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Old 24.05.2014, 11:15
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Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

I'm planning the trip of a lifetime (mainly as it will bankrupt us so we will never be able to travel again) to Australia. I've been trying to plan an itinerary using guide books and the internet, but it is still very tricky to figure out the best places to go and how long you'd want to stay.

I'd love to do the whole backpacker thing and just rock up when we want and leave when we want, but to save a bit of cash I want to book accommodation and internal flights in advance. What is with the YHA prices by the way? 83 Australian dollars for a double room, I can get a 3* hotel for the same price and a different hostel type place for half the price!

Anyway, if any lovely Australians could give me any tips on; places to visit, how long to stay in places, must do visits/activites, free activities etc I would be very grateful. We won't have a car, but can hire for one off trips.

Rough Itinerary is;
Perth/Margaret River area 2 weeks
Fly to Cairns (maybe a stop at Alice Springs/Uluru on route funds allowing)
Port Douglas to Brisbane (4-5 weeks??)
Fly to Sydney (3-4 days)
Fly to Melbourne (3-4 days)

What do you think? Thanks
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Old 24.05.2014, 11:28
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

This is a million dollar question, you will get further if you give more ideas of what sort of things you want to see.

By the way 83AUD for a YHA room is a bargain for Australia, plan on the trip costing you a lot more than most locations in Europe and many of the cities compete with Zurich and Geneve for expense
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Old 24.05.2014, 11:35
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

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This is a million dollar question, you will get further if you give more ideas of what sort of things you want to see.

By the way 83AUD for a YHA room is a bargain for Australia, plan on the trip costing you a lot more than most locations in Europe and many of the cities compete with Zurich and Geneve for expense
But I've found much cheaper places in Australia than the YHA when researching!

What to see/do, hmmm, the outdoors; beautiful places, marine & wildlife, activities watersports etc, history, aboriginal areas/history, anything awesome!

I would just like a few tips if possible "In Cairns you should definitely do this.." "Don't bother staying in place x" etc.
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Old 24.05.2014, 11:49
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

You have indicated starting around Perth and the southern area of WA. In this area places worth seeing are Margaret River wineries (although they are the most expensive wines in Australia), Esperance, Mandura. Perth is a very open nice city with plenty of parks.

Alice Springs - Ayers Rock, Olgas and aboriginal areas are probably best in this area

Cairns - the town of Cairns itself is not much but its a good base to do Port Douglas, Cape Tribulation, Daintree and the Barrier Reef islands. This area is best with a car and venture into the inland since you wont need 5 weeks to get to Brisbane. Dont swim in the rivers up here without your anti crocodile weapons and dont swim in the beach areas on the coast

Sydney - harbour, harbour bridge climb, botanic gardens near the harbour, Blue Mountains (day trip)

Melbourne - dont swim in the river
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Old 24.05.2014, 12:01
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

Thanks!
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Old 24.05.2014, 12:13
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

The time of year will really impact on your plans. If you go over Christmas it is the wet season up north in Queensland, meaning a lot of areas will be inaccessible by car. It's also the stinger season, which means swimming is definitely out at any beaches. While in winter it can be really gorgeous up north.

Further south in Queensland you can swim pretty much all year round (with regard to both water temperature and stingers), and it's usually warm during the day, even in winter.

But if you go further south (e.g. Melbourne) in winter, , it can get very cold, so you'll have to really think about what you'd like to do the most, or think about straddling the seasons, e.g. spring/autumn
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Old 24.05.2014, 12:16
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

What I think I'm struggling with most is how long to spend on Cairns to Brisbane (including both places). Want a relaxed trip, lots of breaks between bus rides, so it actually feels like a holiday and not just a rush!

I planned 4 to 5 weeks, as normally people say you are trying to do too much in too little time. Now people are saying 4-5 weeks is too much. There are 13 stops, so only 2 days in each place already makes 4 weeks, and I want to spend more than 2 days in places such as Cairns, Port Douglas, Fraser Island.

The bus stops are;

Cairns - Mission Beach - Townsville - Bowen - Airlie Beach - Proserpine - Mackay - Rockhampton - Agnes Water - Bundaberg - Hervey Bay - Noosa - Brisbane.

Are there any places I should miss out?
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Old 24.05.2014, 12:17
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

We will be going around May-July, so want to spend more time in the North really.
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Old 24.05.2014, 13:30
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

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What I think I'm struggling with most is how long to spend on Cairns to Brisbane (including both places). Want a relaxed trip, lots of breaks between bus rides, so it actually feels like a holiday and not just a rush!

I planned 4 to 5 weeks, as normally people say you are trying to do too much in too little time. Now people are saying 4-5 weeks is too much. There are 13 stops, so only 2 days in each place already makes 4 weeks, and I want to spend more than 2 days in places such as Cairns, Port Douglas, Fraser Island.

The bus stops are;

Cairns - Mission Beach - Townsville - Bowen - Airlie Beach - Proserpine - Mackay - Rockhampton - Agnes Water - Bundaberg - Hervey Bay - Noosa - Brisbane.

Are there any places I should miss out?
I Grew up in Perth and Queensland and I lived in Airlie Beach for 8 years.

Give Townsville and Bowen a miss, Airlie and surrounds are gorgeous. Proserpine is a definite miss as is Mackay and Rockhampton. Agnes and on are worth stopping. I personally think Cairns is crap and Airlie has more Islands.

I was in Perth over last Christmas and took my son down to Margret River and Dunsborough. Both places are gorgeous. The wineries are nice for a visit but you'll pick up decent wines in the local bottle shop a lot cheaper. Saying that though, I did bring back 3 pricey bottles from Vasse Felix winery with me to Zurich. You do get what you paid for. we've drunken 1 so far and it was just heavenly...

Oh yeah look Sunshine coast is great but Brisbane (lived there for 2 years before coming to CH) is dead. The Gold Coast is worth a look and has some great Theme Parks, Movie world, wet n wild, dreamworld. They make Europa Park look like a set of swings and a seesaw.

After the Gold Coast is magic, the Nth Coast NSW is one of my favourite regions of the country.

Just for the record, Melbourne is my favourite city with beautiful surrounds. Wilsons Prom is much worth the look as is of course the great ocean road. Just be sure to turn back before getting to Sth Australia.

Exciting stuff I know. my wife and I are heading off on a round-the-world trip in October. Can't wait !!!
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Old 24.05.2014, 13:48
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

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I Grew up in Perth and Queensland and I lived in Airlie Beach for 8 years.

Give Townsville and Bowen a miss, Airlie and surrounds are gorgeous. Proserpine is a definite miss as is Mackay and Rockhampton. Agnes and on are worth stopping. I personally think Cairns is crap and Airlie has more Islands.

I was in Perth over last Christmas and took my son down to Margret River and Dunsborough. Both places are gorgeous. The wineries are nice for a visit but you'll pick up decent wines in the local bottle shop a lot cheaper. Saying that though, I did bring back 3 pricey bottles from Vasse Felix winery with me to Zurich. You do get what you paid for. we've drunken 1 so far and it was just heavenly...

Oh yeah look Sunshine coast is great but Brisbane (lived there for 2 years before coming to CH) is dead. The Gold Coast is worth a look and has some great Theme Parks, Movie world, wet n wild, dreamworld. They make Europa Park look like a set of swings and a seesaw.

After the Gold Coast is magic, the Nth Coast NSW is one of my favourite regions of the country.

Just for the record, Melbourne is my favourite city with beautiful surrounds. Wilsons Prom is much worth the look as is of course the great ocean road. Just be sure to turn back before getting to Sth Australia.

Exciting stuff I know. my wife and I are heading off on a round-the-world trip in October. Can't wait !!!
Thank you!! That is really helpful!!

Ooh RTW… amazing… but must be a planning nightmare!! Where do you start with that??
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Old 24.05.2014, 14:27
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

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Cairns - the town of Cairns itself is not much but its a good base to do Port Douglas, Cape Tribulation, Daintree and the Barrier Reef islands. This area is best with a car and venture into the inland since you wont need 5 weeks to get to Brisbane. Dont swim in the rivers up here without your anti crocodile weapons and dont swim in the beach areas on the coast
I agree with that. I stayed a few months in Cairns. If you ride (horse) try to go to the tablelands, it's just amazing.

Also interesting is the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary in Kuranda where you can go with the the Kuranda Scenic Railway.

(I'm not australian, but I'm lovely)
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Old 24.05.2014, 14:33
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

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I agree with that. I stayed a few months in Cairns. If you ride (horse) try to go to the tablelands, it's just amazing.

Also interesting is the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary in Kuranda where you can go with the the Kuranda Scenic Railway.

(I'm not australian, but I'm lovely)


Is it better to stay in Cairns or Port Douglas (or both)?
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Old 24.05.2014, 15:24
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

Whitsundays is a must see.
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Old 24.05.2014, 15:25
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

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Thank you!! That is really helpful!!

Ooh RTW… amazing… but must be a planning nightmare!! Where do you start with that??
He he actually that's just it. We aren't planing too much at all. We have a pin board and folders of places to go and things we want to do but for us it's more about getting the most out of each region rather than racing around trying to work our way through a checklist of countries. We will be away minimum 12 months up to two years therefore no need to rush around.

First stop is Cadiz, Spain to learn Spanish for a couple of months...
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Old 12.11.2014, 18:26
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

hi

i am from Perth. Most things in Western Australia require travelling, and that is more expensive if you have a family. So free things do however have the costs of travel.

Rottnest Island is awesome.(avoid schoolies time Nov to dec)

Dolphins at Koombana Bay Bunbury.

Dunsbrough (avoid schoolies time Nov to dec)

Albany is also nice, but a long drive.

If you like you could stay on a farm for free in return for helping out (i have a facebook group to help with this)

I have AUD that I would like to exchange for Swiss Franks or Euros. I am currently living near Waldshut, in southern Germany.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 11.01.2015 at 21:25. Reason: fixed typo
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Old 12.11.2014, 19:07
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

I didn't see much of the West Coast, but travelled pretty extensively around other parts of Australia - will just list you some of my favorites:

* Sydney - beaches, beaches, beaches - forget the touristy ones (although feel free to take a peek) and go to where the locals go (Bronte, Coogee, etc.). Have a sail on the harbour (take the ferry for a cheapie), drinks at the Opera House bar, dinner at Quay if you want an amazing splurge. I also love Taronga Zoo

* Consider swapping some time for Tassie or New Zealand - both to me are some of the more beautiful places in the region

* You can consider cutting out some time going down the East Coast - while it's gorgeous (especially love the Sunshine Coast), it's kind of the same

* Except if you have dive qualifications, there are a million and one places to stop going down the coast

* Gold Coast is not to my taste, but everyone's different - if you like theme parks and touristy shops, it's a winner and it's honestly fun for a day or two, just don't spend tons of time there

* Sailing in the Whitsundays is a must if the weather is cooperating

* Consider also spending time up North as others have said - I think it's what makes Australia really unique/different from other countries is the outback and wilderness you'll find there. Litchfield National Park is a must stop for the swimming beneath the waterfalls

* Great Ocean Road is lovely, but quite similar to California's Pacific Hwy 1

Camping or hiring a camper van may be worth considering!

In terms of expenses, since I just came from Australia - I can give you a pretty good idea of what's expensive/what's not.

Expensive:
* Food is generally more expensive in Australia, especially good cheese, bread, etc. But I think it depends a lot on your diet. But eating out is less expensive than eating out in CH (thank god)

* Parking is waaaay more expensive in Australia, as is petrol

* Hotels, we actually found to be more expensive in Australia, but it depends on where you stay, as you've probably discovered. Airbnb is quite popular there, so that may be a good resource
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Old 11.01.2015, 21:17
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

I'd say join couchsurfing. Fill out your profile well, meet couchsurfers where you are now, before you leave, to learn from them, and exchange references. Read a lot of profiles, including all the references. Make direct requests to couchsurfers in Australia, with whom you think you (and those with you) will get along. And maybe some who are totally different from you, so you can experience something else. Keep sensible and pragmatic, stay safe and have a great time!
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Old 02.04.2015, 22:06
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Re: Calling all lovely Australians…. (travel advice)

just watch out for the " red necks"



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...behaviour.html
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