Is this too much for two weeks?

Old May 2nd, 2008, 12:16 PM
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Is this too much for two weeks?

My daughter will be enjoying a semester abroad at the University of Queensland in Brisbane starting in July. My wife and I are considering a two week trip to Australia to coincide with the end of her studies in November. Our thought is to fly into Carnes and enjoy a couple of days on the beach to recuperate from the long flight from Houston. Then we would head south to pick up our daughter in Brisbane and maybe spend a couple of days there before continuing on to Sydney. We are assuming three or four days in Sydney before heading to Melbourne where we would spend another three or four days before heading home. Our current plan includes a total of 14 days down under, including our arrival and departure days. Are we crazy?
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 01:21 PM
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No that seems a fairly relaxed itinerary compared to some. Although the distances are great downunder, virtually everybody flys between destintions and it is really the only way to go if you have a short period of time.
Try and do a day trip to the Blue Mnts. out of Sydney and perhaps the Yarra Valley out of Melbourne enabling you to see a bit more of our wonderful countryside.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 05:49 PM
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Hi Newesttraveler!

Since I don't know you, I don't want to say you're "crazy", but that's too much travelling around in too short a time!

You won't be flying into Cairns - your route will be Houston / LAX / Sydney, and it will be looongg, and you'll be "knackered" (as they say Down Under) when you arrive!

I assume you'll be flying Qantas, and I don't think you can get a direct flight from Houston, you'd have to go out of DFW,where you'd arrive in Sydney the next day at 8AM. By the time you get to the hotel, hopefully check in right away, wash away your international flight, head out, have some food and explore, that first day will be an early one.

Then you'd fly NORTH to Brisbane and Cairns. While Melbourne is a lovely city, I suggest you plan on scrapping it for this trip and concentrate on seeing Sydney, pick up your daughter in Brisbane, then up to Cairns, spend some time there, back to Sydney and then home.

Hope this is helpful!

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Aussie Specialist
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 06:15 PM
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I second the recommendation made by Melodie. I've traveled to Australia several times (and lived there as well for a few years) and have relied on the advice of "no more than 3 destinations in 2 weeks". It's good advice. Skip Melbourne this time and also try to get out of the cities some to experience other aspects of Australia.
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 08:00 AM
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I too agree with Melodie. If you want to "recuperate on the beach", you could do that in Sydney on arrival in Australia, or when you get up to Brisbane, where there are fantastic beaches (Noosa, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Byron Bay) within an hour or so from the city. Although there are nice beaches in North Queensland (Cairns), there isn't much surf because of the Great Barrier Reef some distance out to sea.

Also, I would make the most of your stay in Brisbane...besides the beaches, there are other great spots to see that lie inland..see the recent post "Brisbane" on this board, for example.

So my recommendation would be to fly into Sydney for 4-5 days, then fly north to Brisbane for another 4-5 days, then up to Cairns for the rest of the time seeing the Great Barrier Reef, etc. - there's no shortage of wonderful things to see and do in North Queensland.
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 07:44 PM
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Hi,

I love it when people agree with me! Thanks Longhorn and RalphR!

Longhorn's right on the money - after sending people to Australia for 16 years, I can tell you that it's not the main reason Americans travel to Australia - it's the experiences you can't get in a city.

Ralph also mentions Noosa, which is a lovely location, and I'm very partial to Brisbane, which gets "short shrift" for Americans travelling there - it's a wonderful city and because it's not travelled to as much as Sydney or Melbourne, it's got a whole different "vibe".

Regards,

Melodie
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Old May 5th, 2008, 07:25 AM
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Thanks everyone for your quick and helpful replies. You are confirming my fears that we were trying to squeeze in too much. I will have to see if we can change my daughter’s return flight since she is already booked on a flight out of Melbourne, but I am hoping that won’t be a problem.

I like the itinerary suggested by Melodie – how can I argue with a Certified Aussie Specialist - but after doing a little more research, I am wondering if we should consider Alice Springs and Uluru as a substitution for Cairns. We have spent a lot of time in the Caribbean, Hawaiian Islands and on the Mexican Riviera, so while it seems odd to even think about skipping the Great Barrier Reef, I wonder if Alice Springs and Uluru will provide us with a more uniquely Aussie experience?

Please keep the suggestions coming!
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Old May 5th, 2008, 09:11 AM
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If you're lucky, you can snag a Qantas flight from LAX direct to Brisbane.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 05:03 AM
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Newesttraveler! My daughter is also doing the study abroad in July! I have the same plans to come in November...I think...if I can use my frequent flyer miles it would be great.

She was supposed to go to Melbourne last January, but had to postpone it and decided that further north of the Equator in July would be a good move. I agree.

I also check travel posts on Tripadvisor with my same name..seeksocean, which also allows you leave a personal message. I would be curious to see how your trip planning goes. Thanks!
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Old May 12th, 2008, 05:05 AM
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PS...Have you found any good accomodations near the University?
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Old May 13th, 2008, 09:41 AM
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Hi seeksocean, I sent you a PM on tripadvisor. It would be great to compare notes.
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