Day trips from Cairns/Port Douglas

Old Feb 7th, 2005, 10:35 PM
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Day trips from Cairns/Port Douglas

Thanks to wise advice from fellow Fodorites, our family will be dropping the Dunk Island 3 day stay in August and will instead be seeking out day trips. It sounds like a much better deal to ask you all for your recommendations for the best snorkel adventures out of Cairns/Port Douglas. We have read about Quiksilver and that type of trip is kind of what we would like.
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Old Feb 8th, 2005, 08:58 PM
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Well, daytrips from Cairns must include Kuranda. Going up by train and down by gondola is a must. There is an Aboriginal culture theater in the town, and tons of beautiful bushwalking areas around. You can do it as a daytrip, although staying overnight is the best thing.
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Old Feb 8th, 2005, 10:06 PM
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Hi, Pizpuffin,

There are loads of day trips from Cairns that are worthwhile - depends on what you are interested in, I guess.
To name just a few we have enjoyed:
- Atherton Tablelands
- Undara Lava Tubes
- Cape Tribulation through the Daintree
rainforest
- Green Island
- Kuranda (up by original train, back
by steam train)

Some we would like to do:
- Michelmas Cay (last year we did the
QuickSilver trip - the weather was not
good and the snorkelling, etc. was
not the best therefore - next time we
will be trying Michelmas)
- Mareeba Wetlands
- Savannahlander train trip
- Cooktown.

Of course, we are jut visitors - try to click on "patwoolford" to follow her suggestions as a very knowledgeable local.
Dot
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Old Feb 8th, 2005, 10:08 PM
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oops - last paragraph should read "Of course we are just visitors" !
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Old Feb 9th, 2005, 01:39 AM
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A couple of suggestions - visit Paronella Park south of Cairns, they have a website. We found it very interesting and the scones and homemade jam in the tearoom were to die for.
Also drive up to Cape Trib from Port Douglas, we took a picnic and ate by the beach. There are a few nice places and some gorgeous beaches to stop at along the way.
Kay
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Old Feb 9th, 2005, 03:18 AM
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Cape Trib and the Daintree for sure.

Cooktown - not too many people go the extra 100km (+) but it's worth it. But not a day trip. Either hire yourselves a car (4wd unless road north of Cape Trib has been surfaced) or take an organised trip that includes the usual cruise on the Daintree River for the crocs; Cape Trib, etc.

Kuranda is OK - the best part is getting there. Day trip to Atherton Tablelands a good one.

Snorkelling. For something a little different try the trip to the Frankland Islands. Unlike most snorkelling trips you get off the boat and spend the day on a beach, and the trip there takes you down a river for the first 20-30 mins at a time of day when the light is amazing.

The snorkelling isn't in the class of the cays or the Whitsundays, but you see plenty, and it's good if you like the idea of not being in mid ocean.
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Old Feb 9th, 2005, 05:10 AM
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Hi Alice, the above question will take a lot of answering and will try to do it tomorrow, but am so glad you mentioned Frankland Islands. This little group of islands are so pristine, we used to go there often when we had our own boat. There's only one commercial small vessel that visits daily - Frankland Islands Cruise and Dive out of Cairns, no commercial fishing has ever been allowed there so there's heaps of fish and not bad coral. It's protected from SE winds in our "winter" so no-one is likely to become seasick on the short ride out from mainland, and the river trip on the way is worth doing on its own.
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