I'm planning a trip in Sept. for 3 weeks, flying into Sydney and need advice on how to fit my desired destinations in:
Cairns- maybe (not sure if worth time/distance?)
Brisbane & Gold Coast
Sydney & Blue Mtns
Melbourne (would really love to catch any rugby or AU football games)
I'm traveling solo and looking for mostly outdoors stuff- canyoning, hiking, adventure stuff. Any recommendations on what to do first, what to skip and the best/cost effective way to get to/from?
Thanks in advance for suggestions/help!
Id add fraser island to the list you could could start up north and make you way down
I would consider getting a few cheap internal flight with jetstar or virginblue to save a bit of time i did that last year and got some good deals on one way flights!
As for getting around a mix of maybe a greyhound bus pass and a few flights from brisbane to sydney and maybe then to melbourne would probaly save a bit of time..
I'm not sure how it would work cost wise, but I'd probably start up north and then travel south. Perhaps from Sydney catch a cheap flight to Cairns and do a diving/snorkelling reef trip, whitewater rafting and sky diving then you might be able to get a greyhound bus pass to travel down the east coast. You can get off at the Whitsundays, Hervey bay (to go to Fraser Island), Brisbane, Gold Coast and then end up in Sydney.
The Blue Mountains is really worthwhile for hiking, canyoning, and sight seeing although I am slightly biased because I live there so feel free to ask questions about it. If you're really keen on Melbourne you can either fly or bus from Sydney.
I have heaps of pics from the east coast in my photos, feel free to check them out.
Thanks you guys. This is really helpful.
timtravels, my friend had mentioned she didn't see the big deal w/ Cairns when she was there. But you made it sound like there's a lot to do (rafting, skydiving, etc). Hadn't been considering it much but now I'll have to look into it. Having challenge coordinating whitsundays sailing trip for when I arrive so maybe Cairns would be great to fill in that gap.
Definitely going to Blue Mtns. Excited to check out your pics.
Main pull for me w/ Melbourne is sporting events but haven't clarified if it's the right time. Hearing the weather is a little schizo there, I'm a little hesitant to schedule too much time in that area...
Cairns seems to be very popular with young travellers, there is always a crowd on the promenade around the pool. For me it was a very relaxing place and there is heaps to do in the area. The Daintree Rainforest is just north, whitewater rafting is usually either on the Tully River (south west of Cairns) or the Barron River (west of cairns), skydiving onto Mission Beach is supposed to be very good, and the outer reef trips from Cairns are great.
You can probably catch a rugby or aussie rules game in Sydney or Brisbane if that's your only reason for going to Melbourne.
I would rate Cairns higher than any other location as a must do bar Sydney. Trouble is needs at least a week to see the area. It fits the outdoor adventure criteria whereas Melbourne and Brisbane/Gold Coast do not. Cairns is ok, just a town so don't go to see the town, just somewhere to stay in an massive area that has very small population. Best to stay just for reef trip then get into the islands, rainforest, mountains or outback. It does attract mainstream tourist that think adventure is the skyrail so steer clear of the main tourist route and it is paradise.
Thanks for the comments everyone- they've been most helpful. I have decided to do Cairns for sure but am now deciding how much time I should budget. Originally I had 2 days but may extend to 4 due to feedback.
I've found a trip through Islanddive.com on the Wings boat for the Whitsundays. Has anyone heard any feedback about this company or boat?
Also, I arrive into Sydney from the states on a Wed. morning and am deciding whether I should just fly directly to Cairns or stay in Sydney a night- any advice? From what I'm seeing, it's a 3 hour flight??