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Australia trip; where do I start?

(49 Posts)
mumblechum0 Sun 12-Nov-17 18:13:11

We've decided to go to Australia for a month next winter.
We'd like to go to 4 places for 6 nights each (and stopovers each way), rather than try to fit loads in and get knackered.

The only definite is visiting rellies inByron Bay near Brisbane. Won't be staying with them for a week, just a night or two.

We'll be flying Emirates as they have the best business class but looking for recommendations for internal flights if poss.

Any ideas much appreciated 😊

mumblechum0 Sun 12-Nov-17 18:39:31

Hopeful bumpy

ivykaty44 Sun 12-Nov-17 18:42:00

What 4 places in Australia do you want to visit and stop overs where in each direction?

mumblechum0 Sun 12-Nov-17 21:22:30

That's the thing IvyKaty, I don't know. I guess I'm looking for recommendations. Def like the idea of beach/snorkelling but also like hiking and buzzy cities....

Bowerbird5 Sun 12-Nov-17 22:11:59

My sister loves Byron Bay and that is her top holiday place.
The Whitsundays are lovely and you can go to the reef. My daughter and best friend went to an island near Brisbane where you can swim in an old shipwreck. They had a fabulous time for their 18 th birthdays.
If you went to Brisbane you could do the shipwreck and go inland to O'Reilly's for a couple of nights. You can walk in the rainforest and the sunsets are fantastic. Do the night walk to see the glow worms and the 5am to hear all the bird calls. We went full board and the food was delicious. We went there because my mum knew Bernard O'Reilly.

Sydney is a must. Go on the Manly ferry to view the harbour and go across to the North Shore. Lots of great beaches. There is a ship at Darling Harbour The Steyne ( something like that) which is a fish restaurant and we had an amazing meal platter of fish. We had three for two and there was plenty, crab, prawn, barramundi, lobster etc Doyles on the point is great too.
The Glebe Market on a Saturday is where lots of up and coming designers sell their wares and great street food. The AMP building is a revolving restaurant and you can go up if just want to see the view but the food is good. Look out for days when it isn't so busy for a cheaper deal. Views right across Sydney. The Chinese Gardens are beautiful and peaceful but the scones were rubbish. Last time we had tea. It is lovely and peaceful. David Jones store. The Rocks for a walk around trendy and expensive shops.My sister took my daughter to a big outlet place in one of the suburbs and treated her. Buy cotton as it is much better quality. Featherdale near Blacktown if you want to see wildlife.
About 85mile from Sydney is Berrima if you like old towns.The oldest pub and several quaint shops. Canberra is an attractive city. I've not been to Perth or Adelaide and the last time I was in Darwin was just after the hurricane so it will have changed a bit since then!
I would avoid Cairns and Townsville there are nicer places according to my sons who wished they hadn't booked there. A bit like Blackpool according to them. Have a great time! If driving it takes more than a day from Brisbane to Sydney as my DH discovered. I wanted to stay in Byron ... He drove in and out, I didn't even get on the beach and then we ended up staying in a cheap and not very nice motel because he was tired from driving!Next time I flew up. You will need a month but five weeks is better if you can. Qantas for internal flights and look out for deals. Also look for mystery hotels and last minute deals I had a suite overlooking the Opera House thanks to Booking.com messing up the hotel booking at the Mercure??? Well done for upgrading us for DD 18 th birthday treat.

Bowerbird5 Sun 12-Nov-17 22:13:38

South Steyne is the ship.

mumblechum0 Mon 13-Nov-17 00:05:29

bowerbird thanks so much!! I'll look at everything in your post. Can't wait!

ivykaty44 Mon 13-Nov-17 17:22:22

fly into Sydney and visit blue mts

Then fly to Brisbane and visit Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, then up to Byron Bay

I’d stop at Bangkok and HOng Kong or Singapore, but not sure how possible that is with Emirates?

I’d like to stay in the new hotel sky scraper with infinity pool in Singapore

bimbobaggins Mon 13-Nov-17 17:34:08

Hi mumblechum, I went to Australia last year for the third time. Had been to Adelaide twice before and went to Brisbane last year.
Would definitely recommend the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
We stayed in the q1 resort on the Gold Coast. It was a lovely place to stay. The helicopter trip is a must. We had afternoon tea at the palazzo Versace hotel which was also fantastic.
Australia zoo at the Sunshine Coast is worth a visit.
We are also going again this year, 5 weeks to go . We are going to Melbourne for the first time.
Any time I’ve been I’ve not stopped off anywhere. I’m quite a nervous traveller so just want to power on and get there.
We are traveling business class this year which we are really looking forward to.

mumblechum0 Mon 13-Nov-17 19:45:07

Thanks both! Sounds like we've got the right idea then of sticking to the East Coast.

Q1 resort, helicoptors, blue mountains....sounds fantastic!

Definitely like the sound of Singapore as a stopover, DH used to fly longhaul all the time for work (recently retired at 55), and always found the flight out to Melbourne not too bad (normally used Emirates business class), but said flying back home was the worst bit so we'll probably do more stopovers on the way back to gently get our body clocks sorted. I wouldn't want to that journey in economy though.

I am loving the sound of the Sydney to Brisbane trip but may do it the other way round so we're in Sydney for the New Year fireworks.

Now all I have to do is find another lawyer to take over my will writing practice for 5 weeks.......

Ttbb Mon 13-Nov-17 19:50:09

My Australian highlights are as follows state by state.
QLD-rainforests up near cairns
NSW-Blue mountains, Sydney
VIC-Hanging Rock/ballarat (if you are interested in history), Melbourne
SA-Barrossa Valley and Kangaroo Island
TAS-Hobart and rainforests again.
Never been/wanted to go to WA, ACT or NT

Ttbb Mon 13-Nov-17 19:51:43

Also I wouldn't bother with Brisbane. Pretty boring.

Dinosaursdontgrowontrees Mon 13-Nov-17 19:54:45

Tasmania is wonderful! I would 100% recommend.

BIWI Mon 13-Nov-17 19:59:31

Sydney for the fireworks will be amazing - but it's hideously expensive to stay in a hotel then - they really push the rates up.

Definitely Taronga zoo, if you're in Sydney, and the Bridge Climb is worth doing as well.

Bowerbird5 Mon 13-Nov-17 20:01:30

Oh yes. Sydney at New Year. My sister goes. Go early as very, very crowded.

I stopover in Singapore. Not sure that Emirates do it as it is usually Dubai. My sister stayed over in Dubai but not sure where. I was recommended to go to the Furama by a NZ guy. I always stay there. It has a pool on the fifth floor which is above the humidity so lovely. You must go to Raffles and have a Singapore Sling in the Long Bar. In fact my dream is to stay there overnight. You can just go for a drink. It is really lovely now it is restored. We usually eat at one of the restaurant at the waterside. Very cheap and not allowed to tout anymore which was annoying. Furama food is good too. Staff fantastic. Go to the Botanical Gardens - amazing orchids. We get a car to pick us up from the airport as part of the package with Furama. I book everything direct not a package deal but they can arrange a car. Usually a Merc so lovely and comfortable compared to a bus after a long journey. Worth the extra!
Blue Mountains is worth a visit. My Aunty used to live there when I was little. The sisters is a must for photos and Leurah for old fashioned milk bars for lunch. Wish I was going!

ddrmum Mon 13-Nov-17 20:04:18

Perth & Margaret River in WA are fabulous! Fremantle & Rottnest island are great.

Bowerbird5 Mon 13-Nov-17 20:07:05

Yeah don't stay IN Sydney then. Stay outside and go in by train. North Sydney or Camden. Camden 45 mins by car and about an hour by train from Campbelltown. Camden is where the settlers and farmers first went. Some of the town and Broughton street is where the Federation Houses are if you like history and/or architecture. If you do also go to Paddington and Balmain for lovely old terrace houses. Unusual for Aus as most houses are detached.

mumblechum0 Mon 13-Nov-17 20:07:44

Thanks all for the further info. Re. Sydney, just looked at what's on for this NYE and a dinner/cruise package in the harbour would cost 1500 AUD [gulp].

Still i have a loooooong time to research and book everything.

Emirates stopover in Dubai (dh says the business lounge isn't that great) so we'll just do the minimum hour or two there and do the proper stopover in Singapore. Singapore Slings in Raffles would fit in with our thing of drinking the local drink in every city we visit (hic) x

mumblechum0 Mon 13-Nov-17 20:08:46

Blimey bowerbird you know everything!

Misspilly88 Mon 13-Nov-17 20:11:41

Avoid Canberra. Sydney is a must. Byron is fun.

Also beware it's MASSIVE. Make sure you properly factor in travel time.

HundredMilesAnHour Mon 13-Nov-17 20:19:07

My favourite places to visit are:

Melbourne (do a coffee tour and check out the cafe lifestyle in old shopping arcades, go to the Penguin Parade at Philip Island - sounds a bit touristy but if you do the Ranger tour, it's AMAZING!, take 2-3 days to drive the Great Ocean Road, do some wine tasting on the Mornington Peninsula, visit Healesville animal sanctuary, hang out at the beach at St Kilda after some people watching). Melbourne is my all time most favourite Aussie city and I would move there in a heartbeat.

Tasmania - underrated but amazing nature and hiking and the friendliest people ever. Fascinating history, great food and wine, I loved it and will be back soon. So much to see and do but please keep this quiet so no-one ruins it for me. wink

Uluru - I HATE tourist traps and I avoided Uluru on many trips for this reason. But I finally made myself go and WOW, just WOW! I was blown away. Somehow the tourists disappear and you find yourself drinking champagne and watching the sun set over Uluru. I did 2.5 days here and it was an experience I will never forget. And not what I expected at all (so much better!)

Sydney - Blue Mountains. Stunningly beautiful and so atmospheric. Get away from the tourists and do some hiking. I got a lift part of the way back and got the boat back into Sydney in the evening. Bliss!! Sydney itself is ok. Nothing to get over-excited about (but I've lived in some very cool cities so I'm probably hard to impress).

Not a fan of Brisbane (meh!) or Perth (the land that fashion forgot) but I liked Fremantle a lot. Heard great things about Kangaroo Island and Coober Pedy so hoping to get there on my next trip.

In terms of stopovers, I prefer to fly straight through from the UK/Europe to Australia, then pop 10mg melatonin at bedtime and I'm on local time the next day. Works every time. The hardest thing about doing the entire UK to Aus trip in one go is that every meal seems to be breakfast (due to direction of travel and timezones). I am mightily sick of breakfast by the time I get there.

I like Qantas for internal flights. Even in economy their local flights are very good and have always been on time in my experience. Their business class Melbourne-Sydney flights are excellent!! And very good coffee in their domestic business lounges. For the long haul, I like Emirates business (on the A380 but NOT the 777) but Singapore Airlines are obviously better (but more pricey). I went BA Club last time and they were pretty solid but having Gold status with them tends to mean I get looked after (whereas status with Emirates never made any difference to how I was treated - either way). Qatar get good reviews and will fund a 48 hour stopover (you contribute $100 only for a 5 star hotel I seem to remember) in Doha. Nice stopover if you fancy having a very cheap Middle East break on the way there/back.

wobblywonderwoman Mon 13-Nov-17 20:24:41

We enjoyed the Northern Territory - Darwin. We did a road trip for a couple of weeks. Also went to Cairns. It was fine but nothing really special.

mumblechum0 Mon 13-Nov-17 20:25:56

I like Qatar business class lounge a LOT, but last time we used them to go to the Maldives the chairs didn't go flat so it wasnt q as comfy.

(first world problems i know I'll shut up now)

JingleBellTime Mon 13-Nov-17 20:32:42

If I had the time you have I would do
Melbourne - Great Ocean Road
Sydney and the Blue Mountains
Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef
Plus Byron Bay

Have done them all before and would love to do them again soon

I love Singapore too

canttestright Mon 13-Nov-17 20:39:33

We went last year to visit family. Went to Sydney- good to see it, nice beaches, but it spectacular; Great Barrier Reef- three nights on a liveaboard, wonderful, no point spending any time in Cairns but it's worth flying in and out; Canberra- really really awful, and Melbourne- amazing. Absolutely loved it, great city.

I actually think you could get away with three days in Melbourne and three in Sydney, or maybe 4 each- the flight between them both is about an hour, there's no hassle with security at the airport, and both are definitely worth visiting.

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