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Two Twenty something 8/9 day Ideal Australia Trip

Los Angeles...
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Two Twenty something 8/9 day Ideal Australia Trip

Hi,

My sister and I are planning a trip to Australia at the end of October early November. We are hoping to leave LAX on Wednesday night and arrive in Sydney Friday morning and leave Sydney the following Sunday. We were thinking of doing all the major tourist things in Sydney (Bridge climb, Opera House, Harbour, etc) and take the plane to Cairns/Port Douglas - we want to see the rainforest and great barrier reef.

Our predicament is where to stay, how long to stay in each place and the order in which we do it. We don't want to rent a car and don't stay in motels. We were looking into the Marriott Sydney Harbour . Do you have any recommendations on Hotels in Sydney that are centrally located? We are big on nightlife too.

Also, in Port Douglas is there an idea location to stay? We want to be able to walk to a bar or dinner at night and be able to take a tour to the GBR and Rainforest from the hotel. We love to snorkel and lay out on the beach, and could not leave Cairns without visiting the rainforest.

Is it a good idea to not have a rental car, or should we consider getting one? We were planning on taking taxis everywhere. Not sure of the cost.

Does anyone recommend adding another stop in our trip instead of splitting it just between Sydney and Cairns?

We have never been to Australia, and most likely will never return so we want to make sure we get a great Australian experience.

Gungahlin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Canberra
Level Contributor
15,492 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: Two Twenty something 8/9 day Ideal Australia Trip

Hi. I found your query on page 2, it might not mean anything at all but I'm sort of feeling Sydney-Cairns Draft Itinerary might have been a more encouraging title. Because you have the beginnings of a draft itinerary, which is great, and you have no idea how many queries amount to little more than *where shud we go, we are interested in sightseeing*. Argh! YOU know what you want, you just need a little help putting it all together, we love that!

Okay, I'll make a few preliminary comments, though there are better people to advise on the specifics.

8/9 days, I'd be really reluctant to try to add a third destination. Keep in mind you can get a fair bit of variety by doing day trips from your main destination, and you'll see a bit more scenery than you will waiting in yet another airport. The typical third destination is Uluru if people have at least two weeks.

In Sydney you don't need a car, driving is a hassle, parking is expensive, walking is easy and there's plenty of public transport. Cairns/Port Douglas, I'm not sure but a car *might* be somewhat useful there? Were you concerned about budget or driving on the left or what? On the other hand we have strict rules about driving when over the limit so given your interest in nightlife and inexperience in driving on the left you might find it easier and more relaxing to not bother renting a car there either, just pick a handy convenient location to stay.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
Level Contributor
25,754 posts
65 reviews
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2. Re: Two Twenty something 8/9 day Ideal Australia Trip

Wonderful advice from MacKnee.

I'm only going to chat about your hotel consideration in Sydney. You've mentioned you're considering the Sydney Harbour Marriott? I'm wondering what were your criteria's in selecting this property?

The Sydney Harbour Marriott is a good property, and it's greatest strength is it's location, and it's proximity to the harbour areas/attractions such as Circular Quay, The Rocks, Opera House and the Bridge. However, if you are selecting this hotel on the basis of a 'view' it's not the best, as the hotel design prevents a clear view of the harbour. So if that is your priority, there are many others.

In addition, if you weren't considering the hotel for the view, you may wish to consider a property a little further from Circular Quay, as the rates maybe slightly lower and it's still within easy walking distance. Do you have a predetermined nightly budget for your accommodation?

Los Angeles...
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3. Re: Two Twenty something 8/9 day Ideal Australia Trip

Thanks for the advice Macknee. This is my first TripAdvisor post, so I was a little unsure on how to go about it. Our main concern was spending tons on taxis when we could have saved on a rental car, or it would have been easier to get around with a rental car. In Los Angeles there is so much to see that public transportation isn't used as frequently, so I wasn't sure in Sydney would be the same way. Will stick to public transportation.

KVE1005 we were thinking the Marriott based on its location and hotel quality, it was a little more then what we want to spend, coming in at under $400. The view isn't out main concern, so if you have a recommendation on a hotel that is of the same standards of the Marriott but a little further walking we are fine with that. We just want to be in close proximity to all the attractions, we were thinking in the $180-$300 range, but of course the cheaper the better as long as quality isn't sacrificed.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
Level Contributor
25,754 posts
65 reviews
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4. Re: Two Twenty something 8/9 day Ideal Australia Trip

Hi,

Just need more specifics.

You've mentioned "under" $400, then stated $180-300, so there's a gap of $100/night difference in the two thinks you've said.

Also across that travel duration (end October to early November), your exact dates and whether you stay over Friday or Saturday nights, will make a huge difference.

Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
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4,522 posts
50 reviews
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5. Re: Two Twenty something 8/9 day Ideal Australia Trip

I'm only going to answer the question about whether you should try to add another location - and the answer is a big no. You will find lots to do in your chosen locations for the time you have and don't need to waste any more in airports.

Have a great trip.

6. Re: Two Twenty something 8/9 day Ideal Australia Trip

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