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Palm Cove Watersports. Paddling around history-rich Double Island, off Palm Cove Jetty, is a tranquil, eco-friendly way to get close to the local marine life: you'll often spot dolphins, stingrays, turtles, and colorful fish on this local operator's terrific sunrise tours and half-day snorkeling excursions. Helpful guides impart safety briefings and labor-saving tips on technique before you set out, and there are frequent stops for refreshments, snorkeling (May–November), and wildlife-watching en route. Even if you've never paddled before you're unlikely to capsize; the single and double kayaks are super-stable. Half-day trips circumnavigate Double Island, stopping off on the fringing reef about 600 meters (½ mile) from shore and on a secluded beach. Transfers from Cairns (A$25 per person) and Port Douglas (A$30 per person) are available; bookings are essential. Safety and snorkeling gear is provided, but bring sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen. 79 Williams Esplanade, 100 meters south of Palm Cove Jetty, Palm Cove, QLD, 4879. 0402/861–011. www.palmcovewatersports.com. A$55 sunrise tour; A$110 half-day snorkel & kayak tour; A$8 reef tax/insurance.
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