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Help With Two Week Trip To Australia - Tenative Itinerary Included

Help With Two Week Trip To Australia - Tenative Itinerary Included

Old May 28th, 2008, 12:46 AM
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Help With Two Week Trip To Australia - Tenative Itinerary Included

We are planning to take advantage of the Aussie AirPass and take a 15 night trip from late August to mid September 2008.

Our tenative plan is as follows (nothing has been booked yet):

Fly into Brisbane (2-3 nights)
Fly into Cairns (5-6 nights)
Including: Daintree Lizard Island Tour/Raintree Rainforest Tour w/ Pete Baxendell/Tablelands Tour w/ Alan Gillanders
Fly into Ayers Rock (2 nights)
Fly into Sydney (4-5 nights) then back to LAX

We were hoping to make it to Tasmania but the flights didnt seem to mesh into the itinerary so we pulled it out (for now).

We are planning to rent a car in Cairns (to faciliate getting between Cairns/Port Douglas/Tablelands etc.) and in Ayers Rock (to help avoid the tour groups where possible).

Any suggestions regarding the itinerary in general?

Also are there any "must see" destinations in these areas or "must take" side-trips or tours?

Any and all comments/suggestions appreciated.

Thanks,
Michael
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Old May 28th, 2008, 12:55 AM
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One other query for you all.

We can swap out Brisbane and replace it with Melbourne (or another destination). I choose Brisbane because it is a shorter flight from the States and the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, but I am open to suggestions for alternatives.

Of the 4 destinations on the itinerary I am only truly tied to Cairns and Sydney. But, unfortunately, if I include both of those destinations, Hobart/Launceton doesnt work with the flight-wise
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Old May 28th, 2008, 02:16 AM
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Will you be hiring a car? If so, consider driving south of Cairns to Mission Beach, visit Paronella Park and The Boulders on the way. You could return to Cairns the long way around by driving from Innisfail to the Atherton Tableland and back into Cairns from Kuranda. You would need to allow two days for this.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 05:03 AM
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Tasmania is a wonderful destination, but you shouldn't "beat yourself up" if you can't include it on your itinerary. It's pretty chilly there in late August/early September (average high then is only 55 degrees F) and it deserves a minimum of 5 days to see properly, preferably more.
I think you've got a very do-able itinerary which includes some of the highlights of Australia. You should have a great time.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 12:10 AM
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Thanks for the information so far. Also, after looking at the calendar it looks like we will only have 14 nights. So I am leaning towards 6 nights Cairns area, 4 nights Sydney and 2 each in Brisbane and Ayers Rock.

Any additional comments/suggestions are appreciated in advance.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 02:10 PM
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To me, 2 nights does not do either Brisbane or Central Australia justice and doesnt make the expense getting there worth it. You spend too much of your precious time just getting from A to B. I would keep Cairns and Sydney, and:

1) spend 4 nights in Brisbane and surrounds, forget Central Australia. Lots of great things to see besides Lone Pine, if you can get out and about: Lamington, Noosa, Byron, etc. Or..

2) spend 4 nights in central Australia, forget Brisbane. See Kings Canyon in addition to Ayers Rock and the Olgas. Or..

3) spend 4 nights somewhere else, forget Brisbane and Central Australia...Adelaide and the vineyards?...Drive Great Ocean Rd Adelaide to Melbourne?...Darwin, Litchfield and Kakadu Natl Pks?...

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Old May 30th, 2008, 06:13 AM
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Ralph makes a good point about 2 days not being enough for Brisbane. By the time you get there and look around it will be time to leave.

Central Australia is well worth going to. YOu will get to see some ancient geography, and take great photos. But be warned, it could still be quite cold overnight there at that time of year.

You can get to see a lot in two days at Ayers Rock. Sunset at the rock is obligatory. A trip during the day to the Olgas is also a must. If you do find the extra time, Kings Canyon is wonderful.

And if you extend your stay in the centre, the East and West Macdonnell Ranges are fantastic places to visit. Standley Chasm is a definite place to check out.

I think you can probably give Brisbane a miss. It is a pretty city but if you are going to Sydney, you don't need to visit Brisbane.

Don't worry about Tasmania. It is cold at that time of year.

Melbourne can be cold at that timeof year too. But it is worth visiting, if you have the time. It is very different to Sydney. Melbourne is more arts oriented.

Overall though, you do have a good itinerary. Enjoy your trip.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 11:27 AM
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Thanks for the comments. Brisbane is really just a point of entry for us. With the Aussie Pass we can include 4 cities. But there are only 3 entry/exit points to Los Angeles. Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. So have have need to see 2 of those 3 in order to get to Ayers Rock and Cairns.

We picked Brisbane over Melbourne because it has the shortest flight time from Los Angeles and Lone Pine Sanctuary.

I know that two days wont do any city justice, but with only 14 nights total, something has to get the short end and we would rather "save" Melbourne for our next trip to OZ to combine with Tasmania and Kangaroo Island during the warmer months.

Thanks,
Michael
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Old May 31st, 2008, 07:05 AM
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The trouble with the Aussie Air Pass is you feel obliged to use your 4 cities, when really, with just over two weeks, 3 cities is the most practical. The idea of flying a third the way around the world, and then possibly half way across Australia only to spend 2 days somewhere always seems crazy to me.

Brisbane isn't as chock-a-block as Sydney is with sights to see. But it is at least as good, if not better, when it comes great places outside the city within a couple of hours drive. September should be a great time weather-wise.

But if you stick to Brisbane just being an entry point, then why not fly out the day you arrive? Save the extra couple of days for the Cairns area or Central Australia.
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