Is it foolish to go to Oz without a set itinerary?

Mar 4th, 2004, 10:14 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Is it foolish to go to Oz without a set itinerary?

Hi everyone,

First of all, thanks to all the people who've given me advice so far - its been great.

I'm planning to goto Australia in mid-February 2004 for 2 weeks. I would like to see the GBR but am worried about the wet season. So here is what I am thinking:

Plan 9 days in Sydney. I will be using about 5 of them to see the city. And once, I am in Sydney - I can check the weather forecast for either Cairns or the Whitsundays - and then make travel plans accordingly.

Am I being foolish - would hotel/flight costs be very high if I am planning a trip 3 or 4 days in advance?

Thanks in advance!
air1975 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2004, 11:08 PM
  #2  
 
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I think that's wise - the kids will be back at school in Feb and you shouldn't have any trouble getting a cheap last-minute flight and there'll be plenty of accommodation. This just gone February had some glorious reef weather, but due to nearby cyclone activity, some of it was very ordinary. 3 day out weather forecasts are fairly reliable as far as low pressure systems are concerned.
pat_woolford is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 12:57 AM
  #3  
 
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>>>>>>This just gone February had some glorious reef weather, but due to nearby cyclone activity, some of it was very ordinary.<<<<<<

Language barrier alert, Air1975.

"Ordinary" doesn't mean the same thing in American and Australian versions of English.

In American English it means average, nothing unusual.

In Australian English it tends to be an understatement, so that it actually means lousy or crappy.

At least that's what I read into what you said, Pat, but I don't know if that distinction was obvious to you, Air1975.

Aussie Fodorites, please set me straight if I've misinformed Air1975. Thanks.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 02:19 AM
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air1975, you'd better clarify your dates, pal. February has gone in its entirety. Are you looking at Feb 2005? That aside, Judy's right. When Pat says "ordinary" she means pretty crappy.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 04:02 AM
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Thanks guys - I mean very crappy - yesterday it was vile - blowing 38knots out there "ordinary"' was an understatement - but, guess what, today according to my guests, it was lovelyl It's just a very changeable time of year.
pat_woolford is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 04:23 AM
  #6  
 
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I was thinking the same thing...after many trips that have been planned down to the minute I am thinking that for my summer holiday this year I will go to Sydney for 6 weeks and then take trips as I go. I've been all over Australia except the Outback, so that is one place I should visit. Depending on the weather I would like to take a sailing cruise around the Whitsundays or to Magnetic Island. Does anyone think that waiting until I get to Oz and just book a few weeks ahead of time is a wise choice? I might just book things online at Qantas/Virgin Blue/Jet Star for some mini-trips. Any other places I should visit? I've done a tour from Cairns to Syd and have been to MElbourne. I will also do some Hunter Valley trips and probably should see the Great Ocean Road, which I missed when in Mel. Thanks for the help...sorry to invade this post.
Abby43 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 07:11 AM
  #7  
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Oops - I meant February 2005, not 2004!
air1975 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 02:43 PM
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Abby43
You may do best to book longer trips ahead - say Sydney to the Centre, to take advantage of the cheapest possible airfares. Otherwise, booking things just a bit in advance gives you more flexibility - always a good thing, if you ask me!
margo_oz is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 07:03 PM
  #9  
 
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I agree, Margo, what I meant was that I plan to book the flights soon (they are on hold with American/Qantas right now) and then in May or something plan some side trips. Outback, Whitsundays/Magnetic, etc. I wouldn't wait a week before or anything. You're talking to the girl who planned an entire 30 day trip to NZ in January and my departure wasn't until June! I'm not big on spontaneity!

Any ideas on Aussie tour companies I should use to book some shorter trips-like 4-5 days?
Abby43 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 09:53 PM
  #10  
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Thanks everyone for all the help..

I was just curious about what would be considered a cheap last minute flight from Sydney to Cairns or Mackay - would it be about 400 AUD or more than that??
air1975 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 10:39 PM
  #11  
 
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Use the yahoo weather for a reasonable 6 day forecast and go to the Queensland travel bureau (george street near wynyard station in sydney) to see what they have on offer.
johhj_au is offline  
Mar 6th, 2004, 09:51 AM
  #12  
 
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I looked at Qantas and VirginBlue for Sydney-Cairns and return fares on Tuesday-Saturday, and the price was around $AU400 return for Qantas, and a bit more for Virgin Blue. Looking at fares for September, VirginBlue was a bit cheaper. JetStar doesn't have a Sydney-Cairns flight in their schedule(yet!) There are no Feb 05 prices available yet.

So, I guess the $AU400 is a good price - it is a fair way - but airfares are very volatile here at present. Midweek travel will be cheaper than weekends. Flexible is good and economically sound.
margo_oz is offline  
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