My partner and I will are travelling auz for 6 months starting end of June in perth and leaving Syndey on the 5th January 2010.
We are hoping to travel to Cairns end Aug / beg Sep and make ourway down the East Coast to Brisbane.
can anyone recommend suggestions for the following:
1. Mustsee's along the route
2. Places we should defintely stay along the way
3 Travel - Campervan or Hostels and Bus?
We are not limited for time, we can take 4-6 weeks if need be for this leg of our trip.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Here's a bit of a breakdown of what we did and what I would and wouldn't recommend:
- Firstly. take a couple of days out to go northwards to the Daintree and Cape Tribulation before you head south - it's a lovely bit of jungle, and a good river for croc spotting etc.
- Cairns isn't a terrible place to spend a couple of nights. Stayed in Gecko's which was a reasonably nice hostel.
- Green Island - don't go there, head for one of the islands further out into the reef - it's over-touristed and environmentally depressing
- Townsville - an essential overnight to break up the long trip to Airlie Beach. Some folk go to Magnetic Island, we didn't do this but did go to the aquarium in town which is quite good.
- Airlie Beach - Good fun and a nice place to bed down for at least a few days, holiday atmosphere, nice beach, good cafes and bars, and the jumping off point for:
- The Whitsunday Islands which are fabulous and you absolutely mustn't miss! Most people go for a 3-day sailing trip and it's well worth it, scenery, wildlife, atmosphere, all great.
- Rockhampton I actually really enjoyed, not to everyone's taste admittedly but felt like I imagined 'the real Australia' to feel, all Queenslander houses and advertising hoardings promoting beef. I liked the botanic gardens. Stayed in the Criterion Hotel which is a great ramshackle old colonial-style hotel with reasonably priced rooms.
- Hervey Bay is a bit dull but it has some nice hostels and is the jumping off point for:
- Fraser Island, an absolute must-see, the world's largest sand island with beautiful, refreshing freshwater lakes, beaches, cliffs and enormous trees. Rent yourself a 4x4 and spend some time camping on the island.
Hervey Bay is also famous for Whale Watching trips.
- Brisbane is a top city and you'll definitely want to spend a few days there.
We travelled on Greyhound buses which was pretty economical and worked out well for us.
totally agree with magykal
magykal1 has pretty much listed my trip from Sydney to Cairns in reverse
Another thing you could see if you're interested is the waterfall circuit west of Cairns in the Atherton Tablelands, you can drive it in a day and have a lunch up there, it's quite pretty. Instead of Hervey Bay, I stayed at Rainbow Beach to jump onto Fraser Island and found it a very relaxed town with a beautiful sunset over the river/bay area. I think most of the tour companies operate out of Hervey Bay though.
Mt 2 cents would be.
Hit the Botanical gardens in Cairns and then walk the trail up through the hills for an over view of the city.
The cable car over the rain forest is also a must do.
Rent a car and go north to Daintree and Tribulation, come back down to Cairns then go inland to Atherton tablelands. really cool and so different for that area. Keep going west inland and you can get to see some of the outback and visit Chillagoe and Mungana National Park, great swimming hole.
If your going to take a trip out on a boat from cairns go down to the dock and speak directly with the boat operators. i got a 3 day trip on a sail boat for about $200 less. same for Whitsundays in Airlie Beach. The tour companys will have signs out of the next day sailings at reduced costs. For trips out to Fraser Island, you'll do better and have more fun with a group. The tour companys in Hervey Bay arrange everything, including your 4X4, ferry pass, food, tent, and an itinerary so you don't get caught on the beach in a high tide. Just be cautious of the group your going with and ask questions about what they expect from the trip, before you sign up with them. Some kids down there are just looking to take as much beer with them as the 4X4 will hold and will be drunk the entire time they are there.
Also def go to Yungaburra - wonderful place and stay at On The Wallaby - if you are in a a camper they let you park on their driveway and use facilities for $20. Can go platypus spotting there. Very cool place!
Its a good tip we never knew before we did that same trip always ask at hostels if you can park in their car park and use their facilities as 9 times out of ten they said yes and either let us for free or charged minimal $10/20 - so much cheaper than a hostel room.
Also Paronella Park near Townsville - can't explain it but you have to see it to believe it!
Def do Tablelands/Atherton areas - Milla Milla Falls etc.
Hervey Bay saty at A1 Fraser Roving - great staff and people - same deal with parking in car park in camper and their Fraser trips were so cheap - tell them you want to go stand by - costs a lot less and chances are you go the date you want anyway.
Cape Tribulation was breathtaking!