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Australia travel suggestions

Australia and New Zealand Forum - Relocation, Moving, Local City Discussions - City-Data Forum - www.city-data.com
So I'm going to be going to Tasmania (from Canada) for a month this summer to do work related to my studies, and while I'm on the other side of the world, I'd like to do a little travel (1-2 weeks) in Australia afterwards, probably in early August.

Now I need to decide what I want to see.

I know when I was a kid my main exposure to Australia was watching Crocodile Hunter and similar shows focussing on the wildlife of Australia. I don't think I want to go swimming with crocodiles but it would be cool to see some the less dangerous wildlife, I just don't know if the likelihood of seeing any is high enough for it to make sense to let that influence my travel plans much. After all I'll only be there 1-2 weeks, and that would include a fair bit of driving time, and I'm on a budget so I'm not willing to spend a ton of money on a guide.

I have an interest in urban planning, so I'd like to spend a couple days in Melbourne since it seems like a really nice city and their downtown laneways are a cool and interesting difference from cities here in North America. Aside from that I'm not sure if Australian cities are that different from Canadian ones to spend too much time there, maybe a day in Sydney before flying home from there. The geography is different from cities in Canada but if it's the geography and landscapes that are interesting, no need to go to the cities to experience that...

My thoughts for now are driving from Melbourne to Queensland, then down to Sydney, but I'm open to suggestions. Maybe that's too much driving and I'm better of just visiting Melbourne and then flying to Brisbane and checking out the areas near there before flying out of Sydney? How far north within Queensland would I have to go to do some good snorkelling and can that be done from a small town from the shore of the mainland or would I need a boat? Is August a good time for snorkelling?

I'm not really interested in nightlife or being a beach bum. :P Mostly, I'm looking the explore Australia's sights and scenery.


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