Need help planning trip to Oz

Old Mar 25th, 2007, 07:52 PM
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Need help planning trip to Oz

We will be traveling to Oz in May. We are staying in Sydney for 3 days and then we are flying to Caines and staying there for 4 days and then flying to Melbourne and staying for 3 days and then back to Sydney for 2 more days before flying home.
Please give advise to the areas and/or hotels, suites, etc. to stay in. Please keep them under $175 US a night. Also, should we stay in Cairnes or Port Douglas or somewhere in between? We are planning to do all of the basic tourist attractions. Thank you!
Old Mar 25th, 2007, 09:08 PM
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There are some great web sites for accommodation to look at,;;; a good location in Sydney is Darling Harbour, close to everything. A must do in Sydney is to also climb the Harbour Bridge, a fantastic experience. Cairns would probably be your best options if you are only staying for a few days, there's plenty to do up there.
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Old Mar 25th, 2007, 09:47 PM
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Two hotels in Melbourne I can reccommend in this price range are the Pacific International Suites at and the Hatton Hotel at
The Pacific International is right in the downtown area close to many resaturants, shops and the Arts Centre precinct. The Hatton while not in the city centre is in the lovely suburb of South Yarra, one of THE suburbs in Melbourne. It is within walking distance of the Botanic Gardens and excellent restaurants with a tram to the city centre running right past the front door.
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Old Mar 26th, 2007, 05:04 AM
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You don't mention how many people will be travelling, so I'm going to assume there are two of you.
I've stayed both in the Darling Harbour area and in the Circular Quay/Rocks area and I prefer the Circular Quay/Rocks. You are close to several means of transportation (rail, bus, ferry) as well as sightseeing (the Opera House, Sydney Harbour bridge, the Botanical Gardens, the Rocks, etc.) and shopping (the Rocks, CBD). While there are lots of accomodations there, I don't know how many would fit your budget, although you might get lucky with One place that we enjoyed was the Bed and Breakfast Sydney Harbour. It's a friendly place right in the Rocks with a variety of rooms. Some have private baths and some are shared baths, but I think you could find something for $175.
Also, I would suggest that you stay in Port Douglas rather than Cairns. It is located 1 hour north of Cairns and is a lovely town with a fabulous beach (Four Mile Beach). There are many excellent restaurants and since it's a main port for the boats to the Reef, you have many choices on which boat to take. There are lots of accomodations there, so you should easily find something that's in your budget. Since we are a family of 4, we always opt for a serviced apartment when we are in PD. On our last 2 visits, we stayed at At the Mango Tree which has nicely appointed apartments at a moderate budget price. We paid under $160 per night for a 2-bedroom apartment a couple of years ago.
If you aren't keen on driving, you can arrange for coach transportation from Cairns Airport to PD. We've used Sun Palm, but there are others. (Should be booked in advance.) Once you get to PD, you really don't need a car. Many accomodations are within walking distance of town and there's a good bus system. If you want to visit Daintree, Kuranda, etc. there are good tours that depart from PD.
Have a great trip!
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Old Mar 26th, 2007, 03:47 PM
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Hi Barbara: You may find it more convenient to refer to AUD when seeking info on costings in Australia.
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Old Mar 26th, 2007, 08:25 PM
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Look at . In Melbourne it has a huge range if you are prepared to book 1 or 2 weeks before departure. I recommend the following that fall within your price point ( about A$215 on current exchange rates ).
Saville on Russel - in the middle of downtown near china town , theatres shops and a lively area always .Older hotel but I think it may have had a refurb some time ago .
Novotel on Collins - wonderful spot in the heart of the best shopping street in downtown .Easy walking to river / galleries .Close to famous lanes full of bars and coffee shops .Taxi stand in front and tram .
The Lindrum - boutique type property in Flinders St .Views across to parks and galleries .Near everything
Good luck
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Old Mar 27th, 2007, 06:45 PM
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Thank you to all of you who answered my questions. I find all of your advise invaluable. Will we be able to swim in the water or will the jelly fish keep us from enjoying the beach?
Old Mar 30th, 2007, 03:04 AM
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You will be fine swimming in jellyfish-free water in May. "Stinger" season is generally November-April.
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Old Mar 30th, 2007, 05:57 PM
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I was able to get the Marriott Harbour/Circular Quay on Priceline for $130 US dollars a night. I believe this is the only hotel in CBD that priceline uses. Staying near the Quay would be great for a first time visit and then perhaps Darling Harbour when you come back. The marriott is very accessible to the CityRail & ferries. As one poster mention, sign up for the bridge climb...what an amazing time experience.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 01:04 PM
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Thank you to all of who have helped me plan this trip. We still have not solidified the flights and we are working with May 3 - 20. I can't decide how many days to stay in Sydney, Cairnes (or Port Douglas) and Melbourne (and back to Sydney to fly home). In Cairnes or Port Douglas we will be taking a day trip into the GBR to dive, a day trip to see the rain forest, etc. I just don't know if I want to get up before dawn to get to where the tours take off. What recommendations can you give me as to the most central location. Thanks in advance!
Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 02:31 PM
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Unless you go hot air ballooning or maybe white water rafting, you won't have to get up at before dawn in either Cairns or Port Douglas. Tours pick up at accommodation mostly, so you don't have to get yourself to point where tour starts.

Reef trips leave from both Port Douglas and Cairns (Cairns has the largest choice), Port Douglas is closer to Daintree and Cape Tribulation than Cairns; Cairns is closer to Kuranda, Atherton Tableland, and southern world heritage rainforest, such as Wooroonooran National Park and the two highest mountains in Qld , Mt Bartle Frere and Mt Bellenden Kerr, as well as being closer to Franklin Islands and white water rafting on Tully River.
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Old Apr 7th, 2007, 08:50 PM
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So where should we stay in Cairnes? We will be traveling with our college age daughter. We will want to go out to the reef several times as well as the rain forest and zoo.
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