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AUSTRALIA,great barrier reef

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AUSTRALIA,great barrier reef


i am going to Australia from dec24,2011-jan9th.

I am wondering if i want to get a flavour of australia where i need to go.

i know i want to go to sydney for a couple days, and melbourn , and the barrier reef for some diving.

i am wondeing which island or where we need to go from sydney or melbourn to have a nice experience in the great barrier reef and if you would plan a vacation like this what would you see in a short period of time as a must as we have kids as well so we need places will take us with the kids .


Arlington, Virginia
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1. Re: AUSTRALIA,great barrier reef

Normally, I would recommend a "Sydney, Rock, Reef" tour for someone who is in Australia for the first time for 2 weeks as you will be. However, the Rock (Uluru) is beastly hot at that time of year. Therefore, I recommend that you drop Melbourne and go to Tasmania instead. There will be lots to see and do in Tasmania and the scenery is fantastic. It will certainly give you more of a taste of Australia than visiting a 2nd large city.

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2. Re: AUSTRALIA,great barrier reef


Further to the good advice from longhorn you are travelling at the peak of peak season and many venues would already be booked. Research quickly and book ASAP!!!!

The time you have chosen is also the "wet" in the tropics, very humid and possible cyclones. I would suggest that Lady Elliot or Lady Musgrave Islands be done as a day trip from Bundberg or Seventeen Seventy for the dives, if the weather is ok, and you stay south of this latitude for the rest of your trip.

Check out the Tasmania forums for ideas. Certainly Cradel Mountain and Port Arthur are musts but............it will be peak season everywhere.


Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: AUSTRALIA,great barrier reef


As mentioned due to you visiting Australia in Dec / Jan which is the worst time for Nth Qld as its Stinger Season / Cyclone time.


Lady Elliott is a good place at this time of the year - to snorkel or dive.


Sydney beaches are fab at this time of the year - stay at Manly Beach your kids would love it.

Tasmania is a wonderful place to explore with children. Fly into Hobart or Launceston - hire a car drive to Cradle Mountain - / Freycinet National Park / Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park / Strahan / Hobart / Port Arthur.

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4. Re: AUSTRALIA,great barrier reef

Thanks for the advise ,

so no recommendation for Carins or Hamilton island? Would they be rainy?

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: AUSTRALIA,great barrier reef

Nimat - from your original post, it sounds like you expect to access the GBR from somewhere off the east coast of Australia and perhaps leaving from Sydney or Melbourne. No can do. The GBR, like all tropical coral reefs, is in the Tropics, which starts around Rockhampton in central Queensland and goes north from there. I've been out to the GBR from Yepoon (near Rockhampton) and also from Port Douglas, near Cairns.

The wet season in the north is a bit of a nuisance if you are looking for a sun holiday. I've not been there at the peak of the Wet, but even in the shoulder season, it did impact the visit. Not such a big deal coming from Canada's Wet Coast here, but it does impact the trip and so you need to plan accordingly if you decide to go ahead with that.

Agree that staying to the south at that time of year is a good plan for us Canucks, unless you really are a reptile. My two favourite Australian experiences are the Jenolan Caves, in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, and the Penguin Parade on Philip Island near Melbourne, so you might want to look those up for ideas. Tassie is on my to do list and I've heard wonderful things about that area.

Traveling at peak season can make things challenging. Remember that is also school summer holiday's in Australia, so all the locals will be getting away to their favourite places as well. Keep in mind that you are looking at visiting the equivalent (approx, without actually looking it up) of Vancouver, Winnipeg and Toronto, so you are covering some vast distances and need to account for travel time in your plans.

Happy planning!

6. Re: AUSTRALIA,great barrier reef

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