My itin. for Honeymoon in 6/03 - thoughts/comments

Oct 8th, 2002, 08:36 AM
  #1  
Dawn
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My itin. for Honeymoon in 6/03 - thoughts/comments

Please let me know any/all thoughts on this itinerary for our Honeymoon to Australia set for June 2 - 19/20th, 2003 and I am looking for recommendations/comments on where we are staying and/or tour companies or maybe they should be self drive trips we should take...

Philly to LA
LA to ? ( not sure where to go first/last to make flights work )

5 nights Sydney ( Four Seasons Hotel )
-- Bridgeclimb
-- Hunter Valley Day trip -- who with?
-- Blue Mts Day trip -- who with??
-- Opera House tour/show
-- Harbor Cruise
-- Walk around Harbor ( Spit to Manly)

5 nights GBR ( Lizard Island )
-- Scuba, Relax and Enjoy !!!

4 nights Port Douglas (WHERE TO STAY?-- would like near beach and walking distance to all the great restaurants and town area )
-- David Amhursts Safari
-- Kurunda Skyrail?
-- Daintree Rainforest/ Cape Trib? with who? what tours compliment David's without repeating
-- Scuba again

The goal was to relax and dive the GBR which we have covered with LI. . but I want to see Koalas ( holding/pic would be a bonus ) Kangaroos, Crocadiles etc. . and experience the wildlife -- what should I do to ensure this? I've heard of Taronga Zoo in Sydney but are there other tours in conjunction with what I have written that offer this?

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

I also think we have a couple of days to add in as well with somewhere if we want. We thought about Adelaide/KI but think that its too far and we don't want to compromise our Sydney or LI stays. We like the wine region but think that we'll get that with a day trip to Hunter. No need to hit Ayers Rock this time -- hopefully next time! Any other thoughts on something we could do that would work with what we have so far?

Thanks!
Dawn
 
Oct 8th, 2002, 12:30 PM
  #2  
Adrienne
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Your trip sounds great. We recently returned from our third trip to Australia, and we still haven't seen everything we want to see! The BridgeClimb is a must--be sure to book it in late afternoon, just before the sunset. You walk up when it's still light and come down when it's dark, so you see Sydney both ways. We also loved the walk from the spit to Manly. You will find when you arrive that there are lots of things to do in Sydney. Go to the Tourist Information Centre in the Rocks--they have all the info. Based on your itinerary, you will probably want to fly into Sydney and fly home from Brisbane. In Port Douglas we stayed at Ridges Reef and I would not recommend it at all. We were very disappointed. Try the websites for accommodations. David Armbrust's tour is great. Be sure to book it ahead of time. We also enjoyed the Skyrail-it's a very different perspective to be looking down into the rainforest. Try booking it on the day when Kuranda has its market day--I can't recall if it's Tuesday or Wednesday. We also stayed on the Gold Coast and went to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary where we fed kangaroos, held koalas, and had our photo taken holding a baby saltwater crocodile. Have fun!!
 
Oct 9th, 2002, 12:53 AM
  #3  
gail edwards
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I am A day tours operator in Sydney & have just spent 3 days putting together a honeymoon itin for someone who has changed their mind about comming to Australia. It covers Blue Mountains,Jenolan Caves, Hunter Valley, Port Stephens & return to Sydney all inclusive of Attraction Entry Fees, Morning & Afternoon Tea, Lunches & Dinner on one night,Tour guide/driver& commentary, Accommodation including breakfasts and luxury touches such as complimentary champagne on arrival or massage & bathrobes etc. I am not a travel agent so by law cannot book your accommodation for you but I have looked at what is available and the various packages, and included them as part of the tour offer should you wish to take them up. The accommodation is all of a very high standard, an example would be "Peppers". Their web is www.peppers.com.au. A copy of the itinerary and price for this fully inclusive four day three night personal tour is available should you wish to review it, by emailing me on [email protected]. My reason for offering this is simply that I put a lot of hard work into this itinerary & would not like to see it go to waste. I have read the other replys to you question and the advice has been excellent, Kuranda on market day is a must especially the skyrail trip. My company Name is OZ TRAILS and I believe there may be feed back on this fodors site from people that have travelled with us to the blue Mountains. Good Luck and happy honeymoon and a successful future to you both. Gail
 
Oct 9th, 2002, 01:10 PM
  #4  
liz
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Grrrrrrrrrrr
I hate it when people who are travel agents write on this site. Please Gail you KNOW that what you have done is forbidden and this site is not for you - pay for your advertising and leave the help and info to people who are not getting money out of this.
I am going to answer some of you questions Dawn but pasting your question and answering them one by one.
Honeymoon to Australia set for June 2 - 19/20th, 2003 and I am looking for recommendations/comments on where we are staying and/or tour companies or maybe they should be self drive trips we should take........Try and self drive most of the time Dawn as that way you get to see what you want on the day which is best weather wise and not the places where tour operators get the best kick backs. As far as the Blue Mountains go Alan Jarman has given numerous posts about that and I would suggest that you do a search for his answers. He knows the area better than anyone else and can give you the best spots, accommodation etc.
Philly to LA
LA to ? ( not sure where to go first/last to make flights work )
xxxxxxxxxxxx try a stop over in LA so that you don't have that extra haul to Australia - it will make a difference.
5 nights Sydney ( Four Seasons Hotel )
-- Bridgeclimbxxxxxxxxx absolutely
-- Hunter Valley Day trip -- who with xxxxxx there will be plenty on offer when you get to Sydney and I would suggest that you wait to do that at the time and do a comparison of prices too.
-- Blue Mts Day trip xxxxxx ditto what I said above and do this one yourself either get there by train and hire a car or get a tour WHEN you arrive in the mountains
-- Opera House tour/showxxxxxx the Opera House has its own website so you can see what may be on at the time you are in OZ - not sure when it will be posted for June though.
-- Harbor Cruise xxxxxxx do these yourselves as a day pass for ferries is so cheap and you can come and go as you like where you like. Costs about $13 Au I think for the day.
-- Walk around Harbor ( Spit to Manly)
xxxxxxxxxxx absolutely
5 nights GBR ( Lizard Island )xxxx lucky you
-- Scuba, Relax and Enjoy !!!xxxxx
ditto
4 nights Port Douglas (WHERE TO STAY?-- would like near beach and walking distance to all the great restaurants and town area )xxxxxx there are some PD experts on this forum but in the mean time do a search of previous posts.
-- David Amhursts Safarixxxxxxx lovely
-- Kurunda Skyrail? xxxx lovely
-- Daintree Rainforest/ Cape Trib? with who? what tours compliment David's without repeating xxxxxx anything really
-- Scuba again

The goal was to relax and dive the GBR which we have covered with LI. . but I want to see Koalas ( holding/pic would be a bonus ) Kangaroos, Crocadiles etc. . and experience the wildlife -- what should I do to ensure this? I've heard of Taronga Zoo in Sydney but are there other tours in conjunction with what I have written that offer this?
xxxxxxxxThere is a park in western Sydney which you could go to if you had the car I mentioned and where you could play with the animals.


I also think we have a couple of days to add in as well with somewhere if we want. We thought about Adelaide/KI but think that its too far and we don't want to compromise our Sydney or LI stays. We like the wine region but think that we'll get that with a day trip to Hunter. No need to hit Ayers Rock this time -- hopefully next time! Any other thoughts on something we could do that would work with what we have so far?
xxxxxxxxxxxx Because the Gold Coast/Brisbane is en route to the GBR you could stop in there and either go to Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast ( Steve Irwin ) or come to the Gold Coast and go to Currumbin Sanctuary or Fleay's Wildlife Sanctuary to play with animals etc OR Lone Pine in Brisbane.
HTH LIZ
 
Oct 9th, 2002, 05:16 PM
  #5  
sd
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Good itentiary. I did almost the same in April for 3 weeks. Went to Palm Cove for three nights then Lizard for five, PD for four nights and Sydney for 8 nights.

If you want to shop do Sydney last

Lizard is the ultimate, doing PD after Lizard was somewhat disappointing. There is nothing like 4S OR Lizard at PD with your qualifications. We stayed at the Peninsula - look up their website. It was nice, we had a great time there as it is across the street from the beach and easy walk to town even though it is on the opposite side of the PD peninsula. The desk can tell you which tours are the best for rainforest stuff.
 
Oct 9th, 2002, 05:31 PM
  #6  
sd
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Accidentally hit the post reply before finishing.

You can pet and koalas for $5-10 in PD at the Rainforest Habitat/Animal Encounter (don't remember the real name).

With two day trips already planned in Sydney you may want to spend your couple of extra days in Sydney. Sydney is a fabulous city with many things to do. The nice restaurants will be 1/2 of what you are paying in Philly. Or you may just want to stay in Lizard for two more days if you have an Anchor Bay Suite room or larger.

Dive trips from Port Douglass. Take Poseidon or Haba. They are smaller boats but still full service. The Lizard dives take people to the same places every two days. After two days of their scheduled dives charter private dives to other nearby sites.

You will have such great memories of this trip. Your honeymoon intentiary is fabulous. Whatever you decide will be awesome.
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 07:05 AM
  #7  
Dawn
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Okay -- first. . . Thanks for all the great advice and positive response to the itin. so far. I have been surfing these boards to get me this far and finally had to post for more suggestions.

Adrienne -- thanks for the tip about the BridgeClimb -- I'll look into a late afternoon timeslot! With both you and Liz recommending, I am goign to check into Currumbin Wildlife Sanc.

Liz -- thanks for the tips -- I'll search more for Blue Mts and look to doing it as a self-drive trip rather than tour. Now, I also have confidence that I can book another tour and not repeat David's experience.

SD -- can I charter private dives from Lizard Island after the two days worth with them? Or charter more dives after leaving LI from PD to other places on the reef.

I'll post again when I revise!
Dawn
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 12:53 PM
  #8  
liz
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You can charter anything to anywhere from Lizard and I am sure they will come up with new interesting ideas when you are with them. There are absolutely heaps and heaps of available dives, charters, trips, tours etc so you won't have any trouble in getting things organized when you get there.
 
Oct 10th, 2002, 05:42 PM
  #9  
sd
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Dawn,
I actually did one of the dives twice but one with my wife and once without so both were fun. I don't think I would want to the same dives twice though if it weren't for that reason (one of the dive is the Potato Cod dive- if you've done stingray city in cayman it's a lot like that but with bigger fish-you definitely don't need to do that twice). Lizard is so far off the coast that any dive you charter from Lizard will not be the same as a from PD. Less people, less destruction of reef, more isolated feel.
But you know snorkeling from Lizard is just as nice espcially if you take the boats out yourself and go somewhere where you are the only ones - if that doesn't freak you out too much. Remember the dives from PD to Opal and other reefs are going to be 1.5-2 hours each way. The scheduled Lizard dives are about 20-60 minutes depending on the site,weather and wind. The charter dives are about 5-15 minutes -they use smaller boats, and are typically smaller sites that and adjacent to the Island.
If you plan on diving a lot from PD then snorkel more at Lizard because you can't snorkel from the Mainland unless you take a boat out to where all the dive sites are. Hope this helps!
 
Oct 11th, 2002, 06:33 AM
  #10  
Dawn
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GREAT!!! Thanks both of you ( Liz and SD ) That helps --- I was thinking that I would only be able to charter one of a few dives from LI with their staff. However, if I am not limited then that is great! We'll do Cod Hole but want to do other dives as well around the GBR while we are out on the reef at LI. I'm sure we will snorkel too but our main purpose is to dive while we are there so this helps me understand that we won't run out of options for diving while on LI. I can't wait to book this trip !!!

Another question??

Do you think that I should book the flights/hotels all myself or get assistance from a Travel Agent to coordinate the hotel/flights now. I have heard that you can get deals esp. when we are going ( June ) however have a sense of "no control" with not having something confirmed till the last minute. This is our honeymoon so I want everything to work out and not be worrying about it the month before the wedding. Any / all suggestions welcomed.

Dawn
 
Oct 11th, 2002, 10:56 AM
  #11  
liz
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You can still get good deals which are not last minute. Try looking on www.webjet.com.au - take the au off if it doesn't work. I am not 100% sure that you can use this from your country but nevertheless you can try. If its flights within Australia and hotels then do not worry because you WILL not have any problem doing it at the last minute. That comment does not include Lizard Island though.
 
Oct 11th, 2002, 10:17 PM
  #12  
sd
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i used an Aussie Internet travel agent for Lizard and PD only including flights to/from Lizard because of a deal at the time (travelonline.net- the person I was communicating with was Fiona Boyd). the rest was booked on the internet and frequent flyer miles. I booked the Cairns to Sydney flight at Lizard Island on a little iMac in the lounge by the pool! (BTW they have internet access everywhere in Oz at about $5-10AU per hour- conveniece stores, cafes, hotel lobbies). If you book in advance you pay everything in advance though. Just print out the vouchers they email you (keep it on a web access email account like yahoo or hotmal as insurance) and hand them over when you check in. I had absolutely no problems. You may want the total freedom but sometimes a schedule helps you plan things out.
 
Oct 12th, 2002, 09:26 PM
  #13  
sd
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Dawn,
Do you know of the 17 kg/person (37 lbs) restriction for all baggage to Lizard? There are several ways around this if you are interested let me know.
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 06:51 AM
  #14  
Dawn
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YES YES YES!! I am sooo thankful to have someone offering a tip on the luggage situation . . . I would love to knwo what to do -- I haven't come across a post about it yet but hadn't searched either --- Looking forward to the response.

Thanks too all for hotel / flight booking advice.

Dawn
 
Oct 14th, 2002, 10:17 AM
  #15  
SD
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Weigh your stuff on a bathroom scale at home. If it doesn't fit on the scale hold it and weigh yourself and the baggage and then subtract your weight to find the weight of the bag(s). My wife and I brought fins,snorkels, masks, wetsuits,cameras and my regulator/computer so we had a lot of stuff. We knew couples there that had to make split decisions at the check in counter as to what they can bring and what they had to leave behind.

Checking in at Cairns
1. Check the day before to see if the flight is full. If the flight is empty and they are not replenishihg supplies then they will let all your bags go through (this is rare). If it's full forget about it. IF it's partially full and they have space then check in first.
2. If you have too much they will keep your excess bags at the airport for $10-$20 each depending on the size for the duration of your stay on Lizard.

Coming back from Lizard.

1. If they let you bring more bags than the 17 kg and your flight is full going back they will ship your bags later and you'll have to pick them up at Cairns later (very inconvenient).
2. To get around this ship your excess bags a day earlier and they will hold them free of charge until you land the next day.

Other strategies
1. Use the lightest luggage possible. I used a nylon duffle bag for my scuba stuff and carried my computer in my pocket.
2. Pre weigh your "necessary items" to get to the 34 lb limit at home and decide what you can leave if you have to in other bags. Write them down on a paper so you know exactly what to do when you're their. Bring an empty lightweight nylon duffle bag in your heavier luggage you leave behind and use that to pack your stuff.
3. Wear your heavier items on the plane. Pants, windbreakers,heavier shoes. Stuff your pockets- I filled my jacket with my dive computer, binoculars, cameras books etc.

They have all the dive gear available at Lizard to rent but I prefer my own stuff.

When the planes are full or partially full they are VERY strict about the weight requirements. Hopefully this will help.
 
Oct 15th, 2002, 05:38 AM
  #16  
Dawn
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YOu are a life saver --- I have to print this ASAP!

Thanks so much!!!
Dawn
 

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