Where to go? Sydney/GBR or Sydney/Aukland ??

Old Oct 11th, 2005, 12:57 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Where to go? Sydney/GBR or Sydney/Aukland ??

My wife and I would like to use our United miles to book business class award tickets. But we should book one year in advance so are trying to decide where to go now for a trip in 2006. Should we spend our entire two weeks divided between Sydney and the GBR or base ourselves in Sydney for one week and tour around Aukland NZ for the second week? Neither of us are active sporty enthusiasts although snokeling for a few hours is ok. September sounds like a good month for Sydney/GBR? Sounds tricky trying to get great weather in both areas. But then Sydney/Aukland we would probably pick December? We HATE hot, humid weather. I get eaten alive by all insects so have concerns about the GBR.
RichardJ is offline  
Old Oct 11th, 2005, 11:49 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,616
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would recommend Sydney/GBR as Auckland is actually a very similar city to Sydney.
I also feel that any trip to Australia without experiencing the Barrier Reef is a definate missed opportunity.

September, can be a hit and miss affair for Sydney, but it is ideal for the GBR.

You can access the Barrier Reef from a number of places with Port Douglas or Cairns being the most popular. In your case these places would probably suit you best as you can do trips into the World Daintree Rainforest, Mossman Gorge, Atherton Tablelands etc, whereas some of the other GBR locations are more geared to backpackers or sporty watersports types.

Geordie
Geordie is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2005, 01:04 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,603
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Auckland is very similiar to Sydney??????????? You have to be kidding. The only thing that is similiar is that they are both in the Southern Hemisphere and that is where it ends.
Auckland is the world's most boring city - too small to have any great interest but to big to avoid traffic jams. Sydney is constantly voted the city most people love to visit or have visited. If you have asked it you should do Sydney / South Island of NZ then that is another thing, but Auckland!!!!!
I think perhaps you should do some research on the GBR because I don't think I even want to answer your questions as you have already got a preconceived idea about it and I would just get angry. Perhaps if you asked questions instead of stating what you believe is fact would get you a great deal further.
lizF is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2005, 05:07 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
September for GBR isn't humid, in fact its quite mild. However, early-mid September can be very windy with less than ideal conditions for reef. Yes, it is pretty hard to get ideal weather conditions for both Sydney and fairly northern part of GBR at the same time considering they're some 2,500 kms apart and are in completely different climate zones.

Reef conditions are far better on reef a bit later in year, when SE winds stop blowing, but by then it is becoming more humid. You won't find too many bugs on the reef but you're in the tropics and you do get many insects, mostly totally harmless and beneficial to environment on mainland rainforests.
pat_woolford is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2005, 05:34 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 394
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts


I think you would like Lizard Island for a week luxury downtime and a week in Sydney for cosmopolitan rush.

Tassietwister is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2005, 07:18 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,616
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lizf, your answer is a little confusing, I think the OP has asked quite a few questions and I tried to answer them.

The question posed wasn't should I go to Sydney or Auckland, it was Sydney and Auckland.

As you pointed out, they are both in the Southern Hemisphere but if you look closer I think we can find a few more similarities.

Both surrounded by a beautiful harbour, many believe Auckland's to be superior.

Both have Harbour Bridges

Both have Centrepoint Towers to observe the harbour and surrounding areas

Both think they should be their country's capital

Both have a large Asian immigrant community providing first class food.

Both have Harbourside complexes for residential & entertainment purposes.

Both can be used as gateways to their respective countries.

By the way before you make the observation for me, Auckland doesn't have the Opera House.

Geordie
Geordie is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2005, 08:14 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was able to clarify routes with United. We could leave Denver through LA and arrive in Christchurch, then continue on to Sydney, returning to Denver from Sydney. I did not realize Christchurch was an option. I would really love to see the GBR, it's my wife who has some concern since she is not the beachy type and sun burns easily (she has an allergy to sunblocks) How could we fit it all in without being too rushed?
Day 1,2 flight
Day 3 Christchurch
drive of fly to Queenstown? Day4,5,6
Day 7 leave Christchurch for Sydney
Day 7 8, Sydney
Day 9, 10, 11, 12 GBR
Day 13, 14, 15 Sydney
Day 16- depart and arrive Denver
We live so close to Vail and Aspen. To us Switzerland looks more or less the same. Would the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney be a good side trip for us? We are quite spoiled by Colorado.
So how could we settle on a two week period for good weather? How about the first two weeks in December for South Island of NZ, Sydney a nd GBR?
RichardJ is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2005, 11:34 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 34
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just returned from GBR. We had perfect weather (80-85 F, sunny). Although we stayed in the rainforest, I did not get ONE mosquito bite and didn't wear any insect repellent. I was really surprised by this.
Windy04 is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2005, 12:28 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 327
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If your not thrilled by Switzerland's beauty then the South Island may not have much to offer you (excpet maybe sea life - penguins, seals, etc. oh and millions of sheep!) Your idea to spend 4 days on the South Island beginning and ending in Christchurch and also getting to Queenstown is crazy. Don't do it.

I thought the Cairns area had SO much to offer. We spent 9 days there and I had such a hard time narrowing down our itinerary. We went to the reef, rainforests (Daintree and on the tablelands), hiked, did animal spotting, drove a bit into the outback (Undara) and more. The variety of landscape (and consequently animal and plant life) in this are was outstanding. You don't have to travel far distances for everything to be completely different.

I'm hoping to get my long-overdue trip report posted soon....
pb_and_j is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2005, 01:04 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,603
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Geordie, OK so 4.5 Million Kiwis think Auckland Harbour is superior to Sydney but 20Million Australians would disagree with you and so would approx 150 Million visitors over the years. I will always insist that the mountains in NZ are far superior in height and snow to ours, the fiords are better than ours as we only have fairly inaccessable ones - or it is only 1? Our glacier which no one but a handful of scientists get to is superior to yours but who wants to go to Heard Island? However Auckland is a non-entity in comparison to Sydney. You have a bridge - so does most cities in the world - you have a harbour but where are the beautiful bays and inlets in that harbour and where is the weather that should go with a harbour - Auckland's weather is much colder than Sydney and you get a lot more rain and where are the ferries, the lights, the historical area with old pubs and unique buildings, a similiar vibrant circular quay area, where are your city beaches teaming with the Cafe' Latte followers and great food, where is your botanical gardens with wonderful views and beautiful walks - be careful when you answer that one because I have been to the one in Auckland..... yawn! and finally who the hell cares about a centrepoint tower for heaven's sake - sorry but try and stick to what NZ does have and not what it doesn't. It isn't a contest Geordie, its about people getting to places that are worth paying a lot of money to see and visit. It is not about NZ V Australia.
RichardJ: You will see now why it is important when people ask questions for us to know where you come from. Now that I know you are from Colorado I can make far better suggestions and I too agree with Pb & J that it would be silly to spend time in the South Island of NZ and I would also add that if you have spent time going to Yellowstone as well it would be a waste of time in and around Rotarua and the thermal springs area of the North Island. However if you fly into Christchurch then that is worth a few days to visit and the surrounds.
My last visit to Col. was to go to Mesa Verde and I stayed in Durango - have friends in Vale also and have driven through most of your State - list it as one of my absolute favourites in the US but behind N.M because of its history and quaint towns and Arizona because of its diversity. But the 4 corners is my favourite area in the US.
The GBR area is diverse both in flora and fauna and it is also diverse in climate. September is a great month to visit temperature wise but as Pat has said it can have some wind around at that time. However that does not effect seeing the Rainforests, the Tablelands and it does not effect the submersibles or anything underneath the water. The GBR is not only for those who dive or scuba because there are many islands where you can walk around and explore the reef without getting anything but your shoes wet.
Later in the year begins the school holidays in Australia and that can have a dampener on things. I would prefer to go to the GBR and have some wind ( which may not even happen) in September than wait till later and get more humidity. Another alternative is you could go to the Whitsunday Islands and if you like boats you could rent a yacht and visit the 73 islands in that area, snorkle, explore uninhabited islands, visit the reef, fish, swim and have a milder climate until about November.
Even better you could spend most of your time on Hinchinbrook Island and have everything! But do that in September. September in Sydney is wonderful too - great time of year.
lizF is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2005, 03:55 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am an avid sailor and skipper yachts in the British Virgin Islands every year. So far, I have never been able to talk my wife into joining me. There is no way she would consider sleeping on a boat for 1/2 of our vacation (there probably is a minimum of 5-7 nights rental). I would love it! I spoke to two friends today--one lived on North NZ and the other visited--both told me to spend our time in Sydney and the GBR. If given the choice, Port Douglas/Cairns, Hinchinbrook Islands or Whitsunday islands--how would we choose? My wife will snorkel but in general, would go crazy on an isolated beach resort small island. How does the GBR experience differ with each destination? We want to avoid heat and humidity in both the GBR area as well as Sydney--my wife literally melts and would be so miserable that the whole trip would be a waste of time. Would October also be ok in Sydney and the GBR? Seems that in Cairns we would rent a car and go on various day trips from one base as well as have a town with shops and restaurants? Is this true of the two islands? This forum is such an invaluable resource--thanks to everyone for great ideas
RichardJ is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2005, 04:25 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 609
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Richard

To keep this on track. The barrier reef would be a better option for sea activities. Warm waters lots of fish. Bit of sailing on the side. You mention that your wife is alergic to the sun and sunscreens. I would start checking now to see what alternatives there are to protect her skin.

The sun in OZ and NZ (And for that matter South America and SA to a certain extent) is vicious. In summer skin starts to burn after 15 minutes exposure to the sun.

There are hypoallergenic sunscreens on the market. A couple of brands being Califormia Baby and Aquasun. A rash suit will aford some protection too, but of course will not protect all the extremities.

Your wife probably already has a hat, don't be tempted to go out without it. As an aside, the sun is so strong here that hats are compulsory at primary schools here in NZ and I believe it is the same in OZ.

For the comfort factor alone, September/October would be better. Though temps in Queensland are up in the 30's already.

Cheers

PS, Liz

Which Botanical Gardens in Auckland did you find so distasteful? Just curious.
Kiwi_acct is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2005, 05:32 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Today in Cairns/Port Douglas the maximum forecast is 31C with a night time minimum of 23C. Mornings are crisp and sunny, it start to heat up about midday. Light to moderate NE winds - almost ideal reef conditions. In fact the best in many months. Humid, yes, but not as noticeable on reef where there's a breeze and you're in the water anyway. UV index 13 (extreme). Wet suits or stinger suits will protect from sun if your wife can't handle sun block - in fact much better for reef environment as well. Reef operators carry both, sometimes there's a small extra fee.

Temperature at Hinchinbrook about the same as above, Whitsundays a degree or so less. Cairns is an ideal jumping off spot for rainforest and Tableland, which is a beautiful area with very low humidity and lovely at this time of year. Avg summer temperature is 17C-25C; but its not summer until December.
pat_woolford is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2005, 06:42 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,603
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Cancer Council of Australia endorses a number of clothing options which are sun blocks in themselves. I have a long sleeve shirt which is a sun block and so does my husband who uses it for gardening. You can get skirts, trousers, shirts, then also a skin hugging type ones but I don't like those at all and prefer the cotton material which has been treated. Hats too - forgot to meantion that. So that would mean that you could do without sunblock with the exception of the face and that can be looked after with zinc cream - should have no allegens in that.
Kiwi, I said "yawn" not distasteful!
lizF is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2005, 12:42 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,616
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
LizF

Why do you assume I'm from NZ, because I'm not, I'm actually a citizen of the UK and Australia believe it or not, with an apartment in Sydney, but living currently in Germany.

Why did I choose to live in Sydney, largely for the reaasons you put forward. I don't know how old you are but I'm assuming quite young as your attitude of our thing is better than your thing should really be kept to the playground.

I actually recommended that he didn't go to Auckland and gave a very short explanation that they were a similar type of city, as simple as that.

Lets just leave it at that.

Geordie
Geordie is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2005, 01:40 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,603
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Stuff you Geordie I still want to play with my toys.
lizF is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2005, 02:10 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 9,922
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think it's fair to describe Auckland and Sydney as "similar", just as IMO Adelaide and Christchurch are. Sydney is very much the larger and, depending on your inclinations, interesting and livelier city, but that doesn't change the fact that most overseas visitors would detect many similarities. People often say "you can't compare 'X' with 'Y'", when what they mean is "you can't equate 'X' with 'Y'.

I like Auckland, but I take what I think is Liz's point that most people would visit NZ to experience something other than a typical, albeit very attractive, modern city. If you like cities for what they offer, Sydney takes some beating.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2005, 10:28 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 152
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Greetings Richard

My wife and I have vacationed in Australia/New Zealand the last 3 years in a row from Florida. We are heading down again in Nov for visit #4.

2 Weeks isn't a lot of time for either country. There is a great deal to see and do in both. You might search here for "intineraries" as many have been posted on what you can see in a week without spending most of your day in a car.

Driving in New Zealand is easy, but it takes a lot of time to get between locations. It would take 3 weeks to see the South Island and 2 the North. In our Opinion Sydney/Blue Mountains/Jenolin Caves take about 10 days and you could stay busy in Cairns/Port Douglas for a week without any problems. We consider these to be minimum time lines. The more time the better.

Your posted Itinerary has you flying to Sydney/Cairns and back to Sydney. It would be better to fly into Cairns, stay and then Fly to Sydney and then leave from there for home. That will save you a travel day.

We have many friends in both countries. It is getting harder for us now as we also want to visit friends besides being on vacation.

Cheers

Steve and Andrea

stevew is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2005, 01:10 PM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We have decided that we should save NZ for another trip and spend our two weeks in Australia. That said, my wife just can't muster up much excitement about going to the GBR (she just doesn't like beach/water/sun activites). I can't get her to go to the St. Barts in the Caribbean or even Florida resorts so it doesn't make sense for us to a destination as the GBR. Switching to plan B--any suggestions for a second week after Sydney? We really prefer staying at one hotel and doing day trips rather than moving around every night. We are not adverse to renting a car for the second week to explore.
RichardJ is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2005, 01:57 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 152
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Richard

I mentioned these 2 locations in my earlier post. Alan has a great itinerary for driving up to the Blue Mountains and back in a day with some additional sight seeing. I don't recall what post that is in, but I bet Alan would repost it

The Blue Mountains are within a days drive, you might want to go there twice if you don't want to change hotels. There is a nice little Spa in the Blue Mountains that we enjoyed (http://www.crystallodge.com.au/)

The Jenolin Caves are fantastic. Better than any cave system we have seen here in the 'States.

To bad about not going to Cairns, there is a lot to see there even if you don't go out to the GBR. David Armbrust gives an outstanding day long tour of the rain forest (http://www.anhs.com.au/) and from Port Douglas/Cairns there are many tours up to Cape Tribulation.

Cheers

Steve and Andrea
stevew is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:16 AM.