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Itinerary Help for 2 wk trip over X-Mas/New Years

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Itinerary Help for 2 wk trip over X-Mas/New Years

We are two women in our late 20's going to Australia for two weeks over Christmas/New Years. We are looking for a good mix of cities, beaches, and a fun time. We are in the beginning stages of planning our trip and wanted some advice on where and how many days we need in each place. We would like to do as much as possible and hopefully not rush through it as I know everything is super far from each other. Here is what we are thinking:

Sydney- 4 days

Melbourne- 3 days

Cairns/Great Barrier Reef- 2 or 3 days

Ayers Rock/Uluru- 1 or 2 days. Is it really that amazing? We are considering cutting this out because it is just far from everywhere else.

We would like to go to a beach town along the East Coast. We were thinking maybe Byron Bay, Noosa, Gold Coast? We just want to have 2-3 days to just relax and party.

One of us really wants to see/hold Koalas and Kangaroos. Where is the best place to do this?

Also, I am assuming Sydney would be the best place to spend New Years Eve?

Thanks so much!

Gungahlin, Australia
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1. Re: Itinerary Help for 2 wk trip over X-Mas/New Years

3 destinations in 2 weeks is the usual advice. Sydney-Rock-Reef is the classic but If you are doubtful about Uluru and want to add Melbourne AND a beach town as well then definitely drop it. Koalas and kangaroos can be found in zoos, animal parks and/or in the wild in all those regions. Just please do some reading about koalas and make an informed choice about the 'hold a koala' idea. And never feed wild animals food, both for their physical health and so as not to encourage troublesome behavioural changes. In animal parks where you can feed them you will be provided a packet of appropriate food.

Edit: Oh I should add, X-Mas/New Years is wet season at the reef and extremely hot in the outback. It's less than ideal but doable to visit the reef, apparently not recommended to visit the outback. So that probably would confirm your doubts about Uluru.

Edited: 07 May 2014, 02:55
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2. Re: Itinerary Help for 2 wk trip over X-Mas/New Years

Thank you, that was very helpful. How many days do you think we need in Cairns and what beaches are best to go to that time of the year?

Gungahlin, Australia
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3. Re: Itinerary Help for 2 wk trip over X-Mas/New Years

Cairns does not really have a beach. Assuming you want to see the reef as well, check out Port Douglas an hours drive north for beaches and reef trips. Or are you asking about beaches in general?

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4. Re: Itinerary Help for 2 wk trip over X-Mas/New Years

I know Cairns does not have any beaches that's why I was thinking about Byron Bay, Gold Coast, or Noosa.

Gungahlin, Australia
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5. Re: Itinerary Help for 2 wk trip over X-Mas/New Years

Sorry, I wasn't clear.

If you want to visit the reef, there are places to go near Cairns and elsewhere which offer both beaches and trips out to the reef.

The other beaches you list offer different things but no access to the reef.

There are other beaches as well.

It all depends on what exactly you are looking for and how much things like the weather at that time of year and flight connections influence your decision.

Edited: 07 May 2014, 07:39
Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Itinerary Help for 2 wk trip over X-Mas/New Years

Hello

Have you already booked accommodation for NYE in Sydney? I would organise that before you go into too much itinerary planning. That may have a considerable bearing on the sequence of your trip.

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7. Re: Itinerary Help for 2 wk trip over X-Mas/New Years

I have family in Sydney so worst case scenario I can stay with them if need be. At this point I am still trying to figure out which beach town (Noosa, Byron Bay, or Gold Coast) is best to spend 2-3 days as Cairns does not seem like there is any beaches and it is rainy/stinger season. Looking for a mix of gorgeous beach, cool town, and a fun nightlife. Also is 2 days sufficient for Cairns or 3 days better?

Thanks everyone for all your help. So many tough decisions!

Melbourne
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8. Re: Itinerary Help for 2 wk trip over X-Mas/New Years

Noosa, Byron Bay and the Gold Coast all have great beaches. I really don't think you could go wrong with any of them. Personally, I prefer the Gold Coast because there is more to do there away from the beach.

As for seeing koalas and kangaroos, you may see kangaroos in the wild, but koalas are much harder to see and the odds of seeing one in the wild are remote. You could visit the Australia Zoo on the Sunshine coast to see both the koala and kangaroo.

http://www.australiazoo.com.au/

San Diego...
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9. Re: Itinerary Help for 2 wk trip over X-Mas/New Years

Cairns in Dec/Jan is the BEST time of year to see the reef. Flat seas, sunny days, and amazing visibility! Wet Season isn't in full swing till end of Jan/early Feb so don't let it concern you in the least.

Cairns is also a beach town, huge party town, lounge around by the hotel pool or Cairns Lagoon, plus you can feed kangaroos, hold koala bears, see salt and fresh water crocodiles in the wild, and visit the oldest living rainforest on the planet, the Daintree. We really are a one stop shop up here!

10. Re: Itinerary Help for 2 wk trip over X-Mas/New Years

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