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Help...17 day in Australia but don't know what to do?

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Help...17 day in Australia but don't know what to do?

We are arriving in Sydney from Calgary, Alberta Canada on December 22. Since it is Christmas I booked us a hotel in Sydney from 22-26 already but the rest I am trying to figure out. We would also be back in Sydney for our flight out on January 6 (flight at noon on the 7th).

First there are 3 of us. Husband and adult daughter child.

We want to see and do as much as we can within our timeline.

We are movers and shaker type people.

Currently the Must Do's for our trip are (minus Sydney) Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, Hold a Koala and a trip to the Outback.

I was thinking the following as a loose itiniary:

Dec 22-26 - Sydney

Fly to Brisbane Dec 26 - 30

Fly to Cairns Dec 30 - 2

Fly to Melbourne Jan 2 - 6

Fly to Sydney Jan 6

Fly home Jan 7

Can someone help?

1. Does this time line/places to fly in/out make sense?

2. Once in Brisbane/Cairns are there tours that will take us to Fraser Island/Great Barrier Reef?

3. May be dumb question but I really know little about Australia...Where do you book trip to head into the Outback? I need to also see a kangaroo in the wild?

4. Christmas in Sydney...what does one do? I heard Bondi beach? Will we be able to get food at the beach for lunch and what about dinner out somewhere (nothing fancy)?

Appreciate any help!

Shari

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1. Re: Help...17 day in Australia but don't know what to do?

not sure about mover and shaker

all you will be is frequent flyers

only have time for Sydney, Cairns and Ayers Rock

you have only listed east coast which is not outback

Fraser Island isn't in/at/near Brisbane

you would have to miss either Melbourne or Brisbane

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2. Re: Help...17 day in Australia but don't know what to do?

You've posted on the Australian Capital Territory forum and you want to see kangaroos in the wild, I got all excited and thought we can help with that!!!!! But I don't think you actually want to visit our region :-(

Okay, my first thought is since you won't be in Sydney for NYE why come in December at all? It's the hottest busiest expensivest yuckiest time everywhere, and throw in the wet season in the tropics where the reef is, so unless you have a specific reason to visit then I reckon you could do better.

Your basic intention accords with our favourite basic recommendation, that is Sydney-Rock-Reef.

Sydney (+ Blue Mountains day trip?)

Rock = Uluru, which gives you the outback

Reef, accessible from Whitsundays or Cairns regions. If going to Cairns you can choose between staying in the city of Cairns or in Port Douglas a little further north. There are boats that go out to the reef. The rainforest is another major drawcard of the region.

Plus you would like to visit Fraser Island.

If you are trying to squeeze in Melbourne and Brisbane simply as more well-known cities I would think twice in your timeframe.

I suggest you go into the forums for each region and do some reading of the Top Questions and Trip Reports to get a feel for what's available, and then since your query covers multiple regions/states re-post in the Australia forum, with a link to the new thread on this thread so people can see the discussion has moved elsewhere because multiple overlapping threads get too confusing and might discourage replies.

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3. Re: Help...17 day in Australia but don't know what to do?

If you are only going to Brisbane for Fraser Island then I'd reasses and fly directly to Hervey Bay instead, as Fraser Island is 4-5 hours north by car. It's not something you can do as a day trip from Brisbane.

As Macknee said, December is hot hot hot everywhere, and wet wet wet north of Brisbane. It's also our summer holiday period so lots of families on holidays and more expensive accomodation as a result. If its the only time of year you can come though you can still have a great time, you just need to be a bit more flexible with plans to accommodate for weather.

If you want to visit the outback, you need to travel to that region, as it is the central part if Australia, not a day trip distance from the coast. Uluru is a popular destination, and you can experience the Australian desert. 2 days in suffice to experience it, and you can fly direct from Sydney.

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4. Re: Help...17 day in Australia but don't know what to do?

thank you for all the messages. Sorry if I posted in the wrong spot. I have never posted a comment before and really was unsure of how or where to post.

Movers and shakers just means we like to be active and see things not sit around.

By the comments looks like I need to drop one place and yes with our timeline unfortunatley we can only do the eastern coast.

We have to travel at this time as my husband is a teacher and my daughter is in University so we need to go during their schedules. The other option is our summer (July/August) but that is your winter so wasn't advisable. We are not concerned about the hot as we will be leaving -20/-30 degrees celsius here! We are spending Christmas in Sydney and not sure where we will be yet for NYE. Any suggestions other than Sydney?

Thanks for the tip re: fraser island. How far is it from Cairns? We will likely go to Brisbane as my daughter wants to go to Steve Irwin's zoo.

Perhaps we won't be making the outback a must do?

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5. Re: Help...17 day in Australia but don't know what to do?

>>The other option is our summer (July/August) but that is your winter so wasn't advisable.<<

That depends on where in the country you want to go. Our winter is good for the tropical north and the outback. It's like North Americans going to Florida or the Caribbean I suppose? And while it's winter in Sydney, the climate isn't as severe as northern North America so you might not mind it too much. There's a section on climate in the Top Questions on the right (which shows Sydney's mean daytime temp in the coldest months as about 16℃).

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6. Re: Help...17 day in Australia but don't know what to do?

Based on your stated interests, going to Australia in their winter months (June, July, August) makes a lot of sense. The weather in Far North Queensland (Great Barrier Reef) is great at that time of year--similar to Florida and the Caribbean as MacKnee notes. It's also a good time to visit Uluru because, while the evenings are chilly, the days are lovely. Also--no flies! And Sydney can be great in the winter months. We've been there in July and August and it often feels like springtime on the East Coast of the U.S. (where I live). Winter in Sydney is nothing like winter in Calgary. So, if you can arrange for more time in June-August, that's when I'd go to Australia! (And I often have.)

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7. Re: Help...17 day in Australia but don't know what to do?

We are already booked so timing as to when we go isn't my questions. I'm looking for what we can do in our time frame and where to go?

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8. Re: Help...17 day in Australia but don't know what to do?

So it's about 2 weeks? That's three destinations, as I said your interests seem to fit the classic Sydney-Rock-Reef. The time of year is the problem. If you are prepared for the heat and humidity and possibility of weather affecting your plans and you are keen on the reef then keep that, I found it already rather uncomfortable in October but I've seen some people say it's particularly beautiful in the wet season. I'm not so sure about the outback, apparently the heat and the flies are awful. But best thing is to read up on those areas and get a few more opinions and then decide for yourselves if the conditions in Dec/Jan are a dealbreaker for *you*, different things bother different people more. Have a browse of the info in the Top Questions and then re-post on the Australia forum, including everything already covered, all relevant info and any new thoughts or ideas, so that people don't have to guess or ask questions again.

Edited: 13 September 2013, 01:17
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9. Re: Help...17 day in Australia but don't know what to do?

Just another thought, what was it you were thinking re the outback? You could maybe post a thread asking about 'Outback destination suitable for January' and give some details about what you want, eg rural and Aboriginal culture or native wildlife or stark remote scenery or whatever it is you envisaged. Someone might have some alternative suggestions for you.

Or if not Uluru or some other destination in the outback then you could make Fraser Island or Melbourne your third destination.

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10. Re: Help...17 day in Australia but don't know what to do?

As MacKnee says, the classic City, Rock, Reef tour would fit well into the number of days you will be in Australia. If you prefer not to subject yourself to the heat and flies around Uluru, you could substitute "the bush" for "the Outback" and visit Canberra, the Bush Capital. Canberra is surrounded by the bush and you can do lots of hiking and see lots of wildlife in Namadgi National Park and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. In fact, I can guarantee you'll see hundreds of kangaroos in the wild on the Yankee Hat Hike in Namadgi. You can also see some Aboriginal rock art on the Yankee Hat Hike, something you might not get a chance to see elsewhere on your trip. Here's a good description of this hike (one of my favorites, BTW) from ACTRegular who did this hike a few months ago:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g255056-i916-k6434…

Canberra is a lovely city with some great museums (most of them free), so you could easily find plenty to do here for several days.

http://www.visitcanberra.com.au/

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