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Old 10-20-2009, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Southern California
493 posts, read 442,438 times
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I'm planning to study abroad at the University of Queensland next year (Semester 2 2010), and I saw there is a week-long semester break. I want to travel during that break, and since I have that signifcant amount of time I can to to farther places. Even though it's a year from now, I'm really excited and this is why I'm planning ahead

I'm weighing one of two options for my weeklong trip:

Melbourne and Canberra: I'd stay in Canberra for a couple days and spend the rest of the time in Melbourne.

I'll definitely be in Sydney while I'm there (orientation is there), and since I'll be in Brisbane, I want to complete the 3 largest cities trifecta by going to Melbourne. And while I'm at it, I'd like to visit the capital too

Cairns and Townsville: I'd stay in Townsville for a couple days to see Magnetic Island and climb up Castle Hill. Then I'm off to Cairns to spend the rest of my week there.

I want to experience North Queensland, and the climate and tropical attractions are pulling me. Since I'm already in Queensland, I'd like to see the other part of the state

Any thoughts? opinions? According to Wikipedia Cairns and Melbourne are the same distance from Brisbane. Any cost difference? Anything helps!
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:09 PM
 
9,336 posts, read 20,581,808 times
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It really boils down to the individual what their likes and dislikes are and time of the year. If you like the beach and urban culture, I'd say Melbourne for both culture and the beach. But in the middle of winter you'd have to decide between one or the other as you can't have both.

Same thing could be asked of someone in the US. e.g., I will be in Portland, OR should I go to Seattle or San Diego.. no easy answer to that question either. The first thing yanks will ask is "tell us about you and what you like to do"

So tell us the month and what you want to see/do.. you'll get a better response.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Southern California
493 posts, read 442,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minibrings View Post
It really boils down to the individual what their likes and dislikes are and time of the year. If you like the beach and urban culture, I'd say Melbourne for both culture and the beach. But in the middle of winter you'd have to decide between one or the other as you can't have both.

Same thing could be asked of someone in the US. e.g., I will be in Portland, OR should I go to Seattle or San Diego.. no easy answer to that question either. The first thing yanks will ask is "tell us about you and what you like to do"

So tell us the month and what you want to see/do.. you'll get a better response.

It will be the last week of September-first week of October.

The reason I'm not sure about the decision is because I'm a guy who's just a happy in a big urban environment (Melbourne) as I am in a more natural one with more outdoorsy activities (Cairns/Townsville). The North Queensland climate is also a big plus.
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:28 AM
 
37,708 posts, read 37,991,787 times
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I think Melbourne is a good place to visit at any time of the year.
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Old 10-21-2009, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Alaska & Florida
1,629 posts, read 5,096,947 times
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I would only visit Cairns if the Great Barrier Reef is somthing you really want to experience. I did not care for the city, I felt like a tourist everywhere in that region, and it cost A LOT to get to the scuba/snorkel areas and took hours to get there. I am glad I went there, but I won't be going back.

Since you will be studying in Brisbane, I would choose to visit Melbourne. You are next to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

You might want to check out the Whitsunday Islands.
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Old 10-21-2009, 03:26 PM
 
37,708 posts, read 37,991,787 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonotastic View Post
I would only visit Cairns if the Great Barrier Reef is somthing you really want to experience. I did not care for the city, I felt like a tourist everywhere in that region, and it cost A LOT to get to the scuba/snorkel areas and took hours to get there. I am glad I went there, but I won't be going back.

Since you will be studying in Brisbane, I would choose to visit Melbourne. You are next to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

You might want to check out the Whitsunday Islands.
If you are interested in islands, you might want to check out Tasmania (south of Melbourne).
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Old 10-21-2009, 05:37 PM
 
9,336 posts, read 20,581,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmexman View Post
It will be the last week of September-first week of October.

The reason I'm not sure about the decision is because I'm a guy who's just a happy in a big urban environment (Melbourne) as I am in a more natural one with more outdoorsy activities (Cairns/Townsville). The North Queensland climate is also a big plus.
Ok last week of Sept and first week of October is really not beach weather in Victoria. So if thats impt to you, go to Queensland.

I'd rather go to Melbourne and soak up the city -- great art at the AGV (check out the aboriginal collection), jazz clubs, Queen Vic market. And thanks to Tiger Air now being in MEL I'd check out a cheap flight to Tassie, but you need a car in Tassie. If you are into wine, I'd check out a cheap flight to Adelaide and explore the Barossa or McClaren Vale. They have wine tours leaving Adelaide to either of these two. Further north of Adelaide are the Flinders Ranges, the start of the Outback.. gorgeous scenery.

If you want to see wildlife, I'd bypass all your choices and head to Darwin, it won't be in the throng of the wet season yet and thats a great time for Darwin to check out Kakadu National Park.

I'd wait until closer to that timeframe to book your flights. When in Oz go everyday to the jetblue.com.au website; ever day at noon (Sydney time) they post last minute specials.
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:46 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,682 posts, read 50,886,379 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonotastic View Post
I would only visit Cairns if the Great Barrier Reef is somthing you really want to experience. I did not care for the city, I felt like a tourist everywhere in that region, and it cost A LOT to get to the scuba/snorkel areas and took hours to get there. I am glad I went there, but I won't be going back.

Since you will be studying in Brisbane, I would choose to visit Melbourne. You are next to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

You might want to check out the Whitsunday Islands.
As great as the GBR is there is plenty of other great things to see like the Daintree/Cape Trib/Mossman Gorge/Tully Gorge/Bellenden Ker. They're very different it all depends on what you want to see. I'm sure if you don't see one you can always see the other after/before your studies.

Oh did someone mention last week of September? Unless you like AFL NOT the time to go to Melbourne as the GF is on. Better weather up north too.
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:57 AM
 
Location: Sometimes Miami sometimes Australia
1,093 posts, read 2,478,324 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonotastic View Post
I would only visit Cairns if the Great Barrier Reef is somthing you really want to experience. I did not care for the city, I felt like a tourist everywhere in that region, and it cost A LOT to get to the scuba/snorkel areas and took hours to get there. I am glad I went there, but I won't be going back.
Well if you are tourist in that region wouldnt it be normal that you felt like one? Am I missing something here.?
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Old 10-22-2009, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Alaska & Florida
1,629 posts, read 5,096,947 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tropical87 View Post
Well if you are tourist in that region wouldn't it be normal that you felt like one? Am I missing something here.?
The OP may be able to relate to this example:

If you go on a vacation to Vancouver, Canada - you can't really tell tourists from locals, you can be a tourist or you can blend in with the locals. If you go on a vacation to Ochos Rios, Jamaica - most people assume you are a tourist, constantly being hassled about booking a tour, and you feel like a tourist all the time. I didn't get a grasp for any real culture and felt the locals just looked at everyone as $ signs in Cairns. I had the complete opposite experience in Sydney.

Does that make more sense?
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