Itinerary for East Coast Australia

Sep 2nd, 2004, 04:54 AM
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Jane - Sydney beaches may be relatively free of high rise - I should know I lived at Newport and Avalon beaches most of my life but I wouldn't give Sydney top marks for repression of urban development, have you seen what's happened to Warriewood Valley? I think if you check the latest intra state migration figures, you'll find that Liz is correct - lately there's been a fairly hefty influx of those from southern states, particularly in SE Qld. And quite a considerable amount for Cairns, with a base population of only 130,000 (excluding tourists), things are straining at the seams with very little rental accommodation available and inflated real estate prices. Once upon a time everyone wanted to live at the Gold Coast - then it became unfashionable, so Noosa was the big thing for quite a few years until it was over-run, next it was Cairns which was dumped for Port Douglas, which in turn is losing it to Palm Cove. Wonder which town is the next victim.
pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 01:13 PM
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Neil, I am old enough to remember when Queensland was regarded and called "The Cinderella State" in later years we have become " The deep North" ( a reference to the similar situation with the deep South of the USA) We have been called Banana Benders, Joe Lovers, a host of other unpleasant names and an uncalled for reference by a airline Captain who got the sack for his " Folks we have just landed in Queensland - turn your clocks back 1 hours and 20 years" - though I have to admit the lack of Daylight saving in Queensland is one things that I am 200% + against. We have been called "parochial hicks", "backward Northerners" and just about everything you can name so when there is an influx of Southerners at the rate that we have had you will just have to forgive us for thinking that you southerners are somewhat two-faced, is it that you like the State but think we are stupid or is it that perhaps you now think we are not stupid and now realize we have been laughing at you all this time. We "know" it is 'God's Own' and it has taken you all this time to find that out. Don't tell me not to call Southerners by that name because that is the pot calling the kettle black if ever I have heard it. Your reference to Joe in the way that you did is indicative of the mentality of someone in a State who brought us "nifty Nev". Don't point the bone at Queensland for its politics because we could all look at the disasterous effects that have occurred with some of the more "colourful" politicians in the last 30 years. The one who liked pink shorts and thought that by standing on the beach he could hold back the tide for one. The Member for Griffiths whose wife had a less than acceptable taste in dressmaking and who looked more like Liberace than anyone else. We could of course go on but I will stop there.
As for Jane 47 saying that it is the "people you vote for" who make up the look of a place - Jane, I am not the one complaining, I am not the one who does not like it. I just get P... off with people who come up here and change things and then complain that it is not the same as it was when they came.
The Gold Coast has everything that Sydney has for a tourist and more, with the exception of an Opera House, in a smaller area. The beaches are not over populated by any stretch of the imagination and you can get out of the place in 15 minutes to greener pastures - something that Sydneysiders could only drool over!
Statically, S.E. Queensland has had the highest % of migration per head of population in Australia's history.
Finally I did not come from the south, my family did not come from the south, they came to Australia in the 1800s as free settlers and proceded to forge their way through to what is now the farming lands of S.E Qld and establish an agricultural industry.
lizF is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 01:26 PM
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LizF, I have to agree with Neil, just about everyone in Qld, "originally" came from the deep south, and moved to the Deep North.
Gee LizF, you must wash your mouth out, fancy saying "you southerners", I thought Queenslanders had forgotten that saying, and were over it all. I must say all the people I have met in Hervey Bay, come from other states, or other parts of Qld, and all get on very nicely with one another. Not once, have I been called a southerner in Hervey Bay. Yes, Hervey Bay is in a growth period, but no one can stop it, what can we do LizF, put up a brick wall on the NSW/Qld border?
Don't worry about real estate prices esculating, as soon as federal elections are over, don't surprised to see interest rates rise, and real estate prices drop. (People generally, forget the periods when real estate prices dropped)
As for the Gold Coast - for many years it was attractive to many people, seeking a new way of life, close to the beach, and a better environment to bring up their children, or retire. Unfortunately, as "more and more" people moved to that area, it started to suffer the problems of a big city, ie. crime, traffic congestion, etc.
(it happens in most fast growing areas). Its people moving to an area in large volumes, that eventually spoil a place, without them knowing about it.
I have visited the Gold Coast over the years. Loved it years ago, even met my wife there. I have relatives there, whom we sometimes visit, but it is interesting that I have also met people, who are "leaving the Gold Coast" because of the above mentioned problems, and moving to less populated areas. The same thing is happening in a small proportion on the Sunshine Coast. (some people are moving to Rainbow Beach north of Noosa)
My wife & I stayed on the GC & SC last year to look at real estate, and to decide if we wanted to really live there. It didn't take long to realise that we didn't want to live on the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast, and later, when we dropped into Hervey Bay, and experienced the "smaller country" city feeling, we realised that this was the place for "us".
Hervey Bay, may never become a MAJOR tourist destination, and that will no doubt suit most people living here.
I think people will keep moving to the major tourist cities in south eastern Queensland, and thats okay to, as they say, each to his own. We personally don't like the Gold Coast, but others love it.
So LIzF, don't get too upset, when one person knocks the GC, each person on this board is entitled to their personal opinion. Your probably right about H/Bay in the summer, with the heat & humidity, I will probably go troppo.
P.S. Actually, we both enjoy humidity. Its hard to believe, but when we travel to London, we have a stop over in places like Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpar, and because the hotels are so air conditioned, we often walk outside into the humidity to warm up, as we prefer warm/humid conditions.
Pat, I have just started my Balinese Garden, palms, crotons, cordylines, palm grass, etc, along with balinese statues and a water feature. It will be somewhere we can sit out at night, enjoying the garden, and sipping a nice wine.
tropo is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 01:46 PM
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I think we should end this thread, LizF seems to be very upset, over people knocking the Gold Coast.
I have a know how we are over governed with Federal, State & Local government...why can't we delete State Governments and state boundaries, and just have AUSTRALIA with no states, one federal government and local governments. Could save a few bob.
I love every State in Australia, each state is different, and has so much to offer visitors. I guess, I must be an AUSTRALIAN first, then a Queenslander.
P.S. LizF, sorry these replies upset you, but you must allow others to "have their say or opinion" without it upsetting you. Everyone is different.
tropo is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 03:09 PM
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Fair enough tropo - I guess this isn't helping deniseterry much, is it?

Agree 100% that state governments are a stupid anachronism - all the duplications of services, variations in laws and standards are ridiculous in a country with not much more than half the population of California - the potential savings have been estimated at billions of dollars a year. Of course we've got zero chance of abolishing the states given that Australians mostly vote "no" in referendums, either out of principle or because they don't understand the question!
Neil_Oz is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 05:45 PM
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Wow! I did not check my mail for a few days and did not think I would get so much email!!! Thanks for all the info! I learned alot!!! Here is my temporary itinerary...Please feel free to comment and let me know if I have left anything out and how you think this works with travel times, etc!!
Day1-pick up rental car early am from Coolangatta airport, drive along the coast, stopping for some sun at Surfer's Paradise and then up through Brisbane. Stay near Brisbane.
Day2-Go to Australia zoo(husband says he must see!) I just want to cuddle a koala and kangaroo..typical tourist stuff. Then spent afternoon in Noosa. Stay in Noosa.
Day3-Take the Fraser Venture tour to Eurong Beach Hotel overnight stay for a 2 day tour
Day4-see Fraser Island and return to Noosa at 6pm-drive towards Airlie beach
Day5-drive to Airlie beach-(what to see along the way?)Can we skip this day and drive after the Fraser Island tour ends at 6pm and get to Airlie Beach?
Day6-Whitsundays tour. Which one is the best? 3 day/2 night Starting Saturday.
Day8-Whitsundays finishes-start driving towards Townsville and Magnetic Island
Day9-Drive through Cairns to Daintree Forest-stopping at Magnetic Island. Stay at Daintree Forest Hotel
Day10-See Daintree. Stay in Port Douglas
Day11-Do GBR from Port Douglas (any info on tours would be helpful!)
Day12-Drive to Karunda/Cairns. Stay Cairns
Day13-depart to NZ from Cairns

I have many questions??? Please help?
So how is the itinerary?
How about the stingers while on the Whitsundays cruise? Can we swim in the water?
Is the Fraser Island tour given by the Eurong Beach hotel as good as the Kingfisher Bay hotels tour?
What is there to do along the road to Airlie from Noosa..How long does it take?! Can we do it one night so we can take a Friday Whitsunday departure? Which Whitsunday tour is affordable and the best...we have been given info about the Pride of Airlie.
We really want to see animals of Australia..will the Australia Zoo be enough?

We clearly do not have enough time!!!

I am sure that is enough for now! Please help us!! Thanks, Denise
deniseterry is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 05:58 PM
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What makes you think I am "upset" Tropo, it amuses me to have to tell you that it will be many years before you understand the psyche of a Queenslander enough to be able to call yourself one ...... probably about 12 years I would say, at least that is about the time that we estimate it takes to "acculturate" you southerners to our ways here in the deep north.
As for deniseterry at least she will know now to expect more than the same 'ole, same 'ole, north of the Mexican border.
lizF is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 06:25 PM
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Denise, I think you are trying to do too much in the time that you have. Its approximately 700 miles from Noosa to Airlie Beach and you must remember that roads in Australia are not like highways in the USA where you can skip along at a good speed. Most of the highway is one lane one way and one lane the other so if you get stuck behind a slow driver you slow down dramatically. It would probably take a whole day to drive from Fraser Island to Airlie Beach and there is little of interest to see en route, unless you want to spend time getting off the beaten track, which again adds a lot of time.
I would take out Townsville and Magnetic Island too as neither of those places are particularly interesting or different.
To give you an idea of driving times I used to use this guide. Brisbane to Bundaberg 5 hours, Bundaberg to Rockhampton 5 hours, Rockhampton to Mackay 4 hours - Mackay through to Airlie Beach 1.5 hours. Airlie Beach to Townsville 4 - 5 hours. Townsville to Cairns 4 - 5 hours. This is with no detours or stops.
I would be taking Ralph's advice and flying between southern Queensland and Cairns and doing just those 2 areas.
I was at Australia Zoo last weekend and I am sorry to say that I was somewhat disappointed in it. Perhaps because I remember it when Steve was always there and it was smaller and a lot more personal. There was not a lot of access to he animals and the shows were not what they used to be.
In the Sunshine Coast area there is a Deer Sanctuary which has a lovely nocturnal house, a koala petting area and another area where you can walk around with the kangaroos and wallabies etc. and that is before you have to pay to get in. In terms of access to animals in Southern Qld I would rank 1/Currumbin Bird Sanctuary, 2/ Fleay's Fauna park 3/Lone Pine 3/ Deer Sanctuary 4/ Australia Zoo in that order.
Coolangatta is 1.5 hours from Brisbane and Noosa is another 2 hours. In other words Fraser Island and that area is accessable from Southern Queensland and then there is little of interest till the Whitsundays then little till Cairns.
Also very few Queenslanders know the meaning of the word "left" as in "keep to the left" on our highway system and driving here is something I would not recommend more than you have to.
lizF is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 06:53 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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I am quite sad.

We are one country yet the tags that we often hear about Queenslanders seem to fit too well after reading this thread.

White Flighters and Rednecks.

For your information.

Majority of interstate migration is young people < 30

I have met myself so many kids from Cairns, Adelaide, Broken Hill, Brisbane, Melbourne etc in Sydney trying tO establish their career.

I would never ever ever consider these kids immigrants because they are looking for a career in Sydney. I just see them as Aussies with every damn right to live here whether or not it interferes with my comfort zone.

Queensland has great spots but nothing as beautiful as a tolerant and welcoming as the state of NSW.
Jane_47 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 12:54 PM
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Jane47, what a caring person you are, so well said. I always consider myself Australian first, then "hopefully" a Queensland next, only because I now live here. I think the borders and state politics over the years, has created "divisions" between some states, especially, the State of Origin football, which I don't follow, but they advertise the game, as "War". I believe the game is only invented to make money for NRL, thats all.
LizF, I'm sure you are a nice person also, but please lets drop this southerner bit, etc, it doesn't help with interstate relations.
I personally love every State, and over the years in my travels, I have met some very nice people from each State, and each State, has so much to offer for the tourist.
Jane47, when my son worked in the hospitality trade in Sydney, he worked with so many young people from Qld, and each one was extremely polite and good in their job, it was nice to see these young people from various states all getting employment, regardless from where they came.
Deniseterry....Might I suggest doing the first part of your trip in an ordinary car rental, ie. Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, then up to Hervey bay (the latter is only a 3 hr drive from Brisbane) then after seeing Fraser Island, drive back to Brisbane, return the vehicle, and fly to Airlie Beach. You should save a few days of driving, even after back tracking to Brisbane.
Then spend some time in the Whitsundays, THEN HIRE A CAMPERVAN from Airlie Beach and drive up to Cairns, which is quite scenic north towards Cairns.
tropo is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 01:17 PM
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Jane and Tropo: There lies the difference, you will never 'get it ' when you are being "having a lend of"
lizF is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 04:30 PM
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Posts: 29
hi deniseterry...
I don't know what the conditions will be like in November, but we were in Port Douglas a couple of weeks ago and took the Wavelength snorkeling tour, and it was FABULOUS! You go to three different outer reef sites...we saw giant clams, turtles, sharks, manta ray, as well as all the beautiful fish and coral too numerous to list even if I did remember their names. If you want to dive, read on this site the postings about the Daintree Air tour. re. Daintree: The tour with Pete ( should be wonderful too. We spent a day with him going into the Outback and seeing Aboriginal paintings, and it was one of the high points of our trip.

Also, in Port Douglas, Rainforest Habitat is a nice small zoo with koalas which you can hold for an added fee, kangaroos, crocodiles, birds, cassowary, emu, etc. Although we had been fortunate enough to see all of these (except cassowary) in the wild, it was nice to be able to walk along and observe them at our leisure. We did not go to any other animal parks, so I can't compare amongst your choices.

I recommend you read as much on this forum as you can, and plan to return often to do all the things you couldn't fit in.

If you stay in Cairns, stay with Pat at Lilybank, and eat at the Garden Room, the best meal we had in Australia, and thanks to AndrewDavid for the suggestions which led us there.

aren is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 11:32 AM
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Thanks for all the info! Where should we stay in Port Douglas? Any great, reasonable places? Thanks! We really would love to snorkel because we don't dive! Any suggestions on the Whitsundays tours departing Friday or Saturday? Any other cool wildlife places?
deniseterry is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 01:11 PM
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deniseterry, here are some websites, that you may find helpful, in answering your query........... (daily trips to the GBR) (scenic helicopter flights to GBR and other islands) (sailing trips) (cruises around Whitsunday Islands)
Hope this helps.
(P.S. Jane47, I too was very surprised to read such bitter remarks from another member of this board, could possibly just ignore that person's replies from now on)
tropo is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 03:22 PM
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HI Anne

so glad you enjoyed Pete Baxendell's trip to Laura and were so happy with Wavelength - remember you were having doubts about taking it.
pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 10:19 PM
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Regarding your Fraser Island portion of your trip I would suggest the following. You have 2 departure points to choose from. Noosa/Sunshine Coast or Hervey Bay. Looking at your timeframe I would suggest you visit Australia Zoo for the day then head to Noosa. Later pickup than if staying at Maroochydore.Do the 2 day tour then head back to Bne that night or early the next morning for a cheap fare to Proserpine or Cairns. The distance and lack of substantial sights makes the Sunshine Coast to Airlie stretch a pretty boring lengthy run. If you do decide to drive all the way then consider doing Fraser from Hervey Bay as you spend more time on the island seeing the sights and a lot less time travelling to get there.In my opinion the Kingfisher tour is slightly better due to the accom but remember that the 2 day safaris are targetted to the backpacker segment.
Hope this info helps..
fraser01 is offline  
Sep 5th, 2004, 12:50 PM
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hi, folks,
I feel saddened to see so many great contributors to this site 'strongly disagreeing' with each other about the 'best' parts of Queensland. As a NZer who has visited Queensland several times, I have found each place has something quite different to offer, and just love our trips to explore new territory and to enjoy the diversity that is Queensland.
For a start I would recommend the trip to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary as being a great experience, Mt Tamborine a totally different day out - be sure to visit the fudge shop and the cuckoo clock shop! - watching the sunrise from the beach at Surfers, breakfast in Cavell Ave watching the world go by - all activities you can only do on the Gold Coast.
Yeppoon and Rockhampton again offer different experiences unique to this area - fresh pineapples dripping with scrumptiously-sweet juice is one that springs to mind (although that experience can be enjoyed throughout the tropical north!), a beautiful flat beach, shallow safe sea and sailing experiences for another, Mt Morgan and amazing views, small inexpensive but interesting privately-owned nature parks.
Townsville has the wonderful Reef HQ and the Museum of Tropical North Queensland as well as Magnetic Island, and Charters Towers.
Moving along to Cairns, and what great experiences there are to be indulged in that are unique only to Cairns and surrounding environs - Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rain Forest, Undara Lava Tubes, The GBR, The Atherton Tablelands, Kuranda, the half-day Cairns Discovery Tour to name just a few.
I hope this will help those wanting to visit Queensland make a decision about where to go and what to do. It's an exciting place, and the people we have met have been so helpful and friendly.
And LizF, thank you for the information posted on 30 and 31 August - I have printed this off for when we spend 3 days shortly in Surfers after visiting Brisbane, Cairns and Townsville.
dotty is offline  
Sep 5th, 2004, 01:30 PM
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Dotty, I agree there are lots of great places to visit in Qld, and each town, whether it be a quiet place or busy tourist town, has something to offer.
Originally, all I said, was that "I thought" the Gold Coast was tacky, and wasn't my favourite place to visit. Then all of sudden I got jumped on by another member of this board, and told in no uncertain terms that I was incorrect. Perhaps I'm right, perhaps I wrong, but its just MY PERSONAL OPINION, thats all, and we should respect others opinion, whether its positive or negative.
I agree that a lot of people visit the GC and love it, whilst others give the wide berth, like me. We are all different in this world.
I must say, the 2nd last reply, was good, where someone recommended staying near Noosa, then getting a day trip up to Fraser Island (not much time on the island), but sure cuts out a lot of driving to H/Bay and back to Brisbane for that flight up Cairns.
Regards Tropo.
tropo is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 07:41 PM
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Thanks so much for all the replies! Any great ideas for a short Whitsundays tour starting on Friday and we are on Budget but don't want to miss a great trip..we figure a 3day 2 night tour will work! Please..any ideas?!!
deniseterry is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 06:23 AM
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Oh dotty, you are such a nice person - don't worry, we just get a bit defensive about our own patches, your own country has probably the most magificent scenery on earth but I did detect a bit of snakieness there about various NZ accomodations and areas when I last visited a few years ago(I've also lived in Wellington and Christchurch but that was a long time ago ). When someone's made a life decision of relocating to a certain area, and obviously put a lot of thought into the process it doesn't help with facile and glib remarks from others who think they can dismiss a place in a short sentence particularly when they've only just passed through. I've only been to USA twice in my life ( I have lived in both London and Hong Kong as well as NZ and Australia) and I would not presume to cast a judgement on anywhere where I haven't experienced at least 12 months of real living. But sadly, not so the case here.
pat_woolford is offline  

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