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Anyone been to Australia?

I'm still working on our big summer vacation and well, the national parks aren't doing it for me.  I'm thinking about all the driving we'd be doing and thinking it wouldn't be all that relaxing.  I know it would be winter there, but we don't mind that.  I'm just trying to figure out where to go if we have two weeks and what would be the best itinerary to get a good taste of the country.  

Re: Anyone been to Australia?

  • Yep!

    It's a huge country.  What are you interested in doing?  I spent 7 months there and saw many of the major spots.

    I worked in Sydney and loved it there.  I went all up the East coast the Great Barrier Reef is fantastic and winter is better anyway because you can't swim in it during the summer without a stinger suit.  

     I didn't really like Brisbane, the Gold Coast isn't too far, touristy, but fun.  

    One of my favorite parts was Coober Pedy, SA which is in the middle of no where, but a super cool under ground opal mining town.  http://www.opalcapitaloftheworld.com.au/

    I went to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kings Canyon and was glad I went there as well.  

     I guess really with only two weeks it comes down to what do you want out of your vacation?  Are there things you REALLY want to see?  

    Also does that two weeks include travel?  Honestly going to Australia and making it worth your money for two weeks will not be relaxing either.  It will be an amazing  adventure though!

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  • I just got back from there!!  We spent a little over two weeks there.  We were in Sydney, all over Tasmania, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, and Kangaroo Island. There is so much to see and do.  I want to go back again!  I really didn't like Sydney all that much, it was good to see they sights, but you wouldn't need more than two days there, however, I loved Melbourne and I would spend a little bit more time there.  Tasmania was great because it was so rural and we drove all over the island for about four days and it is also sooo beautiful.  Have fun!
  • image madaboutmyman:
    I really didn't like Sydney all that much, it was good to see they sights, but you wouldn't need more than two days there, however, I loved Melbourne and I would spend a little bit more time there.

    I couldn't agree with this more. I spent two months in Melbourne and loved it. I spent about 4 days in Syndey and it was too much. Definitely go to see the Opera House, the bridge, maybe catch a show, take a tour around the Harbor. But the city is huge and the public transportation isn't as good as Melbourne. There's a lot to do near Melbourne like driving the Great Ocean Road and Philip's Island.

    Besides those two cities I'd recommend definitely go up to Queensland by the Great Barrier Reef. I went to Cairns and Port Douglas. And going down to Tasmania if you can. I didn't get to go and wish I had. Then there's the Outback and you can always go over to the west side to Perth.

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  • Sydney, Uluru, Cairns, Hamilton Island, Melbourne...all great.

    More details and pics in my blog.

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  • We're going this summer - this is our itinerary:

    Fly into Cairns, spend the night there

    5 day liveaboard dive boat on the Reef (our main reason for going)

    One more night in Cairns (because we need to give 24 after diving before flying)

    1.5 days in Ayers Rock/Uluru

    2 days in Melbourne, 2ish days driving the Great Ocean Road

    2 day in Sydney, 1.5 in the Blue Mountains

    We know we can't do everything - would love to do more, but the 5 days on the boat is going to take up a chunk of time, but that's out main reason for going to Australia.

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  • We went for 3 weeks last summer- 2 in Australia and 1 in New Zealand.  It was a whirlwind but worth every single minute!  Winter is the perfect time to be at the reef- it was 90 degrees in Port Douglas and no jellyfish or rain.  Plan carefully and pick the must sees.
  • It really depends what you want to do. The distances here can be fairly significant, depending on where you want to go.  

    If you want to do a lot of swimming and snorkelling, then Queensland (Cairns, the Great Barrier Reef, Port Douglas) at that time of year would defeinitely be your best bet as it is too cold in Sydney/Melbourne/Adelaide to go swimming. You could even either rent a SUV or go on a tour of Fraser Island which is Heritage listed and absolutely stunning.

    If you want to see a lot of well recognised tourist attractions, then Sydney is for you. Apart from the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, you could do a cruise around Sydney Harbour, go to Taronga Zoo for the day; do a bridgeclimb; wander around the Rocks, take the ferry (boat) to Manly beach and just wander around. You could also take tours to the Blue Mountains and go wine tasting for the day up to the Hunter Valley.  

    Melbourne has a very chic vibe about it - great little boutiques, fine dining (we have that in Sydney too), more cultural. The only downside is that it gets quite rainy in Melbourne in winter.   

    Tasmania is stunning.

    Uluru would definitely be better in winter then summer. The flies there in summer can get very annoying.  

    Not sure about Western Australia.

    In two weeks you should probably concentrate on 2 or 3 states max. Anymore than that and you'll be seeing more of airports than of your travels unless you plan to drive and then you'll be in the car for protracted periods of time due to thye distances involved.

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