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Advice for Aug holiday destinations!

Shanghai, China
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Advice for Aug holiday destinations!

Hi all, I'm in the process of planning a holiday trip to Aussie to coincide with a friend's wedding in Sydney on 16th Aug. I can probably afford to spend about 7-10 days in all for the trip. I've done a bit of reading up, but Aussie's a big country with lots of choices! So, help for narrowing down to viable options that would be good to combine with Sydney would be very much appreciated.

Our interests:

1) Museums and learning more about the history and culture

2) Catching stage performances, musicals and such

3) Foooooood! Eating and browsing markets

4) Australian wildlife... I really loved visiting the Gorge Wildlife Park in Adelaide, is there a similar one in Sydney? Would Taronga or Featherdale be more similar? I'd love to hold a koala again, and preferably not for an extra fee.

5) Amateur photography, views and vistas

I might consider flying open-jaw if prices are ok. Also, we're trying to keep to a budget for the trip... so unfortunately we can't be flying around everywhere.

Things to note:

1) NO MELBOURNE OR ADELAIDE, PLEASE: For part of the time I might be travelling with 1-2 friends, one of them has already been to Melbourne and Brisbane and would prefer to visit new destinations. I've also seen more or less what I can possibly visit of Melbourne and Adelaide, so I'd also prefer not to go again.

2) NO DRIVING: None of us can drive.

3) NO DIVING: I'd love to see the Great Barrier Reef, but it'll have to be snorkelling if we go, as none of us can dive.

4) NOTHING TOO STRENUOUS: I know we're not old, but I'm not in great physical shape by any shot!

5) NO RAINFOREST STUFF: All 3 of us are originally from Singapore!

6) NO WINTER SPORTS: I don't know about them, but I can't ski or anything like that, and (buying and) bringing extra winter sports gear might be too much for our luggage weight.

Some of my own ideas so far:

1) Great Barrier Reef + Cairns: good time to see the reef in Aug, it seems?

2) Indian Pacific one-way on the Great Southern Rail to Perth: rugged scenery and wildflowers in bloom?

3) Jervis Bay: whale and dolphin season?

4) Canberra: museums, and it's the closest city to Sydney?

5) Kuranda town & Barron Gorge National Park (Cairns daytrip, outbound 0830-1025, inbound 1530-1725)

6) hot-air balloon ride (Cairns sunrise-morning)

Edited: 30 March 2014, 09:58
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1. Re: Advice for Aug holiday destinations!

At that time of year I would head north . Given that three of your own suggestions are around Cairns, this would be the logical choice.

Of course one of the main attractions of Cairns is the rainforest which you say you don't want. I would not dismiss it though as it is quite different to what you find in Singapore.

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2. Re: Advice for Aug holiday destinations!

>>NO WINTER SPORTS: I don't know about them, but I can't ski or anything like that, and (buying and) bringing extra winter sports gear might be too much for our luggage weight.<<

Just for information, you rent almost everything, and some people from warmer climates enjoy visiting the snowfields for the novelty and to enjoy some snowplay, so the main thing is simply that it does not interest you and that is fine.

>>Canberra: museums, and it's the closest city to Sydney?__hot-air balloon ride (Cairns sunrise-morning)<<

Canberra also has hot air ballooning, in fact there are a few places around Australia where you can do it. Be aware it is weather dependent.

I think something to sort out early is whether you want to avoid cold weather or are other factors more significant to you? I would completely agree with the above advice to go north in winter but your interest in museums etc and lack of interest in tropical rainforests makes the decision less clear.

Edited: 30 March 2014, 12:47
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Shanghai, China
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3. Re: Advice for Aug holiday destinations!

Actually MacKnee, I now live in a country which has 4 seasons (not just the hotel), and one of my friends has spent 6 years abroad in places which also have 4 seasons, so snow play isn't a priority. :)

Thanks for the tips about hot-air ballooning in Canberra, I'll read up more about it.

I'm happiest in temperatures of about 10 to 25 degrees Celsius, preferably dry instead of damp or humid. Despite being from South-East Asia, I really don't fancy being sweaty and sticky... yucks! (One major reason why I'm really not keen on going to a rainforest...) Cold is ok as long as I'm prepared with the appropriate clothes, I'm used to anything that's above freezing point, but as I said, most preferable temperature personally is 10 to 25 degrees Celsius.

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4. Re: Advice for Aug holiday destinations!

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