Mom & daughter trip!

Old Oct 13th, 2010, 05:36 AM
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Mom & daughter trip!

My daughter(26) and I want to visit Australia in January early part of February. We picked those dates because we want to include the Australian Open in our list of things to do. We would like to snorkel the reef as well. I know opposite ends!! Go to the best zoo for wildlife that Australia has to offer. Thrilled about the Penguin Walk have to see that! Spend some time in Sydney. And anything else we must do with the time we have which is the hard part we only have about 13 days to give up. We both live in Texas so travel will easily take up four of those days getting there and back. So what is the best way to travel once we get there? Where should we fly in to start? And yes budget is tight she's a teacher and I am a bookkeeper for the family business. The airfare getting us there looks pretty rough right now on average $1800.00. Hoping that will come down a bit or maybe I am just not looking in the right spot. So we are open to suggestions on all the above and more.
tmwythink is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2010, 10:17 AM
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With 13 days total minus travel time of 3-4 days, you will have time to visit two...maybe three destinations at the very most. So...that would probably be Sydney, Melbourne (Australian Open) and Cairns/Port Douglas for the GBR. Does that make sense?

"Where should we fly in to start?"
Probably Sydney, although you could fly to Melbourne or Brisbane.

"So what is the best way to travel once we get there? "
By air, without a doubt!

Vic's travels:
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2010, 12:39 PM
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"zoo for wildlife" - this is a contradiction in itself but the wildlife you are going to see at the GBR will be PHANTASTIC!

As Orlando stated 3 destinations max!

How long will y<ou be spending in MEL? Depending on that the further route.

I would go to Mel first and do the Tennis thing - in between you can visit Philip Island for the Penguins!?

Proceed to Brisbane - a wonderful city and great life style. Or Sydney and Taronga Zoo. Strolling the Rocks etc.

Then up to Cairns/Port Douglas. Maybe you could google Daintree Lodge which is right in the Rainforest. Cairns had great Aboriginal displays andKuranda isn't far.

You could rent a car and drive a bit the Hinterland and up to Port Douglas.

Google a bit and look/check what pleases your interests and come back for further advise - new thread with the more "mature" questions then.


Budget? Per person excl. intl. flights would be good to know in order to advise more thoroughly.

Happy googeling/evaluating!

spassvogel is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2010, 02:28 PM
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Those areas are all really far apart. Most first-time visitors to Australia don't realize the distances between towns. Not to minimize the thrill of seeing the penguins, but my brother flew his family to see them while in Australia and thought it was too much effort, time and money to just see the penguins walk up the beach. Just his opinion, though; they were nowhere near it and had to fly a long distance - it took precious time out of their itinerary. So if this is important to you, center your days near Sydney and this. The Great Barrier Reef is fantastic - so perhaps splitting time between GBR and Sydney would be more enjoyable.
Get a really good map for your planning, and then realize that the distances are far greater than you would expect. It's a fantastic country, so really different than the US.
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 02:29 PM
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When in Melbourne take a day to visit the Healsville Sanctuary. You will see the main Australian wildlife including a birds of prey demonstration and platypus. The kangaroos are very close and you might even get to pat one if they are feeling inclined. It is about an hour's drive from Melbourne and according to their website you can take public transport to it if you wish.

I would suggest fly into Melbourne then fly to Sydney then to Cairns, then home. Cairns has an international airport, but I don't know who flies into it or what routes it services. I should have some going to the USA.

In Melbourne Visit the Shrine of Remembrance.

Spend a day in StKilda on the beach and in Ackland street. There is a great sunday market.

The StKilda pier also has penguins coming in at night but only a few dozen, if that. But it is a more intimate experience rather than thousands of tourists you might have less than a hundred.

Soul Mama is a great vegetarian (and cheap)restaurant overlooking StKilda Pier.
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 02:31 PM
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Took my mom to visit family in Aistralia last year. Once in Australia, we used V Australia airline which seemed to be a value domestic airline. You have to pay for any snacks on the plane, and baggage restrictions were tighter than international flights, but it was very good.
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Old Oct 13th, 2010, 03:34 PM
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I suggest you take a look at the Qantas Aussie Airpass. It includes your flight to/from LAX or SFO to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane PLUS 3 internal flights. You may enter in one city and exit from another. The fare for the places you want to go (Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns) is $1999 in January, but if you can wait to travel until Feb. 1st, the fare drops to $1499 (add $250 to fly from DFW). Check for details. I have used the Aussie Airpass and found it to be a good deal for us.
If you want to fly another airline to Australia, you can purchase vouchers on Virgin Blue for your internal flights. See their website for details:
longhorn55 is offline  
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