Hi, my name is Carol and I just recently moved to Sydney, Australia, specifically a suburb called Cronulla (south of Sydney). I plan to be here for approx. 3 years and would like to do some travelling while I am here. Firstly, if someone could help me out, I would like to know how far it would be to travel from Sydney to Queensland (specifically the Great Barrier Reef). Can I get there, feasibly, by car or do I have to fly and if so, how long is the flight ?
Firstly, welcome to Travellerspoint! Secondly, welcome to Australia I live in Melbourne myself, so must recommend that you visit at some stage during your three years. Melbourne is quite a different city to Sydney and I think well worth your time!
As far as travelling by car - this shouldn't be a problem wherever you want to go really, it just can take a long time! Lots of people go on car trips all around Australia, so it is not such an unusual thing to do. Whether it is cheaper can be debatable, but you do have the advantage of being able to stop along the way, which can be half the fun! If you are going by car, I would recommend travelling together with 2 or 3 others though, to help keep the costs really low!
Ah, Sydney....had some of the best times there! Cronulla is pretty nice too. Hope you enjoy your time there, but I am sure you will!
If you want to travel to Queensland, that is a bit of a large statement. Narrowing it down with the Great Barrier Reef helps only a little as it follows a great deal of the East Coast down. I will assume you want to see the best reef, which means warmer waters which means high up north in Queensland (Cairns and surroundings). Absolutely no problem to drive from Sydney, but it will take you about 2-3 days of non stop driving (yes, I mean day and night!). So, if you are going that far up and a little limited in your time, I would recommend flying. Qantas has some pretty good deals and otherwise check out Virgin Blue.
If you have plenty of time or want to stay more in South Queensland (Fraser Island, Brisbane, Gold Coast and the like) you could always drive because that is actually a really nice stretch to drive with nice places to stop and stay every 4-8 hours....it will never bore you, that is one thing you can be sure of on that stretch! There are also some really nice islands further off coast totally surrounded by reef. I stayed on one for a few days which was called Lady Elliot. It was about as wide as one airstrip field is long; let's just say I was glad when the wheels were off the ground instead of dipping in the Pacific
To fly up you can also fly to Airlie Beach (the gateway to the Whitsundays which I would definitely recommend) which is only about 5 hours drive to Cairns if I remember correctly. The flight distance to Airlie Beach/Cairns is probably 3-3.5 hours or so. Definitely beats driving if you weren't planning to stop off on the way
Hope that helps! Say hi to good ol' Sydney for me...
Sam, thank you very much for your prompt reply. The information you provided seems excellent. I will start doing my research. It gives some perspective of the amt. of time I will need.