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Visiting Australia over Christmas & NYE

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Visiting Australia over Christmas & NYE

My partner and I are thinking of visiting Australia for 3 weeks over the Christmas and NYE period, I'm just after a few opinions on what ideas we have so far as neither of us have been before! Here's our itinerary so far...

Fly from Heathrow to Singapore 20th Dec, fly to Brisbane on 23rd and have Christmas and New Year there, then fly to Cairns on the 2nd Jan before lastly flying to Sydney on the 7th Jan, until coming home on the 12th Jan. (Dates are just an idea and nothing is set in stone)

Some things I definitely want to do is visit the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, anything animal related like zoo, koala sanctuary, etc. Having never visited and neither of us have family/friends there I'm not sure how things run over xmas.

I've planned to be in Brisbane over xmas and NYE as, like many people, it would be a dream to move over there and we'd be interested in this area most. If anyone has any suggestions for things to do at this time of year, that would be great! We're also thinking about renting a car in Brisbane and possibly having a trip to the Gold Coast.

We're both in our early 20's and have a healthy budget for a big trip like this, please give any suggestions! :) Thanks in advance!

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11 replies to this topic
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1. Re: Visiting Australia over Christmas & NYE

Definitely go to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, Its such a lovely place.

That’s quite a long time to be based in Brisbane itself. Distances are bigger than you may think and going back and forth as day trips would waste a lot of time. You might be betterbsplitting your time up into some days on the Gold Coast, time in Brisbane and time up on the Sunshine Coast.

Are you restricted to only being able to go at that time of year? It’s the absolutely busiest time on the Coast during summer school holidays and it will be busy and expensive. If you were able to go a few weeks early or later it would be better. I was in Noosa just after NY this year and the beach was busy by Australian standards, not as busy as the Med in August though. It wasn’t wall to wall bodies, plenty of spaces to park me and my towel.

It’s also not the best time for GBR and Cairns as it's the wet, cyclone and stinger season. It will be hot and very humid. Risk of a cyclone and you can’t swim in the sea without wearing a stinger suit.

In Sydney go to Taronga Zoo. It’s a lovely ferry ride across the harbour, then cable car up to the top and work your way down. You may be interested in booking some of their animal encounters.

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2. Re: Visiting Australia over Christmas & NYE

I've been thinking more about hiring a car for Brisbane and doing the first 4 nights or so there, then driving to the Gold Coast before heading back to Brisbane airport to go to Cairns.

We're not restricted to that time of year, 1. my partner wants to go away over Xmas and 2. we're already off work and he's a bricklayer so would rather go away then so he doesn't have to have time off.

The Taronga Zoo sounds amazing! I'll definitely add that to my list.

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3. Re: Visiting Australia over Christmas & NYE

It does seem to be rather a long time in Brisbane.

What is your interest in the Gold Coast? Have you considered the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane. You need to be aware, as Amo says, that this is the absolute peak time for travelling. We're all on the roads ourselves. You'll come across minimum night requirements in many places, if you can get bookings.

It's also not the best time for the Reef, but it is still doable. You just need to be aware of conditions.

If you're going to do it, start your bookings now, Airfares won't get any cheaper, only more expensive. Decide on an itinerary and start making your bookings

Have fun in our country..

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4. Re: Visiting Australia over Christmas & NYE

As a Brisbanite, I adore my city, but please don't spend nine days in Brisbane!!!!!!

Arrive, spend say two days in the citynstsying in the CBD or Southbank, get over the jet lag, viisit Lone Pine, ride the citycats andswim t the Southbank Lagoon, then hire a car and spend a week on the SunshineCoast or Gold Coast - Gold Coast if you want a busy city/nightclubs/themeparks and bad traffic.

Sunshine Coast is you want oretty holiday town close to lots of nature. Caloundra and Noosa/Nooosaville are my favourite places, but Mooloolaba/Alexandra Headlands is worth a look too. Noosa andCaloundra have nicer coastal walks though.Noosa National Park is famous for being able to spot koalas and possibly snakes and goannas, and you will often see dolphins and tutles off Hells Gate.

Another thng to consider doing is a day trip to Moreton Island for your snorkelling fix.

As above, it is cyclone/stinger season in Carns. It is still possible for you to go and have a brilliant time, but do ensure this part of your trip is changeable, as if a cyclone comes in, you won't be going.

Cheers.

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5. Re: Visiting Australia over Christmas & NYE

My only comment is timing of visit - peak peak holiday time for us so many people are away and it's busy near the coast. And you pay top price for flights to Australia.

9 days in just Brisbane at that time (public holidays, people on holiday) is too long. Nearby Noosa and GC will be packed with people and traffic.

Cairns is hot/humid and start of wet season but things all work for reef and rainforest (no swimming off beaches due to stingers).

Sydney will be easy as again many people are away/school holidays.

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6. Re: Visiting Australia over Christmas & NYE

Have you considered putting Sydney first so you could see the NYE fireworks?

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7. Re: Visiting Australia over Christmas & NYE

Thank you all so much for the great info! As I say, nothing is set in stone, so everything is changeable at the moment. Taking in everyone’s comments about the length of time in Brisbane, it’s looking more definite to hire a car and drive to one of the coasts to break it up? I keep going back & forward with where to spend Xmas Day and NYE, by the sounds of it Sydney would be better for NYE? As much as I’d love to visit the GBR, it does sound like the weather may hold us off.

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8. Re: Visiting Australia over Christmas & NYE

NYE in Sydney is pretty spectacular, but

sky high hotel prices, and minimum night stays, and crowds.

It's doable but be prepared for serious sticker shock.

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9. Re: Visiting Australia over Christmas & NYE

Sydney at NYE is amazing but expensive regardless of how you do it unless you stay outside the city and spend 12 hours or more camped out at a free viewing spot.

I found it busier than usual but not that busy that I couldn’t move or find quieter places in the week I was there. Arrived on 27 Decand flew out on 3rd Jan. Now the domestic airport on the 3rd was an absolute zoo. So many people that you just had to wait until you called your flight and make your way to the front of the check in lines.

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10. Re: Visiting Australia over Christmas & NYE

>>>I keep going back & forward with where to spend Xmas Day and NYE, by the sounds of it Sydney would be better for NYE?<<<

Sydney is only second to NYC for visitation/popularity for the NYE fireworks. So much would depend on how much interest you have with such events

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