GBR from Cairns vs Whitsundays

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Sep 5th, 2012, 09:16 PM
  #1
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GBR from Cairns vs Whitsundays

Hi,

My husband and I are planning a 2 week trip from HK to the east coast of Australia in Feb. We plan to spend 5 days in Melbourne + Sydney and about 10 days along Gold Coast up north. I am keen to visit Gold Coast, Fraser Island, Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef. We are not the best divers, so dont intend to spend too much time diving. Can you pls help with the below questions

1) Should we visit the GBR from Cairns or from the Whitsundays? Given we have only 10 days, do we have the time to do the GBR from Cairns rather than from Whitsundays? How different is the GBR from both places?

2) How many days do we need in Fraser Island and Whitsundays considering both cases - doing GBR from Cairns vs doing from Whitsundays?

3) What is the best way to explore the Fraser Island? Do we need to book a tour? How many days?

4) Should we book the tours (Fraser Island as well as Whitsundays)in advance or can we get last minute deals at the beach?

Thank you all !
Anu_B is offline  
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Sep 8th, 2012, 07:38 AM
  #2
 
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It's a long way from the Gold Coast to the far north. So with just 10 days, I wouldn't recommend driving the whole way. You'll want to spend, at the very least, a full day (2 nights) on or near Fraser, preferably two or three days. It's a big place.

To combine the Gold Coast, Fraser Island and the reef, you might consider including Heron Island to your itinerary. It'll save having to fly or drive to the far north. Heron is on the southern end of the Barrier Reef and offers fantastic snorkeling and diving. It's not far north of Fraser island. On the Gold Coast you can venture a short ways inland to the beautiful mountain rainforests of Lamington National Park, maybe stay at O'Reilly's or Binna Burra guesthouse in the park.

If you do go to the far north, I'd recommend going to the Cairns area rather than the Whitsundays. More to do and see.
RalphR is offline  
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Sep 8th, 2012, 08:57 PM
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I second Ralph's statements about Fraser and the size and distances involved.

Assuming you are from the US: would you try to see all of the east or west coast in one trip?

You can squeeze in as much traveling in Australia as you like but you'll not see that much of the country except out of the window if you try to do all this.
AlanJG is offline  
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Sep 9th, 2012, 06:54 PM
  #4
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Thanks Ralph and Alan. Looks like I'll give the far north a pass.
Ralph - Thanks for the reco on Lamington, think it'll be a good addition to our itenary.

One other qn - for travelling by road, what do you recommend between hiring a car vs travelling by greyhound buses?
Anu_B is offline  
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Sep 9th, 2012, 09:56 PM
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The bus is generally a little quicker for longer journeys, give little flexibility but saves on your energy as long as you are able to travel comfortably like that. For the car it is the other way around.
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Sep 11th, 2012, 03:28 PM
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I would definitely rent a car and plan not to drive too far each day. If you go by bus, you'll have to rely on local tours to see things.
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