Winter Trip to Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns

Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 04:11 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Winter Trip to Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns

Hi All,

We're (Other half and 5YO) are travelling out July/Aug next year for 2-3 weeks. We're loosely following the British and Irish Lions so will be in Melbourne for 4/5 days, Sydney for 4/5 days and then up to Palm Cove 4/5 days.

At the moment the only thing we are 100% doing is a barrier reef tour when in Palm Cove. Otherwise I'm looking for ideas/suggestions of excursions, trips, things to do, places to see etc while we're in each area - baring in mind we'll have a 5YO with us and the time of year

So far we've found the below but not sure if we've missed anything and what would best given the time of year?

Melbourne - Penguin March, Whale watching, Melb museum, Sky Deck, Sea life centre, Arthurs Seat sky lift, botanical gardens
Sydney - Blue mountains (unsure of best place with child), Taronga Zoo, Opera house & Bridge, Harbour tour, Featherdale wildlife park
Cairns/Palm cove - Barrier reef tour, Kuranda rainforest, Hartley's crocodile adventures

Obviously we wont be able to do everything so any advice or suggestions very welcome
watsonjm is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 02:55 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,232
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In Melbourne, the Puffing Billy train would please your child and the scenery would please you. Train from the city to Belgrave and join Puffing Billy there (best to book ahead). Healesville Sanctuary has a great selection of Australian animals - about an hour from the city. You can't do whale watching from Melbourne, possibly from Sydney or Cairns.

If you have a car in Cairns, consider a day's trip to Mission Beach and Paronella Park, about an hour south of Cairns.
marg is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 03:13 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 15,053
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 1 Post
Hi & Welcome to the Australia forum!
Could I suggest you post your query on Trip Advisor's Australia Forum as well? It's a much more active forum than this and you'll have a better range of responses.

In the meantime, coming from the UK as I presume you are, you'll probably find our winters quite mild. July & August is a very popular time to be in FNQ (Far North Queensland - Cairns etc., ) so I'd encourage you to keep an eye on accommodation & book what you like sooner rather than later.

Generally speaking, you would likely find self-catering apartments a better fit for your family than traditional hotel rooms. We are very well serviced by a good range of them across various locations and price points. More space, cooking & laundry facilities and comparable, often better rates than hotels.

You'll need Visas - apply anytime after September this year. They are a good for a year after approval and the "in country" time doesn't start until you arrive in Australia.

I'll add a few maps & links you might find useful.Australia – size map: https://www.virtualoceania.net/austr...ustralia.shtml

VISA FINDER: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visa...sa/visa-finder
AUSTRALIA – TOURISM: https://www.australia.com/en


Sydney map: https://goo.gl/maps/PFmeA45BAKXruh4F8

Visit Sydney: https://www.sydney.com/

Wine Tasting – Sydney: https://www.sydney.com/articles/best...ting-in-sydney

Rooftop Bars – Sydney: https://www.sydney.com/things-to-do/...s/rooftop-bars

Sydney Beachfront Cafes: https://www.weekendnotes.com/best-sy...s-water-views/

Harbour Walks - https://sydneyvisitorguide.com.au/sydney-harbour-walks/
Bondi – Coogee Walk - https://www.bonditocoogeewalk.com/
BLUE MOUNTAINS: https://tinyurl.com/yc28vadd

VICTORIA


Victoria – map https://tinyurl.com/ycxyv5ck

VISIT MELBOURNE: https://www.visitmelbourne.com

MELBOURNE MAP: https://goo.gl/maps/3iDQCJqzVdjtVGXL6
GREAT OCEAN ROAD: https://visitgreatoceanroad.org.au/

PHILLIP ISLAND

https://www.visitphillipisland.com.a...o/things-to-do

https://www.penguins.org.au/attracti...ation-reserve/

QUEENSLAND

BRISBANE MAP: https://tinyurl.com/496kd2ed

https://www.brisbane-australia.com/m...sbane-cbd.html

Mirimar Cruises: https://mirimarcruises.com.au/daily-cruises/

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary: https://lonepinekoalasanctuary.com/

Queensland Islands: https://www.queenslandislands.com/qu...lands-map.html

Probably more than you need, but hope you find some useful bits. Do hop over to Trip Advisor Forums & find us on the Australia tag
Bokhara2 is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 10:49 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,786
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
You'll have quite different weather in Melbourne compared to Cairns. Melbourne will be cool/cold, maybe cloudy and rainy. Cairns is in the far north and they have two seasons - wet and dry. It's always warm up there and the weather in winter should be mild/warm and sunny. I'm not sure that the boats go to the reef go from Palm Cove, in the past they've gone from Cairns and Port Douglas. Cairns would be a bit closer to Palm Cove and the tours probably arrange a bus to Cairns, then a boat from there.

Quicksilver has large catamarans which makes the journey out to the reef a bit quicker. I think it took over an hour to get to their pontoon which was moored on the reef. Having the pontoon was good as it meant more options. You could snorkel, fish feeding, submersible trips, helicopter (extra $$). Lunch was on the pontoon too. Check if they have an age limit for children. There are other smaller boats, with fewer people, that do the trip too.

I think most people do the Kuranda Scenic Railway in one direction then get the gondola back down the mountain. The main thing I didn't like about the train was the windows are quite small and when you pass something of interest, like a waterfall, there's no way for 8 or 10 people in the carriage to be able to see and get photos. Do the train if it's appealing or you can do the gondola in both directions.
KayF is offline  
Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 11:54 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by marg
In Melbourne, the Puffing Billy train would please your child and the scenery would please you. Train from the city to Belgrave and join Puffing Billy there (best to book ahead). Healesville Sanctuary has a great selection of Australian animals - about an hour from the city. You can't do whale watching from Melbourne, possibly from Sydney or Cairns.

If you have a car in Cairns, consider a day's trip to Mission Beach and Paronella Park, about an hour south of Cairns.
Thanks for this. Will check out Puffing Billy and the other parks. We will have a car in Cairns so will check both out.
watsonjm is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 12:04 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Bokhara2 - thanks for all that info and will head over to trip advisor next! (for some reason it wouldn't let me tag you )

Yes coming over from the UK. We have family in Sydney so will be staying with them for that part of the trip, apartment in Cairns and a hotel in Melbourne.

We're on the verge of booking the flight and accommodation with Trail finders - still just debating how much we'd save booking ourselves Vs the additional hassle that brings.
watsonjm is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 12:07 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by KayF
You'll have quite different weather in Melbourne compared to Cairns. Melbourne will be cool/cold, maybe cloudy and rainy. Cairns is in the far north and they have two seasons - wet and dry. It's always warm up there and the weather in winter should be mild/warm and sunny. I'm not sure that the boats go to the reef go from Palm Cove, in the past they've gone from Cairns and Port Douglas. Cairns would be a bit closer to Palm Cove and the tours probably arrange a bus to Cairns, then a boat from there.

Quicksilver has large catamarans which makes the journey out to the reef a bit quicker. I think it took over an hour to get to their pontoon which was moored on the reef. Having the pontoon was good as it meant more options. You could snorkel, fish feeding, submersible trips, helicopter (extra $$). Lunch was on the pontoon too. Check if they have an age limit for children. There are other smaller boats, with fewer people, that do the trip too.

I think most people do the Kuranda Scenic Railway in one direction then get the gondola back down the mountain. The main thing I didn't like about the train was the windows are quite small and when you pass something of interest, like a waterfall, there's no way for 8 or 10 people in the carriage to be able to see and get photos. Do the train if it's appealing or you can do the gondola in both directions.
Thanks for this - I've just been looking at Quicksilver and think we'll go with them or something similar.

Thanks for the tips on the railway - that was on our list so may have a re-think esp if we do Puffing Billy.
watsonjm is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 03:27 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,786
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Trailfinders have been around for a long time but I find if you book things yourself, you get exactly what you want, not what a travel agent will earn commission on. You will take a lot more care to book accommodation that's in a great location, or has very good reviews, than an agent will. With flights, you have control over which airline, which flight, booking seats, meals etc. If an agent books you may not have access to all this. I guess if things go awry, you do have someone to contact who can re-arrange plans or give you guidance.
KayF is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2024, 02:53 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 15,053
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 1 Post
+1 KayF. I'm not sure how much use a Travel Agent in the UK would be if someone had an issue at 9:00am in Sydney for example. Can't see one being on hand at midnight in London

Amo Mondo & others have given you great advice on TA as well. The only time I would even contemplate using a Travel Agent to book airfares for me would be if it were a very complicated route which I couldn't access for some reason or at a BIG $ saving on what I could get on my own. Flights from the UK to Australia aren't complicated at all, irrespective of which airline or route you take.

I'd never allow them to book my accommodation. As KayF says, you're limited to the hotels on their panels which are more likely to be driven by remuneration back to them than to your convenience & cost. You can of course request they book specific hotels - but if you're going to do that, you may as well make the booking yourself.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Stephania
Australia & the Pacific
9
Aug 16th, 2010 07:45 AM
LastMinuteTravelers
Australia & the Pacific
10
Aug 10th, 2006 06:40 AM
Jill
Australia & the Pacific
0
Sep 20th, 2001 04:39 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -