Australia travel suggestions

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 12, 2011 6:30 PM GMT
    I'm visiting Australia for 3 weeks and would like to hear some travel suggestions. I'll be staying with an Aussie friend who recently moved back after being away for 17 years, so he's not as familiar with places to visit as some of you might be. Since he lives in Sydney, we'll be in town for Mari Gras and some of the sites in that area (Blue Mountains, etc), as well as visit his hometown, Melbourne. But what else would you suggest?

    Uluru and the Sounds of Silence experience is more expensive than we expected, but it also sounds amazing. Cairns and the GBR are an option, too. Any other thoughts?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 12, 2011 10:56 PM GMT
    I enjoyed Byron Bay, New South Wales up the coast from Sydney. It has a chilled out feel to it and due to strict planning laws is not over developed. Great for surfing, some great parties and festivals there at certain times.

    There is a town called Nimbon near Bryon if you like the odd spliff you might want to check out they have the Mardi Grass Festival, worth a visit even if you don't smoke.

    Enjoy your trip check out Glebe markets and Newtown in Sydney as well.

    It is over 10 years since I lived there but you can check the above easily online. Have a great Mardi Gras!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 13, 2011 12:44 AM GMT
    With all the recent flooding across Queensland, and now affecting Brisbane, I would have wondered whether choosing now to travel there would have been a wise move.
    I backpacked the east coast of Australia back in 1997, using hostels and holding a Greyhound Bus travelpass ticket (the equivalent of the Greyhound Ameripass I used in 1977, 1978 and 1995.) After visting Port Douglas for the GBR Low Isles, I began my journey from Cairns from where I took a catamaran to Green Island, and from there stopped at Townsville for Magnetic Island, Arlie Beach for the Whitsundays, Hervey Bay for Fraser Island - the worlds largest sandbank with Lake McKenzie, the world's most pure freshwater lake. After this I carried on to Brisbane, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour and ended up in Sydney, from where I spent a night at a hostel in Katoomba, at the Blue Mountains National Park. The whole stay in Australia was just under six weeks, the major leg in the ten-week Round the World trip which also took in Singapore and California.
    I left the UK during late May to arrive back home at the start of August. Therefore it was Winter in Australia at the time I was there. Although I was unlucky enough to experience rain in New South Wales - Coffs Harbour was pretty bad for this, I escaped the summer monsoons over Queensland which was responsible for the present flooding as well as cutting off access to the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 13, 2011 2:42 PM GMT
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I bought my ticket a couple of months ago before the flooding, but I never had plans to visit that part of Queensland.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 13, 2011 2:58 PM GMT
    Take an umbrella!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 13, 2011 3:05 PM GMT
    I want to go to Australia so bad = (
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 14, 2011 12:20 AM GMT
    david14 saidTake an umbrella!


    I'm pretty sure they have some there.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 14, 2011 3:59 AM GMT
    They do have umbrellas there, but you have to call them "brolllies".

    If you want to get out in the country and see some wildlife, I recommend Wilson's Promontory National Park. It's a couple hours drive east of Melbourne, and it's the farthest southern point on mainland Australia. You can hike into the bush and stay the night in some cabins - but even on a short afternoon hike I saw wild parrots (they mob you if you've got cookies), an emu, and a big red kangaroo.

    Also, take a drive on the Great Ocean Road west of Melbourne, where there are huge rock formations like the Eleven Apostles (used to be twelve, but one of them fell down a couple years ago). Come to think of it, Aussies must be pretty impressed with themselves - everything's named the "Great" something or other (Great Barrier Reef, Great Sandy Desert, Great Australian Bight... the list goes on...).

    But the prime spot for wilderness adventure is Tasmania - easily reached by a short plane ride or an overnight boat from Melbourne. Very wild and beautiful country. Hobart and Launceston are both good small cities (Errol Flynn was from Hobart; now the bass player from the Violent Femmes lives there). And they brew some damn good beer too, from barley and hops grown right on the island.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 14, 2011 4:08 AM GMT
    Heaps of AMAZING places and beautiful beaches on the West Coast! Rottnest Island is really pretty (great Snorkelling and diving) excellent food all round, Down south is Margaret River region, up the top end is the Kimberly's and Broome, it is NOT to be missed! icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 14, 2011 4:12 AM GMT
    You can't miss The Grand Pure Homosexual!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 14, 2011 4:19 AM GMT
    Definitely visit the Blue mountains; check out the Three Sisters in Katoomba and the Jenolan Caves.

    The Glebe markets are fun, so are Paddy's Markets. As mentioned before, Newtown has some good eats (King St.) but definitely overpopulated by Thai restaurants (no problem there!).

    Harbor is great in Sydney for the usual tourist stuff, but also check out Manly up north - great places to walk around.

    There is a walkway from Bondi Beach to Bronte beach for the leisure walks.

    There's La Perouse (nxt to Sydney Airport), which is stereotypically the gay nude beach. Very nice if you prefer secluded, small and has the view of planes arriving to the airport nearby.

    Outside of it, Jervis bay have beautiful beaches and campgrounds. Byron bay is definitely an experience.

    Go to Fraser Island as well, I love driving around the sand dune there and you can rent the caravan too.

    GBR is good to check out, but if possible visit the Daintree and Cape Tribulation up from Cairns also.

    But my favorite spot is in Sunshine Coast, between Cairns and Brisbane. Lovely low key beaches and not many tourist like the Gold Coast. But The Gold Coast is really fun with nice restaurants, Surfer's Paradise, beaches, and nightclubs!

    If you want to eat at a rotator in Sydney, there's an high scale restaurant on Level 47 of Australian Square (CBD) - good food and drinks, and 360 view of the city (lovely at night!)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 14, 2011 4:20 AM GMT
    Ok, go to Surfers Paradise in Queensland... awesome place, lots of bars and nightclubs... if you were LIVING in Australia, however, then its definitely worth checking out Melbourne... I just cant imagine what its like to visit there - though everybody I hear that has at least visited seems to love it.

    Im quite sure the floods with subside by then though.

    But yeah man, if you want to check out the other most livable city in the world next to Toronto, check it out - I have lived there my whole life icon_smile.gif Just dont have a great means of comparison... but outsiders tend to move to Melbourne because they love it more than their OWN hometowns in Australia. Lots of hotties all over the place.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 14, 2011 4:22 AM GMT
    Heartlessrobb, Pure Homosexuals are all around the world not just Oz. As there are lots of gay men who have never had sexual relations with women, and never will; Fact and one is not responsible for your issues about that either.
  • cbrett

    Posts: 609

    Jan 14, 2011 4:27 AM GMT
    come on down and have fun mate
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 14, 2011 4:35 AM GMT
    Surfers is great as stated above, if you're in the Gold Coast area, Yatala Pies is worth a stop for some good old fashioned aussie meat pies. I found Ayer's Rock overrated for the expense of getting there, but if you havent seen the Grand Canyon, Stone Mountain or Zion in the US it may be impressive and moving for you.

    I lived in Melbourne and absolutely love that city. A more rounded experience than Sydney IMHO.

    No matter where you go, you will love it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 14, 2011 4:42 AM GMT
    HeartRobb saidYou can't miss The Grand Pure Homosexual!


    Well one does get to call one of the worlds most livable cities home, and I do live in an exclusive part of town too; but it's private and not for tourists; sorry mate.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 14, 2011 4:43 AM GMT
    True_blue_aussie saidHeartlessrobb, Pure Homosexuals are all around the world not just Oz. As there are lots of gay men who have never had sexual relations with women, and never will; Fact.
    Thank god you dont represent what Australia has to offer in the way of its citizens!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 14, 2011 4:52 AM GMT
    TropicalMark said
    True_blue_aussie saidHeartlessrobb, Pure Homosexuals are all around the world not just Oz. As there are lots of gay men who have never had sexual relations with women, and never will; Fact.
    Thank god you dont represent what Australia has to offer in the way of its citizens!


    Diddums, that was so democratic of you, personal attacks to help yourself feel better, because your so bloody aggro; not my fault. Well you know being six generations born to this wonderful country Oz, where my forefather came as a large land owning pioneering aristocrat from Switzerland, I sure do. In fact I am one of the good guys, and a True Blue Aussie to boot. So suffer in your jocks mate.icon_lol.gif


    Sorry your thread has been hijacked by those wanting to bash me. But..... it's not my bloody fault they have spat the dummy.

    To the OP come down have a captain cook, grab a VB from the esky and enjoy yourself.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 14, 2011 4:10 PM GMT
    True_blue_aussie saidSorry your thread has been hijacked by those wanting to bash me. But..... it's not my bloody fault they have spat the dummy.


    Really, possums? Upset because I got in that 'pure homosexual' crap you so often use to hijack nearly every thread from 'favorite pizza toppings' to 'the presidents state of the union address'? I think we all knew that with a subject concerning 'Australia', you were going to comment in this thread and you would somehow work in 'pure homosexual' into your post. It wouldn't really make any sense in this thread as it doesn't in every other thread, but it seems you can't resist. Something, and I am guessing drinking, has definitely affected your brain, but at least it keeps all of us entertained.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 15, 2011 12:19 AM GMT
    Brisbane
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 15, 2011 12:40 AM GMT
    What part of the year are you going? Also keep in mind that you're visiting a continent and the major cities are spaced hundreds, sometimes thousands of kilometres apart. North Queensland is currently in the wet season - I would recommend going in the southern winter when the days are still warm but the weather is dryer.

    There's a lot to see just in Sydney and Melbourne - Sydney has the beaches, The Rocks, the harbour, Blue Mountains, various national parks surrounding the city, Hunter Valley to the north; Melbourne has the historic gridlike CBD, Queen Victoria markets, Fitzroy, Lygon Street, St Kilda, Port Phillip Bay etc.

    In Victoria you have the Great Ocean Road, Twelve Apostles, you have the Yarra Valley and wineries etc.

    If you have three weeks, why not make a road-trip between Sydney and Melbourne that takes in the Blue Mountains, Snowy Mountains, Dandenong Range, comes down through rural Victoria through Bendigo and Ballarat and finally reach Melbourne.

    My travel suggestion would be to make a reasonable plan of what you can see in 3 weeks, because it's a short holiday and Australia is a big country - you won't be able to see everything or go everywhere. Given that Melbourne and Sydney are already part of your plans, I'd recommend a focus on New South Wales and Victoria, leaving North Queensland and Uluru for another time.

    All the best, I hope you'll enjoy your stay icon_smile.gif

    [EDIT: Saw Caslon's recommendation and needed to add that Brisbane is currently under a layer of toxic mud from the floodwaters that have just passed through it. So, don't go there for now!]
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 15, 2011 12:43 AM GMT
    Somerandom saidOk, go to Surfers Paradise in Queensland... awesome place, lots of bars and nightclubs...


    Ick, no way. Sunshine Coast > Gold Coast. I'd pick Noosa instead.

    I'd also suggest hitting one of the islands, if your budget can handle it. Heron Island (at the southern end of the Reef), or Lizard / Bedarra (but $$$ resorts). All three are insanely beautiful.

    Sydney alone is good for a week. Cheap flights to Melbourne too.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 15, 2011 1:09 AM GMT
    kangourou saidWhat part of the year are you going? Also keep in mind that you're visiting a continent and the major cities are spaced hundreds, sometimes thousands of kilometres apart. North Queensland is currently in the wet season - I would recommend going in the southern winter when the days are still warm but the weather is dryer.

    There's a lot to see just in Sydney and Melbourne - Sydney has the beaches, The Rocks, the harbour, Blue Mountains, various national parks surrounding the city, Hunter Valley to the north; Melbourne has the historic gridlike CBD, Queen Victoria markets, Fitzroy, Lygon Street, St Kilda, Port Phillip Bay etc.

    In Victoria you have the Great Ocean Road, Twelve Apostles, you have the Yarra Valley and wineries etc.

    If you have three weeks, why not make a road-trip between Sydney and Melbourne that takes in the Blue Mountains, Snowy Mountains, Dandenong Range, comes down through rural Victoria through Bendigo and Ballarat and finally reach Melbourne.

    My travel suggestion would be to make a reasonable plan of what you can see in 3 weeks, because it's a short holiday and Australia is a big country - you won't be able to see everything or go everywhere. Given that Melbourne and Sydney are already part of your plans, I'd recommend a focus on New South Wales and Victoria, leaving North Queensland and Uluru for another time.

    All the best, I hope you'll enjoy your stay icon_smile.gif

    [EDIT: Saw Caslon's recommendation and needed to add that Brisbane is currently under a layer of toxic mud from the floodwaters that have just passed through it. So, don't go there for now!]


    I'll be there late Feb-early March. Since it's unlikely that I'll return soon, it would feel like a waste to go all that way and not see something unique (GBR, Uluru, etc). As a driving vacation doesn't sound like much of a vacation, I'm willing to fly to another part of the country. I'm aware of the distances, but compared to the distance I'm traveling to get there, flying a couple of hours to another part of Oz would be worth it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 15, 2011 1:48 AM GMT
    If you would like to get a taste of Aborigine culture, start with the website below. Back in November there was a link to a group providing tours of Sydney Harbour [The Australians spell things funny - lol] showing what the area was like prior to the arrival of the Europeans. The tour was canceled the only day fitting my schedule due to a lack of interest from the public. That link seems to have disappeared. That will get you started if there is any interest.
    http://www.gadigal.org.au/

    If you want to be physically challenged, spend half a day scaling the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Into swimming, visit Andrew [Boy] Charlton Pool built on a cliff between the Botanical Gardens & Wooloomooloo Bay, with retired naval craft in the bay. The 50-meter salt water pool will provide an appreciation for regular pools with chlorinated water and less buoyancy.

    The Sydney Fish Market is a great place to eat and check out delicacies not seen in the US. Visit the grocery store to get water and lunch to be packed for the day's trek. A bottle available for less than $ 1 will cost three to four dollars on the streets. Prepared food is expensive while grocery prices aren't much different from the US. The exchange rate is pretty much even at this time, while we had the advantage of $ 1.25 AUD to $ 1.00 US last summer.

    Check out Virgin Blue for their Airpass available to foreign travelers. Flights range from $ 79 to $ 99 on the east coast and can be had for $ 179 to cross the country. http://www.virginblueairpass.com/. It's somewhat like flying in a bus because Virgin Blue is the Southwest of Australia.

    I had an affinity for the atmosphere in Perth, despite the problem with annoying gnats that love human ears and noses. I learned the Australian salute to move them away from the head. The Indian Ocean is probably the most beautiful body of water I've ever seen. Seeing it was a perk that enhanced the trip to Perth and kept the flies as a non-issue.

    Have fun.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 15, 2011 2:07 AM GMT
    Just thought I'd pop back in to give you my perspective on Uluru, aka Ayer's Rock.

    It's a big red rock.

    Actually, it's the biggest rock on earth, but it's still just a big red rock. In the middle of an otherwise flat and completely uninteresting plain (OK, there's Kata Tjuta - aka The Olgas - a few miles away, but that's it). The closest town, Alice Springs, is 300 miles away, and it's a town of only 25,000 people with not very much to do (I visited the Rock on my third trip to Australia, only because I happened to be working in the stinkin Alice).

    You can climb the rock, although the aboriginals would prefer that you didn't. You can walk around it, but you can't go into the sacred caves. So, pretty much all that's left to do is look at it, preferably at sunset. Having said that, it does look very nice at sunset. I even have a photo of it on my wall.

    If you do everything you can think of to enjoy the place - go hiking in Kata Tjuta, visit the aboriginal cultural centers, etc - you'll still run out of things to do within 24 hours. So, you need to decide if it's really worth going that far out of your way for a 24-hour pit stop.

    Oh, and one more thing - in Feb/March, the desert will be VERY hot, and the flies will be BAD. By that I mean VERY BAD. The second you step outside they will swarm on you and try to crawl into any source of moisture - like your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.

    Personally, I've had much more rewarding experiences elsewhere in Australia, but of course, it depends on what you'd like.