East Coast 3 weeks fly or drive?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific East Coast 3 weeks fly or drive?

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Australia
1. Posted by amijones (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I am travelling to Australia in Demeber for 23 nights. I plan to stay in Sydney for a few nights then travel up the East Coast to Cairns.

I was originally thinking of driving, however I am concerned that with 3 weeks it may not be long enough as I do not want to spend most of the time in the car. Are the certain places that are better to drive and certain places better to fly?

The places I wish to stop are Byron Bay, Surfers Paradise, Fraser Island, Airlie Beach and Noosa. Are there any other places worth stopping?

Any advise anyone could give me, would be a great help?


2. Posted by Emmalineau (Full Member 94 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Definitely drive! You could get from Sydney to Noosa in three days driving, so three weeks is plenty of time!

Plus, with a car, you'll be able to go off the beaten track and check out the beautiful forest and rainforest in Northern NSW and QLD. Hiring a car, definitely get insurance, and check that the car you hire allows you to travel on unsealed roads (such as a 4WD) so you can get off the beaten track.

Have an amazing time!

3. Posted by amijones (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for your reply. I was just worried that would not have enough time at each place, as would like to spend some time in Cairns at the end.

Any trips or places you could recommend?

4. Posted by MissNat (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I agree with Emmalineau... definately drive. If you are really concerned about the time, pick the car up in Sydney when you fly in and drop it off in Cairns and fly out from there. But I really think you will have plently of time... and driving will gove you so much more opportunity to get to the places you have mentioned. Flying might even make your trip a little more challenging! If you want to explore Fraser Is, you will definately need a 4WD... all the places you mentioned are beautiful. Definately spend some time in Cairns and at the reef... depending on how much time you have you could venture out to Lamington NP or Port Douglas (from Cairns).
Happy travelling!

5. Posted by unspoken (Budding Member 7 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi Amijones!

I would also recommend driving. Although there might be some longer (ish) days in the car, you get an excellent opportunity to see some of the wonderful places along the way.

There are great experiences of rolling into a small Australian town and meeting some of the locals.


Thanks and oh....hee hee...this is my first post! Wish me luck!

Moderator comment: please see Forum Rules

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. Link to Forum Rules added. ]

6. Posted by Sharon-T (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi amijones,

Have you thought of hiring a campervan or motorhome? Just like a hire car you can pick it up in Sydney and drop it off in Cairns. It beats looking around for accommodation every night, and would probably workout quite economical considering you can cater for your own meals as well.

We are caravanning around Australia at the moment and it's a great lifestyle. You will find that most people are very friendly and you can share travel tips and stories with fellow travellers. Caravan Parks range in price from $12/night to $50/night depending on where you are. Average is $25/night but there are also lots of free camps (large rest areas) that will have toilets and water available (but carry 8-10 litres of drinking water per person / per day - it's HOT in December) and occasionally a cold outdoor shower if it's near a beach. It is quite safe to stay at these free camps - there is also a free camp book available on the Internet which lists most of them. This is quite a popular way of seeing the country that keeps the costs down too.

I'm so glad you have Airlie Beach on your radar. It is my favourite place in Australia. It is the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. I would recommended a day cruise to Daydream Is. and Long Is. Lunch is included at the resort restaurant. Just spectacular! As mentioned earlier, the weather might be pretty hot in December so you might like to make air conditioning a priority, especially in Cairns if you go up that far.

There are heaps and heaps of other places worth stopping at: 1770 (the town of Seventeen Seventy) is one of them, but your best bet would be to frequent the Information centres which are in every town and city, they give fantastic advice on what to see and do, and if you give them an idea where you are going, you can plan in advance which is half the fun.

Have a great time, Happy Travels

7. Posted by amijones (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thank you for your replys. Thats what were now thinking of hiring a campervan and driving.

Just need to try and sort out itinanary but wondering whether to do a few nights in Sydney first or do Sydney for New Year as we fly out of Sydney on the 4th Jan. Any recommendations of where to stay for New Year Sydney or Cairns?

Also is Cape Tribulation worth going to?

8. Posted by timtravels (Respected Member 350 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Cape Tribulation is quite beautiful, I've got a picture in my photo stream.

Plus if you go up there you'll get to travel through the Daintree which is amazing, there's a camping area up there at Noah Beach if you take a camper van up.

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Jun-2010, at 18:15 by timtravels ]