It is a big continent so the longer the better. If you really like to snorkel, 3-4 nights up at Cairns or Port Douglas to see the reef and rainforest! It is a 3 hour flight nonstop from Sydney.
In addition to maximizing the amount of time you spend in Australia as Honu suggests, you should think carefully about the time of year you want to visit. There are some places which are best visited in the Australian summer (e.g. Tasmania) and some places which are best visited in the Australian winter (e.g. Uluru, GBR, Darwin). If your group is not tied to a particular vacation schedule, the shoulder seasons may work best.
Also, don't try to cram too much travel into your short time. For a 14-day visit, 3 destination should be your max. For a 10-day visit, don't try to visit more than 2 destinations.Edited: 03 June 2014, 16:16
Thank you for your quick response. We're planning on Feb or March 2015. How about cruises?
How about cruises to Australia?
Hi. Honestly, I would love to make suggestions but please imagine, what if I'm asking you, I'm coming to the US for a week or maybe a bit more, what should I see.
First of all I agree with Honu_OhanaIt that it "is a big continent so the longer the better". So make it a definite 14 days minimum.
The usual advice for a visit of that duration is three destinations, flying between them due to the great distances typically involved.
A classic suggestion in that time is Sydney-Rock-Reef.
▻ Sydney, Australia's largest city, Opera House, Harbour Bridge, museums and galleries, day trip to the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains, etc.
▻ Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, outback, Aboriginal culture, etc.
▻ Reef, largest reef in the world, also depending on where you go to access it from there's islands, rainforest, etc.
Then again there's lots of other options. Melbourne, the second largest city, has a completely different vibe to Sydney and if city attractions are more your thing then it could be a good choice. Canberra is the bush capital, built to a design by the American winners of a competition, a great place to see kangaroos, the War Memorial museum is worth a whole day. Speaking of kangaroos, Kangaroo island is great if you want to see wildlife. The Gold Coast is famed not only for its beaches, nightlife and theme parks, but for its beautiful natural hinterland, the best of both worlds. Tasmania is a great place if you want to do a bit of a road trip and explore the scenery and history. Those are just some of the very worthwhile Aussie destinations to consider.
Have a read of the FAQ on the right of your screen about 'Weather & Seasons'. That's important to understand when deciding when and where to go.
Have a look at the other FAQ's too, and the official tourism website www.australia.com .
Let us know what inspires you, make a wish list, and we'll see what we can do to help you organise it into an itinerary.
Hi againHAWC. I just saw your replies.
It's not necessary to reply individually to each post (I don't know why each post has a reply button, the replies all go to the end of the thread). If you do reply individually could you please say who you are replying to, if there are a lot of posts and a lot of acknowledgements to them it gets very confusing.
>>We're planning on Feb or March 2015. How about cruises?<<
February is very hot and is wet season in the tropical north. March is the start of autumn (fall) and can be variable but is preferable in the south, still wet season in the north though. Have a read of the FAQ I mentioned in my previous post.
A cruise isn't the best way to see Australia although if that is something you enjoy it might be the right choice for you. Suggest you first identify the destinations you are interested in and then see if there's cruise that includes them and allows enough time. I have to say I feel sad when I see posts saying something like *we'll be in Melbourne for a day, how can we visit the city and do a Great Ocean Road tour and see the penguins*. There are things that are just not possible when you arrive in the morning and sail out that evening. At the very least I would say if doing a cruise allow a few days somewhere at either end to enjoy it at a leisurely pace (Sydney? Melbourne?).
I LOVE cruising, but I would never do a cruise in Australia unless I were adding a bunch of days before or after the cruise to see more of the country. If the goal of your trip is to enjoy a cruise and just see a little bit of a few coastal Australian cities, then a 10-day cruise might work fine for you. But if you really want to get to know an area and if you want to experience some of the interior of Australia, then I'd recommend a land-based visit of at least 14 days.
As Macnee says, it's sad when a cruiser wants to see more of a city than is possible on a cruise or a place in Australia that's nowhere near a cruise port.
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