where to go, where to go?

Dec 17th, 2003, 09:27 AM
  #1  
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where to go, where to go?

My husband and I decided to use our ff miles to go to Australia, NZ and some surronding islands this summer for about a month.
Ideally we would like to see a little bit of everything without spending a fourtune on it. We enjoy funky, small and unique hotels.

I would like to see some city, islands, national parks, beaches, get in some snorkeling or scuba etc and would love any suggestions on must sees, stays or dos as a couple (our first time to Aus/NZ and islands) and we are still 'young' if that makes a difference.

addwag is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2003, 06:52 PM
  #2  
 
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I'm assuming your summer means July/August/September and our winter???? If so, fly into Sydney for a few days. From there, fly to Mackay and pick up a hire car. While in Mackay, drive to Eungella National Park and Finch Hatton Gorge - only about an hour's drive and a good chance that you will see platypus. From there, head north to Airlie Beach and check out the standby offers for the islands. You can leave your car in a lock-up area whilst you are on an island for a few nights.
Head north again to Townsville, do a day trip to Magnetic Island, drive up to the lookout on Castle Hill and check out the town.
Further north again to Cardwell where you can take a day trip to Hinchinbrook Island. A bit further north again, divert to Mission Beach - think typical tropical beach with wide sands and coconut trees framing the view. Have a few nights here to relax and possible do a day trip to Dunk Island. Another must is to visit Paronella Park - really unique.
A few hours north again is Cairns - agood place to base yourself, or choose to drive another 20 minutes further north and stay at Palm Cove - my personal favourite. Port Douglas is about an hour north of Cairns - lots of accommodation, restaurants. Use your hire car to drive to Cape Tribulation (take the ferry across the Daintree River) or have a day on the Atherton Tablelands. Lots to see and do in the area including day trips to the Barrier Reef.
Melbourne and Adelaide are nice towns with lots to see, great museums and art galleries but cold at this time of the year.
We're not young anymore but enjoy travelling in this area. If any of these suggestions are of interest and you want more info, email me at [email protected].
marg is offline  
Dec 27th, 2003, 05:24 PM
  #3  
 
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You should seriously consider seeing Uluru (Ayers Rock). From there you could tour Palm Valley near Alice Springs. This is the so called Red Centre of OZ and very much unique,beautiful and diffrent than other parts.

If you get to Melbourne or Adelaide consider a drive along the Great Ocean Road and Grampians Park. Very beautiful coast scenery. A very special boutique hotel is the Quamby Homestead and in Ballarat the Ansonia Hotel.

I did,nt much like Cairns but Port Douglas and hour north is great place to kick back and see the GBR and nearby Mossman Gorge, and Daintree Park.

NZ may be cooler this time but Norh Island warmer. Bay of Islands area is very nice, Waipoha Forest is fantastic, Wellington is a very attractive city. On South Island Queenston is a mecca for active types ie bungee jumping, rafting, jet boats, Lord of the Rings tours Milford Sound very beautiful - again best to check weather at this time.

Bon Voyage.
christo is offline  
Dec 28th, 2003, 02:58 PM
  #4  
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thank you both for your suggestions--

do you have good travel books to buy? or islands around we can go to (tropical, beautiful beaches etc)
addwag is offline  
Dec 28th, 2003, 03:38 PM
  #5  
 
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If you're in Cairns/Atherton Tableland area take a trip out to Undara Lava Tubes in the nearby "outback" - amazing. Accommodation is converted train carriages or permanent "tent" style. There's also some beautiful parts of Cairns - I think the disparaging remarks I keep reading about it are from people who've only been to the "tourist strip" - Palm Cove is a suburb of Cairns and there are many other lovely ones. You also might consider B&B's or farmstays in both countries - NZ has an amazing amount of them considering it's small population - it's a great way to meet the locals, see how they live, and receive honest tour advice - the hosts aren't going to tell you fibs as they know they have to face you at breakfast.
pat_woolford is offline  
Dec 31st, 2003, 09:41 PM
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Hello Addwag,

>>>>>>do you have good travel books to buy?<<<<<<

I don't quite understand what you mean. I'm guessing you're asking if someone can recommend guidebooks. There are lots of good guidebooks. I have found the Lonely Planet series to be particularly good for Australia.

>>>>>>or islands around we can go to (tropical, beautiful beaches etc)<<<<<<

Marg was alluding to islands when she said

>>>>>>From there, head north to Airlie Beach and check out the standby offers for the islands. You can leave your car in a lock-up area whilst you are on an island for a few nights.<<<<<<

She was referring to the Whitsundays, a group of 76 gorgeous islands. My husband and I were on a 5 day sailing cruise amongst those islands in September 1999, and I was almost never heard from again!!!!!! We snorkelled in the coral reefs that surrounded some of the islands, we saw whales and dolphins, it was utterly magical.

Only something like four of the islands have hotels on them. I forget the exact number. Anyway, whatever the number is, it's a small number compared with the total of 76 islands. Staying in a hotel on one of those islands would be nice too.

Something I HIGHLY recommend, if you can afford it, is taking a flight over the Great Barrier Reef in a small (6 seater) plane that takes off from Airlee Beach. It's wonderful to snorkel or scuba dive in the GBR, but it's also great to get the different perspective of seeing it from the air.

We didn't go out to swim in the GBR from Airlee Beach, although it would have been possible to do it. We had done that on a separate vacation to Port Douglas in Far North Queensland.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
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