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Cairns, Atherton Tableland, Mossman, Daintree, Cape Trib

Cairns, Atherton Tableland, Mossman, Daintree, Cape Trib

Old Aug 15th, 2006, 09:36 AM
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Cairns, Atherton Tableland, Mossman, Daintree, Cape Trib

Below is my tentative itinerary for our time in the Cairns, Atherton Tableland, Mossman, Daintree, Cape Trib area. Id especially appreciate advice on Oct. 1, 2, and 3. Which of the things Ive listed are must-sees and which can be missed because of inadequate time or because they are very similar to other things well be seeing or just not very good? Are there any must-sees that Ive missed? What is the best routing for Oct.1, our day in the Atherton Tablelands counterclockwise or clockwise? Should we have the Gilles Hwy. be the bottom of our loop, or are we likely to have time to go down to the Palmerton Hwy and take it across? In all places, there seem to be many boardwalks. Which ones are the best? Thanks in advance for your advice and suggestions.

Friday, Sept. 29 - Arrive in Cairns midday; see the city sights in the afternoon; Reef Teach in the evening.

Saturday, Sept. 30 - Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park and Kuranda (by train, skyrail)

Sunday, Oct. 1 - rent a car and drive to Atherton Tablelands
Mareeba Wetlands
Yungaburra
Crater Lakes NP
Malanda- guided rainforest tour led by Ngadjonji elder at 10:30 am and 2 pm,
Bromfield Swamp
Mt. Hypipamee NP
Millaa Millaa waterfalls (and which ones?)
Emerald Falls
Crystal Cascades
Wooroonooran NP
Eubenagee Swamp NP
Cairns Crocodile Farm
Return to Cairns

Monday, Oct. 2 - Drive north from Cairns to Daintree Village, via Mossman Gorge,
Drive past Trinity Beach, Kewarra Beach, Clifton Beach, Palm Cove, Ellis Beach, etc.
Outback Opal Mine, Palm Cove
?Hartleys Creek Crocodile Farm
Mossman Gorge - ?Lunch at Tree House Restaurant at Silky Oaks Lodge; Kuku-Yalanji Dreamtime Walks (either hour walk or 1 hour walk; any advice about which one?)
?Miallo - High Falls Fruit Farm for tasting and a tour
Daintree Village - Evening boat ride with Dan Irby; dinner at Baaru Restaurant at Daintree Eco Lodge.
Stay at Daintree Mangroves Wildlife Sanctuary

Tuesday, Oct. 3 Cape Tribulation and Port Douglas
Take ferry across river
Daintree Discovery Center
Daintree Ice Cream Company
Thornton Beach Marrdja Boardwalk
Bat House
Dubuji Boardwalk
Long House restaurant
Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm (Is this worth going to if we dont go for the fruit tasting?)
Port Douglas
Spend night at Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas

Wed., Oct. 4 - Snorkeling in Great Barrier Reef, with Wavelength
Drive to Cairns, spend night there, leave early the next morning to fly to Uluru
judilie is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2006, 03:01 PM
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Whew, Judilie, I'm exhausted just reading your itinerary! I'm sure others will advise on different areas so I'll just put forward a few suggestions for your Cairns to Daintree day.

Cairns to Daintree is a 2-hour drive. I don't think the Opal Mine would be a "must see" with your tight itinerary. Perhaps take a short detour to drive through Palm Cove then back on the highway which takes you right alongside Ellis Beach.

Hartleys Creek Crocodile Adventures is great but you'd really need a few hours there as there's so much to see and do.

Definitely call in to Mossman Gorge where you can decide how much time you have for the walks - there will be fewer people on the longer one.

Lunch at Silky Oaks is a good idea - beautiful restaurant overlooking the river - about 15 minutes off the main road.

High Falls Farm is about 20 minutes further north - I'm not sure of the timing or length of fruit tasting tours as new owners have only just reopened. Otherwise just call in to Scomazzons fruit and veg farm stall, which you will see on the left just after Newell Beach - Deirdre has many different varieties of tropical fruits for sale.

If you decide to stay at Daintree Mangroves Wildlife Sanctuary it is on the way to Daintree Village so perhaps call in there first so that you can see everything in daylight.

Maybe time to go on to look around tiny, historic Daintree Village before Dan Irby's sunset cruise which I'm sure you will love. Dinner at the Eco-Lodge would fit in well as that is where Dan starts and ends his cruise.

Then you would have about a 15 minute drive back to Daintree Mangroves. Next morning you'd have about a 20 minute drive to the Daintree ferry and on to Cape Tribulation. I think the fruit tasting is not until about 4pm so may be a bit late if you intend to go back to Port Douglas that night (would take about 2 hours to drive back).

Lovely drive through the rainforest, lots of boardwalks, beautiful beaches, Daintree Discovery Centre, Daintree Ice Cream Company (delicious icecream home-made from tropical fruits) all well worth doing.

Hope this helps a little!



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Old Aug 15th, 2006, 03:31 PM
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judilie, unless you have a particular interest in them, I think you might be over-doing it with the crocodiles. There's several big crocs on site at Daintree Mangrove Sanctuary, where you'll be staying one night, you'll probably see them in wild with Dan Irby's trip. Hartley's Creek is a tourist wildlife park with a crocodile feeding session, and Cairns Crocodile Farm is just that, a farm. 20,000 crocs are bred for their valuable skins which are virtually all exported to European fashion houses. It's interesting, but not everyone's cup of tea. There is no slaughtering on site but you are aware they'll end up as handbags or belts.

I think I'd try to do Mareeba Wetlands as early or late as possible, but it doesn't open until 10.00am and closes at 4.00pm. There's a Twilight Safari from 6pm which needs to be booked. You're really trying to pack too much into that day if you want to spend any time at the places you've mentioned (don't forget the Curtain Fig Tree near Yungaburra). On Lake Barrine (crater lake) there's a short boatride around the lake which is really worthwhile. I'd forget the Palmerston Hwy with your time limitations, Wooroonooran National Park suffered damage from cyclone Larry and walking trails are not yet open.

Crystal Cascades is close to Cairns by car, its very worthwhile, but not on Tableland route.

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Old Aug 15th, 2006, 03:40 PM
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Sunbird and I posted at the same time there, agree with Sunbird on "Opal Mine" - its really just a shop, although some good opal prices. But you just don't have time. Yes, it would be a quick detour to Palm Cove, its closer to the highway than Trinity, Kewarra or Clifton beaches. From Ellis Beach the highway north starts to hug the coast, do stop at Rex Lookout for Coral Sea views.
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Old Aug 15th, 2006, 03:48 PM
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Thanks very much, Sunbird and Pat. I didn't intend to go to all of the places I listed. Instead they were a "menu" from which I want select the best items. Thanks very much for helping me to do so.

We'll probably see the Daintree Mangroves Wildlife Sanctuary the next morning, since the day we drive there is (as you correctly note) quite packed.

Are there any particular boardwalks that you'd recommend?

Thanks!!!

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Old Aug 16th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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Pat - Thanks again for your advice (and Sunbird also). If we don't take the Palmerston route and instead take the Gilles Hwy, is it worth trying to see Millaa Milla Falls and Malanda Falls? Do you recommend that we go clockwise or counterclockwise?

I am fairly interested in learning about opals. Is the Outback Opal Farm off our beaten path? Are there other places (a museum somewhere?) to learn about opals?

Thanks!
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Old Aug 16th, 2006, 05:38 PM
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judilie,
Are you a serious bird watcher? Hasties swamp has most of the species as the Mareeba Wetlands. It is just south of Atherton and would save you some travel time.
Make sure you book with Malanda Info Centre for your walk with Nadjondji elder. This is really special and not to be missed!!!Malanda Falls Visitor Centre E-mail Address(es):
[email protected]

Milla Milla Falls are the iconic ones. What about Granite Gorge for the Rock Wallabies and a nocturnal tour in Yungaburra for tree-kangaroos and possums before you head down the range? Lots of good places to eat. But really a day in the Atherton Tablelands is just not enough! I live there and want a second life so I can enjoy it all.
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Old Aug 16th, 2006, 05:40 PM
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Oops that's Millaa Millaa with two a's twice; from the name of a vine.
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Old Aug 16th, 2006, 10:06 PM
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Thanks, TreeRoo. I also wish we had more time. It sounds like I should narrow attention for Oct. 1 to the following: Mareeba Wetlands, Hasties Swamp, Yungaburra (particularly curtain fig tree), Crater Lakes NP (including boat ride), and Malanda (including guided rainforest tour led by Ngadjonji elder), and then Gilles Hwy back to Cairns. Millaa Millaa sounds great, but seems to be out of the way. Even without that, we probably won't have time to see all of the things I've listed. What might I drop from the list? The Malanda rainforest tour sounds very good (and a very reasonably priced). We'd need to be there by 2 pm (or 10:30 am).

If we try to add a (reasonably priced) nocturnal tour, which would you recommend (given that we need to be back in Cairns that evening)?

Thanks,

Judilie
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Old Aug 18th, 2006, 01:40 PM
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My suggestion would be to plan your reef snorkelling adventure as early as possible. If the weather is bad, you can postpone, but, if you leave it until the last day, you have no other options.

But then, I couldn't cope with such tight-packed itinerary, either - no time for mooching about!

Have fun.
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Old Aug 18th, 2006, 03:36 PM
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Thanks, Margo. How likely is it that the weather would be so bad on Oct. 4 that it would cancel or ruin our trip to the reef?

Don't worry, we're not going to do everything I listed. I just wanted to know what all of the possibilities were and to get people's reactions to them.
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