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jaws
18th June 2008, 21:20
Hey guys...coming for a little trip of NZ and Australia ending in Cairns. So what should I go see :) ?

sportytrace
18th June 2008, 22:13
Well obviously without a doubt you are seeing the reef while there.... If you are okay with riding on the left side, hire a bike and head up onto the Atherton tablelands; gorgeous area with some really nice riding at this time of the year. You must get up to the Daintree- incredible rainforest. Most people add the Kuranda rail and sky rail to their itineries though Kuranda is now fairly touristy as a result.
Are you travelling alone or with family?
What do you like doing? Adrenalin / Energetic / Walking Pace / Lie Still
Cheers
Trace
ps If you get to travel outside of Cairns head to the Whitsunday's for some sailing - beautiful area - or camp at Hook Island where you can walk off the beach to some spectacular snorkel reef within 100m of shore. I'm based on the Gold Coast, let me know if you are getting this far south!

Swankster
18th June 2008, 22:51
Cool! I last holidayed (as the OZeeeeees say) in Cairns in 1987 when I was a lad in my 20's with my wife. I won the trip via a reward in conjunction with the 1rst Crocodile Dundee movie prmeiring in 1986. A long story. I loved Cairns and everything about it and beyond... an even longer story yada, yada, yada,
I lived in a Melbourne suburb back in 1969-1972 and never got up that far.
Have a blast and enjoy a pastie, sausage roll (don't forget the tomato sauce), bugs and if you love fish; the Barramundi fish. Simply exquisite
Go St. Kilda
Swankster
Swankster

jaws
19th June 2008, 05:29
Actually it's a 4 city trip ending in Cairns. Going to Auckland, Queenstown, Sydney and Cairns.

It's me and my wife, Kuranda/Daintree and diving the reef are already on the itinerary. Actually we love it all..chilling and active. Very excited, it's been a dream of mine to visit Australia for the past 20 yrs or so :) so I don't want to miss anything good. Unfortunately I don't think we'll make the gold coast, kind of far from Sydney or Cairns :) Do want to some of Route one though.

I'm ok with driving/riding on the left, doesn't matter to me. As long as it has at least two wheels and an engine I'm good.

I won't be there until October though.

sportytrace
19th June 2008, 23:53
Actually it's a 4 city trip ending in Cairns. Going to Auckland, Queenstown, Sydney and Cairns.

It's me and my wife, Kuranda/Daintree and diving the reef are already on the itinerary. Actually we love it all..chilling and active. Very excited, it's been a dream of mine to visit Australia for the past 20 yrs or so :) so I don't want to miss anything good. Unfortunately I don't think we'll make the gold coast, kind of far from Sydney or Cairns :) Do want to some of Route one though.

I'm ok with driving/riding on the left, doesn't matter to me. As long as it has at least two wheels and an engine I'm good.

I won't be there until October though.

October is a great time of year to be travelling when doing both NZ and Oz. Queenstown is awesome... especially if you like adrenaline activities. But make sure you get out of the town too though... two other must do's I'd suggest on the South Island... Milford Sound (don't forget the Aerogard!) and if you get the chance choose a smaller boat so that you get a better feel for the size, nature and peace of it. If it is a nice day and you have a day to spend there (and it is not absolutely pouring down which it does a lot of at the sound) I would choose to kayak it.
Fox Glacier is the other. Helicopter up onto the glacier and walk it. Again if you have the full day you may choose to chopper up and walk out; otherwise chopper back out again too. There are also some great caves further south and white water rafting around Queenstown if you like.
Sydney is a great city and of course has the iconic opera house and harbour bridge. The harbour cruises / dinners are always enjoyable. Maybe one of the Sydney based guys can give some more direction on things to do while there.
Blue mountains are nice... if you had the time I'd say ride the Great Ocean Road (http://www.greatoceanrd.org.au/) to Melbourne... awesome. But a bit out of your way I'm guessing by the four city itinerary.

From Cairns if you decide to ride "route 1" also known as the Bruce Hwy in Qld, just be aware that the roads are not always in the best condition. They've had lots of flooding over the past couple of years and the maintenance hasn't been able to keep up. The road south from Cairns to Tully is shocking as is the highway between Bowen and Townsville. (You might want a softail ;) or four wheels) If you wanted to ride/drive south to the Whitsundays it is around 600km but allow at least 7.5 hours and much more if you want to stop and look at things or visit attractions on the way.
If you are sticking closer to Cairns then a two-day or three-day tablelands drive tour would be great on a bike. Here is a site with the popular drives: http://www.athertontablelands.com.au/pages/popular-self-drive-tours/

Other things to consider that I've found worthwhile in and around Cairns: the Undara Lava Tubes (http://undara.com.au/); A day & nite wildlife tour (if you get really lucky you might see a platypus and a tree kangaroo which most aussies wouldn't see in their natural habitats); and Chillagoe.

Cheers
Trace
ps Let me know if you need more info or other stuff.

jaws
20th June 2008, 01:35
Awesome Sportytrace, thanks a million! We're slowly filling in the trip, I'll definitely be back with more specific questions. We have some time in every city. We're spending a total of 6 days in NZ 3 in Auckland and 3 in Queenstown. We'll be in Sydney for 3 and then 7 nights in Cairns.

walka
21st June 2008, 06:57
Just watch out for Drop Bears, Nasty little things

jaws
23rd June 2008, 18:55
October is a great time of year to be travelling when doing both NZ and Oz. Queenstown is awesome... especially if you like adrenaline activities. But make sure you get out of the town too though... two other must do's I'd suggest on the South Island... Milford Sound (don't forget the Aerogard!) and if you get the chance choose a smaller boat so that you get a better feel for the size, nature and peace of it. If it is a nice day and you have a day to spend there (and it is not absolutely pouring down which it does a lot of at the sound) I would choose to kayak it.
Fox Glacier is the other. Helicopter up onto the glacier and walk it. Again if you have the full day you may choose to chopper up and walk out; otherwise chopper back out again too. There are also some great caves further south and white water rafting around Queenstown if you like.
Sydney is a great city and of course has the iconic opera house and harbour bridge. The harbour cruises / dinners are always enjoyable. Maybe one of the Sydney based guys can give some more direction on things to do while there.
Blue mountains are nice... if you had the time I'd say ride the Great Ocean Road (http://www.greatoceanrd.org.au/) to Melbourne... awesome. But a bit out of your way I'm guessing by the four city itinerary.

From Cairns if you decide to ride "route 1" also known as the Bruce Hwy in Qld, just be aware that the roads are not always in the best condition. They've had lots of flooding over the past couple of years and the maintenance hasn't been able to keep up. The road south from Cairns to Tully is shocking as is the highway between Bowen and Townsville. (You might want a softail ;) or four wheels) If you wanted to ride/drive south to the Whitsundays it is around 600km but allow at least 7.5 hours and much more if you want to stop and look at things or visit attractions on the way.
If you are sticking closer to Cairns then a two-day or three-day tablelands drive tour would be great on a bike. Here is a site with the popular drives: http://www.athertontablelands.com.au/pages/popular-self-drive-tours/

Other things to consider that I've found worthwhile in and around Cairns: the Undara Lava Tubes (http://undara.com.au/); A day & nite wildlife tour (if you get really lucky you might see a platypus and a tree kangaroo which most aussies wouldn't see in their natural habitats); and Chillagoe.

Cheers
Trace
ps Let me know if you need more info or other stuff.


Hey Trace, I'm thinking of changing our itinerary and drive (or take the train) from Sydney to Canberra, than fly from there to Cairns. Is that a tough drive or is that road ok to do? Seems like a scenic route.

sportytrace
23rd June 2008, 23:43
Hey Trace, I'm thinking of changing our itinerary and drive (or take the train) from Sydney to Canberra, than fly from there to Cairns. Is that a tough drive or is that road ok to do? Seems like a scenic route.

No worries with the drive from Sydney to Canberra... deciding which way to go to get there is the hardest part ;) BTW, Canberra itself is not one of my favourite destinations, but there are some really nice roads and sights on the way to it!

Going straight through Goulburn to Canberra is just under 300kms and an easy scenic drive.
But you could also go via Wollongong and along the Grand Pacific Drive... pretty! And doesn't really add many kms... maybe another 50-60 kms. http://www.visitnsw.com/Grand_Pacific_Drive_p653.aspx

Or you could loop up and out and go through the blue mountains; Lithgow, Bathurst, Cowra, Canberra. This is about 500km and would be a very full day with some mountain driving.
http://www.openroad.com.au/travel_greatdrives_classiccountrydrive.asp

Depends what you might like to see. But yes, via Canberra will get you out of Sydney into some nice areas.
Cheers
Trace

jaws
25th June 2008, 16:25
Thanks Trace.

jaws
28th October 2008, 19:47
Had a great time...never heard af a cassowary before, now I know. Funky looking bird. Actually saw one in the wild with chicks while driving around Cape Trib, good thing I was in the car!

You Aussies know how to have a good time...Spent a weekend in Sydney and had a blast, what a great city. Will absolutely return.