To Australia end of Aug 2003

Aug 7th, 2003, 07:23 PM
  #1  
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To Australia end of Aug 2003

I am shortly leaving for Australia and I hope some of you experienced folks out there can help me. I will be there the last two weeks of August, and I (gulp) am traveling alone. I am traveling to Melbourne, then to Ayers Rock, Cairns, and finally to Sydney. Can someone tell me about the weather in late August, especially in Sydney? I have booked the Colonial Tram Car dinner one evening in Melbourne, any comments? I will post a trip report when I return, but anyone with any advice is welcome!
melinca is offline  
Aug 8th, 2003, 01:49 AM
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Weather in Sydney in late August could be mixed. The winter has been fairly cold (by Sydney standards)and you could probably have days that range from high teens to low 20's (today was 19 degrees). We haven't had alot of rain recently...it's kind of hit or miss. The water is about 16 degrees now. Weather at Ayers in August should be ok, but the nights can get quite chilly. Can't help with the Melbourne tram.
pyrmont is offline  
Aug 8th, 2003, 02:03 AM
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According to the Australian Tourist Commission's Vacation Planner, in August the average high temperature in Sydney is 63 and the average low temperature is 48. In Melbourne it is 59 and 43; Cairns 80 and 62(all Fahrenheit).

I didn't take the tram in Melbourne, so can't help you there.
walkabout is offline  
Aug 8th, 2003, 06:24 PM
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Thanks so much for the replies, they are helpful. I am going on two tours while in the GBR area, one on Quicksilver to Agincourt reef and the other to Daintree, another full day tour run by The Adventure Company. I have read on other postings about the Quicksilver tour, and those postings were very useful. However, I am still wondering if the pontoon at the reef is covered in any way so one can get out of the sun. I intend to take lots of sunscreen and a hat, but being a pale face, I do not want to be in the sun all day. Any one know about this? Is there someplace once you are out there to store stuff you may take with you, or should you avoid taking anything of value? Do you need any spending cash once you are on the pontoon for bottled water or other beverages (I know lunch is included).

Also, is any one out there familiar with the tour operator I am using for Daintree?

This is a great site, wish I had found it a few months ago when I was planning my trip.
melinca is offline  
Aug 8th, 2003, 07:01 PM
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Hi Melinca - yes Quicksilver's pontoon is covered - you'd fry if it wasn't! Prevailing wind here in our "winter" is the SE trade - can make water choppy as you head out and return from reef so it wouldn't be a bad idea to take sea-sickness tablets if you're inclined that way. You will need to take some money for drinks and incidentals - there's no storage lockers as such but the crew keep an eye on things while you're in the water.
pat_woolford is offline  
Aug 9th, 2003, 05:46 PM
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Thanks, Pat. Sounds like you live in Oz. Your information is really helpful to me. I have not been out on the open ocean, so I am not sure if I will have trouble with seasickness. I do okay on bay cruises, that's all I know. Do you have any recommendation as to what I should take? Would Dramemine (sp?) work?
melinca is offline  
Aug 9th, 2003, 10:02 PM
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melinca

On Quicksilver you won't be out in the "open ocean" - you'll be inside the Reef. I don't recall being seasick when I went, and I'm a very iffy sailor, but any chemist / pharmacy will be able to advise you about seasickness prevention.

Weather in Sydney may be chilly (it's been cold lately - great weather, clear blue skies, plenty of sun, but cold!!) You should be prepared for cold and perhaps some rain - but that's just commonsense wherever you go.
margo_oz is offline  
Aug 10th, 2003, 12:08 AM
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Mel,

Bring Dramamine, but the non-drowsy type (I think it's called Dramamine II in the US). You can't get it here.

I'm a very seasoned boater and diver, and I've been out on the reef in winter (July). Getting to the boat (which is similar in distance to the pontoon...I did liveaboards, though) was choppy as all heck. I don't get seasick, but I did then (as did many others...including crew!) Of course once you're out there the queasiness goes away because it isn't bad, and you'll be on a bigger boat going out. The way back has always been smooth as silk, though!

It's good to bring the Dramamine just in case.
PixieChick is offline  
Aug 10th, 2003, 04:36 PM
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The trip out to Agincourt Reef is not on the open ocean and as such is generaly pretty smooth. The Colonial Tram Car is worth doing. It's a good way to see inner Melbourne and the food is good. It's a little bit of a tourist trap but is one of the most successful tourism ventures in Melbourne so they're doing something right. The best thing to do in Melbourne in late August is to go to a footy match (IMHO).
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Aug 10th, 2003, 05:44 PM
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To Margo and Pixie: Thanks for the great info about the GBR. I saw the Dramanime II in a store this weekend, and I will definitely go back for it since I now know it is not available in Oz.
Pumblechook, thanks so much for the Tram Car information. I figured it is a tourist thing, but that is not all bad when you are coming from another country (USA). I only have a day and one-half in Melbourne before going to Uluru, so I want to see as much as I can. Sounds like this is a reasonable strategy.
I have seen on other postings that Ayers Rock/Uluru is tough on clothes, lots of red dust and stuff. Is this true in winter? I have been watching the weather on the web, and it looks like they are getting a little rain now. I am hoping I can take long khakis and a long sleeve shirt, which can be used again after washing in my hotel. I am trying to keep packing to a bare minimum. Any one have further advice? Also, is the Sounds of Silence dinner casual (please say yes)?
melinca is offline  
Aug 10th, 2003, 06:19 PM
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Melinca, the clothes you have suggested for Uluru etc will be fine. There is a fair chance you'll get some red dust on you but it's easily brushed / washed off. Keep in mind it gets cold out there at night. There is no need to dress up for the Sounds of Silence.
Pumblechook is offline  
Aug 10th, 2003, 07:48 PM
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Went on the Quiksilver a few weeks ago. Seas were very rough on the way out to the Reef (abt 90 mins), but quite calm once we got to Agincourt Reef. Very few people were sick as most had taken tablets. The local chemist in Oz will sell Kwells, a seasick tablet. They are cheap and non-drowsy and worked fine. Quicksilver also offer tablets when you board but you generally need to take them a bit earlier than that. I wouldn't take any valuables. You can but one-use waterproof cameras for about $A15.
Sydney weather in late August will most probably be cool at night (abt 10C) and mild in the day (abt 20C) and probably sunny.
mpoll is offline  
Aug 11th, 2003, 05:41 PM
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Thanks to all for the great information. You have already made my travels much more comfortable! Next question is about Sydney. I will be there for four days, arriving Wed afternoon and departing Sunday afternoon. I have one whole day (Sat) scheduled for a tour of the Blue Mountains, and a one-half day city/harbor tour scheduled for Thurs afternoon. So Thursday morning, all Friday, and half of Sunday I am on my own. There are a few places I know I must see, like the harbor bridge and the Australian Museum. Any suggestions on other things I must see before I leave? Please keep in mind I am a female traveling solo. That usually does not restrict me in the least, but I have read that women who are alone in pubs and restaurants may get a little more attention than one might desire.
Suggestions for places to eat and visit are extremely welcome! I will be staying at the Four Seasons in the Rocks without a car. Look forward to hearing from all you nice people, you have been so helpful.
melinca is offline  
Aug 11th, 2003, 11:29 PM
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Hi Melinca - you're right - I do livein Oz - 10 years Cairns and before that Sydney. If the weather is sunny in Sydney you should take a bus trip out to Palm Beach (north of Sydney), by far Sydney's best beach. You can either go direct from Wynyard in city (think is a 190 bus) or catch a ferry from city to Manly and take Palm Beach bus from there. There's a headland (Barrenjoey) on the northern end of Palm Beach with lighthouse - bit of a climb but terrific views. On the Pittwater side of Palm Beach there's a small ferry which goes to quiet little beaches and coves. Have a great day!
pat_woolford is offline  
Aug 12th, 2003, 04:50 AM
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Mel,

I travel all over the world by myself. No problems with being single and in a pub or restaurant in Australia at all.
PixieChick is offline  
Aug 12th, 2003, 09:27 AM
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Mel,

I, too, have traveled all over the world by myself, including three times to Australia. I greatly enjoyed my trips to Australia and I never felt threatened or out of place because I was alone. Have a wonderful trip!
walkabout is offline  
Aug 12th, 2003, 12:50 PM
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Stayed at Four Seasons a few weeks ago.
we ate at the concierge's recommendation a place called Fish at the Rock which had good seafood and fish. Seemed to be a mix of locals and tourists. We also ate at a nearby sushi place that was good.
elz1 is offline  
Aug 14th, 2003, 12:52 PM
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Melinca
If you're heading towards Bondi during your stay in Sydney - and it's an interesting place, even in winter - then eat at one of my favourite restaurants, Sean's Panaroma, facing the beach at North Bondi. It's not cheap, but the food is always good. Pretty casual. If you have specific questions, (I live in Sydney) please feel free to email me:
[email protected]
margo_oz is offline  
Aug 17th, 2003, 04:49 PM
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Thanks to everyone who responded to this post. I am off to Oz tomorrow. Your great advice and recommendations have helped me travel better prepared, and I am some kind of excited! I will get back to this site in early September with a trip report to share my adventures with you all!
melinca is offline  

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