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Kristine Jun 27th, 2002 07:05 AM

itinerary help
 
We are planning a two week November honeymoon in Australia and need opinions. We can either do Sydney/Melbourne/Cairns, Sydney/Cairns or Sydney/Melbourne/Hamiltorn Island. We want to be able to relax, shop, see the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforest. Would it be better to skip Melbourne and focus on Sydney/Cairns (and maybe stay a night or two on one of the GBR islands)? How does Hamilton Island rate? Any opinions would help since we don't know anyone who has been to Australia before. Thanks!<BR>-Kristine

Alan Jun 27th, 2002 07:59 AM

Hi, Kristine!<BR>Although Melbourne is quite a pleasant city, it's seldom number one on anyone's must-see list, and, frankly, the trip from Melbourne to Cairns with a two-week time-frame doesn't sound very "relaxing"! But I guess it depends on how you plan to travel internally. Planes can make short work of the time between cities, but the down-side is that you don't see anything on the way, and you waste so much time travelling to and from airports and checking-in! Frankly, I think I would skip Melbourne altogether, spend four or five days in Sydney, and then travel overland to Brisbane... there's some pleasant scenery if you are driving, or you can choose between a day train or an overnight express. North of Brisbane you can also go by rail, but I hear it's a taxing journey... haven't done it, so can't comment from experience.... so maybe here is where you can take a flight. <BR>As far as which island on the Reef to visit, it seems everyone has his/her own favourite and I don't know how best to advise you here. I haven't heard anything BAD about Hamilton, but there may be other, less-developed gems which other posters can tell you about. <BR><BR>P.S.: Where are you staying in Sydney? Since it's your honeymoon and you want something unforgettable, can I recommend the Russell, right at the start of the Rocks? You won't find a more romantic little hotel in Sydney, and certainly no other can match its location. You won't get a view from your window (it's only three storeys high!), but at your front door you have Sydney laid at your feet. <BR>Have a wonderful time!

Jane Jun 27th, 2002 11:18 AM

I would do Sydney, Cairns and one of the islands. Beach Club on Hamilton Island is popular for honeymooners. Interested in a rainforest retreat in your own chalet at Silky Oaks Lodge in Cairns area or the Reef Retreat in Cairns? While in Sydney take a day trip to Blue Mountains and explore via 4 wheel drive. The Rocks area in Sydney is a good location for hotels.<BR><BR>www.gosmartravel.com

ozzer Jun 30th, 2002 03:45 PM

Sydney has great shopping at Haymarket on weekends and in the wholesale trade area just a few blocks from the Haymarket. They also have the higher end malls along George st and in the Rocks area. Melbourne shopping isn't as great - smaller city with less tourists. It is quaint though and distinctly more British so you may consider it though. I'd opt for less travel if this is your honeymoon. <BR><BR>The best place to see the GBR and Rainforest is from Port Douglass since most boats leave from there and most of rainforest tours are just north of Port Douglass. Cairns is 1 hour south of Port Douglass so transit time is increased significantly from Cairns. If you really want to experience the GBR stay on an island. Hamilton is big and developed if you like that then stay there. Otherwise consider Lady Elliot (cheaper) or Dunk. Sounds like your looking at a tour package so those and the top islands (Lizard, Orpheus, Bedarra and Hayman) are probably out ot the question. But they are much nicer.

lauren cahill Jul 9th, 2002 04:26 PM

Hi Kristine,<BR>My fiancee and I will be there at the same time! Thought I would tell you what we decided upon. Arrive Sydney for a short layover then off to Hayman Island for a week. Will then fly to Adelaide for the quick drive up to the Barossa Valley for 3 days. Will then drive to the Prairie Hotel via the Clare Valley (we love wine) for 4 days. Will then drive back to Adelaide for flight to Sydney and will stay at the Four Seasons there for 3 days.<BR>I am sure we will all have a great time!

kim Jul 9th, 2002 06:42 PM

Dear Kristine,<BR>I went to Aust. on my honeymoon in Nov. 2 years ago. I do not know how your budget is, but I highly recommend Lizard Island in the GBR. It is worth every dime! I also think that I heard the water has jellyfish offshore at that time of the year so that could be a problem for you. Lizard Island does not have that problem. <BR><BR>Another word to the wise...we were very excited to see the rain forest and it is very beautiful and different. However, do not give it two many days because the rain forest lived up to its name and rained ALOT! I would still have gone there because it is beautiful, but 3 days is too many. It is only a 1 1/2 hour drive from Cairns.<BR><BR>Aust is the best country that we have ever visited and has the nicest people(we travel a lot) Enjoy it!<BR>Kim


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