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GBR Help Needed -- Which Island? & ... One Island or Two?

GBR Help Needed -- Which Island? & ... One Island or Two?

Old Jan 11th, 2009, 06:17 PM
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GBR Help Needed -- Which Island? & ... One Island or Two?

We want to visit the GBR area as part of our Aussie adventure late May/early June. We don't want to snorkel or dive but we love beautiful beaches, wildlife, and nature walks. Nightlife and fine dining are of no importance.

Some of the resorts look fantastic -- but the prices seem far beyond my budget. I'm hoping to spend under $200 USD per night (total for the room). Self-catering would be nice -- but not mandatory.

What island and resort would you recommend?

Also ... would it be worthwhile to visit more than one island? Are they different enough to warrant that?

I'm guessing we'll fly into Cairns and stay 4 or 5 nights in the GBR area.

Thanks for your help.
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Old Jan 11th, 2009, 09:24 PM
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Fitzroy Island near Cairns may be the place for you. They are upgrading their backpackers accommodation and the Council have a camp ground.

At that time of year the crocs will be out sunning themselves along the Daintree river but if you realy want to see the local wildlife head to the Atherton Tablelands. Lots of nature walks and inexpensive self-catering accommodation.
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Old Jan 11th, 2009, 10:56 PM
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Fitzroy Island has been undergoing a huge re-development including a lot of new developments taking it from a bit of a low key kind of run down poor mans resort including backpacker/camping facilities to something of a smaller upmarlet resort not too huge to spoil the environment there - the old website of www.fitzroyisland.com.au will take you to http://www.huntgroup.com.au/Default.aspx?tabid=131 , it having been developed by the Hunt Group and all well delayed from initially thought completion - some stuff still to be completed by March it says and hopefully will be by mid year.

Their ocean view apartments are showing at $278/n for two nights and garden view $228 with hotel rooms cheaper and so within your price range.
Like most islands with accommodation, beaches are limited, the main one being coral and a couple of smaller ones but some reasonable walking with a great summit walk for sunsets and with calm conditions, sea is like glass and you can make out some of the reef patterns in distance - take yourself a torch if you go and do the walk and come back via the loop which will take you back down on an access track that goes to northern tip as going back the way you go up could be a sprained ankle or worse in the dark.

There are limits to what you have in the way of islands to stay on up about Cairns - http://www.queenslandislands.com/ - more down at the Whitsundays and again limited beaches but if you go there make sure of a day out at Whitehaven - arguably one of the worlds best beaches - talcum powderish - http://images.google.com.au/images?h...num=5&ct=title and you can be taken to various islands with camping gear which could appeal to the nature instincts.
www.hookislandresort.com would be an option there too.

The only other reasonably priced island island near Cairns is probably Dunk Island, meaning a drive down the coast a bit to Mission Beach, also a great area, and though another great island, even less beach.

If it's beach you're after I'd not go to Cairns but fly to Rockhampton and head across to http://www.greatkeppel.com.au/ and yes, quite superb stretches of beach there, the ferry from mainland actually pulls up on the beach and you wade ashore and some strenous testing walking if you want.
The main resort building there has also been undergoing redevelopment, not sure what the staus is but there's also alternative cheaper type accommodations available.

If you were to head down that way and wanted two islands, or make it three, I'd suggest you look at a Lady Elliot Island/Fraser Island combo, and you could either bus/drive between Hervey Bay and Rockhampton or fly back to Brisbane and then to Rockhampton.

And if you really want somewhere not to forget in a hurry, take a flight out to http://www.lordhoweisland.info/
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Old Jan 12th, 2009, 07:06 AM
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Thank you for such incredible info. I'm still sorting through and checking the websites but Lord Howe island and the Atherton Tablelands certainly look interesting.

You've given me much to think about.

For others who might have suggestions ... two important points:

1) I have NO interest in backpacking or camping. Don't need fancy accomodations ... but a solid roof and ensuite facilities are mandatory

2) I don't need to fly into Cairns. I simply assumed that's where one flies to see the GBR area.

I LOVE this website
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Old Jan 30th, 2009, 08:38 PM
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Fly into Cairns but drive to Port Douglas, about an hour north. Much, much nicer...quiet and lovely town with shops and the beautiful Four Mile Beach. Stay at Lynchee Tree, they are awesome Take a GBR tour from there. Did it last August and had an amazing time!
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Old Jan 30th, 2009, 09:13 PM
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There's a few places between Cairns and Port Douglas, Palm Cove, Ellis Beach a couple but you're just remaining on our big island.

Just heard recently that the main resort on Great Keppel is not in operation, so there may not be the style of accomodation you're looking for there, nor at LEI as that is an Eco resort and no ensuite units but I could be mistaken.

So you'd possibly have to look at Fitzroy and Green or fly into Gladstone for Heron and then look at getting further north for Hinchinbrook , Dunk or Fitzroy though Lord Howe and any would make a good mix.
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Old Jan 31st, 2009, 03:39 PM
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Lizard Island is a magnificent tropical Island where there is an extremely expensive resort.

We were surprised to see a camp ground there as well. While we were there on a day tour out of Cairns the Pilot / Guide helped a family pack up their camp in readiness for their flight back to Cairns.

They explained to us how they had spent 5 nights camped there. The camp site was practically on the beach front. There were very few services however there was fresh water and a cleared camp sites set in one of the most idyllic locations I have ever seen.

Daintree air was organizing the flights and the equipment on their behalf. Im sure they would be able to give you lots of valuable information.
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Old Jan 31st, 2009, 04:04 PM
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Unfortunately, Lizard Island is out of my price range. I don't need anything fancy -- but my idea of camping includes room service and a king sized bed.

I thought I was set on Hinchinbrook Island, but now you''ve got me thinking about staying in Port Douglas or Cairn and taking tours.

Another possibility would be to split my time between Hinchinbrook (or another island) AND stay a few days in Port Douglas or Cairns.

Lycheetree looks terrific -- and a fraction of the price of the island resorts. Hmmm...

FYI, I'll be leaving tomorrow for a Caribbean cruise and won't get back to this site for 9 more days (sniff, sniff). Don't get too jealous ... I'll be working part of the time ;-(
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