GBR options

May 27th, 2004, 06:58 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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GBR options

We were in Australia and New Zealand a few years ago, and loved it. We'll return in February, and I am trying to nail down an itinerary. Loved the places we went the first time, but want to see new places too. I think we'll do some of both. On our last trip, we spent several nights in Port Douglas, and thought it was great. Loved snorkelling, the beach, the town, the rainforest. We want to do some of this kind of thing again, but should we return to PD or try another place? Some of the islands are too expensive for us, but I don't know how I feel about being stuck on an island, anyway. The Sunshine Coast sounds a bit commercial. I know there must be great places, and maybe some of you can help guide us. Thanks!
mosthecat is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 08:24 AM
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How about the Whitsunday Islands? There are several resorts, ranging from inexpensive to luxurious. They are not far offshore, and many are connected by a ferry so you can easily move about. The GBR is further offshore than at PD, but still accessible by boat. If you don't want to be stuck on an island, you can stay in or near Airlie Beach. Or, you can stay on Hamilton Island, which has a full-size airport, several hotels, marina, restaurants, golf courses, a zoo, etc.
ALF is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 10:30 AM
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The Whitesudays sound good. I looked online after your reply, and have found a great deal of info. if anyone has any particular tips, I'd love to hear em. Thanks for your help, Alf!
mosthecat is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 11:12 AM
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Some good sugestions from ALF, but if the Sunshine Coast seems too commercial, then Hamilton Island doesn't seem like the place for you. A chunk of the Gold Coast transplanted to a tropical island. We stayed on Bramton Island (southern Whitsundays) a couple of years ago - wonderful, not not for snorkeling, but fantastic private beaches and bushwalking. Reasonably priced too.

Another suggestion would be Mission Beach, south of Cairns. Quieter than PD. You could go out to Dunk Island for a day trip, go out to the reef, and tour some of the great places inland from there.

Although the reef would not be an option, I'd highly recommend coastal northern NSW - an incredibly beautiful part of Australia in my opinion. Great surf beaches (not to be found in northern Qld) and some spectacular scenery inland, including the lush Gold Coast hinterland (waterfalls, rainforests, wildlife).
RalphR is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 12:41 PM
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Sailing in the Whitsundays is magic.

I think AndrewDavid and his partner did a trip on Solway Lass.

Another option may the the Captain Cook Cruises out of Cairns.
margo_oz is offline  
May 27th, 2004, 11:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Suggest you do a search on this forum using Whitsundays as a search word. You will lots of useful info. We stayed on South Molle Island in a beachfront room and loved it. It was mid-range in price but we got a cheaper standby deal. There are quite a few resort islands in this area and you can visit most for the day or stay overnight. Airlie Beach is OK, more a hopping-off place than a place I would stay for more than a night or two. It's full of backpackers, internet cafes and tour booking offices. There are lots of organised daytrips and you can catch ferries all over the place - look at Fantasea's website. There is a nice man-made lagoon area at Airlie Beach which makes up for the beach which is pretty ordinary.
KayF is offline  
May 28th, 2004, 12:04 AM
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I would second RalphR's suggestion of coastal northern nsw perhaps better described as Byron bay and Hinterland.

world's best beaches etc..just about the best combination of geography,climate and lifestyle on the planet.

Get yourself a cabin by the beach at Broken head for a few days in Feb...wake up with a morning surf etc etc etc
Leaves the sunshine coast in the shade.

Just be might put a deposit on a place and never return to the haze,history and hassle of the northern hemisphere.
johhj_au is offline  
May 28th, 2004, 06:04 AM
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Posts: 161
Thanks to all of you for the great ideas. I had visited AndrewDavid's outline of their trip already, which sounds good. There are so many options! I will definitely search now for Whitesunday messages, and explore all the places everyone has suggested, including the Byron Bay area. Thanks again!
mosthecat is offline  
Jun 1st, 2004, 03:14 PM
Join Date: May 2004
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I would have to encourage staying on a boat rather than dry land. I lived in Australia for a year and my week cruising the whitsundays is still one of the 1st things I talk about when asked about Australia. It was wonderful, despite the December heat wave at the time. Just bring lots of sunblock.
ka13 is offline  
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