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First time trip to Australia

Belfast, United...
Level Contributor
6 posts
7 reviews
First time trip to Australia

Hi we are planning a trip to Australia around mid April 2019 for around 3 weeks. (We are mid/late 30s no kids traveling from uk) Appreciate it’s a big country and we can’t do everything. With this in mind we thought 7/10 days around Sydney to inc blue mountains bondi and harbour stays. Then 7/10 days in Brisbane and Gold Coast. Does this sound like too much time in each location?

Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

20 replies to this topic
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2,710 posts
145 reviews
1. Re: First time trip to Australia

Well, we usually recommend people pick bases to branch out from rather than just hop from city to city and spend more time in airports so what you have in mind is not bad but the devil is in the details. ;)

10 days in Sydney is nice, can do that too if you like to explore the city and really take in the vibe but it also works if you plan a few side trips. BM is a must and you have time to include Jenolan caves do that's 2-3 nights. Canberra is only 3 hrs away and that can be a 2 night stop, easy. South coast around Kiama is a nice overnight trip.

Ditto Brisbane and Gold coast. Can do the theme parks, beaches and city sights. Don't forget the hinterlands. But if you venture a little further north, you can have a few lovely, relaxing days around Noosa.

Edited: 12 July 2018, 18:49
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
53 posts
6 reviews
2. Re: First time trip to Australia

Recommend the Manly Ferry trip. It takes you from Circular Quay, past the Harbour Bridge and Opera House via Ferry to Manly Beach. Blue Mountains will make a great trip and if you can onto Janolen caves! but agree with above, Kiama on the south coast about 1.5hrs south, is a great overnight spot.

Ballarat, Australia
Level Contributor
4,216 posts
92 reviews
3. Re: First time trip to Australia

What are your interests? Are you city people, or do you like getting out into the natural world?

And why Gold Coast? What drew you to that area?

Belfast, United...
Level Contributor
6 posts
7 reviews
4. Re: First time trip to Australia

We love city breaks but also enjoy soaking up the atmosphere of beaches. I have seen the Gold Coast on various tv programs and had a desire to visit. We aren’t into diving or snorkelling so thought Great Barrier Reef was a waste for us.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2,710 posts
145 reviews
5. Re: First time trip to Australia

Well, the Gold coast is our version of Miami so if you like that then you are good to go. There are lots more interesting area up north beyond the GC and anything up to the Fraser coast is easily accessible from GC.

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane, Queensland
Level Contributor
11,882 posts
54 reviews
6. Re: First time trip to Australia

If you want beautiful beaches without the high rise Miami Style city attached to it, have a look at the Sunshine Coast and Fraser Coasts. You could hire a car and spend a few days at Noosa/Noosaville and then move up to Hervey Bay to take a two or three night tour of Fraser Island if that interests you.

There is lots to do in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland as well.

10 days in Sydney - consider hiring a car, driving down the coast to Kiama, then over to Canberra (lots of museums/art galleries/war memorials etc) for a couple of nights, then up to the Blue Mountains and then back to Sydney for your flight north.

You fly from Sydney to either Gold Coast, Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast.

cheers.

North Queensland
Level Contributor
2,340 posts
81 reviews
7. Re: First time trip to Australia

Instead of Brisbane why not fly to Cairns stay at Port Douglas from there you can visit the Great barrier Reef, travel further north to Cooktown and visit the Atherton Tabelands, some of these sites you cannot see anywhere else in the world and april is a great time to visit North Queensland

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
Level Contributor
28,342 posts
66 reviews
8. Re: First time trip to Australia

As much as I really love Brisbane, if ‘city breaks’ are your thing, I’m surprised that Melbourne wasn’t a consideration. Perhaps the European feel doesn’t suit, but in terms of eating and using the city as a base to explore regional areas it is a decent option.

As SB has detailed, coastal Queensland is probably a better point of attraction, rather than Brisbane. Adelaide and Kangaroo Island is another.

And I agree with everyone, 10 days in Sydney whilst nice, is excessive.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
50 posts
191 reviews
9. Re: First time trip to Australia

If you love city breaks then I strongly suggest you alter your plans to include a trip to Melbourne and spend 7 days there.

It has the best restaurants in Australia and there are so many interesting tourist spots to visit.

My cousin and her husband who live in Vancouver, visited us in Melbourne and said it was the second best city in the world after Vancouver and that it was the best kept secret in Australia.

By all means spend 7 days in Sydney, the Sydney Harbour bridge, Opera House and the harbour itself are all spectacular and a day trip to the Blue Mountains is also well worth doing.

Personally I'd give a pass to Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the GC is far too commercial and I'd suggest you spend the time at Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast, no high rise buildings and beautiful.

Hope that helps.

Australia
Destination Expert
for Canberra
Level Contributor
18,471 posts
2 reviews
10. Re: First time trip to Australia

>>7/10 days around Sydney to inc blue mountains bondi and harbour stays<<

I wondered if you meant three different places of accommodation?

If you have such a generous amount of time available, and assuming it meets your interests, the Blue Mountains is well worth more than a day trip.

On the other hand I am not sure if staying in Bondi is worthwhile, IMO that is doable as a day trip from wherever you are staying on the harbour (guessing a harbourside CBD location?). If you do want to spend some time enjoying a beach vibe in or near Sydney there are plenty of options you could think about, including other suburbs like Manly or short road trips up/down the coast, Wollongong or Kiama or Jervis Bay are just a few examples. It depends on your expectations and preferences.

Seems to me you have some time to play with so it's worth going into the finer details of how best to use it to suit your personal tastes.

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