|Subject: RE: Travels in Australia|
I remember now that you are coming Down Under in 2003 :)
RE Cairns: It's a long drive from Sydney!!! Depends on how much time you want to allocate to travelling, and how many destinations you'd like to visit along the way if you drive.
It's approximately a 3 hour flight and I had a quick look at www.flightcentre.com.au (a flight brokering Australian organisation) and www.qantas.com.au. I just threw in April 7 2003 to April 15 2003 as I wasn't sure of your intended dates. Flights were about $400-$450. I also tried www.virginblue.com.au but couldn't get any seat availability in the rough range. April is just passed the lower season, and depending on dates may run into school holidays or Easter which affect flight availability.
In 2003 in Australia, Good Friday is Friday 18 April if that helps. And the April related 2003 School Holidays for NSW and QLD are: Queensland = 18th - April - 28th April 2003 New South Wales = 14th - 25th April 2003
Anyway! If you are driving up from Sydney then some of the more well-known stops might include Coffs Harbour, and Byron Bay. Sydney itself obviously has lots to offer! (Opera House, Botanical Gardens, Taronga Park Zoo, catch hydrofoil ferry to Manly for fish and chips, walk over the Harbour Bridge (Matt Damon recently loved it! ;-D) , The Rocks, ...)
Cairns: http://www.cairnsinfo.com/ I have only been there once myself and only briefly (Microsoft conference) and unfortunately did not get up to Kuranda - it's supposed to be great with the SkyWay, rail trip and markets. http://www.kuranda.au.com/
But I did get to go on a free introductory scuba-diving course, and did snorkelling again on the reef (in a wetsuit in August!). It's brilliant! Box jellyfish season is supposed to be October to end May (maybe March) but they're in closer to shore from what I've read so you're fine on the reef.
Hope some of this helps? :) Megan Brisbane, Australia