The thing about going to Australia is... FOURTEEN HOUR FLIGHT.
Which is bad enough to complain about, but that's actually 14 hour flight out of LAX so if you want to tally up the total hours I logged getting from Indy to Sydney you're looking somewhere south of 18 hours in a window seat.
So when you are planning on spending an entire day getting somewhere (factor in the time travel phenomenon and you're actually killing two days getting there) you want to make sure you don't waste any time while you're there.
Hence why we tackled 4 cities in that 10 day span between November 14-24th.
I don't have any special formula as to why we picked the cities we did. In all honesty I think when we booked the flights back in February and Jenn laid out the four places I just smiled and handed over my first born child, I mean my credit card.
Our itinerary went a little something like this:
Days 1&2 (Thurs/Fri): In time travel/transit. Because Sydney is 16 hours ahead of Indy time, Friday never existed for me)
Day 3 (Sat): Arrive in
Sydney around 8am
Day 4 (Sun): Sydney
Day 5 (Mon): Sydney
Day 6 (Tues): Fly to Cairns
Day 7 (Wed): Cairns
Day 8 (Thurs): Fly to Brisbane, train to Surfers Paradise
Day 9 (Fri): Surfer's Paradise
Day 10 (Sat): Take train back to Brisbane
Day 11 (Sun): In time travel/transit back to LAX. And because of the time change again, we left Brisbane at 11am Sunday and arrived in LAX at 6am Sunday. Thank goodness for iPhones that automatically change times!
We booked everything in one fell swoop through Qantas, using the "Mult-City" option and struck a pretty great deal, with the total for all airfare somewhere $1500/person.
Flying into one major city and out of the other helped prevent us from backtracking too, so we were able to see more. (Surfer's was an afterthought, in retrospect we could have flown directly into the Gold Coast and avoided the train, but it was only an hour ride and not bad at all!)
My reflections: ten days was nowhere near enough. We were warned of this, and didn't have much of a choice though so we made due! And the flights aren't as terrible as they seem. Sleeping pills, halfway decent airplane food, traveling with your best friend and unlimited movies and TV shows made them pretty easy in all actuality!