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Planning family trip to Australia. I've just started doing...

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Planning family trip to Australia. I've just started doing...

We are 2 families with a total of 4 kids ranging in age from 3 to 11 y/o. We'd like to spend 1 week in Australia. We're thinking 3 days Sydney and 4 days Cairn. What would be the best sites to book a vacation package? What are the must-see areas? Any recs on lodging? We prefer a place with a kitchen and something moderately priced. Any tips is much appreciated!

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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1. Re: Planning family trip to Australia. I've just started doing...

I'll take each question at a time.

Can't recommend particular sites to book a package...

Next answer..Sydney...Must see harbour Bridge (adults can do bridge climb) children can't so provided no one minds steps go up the SE Pylon. Great view of the harbour but not as good as the walk.

Opera House..wouldn't do an internal tour with the children..too many steps and talking...

Zoo..take a trip across the Harbour to the Zoo. Buy family Zoo Passes for any family with two children over four ;) from the ferry terminal (3 yo is free so for these two adults just buy adult Zoo passes). Catch the cbale car up to the entrance...sit facing to the rear and enjoy the view. Work your way down the hill, have lunch (you can bring prepacked if you like) either at the Free Flight Birds..or in one of the great locations with stunning views of HB and OH.

The other good place to visit will be the Aquarium...but if you're going to Cairns this is something you might give a miss if the 3yo snorkels (mine did!) Fantastic Barrier reef display...make this visit late afternoon...so all the school excursions have left if you happen to be there on a weekday.

Other good things for the kids include ferry trips around the harbour (over to Manly ...give Oceanworld a miss..not as good as main aquarium).

A great lunch option although often very crowded is the Pyrmont fish markets..just ashort walk from Darling harbour.

Places to stay in Sydney..I'd suggest looking at Apartments not too far from Darling harbour..mostly because there's a nice expanse of grass and playground equipment if the kids need a break from hotel rooms.

Cairns...what you choose to do in cairns will depend on when you're here...I'm assuming August to fit with school break? Stay near the beach if you can...reef trips and Kuranda rail. Have an "aboriginal experience " from cairns as well. Go croc spotting up in the Daintree. This is most effectively done with a hire car (not sure if they have one which seats 8? can do 7) You wont be able to Whitewater raft...kids are too young...The esplanade is a great place for the kids to play in the water park if the weather is warm. The other place you might consider to stay is Port Douglas but its not as kid friendly in terms of things to do other than the beach..

In cairns...sunscreen well..even if you think you wont get burned..you will...

Feel free to ask more if needed

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2. Re: Planning family trip to Australia. I've just started doing...

for Cairns and FNQ have a look at these two sites

www.queenslandholidays.com.au and www.qhx.com.au

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3. Re: Planning family trip to Australia. I've just started doing...

Have a look at www.halfmoonbayresort.com.au - they have packages on the website - includes tours, golf etc.

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4. Re: Planning family trip to Australia. I've just started doing...

DM, it depends a lot on what time of year you are coming over. Cairns is best from June/July through to the end of October. I wouldn't go there at all if your trip is going to be Nov to March. One week is also a very short time, you will barely scratch the surface here. Depending on which time of year, would indicate how early you have to book your packages, there are plenty of nice apartments around that might suit you.

We stayed at the Lakes Resort in Cairns, 3 beaut pools, bar, gym, everything really and 2 bedroom apartments that were execellent inside and had kitchens. If you aren't coming at peak time, you might be able to book Sydney in the last two weeks on sites like lastminute.com and wotif.com

Some good bargains there. For the age of kids that you are taking, I would consider the Gold Coast/Sunshine Coasts in Qld before Cairns, depends a bit on what they like doing. The attractions up Cairns way are more adult based than some other parts of Aus.

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5. Re: Planning family trip to Australia. I've just started doing...

another place to go to while in Syd is Homebush, the site of the 2000 olympics.


also you might want to check out Luna Park while around sydney harbour. take a ferry to Milson's Point & you'll be right outside the main entrance. lots of great activities to do with kids. but you might need the whole day to do everything.


hope you enjoy sydney!!!!!

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6. Re: Planning family trip to Australia. I've just started doing...

In the Cairns area, since the best bet with a group of your size is to have a car (like an 8-seater Tarago) anyway, you could consider a townhouse a little out of Cairns.

One suggestion is Lahania by the Sea at Clifton Beach, which is right by Palm Cove just 15 mins out of Cairns airport, which has 4-bed townhouses (some with 2 x doubles and 2 x 2 bunks) which are ideal for 2 families. The beachfront ones are under 10 metres from the beach and the courtyard / poolside ones are pretty nice too. The pool is big, considering it is a small complex. Palm Cove is walkable. Cairns centre is about 20 mins away and Port Douglas about 40 mins.

I think that the beachfront townhouses are about $300/night in season, less for the courtyard ones. This is pretty decent for luxury accommodation up there. There aren't many places of this size. I'd go for a beachfront if available. The beach is one of the best up there and the restaurants in Palm Cove are decent and pretty varied.

You'll find Lahania at www.lahaniabythesea.com.au.