great barrier reef-accomodations and cruise's

Sep 22nd, 2007, 10:42 PM
  #1  
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great barrier reef-accomodations and cruise's

can you advise about sea temple resort(studio nice?any recommendation?price quality ratio?etc.)or any better alternative for a 6 days-5 nights stay in november?
What is the most recommended cruise; Poseidon vs. Quicksilver? We would like to see as much and as varied as possible.
tgnych is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 05:54 AM
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Which Sea Temple do you mean? There's two, one on beachfront on Palm Cove (Cairns' northern beaches) and the other at Port Douglas (somewhat out of town).

Poseidon takes far less people than Quicksilver - assume you're talking about Quicksilver's huge catamaran which goes to a pontoon, there is also another smaller Quicksilver reef trip out of Port Douglas - Silversonic. Calypso out of PD is excellent, if you're staying at Palm Cove the PD reef trips will pick up at Palm Cove (extra transfer charges apply). Palm Cove is closer to Cairns than it is to PD, and there's a range of reef trips out of Cairns with accommodation pickups from northern beaches.

pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 09:26 PM
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Hi Pat & thks for your reply,
I found there are 2 Sea Temple resorts, indeed. Being told by relatives that Palm Cove is a nice rlocation (is this your opinion, as well?), I would like to compare (1) Sea Temple vs. Novotel in Palm Cove and (2) Sea Temple in PD vs. Sea Templs in PC.
WRT cruises, we (my wife/I) don't like it too (over)crowded. We thought Poseidon more attractive because smaller size boat & 3 stops while Quicksilver much bigger & only one stop. Am I missing something? How will Calypso compare against the above?
Many thanks for your advice.
tgnych is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 11:44 PM
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Hi tgnych

am inclined to agree with your relatives, Sea Temple at Palm Cove is actually on the beach itself at the southern end of Palm Cove, so its easy walking distance to other restaurants and eateries along the very attractive foreshore. Sea Temple at PD has a buffer zone of natural vegetation between it and the short walk to the southern end of 4 Mile Beach. That makes it a long way into PD village which is at northern end of beach. Of course, there is a shuttle service into PD, but I think on a balmy tropical evening its nicer to be able to stroll back to your accommodation after dinner.

Poseidon is a very good choice out of PD, as is Calypso, and both take far less passengers than Quicksilver's pontoon trip. If you have a look at www.divethereef.com you'll find a pretty comprehensive list of reef trips out of North Queensland - it gives sizes of vessels and capacity numbers for each boat, exactly where the boats visit and where they'll pick you up and other handy information.
pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 01:14 AM
  #5  
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Tx again, Pat. We'll look fwd to staying in PC then. How would you rate the Novotel against Sea Temple Resort? And is there any way to get most attractive rates? Best rate I could find so far is AUD 329/night for a studio.
How does Cape Tribulation compare to Daintree Forest?
Beside the cruise and the above, what other sightseeing activities would you recommend?
Many thanks again.
tgnych is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 06:17 PM
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tgnych, Novotel's an older resort which is re-furbished from time to time, but isn't as "swish" as Sea Temple. It's not beachfront - but there's a walkway from it through rainforest down to Palm Cove esplanade and beach. About a 5 min walk.

Other than keep an eye on www.wotif.com.au don't know how to secure special rates - right now on wotif there's a studio spa for AU$229 -these prices could come down for November; October is a very busy month up here this year.

Angsana Resort is the only other true beachfront resort in Palm Cove, but there's plenty of esplanade-front resorts and apartments.

Cape Tribulation day trips include parts of Daintree World Heritage Rainforest, and these are available from Palm Cove - a good one is www.billytea.com.au

there's tons of nature based things to do; if you like walking check out www.cairnswildernesswalks.com with very small groups - Margaret is a terrific guide; you shouldn't miss the Atherton Tablelands either - see www.wildernessecosafaris.com
And of course, the Kuranda Train/Skyrail - Skyrail shuttle picks up at Palm Cove accommodations.

Hope this helps a bit.



pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 08:59 PM
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Thanks so much!
tgnych is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 03:19 PM
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I've come upon this thread and am hoping you might be able to help me answer a question. It sounds like some knowledgeable people are here! I too am going to GBR in November and have been looking for places to stay. Is one area better than another if you're comparing Palm Cove to Trinity Beach to Cairns. Is one better than another for getting tours (the Reef and the Daintree RF) and/or just ambiance in general. We like beachfront but are not interested in paying over $200 a night. Thanks
krlia is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 04:56 PM
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i just have to jump in to point out that the sea temple, while very swish, is not on the main quaint tiny tree lined road of palm cove for which people generally recommend this locale.

it is a good walk in the dark from the main drag.

see locations on wotif. anything on harpas or esplanade will be much closer.

the former outrigger, now peppers, is in an outstanding position as is sebel reef house in the lxe category. there are countless smaller properties al;l along the way.

sea temple is down its own road, its beach faaaar up the way from the goings on in the heart of palm cove, which is a very sleepy place, indeed.

also, yes, the big companies do tour pick ups from palm cove.

kerikeri
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Sep 28th, 2007, 12:27 AM
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Well keri keri, the last time I was at Palm Cove was this morning, walking my dogs, and it took me 10 minutes from Sebel to Angansa at at not much more than a saunter. Another 5 mins max to Sea Temple and about the same returning along the beach. Very few on beach outside Sea Temple but quite crowded at the Sebel end, where the "quaint tiny tree lined road" was jammed with cars searching in vain for parks and people everywhere.

As long as its not raining, its a very pleasant, well lit walk at night, I've done it many times from restaurants around the Sebel with friends who live just up the hill behind Sea Temple. Much easier for us than trying to find a parking spot in PC.
pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 03:06 AM
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krlia, I booked at the Sea Temple, PC, for AU$ 199/night, american b/f included. This is studio w/ king bed for 2 people. I did thi sby calling them directly.
Others, do I understand well that Sea Temple is a 5'-10' walk to the restaurant area and that it is well lit. May I assume everything ok security wise, even at night or is it better to take a cab? Thks.
tgnych is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 03:58 PM
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tgncyc: Pat Woolford lives in the area; has done for many years. She possibly has a clue about what's what.
Bokhara is offline  
Oct 13th, 2007, 04:17 PM
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Thanks to all for advice on Palm Cove and Sea Temple. We have booked for 4 nights beginning 12 November for $176 US per night. Seemed like a good deal based on some posted comments. Perhaps we'll see Pat out walking her dog some evening!
Thanks also for the recommendations on what cruise to take to the Great Barrier Reef. Does anyone have recommendations for a company that does good tours to Daintree? Thanks
krlia is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2007, 06:23 PM
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Just returning from OZ and wanted to report that we did enjoy Palm Cove a lot (good location between Cairns & Pt Douglas, not far from all main attractions, relax & lot of good restaurants). Billy Tea is definitely a good tour for Daintree Forest. However, beware about reef cruises. We faced adverse conditions (rough sea due to cyclon proximity & they didn't alert us nor did they offer us the option of a delay) and a few people got sick on the boat. My wife could not even snorkel once. Worse even: the high wind (20-30 knots) decreased undersea visibility dramatically. It was disappointing (and expensive). We did it with Poseidon, but saw that Quicksilver & others were behaving the same way. Local people advised us to call one day before and check weather conditions before booking. There are enough operators, thus not a big risk. Kuranda also worth seeing, but better under good weather. Also nice shopping market. One way through Skytrain & return through scenic railway. Be aware that the last train leaves at 3:30PM from Kuranda, thus don't start your day too late. Enjoy your travels!
TGDXB is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 05:44 AM
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What a shame you struck such awful weather TDGXB - very, very early for influence from a tropical cyclone though.

But whilst some effects were apparent around Cairns and your Poseidon trip from Port Douglas, the weather was nowhere near bad enough for any of the more substantially sized reef boats to cancel. But am very surprised that no-one gave you a weather forecast, did you book direct with Poseidon or through a local tour desk?
pat_woolford is offline  
Dec 7th, 2007, 11:16 PM
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Hi Pat, I had booked direct with Poseidon. They picked us up from the hotel and only announced the bad weather conditions upon disembarking from the bus at Port Douglas. I am afraid this was intentional. For memo, we did enquire ourselves when reconfirming the day before and just confirmed everything was up. They don't even bother responding to my email.
TGDXB is offline  
Dec 9th, 2007, 05:44 PM
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I'm sorry to hear that TG; especially when so many do their best to ensure tourists get to the reef on the best possible weather day within their time frame. Weather forecasts are pretty accurate to three days out.

Perhaps this is a good reason to book through a local tour desk, any reputable one (and it wouldn't stay in business if it wasn't) can give an honest weather appraisal, unbiased advice on trips based on local knowledge; book accordingly and if necessary change date with no cancellation penalty. They usually take a small commission of 10% or so which is deducted from the cost of the trip, so customer pays no more than booking direct with operator. Obviously, its in the operator's interests to keep faith with the tour desk to ensure future bookings.





pat_woolford is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 07:10 AM
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... And from what I heard, go to the Whitsundays, instead. Seemingly better snorkeling/diving opportunities. The reef seems in better shape, as well. This will be my choice next time. I do not like to be treated this way.
TGDXB is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 02:54 PM
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Sorry you had such a bad experience, but I would do more research before blowing off the Cairns/Port Douglas for snorkeling. I did a lot of research myself and there aren't a lot of operators out of Airlie Beach except liveaboard or bareboat charters. The liveaboards are mostly crowded young-people/party type experiences and the liveaboards didn't seem to cater to the snorkel-fanatic (like us.) This is not to say you wouldn't have a great time on a boat out of the Whitsundays, but for snorkeling, I think you'd find more variety and faster, newer boats out of the Cairns/PD area to more places that are actually ON the reef (as opposed to places around the Whitsunday Islands.) I am not an expert, so take my information as a springboard to doing your own research. We had excellent snorkeling opportunities when we went to Hardy Reef with Fantasea out of Airlie Beach, but I didn't think the reef was in any way better than what we saw out of C/PD. I think you can get bad treatment from any operator. Also what Pat said about booking through a tour desk (like the owner of your B&B or the hotel) is preferable because they can book and cancel easier than you can and will advise you of any weather or other problems ahead of time. We did that with Pat and she was able to cancel with Reef Magic with no problem due to bad weather. Better luck next time.
Sally in Seattle
SnRSeattle is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 09:28 PM
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Hi Sally & thks for your contribution.
However, the point is that whatever happens, it is a minimum that the operator informs proactively and gives the choice to the customer. They clearly did not (not even intended to). This is what I wanted to alert fellow travelers about.
Personally, I was disappointed by my experience and would not recommend the Great Barrier Reef out of Port Douglas.
PS. During my research, I never came across posts recommending to book through local tour desks.
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