Itinerary before cruise

Old Jan 4th, 2008, 01:53 PM
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Itinerary before cruise

hi
we are cruising from Sydney on April.We should like to visit some places in 8 days before the cruise.As we are visiting Melbourne and Hobart with the ship we thought about Cairns,Alice Spring and Ayern ROck.Not sure about Darwin,I'll appreciate your opinion! thanks
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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 02:23 PM
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Although you are visiting Melbourne and Hobart during the trip, your time there is so limited there is little you can see other than the cities themselves. Depending on what you like to do and see I would suggest that you fly to Cairns and surrounds ( I note that you are from Argentina so places like Melbourne would not be so attractive anyway and Central Australia is a bit like regions around say Salta etc for you. There is a lot to see in and around Cairns and the Atherton Tablelands that I would suggest that you could say fly from Sydney to Gold Coast ( Coolangatta) and perhaps have a look at the hinterland for 2 or 3 days before taking a train from the Gold Coast to Brisbane Airport and flying to Cairns and spending the next 5/6 days around there. Note that I am suggesting a train from the Gold Coast because in Brisbane they have put in a round-a-bout going to the airport which is causing traffic chaos such that you would not want to drive from the Gold Coast. The train is much better and cheaper too. This then would give you a good idea of Australia when you add it to your other cities you are visiting.
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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 09:01 PM
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thanks Lizzy...I know it is not enough tine to know such a huge country,,,but we want to do our best,,,maybe we can go back some day!! What do you think about flying to Cairns and later to Ayern ROck and back to Sydney? we should love to see some Aborigen sites..thanks so much for your advice!
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Old Jan 9th, 2008, 11:54 PM
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You could do that if you liked but Ayers Rock is expensive to stay near and to get to and I wonder if its really worth it when you can see the Aboriginal dance at Kuranda just out of Cairns and also I think you can tour the Aboriginal community at Hopevale to the north of Cairns. It really depends on what you want to do. I personally think that if you are visiting Ayers Rock you need enough time to take in the whole region and perhaps the very north at Kakudu.
So really it depends on what you want to see and experience.
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Old Jan 10th, 2008, 09:05 PM
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In 8 days, you can't see Cairns, Uluru and Sydney! Around Cairns there is so much to do--we spent over 3 weeks in the area. My advice is to discuss with each other what is the highest priority things to see/do on this trip. Is it Aborigine culture/art? Snorkeling? Relaxing? Meeting Australians? Uluru (Ayers Rock) is amazing and an icon of Australia. We spent 3 days there and didn't do all we wanted to do. A great place for Aboriginal rock art is Kakadu NP outside of Darwin. They also have boat trips on the waterways there to see crocs and other animals. You also should consider spending some time in Sydney. It is great! The thing about Oz is that it is huge (the size of the continental US) and so getting from place to place is basically one day used from your precious store of days. So you have to prioritize! A good book to look at for getting a good overview is the AAA spiral guide to Australia. Happy planning!
Sally in Seattle
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Old Jan 27th, 2008, 10:51 AM
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After thinking and re thinking we just decided NOT to fly to Ayers Rock...Long and expensive flight, expensive acomodation,...and we have few days for OZ.I guess Lizzy is right about giving more time to Cairns and surroundings:and try to get to Darwin for Kakadu NP as Sally sugests..if is not another rush...Thanks! I'll keep posted about our final decision
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Old Jan 27th, 2008, 01:17 PM
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I am not quite sure about the flights anymore from Cairns to Darwin either so you would have to do some searching about those. Be assured though that spending more time around Cairns and that area will not go amiss but also you could add a stopover in Brisbane for a trip around the Gold Coast hinterland and the Sunshine Coast perhaps. Where are you from in Argentina?
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Old Jan 27th, 2008, 05:41 PM
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hi Lizzy we are living in Mar del Plata where I was born..but we lived for 23 years in Ushuaia Tierra del fuego..have you been in Argentina?
I'm going to search about stopover in Brisbane...I know it looks weird...but we have few days in NZ and Australia before a 31 days cruise to LA and 10 days in LA and AZ... is not an average vacation...but we want to get the best we can!
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Old Jan 27th, 2008, 06:23 PM
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Hola Virginia, yes I know Argentina very well as I have been there about 6 times, some for business but mainly for pleasure. I have been to Ushuaia twice - the last time being just last year. However my favourite place is Bariloche and the second being around El Califate - nothing comes close to the Moreno Glacier I think and I have seen a few. It was in Ushuaia that I first had a Patagonian BBQ which has no equal in taste.
Think about my suggestion of flying to Coolangatta and having a look around there before getting the train to Brisbane airport and flying to Cairns. At last you will get idea of the diversity of the country - although it is not as diverse as Argentina in my view.
Your holiday does not look weird to me at all and having time before your trip to stay in one place for more than one day is a very good idea. I hope that you enjoy your trip very much.
Liz
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 12:52 AM
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Just to suggest a third way - although Sally has already aluded to it - how about splitting your time between the Cairns area and Sydney? That is unless you have already factored in say a min of three days before getting on the ship - ie you have 11 days not 8!!

If you haven't - then honestly, there is absolutely no contest between the Gold Coast and hinterland, and Sydney, its harbour and the Blue Mountains.

Cheers.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 04:01 AM
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with your suggestions I am investigating now about the Gold Cost...I didn't think about it before...if there is more than beach we could add to our itinerary...or maybe we split time between Sydney and Cairns area.We should like to see more than lavish beaches (we've seen enough) and want to capture more of Oz diversity.I've heard wonderful coments about Sydney also.
Lizzy glad to know you like our country..is huge and beautiful and diverse I know.Calafate is one of my favorite spots also!Never been in Seattle yet...we go often to Sunny Isles (Fl) and other cities both coasts but not NW.
thanks for the comments...I continue surfing for ideas!!!
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 12:10 PM
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I keep forgetting that you have only 8 days therefore you would be better to just stay around Sydney and Cairns and not add another destination because there is plenty to see and do in both of those places. I am not sure about going to the Blue Mountains as that is not so really different as some places in Argentina but Cairns would be and the surrounding areas. The biggest difference would be that the Blue Mountains are little hills compared to the Andes and the mountains around Ushuaia. But at least the wild life and flora will be different. The flight from Sydney to Cairns will take most of a day factoring in getting to and from the airports and settling in. Further you will want more time on the GBR because there is so much to see there, apart from the reefs.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 01:54 PM
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ok I keep looking for Sydney and Cairns area...our interests are knowing different places, aboriginal culture,(maybe Kuranda and Hopevale).native fauna... meeting australians (that's why I prefer B&B better than hotel as you can stay closer with people.
During our day stop at Hobart maybe we can go to the Reserve where koalas and tasmanian devils can be seen!
Lizzy are you living in Oz? thanks for your cooperation!
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 07:33 PM
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You may have the option of a visit to Healesville Sanctuary ( part of Melbourne Zoo which has a lot of native animals) on your Melbourne stopover. It is a few hours from Melbourne and I know some cruise ships offer it as an excursion.
I live at the start of Port Phillip Bay and most cruise ships dock at Melbourne early in the morning and leave again that evening giving passengers about 8 hours ashore.
I think you should concentrate on Sydney and Cairns with the limited time, as it contrasts the country fairly well.
We are off to Torres del Paine and El Calafate next year - I can't wait.
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Old Jan 28th, 2008, 09:33 PM
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jillyf - the little I saw of Torres del Paine was fantastic and the glaciers near El Calafate are the most beautiful glaciers that you can really get close to SO CAN I COME TOO PLEASE?
I live just outside Hobart Virginia, so yes, I do live in Australia. If you can get to Healesville Sanctuary I am sure that you would enjoy a visit there otherwise the Tasmania Devils and Koalas etc should keep you amused.
If you are in Cairns and staying at Lilybank with Pat Woolford you could ask her to tell you where the wonderful bird and wildlife sanctuary is in the Daintree as the owners are friends of hers. You can get close up and personal with the wildlife there.
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