How do I divide a trip to Australia?

Mar 22nd, 2006, 07:13 AM
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How do I divide a trip to Australia?

If I have 8 nights to spend in would you divide them? We like luxury and animals/nature (but no hiking).
Dr_Andrea is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 10:49 AM
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I'd split it 3 nights Sydney, 4 nights Cairns (North Queensland) region, then the last night back in Sydney, assuming Sydney is your port of entry and exit. If you search past threads on this forum you'll find many recommendations for hotels, restaurants and attractions in both areas, including wildlife-spotting tours in NQ - hopefully these outings won't qualify as "hiking". It's also the base for the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rain Forest etc. If you're after luxury accommodations you might prefer Port Douglas, north of Cairns, but I'll leave that to the experts. For 8 nights I also suggest that a guidebook would be a worthwhile investment.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 10:52 AM
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I should have prefaced my comments by saying that 8 nights is not enough to visit more than two locations and do them anythikng like justice. Sydney-Cairns will eat up half a day's travelling time in each direction, but IMO that area is a must-see for a single visit to Australia.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 11:46 AM
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I would agree that you should spend more time there if you can, but if you can't you should still go. I went there on my honeymoon in August 2004 and it was definitely one of my best trips ever. If I only had 8 nights, I would suggest going up to Cairns, skip the rainforest and try to go to one of the resort islands. We stayed at Lizard Island for 4 nights and it was expensive, but spectacular. There is nothing there, but the resort. The food and water sports (snorkling, diving, fishing etc) were unbelieveable. It was so peaceful and relaxing. Then I would spend the last 3 nights in Sydney. You will get to see the city and hit some of the big sights. There is pretty good shopping, great restaurants and nightlife. This is exactly what we did on our honeymoon except we also spent 3 nights at the beginning of the trip in the Daintree rainforest up near Cairns. Enjoy!
nytraveler21 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 12:56 PM
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Where does Melbourne fit in? Should we skip it or is it worth seeing? We actually have a free stay at a hotel in Melbourne so would one want to go there instead of sydney?
Dr_Andrea is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 02:38 PM
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Well, you really haven't enough time to visit three locations, or you'll be chewing up in the air and getting to and from airports. I like Melbourne but the choice is a no-brainer - Sydney. The nearest US equivalent I can think of is San Francisco, but with an incomparably more scenic setting and better weather.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 04:22 PM
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Neil's absolutely correct. Most people don't go to Australia to stay in big cities; but as cities go, you'd be hard pressed to find one more beautiful than Sydney!

Again, he's spot on about visiting only 2 areas in the time alloted. Scrap Melbourne and do Sydney and Cairns area.


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wlzmatilida is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2006, 06:36 PM
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Dr_Andrea is offline  
Mar 24th, 2006, 01:52 PM
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With so little time, you should only visit two places. Sydney of course, and to Queensland. From your previous trips (Africa recently) I think Lizard Island will fit in beautifully with your style of travel.
Mar 31st, 2008, 08:54 AM
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No offense to anyone who lives in Sydney. I've been to both Melbourne and Sydney, and I'd have to say I preferred Melbourne in terms of a large city. Yes, if it is your first trip you'll probably want to see the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Circular Quay and the nearby beaches (all very beautiful and worthwhile). The proximity to the Blue Mountains is great, and you don't necessarily have to be a big hiker to visit. To me, outside of these attractions, Sydney still felt a little too much like an American city (San Francisco being a good example). I found Melbourne charming and you can take some interesting side trips from Melbourne to get out of the city (wineries, penguins/wildlife, beautiful coastline along Great Ocean Road, etc). If you've already got free lodging in Melbourne, then that's even better as you'll have more money to spend on other activities.
Ceidleh is offline  
Apr 1st, 2008, 04:31 AM
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Disagree. Ceidleh. absolutely and totally. How can I put it more strongly? Melbourne is just another city.

Charming? I don't think so. Interesting for sure, with some great museums and arts and eateries. But the cityscape is second rate compared to Sydney.

I think it depends on what you want - and maybe what you are comparing those destinations to. And whether having free/points accommodation is sufficient to choose the city where those can be used over a city where they can not. I'd call that a false ecomony.

OP, you are spending mega bucks to get here. You might never come again. Forget the points crap. Use them somewhere else.

And, for heaven's sake, don't believe that Melbourne is to be preferred to Sydney for a one-time, short-time tourist.

Well, you can if you like, but more fool you.

afterall is offline  
Apr 5th, 2008, 05:43 PM
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If you are still reading this thread Dr_Andrea, I'm going to Australia for 16 nights and spending 4 in Cairns and 5 in Sydney. In Cairns, I am staying at Thala Beach Lodge, which seems to be the ultimate 5-star treehouse place that all the tours still pick up at. I was originally going to stay at Silky Oaks, but nobody picks up there.
In Sydney, there seems to be no shortage of ultra-luxurious places. (I am also sacrificing Melbourne - the third place I am staying at is Hobart). Ps - I know an Andrea who is a doctor and lawyer --- you don't know me, do you?
SkaiSW is offline  
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