Brisbane to Great Barrier Reef

May 23rd, 2002, 10:10 AM
  #1  
George Geraghty
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Brisbane to Great Barrier Reef

I'm planning a trip to Australia in October. Tried to book accommodation in Cairns, but something is going on and the hotels I want to stay in are all booked up; plus, I'm flying from Adelaide and the cost is more than I want to pay. Does anyone know of a day trip from Brisbane to the south part of the reef? I'd consider seaplane if such a thing exists.
 
May 23rd, 2002, 09:34 PM
  #2  
John
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There are three islands (all coral cays)at the south or capricornia end of the reef.Heron,Lady Musgave and Lady Elliot.All are several hundred kms ex Brisbane.A small plane operator called Sea air runs day flights/trips to Lady Elliot from Brisbane.By aussie standards it is not cheap.
If possible of course you should stay over at least one night.
You should be able to get a discount Adelaide brissy flight on the net.
Do a search on Lady Elliot on the net.
 
May 25th, 2002, 12:48 PM
  #3  
George Geraghty
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John:

Thanks for the information. I'm trying to sort out if it makes sense to take a flight from Brisbane to Bunderberg, and connect with the Lady Musgrave boat tour. Is that a reasonable alternative? Is there a good place to stay in Bunderberg?
 
May 25th, 2002, 03:01 PM
  #4  
John
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George:
I don't know your time or budget constraints and I haven't taken the time to cost in detail the options below but here goes...
In terms of image..
Heron is very well known and regarded for the upper part of the market...nice resort..great for turtles..dive snorkel straight of the island..but most expensive.
Lady Musgrave is a national park and camping only i think..a great place but the bottom end of the tourist market

Lady Elliot has an airstrip and a mixed tourist approach.I think Elliot is the southern most island.I think Elliot is the only one you can fly in/out direct.

Bundaberg is a very typical Qld sugar town.Unfortunately a british backpacker was just murdered there.You could get reasonable motel accomodation there for about $100..less if you want to go budget.Air flights to australian country towns on low volume routes tend to be ridiculously expensive
If you are flying take sea air,and go direct..on a clear day in a small plane the flight could be spectacular..up the coast and over the reef..get a sense of the vastness of it all.
If you have the time...hire a car for $60 a day for a week out of Brissy and do a drive to the north...sunshine coast,Croc hunter zoo,Hervey bay whales,maybe Fraser island and do an island ex Bundy.

In general a loop out of Brissy including one of the capricornia islands
is a good alternative to touristy cairns,imho.If you are in the budget/backpacker tourist category the lonely planet message board is good.
 
May 28th, 2002, 10:05 AM
  #5  
George Geraghty
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John:

Thanks for the excellent advice. I'm in Australia for the World Master's Games in October. My backpacking days are long over. I'll rent a car in Brisbane and drive to Bundaberg. My understanding is that there is a boat which leaves Bundaberg and travels to Lady Musgrave and returns the same day. If this is the case, then that's my best option. If I'm wrong I'll take a seaplane to Lady Elliot. Thanks.
 
May 29th, 2002, 06:24 PM
  #6  
john
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I think you are on the right track renting a car.
You might consider going a little further on from Bundaberg to a small town called 1770.It is on the coast and closer to Lady Musgrave.A day trip runs from there.Just a couple of motels/pub etc.You just might find a touch of the real australia here rather than the west coast feel of the cities.
BTW..what sport are you in?
 
Jun 3rd, 2002, 09:03 AM
  #7  
George Geraghty
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John: I made arrangements to rent a car in Brisbane and drive to Hervey Bay, where I'm staying for two nights. I booked a seaplane to Lady Elliot for a day trip. This was easily the most cost effective and time effective option; plus, I get to see the coast driving up and back from Hervey Bay. BTW...I'm competing in basketball.
 
Jun 4th, 2002, 01:41 AM
  #8  
John
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George
Sounds a good set up to me. I have been up and down the Qld coast many times but never out to the southern islands.Will be interested to hear how you go.We have relatives in Brisbane(i live in sydney) and was thinking of a long weekend on Elliot.
Seeing your name..there is a Brennan and Geraghty museum store in Maryborough on your way up to Hervey bay..you might like to have a look.Also the whales might be still about up there...Fraser is well worth a visit.

I note you mention adelaide..I thought the masters games were in Melbourne?
How does the rest of your itinerary look?
Are you visiting Sydney?
 
Jun 4th, 2002, 08:43 AM
  #9  
George Geraghty
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John:
Thanks, I'll check out the museum. I'm in Melbourne for 10 days, then, on the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide. I fly to Brisbane from Adelaide. After Brisbane I'm in Sydney for six days. I'm looking forward to Sydney. Can you suggest a few bars in Sydney with a bit of character?
 
Jun 5th, 2002, 01:48 PM
  #10  
Liz
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Hi George
I am from Bundaberg and I am afraid to say that you will be disappointed if you come and expect anything like the GBR out of Musgrave or Elliot. They have nice diving but they are NOT the barrier reef and I would hate to see anyone come here on that understanding. I had met some people from the USA who thought that and only had 6 days here and it rained that whole time. Bundaberg is not a place to be stuck in if the weather is not good or you don't have anything else to do ( I don't live there anymore mind you).
The closest you can get to the GBR is Heron Island which is off Gladstone ( another forgettable coastal *industrial* town) However Heron is at least part of the GBR even if its the bottom end of it.
If you want to see the reef proper and have a nice time then the Whitsundays off Mackay is for you - Airlie Beach is the starter point and you fly into Hamilton Island or into Prosepine. Plenty of accommodation either on the islands ( there are 80 of them, some inhabited and some not) or on the mainland. The outer reef is the place to go there and I don't think you would regret it one bit. I do however think you would regret going to Bundaberg. I big sorry to all my remaining friends there for saying that but I am afraid it is true.
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 03:15 AM
  #11  
John
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Gees George..looks like you better call up and cancel that Hervey Bay deal
I have led you up the garden path...or maybe the coral cay!
Elliot and Musgrave aren't part of the GBR..it only looks that way on the map.
Elliot and Musgrave are not classic coral cays..it only looks that way on the aerial shots.

Spend another $2k and fly up to the whitsundays and then take a two hour boat trip to the real reef along with a hundred other tourists.

I don't know what sort of geography they are teaching at Bundy state school
or maybe its a few too many Bundy and cokes.

As for Sydney bars....I take it you are canadian..which part? Do you drink beer? which one?

 
Jun 6th, 2002, 07:27 AM
  #12  
Bill Simpson
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If you enjoy beer you won't beat Austalia for their great selection of brews. There are lots of atmospheric pubs in Sydney in addition to many other things. However for atmosphere try Lord Nelson Brewery, Hero of Waterloo, or the Mercantile. These are all located in the Rocks area.
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 11:51 AM
  #13  
George Geraghty
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Well, I don't think I'm a purist. Watching the bats at Hervey Bay (but not smelling them) should be interesting. Doing a little plane ride to Lady Elliot and some snorkeling is all I ask. Word is Lady Elliot has some of the best snokeling (GBR or not). If it rains, I'll just have to dodge some wet birds (I understand it's nesting season in October).

I'm not much of a beer drinker. I prefer red wine. I expect to try wines from all the regions while I'm there. Thanks to all of you who have posted your opinions.
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 12:35 PM
  #14  
StephenFry
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I agree with Liz and I am supprised and disappointed that John has taken such a surprising "I am insulted because my suggestion is not a totally accepted one" stance just because someone who actually comes from that area, and therefore should know the area, says that the trip is not worth the effort.
If George wants just diving then he does not have to go to off Bundaberg for it because he can just go to Morton Island off Brisbane for some of the absolutely best diving. But then again perhaps George should not take any other suggestion as John's nose would be even further out of whack. Bye the way George you can get very cheap flights to Prosepine/Mackay/Whitsundays which are more like $150 Au and not the 2K that John asserts.
 
Jun 6th, 2002, 02:41 PM
  #15  
John
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Just checked actually and the price of airfare from Brisbane to Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays is $125Au - which is a long way off 2K
 
Jun 7th, 2002, 11:56 PM
  #16  
John
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Sorry if my sarcasm was a litle keen.

I do think it is a little disingenious to quote one way fares minus taxes and charges..the best you will do to the whitsundays is $350-$400 return.Throw in a couple of nights accomodation,meals,trip to reef,sailing day,flight over reef and I think you are pushing $2k.
Ironically the Whitsundays are not part of the reef being continental islands.

If you like reds George you must visit the Barossa and the Hunter (McGuigan's recommended) You might also consider on your drive Melbourne-Adelaide a visit to the Coonawarra where australia's most distinctive cabernet sauvignons are made.

Bills advice on drinking places in the Rocks is good..I would add the rooftop bar at the Glenmore.

Pubs you can visit by ferry are good imho. Steyne at Manly,Watsons Bay Hotel,
Woolwich hotel,London hotel at Balmain etc

Get a nice bottle of red and some eats from David Jones food floor and catch the ferry to taronga zoo...walk over to Bradleys head and have a picnic..watch the world go by on the harbour.
Almost as good as having a few on the back of my small boat on Pittwater.

God I hope you have a good day for your flight to Elliot
Cheers
John
 
Oct 16th, 2002, 07:50 PM
  #17  
john
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Hey George,
How's the weather at Lady Elliot?
Is the coral all dead?
Are you a world champion masters basketballer?
 

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