cairns vs pt douglas

Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 07:23 PM
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cairns vs pt douglas

why do so many people recommend pt douglas over cairns??

is there a reason for this?

anyone who has been to either/both/etc have any opinions as to where i should stay?

thanks!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 08:33 PM
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Port Douglas is smaller, better planned, has a great beach, great restaurants, and is aesthetically much more appealing.

Cairns has a beach that turns into mud at low tide, it's full of traffic, has hundreds of backpackers and generally isn't as well kept.

You can do the same sorts of activities from either location - eg hot air ballooning, white water rafting or snorkelling trips.

As for where you should stay, it depends on how much you want to pay, how long you intend to stay and whether you will have a car.

If you don't want to have a car, then Cairns will be a better location for you.

As for hotels, most of the accommodation in Port Douglas is good to very good. There's even a good camping ground.

There are several hotel websites you can check out for last minute deals:

www.lastminute.com.au
www.needitnow.com.au

If you google Port Douglas accommodation or Cairns accommodation you will get other websites.

Port Douglas is an hour's drive or bus ride from Cairns. I think the fare for an adult is $35 one way. So, if you are thinking of going for a few days, it might be cheaper to look at hiring a car.

While there you could check our Kuranda - it has a steam train, a market and it's a picturesque drive to get there.
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 01:55 AM
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Cairns is one big "in your face" sell to tourists, and yes, lots of budget travellers stay, mainly I think cos there's loads of cheap accommo (some quite good), and lots of pub based entertainment (if you are into that sort of thing). They would then head up to the Daintree and spend some time there.

PD is a resort town, created from scratch some time in the 70s I think. All spick and span. Sort of soulless imho.

There are alternatives. Some people like Palm Cove. And there are other locations on the ocean between Cairns and PD.

Depends what sort of vibe you want, what sort of accommo you want, and how much you want to spend.

Cheers.
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 05:01 AM
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Is one of these places better/worse to stay in early-mid Jan (January 10-15)?
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 05:41 AM
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Sorry for part repeat of post, new laptop which I haven't quite come to terms with yet.
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 11:37 AM
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I totally agree, we went to both this last december and found PD to be lovely, whilst i din't dislike Cairns er se i think PD has a nicer, holiday feel without being overly touristy like Cairns.
I'd vote PD everytime
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 02:30 PM
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It's not a valid comparison, Cairns is a city and a fast growing one, as more and more relocate permanently from southern states, and certainly has more job opportunities in areas other than tourism. More sensible to compare Cairns city with its nearest regional city, Townsville. Locals do this all the time.

Probably the nearest comparison would be Port Douglas and Palm Cove, a Cairns beach suburb. Although, as from very recently Port Douglas is now part of Cairns Regional Council. Cairns city does not have a beach, it was settled in 1876 as a port (no roads, trains or planes then) and a deep water anchorage was essential. Plenty of other sandy beaches just north of Cairns city with tourist infrastructure, Holloways, Yorkeys, Trinity Kewarra, Clifton are south of Palm Cove.

January weather in Cairns city is is no different to Port Douglas, they're both coastal and a max of only 60km apart -and if tropical summer weather is a problem head up to the cool Atherton Tableland which should be included in any FNQ trip anyway.
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 03:01 PM
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PS Cairns city has in the past attracted Asian group tours as well as many independent tourists from all over the world, and its cosmopolitan mix is responsible for the wide variety of ethnic restaurants and other eateries. We can only be grateful for this.


But with 11,000 Indian tourists scheduled to visit Port Douglas this season, there should be a few changes being made there as well.
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 06:30 PM
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I like both! In Cairns, you can't do better than to stay with Pat Woolford at Lilybank B&B. Convenient, near transportation but with a lovely garden and pool, and the best hosts you can imagine. In PD, we stayed at Le Cher du Monde which is a BARGAIN ($135A/nt with a kitchenette, king bed, AC) right on Macrossan St. with a lovely pool and near the town with nice restaurants. As a tourist, I appreciate the services and shops in Cairns as well as the array of restaurants and the small-town feel of being able to walk anywhere in PD, and the cute shops and nice restaurants. And it's much closer to the Daintree. Wondering how the huge new hotel will change that. . . We have been glad that we stayed in both places on both of our trips to Oz.
Sally in Seattle
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Old May 20th, 2008, 09:28 AM
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bookmarking
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 03:03 PM
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i don't mean to pick a fight, but is it common for tourists to be singled out for their ethnicity in this part of australia?

i notice the terms "asian" and then "indian" in describing an influx of tourists.

is there something implied here or is that the common outlook of people in australia?

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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 03:27 PM
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Kerikeri:
You start to say that you don't want to pick a fight BUT you make a comment that could be taken as criticism and commands a reply. Australians ARE NOT POLITICALLY CORRECT and REFUSE to follow the so called politically correct bulls..t line that people of other countries seem to follow without question, and why is that do you think?. What else is an Indian other than an Indian or an Asian other than an Asian or for that matter an Australian other than an Australian. If that does not follow your way of thinking then, stiff - get over it!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 03:34 PM
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PS I do not know what terms or phrases other people in Australia use because we have " freedom of speech" in this country and each and every one of us is entitled to use the English language in whatever way we like. If people read things into it then that is a problem that they have - not us!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 03:59 PM
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that certainly answers my question.

thank you.

to answer yoursquot;what else is an..."

i would say they are "tourists" and needn't be characterized by nationality.

you've made it clear that in australia that is acceptable and the norm, and that is certainly the answer to my inquiry. feathers needn't have been ruffled.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 04:05 PM
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kerikeri, my reference to Indian and other Asian tourists who visit this area was related to the exceptional restaurants and cuisines which have sprung up to cater for them. For this I am grateful, as I said.

And there are certain reef trips which don't market to Asian package tour groups, because they either don't have the space or don't employ multi-language speaking crew. Pretty vital when explaining safety procedures for snorkelling and diving when you're 40kms or so out to sea.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 04:13 PM
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Well some might say that calling anyone "names" sure beats having the legal right to have a gun and shoot them if you don't like them.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2008, 04:24 PM
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My apologies everyone - I guess I used my "freedom of speech" in the written form too freely but I really don't care to have someone from a country which, in MY CHILDREN'S lifetime, has had racial segregation, racial intolerence and every other "must not do" thing imaginable - and still does. If you wonder what I could be talking about ask yourself if the USA would elect a President who was not a Church goer, some even have the nerve to blame Obama for the comments of his Preacher - everyone has to do as it is Politically accepted and correct . If it was unclear what Kerikeri was getting at when she asked the question of " do we call Asians, Asians" in her first post then it became very clear in her reply to me. However I do not go about making redicule of comments and the way people express themselves either by writen word or by any other way and the Holier than thou attitude of Kerikeri makes me want to puke!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:49 AM
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If you were flying in and out of Cairns airport within 48 hours and your main interest was a full day of snorkeling, is PD, PC or Cairns much better than the other?

Is there any real difference in the boats available or ease of getting to them? I'd assume CNS is better for airport access.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 05:01 PM
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richard, if you want the best snorkel day, I recommend the Lizard Island trip with Daintree Air. They pick up in Cairns and several communities, but not sure about PC or PD (we were staying in Holloways Beach.) The snorkeling is fantastic. RE the boats, they go to different reefs and have different amenities. In 2004 we did an extensive spread sheet and it was confusing because it was apples, oranges, kiwis, etc. We opted for the Quicksilver out of Port Douglas because the winds were high and so were the waves, and it was the largest ship and went to a pontoon (which doesn't rock much). In 2007 we were going to go out on Reef Magic which also goes to a pontoon but has far less people and goes out of Cairns. The winds were so high that day that we opted to not go (and the Reef Magic people said that it was a good idea!) Other people have loved the Wavelength boat that is a small, snorkel-specialist boat that goes to several reefs. Others who want to snorkel from the land and want a semi-sub and a sailing experience, go with the boat to Michaelmas Cay. It also goes out of Cairns. RE where to stay--it is an hour+ from PD to the airport, I don't know how long from PC. If you are interested in a conveniently located B&B, check out www.lilybank.com It's great.
Sally in Seattle
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