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Seeking for recommendations for solo trip to Australia

Seeking for recommendations for solo trip to Australia

Aug 1st, 2005, 12:51 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 5
Seeking for recommendations for solo trip to Australia

I am going to Australia to attend a wedding in October, and have decided to turn it into a three-week vacation (Sydney, GBR, Perth). I'm making this trip alone, so I trying to get some good recommedations/advice for each of these destinations.

The wedding is in Perth during the third week of October, so I was thinking of spending the first week of October in Sydney and the second week in Port Douglas or another good GBR destination.

Interested in the following:

Sydney (5 or 6 days)
1) Good, inexpensive hotel or apt that is centrally located to places to see.
2) What's the best transporation option for seeing Sydney? Do I need a rental car or is it better to join organized tours? Any recommendations on day tours, etc?
3) How much time should I plan to stay in Sydney? Is five days long enough or should I extend and spend less time in Port Douglas?

Port Douglas (6 or 7 days)
I'm a fairly new diver, hoping to get in a couple of dive days and then spend the rest of the time relaxing at a beach or pool, and seeing some nearby sites. Leaning towards staying at Port Douglas versus a liveaboard dive experience.

1) Any recommendations on economical accommodations near the beach?
2) Recommendations for dive operators and dive sites?
3)Is car rental necessary?
4)Recommendations on things to do there or other GBR destinations instead of Port Douglas?

Perth (6 or 7 days)
Since I'm going to be in Perth for the wedding, I already have some recommendations for my time there.

1) Any "must sees" while I am there?

Very excited to vacation, but a little overwhelming to plan by myself. Any advice and recommendations are openly welcomed.
rocketmrd is offline  
Aug 1st, 2005, 02:17 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 815
We visited Australia and NZ for 5 1/2 weeks a few years back in October. Used an outfit called Swain Australia to help us put together an independant trip. The agent, David Thomas, was very flexible and really listened. Helped with hotels (very reasonable and centrally located -our hotel in The Rocks area in Sydney was great), flights, some day trips, an overnight in Kakadu, car rental in NZ, a three-night hike in Abel Tasmin (NZ) etc, etc, etc. We had plenty of time on our own too.
Our Australia itinerary - 19 days - covered Sydney (no car needed), Ayers Rock, Alice Springs, Darwin (and Kakadu), GBR and Brisbane. Loved it all.
High points- snorkling at GBR, hot-air ballooning at Alice S., ferrying around Sydney harbor.
Low point - being evacuated off of Heron Island -GBR- to avoid an oncoming typhoon. (but that's another story!)
Hope these ramblings help a bit.
Have a wonderful trip!
NGail is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 11:02 AM
  #3  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 5
Thanks, NGail. This is very helpful. I will check out Swain Australia -- sounds like a travel service that may be able to help me put together a thoughtful itinerary.
rocketmrd is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 07:01 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 576
I'm from NYC but right now am in Sydney for a few weeks on holioay. I've been here a few times so maybe I can help.

As far as cheaper accomod, i can't really help since I do a houseswap. However, if I were you I'd stay close to the city, either in the CBD or perhaps check out the Holiday Inn Potts Point or Sullivans Hotel which is on Oxford Rd. in Paddington. All are near either the subway or good bus routes. Do not get a car! It's very congested here on the road and the public transport is so easy. Also, you can take ferries around which is really fun.

Spend as much time here as possible. It's the most fabulous place in the world! You'll need a few days and places not to miss are The Rocks, Bondi/Bronte/Coogee beaches, Manly, Paddington, just so much to do! Good museums, the food is amazing, and the weather should be good then too. Definitely try to see a show at the opera house and if you like touristy but fun things do BridgeClimb! While in Syd I would probably recommend doing some day tours if you have time. The Blue Mountains is lovely and never been to Hunter Valley wine country but also supposed to be fun. If you go to australia.com you can find some companies from there. Try visitours.com or oztrails.com.au-I did a Blue Mountain one day tour w/them last summer and it was great.

Perhaps try out the Sydney Explorer bus (red one) which goes all around the city and you can hop on and off when you want, or the blue bus (forget the name) which takes you out to where I live-fab Bondi Beach, Watsons Bay, along the Eastern Suburbs. Again you can get on and off as you please.

Can you tell how much I love it here! Have a great visit! Hope this helps.
Oh-and no worries coming alone-these are the nicest ppl you will ever meet!
Abby43 is offline  
Aug 7th, 2005, 12:11 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 130
For Syney, use the Red Sydney Explorer Bus, it is a great way to see the best sites at your own pace and at a good price.
For Port Douglas, there are tons of options in regards to accommodations. I wouldn't limit myself to a beach location, even if you stay in town, it is only a 5 minute walk to the beach. 4-mile-beach is easily accessable from everywhere.
For your diving, I would recommend the following operators:
Calypso, takes around 50 people to 2-3 sites during the day. Great atmosphere on the boat and the boat is comfortable on most days.
Poseidon: Takes around 50 people to 2-3 sites during the day. Boat goes as for north as Agincourt Reef. Great boat with A/C inside.
Haba: Takes around 50 people to 2 sites a day. Comfortable boat with A/C inside
Most operators will try to go to different sites if you go with them for more than 1 day, but I would still try out different boats.
In Port Douglas itself, you don't need a car to get around.
Another great area to visit while you are up there is the Daintree National Park. Would highly recommend it.

For more info or links to tour operators just visit
www.wonderfulaustralia.com
myaustralia is offline  

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