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Thread: Sydney... Some advice please....

  1. #21
    Re Flexible - Given you've already been in Cairns, I'd probably suggest either Sydney (in New South Wales) or Melbourne (in Victoria) as your first stop - they're both nice places, and you'll probably be flying into one of those 2 from overseas anyway. I personally prefer Melbourne, but others like Sydney more - Sydney has the more famous sites (Opera House, Bondi Beach), but Melbourne has a lot to do also (probably more known for 'cultural' things, shows etc). There's some good day-trips from both of those places as well.

    If you like the beach, then a week at either the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast would be nice. I think you can fly direct to the gold coast from most major centres, so that's probably the easier one. It's a 1 hour drive from the Gold Coast to Brisbane, which is the capital of Queensland.

    Otherwise, a place like Perth (in Western Australia) always gets good reviews (I haven't been myself yet). It's got a good variety of beaches as well as wineries and lakes etc, so a nice selection of things to do. The only problem with Perth is that it's a bit of a hike - roughly 3-4 hours flight time from Sydney, from memory. Not so bad if you can arrange a flight home from Perth, but maybe a pain if you've got to fly back to the east just to fly home.

    I think those 3-4 places are my picks for somewhere to stay for a week at a time. If you were able to move around a couple nights at a time, then I'd quickly recommend (if you had time) doing the great ocean road drive (The Official Great Ocean Road website), or maybe even going to Tasmania (I see RCI has a resort there in Hobart). Tasmania is a great place to drive around in, and has great wineries and various sights - and best of all, it's quite a small place, so the drives aren't too bad. If you're into hiking, then Tasmania is great - one of the more famous treks is this one (Overland Track Tasmania).

    But basically, just having a quick look at RCI, I think any place you choose there you'll find enough to do.
    Hope that helps a little bit!

  2. #22
    Re Sydney -
    I'd be more inclined to spend maybe 1 week in Cairns and then 1 week in Port Douglas (RCI has resorts at both).

    At port douglas, you can spend the week relaxing on the beach and do a cruise(s) out to the reef for the snorkelling/diving. There's plenty of other things you can do to get active if you'd prefer (reef fishing, sailing etc), otherwise just relax!

    Then in Cairns, you can just hit the tourist trail and do things like Skyrail Rainforest Cableway: Cairns to Kuranda Rainforest Tour - Queensland Tourism or Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park - Cairns - North Queensland - Australia or hire a car and go driving, there's so much to see around the area - waterfalls, cane fields, lakes, rainforest - lots of stuff! Lake Eacham - Atherton Tablelands - Tropical Far North Queensland Australia
    That website is a fairly good idea of what's around outside of Cairns.

    I'm sure you'll fill a week in Cairns itself if you had to, so I wouldn't worry about being bored.

  3. #23
    Contributor - Bronze Sydney's Avatar
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    Thanks so much Monty! You've just planned our next holiday for us. So 1 wk in Port Douglas and 1 wk in Cairns it is.
    Syd

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Monty View Post
    Re Flexible - Given you've already been in Cairns, I'd probably suggest either Sydney (in New South Wales) or Melbourne (in Victoria) as your first stop - they're both nice places, and you'll probably be flying into one of those 2 from overseas anyway. I personally prefer Melbourne, but others like Sydney more - Sydney has the more famous sites (Opera House, Bondi Beach), but Melbourne has a lot to do also (probably more known for 'cultural' things, shows etc). There's some good day-trips from both of those places as well.

    If you like the beach, then a week at either the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast would be nice. I think you can fly direct to the gold coast from most major centres, so that's probably the easier one. It's a 1 hour drive from the Gold Coast to Brisbane, which is the capital of Queensland.

    Otherwise, a place like Perth (in Western Australia) always gets good reviews (I haven't been myself yet). It's got a good variety of beaches as well as wineries and lakes etc, so a nice selection of things to do. The only problem with Perth is that it's a bit of a hike - roughly 3-4 hours flight time from Sydney, from memory. Not so bad if you can arrange a flight home from Perth, but maybe a pain if you've got to fly back to the east just to fly home.

    I think those 3-4 places are my picks for somewhere to stay for a week at a time. If you were able to move around a couple nights at a time, then I'd quickly recommend (if you had time) doing the great ocean road drive (The Official Great Ocean Road website), or maybe even going to Tasmania (I see RCI has a resort there in Hobart). Tasmania is a great place to drive around in, and has great wineries and various sights - and best of all, it's quite a small place, so the drives aren't too bad. If you're into hiking, then Tasmania is great - one of the more famous treks is this one (Overland Track Tasmania).

    But basically, just having a quick look at RCI, I think any place you choose there you'll find enough to do. Hope that helps a little bit!
    Monte,

    We booked Nov 14-21 2009 & Nov 28-Dec 5 2009 for Moorea (17 Miles from Tahiti). I haven't figured out if we'll still take the SFO-Sydney cruise that arrives 23 0ct 2009, then spend time in Australia & maybe NZ then get back to Tahiti. Or skip the cruise and go to Tahiti first then Australia. I have heard it is difficult to get TS during Christmas holidays in Australia though.

    Perth sound interesting too. If so, getting up to Phuket or India might be cheaper.

    Do you have any thoughts about these two resorts on the Gold Coast:

    122 Griffith Street, COOLANGATTA, QLD, 4225 Australia [Aus]
    Website: Classic Holidays - Holiday Resorts Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta, Broadwater
    LKJKL Luxury apartment accommodation is the ideal way to experience Queensland's Gold Coast. Beachcomber International Resort is conveniently located only minutes from the airport and New South Wales clubs and is directly opposite the magnificent Coolangatta Beach.
    Whether it's for business or pleasure, a one night stopover or a leisurely holiday, our luxurious apartments have it all. Your own private balcony with spectacular views, a separate lounge/dining room and a fully equipped kitchen and laundry.
    Our Beautiful Beaches - Surf Safety 55 Klms of brilliant white clean sand is what the Gold Coast is known for throughout the world. With lifeguards and lifesavers equally renowned for their expertise, our beaches are among the safest in the world, provided swimmers follow the rules.

    52-58 Marine Parade, COOLANGATTA, QLD, 4225 Australia [Aus]
    Website: Classic Holidays - Holiday Resorts Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Coolangatta, Broadwater

    Beach House Seaside Resort is situated in the most idyllic of locations, Coolangatta. The resort overlooks the magnificent Coolangatta beach and offers extensive views of the shoreline up and down the coast of Kirra and Greenmount. The resort is located within minutes of a host of leisure activities, Gold Coast Theme Parks, shopping centres, restaurants, clubs and the Coolangatta airport.

    There is onsite Activity staff that is readily available to help make your holiday action packed, or you can simply relax in the landscaped gardens or work on your tan by the sparkling swimming pool.

    The committed staff at Beach House Seaside Resort will always ensure you make the most of your holiday and with such an extensive range of facilities and activities you can be sure that all your holiday needs are catered for, making your holiday one you will never forget.

    Our Beautiful Beaches - Surf Safety
    55 kms of brilliant white clean sand is what the Gold Coast is known for throughout the world. With lifeguards and lifesavers equally renowned for their expertise, our beaches are among the safest in the world, provided swimmers follow the rules.

    THANKS

  5. #25
    Flexible, I don't know either of those 2 resorts. It's certainly a nice area though, so I don't think you can go too wrong. It's a lot more relaxed than the northern beaches too, and less populated.

    Just be aware that Coolangatta is the extreme south of the Gold Coast. It's probably a 45minute drive to Surfers Paradise (which isn't necessarily my beach of choice, but it's the tourist centre), and over an hour drive to most of the theme parks.

    If you have a choice, Broadbeach is my pick for the beach to stay at (it's touristy enough, without being as overpopulated as Surfers Paradise).

    If you're getting a car, then it probably won't matter too much where you stay, but if you're relying on public transport, just be aware that it's a hike from Coolangatta to the northern suburbs of the Gold Coast.

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Sydney View Post
    Thanks so much Monty! You've just planned our next holiday for us. So 1 wk in Port Douglas and 1 wk in Cairns it is.
    No problem at all
    Just remember, it's HOT and humid in summer!

  7. #27
    Contributor - Bronze Sydney's Avatar
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    We'll be going in July. Heard it's better then. By the way, just checked prices for a snorkelling day trip and it'll cost our family over $600 for the day cruise as there'll be 7 of us. Yikes!

    Flexible, I have a friend who owns at The Beach House and she and her family really enjoy it but the accommodation is not flash like some US timeshares. We have stayed in Mariner Shores before and flew into Coolangatta. I don't think the distance to Surfers is a problem if you have a car.

    Have also stayed at Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach and a couple of other gold coast towns. They're all pretty close together and on the same highway so with a car, it's pretty convenient. Look forward to all the sushi, Italian and of course seafood restaurants!

    p.s. We'll be up in Worldmark Kirra Beach in January 2009.
    Syd

  8. #28
    Thanks for the information about needing a car rental if we stay that far south.

    When I travel for a short time, car rental costs are not that big of a consideration. But we generally gone for 4-6 months for the winter. We will be driving to the MZT/PV side this year. In 2010 we will leave a vehicle near Cancun so we will have it there when we fly there in future years.

    For 2009/2010 I prefer to avoid car rentals when it makes sense. We might stay 12 or more weeks consecutively in Maui so I might consider buying a used car then selling before we leave.

    For Nov 2009 in Moorea, I figure we might rent for an occasionally day but mostly just hang out and snorkel at Club Bali Hai.

    When we were in Australia in February, a friend drove us around Sydney. We took a shuttle to our hotel when we got to Cairns and only rented a car for our day in the rainforest.

    I don't know the difference of visiting the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast or Melbourne yet. We might take the Princess cruise round Australia so that might help but we'd need our TS reservations ahead of time. So I'll check the maps closer to try to figure out where car rentals are needed. I understand Australia is so huge that I am guessing public transit is only in well populated areas.

    People mention the wine areas of Australia frequently. We live in California wine country. I am not sure of the differences other than types of grapes/wine in other areas.

    Thanks for any additional information or ideas.

  9. #29
    $600, that is definitely ouch. Make sure it's an 'outer reef' trip - I'm told some of the reefs closer to the coast aren't as nice as the outer ones. July should be ok - I was in port douglas last weekend, and it was a little cold (especially in the water), but I think July is typically peak season that way, so the weather musn't be too bad!


    About the wineries, I think it's obviously more for those interested in wines, just driving along the winery trails from place to place - I doubt it's much different to the concept you have in California. There are some really nice places here where there's accommodation at the wineries, which are nice.

    I think the gold coast wins hands down for tourists vs the sunshine coast. If you're travelling with kids, then they're going to love the sea world/movie world/dream world/wet n wild theme parks. There's the 'outback spectacular' dinner show, and a whole host of other similar things on the gold coast.

    The sunshine coast is a fantastic beach town, and it's certainly touristy in places too - but it doesn't have the range of activities that the gold coast does.

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