I'm going travelling round the world for six months in January and we'll be swinging by australia and new zealand (3 weeks in each ) on our way from Asia to South America.
What is everyone's thoughts on flying into Cairns and spending some time there then making our own way down to Brisbane for the 3 weeks? Is this a feasible plan for 3 weeks? What would people recommend that we see/do while we're doing this? And also how is the best way to travel? Sorry, lots of questions!
I would really appreciate some advice on this if anyone has done something similar or has some recommendations!
When would you be arriving in Australia? If it'd be anytime up to April, I'd change your plans to avoid Cairns (and all of the north of Australia) completely, as it's the wet season there from December through March, which is just downright unpleasant. (I'd recommend the Adelaide to Melbourne to Sydney stretch as an alternative over the Cairns to Brisbane stretch.)
Otherwise three weeks is a short but doable amount of time for that distance. Obvious things to do are a trip to the daintree rainforest from cairns, a visit to the great barrier reef, visiting magnetic island, sailing the whitsundays and visiting fraser island. Brisbane is a rather boring city (though it's a decent base for visits to the coast north and south of the city), so I wouldn't plan on spending too much time there.
(For the alternative route from adelaide to sydney, there's the great ocean road, the grampians, melbourne, wilson's promontory, the snowy mountains, the blue mountains and of course sydney itself.)
Thank you for your advice, its really helpful
We will be in aus and nz in march-april so it sounds a good idea to miss the wet season- i think we'll take your advice on the adelaide- sydney route, sounds and look great! thanks very much
I second the call on Brisbane being boring as bat shit.. take it from me, Queensland is beautiful (particularly Sunshine Coast & Nth Qld, but Brisbane is bland.
You may want to consider Northern NSW Coast instead (Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour area) as the coast along there is nice too.
Cairns is beautiful, but I agree, try to avoid it in the wet season. There's heaps of stuff to do on the north coast. Byron has markets and then there's all the beaches and activities on the Gold Coast. -snip- Have fun! It's a pity you're not here for longer - the west coast and northern territory would give you a good taste of the raw australian essence.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
I reckon 3 weeks you should fly into Melbourne, Spend a day or 2 seeing the Great Ocean Road, couple of days in Melbourne then fly upto Sydney a few days in and around Sydney & the amazing beaches Bondi,Coogee,Palm Beach then hire a car or Oz experience it north to Byron bay spend a few chilled out days there and make your way even further north to Surfers & if you can Fraser Island (best thing I've done in Oz) or sail the Whitsundays (would have been 1 of the best things if I weren't seasick for 90% of the time) anyways the moral of the story is, well there isn't 1 it's australia everyone's too laid back to have definitive plans
MELBOURNE is a must! Its a great city with a multicultural feel and loads of events and festivals.
I agree with the Great Ocean Road reply. Definately do the Melbourne/Sydney trip, the snowy mountains are great if you're there in winter or summer.
Avoid far north queensland in summer (december to february), its sticky, hot, rainy and so muggy. I live in Brisbane and we feel the heat the most in January/February where temps can be high 30s with the usual summer storm in the afternoons the only relief from the heat.
Queensland is a beautiful place, many places to visit. If you're into beaches, try Hervey Bay, Bargara (scenic coastal place near Bundaberg, close to Bundy Rum factory!), definately Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast. Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Surfers Paradise, Burleigh, they're all great places for a swim, crowded during summer but hey, we just want to get out of the sun and into the surf! Head straight to Byron Bay and spend ages there in the surf, beautiful place to be.
If you're after peace, quiet and bush/mountain scene, definately go to Maleny for a few days, maybe 2 or 3 days would do it. Perfect green rolling hills with cows dotted everywhere, Maleny is high up on the hill overlooking the Sunshine Coast (Caloundra, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, etc) and the Sunshine hinterland. Beautiful scenery and magical photo opportunities everywhere. There's markets in Montville, definately go to the fudge shop if you're there! Jewellery, wood, crafts, everything you need. Magical views, secluded walks and waterfalls. Beautiful during winter when its cold but sunny. Also Lamington National Park. There's beautiful drives through many wineries in the Granite Belt, so take your time to explore.
Brisbane city itself is a bit boring, the usual shopping precinct and Southbank (man-made pool and restaurants on the edge of the Brisbane River in the heart of the city). Museum, art gallery, the usual things. The city and Fortitude Valley is good for night life, but not so great for much else i'm afraid.
Try a hot air balloon for a great way to see the city or the country.
The lowdown - Brisbane is a great place to live but stick to Melbourne/Sydney for more to see and do. Definately hire a car or campervan, otherwise long drives between the larger cities will be so boring on a tour, etc. Buy a map, find some places to visit, and drive yourself around. Enjoy!
3 weeks is a good amount of time, I would even suggest that you try to venture further down the coast. Cairns is great fun, while you are there you should as much time as possible on the Great barrier Reef. we recently did an overnight reef trip which was great. When we go back we will definitely do the same trip again or even try get on a boat that stays out longer.
Rather than spending too much time in Brisbane you should consider visiting the Gold Coast, Byron Bay and Sydney.
Either way i'm sure you will have a good time
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]