Australia!

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    Sep 10, 2011 1:29 AM GMT
    [color=red]So, I just got an internship in Australia next summer before I graduate. I'll be in Tugun, Queensland. I'll be looking for a place to stay for ten weeks. Also wouldn't mind having some advice for anyone who knows the area! Anyone have any ideas? I'd appreciate it! icon_biggrin.gif[/color]
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    Sep 10, 2011 3:53 PM GMT
    Tugun is on the Sunshine Coast, right next to Gold Coast (the Aussie version of Vegas, with all the awesome attractions, bars/clubs, and lame drunks). North is Brisbane, which I loved although I lived there for 3 months so my experience was different.

    If you're a fan of camping or close to it, Moreton Island is super secluded with an awesome artificial coral reef that grew over some sunken boats. Strathbrook island is also pretty cool.

    It'll super hot there that time of year, so you might be interested in heading south. Byron Bay is a popular hippy town that's fun to check out for a day or two. Bellingen area in a great spot is a lot nicer for wildlife/rivers/hiking. If you surf, you can do that all along the coast. Yamba is a typical small surf town all about that sort of culture.
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    Sep 10, 2011 7:24 PM GMT
    Uh, I hate to contradict the previous poster, but Tugun is on the Gold Coast (right next to the Gold Coast Airport, in fact). The Sunshine Coast is north of Brisbane (Noosa, Sunshine Beach, Coolum Beach, etc); the Gold Coast is to the south.

    The Gold Coast is a beautiful place, only problem with it is it's awful young. Drinking age in Australia is 18, and the Gold Coast has a very Spring Break vibe to it - but that's mostly up the coast at Surfer's Paradise. It's a little more reserved down toward Tugun.

    Also - when you say summer, you mean northern hemisphere summer, right? If that's the case, disregard what the other guy said about it being hot. It will likely be low to mid 70s by day, and low to mid 50s at night. But if you're talking about southern hemisphere summer, then expect it to be muggy and in the 90s.

    It will probably be worth taking a weekend trip up to Noosa Head. It's more of a foo-foo place than the Gold Coast (reminds me of Carmel or LaJolla) and tends to be more expensive, but it's a very nice beach and the hike around the Head is a nice days walk - I saw a HUGE loggerhead turtle sculling around in the waves. I wholeheartedly recommend staying at Halse Lodge - a backpacker hostel (they have rooms for two people too) in a classic old wooden building, in the center of town and very near the beach.

    Also you should take a weekend trip to Fraser Island, a bit farther north. It's a World Heritage area, and is the world's largest sand island. Join up on one of the group tours geared for backpackers - you'll have a blast.

    One final recommendation - Fat Yak Pale Ale. Enough said.

    Enjoy yourself!
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    Sep 11, 2011 5:43 AM GMT
    Me so crazy, Athaleet wins. Ignore the Sunshine coast bit.
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    Sep 11, 2011 1:31 PM GMT
    I realise that this may not have a direct connection with the opening poster, but reading the replies above bring back wonderful memories of my backpacking days, which included the Pacific Coast Highway from Cairns to Sydney. I was there from May to the start of July (when I flew across the Pacific to Los Angeles). Therefore It was their "Winter" at the time of the visit.

    I loved Cairns, North Queensland, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. In Cairns as with all the stops I made, I stayed at a Backpackers Hostel. Also while staying at Cairns, I had the privilege to visit Port Douglas, about an hour's sail north along the coast, with the rainforest plunging right down to sea level. From Cairns I was able to snorkel over the corals of Green Island, the ideal spot for beginners, as I was at that time. From Port Douglas, I sailed on one of their smaller boats to Low Isles, where the beach slopes away more rapidly than at Green Island, therefore the coral growth was much more luxuriant.

    I think this was the highlight of the whole vacation. Snorkeling and diving in that area is at its peak during their winter, as they suffer the monsoon season during November, I think, through to March or April.

    Other stops I made included Townsvile (for Magnetic Island), Arlie Beach (for the Whitsundays - marvellous fringe reef corals at Heron Island!), Hervey Bay (for a day trip to Fraser Island, the worlds largest sandbank and home of the purest freshwater lake in the world - Lake McKenzie), Brisbane, and after crossing into New South Wales, Byron Bay, Coffs Harbour and Sydney, which included an overnight stop at Katoomba - the town that serves the Blue Mountains National Park.

    I spent twelve days in Sydney before boarding the plane bound for Los Angeles. Sydney was okay, with a superb harbour, but the city itself looked remarkably like London, with even a central park named after the London counterpart - Hyde Park.

    In all it was a FANTASTIC, unforgettable experience, especially after a five-day stop at Singapore on the flight from London (near where I live) to Cairns, and the 24 days in California, ten of these spent at a hostel in downtown San Diego, my fave American city.
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    Sep 14, 2011 4:23 AM GMT
    Thanks for all the good suggestions, guys!