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Limited time and want to do it all!

Austin, Texas
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Limited time and want to do it all!

I’m planning a trip to Australia- two adults/2 children. We don’t have too many days and can travel to Australia from US on July 1-3. I must be in Melbourne on July 9th and from Melbourne fly home on July 13th. I would love to get in some sights- like snorkel the Great Barrier Reef—is it doable? Will it be too cold? Would you suggest flying into Carnes—for how many days—then what do I have time to do next? Fly or drive other places--Brisbane? Sidney? Adelainde? What do I have time to do before Melbourne… I wish I had more time—everything looks beautiful. I’m on a budget but willing to charge up the cards for must do activities/places? Thanks in advance for your help (the more I read the more I want to do)

Darwin, Australia
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1. Re: Limited time and want to do it all!

ok , so you want to do GBR . I would take 4 days in the area inlcuding Daintree rainforest so you maximise the time in the area rather than hop around to many places which wastes money and time in planes.

It is probably more helpful if you list what the other things are that you really liked rather than us guessing- and then people can help you work them into a plan with you.

You will need to fly everywhere. For some perspective it takes 3.5 hours to fly to Cairns from Sydney. The distances are vast.

Edited: 29 April 2014, 07:31
Austin, Texas
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2. Re: Limited time and want to do it all!

Thank You! I was looking at your list of top 10 must sees and there are so many--- I like the idea of GBR and the Rainforest, in Carnes for the first 4 days, then I guess either Adelaide and Kangaroo Island and/or Sydney, then Melbourne. Is that too much to cover- is one able to drive from Adelaide to Melbourne?

Darwin, Australia
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3. Re: Limited time and want to do it all!

So if you arrived on 1 July, spent 1-5 July in Cairns (4 days not counting the day you arrive as that is likely to be a write off) that only gives you four days until you need to be in Melbourne.

Therefore you could do

- Adelaide/Kangaroo Is; or

- Sydney; or

- Drive Adelaide to Melbourne via the Great Ocean Road.

There is not enough time to do more than one of these (unless you just did the Great Ocean Rd section of the drive over a couple of days during your time in Melb). Which one to choose depends very much on your interests. Do you want a city experience, wildlife, scenery, adventure etc.

Also where are you flying into? For example if you fly into Syd and want to spend some time there you would be best to do that first, then Cairns, then fly direct Cairns to Melb.

So many options I can see why you are confused :)

gk
Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: Limited time and want to do it all!

I'd do Sydney/Blue Mountains for 4 days first, as your US flight will probably route through there anyway. Then I'd stick with Cairns for 4 days (yes, you can snorkel in July!), then Melbourne (you can fly direct from Cairns to Melbourne). From Melbourne with your days free you could do the Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island (penguins). I would stick to the east coast and save Uluru and Adelaide/Kangaroo Island for a return trip. :)

Keep in mind you usually lose a day on the flight over (if you leave the US in the late evening on July 1, you'll arrive here July 3), but gain that on the way back with the international date line.

Arlington, Virginia
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5. Re: Limited time and want to do it all!

You've got time for 3 destinations at most and I would not attempt any more than that or you will find yourself spending your Australian vacation in Australian airports and Australian airspace.

Having to be in Melbourne on July 9th presents a problem with an itinerary because it only gives you from July 3rd (when you'd arrive in Australia if you depart the U.S. on July 1st) through July 8th for any other destination(s). (Can you arrive in Melbourne late on July 9th or do you have to be there first thing in the morning?)

I see two possible options:

1. Fly to Cairns from the U.S. You will likely be routed through Sydney or Brisbane, but make Cairns your final destination when booking our outward flight. It's a nice place to relax and recover from your long overseas flight. Stay in Cairns from July 3rd until late on July 6th. Depart Cairns for Sydney late on July 6th and stay, preferably, until late on July 9th when you would fly to Melbourne.

2. Choose either Cairns or Sydney and spend July 3rd - July 9th in just one location. Sydney is a fabulous city, but since you have to be in Melbourne anyway, I would recommend you spend those 6 -7 days just in Cairns/Port Douglas. July is an excellent time of year to be in the GBR region and there's more than enough to keep you occupied until you depart for Melbourne. If I were doing this trip and had your time constraints, I would choose this option and spend the first week of my trip in Port Douglas followed by the required time in Melbourne.

Austin, Texas
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6. Re: Limited time and want to do it all!

Thank you all for this wonderful information! I'll look into the late night arrival in Melbourne, and the other options of flying into Sydney first. I'm ready to start planning. -So much to think about, but so excited! Thanks!

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Limited time and want to do it all!

Hi,

I also agree with Longhorn's itinerary primary because of your commitment to Melbourne on the 9th. Also July is our winter & the weather will be lovely in Nth Queensland. Melbourne & Sydney will be cold.

With your time you would be best suited to 3 destinations. However; IMO it would be pity to miss Uluru as it can easily be seen as a detour for one day when flying to or from Cairns.

Happy Planning !

Edited: 30 April 2014, 01:15
8. Re: Limited time and want to do it all!

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