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Trying to decide if we want to go to the Great Barrier Reef pre cruise or extend our time in Sidney. I’ve heard the the Great Barrier Reef is not worth the extra expense. 

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I don’t know where you heard that, but I doubt they ever did more than maybe sail through the area. The reef is spectacular, now is it worth it is another question, it is a long way from Sydney so will take time and money, but it is still one of the worlds great locations.

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thanks for your comment. It’s either that or 2 additional days in Sydney. Since we are already going to Sydney it doesn’t make sense not to go the the Great Barrier Reef. Thanks 

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OK is it two days in Sydney or the reef, or is the reef in addition to the two days in Sydney, that may change my answer.

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We start our cruise in Sydney and have a day and a half there before the cruise starts so we can do some sightseeing at that point. We’ve had some people tell us they went to the GBR and wished they had 2 additional days in Sydney instead of the Reef. We will probably never be in that part of the world again so it makes more sense to go to the GBR. The additional cost is about double for the Reef. 

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If your friends did a quick trip up there, they probably did waste their time. It's 1000s of klms from Sydney...which equals time. You really need at least a couple of days onsite, to get a feel for it....then you have to factor in the travel time. It's a bit like saying..."I'm going to Rome for a day or so"

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In Sydney using four days is easy

 

Manly or Bondi or the beaches and ocean/harbour views and walks

Day trip to Blue Mts, different but as spectacular as the reef

The Zoo those animals that have the best views in the world.

a day or two around the city, The Rocks, Opera House, botanic Gardens and bridge.

 

if it two days at GbR and two in Sydney v 4 in Sydney I may give the nod to just Sydney

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It is a real long way away from Sydney.  Assuming you are talking Port Douglas/Cairns, it is the same flight time from Sydney as is Uluru (Ayers Rock). If you want to do a flying trip to Cairns, I would do exactly that.  Fly to Cairns and take a fixed wing or helicopter flight over the reef.  It would be spectacular and so very different to Sydney.  But I agree with Mr Gut, there is lots of glorious things to see in just 4 days around Sydney.  His itinerary is spot on.

 

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3 hours ago, Coventry417 said:

Trying to decide if we want to go to the Great Barrier Reef pre cruise or extend our time in Sidney. I’ve heard the the Great Barrier Reef is not worth the extra expense. 

 

If your friends flew from Sydney to Cairns and back to spend two days on the GBR, then I agree with them that they wasted their time and money.

 

The flight distance from Sydney to Cairns is roughly the same as that between London and Casablanca. It is not a trivial journey. If you spend two days on it, much of that time will be wasted in airports and on planes.

 

Stay in Sydney and make the most of your time.

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it is a three hour flight from Sydney to Cairns and easy access to the GBR. I would stay in Sydney and see more of it as your two days would be likely eaten up with travel time.

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It sounds like 2.5 days in Sydney vs .5 day in Sydney + 2 days travelling to GBR. The poster also missed that the first .5 days they will likely be adjusting to jetlag so it will be even less effective.

 

In that situation, no time to worry about visiting the reef as well.

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I suppose it depends on priorities, if they really wanted to see the GBR and also have time, they could allow another few days.

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I think you would need more time to fit in both.

 

We just got back from Australia a week ago. We spend 4 nights in Sydney on the Rocks before a 14-day cruise of New Zealand, then back to Sydney to rent a car and drive around NSW for another 7 nights.

 

Sydney is definably worth at least 4 days.  We had a 48-hour ferry pass.  One place we visited was beautiful Manly Beach.  We then took the 24-hour Hop-on hop-off bus to see the city and go to Bondi beach.   Took the Opera House tour and took the ferry to the Zoo.  Sydney is one beautiful place.

 

We left the Blue Mountains to after our cruise, but it definitely should not be missed.

 

We also want to get up to Cairns one of these days, but it will have to wait for another trip.

 

Norcal Beni

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I wish it was a 3 hour flight to Cairns from Sydney!! It might be in flight time but unfortunately there are no direct flights anymore so you need to make the eternal stop over in Brisbane, which slowwwws everything down.

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44 minutes ago, Porky55 said:

I wish it was a 3 hour flight to Cairns from Sydney!! It might be in flight time but unfortunately there are no direct flights anymore so you need to make the eternal stop over in Brisbane, which slowwwws everything down.

Not true. There are plenty of direct flights from Sydney to Cairns and from. Cairns to Sydney

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Yes, all 4 airlines offer them.

 

Doesn't change that I don't recommend doing that for such a short visit.

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I use to live in Port Douglas,it’s nice but just another seaside town, the beach has no surf and is muddy.

By the time you get to the airport ,take the flight,and then to your final destination it’s the best part of a day each way.You needs more time.

So I agree,stay around Sydney.How about Katoomba for a night?

or a couple of nights in manly.

Edited by Chiliburn

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9 hours ago, Toryhere said:

Not true. There are plenty of direct flights from Sydney to Cairns and from. Cairns to Sydney

Omg - Live in Central Qld never knew this 🙄 feel like a goose. We had direct flights too but airlines took them away as uneconomical - thought they had taken all away.

Live n learn - no reason to fly Sydney to Cairns I guess.

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Nevermind, at least this forum has imparted some useful knowledge to someone other than the OP.

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11 hours ago, Porky55 said:

Omg - Live in Central Qld never knew this 🙄 feel like a goose. We had direct flights too but airlines took them away as uneconomical - thought they had taken all away.

Live n learn - no reason to fly Sydney to Cairns I guess.

Is that true Queenslander have calluses on there knees from bending bananas

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2 hours ago, Chiliburn said:

Is that true Queenslander have calluses on there knees from bending bananas

Haha wouldn’t know - you would have to ask a Queenslander 😉

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We are having the same discussion! Cruising on a 14 day Australia cruise in December. We will have 2 days pre-cruise to adjust and see a little bit of Sydney, Staying at either the Sheraton Hyde Park or the Pier One Sydney Harbour AC. We are debating doing 3 night/2 day Post-cruise to Cairns (flights, GBR, Aboriginal park, skyrail for 4K for three of us), or spending 2 more days in Sydney. We are torn, and not sure if the 4K is too much and the time too little to really enjoy the trip. Excited about it tho!

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Just the Cairns package.....the best I can find for some random dates in December is about A$2700 each ...for what you've quoted. So your package is pretty good. The only caveat I would add is....December is nasty in Cairns....hot, humid, and can't swim in the ocean (too many things that will kill you). But if you can handle that.....

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Oh my thank you for that information. Part of the tour includes snorkeling. It is actually first week of January, post-cruise, but I’m guessing those conditions are the same. More research is required! Living in Phoenix makes us pretty sensitive to nasty humidity, especially if swimming is out!!

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