Post # 1
So a while ago I posted that we had won flights to Fiji! So we are still doing that and are SO excited. But we also figure if we’re flying across the world we should check out Australia while we are over there.
I don’t know very much about that part of the world and would love your suggestions.
Here is our prelimenary plan:
September 29th: YYZ-NAN (via LAX)
October 1st: Land in Fiji
October 1-8 – Yasawa Islands cruise with Blue Lagoon cruises
October 8: NAN-MEL (Fiji to Melbourne flight)
October 8-10: Hang out in and around Melbourne
October 10-13: Road trip to Sydney (maybe stay at a coastal hotel here or there)
October 13: Fly home SYD-YYZ (via NAN/LAX)
October 14th: Recover from serious jet lag
My question is…is it worth it to do the 12+ hour coastal drive over 3 days? I would like to see some of the tribal towns and beaches and I hear it’s pretty amazing….Or would we better off just flying from Melbourne to Sydney and spending some more time in around Sydney??
We would also love hotel suggestions and excursion ideas.
Post # 3
I studied abroad in Australia and had friends who did this drive and said it was beautiful and definitely worth the time. Sydney is one of my favorite parts of Australia, so I highly recommend spending some time there, even just 3-4 days. If you can’t do both, I would fly straight to Sydney and stay there rather than spending all of your time in Australia in the car. I was in Australia for 6 months (mostly in the Gold Coast area up North) and only got to spend 1.5 weeks in Sydney. I was heart broken we couldn’t stay longer because I still had so much I wanted to do there. Luckily we were leaving Sydney to head to New Zealand.. which is also amazing 🙂
Also, if you are going in September, note that Melbourne won’t be very warm at that time of year.
Post # 4
thanks! yeah i hear the drive is amazing so it makes it hard to decide whether or not we want to fly from melbourne to sydney or drive it…there is some very cool things to do along the way…like we were going to go skydiving in Wollongong just south of Sydney. Hard choices!!
Post # 5
I’ve only been north of Sydney and driven between Brisbane and Cairns. Gold Coast I think it was called? That’s a beautiful trip too with lots of neat places to stop.
Post # 6
@Pinkmoon: that’s yet another option…we could fly into Sydney and drive to Cairns and fly back to Brisbane or Sydney to take our international flight home. There are way too many options. I heard Melbourne is amazing for food and art and is very historical which is a big reason for us wanting to check it out….sucks that everything is so spread out!
Post # 7
I would fly as well. I would probably go up to Cairns area, it’s so beautiful. We went out to the Ribbon Reefs up there and it was nice, you could see the continental shelf in the distance!!
Post # 8
@bretonvirgniia: So many options!! There are so many drives in Aus that one can do, i have a few on my bucket list – & the only reason i havn’t done them is because of TIME!
It sounds like you have approx 5 days in Aus – personally, i would leave the beautful drives until another time, when you have more time & you could go through ther great Ocean Road from Adelaide to Melbourne, then from Melb to Sydney & the one i’m looking forward to the most is from Syd to Cairns, up along the east coast.
5 days i would focus on one or 2 cities – MAX. I would highly recommend a min of 2 days in Sydney (i would actually go 2.5 or 3!) then fly to your next destination. Then it would be either deciding between Melbourne, our cultural captial, think hip, cool, little laneways filled with coffee joints during the day & little bars during the night. OR you mentioned Cairns / Brisbane – here you have beaches, Great Barrier Reef, & life by the beach.
Flights from either Syd to Melb or Brisbane are only 1 hour so you would be maximising your time ‘exploring’ rather then ‘travelling’.
I hope I’ve helped somewhat, happy to help with any questions!
Post # 9
I personally would skip Sydney. Im Australian, have been to Sydney once and that was more than enough, too expensive and crowded. Melbourne is great for culture, art and food.
In 5 days I would recommend only 2 cities also but consider Melbourne and then Brisbane/Gold Coast/Cairns. Its warmer up north than in Melbourne and would be great that time of year near the beaches etc.
Post # 10
1st of all what a lucky duck you are!
The drive between Sydney and Melbourn is a complete waste of time. The Great Ocean Road is not on the way to Sydney, rent a car and do that in one day. The drive between Melbourn and Sydney is long and uneventfull the spectacular beaches are North of Sydney.
I completly dissagree with cassandras87, It is absolutly amazing to be a tourist in Sydney -So much to do, way more than in Melbourn. Sure for living I’d prefer Melbourn but as a tourist you cannot beat Sydney, just taking the regular ferry across the harbour is amazing.
Really you’ve such a short time in AU I’d just go to Sydney, for the 5 days you have glorious beaches – Manly, the harbour, museums, zoo, etc
Post # 11
Sorry if i confused anyone in my previous post – Great Ocean Road can be done between Melbourne & Adelaide – not Sydney!
And there is no way you can skip Sydney! My personal fav is sipping a cocktail by the Opera Bar… it literally takes my breath away. And i’m not a tourist.
Post # 12
I was in Australia YEARS ago, but you have to do Sydney. It’s the iconic place – go to the Opera House, do the bridge walk, go to the zoo and hold a koala bear. Melbourne was nice, but to be honest, I don’t really recall much about it.
I LOVED Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef. Beautiful, nice beaches, snorkeling, etc.
I would fly to Sydney, spend a few days, then go up north. You hit the “highlights” so to speak
Post # 13
Nooo, skip Sydney and do Melbourne. for sure …. don’t bother with Bris though, we are pretty boring here, there aren’t many good places to eat and not much to see…go see some wineries on the granite belt if you want to see some of QLD
Post # 14
If you’ve only got 5 days, I think you will be pushing it do so as others have suggested and head up to QLD and see Cairns and Brisbane as well as Sydney and Melbourne. Stick to the south as you have planned.
Melbourne is lovely, is does have amazing food and culture. Great music gigs if you’re into that. The weather can be hit and miss but either way it’s a great city.
The drive to Sydney will be lovely for you. You will get to see beaches which are not packed with tourists… although I’m sure not what you mean by Tribal towns?
If you do plan on flying to Sydney, you can still do your sky dive in Wollongong, the train ride there is only about 40 minutes so you could always just do a day trip there.
You will find plenty to do around Sydney as well. Watson’s Bay is a lovely place to sit down and enjoy some fish and chips while looking over Sydney’s skyline.
Hanging around Bondi is a great day out and you’ll have lots of fun there. There’s great restaurants, great bars and obviously a great beach (although crowded). Newtown/Glebe Road are also nice for a night out, they are more alternative so again it depends on what you are after.
Anyway, I’ll stop blabbing! I’m Australian so if you need any more information just let me know.
Post # 15
So I realize that this doesn’t fall anywhere into your aforementioned plans but when I was in Australia two years ago we did a cage dive with Great White Sharks. There are only a few places in the world you can do this so if you are going to be in Australia and you think this might be something you would ever want to do I would highly recommend taking advantage of being there by doing it. The boat leaves from Port Lincoln which is a short flight from Adelaide (in South Australia). This was easily one of the most memorable things I’ve ever done.
I would also echo PP’s who have said that Sydney is amazing. It is vibrant and beautiful, you can literally just spend your whole day wandering around the Opera house and coastal area downtown.
Post # 16
If you’ve never been to Australia before you definately have to see Sydney but there is SO much more to Australia than Sydney. If you don’t see QLD you are missing out. But then again I am from QLD so maybe I am biased 🙂
I also think you need to see the ‘outback’ to get a true appreciation for Australia, but you couldn’t touch that in 5 days..