2 1/2 days in Cairns, what to do?

Jun 21st, 2005, 05:58 AM
  #1  
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2 1/2 days in Cairns, what to do?

My girlfriend and I are going to Cairns for 2 1/2 days. What can we do during those days? We are reserving the first full day for the GBR, but for the other day and the day that we arrive we are still not sure what to do. Can anyone help us with this?
ploaiza is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 06:20 AM
  #2  
ALF
 
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Take a tour on the Daintree River, where you will see wildlife (including crocs) and interesting tropical trees and foliage.

Take the Skyrail gondola up to Kuranda. This ski-type-lift carries you over the forest canopy, stopping at two mid-stations, before arriving at Kuranda. While somewhat touristy, Kuranda is still an interesting town to walk around, visiting shops and markets. You can return via the Skyrail, or take the historic Kuranda Railway back down to Cairns.

The Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park is at the base of the Skyrail, and contains many informative exhibits about Cairns' original inhabitants.

Take a white-water raft trip down the nearby Tully River.
ALF is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 06:41 AM
  #3  
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Alf, thanks for the info. Out of all the things that you listed there, what could we do the afternoon of the day when we arrive?
ploaiza is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 03:06 PM
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Hi there
do the Skyrail in the afternoon. To me, this is a very touristy thing to do and I would not spend a whole day up in Kuranda. If you are up there in the area, you should go up to the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation National Park. It is a fantastic and scenic trip and it is unique to the area. You could either join a regular tour or do a private charter or maybe even do a bushwalk (if you are more adventurous). Pete Baxendell is great for that and lots of fun.
For more info on the area and links just visit www.wonderfulaustralia.com

Hope this will help
myaustralia is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 07:57 PM
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Depends on how early your afternoon starts - Skyrail leaves in 15 minute segments and you need to allow about one and a half hours one way. There's only 2 trains a day, the last leaves Kuranda at 3.30pm for return to Cairns or you could return on Skyrail. Or you could spend a couple of hours at Tjakupai Aboriginal Cultural Park; a half day easy white water rafting on Barron River; go with Wait A While for afternoon and night time native animal spotting (gets back at about midnight); or, if you're adventurous try a bungy or parachute jump (weather permitting of course). There's afternooon horse riding and ATV's near Palm Cove, Cairns Tropical Zoo (yes they will let you hold a koala), fine example of tropical Botanical Gardens just out of town. In town there's an art gallery, museum and casino.
pat_woolford is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2005, 01:36 AM
  #6  
 
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1 day skyrail/oldtrain to Kuranda

+

1 day out to the reef...!



1/2 relax in Cairns at the lagoon or so.
christellefv is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2005, 07:06 AM
  #7  
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Thanks all for the comments. I would like to do the Skyrail and the train back, but I get there aroun 1:30 pm. So I would not be able to go there, do the Skyrail and get back on the train since the last train leaves at 3:30pm. We are are adventurous and we like the outdoors, so should we do the Skyrail/Train that day or should we go on some tour that takes you into the rain forest? I am not really sure what to do. Also, it is not very clear if the rain forest trip is the one you do in the Skyrail, or if there are some other tours where you actually go into the forest? Basically, what we want is to do things that you have to do if you go to Cairns. I don't want to come back home and hear from people "..and you didn't do this and that?". We know the GBR is one of the things that you have to do if you go to Cairns, but other than that we are not sure.
ploaiza is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2005, 07:48 AM
  #8  
ALF
 
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My experience has been that the majority of Skyrail passengers ignore the mid-stations and go straight on up to Kuranda. In fact, there are some very nice walking trails leading off the mid-stations, and there are guided nature walks. You can experience tropical rainforest in near-solitary walks if you get any distance from the mid-stations.

The rainforest tours that folks refer to are usually further north in the Daintree area. You could spend a day on the GBR, a day on a rainforest tour, and a half-day on the Kuranda trip.

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Jun 22nd, 2005, 01:21 PM
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If you prefer the outdoors and want to see the "real" rainforest then skip the skyrail and do the Daintree Rainforest. With the Skyrail you will go OVER the rainforest (not as beautiful as Daintree) and at the stops you can only do some short board walks. It is very touristy and I don't believe you get the best rainforest experience out of this option.
As I mentioned before, if you like a real outdoor experience, hands-on and educational & fun, then go out with Pete (www.daintree-specialised-tours.com) - you will love it!!
If you really want to do the Kuranda thing, then I would rather only do the Skyrail and skip the train. If you don't have a window seat, it is not worth the money. The more spectacular part is the Skyrail trip. You can do a return trip on it or come back by taxi/bus.
myaustralia is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2005, 04:50 PM
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We arrived in Cairns at 11AM and headed to the Atherton Tablelands. The tablelands had been recommended by a native of the area. Beautiful pasturelands backed by green volcanic mountains. Drive towards Milla Milla and visit the waterfalls. There are at least 3 well known waterfalls. Also not to miss is the famed "curtain fig tree" near Yungaburra. The road trip loops back past the aboriginal culture center but probably too late to do it justice that day, but worth a trip back. No crocs on this trip but a very untouristy area.
mcben391 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 05:35 AM
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i would definitely agree with other posters about the skyrail to kuranda. it was quite an experience. i would not even think about returning by the train, it took forever- like 3 hrs or so. i was sooo ready to get off the train. in kuranda there is a wonderful koala sanctuary. i got to hold a koala, although it was a bit pricey, i LOVE my pic of me and the koala. if you have the opportunity to do so, i'd highly recommend it.
highness67 is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 05:38 AM
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Rainforest you see from Skyrail and Kuranda Scenic train is "real" rainforest, in fact its World Heritage listed and for your spare half day its worth doing. It takes about 45 mins from Caravonica on the Cairns end to Kuranda but you need about 1 1/2 hrs in total for stopping at Red Peak and Barron Falls stations. Kuranda "dies" when the last train and Skyrail leave so you could do a quick turn around and return on Skyrail, or as someone suggested take the bus (White Cars, very cheap) or even a taxi back to Cairns.

Atherton Tableland (mentioned above) is a good suggestion for your first half day but unless you self drive, and your timing leaves it a bit late for that, you'll have missed the tour pickups by hours. Exception is Wait A While which picks up in Cairns about 2pm, visits the Cathedral Fig Tree which is at least as impressive as the Curtain Fig at Yungaburra, platypus spotting in rural creeks in late afternoon, dinner at restaurant in Yungaburra then on to nocturnal wild life spotting in tropical highland rainforest. However, there is a lot of night driving and it would be at least midnight before you get back to Cairns.

pat_woolford is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 11:38 AM
  #13  
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Thanks to all. I think now we will be able to plan things better and be able to make the best of our stay.
ploaiza is offline  
Jun 28th, 2005, 12:21 AM
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Ahterton tablelands i also saw. i enjoyed swimming in the waterfalls elinja (or something like that) and mila mila were gorgeous and the water so nice!!!
christellefv is offline  
Jul 31st, 2005, 12:07 PM
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Be sure to have dinner at the Red Ochre Grill in Cairns <http://www.redochregrill.com.au/>.
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