Buses Cairns Palm Cove Port Douglas

Old Oct 25th, 2002, 07:57 AM
  #1  
joni
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Buses Cairns Palm Cove Port Douglas

My friend and I are booked into a Palm Cove hotel, but most are activites will be departing from Port Douglas. Is it cheaper to rent a car (6 days would cost about US$200), take a lot of taxis, or is there a public bus service available that runs from Palm Cove to Port Douglas and Palm Cove to Cairns. I've checked various websites for Australia bus companies, but can't seem to get a firm answer. I've even e-mailed the hotel, but no response yet.
 
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 08:04 AM
  #2  
shannon
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hmmm what are the activities you are referring too?

which hotel in Palm Cove?

the few tours we did (skyrail and Poseidon dive) had pick up/drop of service available for $15pp AUD added into our tours. It depends on where you are going or spending your time and whether or not you want to be flexible or go back and forth depending on a schedule.

Other than shuttle service/tours I didn't notice any transportation between cities.

AND that road between Palm Cove and Port Douglas is dangerous. An accident the day we left tied up traffic and closed down the road for about 4 hrs in both directions due to a 2 person fatality involving a car crash. It was a perfectly dry/sunny day.

We rented a car for 1 day and it was quite easy to get around so I wouldn't be concerned about that. Can you afford to spend the $$--than if so--I would do it.

 
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 08:42 AM
  #3  
joni
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Our hotel is the Palm Cove Novotel - activities tentatively on our agenda include 1 day at Kuramba/Freshwater Station/
Tjapukai Park; 1 day - David Amburst Tour; 1 day - Rainforest Habitat and market day in Port Douglas; 1 or 2 days - Great Barrier Reef snorkeling; 1 day
Daintree/Cape Tribulation.


If the majority of the tours offer the round trip drop off service for Aus$15 round trip, that's not too bad. I was hearing things costing $25 one way and that seemed like it could add up pretty quickly. Maybe we'll just wait and decide when we get there if we really want the trouble of having the car. I was hoping to avoid traffic accidents - I live in Atlanta where road fatalities are a daily event.

 
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 10:43 AM
  #4  
shannon
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Joni,

We were across the street at the Clarion. Great location.

I would recommend if you like it--to eat at the Greek Restaurant in Palm Cove. There is 2 story shopping center area down across from the beach about a 5 min walk from your hotel....they are in the back. Also if you have a hankering for Pizza...we liked the place right at the top of the stairs on the left. Cannot for the life of me remember the names but they both had outdoor seating that sooooo wonderful!

Our hotel offered PICK UP at the Cairns airport and returns for $25 each way per person but the rest of the shuttles were $15 for the tours.

At Kuranda we stayed near the older section by Bird World and the Honey House....good pumpkin scones and honey mmmmm! IF you really like Birds--Bird World was very interactive and fun. I had birds on my hand, arms, shoulders...feeding them was lots of fun and we got some really neat pictures!

I booked directly thru Tjapukai for my Train, Kuranda, Sky Rail then aboriginal center day tour. The train was pretty neat and relaxing...got great views on the way up. ONLY downside...no rain so the waterfalls were quite puny along the way.

Skyrail was ok but the drought is making everything so dry and blah looking compared to what you expect from a lush tropical area.

We loved Poseidon for our intro dive/snorkel. Only about 75 on our boat so you got lots of attention/information...good food too!

We didn't see another boat all day until about 3pm when we were heading back. SO tranquil out there all alone!

I wouldn't be afraid to drive---BUT just know to MIND the speed limits and give yourself plenty of room between yourself and the car in front of you.

CAN you drive STICK? IF you get the cheap rentals...most likely it is a standard transmission. WE asked for an automatic and reserved 2 days in advance from our hotel in Palm Cove with National/Europcar...they showed up with a stick shift. Fortunately WE can drive those but most Americans can't! THEY were also over 2 hours late with our car. I would recommend renting from the airport!

YOU will have a wonderful time! Unless you just HAVE to see Cairns--- I would avoid it! SOMETHING we found very interesting...when you are leaving the airport there is a little area on the left just down the road a bit--you can walk out in the mangroves...one of the most interersting experiences!

AND driving downunder means LOTS of traffic circles!
 
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 12:11 PM
  #5  
joni
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Thanks for all this great, helpful info...more stuff to add to my growing file. Eating is a big part of my vacations!
 
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 01:04 PM
  #6  
Debbie
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Hi Joni,
I saw the email you sent me before I read this post. Shannon, our timtam fan, had good advice--much better than what I emailed you.

I'm posting this so your message goes to the top and hopefully you can get some more feedback ;-)

Talk to you later!
Debbie
 
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 03:02 PM
  #7  
joni
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Deb - got (and replied) to your info as well.....I'll probably just stick to local shuttle services. Hey, do folks hitch hike in Australia (just kidding!!)? With all the traffic between Cairns, Sydney, and Port Douglas, I can't believe there is not a good shuttle/bus service running that route....they need to start one before I get there in a couple weeks!!
 
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 03:03 PM
  #8  
joni
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I meant to say traffic between Cairns, Port Cove and Port Douglas....that would be a long bus ride from Sydney!
 
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 03:22 PM
  #9  
lynette
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I must be one of the few Americans who can drive a stick shift! Shannon, I didn't realize that this was unusual. Anyone else? Funny!

Lynette
 
Old Oct 25th, 2002, 08:08 PM
  #10  
lcuy
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lynette- Many of us can drive stick, but try doing it using your left hand to shift gears! You need to specify automatic and will be charged more. We stayed in Palm colve and rented a car for a few of the days and used a little bus service- but it didn't run that often and for 4 of us was no cheaper than a taxi. Email your hotel, they'll have the schedule.
 
Old Oct 26th, 2002, 02:36 AM
  #11  
Kay
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There is a local bus service that does the Cairns-Palm Cove-Port Douglas route - it's called Coral Coaches. Trip takes about an hour one way. A car will obviously give you more flexibility but on a bus you can enjoy watching the scenery instead of concentrating on the traffic. The road hugs the coast most of the way. Perhaps that causes a distraction and hence an accident.
Kay
 
Old Oct 26th, 2002, 01:39 PM
  #12  
joni
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Thanks for all your help. I just got the following msg back from the Palm Cove hotel: We offer Airport-Hotel transfers, at a cost of $10 per adult each way. To arrange this, we just need your arrival time and flight number prior to your arrival date.

A cab would cost approximately $45.00 one way from the airport (to Palm Cove)
rates are in Australian dollars).

We do not have transfers available to Port Douglas. There is a company
called Coral Coaches who offer this - they charge $18 per adult one way from
Palm Cove , or the other option is to hire a car. Port Douglas is 1/2 hour
drive away.

To get into Cairns, there is a local bus SunBus which is around $7 one way. There is also a tour company "All in a Day", for around the same price.
 
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