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First time to Oz!!

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific First time to Oz!!

1. Posted by Nati.S (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

hey everyone!

So i'm heading to Oz on the 2nd November for the 1st time., and I'm going it alone! I'm staying with people I know, but i'd love some advice on what to do in Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns.

Also, it would be great to meet up with anyone who's going to be in Sydney from the 11th November - 16th November, and Cairns from 17th - 23rd November

Any advice would be fantastic :)


2. Posted by timtravels (Respected Member 350 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hi Nati, when you're in Melbourne you might want to spend a day at the zoo, you can catch the train/tram there and make a day of it. Other than that I'm not sure what you can do actually in Melbourne, if you have time you could drive down and check out the great ocean road.

When you're in Sydney make sure you do at least a day trip to the Blue Mountains, even if you don't do a hike it's worth going up to check out the scenery. Spend a day in the city, it'll give you time to check out the opera house, the harbour bridge and the rocks area, if you're keen you could take a tour to climb the harbour bridge or go jet boating in the harbour. Spending a couple of days at the beach in November might be nice as the weather will be getting warmer.

There's not a lot actually in Cairns except the Esplanarde, which I think is now called the Promonarde or something. You can swim in the pool for free and it's a great place to meet people. Around Cairns I'd do a reef snorkelling/diving tour, go up and check out Cape Tribulation and if you've got time relax on mission beach.

I think I've got pics of most of these activities in my gallery so check them out, I'll add some of the Blue Mountains if I have time, kind of silly I don't have any because I live there.

3. Posted by Nati.S (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hi Tim,

Thanks so much for your advice, I'm writing it all down right now :)
I'll definitely take a look at your pics, and the Blue Mountains sound great so I'll add that to my plans! Can't wait to get out of England haha...

I'll let you know if I have any other questions!


4. Posted by ozulrike (Budding Member 17 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hi Nati,

A reef trip when in Cairns is really a must. I agree with Tim, the Esplanade is not great. There is also no beach directly in Cairns, the northern suburbs, Port Douglas in the north and Mission Beach in the south are really nice. You could also go up to Kuranda, one way with the old train, the other way with Sky Rail in gondolas over the rainforest. The Butterfly Sanctuary in Kuranda is quite nice. Or even take a tour through the Atherton Tablelands, nice waterfalls along the way...

Well, a lot of things to see up there and all depends on your interests and time I guess.


5. Posted by Nati.S (Budding Member 3 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hey Ulrike,

The sky rail sounds amazing, as does the Butterfly Sanctuary and the Tablelands - there's so much I want to fit in! Do they do guided tours through the Atherton Tablelands?


6. Posted by ozulrike (Budding Member 17 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Yes, you can go on a guided tour through the Tablelands. When you are in Cairns you just have to look at all the tour leaflets in your hotel/hostels or tourist info. It's very easy and different tours accommodate for different type of travellers.


7. Posted by timtravels (Respected Member 350 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

I'd forgotten about the Atherton tablelands, I agree with ozulrike they are worth seeing.

8. Posted by Nyssa (Budding Member 31 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!


I'm currently living in Sydney. Toronga zoo is pretty awesome, also I agree that you'd want to go to bondi beach and maybe manly if you have time. Blue Mountains are amazing! I lived in Cairns for a few months as well. Out of Cairns there is lots you can do. If you like adventure you can book both skydiving and white water rafting trips that depart from Cairns. A GBR trip is a must! Even if you just go snorkling. There are tons of tourist places advertising great rates. If you feel like doing a really good Tableland tour go with Uncle Brian. Everyone I've talked to who did it loved it.

Enjoy Australia!

9. Posted by WebGuy (Full Member 106 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hello and welcome to TP... Where are you gonna be for New Years? If around Sydney, you should check out the TP gathering we are all having! It's the first sticky in the NZ/Australian area!

Other than that, Cairns is awesome and Townsville has a lot to do and is a great city to meet other backpackers in!

10. Posted by eric25 (Budding Member 27 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

For free stuff and museums then I suggest going to to the Museum of Contemporary Art and Art Gallery of New South Wales.