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2 weeks to/from Melbourne, New Year's in Sydney, then what?

Luxembourg City...
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2 weeks to/from Melbourne, New Year's in Sydney, then what?

We've just booked 2 weeks to Australia from Europe. We'll be going to/from Melbourne on Dec 26-Jan 9. It is 2 weeks and I know it's not much, but would like to make the most out of it. We've booked New Year's in Sydney, but from Jan 3-9, we have no set plans and are open to ideas. That being said, we are not snorkelers or divers, more culture and foodies and the occasional beach. We are totally okay with flying in and out of cities and even prefer it to the train or bus. Renting a car is also an option. It is my 31st birthday trip so any tips would be really appreciated!

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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1. Re: 2 weeks to/from Melbourne, New Year's in Sydney, then what?

Hi,

I'm glad you have booked your accommodation for NYE in Sydney ! The usual tourist route is SYD - ULURU -CAIRNS. However at this time of the year its not the best as its Stinger Season / Cyclone Season in Nth QLD & Uluru can be extremely hot.

Here are a few suggestions - after Sydney - fly back to Melbourne.

Do the Great Ocean Road Drive from Melbourne to Adelaide. ( 3 days) Stay Lorne / Port Campbell / Robe. You would need to book everything as its very busy school holidays.

www.visitgreatoceanroad.org.au

You have the option to either continue onto explore Kangaroo Island - 2 days

http://www.tourkangarooisland.com.au/

or do the reverse fly SYD - ADEL - drive ADEL to MELB via the GOR.

2)

SYD - NYE -

Hire a car & drive via Blue Mountains & the Southern Highland to Canberra - return via the coast.

http://southern-highlands.com.au/drives - stay - Blue Mountains / Berrima or Bowral / Canberra / Kiama

3) MELB - SYD - NOOSA - MELB

http://www.visitnoosa.com.au/

Melbourne
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2. Re: 2 weeks to/from Melbourne, New Year's in Sydney, then what?

If you are more into culture and food then you could look at driving from Sydney to Melbourne, spending a couple of days in Canberra on the way down. You can visit the war memorial museum, old and new Parliament House and the national art gallery.

Then on the way to Melbourne you can spend a day exploring the Beechworth/Bright/Millawa region, full of wineries, breweries and great locally grown produce. Beautiful scenery too.

Melbourne is a very cultural and foodie based city, you will have lots of fun exploring everything it has to offer :)

Gungahlin, Australia
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for Canberra
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3. Re: 2 weeks to/from Melbourne, New Year's in Sydney, then what?

Culture, Canberra, absolutely! Just be careful about the location of your accommodation at that time of year, the Summernats car festival is on in early January. If you decide to include Canberra let us know when and we can advise further.

Adelaide, Australia
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4. Re: 2 weeks to/from Melbourne, New Year's in Sydney, then what?

Tours from Melbourne www.melbourneaustraliatours.com.au

www.visitvictoria.com

When in Melbourne we stay at the Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens, Metro nearby and the free circular tram, also close by is the Victoria Market.

Melbourne is a great place to celebrate your birthday, great choice of restaurants with international cuisine, enjoy lunch at St Kilda Beach, take the Metro train to Belgrave and ride "Puffin Billy", The Victorian Art centre has superb Australian art and currently they have the "Monet" exhibition.

Accommodation www.venere.com

Luxembourg City...
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5. Re: 2 weeks to/from Melbourne, New Year's in Sydney, then what?

Thanks to everyone for your insightful replies. I am definitely toying with the idea of staying in the "area" to visit Canberra and/or Adelaide and do the Great Ocean Drive. I will look into Kangaroo Island as well. My husband just learned about the "Whitsunday Islands" and is currently looking to fly there from Sydney, then back to Melbourne. Is it really as nice as they say it is? I get seasick quite easily, so I'm afraid that booking a 2-3 day sailing trip would be disastrous for me...is there a way we can just spend the entire time on a beach resort on Whitehaven beach (he says it's the nicest one there)? Thanks everybody!

Gungahlin, Australia
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6. Re: 2 weeks to/from Melbourne, New Year's in Sydney, then what?

There's another beach with a claim to 'whitest sand in the world', Hyams Beach at Jervis Bay. It isn't the Whitsundays but the area has its own appeal and depending on how your itinerary works out, if you do drive down the coast south of Sydney it might be useful to be aware of.

Luxembourg City...
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7. Re: 2 weeks to/from Melbourne, New Year's in Sydney, then what?

Thanks for the tips. I think we've narrowed it down to 2 options:

One would be to fly from SYD to Whitsundays and then back to Melbourne for our final day or so. The cheapest airfare I found was actually into and out of Mackay airport, which is just under a 2 hour drive to Airlie Beach. Resorts/hotels on Airlie Beach are plentiful, but would it be worth it to rent a car for those 4/5 days or get a shuttle to Airlie Beach from Mackay airport? Does anyone know how much a shuttle would cost? We would relax here and take a daytrip to Whitehaven. How are the restaurants/bar on Airlie Beach? Are they very expensive?

The second option would be to fly to Adelaide from SYD, go to Kangaroo Island and drive the Great Ocean Road Drive back down to Melbourne, stopping along the way as suggested by Ellemay. This seems to be the most "cost efficient" option out of the two. If anyone has any suggestions on "romantic" resorts along the GOR, I'll investigate further.

Thanks everyone!

Destination Expert
for Adelaide, South Australia, Kangaroo Island
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8. Re: 2 weeks to/from Melbourne, New Year's in Sydney, then what?

Driving Melb-Adel is the best way to do the GOR as the coast is on your left (passenger side) all the way

Unfortunately no one can spend the night on Whitehaven beach (unless they're in a private yacht and take their dinghy in to sleep on the sand!)

Regarding Kangaroo Island, click on the video links at this page, the Kangaroo Island one will possibly give you a little insight as to what you might expect and you will also find links to Kangaroo Island tourist information sites.

tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g255092-i697-k5…

9. Re: 2 weeks to/from Melbourne, New Year's in Sydney, then what?

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