My boyfriend and I are going to Oz for three weeks at the end of January.
Even though we have a full and mixed itinerary from an agent here in Canada, we’d love any advice as to ‘must sees’ in the various areas we’re going to! Also, if there are things that aren’t worth doing, let me know too! We want to make the most of our time! Restaurants, shopping, little unknown gems – any help will be sooooo appreciated!
Cities we’re visitng: Sydney, Kangaroo Island, Melbourne, Adelaide, Port Douglas, and Brisbane
Thanks very much,
I'm originally from Melbourne, and now living in Geelong (hour away from Melbourne). If you get a few days to yourself in Melbourne it would be worth taking a trip down the Great Ocean Road. Great scenery (http://www.greatoceanrd.org.au/). Must is Vic Market, great prices on touristy souvenirs Also check out the botanic gardens for a walk and the zoo. The twilight time and the zoo is also quite good (http://www.zoo.org.au/melbourne/twilights.htm). Also phillip island is a great place for the penguin parade (http://www.phillipisland.net.au/) - but it's probably too much to do the great ocean road and phillip island.
And also, don't book any wine tours in Adelaide until you get there. I recently went to Adelaide and luckily hadn't booked a tour cos they were so expensive! Anyway, when you get to the airport (domestic terminal, but i suppose they would have it in the international terminal too), they have this area where brochures are found (it's just near the rex and jetstar pick up baggage area). We got a wine your for $65 from a brochure we picked up there and it was an awesome tour!
Most of all have fun. In the touristy spots most locals are really friendly .
I'm in Melbourne and its a great place, there's just so much to see. I live near the Vic Market and it's well worth the visit; open tues and thurs to sunday (usually open to 2-4pm depending on what day it is). But I would check out the night market on Wednesdays during summer. Great atmosphere, food, stores and music. From 5.30pm till 10ish...well worth a visit on a pleasant night.
Lots to see and do in the city. If you into shopping there's heaps of places in the city, or there is a Bridge Rd, Richmond (many outlets) or Chapel St (has the high end botiques, nice cafes and nightspots.
Other places outside of the city worth checking out are St Kilda (near the beach), Fitzroy (lots of cafes, shops), Lygon St (in suburb called Carlton) is an italian area (mainly restauarants, retail shops...). Southbank in the city is nice for a walk around, it's right next to the yarra river, you can go there when you walk around the city area. These places are a short tram or train ride away, public transport is easily accessible to these inner city areas. There's tourist booths you can get more info or help from, or just ask someone on the street!
I see you got a couple of replies from Melbourne, now come on your helpers from other states.....
I'm from Melbourne too and I did reply directly but I have a couple of other suggestions to add.
Other things to consider:-
. Moonlight Cinema at the Botanical Gardens at night(http://www.moonlight.com.au/sessions.php?MoonlightEventLocationId=2).
. The Tourist tram it's free & circles the CBD, you can get on/off anywhere along the route.
. Tram car restaurant, have evening dinner while travelling the inner suburban tram routes in a vintage tram.
. Puffing Billy Steam train operates from Belgrave (Dandenong Ranges).
. Healsville Sanctuary for Australian Flora & Funa even the playpus.
. The Yarra Valley for wine (on the way to Healsville).
. Soverigh Hill in Ballarat (1hr from Melb) a recreated 1860's gold field(http://www.sovereignhill.com.au/). This could take a whole day or, get there in the afternoon & stay on to see 'Blood on the Southern Cross" which starts after dark.
There is more so maybe come back again & visit Melbourne for a longer period. Hope you both enjoy your time with us in Oz..
Are you flying between places? If not, don't underestimate driving distances - it could take up far too much time. Port Douglas is a very long way from... well most other places!
Thanks so much everyone for your help so far!
We're flying between all major cities. We have to make the most of our time - and driving for 18 hours might kill us!
Anyone have tips on specific dive companies in Port Douglas?
Two of us from Ireland went to Australia and New Zealand at the end of August, start of September. Were in Sydney, Alice Springs, Cairns, Port Douglas and Brisbane. In Sydney, climbed a pylon of the Harbour Bridge, great views, you can climb the bridge too but it's expensive and I don't think you can bring cameras. Went to the Blue Mountains, went on the scenic railway, short trip but very memorable. Port Douglas is about one and a half hours from Cairns by bus. in Cairns we went to a heritage village called Kuranda, markets, wildlife tours, abroiginal culture, trip up by rail, great views. Trip down by Skyrail, a cable car system through mountains and forest, spectacular views. In Port Douglas took a trip to the Barrier Reef, underwater boat trip around the reef, lasts about an hour. You can also snorkel. Were meeting distant cousins in Brisbane and only had one night did not see much but am told it can get very hot this time of year. If you email me I can give you a link to photos I posted(tnough most of the best stuff I have is on video).
aaaaw i love melbourne, spent many months there. if ur there in jan n like tennis its the oz open. and if ur lucky to be there in start feb its the st.kilda festival - huge big party in st.kilda - went last year and was sooo much fun.
melbourne great for shopping, eating out - best returants in oz i'd say and also for its cool culture and super friendly people n funky bars. go to brunswick street for some boho, carlton for some italian flavour, Williamstown for nice cafes n better beach than st.kildas.
ok the rest of oz is fab too, im just blabbing on about how cool mewlbourne is, but bewarned it can have all four seasons weather in a day, but hey thats melbourne. theres always ramsay street too hehehehe.
Sydney CDB and walking distance: Take a walk from Circular Quay down towards The Rocks (beers/wine/dine), a walk over the Bridge and back - pretty impressive at sunrise or sunset on a clear day, Luna Park (free to get in now I think - $40 for unlimited rides etc). Get a ferry from Circular Quay to Manly (on the Harbour). Taronga Zoo, Manly Aquarium, Cadmans Cottage, Garigal National Park, Opera House, Hyde Park, Australian Museum. There's a few nice walks around the Sydney Harbour foreshore.
If you like getting out of town - either way (N,S or W) there are some impressive walks to do. Check out http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/ for more on Sydney / NSW National Parks.