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Thread: Planning an Aussie Trip, Help Please

  1. #1
    Grouper
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    Question Planning an Aussie Trip, Help Please

    I am finally in the pre-planning stages for my Australia dive for summer 2011.

    Since the trip is so far, I am planing on staying around 10 days and want to hit a few different places in Australia. I will be traveling with my nondiving 14 year old son.

    I want to minimize the planning as much as possible since there is so much to do, so I am thinking about booking a vacation package with Qantas.

    I am currently looking at Qantas Vacations 13 Day Highlights of Australia: Melbourne (3), Alice Springs (1), Ayers Rock (2), Cairns (3), Sydney (3)

    I want to spend 3-4 days diving the GBR, but I would like to also visit Ayers Rock, Melbourne and Sydney. I do not have to stay at 5 Star Hotels, but I do not want to have to fight with traveling within Australia, I want my travel and lodging arrangements made in advance, I do not mind making my own activities arrangements.

    I would like to stay 10-13 days.

    Any suggestions on how to best make this a reality?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhD4JC View Post
    I am finally in the pre-planning stages for my Australia dive for summer 2011.

    Since the trip is so far, I am planing on staying around 10 days and want to hit a few different places in Australia. I will be traveling with my nondiving 14 year old son.

    I want to minimize the planning as much as possible since there is so much to do, so I am thinking about booking a vacation package with Qantas.

    I am currently looking at Qantas Vacations 13 Day Highlights of Australia: Melbourne (3), Alice Springs (1), Ayers Rock (2), Cairns (3), Sydney (3)

    I want to spend 3-4 days diving the GBR, but I would like to also visit Ayers Rock, Melbourne and Sydney. I do not have to stay at 5 Star Hotels, but I do not want to have to fight with traveling within Australia, I want my travel and lodging arrangements made in advance, I do not mind making my own activities arrangements.

    I would like to stay 10-13 days.

    Any suggestions on how to best make this a reality?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Australia is a BIG country. You may wish to either increase the stay to 15-25 days to try that itinerary, or drop some locations to shorten the amount of time you will need. A good travel agency will probably be your best friend in this instance.

    Additionally, remember that the seasons are reversed from our Hemisphere--you will be going there during their winter months.

    Good luck.

    PPM
    John Lewis--the PlatypusMan!


  3. #3
    Grouper
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    Agree with Platypusman Oz is BIG, some of those flights will take most of the day including transfers, for example I live in Melbourne leave home about 8am to get 10:30am flight to Cairns, arrive about 2:00 pm (if direct) then get to accommodation say 3:00 pm. Don't forget to factor in your no-fly times and you may need to either allow more time or consolidate your itinerary. July/August is fine for diving out of Cairns, Sydney/Melbourne becomes Dry suit material. Ayers Rock, or to be politically correct Uluru, is lovely but make sure you see it at sunrise, daylight, when you climb it and sunset, ie you need to allow a few days there.
    Any dive you survive is a good dive

  4. #4
    Grouper
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    I will be in Cairns for most of my trip, which should be close enough to the equator for the season not to matter.
    Am I mistaken?

    I do not think that financially I will be able to stay for longer than 2 weeks.


    [quote=PlatypusMan;381083
    Australia is a BIG country. You may wish to either increase the stay to 15-25 days to try that itinerary, or drop some locations to shorten the amount of time you will need. A good travel agency will probably be your best friend in this instance.

    Additionally, remember that the seasons are reversed from our Hemisphere--you will be going there during their winter months.

    Good luck.

    PPM[/quote]

  5. #5
    Grouper
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    I was only planning to dive Cairns, I am very partial to tropical diving.
    Is there somepleace else in addition to or instead of Cairns that I should be considering?

    I was planning on 2 days at Uluru, however I did not think about taking an entire day to travel locally, I will think about that now.

    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by oddbod View Post
    Agree with Platypusman Oz is BIG, some of those flights will take most of the day including transfers, for example I live in Melbourne leave home about 8am to get 10:30am flight to Cairns, arrive about 2:00 pm (if direct) then get to accommodation say 3:00 pm. Don't forget to factor in your no-fly times and you may need to either allow more time or consolidate your itinerary. July/August is fine for diving out of Cairns, Sydney/Melbourne becomes Dry suit material. Ayers Rock, or to be politically correct Uluru, is lovely but make sure you see it at sunrise, daylight, when you climb it and sunset, ie you need to allow a few days there.

  6. #6
    Funeral Jorunna
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    While Cairns is tropical there is a fair amount of swing in the water temps from the summer highs to the winter lows. Everyone has their own tolerance to water temps but beaware if you are there during the winter months the water will be cooler.
    If you get confused listen to the music play.
    To much of everything is just enough.

  7. #7
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    What are the water temperature variances in Cairns?
    I am planning on being there in June. (And what are they like in December as well)

    Quote Originally Posted by chinacat46 View Post
    While Cairns is tropical there is a fair amount of swing in the water temps from the summer highs to the winter lows. Everyone has their own tolerance to water temps but beaware if you are there during the winter months the water will be cooler.

  8. #8
    Grouper
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhD4JC View Post
    What are the water temperature variances in Cairns?
    I am planning on being there in June. (And what are they like in December as well)
    The Weather Bureau says :
    June - August 21 C - 23 C (69 F - 74 F) Minke whales are around
    December - March 28 C - 30 C (82 F - 86 F) Also known as cyclone season
    Any dive you survive is a good dive

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by PhD4JC View Post
    What are the water temperature variances in Cairns?
    I am planning on being there in June. (And what are they like in December as well)

    Quote Originally Posted by chinacat46 View Post
    While Cairns is tropical there is a fair amount of swing in the water temps from the summer highs to the winter lows. Everyone has their own tolerance to water temps but beaware if you are there during the winter months the water will be cooler.
    I was there the second week of July last year and air temps were in the mid to upper 70s most days, but with clear skys and sun it felt nice. The water temps from my log show 73/74 on on the surface and the lows around 70 at depth. I wore a 3mm full suit all week, and did 5 dives a day for 4 days straight without any real problems with being too cold.

    And if you have a non-diving 14 year old son along, consider diving on the OceanQuest. The trip is pretty short to get out, you can go out and back any day you like since they have a daily transfer boat out and back, and it's a big and comfortable boat so you won't feel cramped. Big as in a 3 deck catamaran, and I think its about 36 meters long, and very wide. Big enough there is a lounge (and bar) on the upper deck big enough to hold almost if not everyone. The boat does hold a lot of folks, 48 max, plus crew, but it's big enough you don't feel cramped. Private heads in all the rooms, with showers. My dive buddy I met on board (a guy from Perth) had his non-diving 14 year old daughter on with him, and she snorkeled quite a bit, and also went on a couple discover scuba dives. The boat is large enough that even if you don't want to do any of that you can still spread out a bit and enjoy the sun. And they have a big screen TV with movies at night (bring some DVDs if you want to watch something specific). And the price isn't too bad either. Photos from the trip (and a few of the boat) are posted here: Australia 2009 - Windows Live The smaller boat (the SeaQuest) in some of the pictures is the day trip boat that transfers passengers out to the OceanQuest.
    Last edited by LeeParrish; 04-18-2010 at 19:56.

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