I have 3 weeks in November to get between Cairns and Sydney - happy days! Realising this is far too little time to do the whole coast, I am thinking of either driving between Cairns to Brisbane or Brisbane to Sydney and flying the remainder. Question 1: If you've travelled the whole coast and could do either section again, which would it be? Q2 What are the must do's of each section? Q3 Hire or buy an automobile? Q4 How easy to buy a 'reliable car' in either Cairns or Sydney?
PS Anybody need a lift!!!
Q1) If I had to choose between the top half and the bottom half I'd definitely choose the top half.
Q2) My personal must dos would be Fraser Island, Great Keppel Island and the Whitsunday Islands. And also a day trip to the Barrier Reef while you're at Cairns.
Q3) My guess would be that three weeks probably wouldn't leave you enough time to buy a car and then sell it again at the other end so I'd probably say hire. But to be honest I don't really know too much about hiring/buying cars.
Q4) Some of the bigger hostels I've stayed at have had cars for sale on the noticeboards but that's about as much as I know.
Also I reckon you've definitely made the right decision by opting to see half the coast and then flying the other half.
Yep, 3 weeks will only leave you wanting to go back I'm afraid.
Cairns to Brisbane (Queensland, basically) is more 'typical Australia' and has the definite advantage of the Great Barrier Reef. Having said that, driving is pretty boring. New South Wales (down to Sydney) is a pleasant drive, much greener, and places like Byron Bay and Nelson Bay are well worth a stop. There are fabulous beaches everywhere in NSW.
I spent 2 weeks in Sydney and that wasn't enough! So look at what you want to do there and plan it well. Two full days minimum I would recommend.
Don't buy a car. This just isn't worht it unless you're there for 3 months, nevermind 3 weeks. Car hire is a lot cheaper than in the UK.
In Sydney, Williams St has all the offices (about 8). We used Bayswater who are the largest independent. But tell them where you intend to go, because some restrict the type of car you can have if you are driving 'Interstate'.
Flying half the leg is a good idea, but might be worth checking out the coach options instead of driving. Queensland is hot, huge and driving can be tiring. Better to be reading your guidebook on the coach in that short space of time!