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advice on spending 1 month in Australia-March 2006

New York, NY
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advice on spending 1 month in Australia-March 2006

We are 2 couples-active 50s in age, going to spend 28 nights in Australia next March. Looking for experts advice on how many days to spend in each location.

Our preliminary plans is: first 7 nights in Sydney, fly to Melbourne-4 nights here, drive GOR to Adelaide

(1 night stay Warnambool), Adelaide for 3 nights ,1 night on Kangaroo Island, fly to Alice Springs for 3 nights in Uluru-Olgas-Alice Springs region(with rental car), fly to Cairns-rent car-drive to Pt.Douglas area for 4 nights, fly to Brisbane-stay 5 nights in Brisbane-Gold Coast-Sunshine Coast region, fly home from Brisbane.

All advice greatly appreciated. This will be the first trip to Australia for all 4 of us ( & hopefully not the last!)

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1. Re: advice on spending 1 month in Australia-March 2006

Hi there, your trip sounds good so far. Sydney & Melbourne are beautiful cities you must see and the Great Ocean Road is a spectacular piece of the world. However, your trip so far is focusing on south-east corner. There are amazing national parks in Western Aust, Northern Territory and Queesland has the Great Barrier Reef (extending about 1500km from Bundaberg to to Cape York). As well as cities there's lots of 4-wheel drive adventures to "the outback" as you guys call it - we often just say "the country" or "the bush". It depends if you just wanto stick to the most densely populated part of Australia (the south-east corner) with its cities, or experience reef, rainforest and "country" (outback).

March is a great time of year for the whole of australia - autumn temperatures, not too hot in the north and not too cold in the south. For some altern fun to the big cities, and to get a handle on the vastness of Aust, look up Cairns, Whitsundays & Great Barrier Reef (all in Queensland), Perth, Broome, Kimberleys (in West Aust), and Kakadu, Uluru (Ayers Rock) - all in Northern Territory.

After your trip in the south-east, for example, you could fly to Ayers Rock, see this and "the Olgas" -maybe even "Kings Canyon", then fly to Cairns to see the Reef and a day trip to the outer reef near the edge of the continental shelf & Cairns surrounding world heritage rainforest of the Daintree, - having a look at our domestic airline companies may prove cheaper than booking these flight legs from the US. These are "Virgin Blue", "Jetstar" & Qantas. Have a lovely trip.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: advice on spending 1 month in Australia-March 2006

as far as the brisbane leg of your journey goes i would base out of the sunshine coast around mooloolaba and day trip from there. you really will need to hire a car in SE QLD to see the best of the attractions. there have been a number of forums about things to do in the brisbane region so i will bring them back to the front for you.

a trip to Australia Zoo in the sunshine coast hinterland is a must for any international travellers coming to brisbane. Sea world on the gold coast is also great with the polar bears. towns like montville (sunshine coast) and mt tamborine (gold coast) are also worth visiting.

where you stay really depends on the style of place you like. the gold coast is the main tourist destination in SE QLD and is therefore always crowded. Surfers Paradise is very glitzy, and in my opinion fairly trashy. personally i prefer the sunshine coast and particually Mooloolaba, it is more laid back and less touristy, and (i think) the beaches are better. at the gold coast most of the beaches are big open surf beaches prone to rips and undertows, areas like mooloolaba are coves and are more protected, that said there are still great surf beaches at the sunshine coast.

SE QLD is also home to some stunning rainforest and national park area (see the posts about 'attraction often overlooked by tourists in SE QLD').

in brisbane itself there is not a whole lot in the way of tourist activities, however if you like galleries, museums and good shopping then brisbane isn't a bad place to base yourself. once again i will bring the relevant forums to the front again.

hope this helps

Brisbane, Australia
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3. Re: advice on spending 1 month in Australia-March 2006

i have brought the posts back to the front for you, but if you have trouble these are the titles of them so you can find them.

An attraction that often missed by tourist in south east queensland

What to do and where to stay in Brisbane

Surfer's Paradise-worth a visit?

I'm on my way to Aus

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4. Re: advice on spending 1 month in Australia-March 2006

Oops I forgot to mention, you don't need 4 nights in Port Douglas - one night is all you need unless either you are a keen golfer (good golf course attached to Marina Mirage 5+ star hotel), or you use it as your platform for day trips to see the Daintree (world heritage rainforest) and the reef. I know it's promoted heavily especially since Clinton stayed there but it's just another nice beach town/village near the beach and lots of 5 star hotels behind. If you're there for a couple hours you've seen it all and quite frankly the beaches in north queensland are nowhere near as nice as the ones mentioned in earlier post (on sunshine coast). The reef, in it's beauty, also happens to prevent any surf and causes merky water at the seashore, and browner sand than the crystal white beaches elsewhere - still naturally special but by no means breathtaking compared with beaches you'll see in your trip along the GOR.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: advice on spending 1 month in Australia-March 2006

Sydney - is a must.Things to do Harbour cruise, climb harbour bridge(must book from your home very busy) Opera house walk to botancial gardens. Chinatown and darling harbour. Ferry to Manly beach have fish and chips. Bus to Bondi Beach walk the bondi to coogee beach path its fabulous. Tour bus to blue mountains(day trip). Bus to Palm Beach one hour from city, once there take ferry to the Basin a beach in the National Park (no shops) so take water etc.

Melbourne - the best restaurants in Australia. Shopping go to Richmond Bridge Road the wholesale fashion area. Trams take you everywhere so just get a day ticket. St Kilda for the beach.

Calton for great Italian food. The great ocean road is a MUST to do so special and beautiful.

Brisbane- you can see in one day. Take the ferry up the river and you can see most of Brisbane. Stay at Rydges reasonable and ask for river view rooms-great at nightime. Riverside waterfront has the best restaurants.

Gold Coast - stay at the Sheraton Mirage at Southport. Its fabulous if you like the surf, just a couple of steps from your room.

Sunshine Coast - Noosa is very expensive and trendy good for a day trip from Mooloolaba. Stay at the Landmark great apartments overlooking the beach. Surf club great opposite the hotel.

Whitsundays is also a MUST very beautiful.

Port Douglas only needs a day except if you only want to relax by the pool.

Cairns, Australia
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6. Re: advice on spending 1 month in Australia-March 2006

I don't think anyone could successfully claim the beaches in Far North Queensland can compare with the surfing beaches further south. But one day in Port Douglas unless you like golf?? You can play golf just about anywhere. Yes, the beach from Port Douglas doesn't do much for me, neither does the one at Palm Cove, or many others in the area, but Far North Queensland isn't for beaches especially in March which is box jelly fish season. Port Douglas/Cairns area is the only region in Australia where two World Heritage areas abut, the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics rainforest. And the Gulf Savannah country is only a few hours drive, the Atherton Tableland is closer.

Think you could do very well to look at Tasmania as a substitute for the time spent on Great Ocean Road and Kangaroo Island. Tassie has scenery and wildlife to burn, and not many people.

Australia
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7. Re: advice on spending 1 month in Australia-March 2006

Can't offer suggestions regarding the rest of your journey,but PORT DOUGLAS IN A DAY???????

Not sure how travelpill can do both the reef and the rainforest in a day. Can't also understand why you would go to Port Douglas just to play golf and miss the opportunity to see what this great area surrounded by World Heritage listing has to offer.

Thank you Galah, your ideas are more honest.

And by the way, Port Douglas has two Golf Courses, The Mirage Country Club and the Links Golf Course, the latter one being the most popular.

Adelaide
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8. Re: advice on spending 1 month in Australia-March 2006

Hi there bklnwx,

Firstly congratulations on deciding to come to Australia, no doubt you will have a wonderful time. Your plans look to be very well thought out. Australia is such a big country and there is no way you could see everthing in one month. You have the main areas of interest covered well.

My suggestions would be (unless you are really keen to drive - or need to go Warnambool) is to catch a flight from Melbourne to Adelaide, Virgin blue, Jetstar and Qantas all currently have flights for March 2006 for around $100AUS, flight time around 1 hr. This will save you a day in travel, and costs for car hire, petrol and accommodation. Beware petrol prices in Australia have gone through the roof!!.

I would suggest that you perhaps stay another in South East Queensland - if you have a rental car - Brisbane - the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast are all within a few hours drive of each other, yet they are all unique and have something different to offer. South Bank in Brisbane is a lovely spot. The Gold Coast offers beaches and tourist attractions galore, if theme parks are your thing, this is the place. The Sunshine Coast is similar to the Gold Coast yet a lot more relaxed, not as touristy. My husband and I have spent many holidays either in Brisbane, the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast and love the place.

4 nights is ok in Port Douglas providing you get out and discover. A must do in Far North Queensland is a day snorkelling on the barrier reef. With a car you can go to the other tourist areas such as Cairns city, Kuranda - a scenic railway and cable car in the rainforest, and the Daintree rainforest.

In Adelaide, points of interest are Glenelg, a lovely seaside town (only 20km from the city), Victor Harbour,and the Barossa Valley. The Barossa is a must if you enjoy a glass of wine, it is a very beautiful valley covered in vineyards, and is only 1 hr from Adelaide.

In Melbourne you will have a great time enjoying the cuisine, with the vast array of restaurants they have to offer. It is also a good place to be if shopping is on the agenda.

In Sydney, the places worth checking out are the Blue Mountains (a tour would be the way to go), and of course the harbour is stunning, try the harbour bridge climb and a harbour dinner cruise, a visit to the Taronga Zoo is also worthwhile. Whilst Sydney is beautiful I would suggest that if you do not have a car and are based in one place, 7 nights may be a little long, but then after a long flight you may prefer to base yourself at your first destination for a little longer!

the Alice and Uluru are stunning and are most definitely worth the trip, the landscape there is amazing.

Anyway I hope this information helps you with your plans, you will love the diversity that Australia has to offer from the beaches to the citys to the outback. I hope you have a wonderful time.

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9. Re: advice on spending 1 month in Australia-March 2006

If you can fit a few days on the Sunshine Coast - stay in Noosa. It is a gem in the crown -I am biased - I have lived here fro 11 years after visiting thr first time in 1976. Many changes since then but lots of natural beauty to offer. Walks along the coast from Noosa through the National Park - can see dolphins , koalas, lizards. Day trips along the beach by four wheel drive to Heritage listed Fraser Island via the beautiful coloured sands & pristine beaches of Rainbow Beach. An easy day cruise up to the Everglades for beautiful water reflections in the calm river. Surf beaches at Sunshine & Sunrise, Noosa Main Beach a bit more laid back as far as surfing - however always swim between flags & heed warnings at all beaches in Australia. Fantastic restaurants from fine dining in Hastings St, Sunshine Beach & Gympie Terrace(riverside) to BYO with great food in the same locations. Use the river ferry for a lunch at Harbour Town for the best fish & chips with a wine or beer & just a touch of shopping. Accommodation from luxury to backpackers - check trip advisor for advice. From Noosa you can be picked up by the bus for a day trip to Australian Zoo if you are into our wild life & Steve Irwin - really agood experience! Shopping in Mooloolaba & Maroochydore if that is your thing but great boutique shopping in Noosas tree lined Hastings St adjacent to the beach - don't forget to treat yourself to a Masimos icecream just past the Surf Club. Enjoy your trip - just too much to see!!!

Sutton on Sea UK
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10. Re: advice on spending 1 month in Australia-March 2006

2 Golden Oldies 73 & 75 Melvy We are 2 seniors from UK arriving in Noosa in February after our trip down from Cairns in the Tilt train.We are staying for 3 weeks before going on to Brisbane either by bus or train. Like to see the scenery. Then flying down to Sydney for 2 weeks.We are staying at The Terrapin Apart. They look nice. Are we in a good position for getting around as we wont have a car. From the map it seems as though there is a lot of places to see. Am I correct in thinking that the public transport is good. How do we travel to Mooloolaba as someone else has mentioned that it is a nice place. Also to the market. Any advise would be appreciated and would save me time searching around when we get there.Have been told that there is a free bus to Zoo This is going to be the relaxing part of the holiday but we do want to get around