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A family trip to Australia

Ra'anana, Israel
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A family trip to Australia

Hello all,

We are a family with 2 teenagers (12,13 in the summer of 2011).

We are planning to tour Australia and we have net of 32 days in the country.

Due to lack of time and season, we decided to have the following itinerary and I would appreciate your knowledge and experience.

It is NOT a backpacking trip, we are going to use a rental car and flights and we are NOT interested in laying around on the beach (no offence).

Please give us your honest opinion:

24/7/2011 early morning international arrival to Brisbane.

24-27/7 Theme park

27/7 starting North. We thought to cover Brisbane-Cape Tribulation in 17 days.

What is a must????

11/8 (flexible) a flight to Darwin

12/8-22/8 10 days to cover the 2000km betwin Darwin and Uluru

Is it feasible or should we take a day or 2 from the coast

On the way the parks, Alice, Kings Canyon and of course Ayres Rock

22/8 afternoon flight to Sydney

23-24 Sydney

25/8 International flight.

We are a very well travelled family so long drives don't bother us.

How does it look like????

Many thanks


Destination Expert
for Adelaide, South Australia, Kangaroo Island
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1. Re: A family trip to Australia

Musts? well without knowing a little more it's hard to recommend... you are travelling a beautiful coast yet don't want to "lay on a beach" something that most people come to do... Do you want to experience our culture or keep to the touristy places? do your children snorkel or dive? do you want to see our animals or not? do you want to travel inland or stick to the coast? so many questions which it would be helpful to have the answer to.

In a nutshell there are so many experiences to discover between Brisbane and Cairns that its hard to know where to start. My teenagers love to go jet skiing and snorkelling but that often involves hanging around beaches .....

One can go ballooning, waterskiing, Theme-Parking.. (more than one theme park in Qld !.. you could spend the entire time just doing that type of thing) fishing, sailing, horse riding.. four wheel driving... jungle surfing, quad biking... etc etc... but I can't recommend anything without knowing if your kids are adventurous or the type who prefer to just walk around and look at things ....

Others who have driven the NT circuit (Darwin/Alice/Uluru) can comment on that leg of the trip but personally its the last thing I'd be looking to do during an Australian summer.

If you were travelling at any other time of year I'd say its a good itinerary but if you've never experienced Uluru or the Centre of Australia during summer you may not be prepared for what you find. I would definitely do more research as some say that summer is not the ideal time to travel FNQ and NT generally speaking.

I found myself in Uluru (we dont call it Ayers Rock) in February and it was hell on earth... and I'm a local :) It was far too hot to do anything other than sit and look from the comfort of an air conditioned car.. you can see the same things in photographs.. In retrospect I'd have been better advised to go at another time of year but I had no choice for that particular trip.

I haven't been to Darwin in Summer but some have said on this forum that it's not the ideal time to make the most of this region

I am sure other people will post with their opinions on this.. I can only say that if I were travelling to Australia in Summer I'd perhaps think about heading more south than north within the continent.

Ra'anana, Israel
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56 posts
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2. Re: A family trip to Australia


Thanks for the reply.

we are coming to see Australia and the unique things there thus eventhough we like the beach, this is not our main goal. Besides, as I mentioned, our trip will be during July and August so it's your winter .

Our kids snorkel (we don't dive) and we will spend some time snorkelling.

Uluru is perfect for this season as far as I read.

What I really wanted to get a feedback on is if it is feasible to do our itinerary in the time frame I've illustrated



Arlington, Virginia
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for Arlington
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3. Re: A family trip to Australia

I believe that Yachtgal read "summer" and did not focus on the dates which you gave which are in the Australian winter (July -August). Those months are actually the best time to be in the Top End (Darwin and the environs) and a very good time to be at Uluru as well.

I have never made the drive from Darwin to Uluru, so I'm not sure how much time it will take. However, I have spent a bit of time in the Top End (with teens) and I would plan on at least a week seeing Darwin, Kakadu, Litchfield and Katherine. I have also been to the area around Uluru a couple of times (again with teens) and I would plan for a minimum of 6 -7 days to see Uluru/Kata Tjuta, Kings Canyon and Alice Springs.

East Gippsland
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4. Re: A family trip to Australia

Yes, 'yachtgirl' read the season the wrong way. Your dates are a Great time to travel the northern end of Australia.

Timewise for your drives take a few days off the Brisbane /Cape Trib drive.

You may even find you can take a day off the theme parks- depending a bit on the jet lag and what the children have in mind.

The 14 days suggested by 'longhorn' sounds OK. There used to be a flight from Katherine to Alice Springs . If that is still running it would give you a couple of days extra to spend around the sites.

Destination Expert
for Adelaide, South Australia, Kangaroo Island
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5. Re: A family trip to Australia

Apologies. :) I did read Summer and didnt take notice of the exact months.. ! of course that means that you will be seeing those places at optimum time which is fantastic.

Is your itinerary feasible. Yes.. but there is a lot of time travelling by car which it seems you are prepared to do. Re what to do? I recommend taking a trip to the reef as a must either from Cairns or Port Douglas. Take the trip up the mountain to Kuranda either by skyrail or train or both. You can spend the day jet skiing at Palm cove and If you have teens you might like to spend one day at a theme park and the other in Gold Cost or Noosa area.

Austrralia zoo is another popular place for families and would tick the box to see most Australian animals (and non-native animals!) so that would be a must I think

I think your itinerary will work well if you all can travel happily in the car together.

Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: A family trip to Australia

yes, your timing is perfect to visit the northern parts of Australia.

Actually Lone pine Sanctuary has been receiving far better reviews than Australia Zoo in recent years and it is a great way to interact with Australian widlife at a reasonable price. If you are flying into Brisbane I would consider spending a night to visit it :-


You will get a lot of advice about different things to see and do enroute from Brisbane to Cape Trib. Our children are of a similar age ( one boy, one girl) and these are the things they like the most,for what its worth...

Moreton Bay Island - North Stardbroke and Moreton

Sunshine Coast - especially Noosa and Mooloolaba, although they also LOVE Twin Waters resort which is a teenage haven with numerous outdoor activities....

Fraser Island

Town of 1770/Agnes waters - and as such, access to fabulous snorkelling on Lady Elliott & Heron Islands

The Whitsundays - especially Airlie Beach & Hamilton Island

Mackay region - especially Eungella National Park

Townsville - especially Magnetic Island and the freshwater creeks/falls in the area such as Paluma, Crystal & Alligator Creeks. Walking up Castle Hill.

Mission Beach - spotting the endangered Cassowary. Nearby Josephine Falls.

Cairns - various, they love the Skyrail & the Atherton Tablelands. Even a day trip to Green Island is fun. Northern Beaches, especially Palm Cove or their Nan's house at Kewarra.

Port Douglas/Mossman/Cape Trib....

You will have a great trip !

Edited: 06 October 2010, 05:19
7. Re: A family trip to Australia

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