Best day trips from Cairns

Old May 27th, 2003, 06:04 PM
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Best day trips from Cairns

We will only be in Cairns for 3 nights (yes, Port Douglas is nice, but that's not my question) We get in from the airport quite late the first night, so I think we're going to settle on staying in Cairns and not traveling any more that first day to Palm Cove or Port Douglas.
So, with our 2 full days, what would everyone suggest?
Specifically, is there a snorkling trip better than others (beginners here), a rainforest must-see, a best-beach short list, a certain outfitter to use or avoid?
Just day trips from Cairns. No overnights or additional flights, please.
dknudsen is offline  
Old May 27th, 2003, 08:29 PM
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Hi there,
Cairns is only 1 hr drive from Port Douglas. For beginner snorkellers I would suggest Wavelength, as they only trake snorkellers. they have a pick up service from Cairns.
As regards Cape Tribulation (Rainforest) it takes an extra hour from port douglas to cairns. so to get to the daintree it will take 1.5hr drive, but that is very scenic. The best Cape TRib/rain forest tour is Cooper Creek Wilderness. For rainforest anyway. The best beach short list would be Ellis beach, Oak Beach and the esplanade in Cairns.
enjoy your time there.
Oh and a great restaurant in Stratford that even has a courtesy bus pick up and drop off from cairns is BISTRO 21 and Serviche.
Port_princess is offline  
Old May 28th, 2003, 11:48 PM
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Sounds like you've already had people telling you Port Douglas is better than Cairns - but it's true!!

For the sake of a 1 hour drive, albeit on a very windy road, I would thoroughly recommend going straight to Port Douglas. It's a far, far, far better place.

As far as snorkelling goes, it's all good. It only takes a couple of minutes to master and the water is unbelievably warm. You can go with one of the huge operations like Quiksilver where you only have a fairly small roped off area to snorkel in but have quite a lot of time in the water; to any one of the smaller operators. Last time we were there we went out on a boat called Poseidon, which I guess is a medium-sized operation. They stopped at much better sites than Quiksilver. They have a shopfront in the main street of PD.

Another reason to stay at Port Douglas rather than Cairns is that all the water activity is based in PD and most of the land activities are also to the north, so you'll finish up driving up and down that windy road more than you'll want to.

We had a great day trip to the Daintree, including a boat ride up the Daintree River. If you've got kids the crocodile farm between PD and Carins is also worth a stop.

Mosman Gorge (again, near PD) is also beautiful.
Pumblechook is offline  
Old May 29th, 2003, 01:03 PM
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I loved a day trip to Cape Tribulation. We went with Suncoast Safaris. Website:
This way you see rainforest, beaches, and a river trip on the Daintree where you'll see crocodiles. Lunch (which is included) was at this gorgeous lodge on the beach but I can't remember the name of the place. We picked someone up in Palm Cove so got to see it as well as Port Douglas since we picked someone up there also.
For the Great Barrier Reef, I think the one we did was called Sunlover. It leaves from Cairns - you don't have to go to Port Douglas.
We also did a half day tour of Cairns. I can't remember the name of it but it may be the only one. We took it as a filler, but it was great. Went around Cairns, visited the Flecker Botanical Gardens, Palm Cove, someplace high up where we got great views of Cairns and the ocean. The guide was just great.
PS: Personally, I'd rather stay in Cairns than Port Douglas.
Jillwen is offline  
Old May 30th, 2003, 05:40 PM
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We spent 2 nights in Cairns in March 2002.

Take a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef. We booked with QuickSilver because they are the only ones allowed to operate on the EAST side of the Reef which is unpolluted and gets the full sun. You are given free lessons on the reef. They have the largest permanent platform on the reef to take the whole boat and 1000 passengers. You get lunch and a glass bottomed boat ride included.

We also booked thru Quick Silver our Kuranda Rainforest trip next day. We went by an antique train with teak wood cars one way and returned by the overhead gondola over the entire rain forest with stops.

Good luck

godrejk is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2003, 09:59 AM
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There are certainly two must sees in and around Cairns

Day Trip 1 is a snorkelling tour to the Outer Reef

Day Trip 2 is a day tour to Mossman Gorge, Daintree Nationalpark and up to Cape Tribulation.

You will find plenty of information on and I will also be happy to assist you in your plans.


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