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First Timers to Australia--any "must sees"

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First Timers to Australia--any "must sees"

We are travelling with our family to Australia this Christmas/New Years. Starting our planning now and wondering if you have any recommendations. We are travelling with our kids ages 18-22.

South Pole
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1. Re: First Timers to Australia--any "must sees"

the perennial question!

we really need to know what are your interests, how long u r staying and some idea of budget.

u r coming at the hottest busiest time of the year (summer holidays) so that makes a big difference to an itinerary.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: First Timers to Australia--any "must sees"

Christmas/New Years is part of our long summer holidays. Schools in Queensland start holidays on the 12th December (private schools even earlier) and go through till after Australia Day on the 26th of January.

This is a peak time for locals to holiday, which means that you will unfortunately encounter peak accommodation rates everywhere you go. So you would be well advised to book ASAP to ensure that you're able to stay in the locations you want.

Having said that, it's a wonderful time to be on or near the beach (as long as you slather on the sunscreen, hats, etc to protect you from the harsh Australian sun).

Without knowing your interests it is hard to advise you on "must-dos" that will suit your needs.

I would normally recommend the Great Barrier Reef if you like snorkelling and/or diving. This is best accessed for day trips from Cairns/Port Douglas (NB this time of year is part of the wet season). Or you could stay in the Whitsundays or visit southern GBR islands such as Heron or Lady Elliott, even Wilson island given that your children are adults.

Fraser Island is also a place that's definitely worth a look. tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g255078-r851…

Here's my list of Cairns/Port Douglas things to do: tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i16655-Great_si…

The Gold and Sunshine Coasts are also great spots to hang out at the beach over Christmas, but they will be busy with locals on holidays too.

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for Adelaide, South Australia, Kangaroo Island
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3. Re: First Timers to Australia--any "must sees"

As a mother of four teenagers I can recommend South Australia in summer where the "kids" can do some great water activities. Each year my kids and I return to Baird Bay www.bairdbay.com to swim with the sealions, they've done it for ten years and there would be a mutiny if we didn't go back each year.. its amazing. At Port Lincoln you can swim with bluefin tuna www.swimwith.com.au at Coffin Bay you can take an oyster trip out on the most beautiful bay to taste oysters fresh from the leases. Also in Port Lincoln you can cage dive with great white sharks for an ultimate thrill. Once you get a better idea of your itinerary let us know on the South Australia forum if you are coming our way and we can offer more suggestions~! In the meantime, have a browse at www.southaustralia.com .. the Eyre Peninsula region is a day drive from Adelaide and has all the places I mentioned above. Also in South Australia you can visit Kangaroo Island for wildlife and Fliders Ranges for a look at our Outback without travelling too far ! Have a great time !

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East Gippsland
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4. Re: First Timers to Australia--any "must sees"

There is such a diversity here spread across the whole country . You need to find some books at the library for all of you to glance through and pick the things that interest you. Brochures from travelagents may help. LOnely Planet Guide or Rough guide books are informative. And have a look at the list here on TA More on Australia 'Things to do"

There is also a fairly recent post here on 10 things TAers must do/have done list.

Usually the route is Reef, Rock and City. . But at that time of year The Rock will be as hot as Chicago will be freezing. . Cairns for the Reef could be wet as it is in the tropics . Cities- Sydney will possibly be already booked out, which leaves Melbourne, Hobart Adelaide or Perth.

Each has its attractions.

Or maybe you don't want cities but would rather do some exploring.

It will take about 10 days to explore Tasmania but could be shorter or longer.

The same for Adelaide/Kangaroo Island . Melbourne/Victoria areas.

south West Western Australia/Perth. If you were doing north of Perth to Broome another 10 days. further north gets you into tropics again and cyclonic weather.

You will need 4 days for Alice Springs/Uluru.

These would be self driving tours.

However one of the TA posts trip reports recently gave us a run down on her flying trip to the Centre which sounds great for a limited time frame.

Sydney and Canberra area another 10 days.

How many young adults have you? or just the 2. What do they want to do?

Catch a wave at Bells Beach, Swim all along the coast with fishes etc. Tramp among the gum trees?

What do you want to do? Catch a cricket match? Go shopping? Look at gardens?

Its mind boggling all the choices.


How many days visit

How many people,

What interests.

What budget.

Self drive, fly/drive or tour coach.

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Victoria, Australia
Gungahlin, Australia
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for Canberra
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5. Re: First Timers to Australia--any "must sees"

As mentioned, the traditional recommendation for a short visit is Sydney-Rock-Reef, but it's not the best time of year for two of those and maybe leaving it a bit late to book the other. So more info from you would be enormously helpful, including whether you are committed to that time of year or have some flexibility?

6. Re: First Timers to Australia--any "must sees"

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