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Thread: Itinerary for Oz

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by baconbap View Post
    And I think you can go and see penguins from Melbourne.
    I wondered why I had a penguin hopping around at the top of the post lol
    My ds would be so jealous

  2. #22

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    I did a week in Cairns last year around Xmas and to be honest, it was too long.

    As said, it's really just a base to get to the reef (either day trip boats or live aboard for diving).
    It doesn't have any beaches although there is a public open air pool on the esplanade area.
    Plenty of shops, post office, cinema, eateries etc at the shopping centre with the Cairns-Kuranda railway next door / below it.

    Most eateries / bars are towards the esplanade area. Also a McDonalds if you're not that adventurous.
    Nice fruit market if you want cheap mangoes etc.
    Plenty of fruit bats in the trees towards the esplanade as well!

    Mostly aimed at backpackers as there are a few hostels there with the hotels being further out.

    I went to Kuranda on Boxing Day via bus (something like $12) from the railway station and did the "hold a koala" thing (unlike at Taronga Zoo in Sydney where you pay nearly 3 times as much to stand next to one) etc. Loved the free fly aviary there

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenole View Post
    I did a week in Cairns last year around Xmas and to be honest, it was too long.

    As said, it's really just a base to get to the reef (either day trip boats or live aboard for diving).
    It doesn't have any beaches although there is a public open air pool on the esplanade area.
    Plenty of shops, post office, cinema, eateries etc at the shopping centre with the Cairns-Kuranda railway next door / below it.

    Most eateries / bars are towards the esplanade area. Also a McDonalds if you're not that adventurous.
    Nice fruit market if you want cheap mangoes etc.
    Plenty of fruit bats in the trees towards the esplanade as well!

    Mostly aimed at backpackers as there are a few hostels there with the hotels being further out.

    I went to Kuranda on Boxing Day via bus (something like $12) from the railway station and did the "hold a koala" thing (unlike at Taronga Zoo in Sydney where you pay nearly 3 times as much to stand next to one) etc. Loved the free fly aviary there
    Thank you
    We are not beachy always too busy doing
    Pretty doable without a car then

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroleandancer View Post
    Internal flights using Avios

    Sydney - cairns 20,000 plus 23
    Cairns - melbourne 20,000 plus 24
    melbourne - sydney 9000 plus 14

    Cash

    Cash
    Sydney - cairns 120
    cairns - melbourne 150
    Melbourne - Sydney 80
    I think the using avios bits above are for flying business (I just booked SYD-MEL for 4,500 avios in economy and MEL-PER for 20,000 avios in business). Unless those numbers refer to 2pax. Also, Qantas Domestic Business class is way better than Club Europe in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by baconbap View Post
    And I think you can go and see penguins from Melbourne.
    Phillip (Little penguin) Island is great and only 1.5-2h from Melbourne but perhaps plan for an overnight as the penguins come ashore at dusk. The Yarra Valley is great if you wanted to make a circular trip and take in some mountains and wineries.
    Follow MrPointsUK on twitter!

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by allnewfiesta View Post
    I think the using avios bits above are for flying business (I just booked SYD-MEL for 4,500 avios in economy and MEL-PER for 20,000 avios in business). Unless those numbers refer to 2pax. Also, Qantas Domestic Business class is way better than Club Europe in my opinion.


    Phillip (Little penguin) Island is great and only 1.5-2h from Melbourne but perhaps plan for an overnight as the penguins come ashore at dusk. The Yarra Valley is great if you wanted to make a circular trip and take in some mountains and wineries.
    I should have said they are for 2 people
    More ideas thank you

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroleandancer View Post
    Thank you
    We are not beachy always too busy doing
    Pretty doable without a car then
    Well, there are plenty of tour places in Cairns to take you out and about but to be honest, if you want to see anything such as the Daintree rainforest etc, I would suggest a car.
    A lot of the tours only give you a short period anywhere and a lot of the nicer places are hours away up the coast / inland so require some travelling or tours lasting a couple of days plus in order to see anything.

    If you just want to visit the reef and Kuranda, no problems without a car.
    Cairns Zoo, Port Douglas etc are easy to get to by public bus.

    Personally, I would take a lot of time to research what you want to do.
    There's so much to see in Australia that you won't even scratch the surface.
    It's all very well saying "spend at hour and a half travelling to see penguins" but if you're there for 2 days, that's all you'll see.
    Some things can be done in a day quite easily but factoring in travel times due to the longer distances, the cost (most things seem to be double the price of here) etc.

    Ayres Rock needs at least two days to appreciate it. So do the blue Mountains at the very least.

    Sydney, depends what you want.
    The Bridge and Opera House can be seen anytime and an easy walk around to Mrs. Macquaries chair for great touristy photos.
    Allow a morning or afternoon for a bridge climb.
    Day for Taronga.
    Most of a day to see Manly (30 mins or so each way on the ferry) and Bondi.
    Luna Park - well 5 minutes to walk through it unless you want to try anything.
    Darling Harbour - pretty much bars and restaurants, a cinema, McDonalds and some cool kids water play area. Some old ships and a water fun area (chargeable) etc - mostly for an evening out.
    George Street leading from Central Station past Chinatown to Circular Key / Old Sydney - loads of (mostly standard high street) shops, few hotels etc.
    Museums - not sure how many or how long.
    Last edited by xenole; 7th January 2015 at 12:07.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroleandancer View Post
    I should have said they are for 2 people
    More ideas thank you
    When do you go?
    Where do you fly in/out?
    What do you like (sport/nature/sun/history/general sightseeing)?
    I can send you a few ideas - I've been there 10+ times and know it fairly well.
    Follow MrPointsUK on twitter!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyroleandancer View Post
    I love a City
    Hubby doesn't do swimming so the reef isn't a must.
    We have 1 day in Singapore going out (staying at an airport hotel 1 night) and 2 full days on the way home where we will stay in the City.
    We love trains The Kuranda Scenic Railway looks up our street.
    Don't rule out the reef just because hubby doesn't swim. The glass bottom boats give you amazing views. We loved the Kuranda Railway too.

  9. #29
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    Hello TD, we did speak about it before and I think the thread was lost when pts went down whilst we were away as I came to update you and couldn't find it!

    Think you are going to be overwhelmed with info and options but thought I'd throw my two-pennethworth in!

    Cairns
    I'd agree with the back-packer type feel to the town, I'd say it felt student-y, whilst I wouldn't necessarily agree with dominic about there being few restaurants there, it wasn't easy to find a family friendly place to suit my parents, us and toby. But there were a lot to choose from just not necessarily what we wanted! Good for a couple of days as the distance to the Reef is not as far, as from Airlie Beach so you can maxmise your time at the reef rather than spending 4 hours getting there! My father doesn't snorkle and the boat trip we went on wouldn't let us take toby out with us (I'd have done that at one reef we stopped at, as water calmer-he is a confident "swimmer" and I think he'd have enjoyed it!). So both stayed on the boat whilst we snorkled - but did get to go on glass bottom trip so could see the reef without getting wet. I can let you have the details of who we went with as it was a smaller tour so more personalised service than on a huge boat, plus loads of space when snorkling around.
    And from Cairns you have to do Kuranda - we didn't do an organised tour, we walked to Cairns station to pick up the train, and booked a shuttle back, I don't think you'd need a car to do that you can just book the transfer back to town.

    Melbourne
    Another city I loved, we did the Great Ocean Road trip including a helicopter flight over the 12 Apostles, which was amazing. This visit my parents went seperately to Melbourne to see the penguins which they said was amazing, they upgraded their experience so had a small group and dedicated seating area. Although you can do this under your own steam, mum and dad highly rated their tour which included stopping en route at a wildlife park, and they were dropped back to their hotel afterwards - it can be a late night and can be cold so you are advised to wrap up well for it!

    Sydney & Blue Mountains
    Blue Mountains are easily explorable with a car, we are fortunate that my best friend lives just outside Sydney so she took us exploring the mountains. I can't comment on the tours but would imagine doing it yourself would be best in this instance!
    Loved Sydney, definately take a trip over to Manly Beach - best fish and chips I think I've ever had from Fishmongers restaurant and a lovely ferry trip there and back too. Much nicer than Bondi! Personally I wouldn't spend a week in the city, maybe split a week with the city and the blue mountains?

    Singapore
    Think Dominic has already mentioned all the best bits - I wasn't overly keen to begin with but it grew on me - it is tropical and we go caught in several downpours - go prepared! The airport is great too, each terminal has a different 'thing' to visit, we were terminal two I think and that had a free butterfly enclosure - one of the others has an orchid display. Okay, so you'll probably see better in the city/gardens but okay to while some time away for free whilst waiting for your flight

    I'm sure there is more, I'll keep an eye on the thread and comment as I think of things

  10. #30
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    Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply i really appreciate it. Nothing like PTS for helping each other out.
    Some interesting ideas to be getting on with

    We have settled on 6 nights Sydney, 3 nights Cairns or Port Douglas and 3 nights Melbourne. Singapore - 1 night in an airport hotel on the way out, 2 nights central Singapore on the way home.

    Our internal flights have been booked using Avios.
    All hotels apart from Cairns have been paid for using IHG points

    We like to people watch, take in the atmosphere, mix with locals and use public transport as much as possible. Hubby went to Sydney a few years back and said he used the Ferry quite a bit. If we do hire a car it will only be for a day max 2.

    Cairns or Port Douglas, we are undecided where to stay. I need to do some more research on what we want to do while there.

    As long as health is on our side we are in the position to visit again, this can be our taster

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