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Port Douglas vs Palm Cove best for 8 year old?

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We are planning a trip of 5 days to the GBR September 2012 with our then almost 8 year old daughter. Because of her celiac condition, we need a kitchen apartment to avoid potential gluten cross contamination in restaurants.

We are not interested in participating in any night life. However, proximity to the beach and pool are important to us. This trip is all about our daughter having a good time.

We are on a rather limited budget ($250 US max). During high season, our budget doesn't allow us much luxury or proximity to the beach in Port Douglas. Rydges in PD is affordable but too far from the beach (yet does have a Kids Club)

Will we regret not staying in DP due to a more lively atmosphere and the famous 4 Mile Beach?

We plan on renting a car and interested in sightseeing each day --reef trip, Daintree, etc.

Any specific apartment recommendaitons would be greatly apprectiated. Thanks

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