Help planning a trip to Australia

Jul 1st, 2009, 09:02 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,022
I got some great deals on they have two kinds of fares with carry on and with checking. No frills ie nothing else do you get.
We got Melbourne to Launceston for 49 and Hobart to Sydney for 69 which I thought was pretty cheap. You see all the fares on one page, tiger, Virgin etc so you have a good compare of fares and times. Early bird gets the cheap price.
JoanneH is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 03:46 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,908
JYK, Re:
1. Immi/customs may depend on how many flights have arrived before yours or at about same time and what sort of queue you may have but I wouldn't plan on getting a Cairns flight anything before 11 AM as you have to be checked in at least 30 minutes beforehand for domestic flights, some longer.

Though international and domestic flights use the same airport, they're separate terminals either side of runways and cheapest way between the two for a group will be be a taxi if you can all fit into a bigger cab. Alternately, there is a shuttle bus system run by the airport or an airport train to the city that connects both terminals.

2. You'll get different views on the Skyrail [personal that is] and personally I was not over awed, rather climb up through a rainforest and get some great views out to see from Mt. Sorrow at Cape Tribulation.

3. If the Kentucky Derby is a party meet, that's the style of the Melbourne Cup and whereas those in the know or with VRC/VJC etc. membership may go formal, the meet for most is all about having a ball, dressing up or down or somewhere in between with smart casual.
While you might be looking at all the odd get-ups [attire], no one will look down their nose at you in even demin style casual.

4. Haven't kayaked the Harbour but in kayaking at odd times, should be fun.
And while in Cairns, an easy kind of day to get over jetlag would be a day trip out to Fitzroy Island and hopefully the kayak around the island operator is still in business - check with [ they could also advise on a white water rafting trip too if that appeals, though maybe a bit dry in October ] and the kayaking there normally includes a lunch break in channel between Fitzroy and Little Fitz and extent of fish is near as good as what you'll see at any reef spot.

5. I think it may have been someone else proposing you sign up for multiple emails which I do not do but if you want just one site for that, I'd use as they may send out emails to let you know of any sales.

The other good site that I use is Webjet, the link given above by Joanne as they cover all airlines and I've noticed that a lot of specials seem to be factored into their site.
So you can see what the full range of fares are and then just book direct with the airline.

Virgin also run what they call a lunchtime sale, between noon and 1 PM AEST if you want to go chasing what may only be marginal savings compared to what you can find on Webjet.

Generally speaking, sales are usually put on for flights that will be a minimum couple of months out from booking date and the cheaper flights you see on Webjet can normally disappear by a few weeks to a month before flight date, but around Melbourne Cup time it'll be very much different as flights will be packed Sydney to Melbourne for a few days before and Melbourne back to Sydney the days following, so if there's cheap flights showing on Webjet now, I'd take them as likely any sales will exclude the Melbourne Cup Spring Carnival period which runs either side of the Cup.
Bushranger is offline  
Jul 1st, 2009, 04:41 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 911
I am in agreement with Bushranger.
Skyrail is interesting and not a must do.
The views of the coast a great but you move too quickly across the rainforest to even point out things to people who know what they are looking for. The walks at the two stops are good and the fixed interpretation is of a high standard but their interp staff are a mixed bag. Last time I did it the lass was very bright, a science graduate but had been in north Queensland for less than a week. At least she did not make up nonsense to cover her ignorance.
Saltuarius is offline  
Jul 10th, 2009, 10:50 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 506
I've never actually been to the Melbourne Cup but have checked with a few people I know that have gone and they say, as I suspected they would, that you absolutely definitely need to dress up. And that a dress and hat or fascinator are definite musts for women - and the more outrageous the better! Do a Google search for Melbourne Cup Fashion - you'll see what I mean.

3 hours between flights is reasonable. If you're standing in the immigration queue and thinking you're going to miss your connection don't fret - they will just put you on the next flight.

With the kayaking - I don't think any of the kayaking tours go under the bridge or near the opera house if that's what you're looking for. they do go around middle harbour which is lovely - just don't want you to think you'll be seeing something you won't. there is a jet boat tour which goes under the bridge.
Hez is offline  
Jul 11th, 2009, 02:04 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 3,908
" I've never actually been to the Melbourne Cup but have checked with a few people I know that have gone and they say, as I suspected they would, that you absolutely definitely need to dress up. "

Hez it's very optional from downright ordinary through casual to as you say, some like to be outrageous more for fun and then some of the members will opt for various forms of formal.

There'll be those that are liable to get so plastered, wearing some real finery is not such a great idea and if that doesn't happen it can some years be the typical four seasons - most interesting visit for me had a dust storm come in from the mallee to co-incide with a thunderstorm front making for an interesting mud rain.

There's certainly no definite absolutely need to dress up and you'll even find denim in abundance, and if 30C or thereabouts is forecast, even possibility of shorts about.
Bushranger is offline  
Jul 13th, 2009, 03:12 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 67
I think that it is illegal to Kayak in Sydney Harbour, there have been too many accidents in the past with ferries and large ocean going ships.
NigelWaring is offline  
Jul 13th, 2009, 06:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 506
There are plenty of companies that do kayaking in Middle Harbour though - ie
Hez is offline  
Jul 15th, 2009, 06:26 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 42
Cairns is a must do in Australia. Here is what I wrote on a different post:

-Great Barrier Reef (look at MUST DO!!
-Kuranda (look into it before you go, you may not like it)
-Cairns Tropical Zoo - a lot smaller than most zoos, you can get a picture with a koala if you like, and feed roos. I had more fun there than at Australia Zoo in Brissy.
-Daintree Rainforest/Cape Tribulation - one of the only places in the world where the reef meets the rainforest.
-Dinner at Ochre Restaurant, used to be called Red Ochre Grill, it is quite expensive, but you eat crocodile, kangaroo, emu, prawns, pavlova...etc. It is definitely an experience I won't forget from my first time in Australia.
- check out the night markets, it will help you realize the Asian influence in Australia.
nrosebrock is offline  
Jul 15th, 2009, 11:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 62
thanks for more good info. I will keep checking this post, but I'm going to start new and separate posts for further questions I have, as they are more detailed for each destinations, etc.

I'm so excited about this trip, I wish we were leaving tomorrow.
JYK is offline  
Aug 28th, 2009, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 67
Anyone visiting Australia should bring a netbook or laptop that is 802.11 WiFi enabled. All McDonalds and many other places have free internet connections, with the right gear you should never have to pay for it.
NigelWaring is offline  
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