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Things to do when cruising around Australia


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We are booked on a cruise in mid March 2014, which has 4 port calls around Australia. We have been to Australia before and visited Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. This cruise calls at Sydney, Brisbane, Airlie Beach and Darwin, Australia. We loved Sydney and have done a 2-3 day walk around to see the major sites (HOHO bus). This time we would like to try something different. We have done wineries and saw kangaroos and other wildlife at a wildlife park. What are the MUST SEE attractions for these four ports. Again a laid back approach without lots of walking or climbing. Beaches are not a priority. We will gladly take a private tour with a guide if suggested.

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Airlie Beach you have 2 choices


The Great Barrier Reef or Whitehaven Beach


Whitehaven does not have good snorkelling but the beach is silky smooth and the water clear


The reef trip you will need to do thru the ship. It usually goes to a pontoon. The reef is good at the location (but I have seen much better, but I am in Oz and head up that way 2-3 times a year to dive) so I am very picky.


Perhaps in Sydney consider the Blue Mountains or if you like walking there is a Spit to Manly harbourside walk. Train down to Cronulla and ferry up through to National park (no stop to get off though)

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Darwin (and the Top End) is one of my favorite places in Australia. If I had only one day there, I would go on a tour to Litchfield National Park to see the fabulous natural pools and waterfalls and the termite mounds. This would give you a chance to see some of the unique scenery of the Northern Territory. I would probably want to do a ship's tour for this because Litchfield is at some distance from Darwin and you wouldn't want to miss the boat.


If, for some reason, Litchfield is not an option, I would spend the day in Darwin visiting such sights as the excellent Museum and Gallery of the Northern Territory, Aquascene, Fannie Bay Gaol, and/or the Australian Aviation Heritage Center.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is a sub tropical river city, which is a great place to live. It is known for its unique style of housing (Queenslanders) and outdoor lifestyle.


If your ship calls at Dendy Portside, Hamilton, in Brisbane, you can catch a ferry nearby and tour the city that way, getting off wherever interests you.



New Farm

Southbank (Arts Precinct (State Library, Art Gallery, Museum, Theatre) and CBD)

West End

University, St Lucia


Google any of the above, plus Brisbane Citycat and ferry routes - Brisbane City Council for videos of the routes.

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In Sydney why not do the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk. The path follows the cliff tops and the views are spectacular. It only takes about 45 minutes to walk from point to point and you can also continue on further to Coogee which would be another 30 minutes from Bronte.


You can get to/from all 3 destinations by bus and there are plenty of opportunities for refreshments at numerous cafes on the walk. Until recently, I lived in the area and used to do this walk several times per week and never tired of the scenery. It can get busy at weekends but not so that you wouldn't enjoy the walk.

The pathway is quite undulating with some quite steep stone stairs at Bondi and Gordon's Bay so can be challenging for anyone with mobility issues.

Enjoy your return to Sydney.


Whoops sorry.....I just reread your post..properly, and noted you mentioned without lots of walking. Ignore my comments. But to anyone else reading this, the walk is great.


Sheepish grin!!!!

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Speaking about Sydney, this is a really tough one without knowing a bit more of your interests. Did you go to Taronga Park Zoo? You can take the ferry over there - lovely on a sunny day (hopefully not too hot), use the gondola to the top of the park, walk down through your favourites, and see the free flight bird show - best view from the zoo. They also have twilight concerts at the zoo from Feb through March. (Not sure if you stopover in Sydney either.) How much time do you have in each port? I am a Bondi local and if you have not seen this beach I have to agree with bronte2 that this area is amazing. The thing is that if you only have a day here I would be careful about venturing too far or just remember to factor in peak hour traffic.

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