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3 weeks - First trip to Australia - Suggestions requested

3 weeks - First trip to Australia - Suggestions requested

Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 11:10 AM
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3 weeks - First trip to Australia - Suggestions requested

I would thank you in advance for any advice or suggestions!
My wife and I are planning our first trip in August-September-October to Australia, with a follow-on to New Zealand and French Polynesia (possibly Moorea-Maiao). We have traveled extensively in Africa, Central Asia, Europe and the Caribbean, so are experienced travelers. We will be in Australia for about 3.5 weeks, as we think that might be enough to see what we want to see. We are not hurried travelers, like to take our time and enjoy wandering. We enjoy experiencing the local foods and a very nice restaurant occasionally too.

Our first rough idea of an itinerary (without much detail) is below.
We are most interested in suggestions for snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef and the Outback (we want to take in as much as we can and try to get a basic sense of it all, but try to avoid the most touristy areas, so off the beaten path is okay).

Day 1-5 – Sydney
- Lots of wandering
- Opera House
- Fine dining
- Beaches
- Maybe a bridge walk
- Blue Mountain side trip

Day 6-8 Port Douglas or ??
- Snorkeling trip/tour

Day 9-13 Outback (I realize that is very general)
- Small group tour

Day 14-24 Melbourne and Phillip Island
- Visiting with friends
- Lots of wandering
- Fine dining
- Wine tasting
- Drive along the Great Ocean Road

Then onto New Zealand…..

Thanks again!
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 08:09 PM
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not sure if you realize but only Australian citizens or permanent residents are allowed into the country at the moment and we have no indication as to when this will change. are allowed .
For your outaback tour are you considering travelling from Northern Queensland?
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Old Jan 24th, 2022, 12:32 AM
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Hopefully Australia will be welcoming overseas tourists by then and you can come and have a wonderful time! But who knows... I would only book things that can be easily cancelled.

Port Douglas is a good place to base yourself for the reef. Tours also go from Cairns. Port Douglas is very touristy (not in a bad way) and much smaller than Cairns. Flights from Sydney go to Cairns then it's about an hour by road to Port Douglas. If you wanted to stay somewhere really small, Palm Cove is between the two. There is also Daintree and Cape Tribulation but it would take you longer to get there and it sounds like your time is limited.

We did a Quicksilver cruise years ago which was really good, though I guess not for everyone. It was a large catamaran, holding about 300 people and at the moored pontoon (out on the reef) there were lots of things to do as well as snorkelling. Buffet lunch too and cold water showers. There are also small boats that visit the reef but one big difference is the amount of time it will take to get out there. I think the cat we were on took over an hour to reach the reef. Also smaller vessels may not have a pontoon area so would just anchor somewhere to allow snorkelling.

Port Douglas has loads of accommodation and places to eat. It's not a particularly cheap place but has a gorgeous beach and is very popular.

With your outback idea, you could visit Northern Territory or see outback Queensland. Check out Winton and Longreach for some ideas.
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Old Jan 25th, 2022, 12:24 PM
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Hopefully you are able to come and assuming you can…..

The Sydney Opera House offers guided tours which you could combine with your interest in fine dining. Bennelong restaurant at the Opera House is really good as is Aria which is located at the entry to the forecourt. There are also bars where you can have a drink and admire the stunning harbour.

You can walk across the road level of the harbour bridge at no cost or do a guided walk over the top of the span of that interests you. That isn’t inexpensive though. The Sydney botanic gardens are also a great way to while away a few hours and also enjoy the harbour views.

Last edited by cathies; Jan 25th, 2022 at 12:26 PM.
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Old Jan 25th, 2022, 12:39 PM
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You could fly from Cairns to Alice Springs/Uluru and tour around Uluru and Kata Jhuta then fly to Melbourne.
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