Subject: Australia, OzAdventure Bus + Accommodation
Dear Ziners: I am so grateful for all of the information you have provided. I really don't know how I managed to travel successfully before my association with this group. I think I've already told you that I'll be joining my daughter (27, and on a work/holiday visa) in Sydney on December 20. We are spending time up until, and including, Christmas in Sydney and then ... on December 26 we are booked on a flight to Cairns. We plan to stay there for 3 days and to experience the Great Barrier Reef. THEN we are boarding a bus, OzExperience/OzAdventure: destination Magnetic Island and then Airlie Beach, etc. Our OzExperience bus passes get us back to Sydney eventually with 8 overnight (or several nights) stops along the way. Have any of you done this? How did it work? (I'm beginning to suspect that we might be traveling with young backpackers. I guess I'd better do it while I still can.)

My other immediate questions relate to accommodation in Cairns, Magnetic Island and Airlie Beach. (Silk Oaks and Lizard Island Resorts look fabulous but are unfortunately exceed our budget for this trip.) Do you have any recommendations for moderately priced accommodation in Cairns, Magnetic Island and Airlie Beach? We can be in either Magnetic Island or Airlie Beach for New Year's eve. Which would you recommend that we might have a great festive dinner in a scenic setting? We'd like something between a blow-out beach party (daughter) and champagne and violins (mother). Thank you soooooo much. Lesley Toronto, Canada