I was wondering if some people who are more wise than myself about Australia could advise me!
I'm a 22 year old (female) medical student and I'm going to Oz in June for my elective. I'm going with a friend and we're planning on travelling the East coast (Cairns to Sydney) first for 4 weeks,and then flying to Perth for the elective.
Originally we were planning on getting a coach tour from Cairns to Sydney, but now we're wondering if would be better to hire a car so we'd have more flexibility about what we do - does anyone have any advice about this?
Also, does anyone have any tips about must-see places on the route from Cairns to Sydney?
Thanks for your help - any advice would be much appreciated!
Unless you can hire a car for cheap, an even better idea would be if you each bought a 1 way Greyhound bus pass. I think they are like 200-300$ and allow you to get on and off as long as you travel in one direction.
If you plan on doing stuff like sailing the Whitsundays or camping on Fraser Island (which I highly recommend), go to a PeterPans outlet in Sydney, they can hook you up with a crazy package deal, including the bus pass. They have outlets in all the destinations up the coast to if you end up having any problems.
Their website is www.peterpans.com , I am excited for you just writing about it!
[ Edit: Edited on Mar 22, 2007, at 7:54 AM by mista2kool ]
Depends on your budget but the ultimate for flexibility (and cool) is a campervan. If you like the look of a place, you pull over and stop, without having to search for somewhere to stay - 4 weeks is tight for the east coast so make the most of it.
[ Edit: Edited on Mar 22, 2007, at 8:57 AM by stevieh ]
If we were going for a coach option I think we'd probably go for the Oz Experience Cobber Cairns to Sydney, does anyone have experience of that? I'm a bit worried about blowing the budget, but it seems silly to save a small amount of money and compromise what could be the experience of a lifetime!
I am pretty sure Cairns will have the Britz Campervans which are the ideal for you because you can leave them in Sydney when you reach there for someone else to drive back. As you say it gives you flexibility to move around. From Cairns I would definitely check out the Whitsundays, a group of islands in the Great Barrier Reef. Best place to stop is at Airlie Beach just off the Bruce Highway which is the main road down from Cairns to Sydney. Spend a day or two there and then move on to the Sunshine Coast going into Brisbane. Perhaps somewhere like Mooloolaba or Maroochydore or even Buderim, the ginger capital and which is very pretty. Then into Brisbane itself then an hour outside of it on the way further South is the Gold Coast. Pop in and spend day or two there just looking around perhaps starting at Southport and getting around from there. Then across Queensland border into New South Wales and a day at Byron Beach which is a must for visitors then down to Coffs Harbour and try and get to the beach at Korora Bay...absolutely stunning. Then to Port Macquarie just to walk around the pretty city and spend another day a few miles outside of that city in little historical village near Wauchope. Fascinating. Then travel further down Coast and go inland a little to Port Stephens /Nelson Bay (a real hidden treasure) then into Sydney itself. Try and keep van if possible because accomodation is not cheap in Sydney. Look for a camping ground or something before you fly out to Perth. Have a good time. PS: Take a camera of course, it will be okay in Cairns and down Qld coast at that time of year but definitely cooling down as you hit Sydney but still warm by UK standards. Perth is a lovely city but can be windy. Have fun!
I would like to add to look at this website: standbycars.com, especially the campervan section. You have picked a great time of the year for this journey, but bring some cold weather clothing for Sydney and Perth, or if you go inland.