Sydney to Cairns - Things to do, Places to see

Old Sep 17th, 2002, 05:48 AM
  #1  
Ian
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Sydney to Cairns - Things to do, Places to see

My wife and I, along with our 20-year old son, are visiting Australia from mid-January to mid-February to meet up with our daughter and boyfriend who are currently on a working tour of Australia.
My initial plan is to start with 4-5 days in Sydney, taking in the BridgeClimb and Australia Day, then spend approx. 2-3 weeks travelling up to Cairns (by Pacific and Bruce Hwys.) before flying to NZ to meet up with relatives there.
I have been reading over the various posts on this forum but would be interested in any views on what we must do or places we must see. This must take in the GBR.
A few questions BR>What is 'the wet' like - will it rain all day every day?
Is accommodation going to be hard to find due to holiday season in Australia and do we have to book ahead?
Best method of transport - people carrier; camper van etc.?
I've now doubt there are many other questions I haven't asked but, again, would be interested in anyone's views.
Ian
 
Old Sep 17th, 2002, 02:13 PM
  #2  
Liz
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The kids go back to school usually just after the Australia day holiday and so accommodation will be easy to get, BUT make sure that you have booked for Sydney especially around Australia Day because it won't be easy to find accom.. However about driving to Cairns, if you want to save some money and have more time to spend I would suggest that you perhaps split your driving trip and have a bit of flying in that trek from Sydney to Cairns - its about 3,000 Klms and there are areas that are just plain boring! For sure drive from Sydney to Brisbane. Stop at the Myall lakes, Coffs Harbour and do the hinterland, Byron Bay and also do the hinterland, preferably in a loop from Byron Bay ( make sure you get up to the lighthouse ) to Lismore to Nimbin ( timewarp town) to Murwillumbah to Nerang via the Chillingham road ( ask anyone and they will show you how to get there) stopping at some of the lovely "off the road" places along the way i.e. Natural Arch, etc. From Nerang you can either go into the hills of the Gold Coast to any of the many National Parks or head for the Gold Coast and its beaches etc before going on to Brisbane.
From Brisbane you can do the Sunshine Coast, Australia Zoo etc.
Between the Sunshine Coast and say Mackay there is not a lot of interest for tourists OR put another way from Brisbane - Mackay its 750 MILES of mediocracy with little bits here and there. Mackay is just south of the Whitsundays which most certainly is a wonderful destination. From the Whitsundays to Cardwell which is about 100 klms north of Townsville there is not much either. Off Cardwell there is Hinchinbrook Island and some other islands which are certainly worth seeing. Then there is Cairns and surrounds which of course is the best destination about 250 klms north of Cardwell. If it was spring or autumn then I would suggest going the inland route but it won't be so that is out. By flying to Cairns you will have much more time to see around S.E Queensland and also around the Cairns region. You may choose to go to the Whitsundays en route and do that area too. There is plenty to do in North Queensland to keep you amused for as long as you want.
It will be the wet season - although this year it wasn't - usually it rains heavilly in the afternoons but if there is a rain depression around it can be constant of course. Weather is not predictable!
Anyway thats my suggestion for what its worth. Happy holiday
 
Old Sep 18th, 2002, 12:19 AM
  #3  
marg
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If you only have two or three weeks, you could consider hiring a car from Sydney and seeing the Blue Mountains, the Hunter Valley (wine) and the Port Stephens area for a few days. Return the car, fly to Brisbane, hire another vehicle and do a circle around the Gold Coast (great beaches and hinterland areas), and then head north to the Sunshine Coast (more great beaches, pretty little towns in the hinterland - Montville, Maleny etc, plus the Eumundi market etc), plus you could also visit Fraser Island. Return the car to Brisbane, fly to Townsville and drive to Cairns, visiting Mission Beach (perfect tropical beach), Paronella Park, Hinchinbrook Island along the way. This would make the most of your time without driving all the way, or paying hefty drop-off fees.
In the Cairns area, take the ferry across the Daintree to Cape Tribulation, go inland to the little towns on the Atherton Tableland, and do the train/skytrain to Kuranda and back. Port Douglas and Palm Cove are good places to stay/visit.
You will have to book ahead, at least until school goes back. The motel chains will do this for you. Another alternative is to hire a motorhome (Hertz, Britz, Maui etc)and stay in caravan parks overnight, or utilise some of the free camping areas along the way. If you are on a budget, this saves a lot of money by buying and preparing your own food. (The caravan parks will book ahead for you also.)
Incidentally, we've driven the coast from Melbourne to Cairns many times and the only boring stretch is about 300 km from Rockhampton to Mackay.
As to the weather, Australia has drought conditions at the moment which some forecasters say may last until April.
Hope you have a great holiday.
 
Old Sep 18th, 2002, 12:19 AM
  #4  
marg
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If you only have two or three weeks, you could consider hiring a car from Sydney and seeing the Blue Mountains, the Hunter Valley (wine) and the Port Stephens area for a few days. Return the car, fly to Brisbane, hire another vehicle and do a circle around the Gold Coast (great beaches and hinterland areas), and then head north to the Sunshine Coast (more great beaches, pretty little towns in the hinterland - Montville, Maleny etc, plus the Eumundi market etc), plus you could also visit Fraser Island. Return the car to Brisbane, fly to Townsville and drive to Cairns, visiting Mission Beach (perfect tropical beach), Paronella Park, Hinchinbrook Island along the way. This would make the most of your time without driving all the way, or paying hefty drop-off fees.
In the Cairns area, take the ferry across the Daintree to Cape Tribulation, go inland to the little towns on the Atherton Tableland, and do the train/skytrain to Kuranda and back. Port Douglas and Palm Cove are good places to stay/visit.
You will have to book ahead, at least until school goes back. The motel chains will do this for you. Another alternative is to hire a motorhome (Hertz, Britz, Maui etc)and stay in caravan parks overnight, or utilise some of the free camping areas along the way. If you are on a budget, this saves a lot of money by buying and preparing your own food. (The caravan parks will book ahead for you also.)
Incidentally, we've driven the coast from Melbourne to Cairns many times and the only boring stretch is about 300 km from Rockhampton to Mackay.
As to the weather, Australia has drought conditions at the moment which some forecasters say may last until April.
Hope you have a great holiday.
 
Old Sep 20th, 2002, 10:07 AM
  #5  
John
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Aussie is a great place to visit,been there lots of times.
Weather east coast fonr jan-feb.
Try Hampton Court Hotel
Bayswater Rd,
Kings Cross
Sydney.
Dont be put off by the district, access to everywhere. Plan on going there in the next few weeks, myself.
1.5hrs drive north of Brisbane, Sunshine Coast,Fab Noosa.
Try this place if you have a car,
Sunshine vista Sunshine Beech,Noosa heads.07-5447-2487.
Good luck.
 
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