Need Advice for Short Trip

Old Mar 9th, 2004, 01:09 PM
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Need Advice for Short Trip

My husband, mother, 9yr old girl, 7mth old and I will be arriving in Sydney on June 14th. We will be in Australia until June 20th. As of right now we are planning on leaving on the 17th (by air) and going to Cairns. We will return to Sydney on the 20th and then fly to Auckland where we will stay until June 26th. (1)Any general suggestions for maximizing our stay? (2) What would you recommend during our time in Sydney? We would love to maybe spend one day in the city and travel out one day to see some of the countryside, returning that night to the same hotel. My 9 yr old wants to see some kangaroos and Kaolas in their natural environment. Would that be possible in our short time? What hotel would you recommend for around 150-200AUD? (3)The one thing that I know we want to do is to go snorkling while in Cairns. Any suggestions on one day outings? What would you suggest we do with our remaining time in Cairns? Any suggestions on a hotel here for 150-200AUD? Thanks for any assistance!
LisaNCUSA is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2004, 01:34 PM
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Hello Lisa,

Check out the "family room" (looks from the photo like two interleading rooms) at Lilybank Bed & Breakfast in Cairns:

I've been to the Cairns area, but not to Lilybank B&B. It was relatively recently, here at the Fodors Australia forum that I "met" Lilybank's owner, Pat Woolford, who is a regular poster and a fountain of information on Far North Queensland.

Other forum members who have stayed at Pat's place have made very favourable comments.

A quick look at Lilybank's website doesn't tell me if a baby crib is available there. Do you plan to travel with some sort of portable crib by any chance? In any case, if you're at all interested in following up the Lilybank lead, I'm sure an e-mail to Pat will clear up the crib mystery.
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Old Mar 9th, 2004, 09:18 PM
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Spent 10 days in Australia, the only Kangaroo I saw in the "wild" was lying very still in the middle of the road. They're supposed to usually come out at dusk and dawn, when its cooler?

Taronga zoo is good.
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Old Mar 10th, 2004, 03:20 AM
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Hi, LisaNCUSA!

The only guaranteed way to see a kangaroo is at a zoo (like Taronga in Sydney) or a Wildlife Park (such as the Koala Park in Pennant Hills, or Featherdale Park at Doonside, both west of Sydney). However, you have a 90% chance of seeing 'roos (but not koalas -- for these, stick to the parks and zoos) in the wild at a place called Euroka Clearing, Glenbrook, in the Blue Mountains. If you're lucky you will stroll among sixty or more -- males, females, and "joeys" -- none of which will take the slightest notice of you. Euroka is also full of white cockatoos and the occasional goanna, so it's a highly-recommended place to visit. Most tour buses don't go there (the last section of road is narrow and unsealed), but you can find a few mini-bus tours that include it in a one-day Blue Mountains tour. Best of all is to drive yourself (especially since you are a party of four plus a bub) -- you could hire a car at the Budget Rent-a-Car office at Emu Plains (reached by fast train from Sydney in fifty minutes), only about ten kilometres from Euroka. The best time to see the 'roos is around breakfast time, so a picnic basket packed by your hotel (if they'll do this)is recommended. After you've walked and supped, you will still have most of the rest of the day to visit some of the many great spots in the Blue Mountains.

This would be a good way to use one day of your very limited time in Sydney, but I don't think I would recommend any other trips away from the city, as you will find there is plenty to keep you happy within walking distance of your hotel! Ideally, this should be in "The Rocks", an area of Sydney almost under the Harbour Bridge, close to the ferry wharves. Most accommodation in that area is fairly expensive (naturally), but you may find something around your price range at the Australian Bed and Breakfast Hotel, the Harbour Rocks Hotel, or the Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel. Even the Old Sydney Holiday Inn has been known to have rooms (though not for four!) for $AUD165 a night, and since you are coming "out of season", it may be worth your while trying them to see what they will do for you. There are any number of hotels in Sydney which fall withing your price guidelines, but you are so tight for time that I think you should be prepared to go a bit higher in order to get the best location -- no point in wasting time and money getting to where the action is!

If all the above turn out too expensive for you, the Grand Hotel in Hunter St -- not in the Rocks, but quite close -- will be able to give you some pleasant news, I'm sure. Good luck!
Alan is offline  
Old Mar 10th, 2004, 02:39 PM
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When I first read this post I immediatley thought of the south coast as a nice trip out of Sydney for a family. Perhaps because it is so popular for Australian families. There is the Symbio Wildlife Park, watching hand gliders above Stanwell park, Jamberoo fun park, Historic village of Berry, Minamurra Falls, tons of beaches and also there is an old steam train trip from the coast up into the highlands. Further down Kiama blow hole (though last few times never saw it blow, however did see about 100 dolphins doing their acrobats) and Pebbly beach where you will see kangaroos in the wild. If you drive back at night through the park road one will probably jump out of your car and give you heart failure as they do.

Mind you if you do all of the above it would take more than a day!

I have never seen a koala in the wild and I live here! My husband who is American was probably most surprised by the birdlife we have. On his first trip here we went for a picnic in Audley, in the National Park and at dusk white cuckatoos were arrivng back to roost after their day out and about. He threw some crackers to one and next thing he had birds on his head, shoulders and arms all trying to get a feed and he was in seventh heaven! Totally freaked me out though.
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Old Mar 10th, 2004, 02:57 PM
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Also on the South Coast is Birdland at Batemans Bay - which has a great collection of wildlife that can be experienced up close, especially Wombats.
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