We are in the early stages of planning a 16-day trip to Australia in February 2013. We are a couple in our 50's, avid travelers, interested in scenery, vistas and natural beauty. Our priorities for this tour would be :
1. Great Barrier Reef : Planning to fly to Cairns, and possibly stay at Port Douglas for this. Should we also include Whitsundays ? How many days ?
2. Ayers Rock : Must see. What other attractions should we combine with this if we plan to fly to Ayers Rock ?
3. Great Ocean Drive : Plan to visit Melbourne, and rent a car for 2-3 days for driving on the Great Ocean road, staying at places on the route.
4. Sydney : Would like to see this iconic city, plus Blue Mountains for a day.
Not too interested in theme parks of the Gold Coast. The trip will probably have to start in Sydney and end in Melbourne (or vice versa), as international flight connections are best from these cities. We plan on using flights for internal travel in Australia. Can rent car for Great Ocean Drive, or anywhere for local driving if required.
Nothing is set as yet. Just to kickstart suggestions, here is a possible itinerary :
Day 1 : Arrive in Sydney in evening
Day 2, 3, 4 : Sightseeing in Sydney, including Blue Mountains
Day 5 : Fly to Cairns, drive to Port Douglas.
Day 5, 6, 7, 8 : Great Barrier Reef; should we include Whitsundays here ? What activities ?
Day 9 : Fly to Ayers Rock
Day 9, 10, 11 : Activities at Uluru and nearby
Day 12 : Fly to Melbourne
Day 13, 14, 15, 16 : Melbourne plus Great Ocean Drive.
Day 17 : Fly back home.
Please give suggestions on itinerary. Suggestions on activities at GBR, Whitsundays (to include ??), Uluru would be most appreciated.