Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Oceania (Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific) > Oceania (Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific)
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 13, 10, 2:00 am   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: GSO
Programs: UA 1P, B6/DL/WN/AA GM, Hertz #1 Gold
Posts: 695
Which Island in the South Pacific to Visit from SYD?

I will be in Sydney from 4 Aug - 13 Aug, and am looking to swing up to somewhere in the South Pacific for a brief (36-48 hour) trip. I don't really know anything about any of the islands, so I'm hoping for some input from people who have been to some of the islands.

I am a 24 year old male from the US, traveling on my own, mainly looking to enjoy nice beaches, scenic adventures, and hopefully with a decent town as well. Cairns comes to mind as a place that is similar to what I'm possibly looking for --> a laid-back beach town, but still has some bars/nightlife. I'm not necessarily a big backpacker/hiker, but open to some physical adventures.

I have 2 options for booking the side-trip:
(a) Redeem UA miles, so flying on NZ, which does have a fair number of options (i.e. NAN, RAR, TBU, PPT, etc) but like I said, I don't really know anything about those islands.

(b) Find a relatively low cost (<$250 roundtrip) paid fare. The only option I've found for this is Jetstar, which does have convenient SYD-NAN nonstops but it prices out to around $350 roundtrip, so a little above my preferred price range.
Primarily, I'm looking for advice about the islands and what might be the best options for me, but any input on flight options (other low-cost carriers that I don't know about) would be greatly appreciated.
tmm1012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 10, 3:41 am   #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL, Australia
Posts: 5,086
Just go to north Queensland
__________________
OzFest 12, Bay Of Islands, New Zealand, 22-25 May 2015 ✈ ✈ Join the FT Kiva team
Mwenenzi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 10, 8:10 am   #3
Moderator: Asiana & Qantas Frequent Flyer
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Sydney
Programs: QF WP, LH SEN, OZ D+, HH D, SPG P
Posts: 13,458
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Just go to north Queensland
+1.

The nearest non-Australian neighbour from SYD is New Caleodonia which doesn't have what you are looking for. Then its New Zealand and then you are talking Fiji, Vanuatu and are soon more than 5 flight hours away already.

So Queensland looks like the place for you. Cairns, Gold Cost or anything in between.
DownUnderFlyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 10, 10:05 am   #4
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: IAD
Programs: UA 1P
Posts: 12,745
Quote:
Which Island in the South Pacific to Visit from SYD?
As others have hinted ... sounds like CNS is good match for your situation (except its not a Pacific Island) and CNS is probably more realistic based on your limited time and additional expense required.

If you're getting to SYD from NA with UA miles and haven't ticketed, then don't forget about the free stopover for UA awards to Aus/NZ ... you just pay the additional taxes, for example:
LAX-SYD-RAR-LAX
LAX-SYD-AKL-HNL/RAR/NAN/TBU/APW(TBU)-LAX

I've got WAS to CNS with a stopover in RAR on the way back ticketed with UA miles ... in C BTW . The stopover is a great benefit many folks forget about.
__________________
If at first you don't succeed, find out who's responsible and make them pay.
im-headed-west is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 10, 6:45 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: GSO
Programs: UA 1P, B6/DL/WN/AA GM, Hertz #1 Gold
Posts: 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by im-headed-west View Post
If you're getting to SYD from NA with UA miles and haven't ticketed, then don't forget about the free stopover for UA awards to Aus/NZ ...
Great suggestion to remember - this trip I'm planning is actually from the Tware that UA had last week, and I got a great deal on a paid fare, so unfortunately no stopover.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DownUnderFlyer View Post
+1.

The nearest non-Australian neighbour from SYD is New Caleodonia which doesn't have what you are looking for. Then its New Zealand and then you are talking Fiji, Vanuatu and are soon more than 5 flight hours away already.

So Queensland looks like the place for you. Cairns, Gold Cost or anything in between.
Thanks for the input so far. Sorry I should have clarified a little more - I've already been to Cairns, the Gold Coast, and Auckland, and am looking to see somewhere new. I have actually found flights through AA on Air Pacific nonstop SYD-NAN and I have just enough miles for that. I don't mind the 4-5 hour flight, and really would like to explore one of the islands. The two best possibilities for I've found thus far are award flights to NAN and RAR, but is RAR what I'm looking for at all? Or is there a better island for what I'm looking for? Thanks again to everyone for the suggestions!
tmm1012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 10, 8:25 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Programs: CX Silver, QFF Bronze, Mabuhay Miles
Posts: 545
Not really what you are asking for, but if your budget is tight and can't meet your time requirements, get on a plane to Melbourne instead. It is a great place to see for a day and a half - well within your budget and very different from Sydney. It has a great bar/cafe/food scene.
Crocodile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 10, 8:37 pm   #7
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: IAD
Programs: UA 1P
Posts: 12,745
I personally like Rarotonga and will return for my third time in Sept, and probably to Aitutaki also, if my job allows. The Cook Islands interest me because they're uncrowded and inexpensive and really a great place to unwind, but the Cooks are not really like CNS.

On RAR, there's a wide range of accommodations from bunks to high end (very overpriced IMO). There's a bus that circles the island, so a car isn't needed, but a scooter / car is $20 / $45 NZ / day. There's a small grocery store in the "big city" of Avarua and small food shops around the island ... or you can eat at one of a dozen or so restaurants / take aways. There's some swimming, snorkeling, and a few dive operations. With a few exceptions, a crowded beach is 4-5 people. RAR also has a few hiking treks. Haven't done the bar thing there, but RAR does have minimal nightlife in Avarua and there's always a decent number of backpackers in Avarua and near Muri.

For the basics on the South Pacific, check out David Stanley's website. His books and website are excellent.
__________________
If at first you don't succeed, find out who's responsible and make them pay.
im-headed-west is online now   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 14, 10, 9:40 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: GSO
Programs: UA 1P, B6/DL/WN/AA GM, Hertz #1 Gold
Posts: 695
Quote:
Originally Posted by im-headed-west View Post
For the basics on the South Pacific, check out David Stanley's website. His books and website are excellent.
This is great! Thanks!

If anyone has any other input, I'd be happy to hear it as well.
tmm1012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 17, 10, 10:59 am   #9
Moderator: Asiana & Qantas Frequent Flyer
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Sydney
Programs: QF WP, LH SEN, OZ D+, HH D, SPG P
Posts: 13,458
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmm1012 View Post
This is great! Thanks!

If anyone has any other input, I'd be happy to hear it as well.
Fiji is nice if you head for the outer islands. However, the really spectacular South Pacific can be found more on the Cook Islands (Aitutaki) than on Fiji. Fiji is the package tourist destination for Australians, the Cook Island are more Pacific Paradise.
DownUnderFlyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 17, 10, 6:45 pm   #10
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Portland OR Double Emerald (QF and AA), DL PM/MM, Starwood Plat
Posts: 17,611
The "idyllic" south pacific islands can be tricky; some are slums and industrial sweat shops (Guam is full of imported chinese workers making "made in USA" products) and American Samoa is also quite depressing. There is probably a reason that so many Islanders are living in Auckland, Sydney and even Los Angeles. Yet there are beautiful and even truly idyllic islands in the Pacific, but none of them are viable for a 36-48 hour trips (it takes that long just to get to them, one-way). Some of these islands look more like a superfund (pollution cleanup) candidate site (sadly).
number_6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 24, 10, 5:51 am   #11
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sydney, The Land Down Under
Programs: BA OWS Silver, A3*Gold, VA Silver, Hilton/SPG Gold
Posts: 1,077
Or you can just hang around Fiji Beachcomber ... Just a party island ....

http://www.beachcomberfiji.com/
edison is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 6, 10, 6:49 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hawaii
Programs: United 1K 2 MM
Posts: 769
Smile Best Island in the Whole World

Hi
Its not tropical, but if you want to go to an island and you are in Sydney, check out Lord Howe Island, about a two hour flight from SYD. We've been several times: it is really the most beautiful place we've ever been to. There is a very good web site for starters...plenty of places to stay, not touristy and beautiful beaches.
mmack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 7, 10, 9:05 am   #13
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: SYD
Programs: QF Plat & Lifetime Gold, Velocity Gold, SQ PPS
Posts: 246
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmack View Post
Hi
Its not tropical, but if you want to go to an island and you are in Sydney, check out Lord Howe Island ... it is really the most beautiful place we've ever been to.
ditto
__________________
the boat sails | close-hauled to the breeze | leeward pines
DI542 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 7, 10, 10:19 am   #14
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Portland OR Double Emerald (QF and AA), DL PM/MM, Starwood Plat
Posts: 17,611
LDH is not an easy place to visit! For one, you cannot buy an airline ticket to go there unless you have accomodation -- the number of visitors per day is strictly controlled with only 400 tourist beds allowed on the island. Flights are quite expensive too. So there is a price for paradise. I've tried several times to arrange trips on short notice and it was simply impossible. Also 14kg checked baggage limit (and 4kg carryon, often strictly enforced as it is an aircraft performance issue for takeoff from LDH).
number_6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 10, 10, 7:49 pm   #15
Moderator: Asiana & Qantas Frequent Flyer
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Sydney
Programs: QF WP, LH SEN, OZ D+, HH D, SPG P
Posts: 13,458
Quote:
Originally Posted by number_6 View Post
Also 14kg checked baggage limit...
It actually works a bit different in reality. You get the standard allowance however anything above 14kg is not guaranteed and will be standby only. So when going you need to make sure that you have everything you need in the guaranteed part of your luggage.
DownUnderFlyer is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 6:56 pm.