Subject: Re: Opinions needed on Australia tour
Hi Paul,

Being more of an urban girl who loves cities, I respectfully disagree with the opinions that Sydney is "just another city". I've been there 5 times and never tire of it. It has a sparkle that other cities lack, IMO. If time is limited, then sure, two days will do it so see some highlights, but 3 would be better. One thing that disappoints me about your tour is that they skip Melbourne completely. I can't imagine why. I like it even better than Sydney. However, depending on your time and budget, perhaps you can arrange a visit to Mebourne on your own either before or after meeting up with your group? The two cities are less than an hour apart by plane and often international airfares will include a free stopover. A trip to Phillips Island (day trip from Melbourne) to see the fairie penguins is a must.

You don't say enough about how long you'll be in some of the places, so I can't really comment too much. Kuranda is "okay" - the area is beautiful but the town is simply a tourist trap that sells Aboriginal souveniers, ice cream and sandwiches. I agree with Lucy that one day there that offers the train ride up and the cable car down has some spectacular scenery.

Will you get to go north of Cairns - perhaps to the Daintree Rainforest? (about a 2 hour drive). That's spectacular.

The Blue Mountains is about a 3 hour drive from Sydney and has some gorgeous old hotels. I hope your trip plans it as an ovenight excursion.

We make our own arrangements when we go to Australia and never use a tour company, however, I'd check out Swain Tours. They're an Australian company that will design an independant tour for you to do on your own and they're not too high-end. They have an excellent reputation.

Personally, I think a visit to Kangaroo Island (from Adelaide) is one of the "must see's" of Oz, if you love nature and animals.

Candice NYC