Cairns/Great Barrier reef area activities?

Old Apr 29th, 2008, 01:30 PM
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Cairns/Great Barrier reef area activities?

Hi, I'll be spending 6 days in Cairns. Of course my big reason for going there is the Great Barrier reef, but since I have a lot of time, I'm wondering if anyone has any other suggestions on interesting tours, activities or places to visit. Also -- should I rent a car for those few days? If relevant, I am a reasonably young athletic woman traveling solo. Thanks for any suggestions!

By the way, I'll be blogging about my Australian travels from May 3 through May 22, if you're interested in checking in! www.paynoattention.net I've blogged about some of my past travels there too -- to Croatia, Scandinavia, Thailand and other places.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 03:04 PM
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Probably #1 on most Cairns to-do lists (after the GBR) would be to go to the upland town of Kuranda. You can take the Skyrail gondola, which carries you over the forest canopy and on into the town. There are a couple of waystations along the way, where you can get out and walk around. Then there's the historic Kuranda scenic train, which you can take to get you back to Cairs (or vice-versa). Kuranda itself is kind of fun, although there are a few too many t-shirt/boomerang/didgeridu shops.

There's also the Tjabuakai Aboriginal Cultural Experience, which is located at the base of the Skyrail. This too is a little touristy, but I think still interesting and worthwhile.

I'd also suggest taking a tour to the North of Cairns - to the Daintree River, Mossman Gorge, and/or Cape Tribulation.

Lastly, you could go on a rafting trip, on the Barron or Russell rivers.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 05:38 PM
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In addition to Alf's post, you shouldn't miss the Atherton Tableland, the pretty rural town of Yungaburra is only about an hour and a half from Cairns by road. Self drive or take a tour - www.wildernessecosafaris.com from Cairns for world heritage rainforested hinterland where 4WD is actually utilised. Another Tableland trip from Cairns is with Northern Experience - www.northernexperience.com.au - not only takes you to Tablelands but includes the much ignored world heritage rainforests south of Cairns. Or for wildlife spotting trip from Cairns to Tableland see www.waitawhile.com.au

There's heaps more nature based activities, grouchywoman, such kayaking around Fitzroy Island, hot air ballooning over Tableland, 6 days will go in a flash.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 09:40 PM
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Wow! Those are fantastic ideas! Thank you very much. I'm going to try to do them all.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 07:13 AM
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Enjoyed your blog, especially your Thai trip. What a nightmare! That's the exact reason I don't do group tours. You should definitely go back and move on your own pace. It's wonderful.

I am collecting data on Aussie so I am looking forward to your blog. It would be great if you can mention the names of the places you stay.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 10:03 AM
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Holy Cow!! What an awful trip to Thailand. I am SO glad that we booked our own itinerary with the help of the kind folks on the Asia board. We're taking the train during the day so we can see some of the scenary between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. I hope we don't regret that decision - typically we love train tavel. We're flying non stop from Chiang Mai to Phuket.

FYI: the James Bond rock was featured in Man with the Golden Gun. It's been on DH's list of things he absolutely needed to see since he first saw the movie in 1974.
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