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(OT) Help with planning a trip...

Discussion in 'UO Oceania' started by mbecker4, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. mbecker4

    mbecker4 Guest

    Hello all,

    I know that this post doesn't pertain to UO but I figured that this would be a good place to get some input. I live in the US and am going to begin planning my honeymoon, which won't be till early 2010 but I'm trying to get a head start. Anyways, both me and my wife (to be) have always wanted to go to Australia and figured that this would be the perfect time to go.

    We're planning on going for about 2 weeks, maybe sometime in January. We've started looking through different travel books trying to figure out good places to stay but its pretty overwhelming and we're not exactly sure where to start. We're thinking about spending 1 week in Sydney and then another week some where up north in Queensland. I love the ocean and have always dreamed of learnign how to surf, so anyplace with a beach would be good. Also, I absolutely love lizards, snakes, basically all types of animals and would like to be able to go to the outback for a day or two. I've had bearded dragons since I was a kid and have always wanted to see them in the wild.

    I figured that the best way to get some ideas would be to talk to people who actually live in Australia. Thanks a lot for any help you can give me. I just want this trip to be one that we will remeber for the rest of our lives.
     
  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    With your interest in animals, you'd enjoy a visit to Australia Zoo. Sounds like it might slot in with your Queensland plans.
     
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    theres also a new zoo type thing in sydney thats home to all aussie animals cant remember what its called.
    Australia zoo in qld is meant to be an amazing place, im hoping to get there myself one day.
    And if you want to try out surfing remeber that our seasons are opposite to yours in america, dec jan & feb is our summer, while it will be corking hot it would be perfect surfing weather [​IMG]
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I would suggest a Week in Sydney and a week on the Gold Coast (just south of Brisbane)

    Sydney has a few good beaches (Bondi, Manly, Cronulla) and the zoo. I would also suggest looking into doing the Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb. Its a great experience and one hell of a view, although it is rather tiring.

    Gold Coast is very much tourist Oriented as it has theme parks, Zoos and Beaches, so it would seem to be kinda what you are looking for.
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Personally, I think if you are coming this far then try to get 4 weeks. Two weeks is barely enough time to get anything but a tiny taste of Aussie. I think a week in Sydney is ok for a good start. Darling Harbour, Circular Quay & Ferries,The Rocks, Sydney Zoo and Sydney Aquarium are all good places to go other than just walking around the city etc as well as Bondi Beach and the other harbour foreshore areas. The area around the Domain also has the Art Gallery and Botanic Gardens which are also well worth a look. Train transport is also readily available around these areas. Of course there are all the normal restaurants and cinemas etc for those times when it rains or you just want to veg out.

    If you are set on just two weeks, my next choice would not be the Gold Coast. The theme parks you can go to there are really no different to those you have in the USA. Sea World, Movie World, Wet and Wild, and Dreamworld are no different to sea world (florida), universal studios (ca) Busch Gardens etc etc. Seen any of them then you have seen ours. Restaurants and other attractions are really not that dif to being in Sydney, only you have a zillion other tourists along there with you.

    My choice for your second week would be Airlee Beach, the gateway to the whitsundays. Airlee is a backpacker town and you will meet up with lots of young people traveling from many countries other than the locals. They have live music in the bars and pubs pretty much year round, great food, you can either book a small sailing trip of 2-3 days and tour the islands, book a fishing trip, and use Airlee as a jump point for a day trip out to the Barrier reef where you can snorkel, swim the reef and get a great lunch in the process with commentary on the islands you pass. You can also get involved with heaps of other water sport activities and day trips to various places. Whitehaven Beach is a must see, snorkeling and swimming are also a must. You can hire nearly everything you need, but some preplanning to make sure you can get what your interested in would be of benefit. eg skydiving and some of the more 'extreme' stuff if that floats your boat [​IMG]. Plus the weather is generally great. Even if it rains it will still be warm enough to swim and snorkel lol. This is a link to a great search page for that area:

    Whitsundays

    Last time we went up we stayed in the cheaper end accommodation on the mainland at Airlee (the whitsunday wanderers resort) which while nothing really flash it was certainly very nice and had everything anyone would need, was clean, and the main bonus was it is 50 feet to the main street and all that the town has, restaurants, bars, net cafe's, etc etc so no need for transport and the info center right by the door to the resort has heaps of day trips to choose from and free pick up courtesy buses to the docks for any boat trips etc which took a few mins to get to.

    Anyways for just two weeks those would be my picks Sydney and Airlee. I doubt you will get outback unless you really want to rush around the place, and on your honeymoon then not sure you really want anything with a tight packed schedule.

    Best bet grab an additional two weeks and make the trip worth it, then you could head inland to Alice springs and do the 'inland' stuff. Aussie is a big country and you need to understand that it would be like me saying I am coming the usa for 2 weeks and want to see the grand canyon, learn to play ice hockey, and want to go on a boat trip in the everglades. LOL too big as you can appreciate. So Sydney gives you the 'city' stuff while Airlee would give you the water and 'fun stuff' not to mention trips up into the rainforest/waterfall mainland areas so you could see some of that as well. And the Barrier Reef is something to behold in itself and would be something that you would remember forever.
     
  6. Jahira-Tor

    Jahira-Tor Lore Master
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

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    Im not trying to be a smart ass here but your question is like saying, oh i have exactly 6 mins to visit a musium, what do you think i should do.

    Australia is not the largest country however we are the largest Island country and you can fit england into us like what 7 times or somthing.

    Pick what you want to see, go see that thing, maybe two, i dont suggest zoo's as you can see them at any point. Id suggest seeing somthing that may not be there the next time you have a chance to travel. For eg, the 12 Apolstles (only 5 of them) will be less every year. My point is, dont go see somthing you can see any time. Go see somthing that might not be there next time.
     
  7. mbecker4

    mbecker4 Guest

    Thank you all very much for your replies. After posting I realized that I should have phrased it better. I know saying I have two weeks to visit an entire country is kinda naive, its just that I don't know anyone who has actually been to Australia. The only thing I really have to go off of so far different travel sites which basically highlight Sydney and the Gold Coast. I'd love to go to Sydney because I've heard so many great things. However, as one of the replies mentioned, the gold coast sounds pretty similar to going to one of the tourists places here in the US, which is fun but I'd really like to see more of Australia.

    I was wondering if we were to fly into Sydney for the first week and then travel up north for the second week, whats the best way to travel? Thanks again for all your input. The more I look into planning this trip, the more excited I get.
     
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>

    Thank you all very much for your replies. After posting I realized that I should have phrased it better. I know saying I have two weeks to visit an entire country is kinda naive, its just that I don't know anyone who has actually been to Australia. The only thing I really have to go off of so far different travel sites which basically highlight Sydney and the Gold Coast. I'd love to go to Sydney because I've heard so many great things. However, as one of the replies mentioned, the gold coast sounds pretty similar to going to one of the tourists places here in the US, which is fun but I'd really like to see more of Australia.

    I was wondering if we were to fly into Sydney for the first week and then travel up north for the second week, whats the best way to travel? Thanks again for all your input. The more I look into planning this trip, the more excited I get.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Plane, it is too far to drive, from Sydney just to Brisbane is about 12-13 hours by car so unless you wish to spend a lot of time sitting on your butt driving (coach and trains take similar or longer times) then the only way to go is domestic flight. If you are going from Sydney to Brisbane it would take about 2 hrs to fly, and 3 to somewhere like Airlee (Proserpine Airport). You can get pretty great deals on domestic flights so the cost isn't really a factor given the time saved, and the savings on hotels if you need to overnight on a trip, most people find 12 hrs driving pretty tiring especially if they don't know the routes and will overnight somewhere along the way.


    As I suggest above, I think 1 week in Sydney is fine and for your second week pick somewhere where there is lots to do and see, hence why I suggested the Whitsundays, fly up there from Sydney and you have a range of budget-expensive accommodations, a venue set for tourists but still pretty laid back and where a lot of Aussies go to vacation as well, and the choice of tropical rain forests, islands, water sports, cheap and fine dining and of course one of the main natural wonders of Australia, the Barrier Reef. The area caters to the poor and rich and everything in between so it will suit any budget.

    If the Whitsundays don't grab you then I would pick something else with a similar 'main' attraction such as head inland to Alice Springs (Ayers Rock) and see the 'real' outback. You can fly there from Sydney, and can do enough day trips and things from there to get a great week of 'aussie' but completely different to the 'coastal' areas and a taste of the real inland Australia, tho at the time of year you are looking at, January, then the temperature would be pretty darn hot (tooooo extreme depending on what part of the USA you are coming from) and the flies would be really bad lol.

    Another area I like for 'stuff to do' to fill a whole week is Canberra, Australia's Capital. From here you can day trips to a lot of 'outer' hinterland areas, dams, Ned Kelly territory at Bungendore, some of the oldest inland pubs etc around the Braidwood area. All the national museums, art gallerys, lake burley griffin dinner cruises, heaps of parks, gardens and recreation areas, wildlife parks at Brindibella etc etc. Canberra While Canberra is our capital city, it is probably unlike a city you have ever 'seen' before in that is is fully preplanned and didn't 'originate' and then grow as most cities do, therefore getting around is easy, the city itself is very pretty with street plantings, and while it is a 'city' it doesn't feel like a city as such but more like a large country town. The beauty of it is even tho it is 'preplanned' as a city the outer hinterlands are very 'like' a lot of the inland Australian areas, sheep farms, granite country, etc.

    If you didn't want to go to one 'place' then my suggestion would be spend your first 3-4 nights in Sydney, then hire a car and head on a road trip with 2 night stays at each stop so one half day traveling (between 2-4 hrs] where you get a great look at the landscapes, and a day and 3/4's to 'see' the area. To get an idea of where you are on the following 2 mini road trips see the MAP here, type in sydney then zoom it out til you can read the names of the places listed below to get your bearings.

    Northern from Sydney:

    To see the 'most' for your time I would be inclined to head north up through Maitland, then head inland to Tamworth, Australias country music capital spend 2 nights there, then head up the inner route to Armidale, Glenn Innes or Tenterfield and spend 2-3 nights in those areas, then cut east across to the coast [about 4 hrs drive] and spend 2-4 nights in Byron Bay heaps of stuff to do here (can make a day trip up to the gold coast easily from here [about 2hrs]), and work your way back down the coast to Sydney stopping at Coffs Harbour and/or cutting in to say South West Rocks, (great beaches, diving etc, food) and visiting Trial Bay Gaol which is a great attraction to spend a few hours in and has some good historical info on the area. Then keep going down the coast and stop at Port Macquarie with lots of beaches and stuff to do. Then head back to Sydney.

    Southern from Sydney:

    A similar road trip only heading south, taking you to within a days drive of Sydney, would be to leave Sydney and head south to Goulburn, Australia's sheep capital, see the 'big merino', tour the brewery etc or do a 'farm stay' for a couple of nights, then down to Canberra, (see above) spend a few nights there, then head further south-east to the coast to Eden (great docks here for fishing etc), Tathra which is close by has great fishing, beaches and a great pub with live music, then start heading back up stopping at Batemans Bay, then up to Shoalhaven Heads , and up via Wollongong to Sydney.

    Both the above trips would give you a small taste of inland plus heaps of stuff on the coasts. You really need to go much further 'inland' to experience the real 'outback' but in two weeks I think you would be pushing it unless you flew into Alice Springs for the real deal lol. The beauty of a road trip is you are flexible in that if you find a place you 'really' like you can stop an extra night or two or only stay the one night, just plan your 'basic' route before you go. The above routes would really only require 'pre-booking' at that time of year at Byron Bay, Coffs, Port Mac, Canberra, Batemans the rest you could probably 'wing it' and ring ahead to book as your traveling. Plus you are within a 10 hour drive of the middle of Sydney so if you get to one place and want to spend the rest of your time there, then you know you can get back to Sydney in a days drive. Plus you would have transport the whole time you are in the country and car rental rates are really not that expensive given the flexibility a car gives you. Not to mention that driving and stopping at service stations for fuel and meals lets you taste the 'real' country in as much as you will meet lots of people along the way to chat to in pubs and lunch places etc. If you do decide on a more flexible 'road trip' style of holiday then I would recommend one of the first things you do in Sydney is head to the local NRMA office and buy a Hotel and Accommodation directory or similar which will have a listing of all towns and available places to stay with telephone numbers etc and a rough price guide, the NRMA can also supply you with whatever maps you need.

    It just depends on how 'active' you want to be, whether you want to get in and 'see' as much as you can while you're here and different 'areas' from coast to hinterlands or would prefer to just go to Sydney and one other place etc.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    And theres always Dubbo:p (smack in the middle of NSW) Biggest &amp; best open range zoo this side of the world and theres tazzy devils there now *squee* thers outback house old homestead thing to experiance life in the 1800's i think the year is, thers also the gaol set up with all sorts of animatronics and fancy dodads so you can see what the err.. justice system was like theres tonnes more here but it'd be easier if i just found a link then trying to remember everything i shall look later (im in the middle of cooking :p)
     
  10. Guest

    Guest Guest

    <blockquote><hr>



    Another area I like for 'stuff to do' to fill a whole week is Canberra, Australia's Capital. From here you can day trips to a lot of 'outer' hinterland areas, dams, Ned Kelly territory at Bungendore, some of the oldest inland pubs etc around the Braidwood area. All the national museums, art gallerys, lake burley griffin dinner cruises, heaps of parks, gardens and recreation areas, wildlife parks at Brindibella etc etc. Canberra While Canberra is our capital city, it is probably unlike a city you have ever 'seen' before in that is is fully preplanned and didn't 'originate' and then grow as most cities do, therefore getting around is easy, the city itself is very pretty with street plantings, and while it is a 'city' it doesn't feel like a city as such but more like a large country town. The beauty of it is even tho it is 'preplanned' as a city the outer hinterlands are very 'like' a lot of the inland Australian areas, sheep farms, granite country, etc.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    You can also come see me, the R-U-Double D at my new house that Johnny gave to me! [​IMG]