View Full Version : NSBR: For the Australians among us!

11-27-2006, 12:16 PM
I'm hoping some of you Australians , especially the Queensland gals, can help me out. :) My husband and I are going to Australia next Sept/Oct and I have a couple of questions for you! Initially we will be in Caloundra for a dragonboat festival (I'm racing) hosted by the Australian breast cancer survivor teams. After that week though, we need to decide our itinerary. We are wondering how long would it take to drive from Brisbane to Cairns - is it feasible or should we fly? We definitely want to see the Sunshine Coast and Cairns, also Sydney. Any other suggestions? I am sooo excited about this trip!

11-27-2006, 01:22 PM
You'll need to have significantly more time to kill if you are going to drive. It is about 14 hours drive between Townsville and Brisbane, add another 4 hours to get to Cairns. And there really isn't much to see in between - My advice - fly!

11-27-2006, 02:11 PM
I would also recommend flying. The Gold Coast which is about 1h 30m south of Caloundra is also nice to see. When you are in Sydney you should also look at doing the Harbour Bridge climb, it is great. I don't like heights but felt very comfortable throughout the climb.

11-27-2006, 02:27 PM
I will probably get shot down by any queenslanders here, but I wouldn't bother with Cairns. The Gold Coast is OK. Sydney is beautiful and there are so many places to see that are a few hours drive from there; the Hunter Valley (gorgeous wine growing region) or Canberra, our national capital (especially during Floriade in the beginning of October).

11-27-2006, 02:59 PM
Or Melbourne!! LOL - Melbourne is also a gorgeous place to see :)

If you are going to do QLD though, go to the Whitsundays - just beautiful

11-27-2006, 03:54 PM
Thanks everyone for the great advice! :) I think we'll limit the driving to the southern parts of Queensland. Hmm, about Cairns, well my DH wants to see the Great Barrier Reef and all our friends have really liked Cairns (Palm Cove) so we'll probably fly up there. We will be in Australia for about 4 weeks so we'll look into touring around the wine country too. I love Australian wine! And we'll check out the Whitsundays too. It would be great to see Melbourne and the rest of the country too but I think that may have to wait for another trip. We are also planning a few days in NZ before coming home. Lots to think about and the travel agent is wanting the dates for our return home! If anyone else has ideas, let me know! Thanks.

11-27-2006, 04:31 PM
You know I truly don't mind Cairns (although I've only been there once).
If you go to Cairns you need to go out to Green Island and the Underwater Observatory.
There is heaps to do around the Sunshine Coast but don't forget about going inland a bit to the hinterland there - Maleny (http://www.malenyqueensland.com/) is especially nice. And Australia Zoo (http://www.australiazoo.com.au/) (Steve Irwin's zoo) is at Beerwah (not far from Caloundra at all).

If you like wineries and stuff, there are heaps in Queensland. If you drive about 2 hours inland from the Sunshine Coast you will get to Kingaroy and they have about 10 wineries around there (with beautiful wines). Link here (http://tourism.southburnett.com.au/)

Or you can choose to go down to the Gold Coast (which is nice but imo over-commercialised). There are some great beaches there and some terrific shopping areas. If you choose to stay there, you might look at accommodation further out than Surfers Paradise as it tends to be rather expensive. There are theme parks (http://www.theme-parks.com.au/) there - Movie World, Dreamworld (http://www.dreamworld.com.au/content/home_v4.asp?), SeaWorld, Wet&Wild.
Inland from the Gold Coast in the hinterland is Mt Tamborine (lots of bushwalks, wineries and just a generally nice place), Canungra (lots of wineries), O'Reilly's Guesthouse etc. Here is a link to Beaudesert Shire (http://www.beaudeserttourism.com.au/) (where I live).

If you need any other Queensland information, just let me know. (Hope all those links work for you).

11-27-2006, 05:24 PM
Thanks Sue! Lots of great info - thanks for all the links! I'll be looking those up. I think we will take our time exploring the Sunshine Coast including the hinterland and the wineries then fly up to Cairns then down to Sydney, or something like that.

11-27-2006, 05:56 PM
I agree with AmandaJane - if you are in Sydney it is definitely worth going down to Canberra (about 3 and a half hours south of Sydney) for a couple of days. Sept/Oct is the annual flower festival down there and is absolutely gorgeous. Also, being the National Capital, you can visit all the national monuments (museums, gallery, war memorial) as well as Parliament House and all the fabulous wineries around there.

I live in Brisbane at the moment but grew up in Canberra (and might be moving back there very soon) so if you need any more information just send me a pm.

ETA: I would suggest flying to most places in Australia - most people dont realise how big the distances actually are and how few towns there are on the way, so flying is definitely the best way to go. Flying between Brisbane and Cairns and then back to Sydney is the best plan I think, but I would recoment driving around SE Qld and to the wine regions around Sydney and Canberra.

11-27-2006, 06:10 PM
Suzy, what's this?? I am moving north next week and you're possibly moving south? I want details, email me!

And a big ditto about flying around. Someone suggested I drive from the mid-north coast to the Whitsundays because the flights were too expensive. Uhh, I don't think so! :lol

Another region to check out is the Hunter - a few hours north of Sydney and beautiful. Very famous for their wines, but a lot of great beaches and shopping too. If I wasn't moving further north (Holiday Coast) I'd be happy in the Hunter. :)

11-27-2006, 09:46 PM
Thanks for all the advice. You gals are all so helpful! We definitely will be flying to Cairns and back. I had a feeling it wasn't the best drive but a friend thought it would be a good idea. Hey, if any of you want to come to the west coast of Canada, let me know!