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scrb11 Feb 22nd, 2022 03:36 PM

November itinerary ideas
Just got a great awards redemption for round-trip in November, round-trip from SFO to Brisbane.

First time for me in QLD, will have 17 days in the ground.

I drew up a rough itinerary, about 8 nights between the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast (thinking mostly Noosa).

Then maybe 5 nights in Victoria, mostly on the GOR and then 3 nights in Sydney, then back to Brisbane for 1 more night before flying back.

Kind of a busy schedule and I've been to Melbourne and Sydney a couple of times each. So maybe reduce time there or possibly eliminate it.

But my understanding is that QLD will be very hot and NSW and Victoria will be warming up through November.

Not really the type to lounge around on the beach or else I'd be thinking about spending more time in QLD. But I figure, if I spend a few nights in Noosa/Sunshine Coast), is going up to Whitsundays going to offer something I wouldn't get in the Sunshine Coast?

Thought about Cairns but I don't scuba and my main goal in going to these far-flung places is scenery, taking pictures of it. They have glass-bottomed boats so guess I could look at some of the Great Barrier Reef while it's still around but it is a long ways to go from Brisbane.

But I'll read up some more and would appreciate any ideas.

cathies Feb 23rd, 2022 01:22 AM

Hi there, you might like to think about Port Douglas and the Daintree Rain Forest rather than Cairns.

Re Noosa - itís pretty posh- all the beautiful people go there and splash the cash in expensive restaurants and shops. If thatís your thing then youíll love it. We went there a few times but decided we prefer Mooloolaba which is about 30 minutes south and has a great beach and a really good surf club where we usually have a few meals. I am a bit biased though as we have been going to Mooloolaba annually for about twenty years. You can hire a car and take a day trip to the Sunshine Coast hinterland from there.

scrb11 Feb 23rd, 2022 07:22 AM

Hinterlands as in the forest or push away from the coast?

Are there mountains?

cathies Feb 23rd, 2022 01:54 PM hopefully that link works. The hinterland is about a 30 minute drive from the coast and yes ‘mountains’ in a very loose use of the word. Gorgeous views back to the coast and nice little towns to explore.

cathies Feb 23rd, 2022 04:47 PM

I don’t think the link will work. If you search for Sunshine Coast hinterland you will get lots of info.

scrb11 Feb 23rd, 2022 05:04 PM

That worked for me.

I'll study it more.

But I generally preferred the high lookouts at Katoomba as opposed to going down into the bush below. Also liked the lookouts I've seen in The Grampians years ago.

dreamon Feb 25th, 2022 05:03 PM

I think that 3 states and 3 domestic flights in 17 days is not a great plan.

Do you plan to drive? I once drove with a friend from the Gold Coast to Sydney over about 10 days and really enjoyed it. I'm not really a fan of the Gold Coast and prefer the Sunshine Coast (although it's been 7 years since I last visited). Maybe something like Sunshine Coast town (there are buses from the airport) - road trip to Sydney - Sydney - fly to Brisbane - Brisbane - home. More than enough for 17 days but not dashing around quite so much.

If you like views, head for the Maleny to Montville area.

scrb11 Feb 25th, 2022 06:28 PM

It would definitely be trying to cram a lot into a little over 2 full weeks. One of the reasons I was entertaining this is that QLD is suppose to be much hotter in October than NSW or Victoria.

The parts of Victoria and Sydney would be those I've seen before. Yes if I did things as originally conceived, I'd be driving in the Sunshine Coast and then out of MEL towards the GOR. Just based on quick Google Maps checks, the most I'd drive in a single stretch would be 3-4 hours and that would be once or twice.

Another reason I'd entertained going elsewhere is that it seems the furthest north I'd go is around Noosa, which is about 2 hours drive north of Brisbane. Any further north and it would probably make sense to fly up there and probably make most or all of the trip in QLD.

I'll research more but how much different would the coast look up around Proserpine or Cairns as oppose to the Sunshine Coast? To make it worthwhile to travel 1000 to 1600 kilometers further north?

dreamon Feb 25th, 2022 07:40 PM

Well I don't go to Queensland that often (and yet to visit Airlie Beach) but Sunshine Coast and northern Queensland both have great beaches, lush interiors (landscapes not houses!), hiking, good food, shopping. North of Cairns obviously more tropical and more humid. Southern Queensland doesn't have crocodiles (which I loathe) and jellyfish (stingers) but it also doesn't have the reef. Sunshine Coast is more built up too but that may not be a big issue for you.

KayF Feb 25th, 2022 11:19 PM

Cairns is a big city, no beaches. It has mudflats and a big purpose built lagoon area for swimming. Port Douglas is much smaller, more touristy and has a beautiful beach. If you stayed right in the centre at PD, most things are walkable. Palm Cove is in the middle and tiny but popular.

The only reason you'd probably fly to Proserpine is to then go to Airlie Beach, about an hour away by road. Airlie is lovely, very touristy, again no beaches but a lovely lagoon built for swimming. From Airlie you can visit the islands of the Whitsundays. Day trips by ferries available as well as staying on the islands with resorts, Hamilton Island is the big one with an airport.

Sunshine Coast has magnificent beaches. We don't like Noosa, it feels pretentious and too upmarket for us. I'd suggest looking at Coolum (small) or Mooloolaba (more places to eat and shop) but beaches and small towns all along the coast from Caloundra to Noosa. If you mixed up the beach area with some time in the green hinterland, that seems a good mix for great scenery and views.

The Gold Coast is popular but I think generally too much concrete and highrise. Loads of accommodation. If you were to visit, Burleigh Heads is still nice, though getting more upmarket unfortunately.

margo_oz Mar 24th, 2022 03:14 PM

Fraser Island would seem to be a good spot for you to check out. You can get there from the sunshine Coast, but may be better to fly from Brisbane to Hervey Bay.

scrb11 Mar 24th, 2022 03:31 PM

Originally Posted by margo_oz (Post 17346888)
Fraser Island would seem to be a good spot for you to check out. You can get there from the sunshine Coast, but may be better to fly from Brisbane to Hervey Bay.

Interesting suggestion.

I tried a Google Maps directions search from Noosa to Fraser Island and it plotted a course which included a car ferry to the island. That car ferry trip is almost an hour.

But when I look at pictures of the island, very minimal development, see couple of lodgings.

Apparently no paved roads, so you better have a 4x4 or rent one on the island? Looks like people are driving on the sand along the coast but no pathways through the interior of the island?

Would certainly be a unique experience or unlike any that I've had.

KayF Mar 25th, 2022 01:37 AM

Fraser Island is lovely but you are right - no paved roads. It is a sand island. You can do day trips by barge/ferry from Hervey Bay. We've done a day trip a couple of times and really enjoyed them. The bus will pick you up at your accommodation. There are loads of places to stay at Hervey Bay. It's a famous spot for whale watching boat tours, at certain times of the year.

If you go over by yourself, you need a 4WD and to know how to drive it properly. There have been major accidents on the beach by people in hired 4WDs without enough knowledge to keep themselves safe from incoming tides etc. There is also a car ferry/barge from Inskip Point, near Rainbow Beach, you need a 4WD again.

There are a couple of resorts, Kingfisher Bay and Eurong Beach Resort are well known. There are other places too. The island has wild dingoes, wild horses and crystal clear lakes. Definitely worth a visit, if only for the day.

If you want to do something else different, you could visit the Bundaberg Rum Distillery in Bundaberg (north of Hervey Bay). They do tours and tastings. You'd need a car though I think. Bargara has beachside accommodation, lots of motels in Bundaberg and nearby Mon Repos has a turtle education centre.

scrb11 Jun 28th, 2022 04:17 PM

Been doing some more research.

I will have 16-17 full days so I'm leaning towards spending 4 days in Melbourne, 4 in Sydney, 4 in Noosa and 4-5 in Brisbane.

The idea would be to stay in bigger cities and towns and then take one or two day trips to more smaller towns or natural areas.

I've been watching the Below Deck Down Under show, which was filmed near Airlie or that's where the yacht docked and they went around the Whitsunday islands but mostly took guests diving in the reefs to see the underwater wildlife.

I'm not terribly interested in scuba diving or seeking out wild life. Been to Australia a few times, never went to see kangaroos, koalas, penguins, etc.

The furthest north I am thinking about is visiting Rainbow Beach and Double Island Point but I wouldn't rent a 4 x 4 and try to drive across the beach and back at low tide. Instead, there are guided tours which will take you from Noosa to these places.

There are also a number of hinterlands tours but from the pictures, I'm not sure they're of interest to me. Looks like some nice villages and destinations in the bush but I'd rather seek out coastal destinations.

I see winery and chocolate tours, similar to the Mornington Peninsula tours out of Melbourne. But those also seem to be in the hinterlands, so places with a lot of tree cover, though there must be some lookouts where you can see above the tree line?

From Brisbane I will probably do a day trip to Gold Coast, otherwise, doesn't seem to be much different than staying in Brisbane, though obviously close to the coast and a big draw for surfing.

I'm looking to see if there are some nice coastal walks near Brisbane. Found some maps for river walks near the Brisbane CBD, where you get views of the skyline. But nothing like Bondi to Coogee walk that I once did. Instead some of these lists of coastal walks direct you to go to North Stradbroke Island, which is a long slog from Brisbane even with a car, then a ferry and then buses on the island. Or one list even had Byron Bay, which is like 2 hours south of Brisbane, or some places like 90 minutes north of Brisbane.

Probably coastal headlands are further away from Brisbane?

KayF Jun 29th, 2022 01:53 AM

There are great walks in Brisbane but not coastal walks like the Sydney one you mention. Brisbane is pretty flat, particularly near the coast. There are also no beaches unless you head an hour at least north or south.

For walks close to the city, check Southbank and the river path. River walk all the way from Goodwill Bridge (pedestrian) to the city botanic gardens, past Eagle St Pier and Howard Smith Wharves, along towards New Farm. From New Farm to Teneriffe, also new river walk from Hamilton to Newstead or Teneriffe. Normally you could walk one way and get the ferry back but since the February floods the ferries have not been operating as normal. They are slowly coming back as ferry terminals are fixed. You can also walk over the Story Bridge or pay to do the climb.

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