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Old 04-18-2008, 12:53 AM
 
455 posts, read 910,952 times
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Hi,
I'm going to be in Australia in early August for about 10-14 days (haven't decided how long yet) and am looking for advice on what to see. I definitely want to see Sydney and possibly the Great Barrier Reef, but am open to suggestions outside of that. I'm guessing I will be able to go about 3-4 places during my limited time there, and I would prefer those places to all be relatively 'close' as I know Australia is HUGE.

Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 04-18-2008, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Mount Vernon, WA
255 posts, read 1,101,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickmahorn View Post
Hi,
I'm going to be in Australia in early August for about 10-14 days (haven't decided how long yet) and am looking for advice on what to see. I definitely want to see Sydney and possibly the Great Barrier Reef, but am open to suggestions outside of that. I'm guessing I will be able to go about 3-4 places during my limited time there, and I would prefer those places to all be relatively 'close' as I know Australia is HUGE.

Any ideas? Thanks!
Rick, Hi:

I am an Aussie, married to an American and live in the U.S. I have been back to Australia many times in the years we've been married and are about to take the whole family back next year, kids, spouses, babies. I am originally from Sydney but I've travelled all over the country so I know what I'm talking about.

Funnily enough, you would expect there to be tons of threads about places other than American in Travel but it's actually in World.

Anyway, I have a thread that has been going for quite some time about Australia in World, but I'll tell you my thoughts here so that you can start looking for more details and/or bookings on the Internet about what to see and do.

If you get the Qantas special, you get 3 free flights within Australia - so long as they're within the "free" zones. (The Official Site for Australian Travel and Tourism Australia) When I went back 2 years ago for my father's funeral, I landed in Brisbane, flew into Cairns (Great Barrier Reef) and flew to Sydney. Those were my 3 free flights. You could alternate that with Uluru (Ayers Rock) if you wish and fly to Cairns from there.

Depending on how old you are, how adventurous you are and how much disposable income you have, I'm going to list some really neat things to do in and around:

SYDNEY
* BridgeClimb: climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It's not for the fainthearted but it might be something you would enjoy.
* Go to Centrepoint Tower for a 360 degree view of Sydney. Eat at the revolving restaurant if you want.
* If you're into history, visit some of the remaining buildings at The Rocks from convict times.
* Visit The Rocks just because it's a neat place to see - including restaurants on the waterfront and good shopping. I think that the Visitors Centre on George Street North will have maps for a Walking Tour of The Rocks.
* Visit Darling Harbour. You can get there by water taxi from Circular Quay. Lots of neat stuff to see and do, including a monorail so you can get an overview.
* Take a tour and/or concert-opera-play at the Sydney Opera House.
* Take a Harbour Cruise - there are coffee cruises, lunch cruises, opera cruises.
* If you have time and/or inclination, get a tour, take a train or drive yourself to the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. There you can see the Three Sisters rock formations, visit Echo Point (you can hear your voice echo), visit Govetts Leap which is where a bushranger was pursued by the militia and rather than be captured, he leapt off the escarpment on his horse.
* Then there are the Royal Botanic Gardens which are fairly close to Circular Quay (where the ferries and water taxis dock). Right on the waterfront in the Gardens is a monument to Mrs. Macquarie called Mrs. Macquarie's Chair. She was the wife of one of the first Governors of the colony and there are tons of things named after him (and/or) her. Next door to the Gardens is the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
* If you like animals, then Taronga Zoo is the place to go to see Australian animals. You can get a ferry from Circular Quay. It's easier than the bus.
* I lived on the Northern Beaches across the Harbour, and Manly Beach is every bit and more appealing as Bondi Beach is. You can get there by hydrofoil or ferry from Circular Quay. However, if you must see Bondi Beach because so much is made of it, then by all means get a train or bus. Trains would be easier since you have to know where to get on and off buses whereas just go to Wynyard, Town Hall or Central Railway Stations and you can get train timetables and/or just wait for the appropriate train.

CAIRNS
* As you've already said you are going to the Great Barrier Reef. Excellent choice. My pick would be Quicksilver Cruises but you can get any of them. They depart out of Port Douglas.
* I would also visit Kuranda via the Scenic Railway, return on the gondolas which skim over the treetops down to the coast again and visit Tjapukai Aboriginal experience when you get there. You can buy tickets for all 3 combined and I would totally recommend it. Gives you a great appreciation for Australia's original settlers.
* Don't miss the Wildlife Dome on the roof of Cairns Casino. It's in downtown Cairns, within easy walking distance. They have all kinds of Australian wildlife there.
* Charlies is a fun place to eat. Friends of mine in Cairns take me there when I'm in town. They stop and buy a Post newspaper and get the coupon out of it. It's right across the Esplanade from the water.
* And if you're into the environment, you can visit the Daintree Rainforest. It's truly worth the effort. I would personally take a tour but you can just drive there yourself and get some info from the Cairns Visitors Bureau.

I know this is a long post but it will be some food for thought and perhaps adventure. Have a great trip.
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:52 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,530 posts, read 47,699,472 times
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aussiegal brought back great memories. Fantastic travel plan. Yes do what she has posted. We did exactly what she mentioned. That will take up your 2 weeks fast and you'll enjoy every bit of it. You'll also find that the Aussie's are great friendly people.
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Old 04-19-2008, 04:09 PM
 
Location: East Tennessee
821 posts, read 1,799,589 times
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Default 2 weeks not enough time

I have been to AU several times, my first trip that I went to book several years ago the travel agent said, 2 weeks in not enough time to see very much, if your going that far you need to stay a month. So, I did and loved it and have been back several times to see different areas. I agree with everything that Aussiegal has said also. Hope you enjoy your time there and try to stay longer than 2 weeks, you will be glad you did

Rachel
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Old 04-19-2008, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Next stop Antarctica
1,799 posts, read 2,429,147 times
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Default Travel in Australia

2weeks is really not enough time to see Australia, i suppose you have to visit cities but cities are the same the world over,it depends what you are looking for ...for a unique experience you should visit Tasmania...wonderful scenery.. Hobart has lots of historical buildings and fine restaurants.
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:06 AM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 15,509,569 times
Reputation: 2637
Four best travel helps:

TripAdvisor.com -- real reports from real travelers of their real experiences:
Western Australia:
Western Australia Tourism - Western Australia Vacation Reviews - Western Australia Vacations - TripAdvisor
South Australia:
South Australia Tourism - South Australia Vacation Reviews - South Australia Vacations - TripAdvisor

Lonely Planet:
Australia Travel Guide and Travel Information - Lonely Planet

The official site:
Tourism Australia

and the indispensible Frommer's:
Australia | Frommers.com
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