And also, list of airlines that I can book with to fly between the cities.
Cat 8 Marriott property: 40k points/night. I can swing on that. I'm assuming it's really central to everything? I haven't looked in detail yet.
I'm going to look into SPG properties too.Edited: 11:07 am, August 08, 2017
Couple of thoughts for you.
3 locations in 9 nights is a little ambitious but if you're happy with brief stops, that's fine. Also, it's the wet and deadly stinger season in FNQ (Cairns) so no swimming without a stinger suit plus it will be very hot and humid. Fine to go there but be aware of the conditions.
If you want to do the 3 locations, I would tend to immediately fly to Cairns when you arrive. That first day is a write off anyway so get the 3 hr flight out of the way. Then work your way down to the Gold Coast and Sydney. This will keep your time in each location together, ie no split stay in Sydney and you fly out late from there so that would be a bonus day for sightseeing. Queensland is also an hour behind NSW (Sydney) in December so be aware of that. Overall, I'd advise you drop either Cairns or Gold Coast as 3 long internal flights in 9 days will waste a full day in airports. For me, the one to go would be Cairns at this time of year. An alternative would be flying to the Sunshine Coast (MCY) from Sydney instead of Cairns and the Gold Coast. You have excellent beaches with no stingers and even diving options on Lady Elliott Island if you could drive a couple of hours north to Hervey Bay for a tour. Not sure if there are tours available from the Sunshine Coast (Noosa, Caloundra etc.)
Airlines are Jetstar, Tiger (low cost carriers), Virgin and Qantas.
Anyway, hope that gives you something to go on. Just be aware of how long it takes to get around Australia due to the size of the place.
All the best.Edited: 12:06 pm, August 08, 2017
+1 Stephen's advice.Edited: 12:32 pm, August 08, 2017
You're double counting days and giving an inflated impression of your amount of time in each place. You need to carve out the transit time and you'll see you're wasting a day and a half getting to and from hotels and airports and flying.
Cairns and Sydney deserve a lot more time that yiure allowing. You've not said what you want to do, in each location but if it were me I'd split my time between Port Douglas and Sydney and forget the Gold Coast all together.
Agree, forget he the Gold Coast - you have easy access to LA and Florida from Canada - spend your time in places that are unique to Aus - Sydney and Cairns region (stay Port Douglas) only - wit none nights you will still be short on time in each place, but you wont being seeing more of airports and planes yhan you will of the actual country.
Agree with 2 locations. Count your trip in nights, which makes it easier to see full days. So currently, Sydney 3 nights (2 full days), FNQ 3 nights (2 full days), Gold Coast 3 nights (2 full days0. So your trip comes down to 6 full days, because each time you change location you lose half to three-quarters of a day.
I like Stephen's suggestion of Sydney, then Sunshine Coast (which includes Fraser Island and Lady Elliott Island). No stingers in the water there. However, you have given us no indication of your likes and dislikes, what you want to see, what is important to you. Are you travelling alone? Are you able to hire a car? These things help us to give you better advice.
The advise about flying right away as soon as I arrive in SYD is a good idea.
The reason for wanting to go to Gold Coast is because I have a friend there. But whether she's going to be there during that time, she doesn't know yet. Still too far off.
No I won't be renting a car. Probably get around by public transportation? I am travelling alone. Haven't decided: backpacking vs a luggage. Well, I don't really have much likes or dislikes. I mean...I'm open-minded when I travel. Although, when I see one temple or museum, I've seen it all.
I may end up staying at a hostel if I do go to Cairns (unless there are Marriott, SPG, or Best Western properties where I can use my points??). In SYD, I will use my points at a Marriott property. How's Courtyard Sydney-North Ryde location? Is that too far from some of the POIs in SYD?
My mother's sister and bro-in-law is in SYD. But whether I can stay at their place, we haven't asked. But I'm sure I'll be meeting them (been 30 yrs since I last saw them)Edited: 8:43 pm, August 13, 2017