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big_game_charlie Nov 21st, 2007 06:16 AM

Queensland Jan 2008
We arrive in Brisbane on 6 Jan and have 5 days to explore the Sunshine Coast and Great Barrier Reef. We have hired a car and wanted to know if the GBR is driveable within this timeframe? If so, which towns / resorts should we head for along the way? Also it's Oz holiday season, so I guess we need to pre book accomodation, any recommendations please?

Bokhara2 Nov 21st, 2007 10:20 AM

Big game charlie:

I'm guessing you don't have a map of Queensland.
It's roughly 1700km Brisbane to Cairns.
This link might be a starter for you.;z=5&om=1

You could easily spend 5 days in the Cairns/Port Douglas area, taking in a trip to the Great Barrier Reef.

A little more information would assist in advising you.

Is Brisbane your entry point to Australia? Cairns would probably be better unless you need/want to be in Brisbane.

The Sunshine Coast is a great destination, but your time will be pretty short to do justice to both in 5 days.
If you do need to be in Brisbane, I'd suggest you just rent a car & spend a couple of days there & then fly to Cairns.

Accommodation recommendations: How many people/adults/kids/budget/style preferences?

Bokhara2 Nov 21st, 2007 10:45 AM

... hire a car in Brisbane & spend a couple of days exploring the Sunshine Coast. It's about 1 1/2 - 2 hr drive BNE - Noosa.

mrsmayers Nov 21st, 2007 11:03 AM

Hi Charlie.

I am not entirely sure of the distance involved with driving to the Great Barrier Reef form Brisbane.
We flew Quantas to Cairns from Sydney which was close to three hours, Brisbane I guess would be close on one third of the way.

I agree with Bokhara in that you could spend five days in the Cairns region.

One must do tour to see the Great Barrier Reef is the Lizard Island Day Tour out of Cairns with Daintree Air. Snorkelling there is easy and is very high quality. We loved it so much we will be going back in July next year for a tour all the way around the top of Australia which will again include an other day at Lizard Island on our way North.

pat_woolford Nov 21st, 2007 11:49 AM

If you get hold of a good map, big game, you'll see that Great Barrier Reef is immense, some 2000 km long.

Its southern point is Lady Elliot Island, a true coral cay, only accessible by light plane and from Sunshine Coast your closest points would be Maroochydore or Hervey Bay airports.

It takes at least 2 full days to drive from Sunshine Coast to Cairns (believe me, have done it many times) and that's long driving days with no time for stopovers except to sleep. And likely to be hot in January.

Yes, January is peak summer holiday time in Australia, especially busy in southern Queensland; so do book any reef or island trip early.

johhj_au Nov 21st, 2007 01:30 PM

Drive to Hervey bay (5 hours north of brisbane) and go out to lady elliott

big_game_charlie Nov 22nd, 2007 12:18 AM

Thanks to all for your replies.

Bokhara2 - accomodation required for 2 adults, budget approx. AU$220 per room per night. Any recommendations please?

Based upon replies, will definitely head for Hervey Bay and try and do the Lady Elliott reef trip and from there may head up the coast for another day or two afterwards before having to return to Brisbane.

johhj_au Nov 22nd, 2007 12:41 AM

If you are going further up the coast you can do a day trip to Lady Musgrave Island from Bundaberg or Agnes Water.

Make sure you see the turtles at mon repos beach near Bundy.

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