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Itinerary help please!

Hampshire UK
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Itinerary help please!

We are visiting April and will arrive 3/4 April and leave the 21st. Our plan is to fly into Cairns and out of Sydney (need to be in Sydney 19th April so can’t change this at the end). 2 adults and 17yr old. We want to do Cairns, Brisbane, Whitsundays but are unsure of how to do this in the most economical way timewise and budget wise. We are looking to see as much as possible within reason as we probably won’t go back to the East Coast. Ideas/tips welcome!

11 replies to this topic
Brisbane, Australia
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1. Re: Itinerary help please!

2.5 weeks on the ground. Four destinations is possible if you fly between them and plan it very well.

If possible, try to fly in to Brisbane and out of Sydney to save a bit of doubling back.

So, say..

Nights 1-3 Brisbane

Day 4 Fly to Proserpine or Hamilton Island

Nights 4-6 Whits

Day 7 Fly from Hamilton Island to Cairns

Nights 7 and 8 stay Cairns.

Day 8 Transfer to Port Douglas via an Atherton Tablelands day drive.

Nights 8-12 Port Douglas

Day 13 Fly to Sydney - rest of your time in Sydney/Blue Mountains.

Cheers.

Hampshire UK
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2. Re: Itinerary help please!

That’s fantastic thanks! That looks good and great tips- will look into that.

Hampshire UK
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3. Re: Itinerary help please!

Is it best to hire a car on land or is there another better plan? Also, for the Whits I am guessing there are tons of boats to the islands from Airlie and this is the most economical way rather than flying?

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: Itinerary help please!

You can't fly from Airlie Beach to HI (unless in private chopper etc) so you need to take the ferry to HI to fly to Cairns. There are no direct flights from PPP to CNS.

Re hiring a car: Brisbane: depends what you want to do but probably not.

Airlie Beach - no.

Cairns/PD - yes.

Sydney - no, unless you have time for a drive to the south coast, or want more than a day trip to the Blue Mountains.

Cheers.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Itinerary help please!

The Whits are about sailing and backpackers so just be careful about you want to see and do there (it is not really about the reef).

Personally I would fly into Cairns (stay in Port Douglas) for reef/rainforest and then fly to Brisbane - why are you going here - for the city or the area around such as Sunshine Coast/Noosa/hinterland/beaches/Fraser Island or the Gold Coast beaches/theme parks/hinterland ?

From Brisbane or SC or GC then fly to Sydney.

Hampshire UK
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6. Re: Itinerary help please!

Thanks- do you think we could drive this route time/budget economically if we hired a motor home/camper in Cairns and left it in Sydney? What charges would we expect to pitch roughly? Whitsundays about the sight and experience more than GBR as will do this in Cairns.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Itinerary help please!

Hi,

The Whitsundays are serviced by two main airports, the Great Barrier Reef Airport on Hamilton Island* and Whitsunday Coast Airport on the mainland at Proserpine.

1.

Whitsunday Coast Airport is located near Proserpine, approximately 25 minutes to Airlie Beach. The airport is currently serviced by three domestic carriers Virgin Australia, Jetstar . Virgin Australia and Jetstar offer daily flights from Brisbane. You can either stay on the mainland at Airlie Beach or take a ferry over to Hamilton Island.

2. Its a 1 hour flight from Cairns to Hamilton Island or a 1.5hr direct flight from Brisbane to HI .

Driving takes approximately - The 1,100km drive north from Brisbane to Shute Harbour takes around 12 hours non-stop. Driving from Cairns to Whitsundays - 7.5hrs

I love the Whitsundays - its extremely scenic ... for reef experience Port Douglas / Cairns is better than Whitsundays.

Ballarat, Australia
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8. Re: Itinerary help please!

Cairns to Sydney driving really needs 3 weeks if you want to see anything, plus time in Cairns at the start and time in Sydney at the end (so 4 weeks all up). Fly.

Brisbane, Australia
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9. Re: Itinerary help please!

Yup, you don't have time to drive it - fly.

Also, April can be wet on the east coast (not always, but it does often rain at Easter time or around then) and I can think of nothing worse than being stuck in a camper van in the rain.

Cheers.

Darwin, Australia
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10. Re: Itinerary help please!

April is still technically the rainy season in the far north and there have been April cyclones. However the later you leave the north the better.

The Whits are not a bustling hub or boats that cruise the islands cheaply. There is ferry service that goes to Long, Hamilton. It's not really a island hopping place. People tend to go to one island and then stay there.

You will have to hire a camper with decent sized beds- its really three adults and at night there isnt a whole lot of room left. You will need powered sites at night as it will be humid - maybe rain but who can predict.

Van sites are about $70 plus per night for powered. Powered sites at good parks get booked out.

Camper can be a good way if you can really be flexible , but remember to add in petrol costs and van park costs. Also, dont get a cheap and nasty one as it will lead to tears.

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