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Trip from Cairns to Melbounre

London, UK
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Trip from Cairns to Melbounre

We have 26 days in Australia as part of a RTW trip. We will be starting out in Cairns, and hope to spend 5 days doing a PADI course on the Great barrier reef, and spend a few days in Port Douglas so that we can take in the Rainforest, coast and Cape Tribulation area.

I'm guessing all together that will consume around 9 day, leaving us with 17 days.

Would a good option be to fly from Cairns to Brisbane then drive the rest of the way to Melbourne (from where we fly off to our next leg in New Zealand) or does anyone recommend we try and drive all the way from Cairns.

I'm conscious that we will miss out on the Whitsundays if we fly to Brisbane, but as we will already have dived, and will also be flying to Fiji, we can afford to give the Whitsundays a miss this time around. Is there anything else that we will be missing if we flt Cairns>>>Brisbane?

I appreciate all help and advice

:)

Wangaratta...
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1. Re: Trip from Cairns to Melbounre

Hi Spartan King welcome to TA

What you need to consider when deciding how much to drive is how long you want to spend just sitting in the Car.

Cairns to Melbourne is around 3400 km driving which would take about 6 or 7 days just driving without stops, at say an average of 80kph touring.

Brisbane to Melbourne is a lot shorter drive, about 1800km or about 3 days driving.

Also with the current cost of petrol in Australia it will cost you around $500 for petrol alone for the Cains to Melbourne drive.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Trip from Cairns to Melbounre

G'day Spartan

You certainly have North Qld covered, however if you will fly to Brisbane, you would also miss other areas like Fraser Island and Sunshine Coast. The Whitsundays is not just about diving, there are lots of islands, boating, sailing, fishing, however yes you could do that next time

.Brisbane to Melbourne is a long drive, the quickest way is the inland route via the Newell Highway or down the coast.

What interests do you have? What do you plan to see and do on the drive from Brisbane to Melbourne? Will you be stopping and visiting Sydney?

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Trip from Cairns to Melbounre

Hi Spartan King,

Seeing you are doing Cairns/Port Douglas/Fiji you can miss the whitsundays...although it will be a shame. To give you another options maybe consider these.You do have heaps of options.

1)Why dont you cut Cairns/Port Douglas down to 7 days.

2)Then fly Cairns to Hamilton Island spend 3 days.

3)Fly Hamilton Island to Sydney - pick up car - stay 4 day.

4)Drive Sydney to Melbourne via coastal route. (5 days)

Just click on thread for driving times and info.

5)Melbourne and Great Ocean Road - 4-5 days.

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i6756-Sydney_to…

OR

1)Cairns/Port Douglas - 6 days.

2)Fly Cairns to Brisbane - pick up car at airport. 1 day.

3)Drive Bris to Sydney - 5 days.

click on thread to see driving details.

tripadvisor.com/GoListDetail-i6754-Sydney_to…

3)see Sydney - 3 days.

4)drive Sydney to melb via coastal route - 5 days.

5)Melbourne - 3 - 5 days. also see Great Ocean Road.

OR

1)Cairns/Port Douglas - 7 days.

2)Fly - Bris - 3 days seeing Sunshine Coast/Fraser Island.

3)Drive Sunshine Coast to Sydney - 5 days.

4)Stay Sydney - 3 days

5)Drive Sydney to Melb - 5 days.

You could also do Ayers Rock flying from Cairns.

London, UK
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4. Re: Trip from Cairns to Melbounre

Thanks a lot for the replies, they are very much appreciated!

I really do want to see the sunshine coast and Fraser island too which is the sticking point.

The reason we have scheduled 9 days in Northern Queensland is because we have set aside 4 nights to stay in Port Douglas, a couple to just relax and build up a bit of a tan and two more days to see the Daintree, Cape Tribulation and travel on the skyrail etc..

Then 5 days will be taken up diving out of Cairns.

From that point we are really stuck, as no matter what we do, we will miss something.

Are we using too much time in Port Douglas?

How long would you guys recommend to see the sights around there?

Also will it be possible to fly from Cairns down towards the sunshine coast, is there an airport that can be used closer than Brisbane.

We will definitely drive Brisbane>>Sydney and then use the coastal route down to Melbourne and go along the Great Ocean Road down to somewhere like Lorne.

I have already printed out this thread and the iteneraies listed, so thanks guys, it is really appreciated.

We are just still a bit stuck as what to do next.

Cairns, Australia
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5. Re: Trip from Cairns to Melbounre

Definitely DON'T drive from Cairns to Melbourne. you will spend the whole time driving and you will certainly miss out on things anyway. 17 days is not a long time - sort of like trying to drive around the whole of Europe in that time.

I f it were me I would fly from Cairns to Brisbane. if you rented a car in Brisbane you could drive easily to the Sunshine Coast area for a day or so to look around Noosa and Fraser Island. then drive down the coast to Sydney on the Pacific Highway which hugs the coastline. my favourite pieces of the coast are near Byron Bay, Nambucca Heads, South West Rocks and Port Stephens and there is good accommodation all the way down the coast. you could comfortably do it in 3 or so days which would be easy traveling with lots of stopping off to see the sights and take photos. You could do it in two if you wanted to. then you could have a couple of days in sydney. Definitely go to see Toronga Zoo for not only the animals but a great view back over sydney Harbour. then you could continue down the coast from Sydney through Wollongong down towards Bateman's Bay. You will pass through Berri which is full of art and craft and antique shops. Just near Batemans Bay is a little place called Durras (or Pebbly beach) where the kangaroos are everywhere and very friendly. Anywhere around there would be good to spend the night. Murramarang Village has onsite cabins and you could wake up right on the beach with kangaroos grazing around. I'm an Australian and I still think that's pretty cool. Then continue down the south coast towards Merimbula which would be another good stopping place. you could travel from there to Melbourne. The vineyards of the Yarra Valley an hour's drive from the centre of Melbourne are lovely. the view from the Domain Chandon tasting rooms is amazing. And you will love the Great Ocean Road too.

London, UK
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6. Re: Trip from Cairns to Melbounre

Oscat, my mind is now made up!!!

We are definitely going to fly from Cairns to Brisbane.

It seems we will not be missing out on the Sunshine coast if we did this at all. Is it possible to fly direct to the Sunshine coast from Cairns, that would save us doubling back?

As for Duras and Pebbly beach, thanks for the heads up, we will definitely be adding that to our itinerary, it sounds great!

Thanks a lot for your input and help.

: )

Cairns, Australia
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7. Re: Trip from Cairns to Melbounre

the airport on the Sunshine Coast is Maroochydore. I am not sure if there are direct Cairns-Maroochydore flights but I will see if I can find something. there are certainly flights from Brisbane to Maroochydore - its only a short hop in a small plane.

Brisbane, Australia
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8. Re: Trip from Cairns to Melbounre

No direct flights, pick up a hire car at Brisbane, only 1 -2 hour drive to sunshine coast depending where you are heading to.

9. Re: Trip from Cairns to Melbounre

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