We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Lone Traveller Itinerary Advice

Farnham, United...
Level Contributor
160 posts
24 reviews
Save Topic
Lone Traveller Itinerary Advice

Hello all,

I'll be travelling on my own to Australia next year, staying in Hotels and apartments, don't think backpacking is for me.

I also don't drive, so won't be able to hire a car unfortunately.

I booked my flights a couple of weeks ago, flying into Melbourne on the 11th of March and out of Brisbane on the 28th March 2015.

For the first 5 nights (11th-16th) I'm staying in Melbourne to see the Australian Grand Prix and the final week 21st-28th I'm staying with family in Sydney.

The quandary I have is how to fill the 5 nights (16th-21st) of my holiday I have remaining? My original plan was to fly to Cairns and stay for 3 nights, seeing the Great Barrier Reef and all the attractions and then flying to Ayer's Rock (Uluru) to see the sights there before flying back to Sydney to visit my family in Sydney…does this sound like a good itinerary?

My only reservation with that itinerary is that maybe I'd be spending too long in each location. My Plan 'B' would be to spend 1 night in Adelaide, fly to Cairns and spend 2 nights there and then spend 1 night in Uluru before flying to Sydney?

Also, will all these places be easy to get around and readily accessable for someone that doesn't drive? I'm quite into cycling so could cycle to some places if the distance is relatively short?

Thank you very much in advance for any replies.

Tom.

Edited: 20 July 2014, 01:10
Sydney
Level Contributor
1,201 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Lone Traveller Itinerary Advice

Hi, Tom

I think 3 days is the minimum to see Cairns and surrounds. Barrier Reef and Daintree are all full day excursions. You may also be interested in Kuranda and a score of other places. 2 days/nights for Uluru, at least.

Note there are limited flights, usually only 1 per day between these places - and this may affect your decision.

Have fun in our country

Fort Lauderdale...
Level Contributor
8 posts
135 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Lone Traveller Itinerary Advice

Hey Tom,

We just returned from a fascinating trip around Australia. We choose not to drive on the wrong side of the road (ha-ha), so like you, we were without a car. We also enjoy comfortable accommodations. With those similarities, you might enjoy what we did.

Fly to Cairns, stay at a hotel like the Hilton and book a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef. Ours included a stop at Green Island. (See my reviews),

Instead of the usual scenic train and sky rail to see the Daintree Rainforest, we stayed at Silky Oaks Lodge on the Mossman River for two nights. A little tricky without a car, but, we arranged a shuttle to Port Douglas from Hilton and the Lodge picked us up and dropped us back. The shuttle dropped us at the Cairns airport for our flight to Darwin.

We had five nights in Darwin at the Double Tree Hotel. We arranged for day tours of the nearby National Parks. Probably would have booked overnight tour to Kakadu. It is a long way from Darwin. There are several tour companies with a good variety of tours.

From Darwin, we took the Ghan Train to Alice Springs. We purchased Great Southern Rail passes which include the Red Day-Night Seats. Perfectly comfortable for the 24 hour ride. Sleeping was comfortable enough. Don't recommend this for your reduced time.

We stayed at the Alice Springs Double Tree for one night on each side of our 3-Day, 2-Night camping safari to the Red Center. I strongly recommend this type of tour. They pick up at the Ayer's Rock airport which might work well for you. You won't miss anything by avoiding Alice Springs. They did all the driving, cooking, and guiding and keeping us on schedule to see everything. We were able to see Uluru, Kata, and Kings Canyon, enjoy sunrise and sunset viewing, all hassle free. All the hype about the Red Center is not an exaggeration...it's worth the effort and expense.

After this, we got back on the Ghan for another 24 hour ride to Adelaide. We had four nights at the Hilton. We booked a one day tour to Kangaroo Island...absolutely wonderful experience. Wished we could have stayed there overnight.

Finally, we took the Indian-Pacific train back to Sydney. We flew home from Sydney.

Hope this helps.

Georgi

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
5,835 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Lone Traveller Itinerary Advice

I'd drop Adelaide if you're just going to add it as a "one more place" option.

You can easily spend a week in FNQ ( Far North Queensland). As well as the Reef, there is tropical rainforest and the Atherton Tablelands to give you a glimpse of farming, grazing & more.

Take a trip with Alan Gillanders & see some of our fantastic flora & fauna.

http://www.alanswildlifetours.com.au/

Google Far North Queensland for some inspiration - and you can download the App.

queenslandholidays.com.au/iphone-landing.cfm…

your idea to fly Cairns to Uluru (Ayers Rock) - Melbourne is good. Plenty to occupy you there for a couple of days. Go to the Cultural Centre at Yulara first. The info, interactive displays & artefacts will be a really useful & interesting introduction to the area & people.

Personally, I think Alice Springs is well worth a couple of days too. I've been there twice, once for a fortnight, and would happily spend another week wandering around.

It's about 450kms and I think there are transfers. If you could get a one-way on a tour that takes in Kings Canyon, that would be really good.

I know you don't drive, but there's a very good hop on-hop off jeep you can use and you could probably hire a bicycle in Alice Springs.

And fly Alice Springs-Melbourne.

m.australia.com//About/Page/11995…

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
5,835 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Lone Traveller Itinerary Advice

Sorry, my edit didn't quite work out.

What I meant was fly Melbourne - Alice Springs ( then either take land transfer/tour or fly to Uluru) then Uluru - Cairns & finally fly back to Brisbane to take your flight home.

Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
Level Contributor
4,461 posts
50 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Lone Traveller Itinerary Advice

I think Cairns and Uluru is plenty to fill five days, in fact I would say that is the minimum time to do these two places. Keep in mind you will lose half a day travelling each time you change locations.

Personally I would fly into and out of Uluru and skip Alice Springs with your timeframe.

One night in Adelaide would be just wasted time (no reflection on Adelaide - just not enough time to travel and actually see anything).

Edited: 20 July 2014, 05:43
Farnham, United...
Level Contributor
160 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Lone Traveller Itinerary Advice

Thank you all very much for the replies.

After reading through them all I think it's probably best to stick with my original plan and stay in Cairns for 3 nights, fly to Uluru and stay 2 nights and then fly to Sydney after that.

I'm embarassed to say I hadn't even heard of the SkyRail/SkyTrain from Cairns to Daintree Rainforest, I would love to stay in a lodge ideally but I just don't have the time unfortunately so the SkyRail/SkyTrain option or the Alan Gillanders tour are probably going to be best for me on that front.

As for the Reef tours, I have a bit of a phobia about swimming in the open ocean, and Jellyfish scare the life out of me, so a tamer all-day glass-bottom boat tour might be a better option for me personally, even if I had a stinger suit on I think I'd still go nuts if one swam near me when I was in the sea.

Tom.

Edited: 21 July 2014, 02:25
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
5,835 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Lone Traveller Itinerary Advice

No need to be embarrassed at all, Tom.

I'm a local, & there's a lot more I don't know about our big beautiful country than that!

Hope you have a great time.

8. Re: Lone Traveller Itinerary Advice

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 22 July 2015, 06:15