Monday, September 1, 2014

What to do with 2-4 weeks in Australia?

A summer day in Noosa
A few of my friends are planning trips to Australia in the next few years and have been asking me what to do and where to go. Here are a few of my "must-sees" and you can get more information about each place at

I will start and end the trip in Sydney to make it easier to get around. Add or remove days as you see fit. Email me if you have any more questions! I'm sure you will :)

  • Fly into Sydney - Usually this is the best place to fly into since it has so many flights everyday. You can also fly into Brisbane is you plan on skipping Sydney all together.
  • Chose your transport -  You can do the rental thing: Rent a car or a van and make your way up the east coast by yourself. Some vans come with camping gear and you can sleep in them and eat meals this way too. If you want the road trip experience, do this. Otherwise fly to places and take cabs and buses. 
  • Sydney (2-3 days) - There is lots to see and do in Sydney but you don't want to stay too long. I would spend your first day hanging out in town and exploring (you will be jet lagged!), check out the Opera House, The Rocks (cool area w good food), Bondi Beach, etc. On day 2, take the ferry to Manly Beach, spend the day checking out the beach and ocean side cafes. Time your ferry home with sunset. You will get an incredible view of the Sydney Opera House on the way back. Leave in the morning. 

  • Fly or Drive up the Coast (1 day) - Flight should be about $100 and drive would take about 15 hours. There are some great things to see along the way but won't make sense if you only have 2-3 weeks. (Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, etc)
  • Brisbane (1-2 days) - This is where I live! You can easily spend a week here but with everything else to see, you will want to keep moving... There are literally 100's of things to do here: Click here I would spend the day walking around town, check out South Bank (a man-made beach in the middle of town), check out some great restaurants and visit me! If you have more time, check out North Stradbroke Island or Moreton Island. 

  • Surfers Paradise (1-2 days) - If you are under 25 and love dance clubs, strip clubs and staying out all night, this place is for you! Kind of like Miami but in Australia. High rise apartments lining the beach and lots of great night life. If you don't care for this type of thing, skip the place all together. 
  • The Zoo (1 day) - You have a few choices for the zoo. You can go BIG. The Steve Irwin Australia Zoo is like Disneyland for Zoo's... big and touristy. Or go small. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is very small, quiet but still has what you need. Both have a place to pet kangaroos and you can hold koalas at both too. 

  • Noosa (2-3 days) - This is where Nathan is from and where we met back in '04. I lived here for 4 months back then and it was amazing. This is a great place to take a surf lesson and explore for a few days. Some of the best beaches and hikes in Australia are here. If it is good weather, you will never want to leave. Spend a day walking through the National Park, you will pass through about 5 beaches that are never packed and you will feel like you are in a postcard. (ask me how to find the secret beach) Have dinner along Noosa River and take in one of the best sunsets you will see! oh and have brunch on Hasting Street with an ocean view. 

  • Fraser Island (2-3 days) - Do a group camping trip for 3 days if you are up for an amazing, camping experience. You will have all your food provided and a guide to help you get around. If you are not into camping, stay at Kingfisher Resort and do a day trip around Island. But the camping is the best for sure. See the best lake in the world - Lake Mackenzie and some of the most beautiful spots only viewable in the 4 wheel drive vehicle you will have. Such an incredible experience. 

  • Cape Hillsborough (1 day) - This beach is close to the town of Mackay. It has the most amazing sunrises where kangaroos come out and play on the beach. I haven't been here yet but want to go check this out sooo bad!

  • Whitsunday Islands (2-3 days) - If you want an amazing experience, do the 3 day sailing trip around the islands. You will snorkel, sail, eat and sleep on the sailboat. You will visit the world famous Whitehaven Beach (best beach in world) which you can only get to by boat. If you aren't up for long sailing trip, do a 1 day sailing excursion to Whitehaven instead or stay on Hamilton Island Resort. 

  • Great Barrier Reef (2-3 days) - Head up to Cairns to snorkel or scuba dive on the great barrier reef. You can do amazing day trips out of Cairns to see some of the best reef in the world. 

  • Fly Back to Sydney (1 day)