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OT: Australia Trip

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brettski
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Re: OT: Australia Trip 

Post#101 » by brettski » Wed Sep 25, 2019 10:01 pm

chile wrote:Are places like Kuranda, Daintree and Mossman Gorge worth full day tours? Or is it better to combine Daintree and Mossman into one day? I don't want to rush those places if a couple hours isn't enough. Do those places have good hiking/activities?

I was thinking GBR for a couple days, Fitzroy for a day and then the above 3 places each day. Would I be missing anything? Maybe Crystal Cascades?


I have not done Mossman Gorge but I have driven up to the Daintree River and done a crocodile river cruise. Honestly the best part was the drive from Cairns to Port Douglas. The Captain Cook Highway was so scenic hugging the edge of the pacific ocean.

Kuranda was ok. We did the gondola up and walk around the rain forrest (does not take long) then a few hours in town wandering, doing markets etc and then the train ride back down to Cairns. Honestly would go without the train ride and suggest you could drive, do a half day up over the rainforest to Kuranda and wander markets and still feel like it is time well spent. It is roughly 1hr drive to the Daintree River so I don't know if you could pack both into a single day.

Do not skimp on the reef (as a lover of snorkeling) I've had so many fond memories of snorkelling different parts of the reef between Port Douglas, Cairns/Green Island, Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island.
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trublu
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Re: OT: Australia Trip 

Post#102 » by trublu » Thu Sep 26, 2019 1:15 am

brettski wrote:
chile wrote:Are places like Kuranda, Daintree and Mossman Gorge worth full day tours? Or is it better to combine Daintree and Mossman into one day? I don't want to rush those places if a couple hours isn't enough. Do those places have good hiking/activities?

I was thinking GBR for a couple days, Fitzroy for a day and then the above 3 places each day. Would I be missing anything? Maybe Crystal Cascades?


I have not done Mossman Gorge but I have driven up to the Daintree River and done a crocodile river cruise. Honestly the best part was the drive from Cairns to Port Douglas. The Captain Cook Highway was so scenic hugging the edge of the pacific ocean.

Kuranda was ok. We did the gondola up and walk around the rain forrest (does not take long) then a few hours in town wandering, doing markets etc and then the train ride back down to Cairns. Honestly would go without the train ride and suggest you could drive, do a half day up over the rainforest to Kuranda and wander markets and still feel like it is time well spent. It is roughly 1hr drive to the Daintree River so I don't know if you could pack both into a single day.

Do not skimp on the reef (as a lover of snorkeling) I've had so many fond memories of snorkelling different parts of the reef between Port Douglas, Cairns/Green Island, Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island.

What he said. If you time your visit to Kuranda for a weekend there will be more shops and stalls open in the markets. The butterfly farm is also worth a look. If you come during the wet season (Nov-Feb), Barron Falls should be flowing too. I would recommend planning a day in Kuranda (although half a day would be enough) and a day for Mossman Gorge.

Be aware that the Daintree National Park is big. Mossman Gorge is in the southern most tip, which is only an hour from Cairns (perfect for a day trip). The Croc tour is about 1h 45min and the actual Daintree Visitors Centre (where the treetop walkway is located) is two and a half hours from Cairns.

As for the reef, I've only been to Green Island. You'll need a whole day to snorkel everything there. Depending on your level of interest, you would need a week to cover all the different dive areas.

I think the road to Crystal Cascades is closed until Decemeber due to road works, so check with some locals before you head that way.
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chile
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Re: OT: Australia Trip 

Post#103 » by chile » Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:03 pm

trublu wrote:
brettski wrote:
chile wrote:Are places like Kuranda, Daintree and Mossman Gorge worth full day tours? Or is it better to combine Daintree and Mossman into one day? I don't want to rush those places if a couple hours isn't enough. Do those places have good hiking/activities?

I was thinking GBR for a couple days, Fitzroy for a day and then the above 3 places each day. Would I be missing anything? Maybe Crystal Cascades?


I have not done Mossman Gorge but I have driven up to the Daintree River and done a crocodile river cruise. Honestly the best part was the drive from Cairns to Port Douglas. The Captain Cook Highway was so scenic hugging the edge of the pacific ocean.

Kuranda was ok. We did the gondola up and walk around the rain forrest (does not take long) then a few hours in town wandering, doing markets etc and then the train ride back down to Cairns. Honestly would go without the train ride and suggest you could drive, do a half day up over the rainforest to Kuranda and wander markets and still feel like it is time well spent. It is roughly 1hr drive to the Daintree River so I don't know if you could pack both into a single day.

Do not skimp on the reef (as a lover of snorkeling) I've had so many fond memories of snorkelling different parts of the reef between Port Douglas, Cairns/Green Island, Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island.

What he said. If you time your visit to Kuranda for a weekend there will be more shops and stalls open in the markets. The butterfly farm is also worth a look. If you come during the wet season (Nov-Feb), Barron Falls should be flowing too. I would recommend planning a day in Kuranda (although half a day would be enough) and a day for Mossman Gorge.

Be aware that the Daintree National Park is big. Mossman Gorge is in the southern most tip, which is only an hour from Cairns (perfect for a day trip). The Croc tour is about 1h 45min and the actual Daintree Visitors Centre (where the treetop walkway is located) is two and a half hours from Cairns.

As for the reef, I've only been to Green Island. You'll need a whole day to snorkel everything there. Depending on your level of interest, you would need a week to cover all the different dive areas.

I think the road to Crystal Cascades is closed until Decemeber due to road works, so check with some locals before you head that way.
Thanks for the insight. If Kuranda is only for the view (while a good one) with nothing else going on, it won't be worth a full day. We are more interested in exploring the area on foot and don't need to visit shops. It sounds like you get to the area via skyrail, train or car and look at it from a vantage point and head back. We wanted hiking trails that would take 1-3 hours to complete.

People did mention Port Douglas being a better area than Cairns but I was going to stay in Cairns for the convenience. At least Port Douglas is less crowded and closer to Daintree and Mossman. So I will probably look at that area instead.

I was considering Hamilton/Whitsunday but chose Cairns over it due to other activities. Should I try to get Port Douglas and Hamilton into the same trip? Is Townsville worth visiting? I probably have time for 2 of the 3 locations. Maybe spend 4 days in Port Douglas, 3 days in Townsville or Hamilton and the remaining time in Sydney?
brettski
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Re: OT: Australia Trip 

Post#104 » by brettski » Thu Sep 26, 2019 10:19 pm

Never been to Townsville but I don't think it would be worth it. Cairns offers more than Port Douglas. My recommendation is still hire a car and stay north of Cairns in a place like Trinity Beach or Palm Cove. Much nicer (and nicer than Port Douglas too). but still only 20-30 minutes from everything in Cairns.
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trublu
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Re: OT: Australia Trip 

Post#105 » by trublu » Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:51 pm

Townsville is established more as the business centre of North Queensland than a tourist hub, but there is enough to do to keep you busy for a few days.

Pros - No 1 is Magnetic Island. This place is setup for tourists. It's a 20 minute ferry ride from Townsville. There are challenging hikings tracks through one of the largest wild koala populations in Australia. If you do miss seeing one, there is a conservation park where you can get photos with them. Very nice beaches with some good snorkelling points. Wide range of accommodation from luxury resort through to backpacker hostel. A public bus runs regularly so you don't need a car, but you can hire one if you want.

If you're into fishing, there's a few charter boats that can take you out to the reef. If you're a scuba diver, the SS Yongala has been voted one of the top 10 wreck dives in the world.

Billabong Sanctuary is pretty good. It's a private zoo with koalas, kangaroos, cassawaries, crocs, snakes. All the good stuff like that.

There's a couple of museums, a reef aquarium, a decent casino, art gallery and an esplanade with lots of good restaurants/cafes. There's also a good dining precinct in town with nice restaurants.

Importantly, you can get a direct flight from Townsville to Sydney without having to go back to Cairns.

Cons - You'll have to drive four and a half hours from Cairns to get there, or it's an hour's flight. There is no nightlife outside of a couple of pubs and a night club in the CBD. Cyclones can be a bit of a problem from November to March, but then again Cairns get them on occasion too.
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trublu
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Re: OT: Australia Trip 

Post#106 » by trublu » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:41 am

chile wrote:
trublu wrote:
brettski wrote:
I have not done Mossman Gorge but I have driven up to the Daintree River and done a crocodile river cruise. Honestly the best part was the drive from Cairns to Port Douglas. The Captain Cook Highway was so scenic hugging the edge of the pacific ocean.

Kuranda was ok. We did the gondola up and walk around the rain forrest (does not take long) then a few hours in town wandering, doing markets etc and then the train ride back down to Cairns. Honestly would go without the train ride and suggest you could drive, do a half day up over the rainforest to Kuranda and wander markets and still feel like it is time well spent. It is roughly 1hr drive to the Daintree River so I don't know if you could pack both into a single day.

Do not skimp on the reef (as a lover of snorkeling) I've had so many fond memories of snorkelling different parts of the reef between Port Douglas, Cairns/Green Island, Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island.

What he said. If you time your visit to Kuranda for a weekend there will be more shops and stalls open in the markets. The butterfly farm is also worth a look. If you come during the wet season (Nov-Feb), Barron Falls should be flowing too. I would recommend planning a day in Kuranda (although half a day would be enough) and a day for Mossman Gorge.

Be aware that the Daintree National Park is big. Mossman Gorge is in the southern most tip, which is only an hour from Cairns (perfect for a day trip). The Croc tour is about 1h 45min and the actual Daintree Visitors Centre (where the treetop walkway is located) is two and a half hours from Cairns.

As for the reef, I've only been to Green Island. You'll need a whole day to snorkel everything there. Depending on your level of interest, you would need a week to cover all the different dive areas.

I think the road to Crystal Cascades is closed until Decemeber due to road works, so check with some locals before you head that way.
Thanks for the insight. If Kuranda is only for the view (while a good one) with nothing else going on, it won't be worth a full day. We are more interested in exploring the area on foot and don't need to visit shops. It sounds like you get to the area via skyrail, train or car and look at it from a vantage point and head back. We wanted hiking trails that would take 1-3 hours to complete.

People did mention Port Douglas being a better area than Cairns but I was going to stay in Cairns for the convenience. At least Port Douglas is less crowded and closer to Daintree and Mossman. So I will probably look at that area instead.

I was considering Hamilton/Whitsunday but chose Cairns over it due to other activities. Should I try to get Port Douglas and Hamilton into the same trip? Is Townsville worth visiting? I probably have time for 2 of the 3 locations. Maybe spend 4 days in Port Douglas, 3 days in Townsville or Hamilton and the remaining time in Sydney?

I haven't been to Port Douglas, but I have a few friends who have and they raved about it. Don't go near the river banks though. Cairns is convenient and tourist focussed, but if you're looking for the eco-tourist thing, Port Douglas sounds like the way to go for you.

Hamilton Island would be similar to Magnetic Island from an activities view point. The only thing is you would have to fly from Cairns to get there. You can google both places and flip a coin really. I'm pretty sure you could get flights from Hamilton Island to Sydney too. It's one of the most popular island resorts in the Whitsundays and the only one with it's own airport.

Your itinerary sound about right. 4 days in Port Doulgas, 3 days on either Hamilton Island or Maggie Island (if you end up driving, allow for an extra travel day to get there and settle in), then flying to Sydney is what I would recommend.
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steger_3434 wrote:Could thon be suspended in the nba?

I commend people like you that can look for the silver lining in a situation like this.

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