Barrier Reef/New Zealand

Old Apr 18th, 2004, 11:39 PM
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Barrier Reef/New Zealand

I am looking for advice concerning a trip to the Barrier Reef and New Zealand in December. We only have a couple of days at the reef and would like to see some giant clams. Are the clams only in the tropical north area of the reef and is it possible to get a good look at them that time of the year? My second question concerns a New Zealand itinerary. We will be on the South Island for 5 days (2 adults and 2 kids, 8 & 13). Any suggestions for things to do or see on the South Island?
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Old Apr 19th, 2004, 01:49 AM
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Quincy -

Giant Clams can be found near Lizard Island at a site called The Clam Garden. You can dive or snorkel there.

Barracuda Pass, a dive site near Port Douglas/North Cairns is also a good spot for giant clams.

I have no idea if time of year is a factor or not.

As for NZ, with five days, you'll only be able to hit the highlights.

You might consider basing yourself in a place like Queenstown and taking side trips from there. Just a thought.

From Queenstown you can get to Milford Sound, Glenorchy (the kids would probably love the Dart River Safari out of Glenorchy or the Shotover jet boat from Queenstown)and possibly Mt Cook.
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Old Apr 19th, 2004, 01:58 AM
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Oops... meant to say Port Douglas, north of Cairns.
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Old Apr 19th, 2004, 07:32 AM
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There are several good places to see giant clams, off Cairns, Port Douglas, The Whitsundays, and Townsville. The best clam dive sites I've found are off Townsville, on Kelso Reef. These guys don't move much, so time of year is not going to affect their location. December should be an OK time to go.

We spent several months in NZ with kids of similar ages to yours. South Island locales they enjoyed:
A raft trip down the Clutha River, out of Wanaka
Puzzling World - a complicated maze outside Wanaka
The Skyline Gondola in Queenstown
A guided hike onto Fox Glacier (not for faint-of-heart 8-year-olds)
Heli-hike on the uppe Franz Josef Glacier
Kayaking on the Porari River, near Punakaiki
The International Antarctic Centre at Christchurch Airport
Cruise on Lake Manapouri and Doubtful Sound
Watching whales off Kaikoura

It is true that if you only have 5 days you aren't going to be wanting to drive all over the place. Maybe you should drive from Christchurch to Greymouth (over Arthurs Pass), then down the coast to the Glaciers and Fiordland, before returning via Queenstown, Twizel, and Mt. Cook.

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Old Apr 19th, 2004, 08:15 PM
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Thanks everyone for your advise. You've helped alot! QuincyM
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Old Apr 29th, 2004, 06:53 PM
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G'day Quincy,
Giant clams are found all over the GBR and at the moment Im based in Port Douglas and can tell you there are thousands of them straight out from here. They dont move and I promise they will be here for you when you arrive !
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