Itinerary - Feedback Appreciated
Replies: 26 - Last Post: Jul 12, 2012 1:32 AM Last Post By: Harry_Ramsden
Jul 3, 2012 7:53 AM
I think I'll keep Fraser Island in the itinerary.
I'm trying to work out where to stay around Port Douglas/Cape Tribulation. The purpose of heading up that way is to get a look at the Daintree Rainforest, but after tons of research I'm no nearer to knowing whether basing myself at PD or CT would make more sense. How many days would I even need for Daintree, and would it be better to go on an organised tour there or try and do it myself?
Jul 3, 2012 8:24 AM
Jul 3, 2012 8:44 PM
17I'd stay at Port Douglas and travel into the Daintree, which is a very easy day trip - drive to the town of Daintree, cross on the car ferry, and bingo, you're in it. CT is not tha much further along.
The problem with staying in CT is there's bugger all else there. Which is fine if you just want to commune with nature, but the town of PD gives you great cafes, galleries, a great beach, a decent mini zoo, and is close enough to cairns for the attractions there, and Mossman Gorge, which is a fabulous easily approached bit of rainforest (drive to car park, get out, walk track, get back in car).
Beyond CT I don't think you see anything better, and after a while, a good deal worse. Cooktown strikes me as one of those places you go to, say you've driven that entire road.
Also, PD is where reef tours leave from, so it's all in the one box. So, in short, base at PD, and travel from there.
Jul 4, 2012 1:28 AM
Jul 4, 2012 6:50 PM
19I prefer to settle in the one spot, as you lose half a day every time you check out/check in.
BUT, settling in Cairns for 2 days would cut down your travel time if you were seeing things like the Rail/skyway. If not, stick to PD, which is much closer to the Daintree and Mossman Gorge, and has direct access to the Reef.
Jul 5, 2012 1:12 AM
20At some point I am going to have to undertake the rather long drive from the Cairns area down toward Hervey Bay.
I intend stopping over 1 night at Agnes Water on the way, as recommended by some here, in order to break the journey up, but I guess my logic was:
2 nights around PD/CT, head down to Cairns for a couple and do the barrier reef trips from there, then make my way down toward Agnes Water from there. Are all of the same reef trips available from PD, then? I'd be looking to snorkel, given that I have no diving qualifications.
Jul 5, 2012 8:24 PM
21There are many more options from Cairns to the Reef, but the Reef is closer to PD.
For a straight snorkeller my recommendation would be Quicksilver, which goes from both locations.
Many here object to Quicksilver because it is the big operator, more expensive than most, and carries large numbers of passengers. But many don't get in the water, and their pontoon is at a superb part of the reef. The snorkelling is great, and if you want to stay out of the water, there have an underwater viewing platform and semi-submersible - but neither is even close to what you see snorkelling.
HOWEVER - I'd choose the snorkelling on the weather. You should be able to leave it to the last minute, and go on whatever day the weather is best - that means slight seas and low swells. If sees are rough, or even moderate, then this an be quite a test as you swallow a lot of water.
You can also see the Reef from Agnes Water and Bundaberg and the Whitnsundays if the weather is truly foul when you are up north. Check the weather forecast a few days out, and if it looks good, book then.
Jul 6, 2012 4:25 AM
22Thanks. I guess if the seas were rough I'd forego the air spout and just use the mask, coming up for air. Easier!
One other thing..realistically, how dangerous is the reef to the average snorkeller? (in terms of sharks, rays, etc). I'm not concerned personally, as it is clearly something that many people do, but my other half has a few reservations.
Jul 6, 2012 1:56 PM
Jul 7, 2012 6:15 AM
247 days in the Whitsundays/Airlie is probably a little long. Airlie is great but not for a long period like that. There are some lovely waterfalls (Cedar Creek Falls) near Airlie & Proserpine (about 40min from Airlie) has a fantastic shop called 'Colour me Crazy' if you're into shopping & the Irish pub is great for food (& the owners are so lovely). You could go to Hamilton Island for a couple of days or you can do day trips to Hamilton too, HEAPS to do, if you do go to Airlie, Whitehaven is absolutely beautiful, you can get to it from Shute Harbour (20min drive from Airlie beach) or from Hamilton Island (or any other island in the region for that matter).
Eungella is great, its probably about a 2-3hr drive from Airlie (it could be shorter but unless you know the back roads through the cane farms it will be about that long). To see platypus your best bet is to go in early morning or dusk. There are some really nice walking tracks at Eungella of varying lengths & difficulties. There is a chalet at Eundella that does good food & will help you find your way etc. If you go to Eungella, stop at Pinnacle for a pie!
Jul 9, 2012 6:35 AM
Jul 12, 2012 1:32 AM
26No danger if you're a snorkeller on a big tourist boat. The horror stories have all come from smaller operators or divers being left behind. The bigger ones have lifeguards, ropes, observers etc. If my 65 year old barely swimming mother in law was able to snorkel there (with a life jacket on) I'm sure you will be fine.
Coober PedyBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$150.78 per night
The WestBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$136.16 per night
Port MacquarieBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$22.66 per night