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Worth visiting Australia for only ten days?

Synergy

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We are considering visiting Australia this fall - end of September into the beginning of October. Our primary goal would be to see the great barrier reef, but we'd likely fly into Sydney and drive up. We would plan to return in the next few years to see more of Australia and visit New Zealand.

A lot of people don't recommend a short trip, which I understand - but that would mean putting off until retirement, which is many years away for us. What do you guys think?
 

SandyPGravel

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If you can afford it, go for it. Australia is huge. Even if you were there for a month it probably wouldn't be enough time.

Also, if you get a chance read the book In a Sunburned Country: Bill Bryson Hilarious
 
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CPNY

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We are considering visiting Australia this fall - end of September into the beginning of October. Our primary goal would be to see the great barrier reef, but we'd likely fly into Sydney and drive up. We would plan to return in the next few years to see more of Australia and visit New Zealand.

A lot of people don't recommend a short trip, which I understand - but that would mean putting off until retirement, which is many years away for us. What do you guys think?
I’ll give ya one better....... I live in nyc. I went to Sydney for 5 days last year. whatever go for a week!. Hit two cities and head home. It’s fine. Some people feel like you have to spend months in a place. I live in nyc and i still haven’t seen everything here. Life is short, who cares if you’re trip is! I know people who “hold off” from going places because they “need at least 2 weeks!”. Meanwhile, I’ve been to those places 4 times to their none!

family member: you’re going to Europe again?
me: yup
FM: for how long?
me: a long weekend
FM: that’s too short! I need to go for two weeks
Me: how many times have you gone?
FM: well, none because I need to plan it, I want to be there for 2 weeks.
me: I’ve been there over 2 months when you add all the times I’ve gone, soooo what ya waiting for? Just go!

I get that some people travel differently and don’t want to be rushed. But life is short, if you have an opportunity, take it! You may have seen enough to say you never want to go back. Have to been to Asia? South America? New Zealand? Europe? Africa? The world is big, we work and have limited holiday! in the words of captain jack sparrow.....”take what ya can, give nothing back” ok we’ll that last part maybe not so much. Always give back haha. But you get it. Take the trip!
 

melissy123

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The distance between Sydney and Cairns/Port Douglas, which is the main point from which boats to the Great Barrier Reef, is really really far to drive. We are looking into this for a 2021 trip, to tack on time to a cruise to New Zealand, and found that airfare between Cairns and Sydney will run under $150 round trip.
 

Synergy

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Haha, I agree completely, and I'm thrilled to hear someone else is willing to travel the same way. We take a lot of short trips, instead of a couple longer ones - it works for us. I figure as long as we're expecting to return in the future, we can get away with a shorter trip. Just wanted some validation =p
 

Synergy

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The distance between Sydney and Cairns/Port Douglas, which is the main point from which boats to the Great Barrier Reef, is really really far to drive. We are looking into this for a 2021 trip, to tack on time to a cruise to New Zealand, and found that airfare between Cairns and Sydney will run under $150 round trip.
I haven't researched extensively, but I think the initial plan is to drive up to Brisbane or Gold Coast, and take one of the 4-5 night reef cruises that takes you up the coast. Pricing and reviews would decide if that's how it ends up working out - we definitely anticipated flying back to Sydney, and wouldn't be opposed to flying both ways. We enjoy exploring by car, though, so if we're looking at 12 hours, we'll do it. Thirty, we'll be hopping on a flight, lol.
 

melissy123

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Ooh, a reef cruise trip sounds interesting... let me know what you find.
 

mjm1

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We have been to Australia twice, both on longer trips. However, I think ten days would still work given what you plan to see. My initial thought was to fly up to Cairns since it is a very long drive. However, you would see the country the same as if you drive.

If you can afford flying business class (cash or miles) to get to and from Australia I highly recommend it. It is a very long flight.

Best regards.

Mike
 

Cornell

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I’ll give ya one better....... I live in nyc. I went to Sydney for 5 days last year. whatever go for a week!. Hit two cities and head home. It’s fine. Some people feel like you have to spend months in a place. I live in nyc and i still haven’t seen everything here. Life is short, who cares if you’re trip is! I know people who “hold off” from going places because they “need at least 2 weeks!”. Meanwhile, I’ve been to those places 4 times to their none!

family member: you’re going to Europe again?
me: yup
FM: for how long?
me: a long weekend
FM: that’s too short! I need to go for two weeks
Me: how many times have you gone?
FM: well, none because I need to plan it, I want to be there for 2 weeks.
me: I’ve been there over 2 months when you add all the times I’ve gone, soooo what ya waiting for? Just go!

I get that some people travel differently and don’t want to be rushed. But life is short, if you have an opportunity, take it! You may have seen enough to say you never want to go back. Have to been to Asia? South America? New Zealand? Europe? Africa? The world is big, we work and have limited holiday! in the words of captain jack sparrow.....”take what ya can, give nothing back” ok we’ll that last part maybe not so much. Always give back haha. But you get it. Take the trip!
I love this. Exactly how I travel. I cannot take that much time off from work. And I like to finish trips and an up-note -- not when we are all getting sick of each other and cranky to be home.
 

CPNY

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Haha, I agree completely, and I'm thrilled to hear someone else is willing to travel the same way. We take a lot of short trips, instead of a couple longer ones - it works for us. I figure as long as we're expecting to return in the future, we can get away with a shorter trip. Just wanted some validation =p
What if future circumstances hinder you from ever returning. You can always say “good thing we went that one time”.
 

CalGalTraveler

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10 days is a decent amount of time to acclimate to the time zone and see something. We visited Taiwan and Japan in 8 days from the west coast a few years ago and it seemed like a much longer trip. We saw a lot.
 

CPNY

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10 days is a decent amount of time to acclimate to the time zone and see something. We visited Taiwan and Japan in 8 days from the west coast a few years ago and it seemed like a much longer trip. We saw a lot.
I was in Sydney for 5 days and I feel like I saw a lot as well.
 

bizaro86

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I would absolutely go. You won't see everything, so best to pick one or two things you really want to see. If the coast is your main interest, I would consider flying directly there from the US. Stay for 4-5 days, then fly or drive to Sydney for 4-5 days, then fly home from there. That will potentially save you a travel day going between Sydney and Brisbane, which is important for a shorter trip imo.

I almost certainly wouldn't drive between cities in Australia (and didn't when we went) because flights are cheap and drives are long, but if that is of interest as an activity I wouldn't discourage it.
 

geist1223

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I would not drive Sydney to Cairns when you only have a 7 to 10 days. The shortest route (but not along the coast) is about 1,500 miles. Only in large cities do you find more than 2 lane Highways. Think traveling in the USA in the 1950's and 1960's. 2 lane Highways that go through towns not around them. We have been Downunder 4 times in 9.5 years. Just got back from a 3 week trip. 2 weeks on Tasmania and 1 week Melbourne. Our first trip was 1 week Syndey and 1 week Coffs Harbour. Our next trip was 10 days Fiji and 10 days Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand. Our 3rd trip was 1 week Rotorua, 1 week Pahia, Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand, 1 week Hobart Tasmania, and 1 week Sydney. Yes we are retired. But we were not retired for our first 2 trips. Patti had fallen in love with Tasmania and Wombats. It does not hurt that some of the best whisky made in the World is made in Tasmania.

Also you need to recognize that weather patterns in Australia are changing drastically. But generally the best time of the year to see Sydney is not the best time of the year to see Cairns. Traditionally during the Australia summer (our winter) is the best time to see Sydney, Melbourne, and Tasmania. But that time of the year is the rainy season in Cairns. Cairns is in the Tropics. Of course this year in NSW they had huge fires and then heavy rains with a lot of flooding.

This year traveling during their summer the highs were mainly in the 60's, with lots of clouds, and ocassionally heavy rain.

So make your plans with the best information you can get. But I would suggest flying into Brisbane and then traveling to the Great Barrier Reef. If your primary goal is to see the Great Barrier Reef before it goes away.
 
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bbodb1

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I'll suggest a different point of view: in life, there are a lot of places I've made notes to go to someday.
That list is now far too long.

If you have the means to go now, and it works within your budget - go for it. Who knows when you may be able to get to Australia again?
If this trip might compromise several other vacations in your near future - that becomes a tougher call to make.

10 days in Australia (in the hand) is better than maybe vacationing there in the future (in the bush)....
 

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Well, if you have to wait until retirement to do so, it's better to travel now than to wait.

Sometimes the more we procrastinate things (especially trips) the harder it is to make them happen. Australia has many places to discover but if you plan your trip well before you arrive, I think you will be able to see at least the most important places.

Good luck!
 

JohnPaul

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No question. Go!!!
 

Sandy VDH

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fly, don't drive. That is a long way.
 

geist1223

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Oh well maybe next year.
 

Synergy

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Yes, this did not age well.
 

CPNY

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dhole

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We did Australia and New Zealand in 22 days in 2017. Flew into Sydney from Iowa, spent 2 days touring Sydney, flew to Auckland, toured for a day, boarded the Celebrity Solstice 14 day cruise covering East coast of both islands around southern tip and Tasmania, Melbourne and back to Sydney, straight from ship to airport, fly to Cairns, rest overnight, cruise to Great Barrier Reef; Snorkel, snuba, even a helicopter ride! OUTSTANDING!!! Back to Cairns for dinner. Next morning, fly back to Sydney, overnight at Airport, fly home. Greatest trip we ever did!
 

TravelTime

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We went to Australia and New Zealand for 10 days and it felt like we saw a lot. We stayed in Sydney for 3 days, Hamilton Island for 4 days and Auckland for 3 days. It was worth it to me.
 

dmurray007

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A trip to Austria, which I would highly recommend, I would suggest checking the requirements for entry under the present covius conditions. my understanding is Austria is not open for nonessential travel.
 

overthehill

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We are considering visiting Australia this fall - end of September into the beginning of October. Our primary goal would be to see the great barrier reef, but we'd likely fly into Sydney and drive up. We would plan to return in the next few years to see more of Australia and visit New Zealand.

A lot of people don't recommend a short trip, which I understand - but that would mean putting off until retirement, which is many years away for us. What do you guys think?
Having spent 7 weeks down under with four in Australia, followed by three weeks ten years later, I offer a few suggestions. Don't plan on wasting time driving between cities or locations in Australia. Plan on flying as the country is as big or bigger than the continental US. We used Virgin Australia on both trips and found them less expensive than other airlines and with schedules which worked in our itinerary.. On our first trip we drove 3,800 miles, driving between cities. With two lane roads throughout, the only freeways (many tolled) being in major cities, driving can be a challenge if you haven't driven on the left side of a road. If you elect to drive, be extra careful at dusk and dawn when Kangaroos can be a hazard on the roads. If you hit one, you might total your car.
Pick the cities and sights you want to visit/see then prioritize them. With only 10 days, you want to pick no more than three locations to visit and spend a minimum of two nights (preferably three) in each location to give you time to see the sights you want to see. The Great Barrier Reef is a good goal but understand when you sail over it, you don't see much. If you can afford the cost, take a helicopter ride to get above the reef and learn about it from knowledgeable pilots. If you are divers, there are many locations providing spectacular opportunities for diving with guides. If you are booking hotels on your own, look up wotif.com, a web site offering the best rates for hotels in country. When you find a hotel on that site, go to the hotel site and compare rates for comparison shopping. We saved a considerable amount in both Australia and New Zealand using wotif.com. Have fun! Australia is a delightful country with very friendly, and helpful, people. P.S. I should add that I submitted reviews about all the timeshares we stayed in during our visits in both Australia and New Zealand.
 
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