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2 adults, 1 child - 3 weeks in Australia, prices?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific 2 adults, 1 child - 3 weeks in Australia, prices?

1. Posted by Flusher (Budding Member 41 posts) 9y

Flusher has indicated that this thread is about Australia

We are going to Australia for 3 weeks, and we're wondering what NOT to miss!
I'm 28, my girlfriend is 25, and our daughter is 6 years old.

We'll arrive in Sydney, and we're thinking about staying there for 3-5 days, and then fly up to Brisbane and stay there the rest of the 3 weeks before flying to Sydney and back to Oslo, Norway.

We've heard that Australia is a bit expensive, and we're wondering about the prices for daily stuff, like eating out, cheap hotels etc..

Can someone give us some hints on what to expect?

Thanks :)

Svein Erik & Monica

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 9y

Australia is much cheaper than Norway (and Europe in general) in almost every aspect, so I don't think you should be too worried about that. (Although money always goes faster during vacations of course, and doing various activities can really add up fast.) To give you some idea of prices, a bread will cost $2-$3 (10-15 NOK), and you can have a very decent meal at a restaurant for $20 (100 NOK). For accommodation, I can recommend YHA hostels, which are generally speaking very family friendly (I've seen many young children run around at various hostels), and often have family rooms for about $50 (250 NOK) a night. (This is with shared bathrooms / kitchen. I'm afraid I have no idea of prices of hotels.)

You don't say what time of the year you're going. The weather in Brisbane can be really humid this time of year (up till April, I think? I don't know, I didn't spend that much time there - it was much nicer in August than in January, definitely). Brisbane itself isn't a city worth spending three weeks in (three days, maybe), although I suspect you've picked it mostly for the many theme parks on the gold coast for your daughter? :) In Brisbane itself, I can recommend the awesome Pancake at the Manor restaurant.
Flights throughout most of Australia are relatively cheap (specials of $100 pp (500NOK) are quite common - see for example virginblue), so it's easy to "hop" to some quite far-off destinations for a day or two. Assuming you're not going during "the wet", you could for example fly from Brisbane to Cairns and see the Great Barrier Reef from there, or head to Mackay and do a platypus safari to Eungella National Park (I can particularly recommend this).

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 6, 2007, at 4:31 PM by Sander ]

3. Posted by Flusher (Budding Member 41 posts) 9y

Thank you for fast reply!

We're going to Australia next january (2008).
I're read that Brisbane itself is not the best place to bee, but the thing we want to check out is of course The Great Barrier Reef, the golden coast, Surfers Paradise...I have not heard about the many theme parks on the gold coast as you refer too, what is that? any links?

I really want to go on the safari to Eungella National Park. I haven't heard about that in specific either. Is this a driving safari in the desert?

By the way, I just found a great route to fly, with Emirates in fact. They make "stopovers" easy on their website. I "booked" a flight from London, Dubai, Bangkok, Sydney, with a 5 day stopover in Bangkok on the way down under. On the way back, I made a stopover for 5 days in Dubai, the total cost was 2311 british pounds. Not too bad considering the stopovers. It's great to experience several countries on 1 trip :)

4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 9y

Quoting Flusher

I're read that Brisbane itself is not the best place to bee, but the thing we want to check out is of course The Great Barrier Reef

Not really possible to do that from Brisbane, unfortunately - it ends quite a bit north of it, and is very far away from the coast at that point.
Cairns and the towns around it are generally the starting point for boat trips to the Great Barrier Reef, because it's much closer to the coast up there. Unfortunately January is the middle of the wet season, and where Brisbane will be merely very humid, Cairns will have torrential rains all the time, making the visibility at the reef be quite bad, too. (That does mean several waterfalls would be very impressive, though.)

the golden coast, Surfers Paradise...I have not heard about the many theme parks on the gold coast as you refer too, what is that? any links?

There's a bunch of big-name theme parks (*looks it up in his lonely planet* Dreamworld, Seaworld, Warner Bros Movie World, Wet 'n wild) all close together there, just north of Surfers Paradise iirc.

I really want to go on the safari to Eungella National Park. I haven't heard about that in specific either. Is this a driving safari in the desert?

"Safari" is really too grand a word for it. It's just a minibus driving west from Mackay through the towns and sugarcane fields there, to the edge of Eungella National Park (one of the oldest bits of rainforest in Australia - very beautiful), where there's a calm bit of river that you have an almost guaranteed chance to spot the platypus at. It's kinda low profile, but I personally really enjoyed it, much more than any other tour I took. (This was with "jungle johno tours". Doesn't seem to have a website, but starts out daily from the YHA in Mackay.)
For desert type environment (the outback) you need to head much further inland, and then you might just as well fly all the way to Uluru (but I'd really not recommend doing that during the high summer of January, especially not with a six year old child).

5. Posted by Flusher (Budding Member 41 posts) 9y

So january is generally not a good month be be around north-east of Australia? I thought that january was "summer" down there. It's a rainy and wet season? What's the best month for this area? is february better?

Maybe we should fly from Sydney to Cairns and spend some time there, before flying to Brisbane and check out the things there, before flying back to Sydney..

6. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 9y

The seasons as you know them are really only present down the south of Australia. If you go further north, it becomes tropically hot, and beyond that there's only two seasons: "the wet" and "the dry".
The wet season lasts from December until April, although January through March is the worst of it. The shoulder seasons (late April - June and October - early December) are generally speaking preferred as the best time to be up north.
Also, Australia as a whole is much warmer than Norway. Winter in Melbourne still means average daytime temperatures of 10-15 degrees Celsius, with most days being quite sunny and nice; in Sydney that's already 15-20 degrees.

7. Posted by isnoo (Inactive 77 posts) 9y

Hi Svein, Eric and Monica,

I have just read your post and have seen you intend to arrive in January 2008.

Truly to go north at that time of the year is NOT a good idea. it is the monsoonal time and is extremely hot, humid, wet, sticky etc etc. It is not tourist time at all - in fact most of the touristy things/areas - in the Far North - will be shut down.

Your best bet is to go south at that time of the year - even though it is the school summer holiday time and therefore peak period.

There is a lot you can see and do in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia during that time - beautiful country. (Heavens I do not believe, being a West Aussie I am not telling you to forget the East and travel West!! LOL)

You will need to plan and book ahead - eg if you plan to stay in hotels/motels etc. Have you thought of hiring a camper van? Travelling with a child this, I feel, would be a better option especially being a peak time. You have your own accom on wheels etc - just need to find camping spots. You can find many books on free and/or cheap camping sites. It also allows you the freedom of choice in where you go each day.

If I can assist you in any way please feel free to contact me.

With regards

Kathryn

8. Posted by Flusher (Budding Member 41 posts) 9y

Hmm...this is a drawback for us, although I'm very happy that we asked for advise! :)
One of the things that we REALLY want to see and experience, is the Great Barrier Reef. But as you say, we arrive in the "wrong" season. Hmm..now we're really thinking hard about what to do..

What if we arrive in Australia 1st of December, and go straight to Cairns and Brisbane, and stay there for 10-12 days, then spend maybe 10 days in the Sydney area, before going home. Would it be "ok" weather the 2 first weeks of December in the north?

9. Posted by isnoo (Inactive 77 posts) 9y

Hi Svein, Eric and Monica,

The monsoonal(or Wet) season is from November through to March/April. That early part of the Wet is worse, I personally feel, as it is "building up" for the rains to begin later on in January - which means lots of storm clouds and humidity every day but no relief of rain.

OK there is no reason you cannot go - IF you feel you can handle the weather. There is also the possibility of cyclones being around at that time - which could mean you don't acheive anything. Also you would need to check with the Tourist people to see if there are any trips out to the Reef at that time.

I am not really trying to put you off doing this trip - just trying to point out it is not the best time to do it. But then of course you could actually have perfect weather - nothing is set in concrete at all! LOL

If you decide to go then I personally would suggest you spend more time in the Cairns area (rather than Brisbane) and a MUST is Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest. Truly magnificent area. You can get to the Reef from Cairns and Port Douglas. Oh there is so much up there - could go on forever about it.

10 days + in the Sydney area would be good but remember it is the beginning of the summer holidays so you will need to book well ahead. It is the peak season so will also be expensive so a possible solution would be to use part of this time in travelling around out in the country - north and south of Sydney along the coast and then there is also the Blue Mountains and beyond to the West of Sydney.

You can easily fill your time - and much more!

Good luck with your plans - hope you have a wonderful time.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

With regards

Kathryn

10. Posted by Flusher (Budding Member 41 posts) 9y

Thank you very much for you help!
Now we're considering going to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand instead..and put Aussie on hold :)
But don't worry, we will come! :)