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Booking trip for next week!

Old Nov 4th, 2008, 06:58 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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Booking trip for next week!

I may be crazy but I'm trying to book a trip for next week.
Fly Toronto to LA on points.
Fly qantas LA to Sydney (4 days - Grace?)
Fly Sydney to Great Barrier Reef (6 days). Should I go to Palm Cove -Sea Temple? Port Douglas? Cairns - Sebel Harbour Lights?
Then fly to Melbourne stay with cousins. Fly Melbourne to LA then back to Toronto.
Sent email to Qantas looking for $695 deal, help booking. Got no email back & ph. call asking if I wanted to keep my Nov 2 flight (hadn't booked one - wasn't able to go until after Nov 5th).
any suggestions? Do I need to book a car?
Single woman, 50 years old, want to learn to scuba dive in GBR. Is that possible?
Thank you.
Charlotte
charlotte4600 is offline  
Old Nov 4th, 2008, 10:59 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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Four days in Sydney fine, but no need to say grace at meals.
It'll be warm and very humid up north, OK?
You going second or fifth?
Older you get, the greater possibility of ear/nose bleeds with Scuba.
Check out Cairns Esplanade for introductory dive deals.
I would suggest a medical beforehand.
There's bus services between Cairns and PD, so a car not essential.
Melbourne is good.
No probs,
Bushy
Bushranger is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2008, 01:50 PM
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Weather fantastic for reef around Cairns right now. Just a light breeze, blue skies, calm seas, great underwater visibility. Best its been for months.

There's good wotif prices on both Sea Temples right now; plenty of others too - check www.wotif.com

Nearly all day reef trips out of Cairns and Port Douglas offer introductory (resort) scuba dives, you don't need a medical check but in the interests of safety will be asked to complete a medical questionnaire on board to determine your fitness for diving.

pat_woolford is offline  
Old Nov 5th, 2008, 04:55 PM
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I was in Cairns last week and the weather was great and reef trips were wonderful. It really is the best time of the year for the reef now so you should enjoy it to the max.
Have fun!
LizzyF is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2008, 12:59 AM
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A week or so can make a significant difference in FNQ Queensland this time of year for whilst there can still be good calmer seas, You can go from milder type weather of October into hot sultry high humidity as being experienced throughout most of Queensland right now and for best part of the past week.

Yesterday, today, tomorrow (and do not expect too much change from now right through summer months) temps are closing on 35 and with those calmer seas and lighter breezes expect humidity well over 50%, perhaps soon getting closer to 100%

Don't know if Cairns locals consider Cup time of year as a turning point but a few hundred kilometres further down the coast it certainly seems that way and whereas Lizzy was lucky in late October, nearly two weeks later and past the Cup, that more milder settled period is fast being left behind.
Bushranger is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2008, 02:44 PM
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A week or two can certainly make a difference with weather in FNQ, illustrated by this week's weather, vastly superior for reef than previous two weeks. Max forecasts this week are 30C-32C for Cairns, and this is tempered by light north easterlies coming off sea. Reef conditions right now are the calmest here for many months, now that the south easterlies seem to be finally over. Sea temps around 29C and clear underwater visibility due to calm sea conditions.

Lizzy struck fairly good weather in late October, but was feeling sorry for tourists the week before that, strong winds and driving rain made their reef trips miserable.

If Melbourne Cup Day is the turning point for weather in FNQ, I can only say its for the better.
pat_woolford is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2008, 03:30 PM
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If I had to choose between Cairns & Toronto in November I know where I would prefer to be. However I have always found it easier to get cool than to get warm.
Whilst Cairns can get humid at this time of year I am unaware of any hotels, resorts or even B&Bs that don't have air conditioning, swimming pools & even fridges.
The place is extremely well equipped to handle the weather, as you would expect, & I would not let Bushranger's comments deter you or anyone else from travelling to Cairns at any time of the year.
Charlotte4600 were you wanting to become a certified diver? If so it is possible to take a short 3 day diving course. Or were you just wanting to experience an intro dive? If you want to do a dive course then there are a range of options available to you, including time on a liveaboard boat on the reef.
Intoductory dives are available on nearly all boats going to the reef & are exactly that, an introduction to diving with approx. an hours tuition & then a hand held dive with an instructor.
Your accommodation choice would depend on your answer to the above.
Webboe is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2008, 04:19 PM
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Just in case the purpose of an introductory dive has been clouded for you Charlotte, regardless of age some people can be affected by diving more so than others, and then some may find it is just not for them.

The introductory dive allows for one to have the experience without having had to sign up for a full course and you may even find some courses have an introductory dive as part of a package, allowing a decision on commitment before procedding with the full course.

And regardless on what some may think about Cairns and FNQ in November and how well equipped Cairns is for the warmth and humidity, the equipping may be fine if you intend to stay there within an airconditioned building when you are not diving into a pool for some relief (if the water is cool enough for that).

It is quite natural for locals to get somewhat accustomed to warmer more humid weather as they do if living in a cooler climate, someone travelling from a warmer climate to somewhere cooler will usually feel the temperature change and want to rug up a bit, and likewise with a visitor from somewhere cooler going to a tropical climate - you'll get to experience what I mean.

And btw, I have done such moves and you also do not need to go as far north 9all the way to Cairns0 for the GBR or for doing a Scuba Course.
http://www.ladyelliot.com.au/ and Lady Musgrave Island - http://www.spiritof1770.com.au/ being options about 500 km. from Brisbane and easily enough reached from there.
Bushranger is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2008, 05:37 PM
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Charlotte mentioned in her post that she "wanted to learn to SCUBA dive in GBR" There is more than one option available to her.
All I was asking for was clarification.
When she answers we will be better informed & be able to assist her more easily.
As Charlotte has already expressed her intention to travel to the Cairns region I see no need to "cloud" her attempts to do so.

Some rarely mentioned benefits of being above the Tropic of Capricorn;

No need for layers of clothing.
The beer tastes better.
The pace of life is much more relaxed.
No need for moisturisers.
The people are nicer.
Webboe is offline  
Old Nov 9th, 2008, 07:08 PM
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Certainly, Charlotte I imagine is more than capable of assessing there are indeed many options for her.

I just give people reasonably factual information on what some options could be.

And that will always include being truthful as to how they may find the weather.

If one is not accustomed to tropical weather or has never even experienced it verging on summer, they are likely to be in for a climatical shock.

Not to advise travllers seeking information of that is very thoughtless, benefits as you have described also being in the same category.
Bushranger is offline  
Old Nov 10th, 2008, 01:32 AM
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Charlotte, you haven't been back, but hope all is shaping up for you.

Brilliant to hear from someone seeking to travel "just like that".

Time in each place sounds good. If you mean by "learn to dive" something other than a "resort dive" (as already mentioned) then if you have six days in FNQ you probably could. I never have.

Have you done a google for "Cairns PADI"? It turned up this for me:

http://www.prodive-cairns.com.au/divecourses.html

If learning to dive is the MUST then suggest you do some more googling, make a lot of swift phone calls and decide on where to stay based on practicality for dive course. If the somewhere to stay is the most important then a resort dive is probably the way to go.

Re flights around Australia - doesn't have to be Qantas, though as it's now late in the day you are unlikely to get the great deals that you can get by booking early with the budget carriers. In case you haven't come across them:

www.virginblue.com.au
www.jetstar.com.au

But be aware that you pay more if you travel heavy. I'm sure someone booking so late won't be.

Anyway, even if you are paying their top prices for a trip SYD-CNS-MLB it may still be competitive with Qantas depending on days of week, etc.

You don't need to hire a car IMHO.

Now do tell how your plans are going.

Cheers.
afterall is offline  
Old Nov 10th, 2008, 02:53 AM
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Seeing as you have just arrived it would seem afterall, and we may even be past when Charlotte may have been flying Qantas (quite possibly her reference to flight from US) she may not be quite exjetlagged.

Prodive btw do Scuba training/dives in a number of places along the coast.

I'm not surprised at your need to know given another post on the seeming desire for others to need to know.
Bushranger is offline  
Old Nov 10th, 2008, 01:52 PM
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Charlotte has asked for assistance, I obliged by replying to some of the points she raised and am awaiting her answer to see if I can assist further.
I can't see where she has asked about the weather, so why raise the subject?
You make it sound like Cairns is a hell hole & unbearably hot & humid.
I don't see you discussing & warning travellers about the weather in such detail for other destinations on your many other posts, & suggest that for the sake of consistency you either do so or stop singling out Cairns for your special brand of negativity.
You said it all when you stated that "I just give people reasonably factual information on what some options could be".
Reasonably factual......strange words.
I don't appreciate your implication that I have lied about the weather or that I have acted in a thoughtless manner.
Forums such as this are better served by people wanting to help others, rather than by those whose main focus is to antagonise & throw stones.

Webboe is offline  
Old Nov 10th, 2008, 03:23 PM
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Jokey Webboe says
I can't see where she has asked about the weather, so why raise the subject?
Because, if you think about it for a moment, it may be very pertinent to a persons enjoyment/welfare.

You make it sound like Cairns is a hell hole & unbearably hot & humid.
They are your words and not mine.

I don't see you discussing & warning travellers about the weather in such detail for other destinations on your many other posts, & suggest that for the sake of consistency you either do so or stop singling out Cairns for your special brand of negativity.

So you go checking out other posters posts do you?
And if you do it thoroughly you will see references are made where relevant, your suggestion a bit stupid!

You said it all when you stated that "I just give people reasonably factual information on what some options could be".
Reasonably factual......strange words.
And far less so than "& I would not let Bushranger's comments deter you or anyone else from travelling to Cairns at any time of the year."

I don't appreciate your implication that I have lied about the weather
Did you comment on the weather?

or that I have acted in a thoughtless manner.
Tough!
Bushranger is offline  
Old Nov 10th, 2008, 07:00 PM
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Disappointing, but predictable that you would stoop to name calling Bushranger.
And from such a wordsmith.
Your insecurities appear to be coming to the fore & your point of view is becoming thinner by the post.
You big sooky la la!!
Webboe is offline  
Old Nov 11th, 2008, 02:09 AM
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Bushranger, has it occurred to you that tourists are actually capable of checking weather forecasts themselves? And perhaps have based their decision on where to stay on the type of weather that appeals to them.

Charlotte also asked for advice on 3 upscale resorts, Sebel in Cairns city, Sea Temple in the Cairns suburb of Palm Cove and Port Douglas. There is nothing vaguely comparable on either Lady Elliot or Lady Musgrave Islands and I can't imagine why you mentioned them as alternatives.

So, Charlotte, if you have not been frightened off by warnings of bleeding ears, noses and hellish weather, do get back and let us know how your trip went.
pat_woolford is offline  
Old Nov 11th, 2008, 02:20 AM
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Pat
You need to use those blinkers far far less.
Bushranger is offline  
Old Nov 12th, 2008, 02:35 AM
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<<If one is not accustomed to tropical weather or has never even experienced it verging on summer, they are likely to be in for a climatical shock.>>

Bushranger - most people I know in Toronto head to Mexico or the Caribbean every winter to escape the winter for at least a week. I've never heard of any of them suffering from climatical shock - including those in their '60's, 70's and even 80's.

The worst case I ever saw was when I did a college trip to Jamaica and some of the 18 yr old girls I was with got terribly sunburnt on the first day.

The ancient lecturers leading the excursion managed to survive unscathed.
Sarvowinner is offline  
Old Nov 12th, 2008, 02:39 AM
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Charlotte - you will have a great time. My mother (in her 70s) took my ex-room mates from TO to Cairns for the week before Xmas. They ended up having great weather.

My preference is Port Douglas or Palm Cove. The on-board scuba trip for 3 days is also a good idea. As a single person, I wouldn't bother with a car. Most major excursions will pick you up.
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Old Nov 12th, 2008, 02:46 AM
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Also Bushranger - do you realise how hot TO gets in the summer - it can be unbearably hot and humid. High 30's are not uncommon.
Sarvowinner is offline  

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