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Author: TMFHockeypop Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 20845  
Subject: Re: The Pressure's On -- Australia Date: 2/6/2013 9:49 PM
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Ok, here is the trip so far (some descriptions from those helping us). Feel free to critique, and thank you for your suggestions:

May 9th – Arrive 11:45 pm to Cairns after almost 28 hours of travel. Staying at the Hilton near the town and wharf.

May 10th – Relax by the pool at the Hilton, maybe head into town as the Hilton is very close to the city centre. Go to the zoo.

May 11th – Kuranda Skyrail and Train. Kuranda is a rather relaxing day trip. Just a little under a full day and you can make it as long or as short as you like.

Take the Kuranda scenic train through the mountains up to the gorgeous little village of Kuranda, spend time in Kuranda Village and return gliding over the maintain top in the Skyrail gondolas.

The packages includes return transfers to and from your accommodation, the train and the Skyrail.

There are 2 Trains departing in the morning from Cairns. The train trip takes around 1 ½ hours to 2 hours.

The 1st train departs at 8.30am and the 2nd train departs at 9.30am.

8.30 am train to Kuranda and 3 pm Skyrail back down, that gives us approx. 4hrs and 35mins free time in Kuranda and time to take the train back to Cairns.

May 12th – Port Douglas Sunday Markets and Daintree. Hire a car for this day. It gives the freedom to do what you please, you can leave Cairns early in the morning for your beautiful scenic drive up to Port Douglas. Maybe even have breakfast there on the waterfront. Port Douglas is famous for its wide range of restaurants, so there is plenty to choose from.

We want to see this especially because this is where the army nurses were evacuated in WW II. Then after breakfast and a little walk around the markets, we make our way up to Daintree Village.

In Daintree village you will not find the mass tourism. It is a small village, however, the beauty of it is it’s rainforest and walking tracks. Just what you are looking for. In Daintree village there is a little information centre where they have walking trail maps. There are different trails, for different lengths and fitness levels. Be sure to take your swimmers with you. Although the Daintree is known for its crocodiles, along these walking tracks there are a FEW places where you can have a swim and cool off. These places will be shown on your walking trail maps and the person at the information centre in Daintree village will also be able to tell where, and where NOT to swim. Also make sure you have enough water with you to keep hydrated.

Car Hire starts from around $55 for a 24hours hire. This is just for your small 2 door budget manual car. The company picks you up at the hilton and takes you to their place to fill out some paper work, then you are ready to drive off end enjoy the beauty Far North Queensland has to offer.

Port Douglas is around a 45min to 1hour drive from Cairns City, the Daintree is only another 30mins drive from Port Douglas.

You can also cross the river into another part of the Daintree. (follow the Cape Tribulation signs and Ferry crossing) The ferry runs from early in the morning till Late at night and is around $26 return for a car.

This part of the Daintree also has a range of walking tracks and beaches. You will also find Daintree Ice creamery (VERY YUMMY!!) and the Daintree tea farm as well, a few restaurants and cafés. Ice cream is DWs absolute favorite?

May 13th – REEF!!! This is a semi relaxing day, you can be as active, or as inactive as you like on a day like this. Seeing you are not interested in diving, the Reef is a great way to end your holiday.

We will travel to the Outer Barrier Reef from Cairns Marina, which is across the road from the Hilton, about 5mins walking distance.

There were several options for boats. We could have taken a pontoon boat but instead chose the Silver series as a fantastic way to maximise how much reef we see in one day. This way we can compare different reef sites and see the most we possibly can and talk about which we liked best!!

All snorkelling equipment is included, plus Morning and Afternoon tea, full buffet lunch, tea and coffee and iced water.

Here is a link for more information:

Silver Swift Departs from Cairns http://www.thetourspecialists.com/reef-silverswift.html

May 14 fly to Ayers Rock.

Sunset at Uluru

Start: Tuesday 14 May 2013 (14:30) Finish: Tuesday 14 May 2013 (19:30)

Pick up location: Outback Pioneer (our hotel)

Embrace the culture, geology and environment that is Uluru. Meander around the monolith walking into waterholes and art sites with your guide and learn of Uluru’s cultural significance to the Anangu (local Aboriginal) people. Witness a spectacular sunset and absorb the majesty of this powerful place.

Includes:

•Sparkling wine and nibbles


Wednesday May 15:

SUNRISE at the OLGA’S

Revel in the early morning serenity of a truly spiritual place as the sunrise colours change on Kata Tjuta. Learn about the many attributes of this diverse environment. Walk between the mighty conglomerate rock walls into Walpa Gorge and hear how the 36 domes that make up Kata Tjuta have evolved over millions of years,

Includes:
• Outback Picnic Breakfast

Fly late afternoon to Sydney.

Thursday, May 16 (Sydney is still tentative):

Art Gallery of NSW

There is a reason over 1.3 million visitors come to the Art Gallery of New South Wales (Open Sun-Sat 10am-5pm, free admission) each year.

Royal Botanic Gardens


The Botanic Gardens are a must see when visiting Sydney. The gardens are situated on the shores of the Sydney Harbor, with the Opera House and...more »

Sydney Opera House

We will do a tour of the Sydney Opera House AND on Feb 15 make reservations for on of our evenings to the Australian Ballet there.

Follow our friendly guide on an incredible tour of Sydney Opera House -exploring the World Heritage-listed masterpiece home to 1000 rooms, 300 corridors and hundreds of tales and secrets. Step inside the inspired venues where more than 1600 performances come to life each year and walk in the footsteps of stars like John Cleese, Pavarotti and The Cure. With audio visual aids you will be taken back in time to when the first concrete ribs were laid down at Bennelong Point and learn how Danish architect Jorn Utzon’s ambitious vision for a world class performing arts came into existence. You can’t experience Sydney Opera House without taking this tour!Tours run daily from 9am - 5pm.

Manly Ferry

The Manly Ferry is an easy and cheap way to get to Manly and to take a tour of Sydney Harbor - tickets cost about $10 (same as a coffee and cake...more »

Friday, May 17 - Day 2

Circular Quay

Circular Quay is a colorful port where ferries and cruise ships board and depart, and boat watching can be as good a pastime as people watching. While street performers entertain outside, those wanting a more cultural experience can head into the Museum of Contemporary Art where a sculpture garden on the roof is as much a view as the waterways below.

Taronga Zoo

Taking a ferry directly from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo, located in the suburb of Mosman, is the first unexpected joy of visiting the animal park. Once there, the leisurely trails and opportunity to see some of Australia's distinct wildlife become apparent, as does the striking view of the Harbor Bridge from the seating at the aerial bird show. Advance booking can give you the chance...More

The Rocks

The Rocks is a precinct of narrow cobblestoned laneways and former merchants homes, which now house galleries, restaurants, boutiques and souvenir...more »

The Strand Arcade

Window shopping is elevated to a graceful art when walking through the floors of the Strand Arcade, a Victorian shopping center established in 1891.

Saturday, May 18 Day 3

Darling Harbor

Darling Harbor is just one of the most beautiful places in Sydney. Everything looks new and modern. Here you will find plenty of shops and...more »


Chinese Garden of Friendship

A haven of tranquility in Sydney's bustling Chinatown, this fascinating garden with waterfalls, bridges and fish-filled ponds was designed by experts from China and reflects designs dating back to the 5th century.

Sydney Tower Eye and SKYWALK

At 250 metres above street level, Sydney Tower Eye is the highest point in Sydney - perfect for finding your bearings or just taking it all in. It's the perfect place to start your Sydney adventure. With views stretching out as far as the eye can see in all directions, there's no better place to find your bearings. Sydney Tower Eye is a true year-round visitor attraction. Gazing out across the beautiful harbor city you'll be captivated by the views of stunning Sydney in all its glory. Crystal clear skies in winter make for the best viewing distances of the year, while in Spring the explosion of Jackaranda Trees covers the Eastern Suburbs in vibrant splashes of purple. Sydney is at its best in Summer, and guests soak up the city's laid back Summer vibe from the cool air-conditioned deck as the streets swelter below. Autumn brings gorgeous orangey glows and the best sunsets of the year - the perfect time to head out on a SKYWALK for 'that' picture of the city and harbor in the background.

BridgeClimb

BridgeClimb is a truly unique way to see Sydney, its sparkling harbor and surrounds. Visitors can see all that is on offer in this magnificent city...more »

Much of Sydney comes from you and trip advisor. I know, a lot. But DW comes home from vacation to rest. So much to see and so little time to see it.

Bob
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