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Already excited!

Naperville, Illinois
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85 posts
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Already excited!

We just booked our tickets to Australia! Trip of a lifetime for us. I'm looking forward to perusing the forum while planning. So little time though! Outside of our travel days we will have only 11 days of actual time in Australia. Flying into Cairns and out of Sydney. We are in the process of deciding whether to fly from Cairns to Sydney or drive over a few days stopping at other sites between along the way. Quite expensive to drop off the car in Sydney - but we are a family of four, so it may not be that much of a difference price wise. We are also in the process of figuring out our list of must do's then paring it down. Not really a question right now. Just sharing my excitement!

Melbourne, Australia
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for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
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1. Re: Already excited!

Hi,

With only 11 days in Australia, driving is not an option. You're talking about 2400 odd kms (1500 miles), one way rental, rental cost, insurance and petrol. Definitely fly between the cities, and spend more time at the locations. 11 days will go very quickly.

Melbourne
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2. Re: Already excited!

As KVE said, you won't have the option to drive due to time, it's a similar distance as driving from Chicago to Las Vegas to give you a reference.

With 11 days you could either split it over Cairns and Sydney and have the time to really explore the areas, or add a 3rd location like the Red Center and do maybe 4 days Cairns, 3 days Red Center and 4 days Sydney.

What time of year are you coming, that will probably impact where you could go due to the extreme heat of our Summer in some areas and it being Cyclone and stinger season up north.

Darwin, Australia
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for Darwin
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3. Re: Already excited!

how exciting for you! Agree with KVE -dont do the long drive. it will really waste a lot of quality time you could have elsewhere. Self drive in the locations you choose.

If you book flights early enough you can get good deals.

check out

qantas

virgin australia

jetstar australia

for your internal flights

Naperville, Illinois
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85 posts
35 reviews
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4. Re: Already excited!

We will be there end of March 2015. At least we have time to watch airfares for a good rate. What might be the lowest I could look for from Cairns to Sydney? I did see a low $89 from Tigerair but the reviews I've read of them made me nervous. So far our list includes a couple days on the reef (maybe doing a liveaboard overnight), Daintree, Cape Tribulation, hubby is wondering about Whitsundays. Sydney opera house, maybe ferry to Manly, Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley.

Darwin, Australia
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for Darwin
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5. Re: Already excited!

I would book more with Qantas/Virgin or Jetstar . Yes , you can get some cheap flights like that Tiger air- but I would bet on paying more even on special. Its a 3 hour flight so keep that in mind as well.

I think two locations would be better for you.

I would suggest 6 days in Sydney including 2 days trips

5 days in Cairns - maybe stay in Port Douglas and do your trips out of there.

To get to Whitsundays from Cairns you would either drive ( 8 hours no stops) or fly from Cairns to Hamilton Island , costs maybe anywhere from $300 + per person. but its only a short flight.

Gungahlin, Australia
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for Canberra
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6. Re: Already excited!

March is the wet season in the tropical north, you might want to research the implications of that.

Are you wine buffs or is the Hunter Valley on your list simply because it is a well-known Sydney day trip?

Darwin, Australia
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for Darwin
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7. Re: Already excited!

Another vote for flying. You can sign up on most of the airline websites to get alerted when sales are on. Jetstar also has a Friday Frenzy sale every Friday afternoon (Aus time) where they have cheap tickets on limited routes.

Naperville, Illinois
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85 posts
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8. Re: Already excited!

ShazDwn - thanks for the info on the Friday Frenzy sales - I will watch those for the route we want.

MacKnee - Thanks - we did see that it will be wet season up there, but we are limited as to when we can take the trip and we could not possibly visit Australia without attempting to visit the GBR. We will have to take our chances with weather and hope that we will be able to get out to GBR and have some nice visibility and wear stinger suits. If our next winter is anything like the one we just went through we will welcome the heat and humidity! It will probably take the entire trip to thaw out! We will make the best of what mother nature sends our way. I did read that March is a good time to visit Daintree.

Edinburgh
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9. Re: Already excited!

Yes it's wet and very humid I March (both my visits were that time of year because of work) but you can still go to the reef and enjoy the surrounding area. I still made it to the Daintree and Cape tribulation!, scenic rail to Kuranda and out to Green island (even managed to get sunstroke and sunburned despite the midday deluge). I agree with the others though, that area is more pleasant at other times of the year.

Naperville, Illinois
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85 posts
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10. Re: Already excited!

Oh, and I also forgot to say McKnee that we do enjoy taking wine tours, so that is why we are interested in Hunter Valley