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marathon2 Nov 27th, 2005 10:58 PM

Sydney, Ayers Rock and Cairns-hotel and flight info?
My dau and I are planning about 10 days in australia in Feb. It is my second trip and her third. WE were there together about 12 years ago and she spent several weeks on Heron Island and in Brisbane 2 years ago. She wants to visit Sidney for about 3 days-she was young when we were there before. Suggestions for must see things? Moderately priced hotels convenient to the Opera House and other attractions?

We also want to visit Ayers Rock just for a couple days. We'll be flying in and out of Sydney. Is it better to book flight beofre we arrive or can we get cheap seats at the last minute.

We'll go to Caines last I think-she dives and I remember loving it there. Hotel suggestions? Dive operators?

fuzzylogic Nov 28th, 2005 02:14 AM

You'd be lucky to get a cheap flight to Alice at the last minute - one of the most popular tourist routes, and one with little competition. And if you are only allocating a couple of days then you would probably want to fly into Uluru and that is like Alice for cheap fares, but more so.

re moderately priced lodging in Sydney "convenient" to the SOH - what's moderate to you? and what's convenient? Does a 25 min walk count - or must it be 10?

If you could be more specific about your requirements there'll be loads of folk along with ideas.

marathon2 Nov 28th, 2005 09:38 AM

Thanks for the info on the flight. I was hoping to be able to be flexible when we get there so that if we want to stay a day longer in a place we can, but sounds like we might pay dearly for that. We'll plan.

By moderate, I guess I mean we don't need 5 star top of the line luxury hotels, but we do want clean and pretty nice. For example, Holiday inn express type hotels in the states are fine. I hate to give a specific $ amt, because it varies so much from one city to the next. For convenient, 10-20 minutes walk or a short (15-20 min) ride on a train or bus would be fine.

margo_oz Nov 28th, 2005 05:08 PM

If you want to fly into Ayers Rock, and I would recommend it, if you have limited time, then there's absolutely no competition. Only Qantas flies there from Sydney - and the chances of a cheap last minute flight are zero - or possibly less. However, it is worth the trip.

Please note the correct spelling of SYDNEY, CAIRNS, AYERS ROCK (Uluru) and QANTAS. It will make your attempts to book flights so much easier.

For Sydney hotels - we'll wait until Alan the hotel guru arrives. He usually recommends the Russell - and more or less expensive hotels. You could do yourself a favour and search this forum for Sydney - hotels. Alan must get really tired of writing the same info, over and over again - when it's already there for the looking. Failing that, have a look at - and see what hotels are available - and where they are. You may not be ready to book yet - but you can check locations, etc.

In Ayers Rock - again - there's no competition - all accommodation is managed by Voyages - all you can decide is the level of comfort you need. We stayerd at the Outback Pioneer, in a basic motel room - and it was fine - but you can get places much more flash.

Cairns - there's a couple of people who can answer this better than I can (well, really - there's probably a million who can answer better!)

pat_woolford Nov 28th, 2005 07:02 PM

There's a Holiday Inn in Cairns city, well situated on Esplanade, about a 5 min walk to most shops, restaurants and departure point to reef.

Cairns is well serviced with flights from Sydney, check Qantas, Jet Star and Virgin Blue. Qantas flies from Ayers Rock and Alice Spring direct to Cairns.

Guess you realise daytime temperature at Ayers Rock very hot in February, less in Cairns but still very warm and humid. For diving (certified) day trips out of Cairns can recommend Tusa Dive ( )and the new Silverswift ( - this is a 24metre catamaran - NOT Quicksilver's Wavepiercer which takes hundreds.

marathon2 Nov 29th, 2005 06:25 AM

Thanks. Great info.

marathon2 Nov 29th, 2005 06:49 AM

I just did a search for hotels here and on orbitz-haven't decided yet.

I really appreciate the info on the diving. I can't imagine being out with hundreds of people-we've generally done small resorts.

Sounds like we need to book the flights pretty soon.

My daughter would like to visit a vineyard/winery while we are there too. Is it possible to do this from Sydney without a rental car? Driving on the other side of the road is not a fond memory of our last trip.
Sorry about the typos/spelling. I think I got the spelling right in the title-I haven't figured out how to edit yet.

Neil_Oz Nov 29th, 2005 12:56 PM

To edit, click on "Peview my reply" (underneath your text box) and when you're happy with things, click on "Post my reply".

The domestic airline industry is pretty competitive and all 3 carriers regularly advertise seat sales that may help with SYD-CNS if not SYD-ASP. Just haunt their websites - when a sale comes up you have to strike quickly before they're sold out. allows you to book last-minute (last-2-weeks actually) accommodation deals - apart from that it provides useful info about each property.

Almsot anywhere in Sydney's central business district will have you within 20 minutes of the Opera House by bus, train or shanks's pony.

I'm sure there are day tours to the Hunter Valley, north of Sydney and inland from Newcastle, which has lots of wineries, but I can only suggest a web search to find them. Tourism New South Wales might be a good place to start. Sorry I can't be more help with that. If you're not comfortable with driving on the left it would be a long and tiring day, so a tour would be the answer.

marathon2 Nov 30th, 2005 05:15 AM

Thanks for info, esp the tips for sales.
I'll look for Hunter Valley tours on the web, too.

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