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Old 08-10-2008, 08:10 AM   #1
Bobo912
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Extra day(s) in Australia

Now that I've booked the Australia trip, I'm thinking of adding an extra day or two in Sydney. I would love to hear some suggestions on things to see/do that aren't included in the ABD tour. I'm traveling with an 8 year old boy - he'll be almost 9 by then. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-10-2008, 12:06 PM   #2
mountainjourno
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Things I would do with an 8-year-old in Sydney:

1. Take the ferry out to Manly, and visit the oceanarium. Here's a link: http://www.oceanworld.com.au/

2. Go to Darling Harbour and watch the street performers,take a boat ride, wander around the mall, eat at one of the theme restaurants - there's loads to do on any given day there.

3. Go to the top of Sydney Tower - excellent views. You can have lunch or dinner up there as well.

4. Go to one of the tourist offices and ask where you can go and hang out with kangaroos and emus. There are a number of places where you can take a bus or train, and then be in a wildlife park where you can feed kangaroos, wallabies and emus, and maybe even have your photo taken with a koala.

Hope that helps!
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:56 PM   #3
Bobo912
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Thanks, mountainjourno! Sounds ideal for my kiddo. If we're going to go half way around the world, I think we may as well stay a couple of extra days and see a little more of what Sydney has to offer.
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Old 08-10-2008, 04:24 PM   #4
mountainjourno
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Originally Posted by Bobo912 View Post
Thanks, mountainjourno! Sounds ideal for my kiddo. If we're going to go half way around the world, I think we may as well stay a couple of extra days and see a little more of what Sydney has to offer.
Can I suggest you also arrive in Cairns a few days early? There is SO much to see and do up there. It would also give you a chance to acclimatize (it will be hot and humid) and get used to the massive time shift.

I LOVE Cairns
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Old 08-10-2008, 05:11 PM   #5
Bobo912
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There is SO much to see and do up there.
Such as?

Because of the overnight flight and time difference we really have to come at least one day early and will probably arrive at the airport in Cairns around 12:30PM, if everything goes as planned That would give us some time in the afternoon & evening (if we're not too tired) and most of the next day until time for the welcome dinner. Could possibly add another pre tour day. I'll probably regret it if I don't.
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Old 08-10-2008, 05:21 PM   #6
mountainjourno
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Okay...in Cairns you can:

1. Take the 100-year-old Kuranda Railway through Barron Gorge National Park.

2. Take the Skyrail - the world's largest gondola cableway through the rainforest

3. Take a cat out to Green Island and relax on the beach, go snorkelling etc.


These are the top 3 I'd suggest that aren't on your tour
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:52 PM   #7
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And I'd add, the travel day time can be tough on the entire family. I've been to Cairns as well and there is plenty to do for a couple of days. I'd highly recommend arriving 2 days before you're ABD trip. The first day is wasted due to travel arrival, the 2nd day you can aclimate and enjoy the area as indicated above, and the 3rd day you join your tour all refreshed and ready to go!
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:11 PM   #8
Bobo912
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Originally Posted by mountainjourno View Post
Okay...in Cairns you can:

1. Take the 100-year-old Kuranda Railway through Barron Gorge National Park.

2. Take the Skyrail - the world's largest gondola cableway through the rainforest

3. Take a cat out to Green Island and relax on the beach, go snorkelling etc.


These are the top 3 I'd suggest that aren't on your tour
mountainjourno, I'm hoping you can answer this question for me. If we took the Kuranda railway train that departs at 8:30AM, would I have time to experience some of the activities in the village and/or take a short hike (DS won't be interested in a long one), and still get back to the hotel in time for the welcome dinner? Don't know for sure what time that is, but I would guess 6:00 at the earliest. Also, I have skimmed the Kuranda Railway website and it looks like you can take the train to Kuranda and return on the skyrail. Is that right? Thanks for all you help!
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Old 08-11-2008, 01:55 PM   #9
mountainjourno
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Originally Posted by Bobo912 View Post
mountainjourno, I'm hoping you can answer this question for me. If we took the Kuranda railway train that departs at 8:30AM, would I have time to experience some of the activities in the village and/or take a short hike (DS won't be interested in a long one), and still get back to the hotel in time for the welcome dinner? Don't know for sure what time that is, but I would guess 6:00 at the earliest. Also, I have skimmed the Kuranda Railway website and it looks like you can take the train to Kuranda and return on the skyrail. Is that right? Thanks for all you help!
I believe the answer is yes to all your questions, but I strongly suggest you contact them first to be sure. I did exactly what you described during my honeymoon in 1996 - but haven't been on that trip since, so it may have changed.

By the way - I'm stunned at the prices of extra nights with ABD and strongly suggest you consider booking your own accommodation for your before and after stays. Go to www.takeabreak.com.au where you will find some of the most AMAZING accommodation options for a fraction of the price. (Everything from beach-side cottages to treehouses in the rainforest).

Here's a link for Cairns: http://www.takeabreak.com.au/Cairns/...comodation.htm
and for Sydney:
http://www.takeabreak.com.au/SydneyC...comodation.htm

It is so easy getting around in Australia - taxi fares are comparable to the USA, but no tipping is required. If you decided to stay somewhere else for those extra nights, you could stay longer and save hundreds of dollars.

Anyway - thought I'd better suggest that! I know how daunting it is looking at staying in another country
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:13 AM   #10
Bobo912
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Thanks, mountainjourno. I'm going to explore the options for accommodations. May still go with ABD though, just for the convenience.

I emailed the Kuranda Railway folks and they responded with a very nice email describing several possible itineraries. Looks like we can easily fit this in and still be back at the hotel for the welcome dinner. If we take the sky rail first and return on the train, they will even pick us up at our hotel in the morning.
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