Rental Car necessary?

Apr 7th, 2008, 02:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6
Rental Car necessary?

My husband and I are taking our 4 yrs old to 3 cities in Australia in the winter (Jul 19 - Jul 30). We will spend 3 nts in Melbourne, 4 nits in Cairns, and 4 nts in Sydney. Any advice as to whether I should get a rental car? I am thinking there may not be as many tours in the winter. Is public transportation pretty easy to get to most places of interest?
Snobot is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 03:50 PM
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In Sydney and Melbourne public transport will get you to most places you would want to go within the city. The hop on hop off bus runs all year round in Sydney. The only reason to hire a car in Sydney might be to go to the Mountains but they are also accessible by train.
Susan7 is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 04:23 PM
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Snobot, Cairns is just a small town compared with Sydney and Melbourne, which are both capital state cities.

Public transport is good in both Sydney and Melbourne, not so great in Cairns, especially on weekends. Bus is the only option and often the schedules are erratic, to say the least. For this reason all trips and tours will pick up at your accommodation, either in city or beaches, or nearby.

Whilst July is winter in Australia, this doesn't count in tropical Cairns, and is the busiest tourist month of the year. Not only does it coincide with northern hemisphere vacation time, Australians from southern states and New Zealanders flock here to escape their winters.
pat_woolford is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 09:45 PM
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Thanks for the advice. No to rental car at least in Sydney and Melbourne. I have not thought of July being a busy month in Cairns but it all makes sense. I have been reading the posting. It sounds like most people prefer Port Douglas to Cairns for the Great Barrier Reef experience. I am going to rethink that since I have not tickets the flight to Cairns.
Snobot is offline  
Apr 9th, 2008, 06:53 PM
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You'll need to fly to Cairns to get to Port Douglas.
margo_oz is offline  
Apr 10th, 2008, 11:42 AM
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I agree with the other posters - no car for the big cities (especially Sydney - I would NOT want to drive there). We actualy did rent a car in the Sydney area, but based on recommendations here we took the train to an outer suburb and rented the car there and then drove to Port Jervis.

For the GBR area, we stayed in both Cairns and Port Douglas. I liked them both, but Port Douglas was a little quieter. Our only reason for spending a couple of nights in Port Douglas was that we took the reef Encounter out of there and spent a night on the boat. Then we spent another night at the end of our time there in Cairns since we had a 5am flight. The rest of the nights (3 I think) we rented a car and stayed in Port Douglas at the Garrick House. That would be a convenient place to stay with a young child because you have cooking facilities and a washer and dryer right in the apartment. We got a studio which was perfect for us - they actually have bigger ones if you wanted a separate room for your child.

Enjoy Australia! I can't wait ot go back and explore more of it.
jcasale is offline  
Apr 11th, 2008, 05:42 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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As jcasale mentioned, self-catering apartments are a good choice for accomodations in Australia, especially since you are traveling with a child. There are lots of these in Port Douglas to choose from and you can also find them in Sydney and Melbourne as well.
longhorn55 is offline  

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