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Best base for GBR & Rainforest Activities

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We're considering 6 nights in the Cairns/Port Douglas/Palm Cove area, and I need some help choosing accommodations for the end of March 2012.

We are a couple in our early 50's in decent physical condition but not athletes. We won't have a car on this trip, so ease of transport is important. We'd like to tour the GBR, Daintree, and take other excursions such as the Kuranda Scenic Railway, the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Cape Tribulation, Atherton Tablelands, maybe Yungaburra. Which of the three would be the best base? Or should we split the 6 days into 3 in Cairns, 3 in one of the others? Should we consider another base entirely? We'd like to be able to walk to restaurants and the beach where possible. Our budget is not more than 350 AUD/night. but we'd be fine with spending less since we know the activities will be expensive.

Any hotel recommendations that would fulfill our requirements?

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