington Bazaar etc ) and two days to explore or stay at nearby places Like Blue Mountain and Hunter Valley
Gold Coast – at least 4 days here – since we have kids and they want to visit Dreamwolrd, Sea world, Movie world etc
Cairns area – again we shall need many days here – since we need to see kuranda with the rail trip and the cable car journey and whatever else is there?? I do not know what else is there to see…?
Great Barrier Reef .- must see this ….does one stay there or do a day visit..?

Maybe an outback experience added somewhere in a ranch or similar places.

Hotel choices – can be varied – we are flexible and do not mind staying at Apartment or hotels or resorts or lodges – as long as they are nice / clean and well located.

Come on Fodor friends – I am trusting on your advise to plan this out…..

Thank you
holikurry is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 03:51 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,908
Your first issue to be addressed is logistics of what you can achieve in 15 days, ie. from landing/jetlag....
www.webjet.com.au will give you an idea of domestic flights and how many part days you'll be losing.

Google of specific locations will not only give you a huge range of info including accommodation but also in respect to Kangaroo Island bus/ferry or flight and tour options.

Given time available you might want to look at swapping Phillip Island for Kangaroo.
Bushranger is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 05:53 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,039
Bushranger has given you good advice about checking on your internal flights. You'll probably find that you lose so much time getting places that you'll want to limit your destinations. In fact, I regularly suggest that people limit their destinations to three if they are only in country for 2 weeks (which you will be). Otherwise, you'll find yourself spending more time in airports and on airplanes than experiencing Australia.
Thus, my suggestion (based on your stated interest in going to the Gold Coast) would be Sydney, Gold Coast, Port Douglas (via Cairns). I'd schedule at least 4 days for Sydney (and you could find plenty for 5 days since you want to go to the Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley). Then you've got 4 days planned for the Gold Coast which should be just about right. Finally, I would fly into Cairns and then drive (or arrange for coach transporation) up to Port Douglas. We enjoy the "small-town" feel of PD, yet there's plenty to see and do there. I've been there many times and we can easily spend a week there, so I'd recommend at least 4 days for you.
Accomodations--With families, I recommend serviced apartments. In Sydney, I'd look for places close to Circular Quay or Darling Harbour. Our family has stayed in the Grand Mecure Apartments in Darling Harbour and we enjoyed it. At the Gold Coast, you have a lot of choices. If you want to be in the "hubbub" of things at the Gold Coast, you'll probably want to look at accomdodations in or around Surfer's Paradise. We wanted a quieter location on our visit, so we stayed further south in Currumbin at the Rocks Resort. It was a longer drive each day to the amusement parks, but it suited us great! Finally, there are innumerable serviced apartments in PD, so you should easily find something that suits you. We've stayed in several different serviced apartments there and been happy with them all.
Finally, what to do in PD: 1) Enjoy Four Mile Beach. I think it's a beautiful beach, especially for long walks. If you want to swim, check to see if stinger season has ended. If it hasn't only swim inside the stinger nets. 2) Breakfast with the Birds at the Rainforest Habitat, 3) Hike (and even take a swim) at Mossman Gorge, 4) Go to Daintree National Park to experience the rainforest upclose. You can either do this on your own in a rental car or arrange for a tour. 5) Do a daytrip to the Reef. There's lots of boats in PD that do these tours, so you can choose between large boats and small boats, snorkel-only boats or boats that offer diving and there is even a large boat (Quicksilver) that offers semi-submersible tours for non-swimmers. 6) Do the Skyrail or train/Skyrail to Kuranda. As you can see, there's enough to do in PD for several days.
longhorn55 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 07:20 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 61
Well, I am envious as you are just starting your trip! We spent 3 weeks in AUS this past Jan. and 8 days in NZ. It was just wonderful. A couple of things I wish we would have known and I will share them with you. If you book your internal flights quicker, they will be cheaper. That's what we found out after we got there. Also, we drove from Brisbane to Cairns and did not realize how far it was. In order to do what we wanted to do in Cairns we had to change our schedule around. That was costly. Sydney was absolutly wonderful! We were there 1 week and did not do all we wanted. We were at the Australian Open in Melbourne when it reached 120 degrees! They broke all kinds of records. We still loved it! Have a wonderful trip!
Suzyque is offline  
Mar 5th, 2009, 08:18 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 825
All the above advice is good and in only 15 days I think you should concentrate on the biggies. It's a pity you have to include the Gold Coast because it is tacky and if you are coming from the Staes you would have seen better attractions. Having said that we have done the Dreamworld's etc. as a family and the kid's loved it, so I guess it is mandatory.
I would try and fly into Cairns and spend 3-4 days there. The GBR is a "must see" and unforgettable. Then fly down to the GC (Coolangatta)for no more than 2 nights and the Wet 'N Wilds. You will have to fly everywhwere as the distances are so great and the Qantas Airpass is very good value if you choose that.
Fly then to Sydney for 4-5 nights and check out wotif.com for the types of accomodation available, but Medina Apartments are in most places and they are good.
Allowing for travelling time, that gives you 3-4 nights in Melbourne. You would all love the Penguin Parade at Phillip Island and also a very good Koala Sanctuary. It is best done as an afternoon and evening (for the Penguins) trip from Melbourne. If you could include the Great Ocean Road(Kangaroos & Koalas) it would be terrific, but it is at least an overnight at Apollo Bay or Lorne and you may not have enough time. Depart then from Melbourne.
Now I have not included the the Outback. It is certainly a great experience and is usually done as part of the Cairns/Uluru/Sydney or Melbourne triangle. 15 days Downunder is nowhere near enough, but at least I have included some of the biggies. If only you could skip the Gold Coast!
DownUnder is offline  
Mar 12th, 2009, 06:53 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 49
Since you have helped me with your comments on my tiger safari question, see my trip report on Australia/New Zealand. We were just there in August/September but we didn't take any kids.

I got a ton of help from this forum - especially Liz and Pat.

A suggestion - stay a minimum of 2 nights at Kangaroo Island. We lucked out on our only day there. Pictures at http://rtr.smugmug.com/ and click on the Australia link
RTR1944 is offline  

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