Queensland north and Perth south

Feb 12th, 2016, 01:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 69
Queensland north and Perth south

This is our 2nd trip to Australia (prev Sydney, Adelaide, Ocean Rd, Melbourne and Tas). This 2nd trip was originally planned to visit Perth and areas to the north and south (Margaret River, Albany) but I got a nice direct flight to Brisbane and return from Sydney so instead of immediately booking 2nd leg to Perth we are now planning to spend some time in Queensland (maybe 7-8 days) then maybe fly to Uluru (3 days) then the remaining 11-12 days in Perth area travelling the loop south and east via Margaret River.

The part of the trip that I am struggling with is Brisbane/Queensland. Originally I thought 1 day Brisbane, 2 at OReillys, drive to Noosa? maybe fly to Cairns (Port Douglas) and out to reef - but I think it is too much travelling. We would like to go to the reef so maybe we should fly out to one of the island resorts for 2 nights.(recommendations?) Is this long enough to make it worthwhile?
-really would like to see Lamington Park, it would be good to visit GBR -but just need to figure out how to hit the highlights to make this part of trip manageable.
I could leave out Uluru - but it would be interesting to see and might help breakup the trip/flight time.
Trip is 3 1/2 wks in Dec (is it going to be uncomfortably warm in Queensland - I know it is approaching the wet season)
Heath is online now  
Feb 12th, 2016, 03:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Can't help with QLD, but happy to help if you have any questions regarding Perth, WA. Lived there for seven years and made many trips down south. Do be aware that if you plan to visit MR during school holidays, you will want to book sooner rather than later.

I highly recommend Denmark and Pemberton - two of my favorite places in WA.
Melnq8 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2016, 07:20 PM
Join Date: May 2015
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It will be hot but there is air con everywhere.
I think you should look at flights and airports first particularly Cairns and Uluru to work out the logistics of getting places.
The Lamington National Park is beautiful and we did a day trip from staying in the Gold Coast area. If you have a car it is no problem.
Driving Brisbane to Noosa is on the Bruce Highway and about 2 hours. Easy driving on a 3 lane wide motorway well signposted for turnoffs. Pop into Australia Zoo while you go past.
Noosa is one of my favourite places - the beach is a lovely curve of white sand and the holiday vibe of Hastings Street is great. A walk in the Noosa National Park is lovely and awesome views from the lookout.
From there I would fly to Cairns as it's far too to drive. The Sunshine Coast Airport is at Maroochydore so check out the flights from there.
Cairns is great - I really liked the Kuranda Railway trip and the village. We went on the Quiksilver GBR trip to Agincourt Reef (about 3 hours each way) to their platform for snorkelling. I can't recommend an island sorry but the GBR covers a big area so look at some of the closer places like Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island and stay in a resort.
There is a lot of other things to do in Cairns/PD if you decided to stay there and do day trips. 1 day snorkelling was enough for me it was a really great experience but did not compare with snorkelling in Hanauma Bay, Hawaii. Maybe the inner reef area has more fish to look at.
tasmangirl is offline  
Feb 12th, 2016, 07:32 PM
Join Date: May 2015
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lol - I have just googled some flights for my own interest and would you believe flying from Maroochydore to Cairns takes 5 hours and goes via Sydney. Or 12 hours and goes via Sydney and Brisbane.
Perhaps that's why they all drive long distances in
Australia. It would be quicker and cheaper to drive back to Brisbane and go from there (2 hours 20 minutes flight) but this all adds to the 'getting around' of your trip.
Forget my suggestion of the Sunshine Coast airport - you want to be on the beach not stuck in a plane.
Sister in law lives in Perth and is down at Margaret River every chance she gets. On my list of places to go as well.
tasmangirl is offline  
Feb 13th, 2016, 04:16 AM
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You have a great trip coming up, and lots of time to plan.

We have visited our daughter and family in Margaret River annually for about 8 years and have never run out of things to do or new places to explore in the area. The southwest tends to be be quite a bit cooler than many parts of the country so it makes sense that you have scheduled it at the later part of your trip when summer has really moved into Queensland. 11-12 days will give you a decent amount of time to do a loop, but still leave much you won’t have time to get to. Let us know your interests and we can help firm up your itinerary once you have your flights booked.

I’ve never been to GBR but will be going late March this year. Because I love snorkelling I’ve opted for 4 nights on Lady Elliot Island which you can get to from Brisbane. When the tides are high you can snorkelling right off the beach, and the marine life is amazing. Shorter stays are possible, similarly for Fraser Island. I don’t usually write trip reports but may be inspired this time since we will be doing something that doesn’t get a lot of attention on Fodors.

Can’t help with Uluru as I have never been there. I think it depends a lot on your travel style as well as your budget. It’s expensive, in terms of both $ and time. Also in addition to heat, there are the flies.

Enjoy your planning,
eliztravels2 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2016, 12:38 PM
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Looks like a lot of pruning will go on before you hit on the perfect holiday - doesn't that happen to all of us?
Your're flying into Brisbane so you could get the train south and have a few nights on the Gold Coast before visiting Lamington NP and staying at O'Reillys. Then you could fly from the Gold Coast to Cairns - there are direct flights. This would mean cutting Noosa from your itinerary but there are lovely beaches all along the Gold Coast. I'd suggest basing yourself at Broadbeach - central, good choice of accommodation, loads of shopping and things to do, and nice beaches. As someone else has suggested, you could do the hinterland parks as day trips either by hiring a car or joining a coach tour.
Leave Uluru in your plans if you can - definitely unique and spectacular. Do your walking early in the day - gets very hot later.
marg is offline  
Feb 16th, 2016, 02:58 AM
Join Date: Dec 2014
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Hi Heath

I can't help logistically between destinations but I've flown to Brissie before for 3 nights (for a music concert) and it probably only took a day to see the city. While it was nice, it's not a place I'd say is a must visit.

I've also spent 5 nights in Port Douglas but you could probably cut to 3-4 if needed. If you can see the GBR I'd recommend it. Unfortunately I went at the end of the rainy season and didn't see much. I'd love to go back as who knows how long it will be there. A few ideas are:
- 1 day on the reef
- 1 day in Kurunda (railway, markets etc)
- 1 day in the rain forest (I spent half a day doing a beach/rain forest horse riding tour which was great)
I would have loved to push further up into Cape Tribulation, but time was scarce.
I hired a car while there and found it quite easy.

Try to get to Uluru if you can. I haven't been there but it's on the bucket list.

You will have plenty of places to visit in our South West. I've from Perth and head down there every chance I get. Happy to give some suggestions if required.

Happy planning.
rellie2 is offline  
Feb 17th, 2016, 07:06 PM
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Thank you for all your comments. Still juggling the plans.
Any further comments/insights on N coastal Queensland would be appreciated.
Heath is online now  
Feb 19th, 2016, 09:30 AM
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another attraction in Northern Queensland [especially if you like looking at wildlife] is the Atherton Tablelands - we flew to Cairns, had 5 great nights in PD, then drove back to Cairns via Yungaburra.

A half day at Mosman Gorge is also fun, especially if followed up by lunch or dinner at the excellent Mojos:

annhig is offline  
Feb 19th, 2016, 01:22 PM
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If Far North Queensland is still on your plans, consider staying at Palm Cove - lovely little place about 25 minutes north of Cairns. Great beach, good range of accommodation and restaurants. Really pretty little town. There's a bus into Cairns and most tours will pick up you up from Palm Cove.
On the other hand, if you decide on Port Douglas, the Sunday market is good. Incidentally, if you choose Cairns as a base, you need to realise that there is no beach in Cairns - a big man made lagoon on the waterfront substitutes.
marg is offline  
Feb 19th, 2016, 03:49 PM
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Thanks for the additional comments. It seems that N Queensland offers some interesting options -GBR, Atherton, rain forest so now leaning to spending more time there and little time in Brisbane area (the coast -obviously linear- made the choice either south -Gold Coast or north-Sunshine coast then travelling back to Brisbane or doing a car drop off and flying from regional airport. Also flying out to stay on one of the islands is added expense and there was not too much feedback from Fodorites on that option).
Extra days can be used for Ulura - should Alice Springs be excluded?
WA is going to be much easier planning - the nice, interesting loop south from Perth.
Heath is online now  
Feb 20th, 2016, 05:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Heath - when we were planning our trip we looked at the islands, but they seemed to be very expensive and difficult to get to and from, whereas PD enabled us to see and do everything we wanted to far more conveniently.

Palm Cove would be nice I think for a beach holiday, but if you want to be able to look at Daintree and the other places around PD, you'd be travelling over the same ground every time to get there.

we never got to Ulura or Alice Springs because we decided that it would be too hot - and we were in Northern Queensland in November. Honestly, I think the heat would dissuade me from going there in December even more.
annhig is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2016, 12:28 PM
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Posts: 69
Thanks for all the comments. I am now very excited to plan 1 week in N Queensland -4 nights PD and 2 in Atherton Tablelands maybe Yungaburra. This area was not even on my radar -and it looks so interesting with GBR, rainforest, nature walks, animals and birds and markets, local produce, tropical fruits and even wine!
Planning to leave out Uluru til next time/different season- weather will be very hot...and what about those black flies??
Remainder of time will be in Perth and south - I will start a new thread and look forward to comments/recommendations for WA.
Heath is online now  
Feb 22nd, 2016, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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good thinking Heath.

if you click on my screen name you can see my TR about what we did in PD and the Tablelands which might help a bit [though I hope that you avoid the Gastric problem that I picked up in PD!]
annhig is offline  

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