Australia...

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  1. anyone ever visit?

    i have a new fascination with this place! i'd love to visit next year.

    what is the best time to go? places to see, etc?
     
  2. Yes, I've been to Sydney(which I highly recommend) and Cairns and took a boat ride out to the great barrier reef. If you get seasick I wouldn't recommend this as the excursion lasted several hours. It's great if you want to snorkel or are licensed to scuba though. This area of Australia is more of a launching pad for adventure activities.

    Sydney is very laid back and for me was the perfect mix of beach and city. Visit Bondi Beach and Manly Beach and catch a show if you can at the Sydney Opera House.

    Angelisa, where are located? If you are coming from North America or Europe keep in mind that everything in the Southern Hemisphere is opposite in terms of the seasons. So Christmas time is summer BBQ season :P Plan your trip accordingly.
     
  3. :graucho:Yep, been to Oz twice now!

    First time took in Sydney (highly recommend Bridge Walk, day trip to Blue Mountains, Bondi or Manly beach for drooling over the eye candy in surfer shorts:graucho:). Nice hotel- Rydges Jamieson - though think it's changed it's name recently and can't remember what to off hand).

    Cairns (barrier reef a must Quiksilver do a good tour out there or you can do one that also takes in Green Island, Kuranda to see the rainforest as they also have a aboriginal place where you can see them dancing, talking about bushtucker etc... Cape Tribulation further up the coast is also lovely and the "real" rainforest).

    Second time I went..

    Perth (really laid back town. Do a city tour that takes in Fremantle and get the boat back up the Swan river for the best view of the city skyline. Fremantle prison is also worth a trip - covers a lot of the history of Australia etc...also worth going out to the Pinnacles rock formation as a day trip. You get to sand surf which is great fun but REALLY exhausting!!).

    Red Centre - this is a MUST. Don't do the 2 night "sound of silence" dinner / sunrise thing as you won't get to see the REAL outback. Instead try to get on a 5 day camping safari which normally starts and ends at Alice Springs. Takes in Kings Canyon, Uluru etc. You can have a go riding a camel and hear dingoes howling as you cook on an open fire. This was THE BEST part of my holiday and something I will never forget. Looking up at the Southern Cross and seeing it clear as day (something you can't really do at the air conditioned hotels on the outskirts of the park). I saw wild camels, brumbies (wild horses), emu, lizards, kangaroos etc and met some lovely people from all over the world. Yes it's under canvas but these are big fixed tents (so no trying to find the pegs etc) with two single beds inside. There are showers at each of the campsites and all meals are included (some you help to make!!). Would do that again in a heart beat!:yahoo:

    My folks have been to Brisbane and say it's a lovely city (they also went up the Gold Coast to Surfers Paradise).

    Stopped for about an hour in Darwin (to refuel) but it was dark so doesn't really count:graucho:
     
  4. Well as a homegrown Aussie who loves travelling in her own backyard, you might need to specify what type of holiday you're looking for - adventure, nature, or city-based?

    My personal favourite place to go is Tasmania - Freycinet and Cradle Mountain. Go to Freycinet lodge and sit in the bar/lounge watching the sunset over the ocean eating oysters that were in the water 30 minutes before. Nothing better. If you are interested in something more adventure/nature based, try these. You can take a guided walk through Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair which is really beautiful. The company that does this tour also does a Bay of Fires walk, which is more beach-based and involves horse-riding. Either are spectacular in my opinion.

    If you want a fun city-based tour, I agree with the above posts - Sydney is not to be missed. I live in Brisbane and taking a city-flyer to Sydney on a Wednesday morning to see a matinee performance by STC, with lunch in DJs noodle bar beforehand, then flying home that night is one of my favourite things to do.

    Melbourne is another gorgeous city to visit but it doesn't have the beachy-feel of Sydney - it's more formal. Victoria is a fun place to do a 'soft' driving holiday. By soft, I mean not driving for 10 hours a day and camping in the outback cooking on an open fire. There are plenty of companies that do those sorts of driving holidays in the outback if you want something like that.

    One word of caution: if you are going into the outback, PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO GUIDES. The number of tourists who swim in waterholes where there are signs saying 'Don't Swim' and a picture of a big croc, then wonder why one of their party hasn't come up for air. Oy. The tourists who hire a 4WD and drive off along the highway, no spare fuel, no food, NO WATER. Seriously, I love it here and love holidaying here. I've driven from Adelaide to Darwin, from Brisbane to Perth. I've caught fish in blistering heat on Bathurst Island at the top, and fly-fished rainbow trout in Tassie streams at the bottom. This is a beautiful country and a safe country - relatively low-crime. The odds of another person harming you here are relatively low. But you can still get into real trouble if you don't acknowledge the facts of nature. Take water with you. Learn how to read a map. If your car breaks down, make radio contact and STAY WITH THE CAR. If you see a snake, odds are it's venomous. Don't poke it and don't run. Walk slowly away backwards. Yes, crocodiles eat people. Really.

    Enjoy!
     
  5. THANK YOU ALL! This info is very useful! I want to plan a trip maybe for next year...so many things to do. I appreciate all of the little tips!
     
  6. Great advice provided by Bitten, especially with regards to heeding warnings and not touching wild animals LOL - even a kangaroo in a suburban street can give you a nasty, bone-breaking kick if you go near it.

    Bitten has provided a great range of things to do and I totaly agree that the first thing you should do is decide what kind of holiday you want (I think most people go for a mix of all three). It's easy to enjoy the cities for a few days and take some tour-guided trips to the outback or the mountains (Blue mountains are gorgeous) in between.

    When you get closer to deciding, come visit us in the Aussie thread and we'll be happy to help you out!
     
  7. ^^^True, I do make it sound a bit too scary. Seriously people, it's completely safe here. The country is one ginormous petting zoo, especially the people! :P
     
  8. I have nothing to add, but this thread just makes me want to go home for vacation sooner. 3 months to go.......:girlsigh:
     
  9. I went to the Gold Coast in Queensland last April. It was beautiful and the weather was just perfect (not sweltering, but hot enough to wear shorts and dresses).

    If you're in Queensland, I'd highly recommend Byron Bay! Go see the lighthouse and Australia's most easterly point.