when to go

Old May 2nd, 2005, 05:58 PM
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when to go

We are looking at going to Australia for 2 weeks in 2006. Our son will be 5 years old. When and where should we go? Any good books we should buy to plan our trip? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old May 2nd, 2005, 07:01 PM
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The best place toi go in Australia is Sydney, and it might also be worthwhile going to the far north coast and seeing the Barrier Reef. You can't really do more than this in 2 weeks; you could spend 8 days in Sydney (of which two should be a side trip to Canberra, and two more should be a side trip to the Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves) and 5 at the Reef.

I am not an expert on weather conditions at the Barrier Reef, so I will leave that to others; however, for Sydney you cannot to better than the "in-between" seasons: either late March to early May, or mid-September to end October.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 11:20 PM
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Having lived in three Australian cities, would not necessary agree with Alan that 'Sydney is the best place to go', depends on what you are after. Sydney is certainly a large vibrant city with good access to other parts of Australia such as Queensland. However believe it or not weather can be very changeable in Sydney and although not cold in summer can have lots or rain and humidity. Eight days is definitely too much time to spend here in my view, 3 days with a five year old would be more than enough. Here are some other suggestions and related times to visit:
Adelaide and Barossa Valley S/Australia - Anytime
Port Douglas QLD (avoid Cairns) Barrier Reef - September
Tasmania - Summer
Perth and WA - Wildflower Season August
Perth - Best weather in Oz - Nov/Dec
Coral Bay - Pristine Coral (Sept-Nov)
Darwin and Kakadu - June
Victorian High Country (North of Melbourne) - Summer

A good guide book is the old reliable Lonely Planet guide to Australia
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Old May 4th, 2005, 03:18 PM
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Robbieb did not read my advice carefully enough; I never said that yoiu should spend eight days in Sydney. I said that you should base yourself in Sydney for that long, and then do side trips (each of two days) to Canberra and the Blue Mountains. That should reduce the time in Sydney to about four days, which is ample time to see the beauties of this city.

All his other suggestions are great places, and any one would make a great extra add-on to your itinerary, but, with only 2 weeks to spend here and the rigours of hauling a 5-year-old all over the country (which is the reason I think that having one city as your base for the week is a good idea, as children like to come back to something familiar), I wouldn't choose more than one of those.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 04:23 PM
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Cairns is actually a good spot for a 5 yo- it has a massive man made stinger free swimming lagoon ideal for young kids. Nearby is the new award winning "Muddies" kids playground, so your little boy would find plenty of other kids to play with.

The best reef months in FNQ are October - January, even sometimes February. The winter months can be terribly windy, making reef conditions awful. However, even in winter you'll find good weather patches, but can't be relied on. The above months are all great for the rainforest, also, spring and summer here.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 04:24 PM
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I think the one previous post was correct in saying that it depends what you want to see, what your interests are.
Sydney is a great city, but when it comes down to it, it is a city, the same as other large cities. But I don't want to offend so I will end this paragraph by saying I really enjoyed discovering Sydney. So if large cities are what you enjoy then it is a definite starting point.
No offence to Canberra but I didn't find it as interesting.
I think you should read a couple of travel books (fodors etc) & see what interests you. Ayers Rock is interesting but a long way from everything, Perth is a nice city smaller then Sydney, so make a list of your interests & then go from there.
Not sure where you are from but parts of Australia can be very HOT in summer, I never thought I would experience such weather on Christmas day in my lifetime! Also because of the humidity it can rain suddenly for short periods in the afternoon.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 05:26 PM
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We are looking at 15 - 21 days in Australia in Oct. 2006. We are considering the Wonders of Australia tour. We are in our mid 60's and are hoping we can handle this kind of tour.
We were considering an 15 day cruise, but we want to see more of Australia than what was offered on the cruise.
Any advice would be gratefully received.

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