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Advice on trip between Melbourne and Cairns...

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Advice on trip between Melbourne and Cairns...

1. Posted by Targett (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y

Hi,

My wife and I are planning a trip to Aus from the UK for a friends wedding sometime in the end of Feb but need some advice on how to split the trip up, where to visit/stay and how long to spend in places...
We will have 3 weeks in total including flying time, which leaves us with about 19ish days left!

The wedding date is the deciding factor as to whether we travel from Melbourne to Cairns or the other way round.

The wedding is in Melbourne and so will probably stay there a few days. planning on flying between Melbourne and Sydney, staying in Sydney for 2-3 nights probably (is that long enough or too long!).

The next plan to save on accomadation costs (and being able to have our own room) we were planning on hiring a campervan to drive the rest of the way from Sydney to Cairns in the remainding 14ish days. Stopping off on the way to veiw the scenary etc...

Does that sound remotely possible?
If not what can you suggest instead?
If it does can you suggest places to stop and see en-route?

Oh, this will be a one way trip so we'll be flying into either Melbourne or Cairns and flying out of the other at the end.

Thanks in advance for your help :)

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 10y

Quoting Targett

Does that sound remotely possible?

No. Sydney to Cairns is 2634 kilometers. I mean, yes, you could drive that distance in two weeks... but you wouldn't be doing much of anything else. I did the East Coast out of necessity in three weeks hopping from place to place by airplane, and still I barely saw anything and considered it far too short a time.

If not what can you suggest instead?

Limit yourself. Explore (for example) just the Sydney-Brisbane stretch, and maybe fly to Cairns for two or three days from there if you absolutely want to see the Great Barrier Reef as well.
You'll get much more out of the trip if you see a few things in depth than lots of things not at all.

staying in Sydney for 2-3 nights probably (is that long enough or too long!).

It's definitely not too long; might be just enough to get a sense of most of the highlights.

3. Posted by DanT1980 (Budding Member 33 posts) 10y

I would say 3 nights in Sydney is enough, but then going up to Cairns in that time would definately be pushing it.

I would suggest flying to Brisbane, and then seeing the stretch of the east coast between Brisbane and Cairns. Fraser Island, Whitsundays and leave yourselves a few days for Cairns (Barrier Reef) and Cape Tribulation.

You could drive Sydney to Cairns in 2 weeks, but you would spend most of your time on the road.

Hope this helps.. and whatever you decide to do, you will have a blast for sure!!

4. Posted by Targett (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y

Cheers guys, having read a bit of the Lonely Planet guid to Aus last night and finding out about the actual distance to Cairns we might even just do the drive fom Sydney to Brisbane (plus a little further to Fraser Island maybe) then fly back to Sydney/Melbourne for return flight to UK from there!

I was planning to do some diving on the barrier reef, but I noticed on the Lonely Planet map that it extends all the way down to Fraser Island anyhow... so by the looks of things we dont NEED to go to Cairns!

Can anyone suggest a good diving centre just north of Brisbane?

Cheers once again :)

5. Posted by Taffski (Travel Guru 182 posts) 10y

Hi,
the furthest down on the reef we swam on was at "the town of 1770" and we went out to Lady Musgrave island. This place was brilliant as it was a little Coral Athol out in the middle of the ocean. You go into the Athol and can snorkel with loads and loads of turtles (green and Loggerheads) or you can take a dive down the edge of the athol (goes down to 30m+) this is quite cool, however we thought the snorkelling was just as good as the diving (Some big fish / sharks) on the outside of the athol though... bit scary at one point!
This was also quite cheap relative to we had a guide for the two of us and there was no-one else diving (so it was brill!)
Anyway, I think the reef scoots away from the mainland the further south you go. 1770 is just North of Fraser Islandand if memory serves me right is the first place you can dive on "The Reef" although I'm not sure if Lady Musgrave actually classifies as being part of the GBR.
Enjoy your trip.
Taffski.

6. Posted by carosterns (Respected Member 159 posts) 10y

Lady Musgrave and the Heron Island area have some of the best diving on the reef that I have expereinced. It is right out on the reef which is quite a hike from the mainland and not crowded by day trippers like the places you can go from Cairns and Townsville. Bundaberg is a good point on the mainland to get out there.
The furtherest south I have dived is off Moreton Island (just off Brisbane). A good variety of coral, fish, saw a dugong there once, lots of turtles and of course there are sharks. You can stay at Tangalooma Resort on the Island and dive the Reef (natural one at the tip of the Island or the artifical one on Cowan Cowan wrecks)or the Tangalooma wrecks.

7. Posted by Targett (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y

Quoting caro_stern

Lady Musgrave and the Heron Island area have some of the best diving on the reef that I have expereinced. It is right out on the reef which is quite a hike from the mainland and not crowded by day trippers.

That sounds good to me! Thanks for the advice, I'll start to investigate...

Any other advice or tips on cool places to visit that might not be the norm pls let me know...

Cheers all :)