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-   -   Must see in Oz? (https://www.fodors.com/community/australia-and-the-pacific/must-see-in-oz-342359/)

brigitta_ny Jul 29th, 2003 11:14 AM

Must see in Oz?
 
I am going to be visiting Oz for the first time in the beginning of November. For the first week I will be with a friend from Sydney catching the sights in and around Sydney and hopefully some Rugby "Go Wallabies!" The next week I will be on my own to explore Australia. What do you think I should see?
What is a "can't miss " destination? I am a 30 y/o single woman from NYC. I am very friendly and have no problem meeting people but I would prefer to be in places that I wouldn't be the only single person not in a couple or with families. I am a bit of a cityslicker but could use a bit of nature too. I was thinking about GBR but I have never even snorkeled before. Would this be a waste if I didn't dive? What about Uluru? Other cities, Melbourne maybe? I know this is a bit vague but I'm really open to anything. Thanks in advance.

mpoll Jul 29th, 2003 03:23 PM

Don't let the fact you haven't snorkelled before put you off going to the Reef. If you swim you can snorkel. I would recommend flying to cairns (3 hrs) and then spending at least a few days based at Port Douglas (1 hr drive north of Cairns). Its a nice little town with a great beach and plenty of shops, cafes, etc. They have a couple of good backpacker hostels where you can meet up with other singles. From port Douglas you can get the Quiksilver boat out to the Reef. They are best for novices as they have there own pontoon, are well managed and have an excellent snorkelling site. They also have glass bottom boats. Port Douglas is also clsoe to the rainforest and beaches around Daintree River and Cape Tribulation.
As for other places, why not Tasmania which is at its best at that time of year.

Pumblechook Jul 29th, 2003 03:47 PM

Agree with the above, except to say that even if you can't swim you can probably snorkel. The GBR is one of the great sights in the world and shouldn't be missed.

Here's another thought for you. The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is in full flight from mid-October to mid-November. It's a great party atmosphere, especially if you're into horse racing. People come from all over the world for it.

Have a great stay, Pumblechook.

ALF Jul 30th, 2003 06:14 AM

I really think that Uluru/Kata Tjuta is one of the wonders of the World, but its starting to get darn hot in November, and it is an expensive destination (travel + expensive accommmodations). If you can afford it and don't mind hot weather, I would do it.

alice13 Jul 30th, 2003 07:33 AM

Cairns, definitely, if you have never been here before and only have a week. Personally, I thought the town was crap but then I'm old and boring and wasn't up for the club scene. If u are young and not-boring.. But seriously, the GBR is amazing. When I first went I was travelling alone (I was 46) and had never snorkelled before. I got the "best beginner" certificate from my boat (LOL).

There are loads of trips you can do to the reef. I personally wouldn't stay at Pt Douglas - it's an artficial sort of place. Stay in Cairns - check out the YHA hostels (www.yha.org.au) - and do a 3 day 2 night trip from there.
Take some risks - and enjoy.

Doh Jul 30th, 2003 10:45 AM

I wouldn't feel too bad about skipping Uluru-- it is unique (and uniquely australian) but it's also in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes I think it's overhyped.

I would definitely second the Melbourne recommendation, and there is a lot to do around there (great ocean road, penguins, wineries, etc.).

I seem to recall there are some ways to travel around Australia cheaply by bus (sort of unscheduled tours)--which might be a good way to find other young friendly single travellers (if i'm not making it up).

simpsonc510 Jul 30th, 2003 10:46 AM

No one mentioned Darwin and Kakadu, where the Croc. Dundee movies were filmed. GREAT fun! Lots of nature! For other singles, I'd think Cairns would be good. I went alone my first trip and met another single woman my first day in Cairns! There were lots of friendly people there. I also like Perth!

simpsonc510 Jul 30th, 2003 10:48 AM

Forgot to say that Sydney is my #2 fav city in the world. Thought I'd mention that in OZ people talk in elevators and on street corners while waiting for the light to turn green. Very friendly folks! Feel free to strike up a conversation almost anywhere.


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