Great Barrier Reef

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Apr 3rd, 2001, 11:25 AM
  #1
Loretta
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Great Barrier Reef

We will be in Cairns in March, 2002. Is it better to stay in Pt Douglas vs. Cairns and do a day trip to the reef or spend a couple days on an island? if the island, which is best (less touristy)? We have 4 days.
 
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Apr 4th, 2001, 01:25 AM
  #2
kkeefe
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If you are interested in Reef or rainforest tours, then stay in Port Douglas. You will save a hours drive each way on each days tour. We took the quicksilver reef tour which leaves from the marina at port Douglas. It takes 90 minutes to get to the outer reef by catamaran, you spend a few hours there and then it's 90 minutes back. We were so glad we didnt have to have an hours bus ride on top of that.
Palm cove is nice too. It is in between Cairns and Port Douglas. It is much smaller than PD and they have tours leaving from there too.
 
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Apr 4th, 2001, 06:37 AM
  #3
Dick
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Most people on this board have a definite preference for Port Douglas over Cairns. Port Douglas is a great little beach town.

I don't think it's worthwhile to spend a couple of days on an island....you either have to decide to spend you whole 4 days there...or not at all. Transportation to and from the island can eat up time and money.

As the poster, above, said, from Port douglas it's convenient to take a boat to the outer reef.
 
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Apr 4th, 2001, 09:13 AM
  #4
jill
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To KKeefe
Do you have any more info re: Quiksilver tours? Are they large/small tours? Do they accommodate both SCUBA and snorkel? How long are the tours? Do you know if they have a website?

Thanks!
 
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Apr 4th, 2001, 10:03 AM
  #5
Dick
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Jill,

The tours are large and are for both SCUBA( for experienced and novice) and snorkelling. It takes almost 1.5 hours to get to the outer reef..and then you spend several hours based on a large "pontoon like" base( only its anchored in the sea and does not sway.

Their web site is http://www.quicksilver-cruises.com/

There are also small tour boat companies .

A tip, if you take the Quicksilver.....they offer ginger tablets to avoid sea sickness( the wrist bands work too). We saw several "macho" guys" that were too proud to take anything..,,get quite sick.
 
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Apr 16th, 2001, 12:39 AM
  #6
Lori
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Depends on what you want. We really enjoyed Lizard Island and didn't have to worry about the stingers which wil be in the water in March I believe in PD. However, I would not bother going there for less than 3 nights, given the plane flight over, etc. (fortunately we had the time to take in both PD and Lizard)
If you want total relaxation, first class, but not snobby treatment and great snokling and water activities right outside your door I'd go Lizard. If you want to shop, eat in various restaurants, trek to the Tableland or Daintree I'd go Port Douglas.

Only other caveat is rain potential in March, you may be better off with the "more to do" aspect of PD.
 
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Apr 27th, 2001, 12:59 PM
  #7
Karen
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I have another alternative for you. We lived in Australia for quite a while (Americans) and we found Palm Cove which is between Cairns and Port Douglas quite nice. You can get tours from all of the hotels there. As far as the reef goes we did a day trip to Green Island and another trip to the outer reef. You see different kinds of coral and fish in both places. Be sure to go to Kuranda on a market day...it is fun!
 
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