About us: A couple of my friends and I have a few weeks to spare after taking medical board exams and want to travel to Australia before we get too busy to go anywhere. We're all around 25 years old.
What we like: We're more interested in cities, fun nightlife, some cool Aussie-slang (because who wouldn't want to be around that?!) and some nice beaches because we are trying to escape the cold weather - we lived in St Maarten for 2 years so islands aren't on our top list of things to see unless its a must-see. Skydiving, white water rafting, etc also sound fun. We do want to soak up some of the culture so we're willing to check out rainforests, farms, etc. wherever we go. We also want to do some historical stuff but not too heavily.
My question: We only have 12-14 days max and we're students on a budget but we understand its going to be costly. I'm just beginning my research so I wanted to get ideas from you guys about what places you consider a "must-see" + what is enjoyable for a group in their 20's as well as areas that you think we could skip (whether its something we could do in the States because its not that unique or just something 25 year olds wouldn't probably care about). This is also my first time planning a trip so any advice or itineraries anyone may have would be extremely helpful. We also considered a Contiki trip given that our age group seems to enjoy these but most only go along the East Coast so we would do Melbourne on our own. Furthermore, even on Contiki, we can't figure out what trip would be best given our time frame so I've listed a few of the trip options here:
1- 11 days: Surfers Paradise, Noosa, Fraser Island, Langmorn Station, The Whitsundays & Cairns -- here we would still have to add in Sydney and Melbourne
2- 16 days: Cairns, The Whitsundays, Langmorn Station, Fraser Island, Noosa, Surfers Paradise, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour & Sydney --this is great but its already over our time limit + we wouldn't get to see Melbourne
3- 13 days: Sydney, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay, Surfers Paradise, Noosa, Fraser Island, Langmorn Station & Whitsundays Islands -- missing Cairns and Melbourne
These areas seemed to be things that we've heard we must do/are obvious must-do's:
Surfers Paradise/Gold Coast (QLD)
Cairns/Great Barrier Reef (QLD)
Melbourne - Great Ocean Rd
Please help if possible, I would love to hear anyone's thoughts on making this trip efficient yet fun!
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