help with cairns plans please!

Old Jan 25th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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help with cairns plans please!

We're planning our first trip to Australia in late February and plan to spend 3 days in Sydney, then fly to Cairns for about 6 days or so. When in Cairns, I'm thinking about staying in Cairns for 2-3 nts, then the balance in a Port Douglas hotel. We want to do Kuranda, maybe Daintree, and snorkeling the GBR. Does this sound like a decent plan? And would we need a rental car? If there's any question, I'd rather rent the car to be safe. Also, has anyone stayed at any Outrigger properties in Queensland? Thanks for any suggestions!
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 11:28 AM
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Yes, it sounds like a great plan. We had a rental car and find the independance/convenience travelling by rental car the only way to go. You can go on one of the many buses that travel from Cairn's to Port Douglas but I think you'd be happier in your own car because the drive is incredible. You can stop at many viewing places and take in the breath taking view. It would be about an hour and a half drive from Cairn's mainly because the road is narrow and winding.

We travelled by car from Brisbane up to Port Douglas and found it to be our absolute favorite part of our trip! The sea is incredibly warm and the shopping is really good, with a large market as well.

Sorry, I can't help you with the hotel part , as we stayed in Palm Cove. There are many five star hotels in Port Douglas, and I'm sure someone on the forum will be able to help you.

Have a fantastic trip!
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 04:28 PM
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Splitting the time is a good idea.

Outrigger in Cairns is on small grounds so not a big resort feel but in a very convenient location so you may not need a car. If you do have one you may find you do not use it. perhaps pick up from downtown Cairns for your trip to Port Douglas.

just a note....

I believe Outrigger are being taken over by Peppers in Australia as we speak.

The Beach Club in Port Douglas looks inviting from the outside.

If in Cairns on a Sunday I recommend sunday bruch at Cafe Coco at Cairns International Hotel. I am addicted.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 07:06 PM
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einah: You won't need car for reef trip whether you take it from Cairns or Port Douglas - Outrigger in Cairns is easy walk to Marlin Marina - Outriggers in Port Douglas aren't far from marina and pickups are available if you like. Outrigger at Palm Cove is on beach esplanade. Several reef trips leave from Palm Cove jetty, and reef trips out of Cairns pick up at Palm Cove. Transfers also available to Skyrail and Kuranda train stations from Cairns and its northern beaches.

But I think its a good idea to have a car some of the time to visit what takes your fancy in your own time; Atherton Tablelands, Crystal Cascades which isn't far from Cairns city (no tour buses or even public buses); Daintree; and don't forget the rainforests south of Cairns. Sugarland Car Rentals, a local company, in Cairns will deliver car at no extra charge to your accommodation in Cairns.

tassietwister: great recommendation for Coco's for Sunday brunch, also lunch on weekdays. On a lesser note, have you had a pie from Meldrum's? (Grafton St a bit north of Rusty's) - 30 different fillings and they are seriously good.
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 08:50 PM
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There are three Outriggers in Port Douglas (they haven't had a name change yet) and our favourite for a quick getaway is always Outrigger Heritage which is right in the middle of town but their units are mostly back off the road so very quiet, and overlooking a beautiful pool area.

Outrigger on the Inlet is right next the Courthouse Hotel - which is a great spot for drinks/meals especially upstairs in their Sunset Lounge - well-priced and a nice setting - but staying right next door could be noisy!

Outrigger in the Village is smaller and the rooms also noisy.

Have fun in Port - and don't miss breakfast/brunch at Soul 'n Pepper!
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Old Jan 25th, 2007, 11:04 PM
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Sunbird

There is yet another Outrigger at port now called Port Douglas Beach Club. It is on Davidson Street on the right hand side just by that road that leads to the beach and Garrick St. But it is also called Peppers Beach Club. Same as the one in Palm Cove.

Not sure about Cairns or the others in Port. Can be confusing for people booking just about now.

Pat, that buffet is superb at Coco's. Mind you the price keeps creeping up. We still do not mind though.

I WILL be at that pie shop first opportunity! Thanks
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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Thanks for all the excellent suggestions. I think we will rent a car from the sound of it. Would it be terribly more $$ to rent there vs. arranging before in the U.S.? Some more ideas I'd love any feedback on: Tjapukai Cultural Park, rafting on Barron River. Also, will there generally be nets on Port Douglas and Cairns beaches, so we can swim there, or will we be limited to hotel pools?
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 02:48 PM
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Einah

We do most of our swiming in hotel pools or swimming holes or lakes. On the tableland Lake Eacham is a popular swimming lake and it is cooler up in the mountains as well. Thre is also a nice walk around the lake.

There are loads of other swimmimg places in the forests. Just ensure they are higher up than where the estuarine crocodile lives. These rivers are very well sign posted with Danger signs. Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa, Crystal Cascades, Babinda Bouluders all popular swimming places. Also right across the road from the Outrigger in Cairns is the lagoon pool, man made but very popular and free.

There is no beach in Cairns CBD. The beaches are located in the northern suburbs and include Palm Cove. They have netted areas if you wish to swim in the ocean.
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 04:06 PM
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your best source of info on this Pat Woolford and you'd be well advised to consider staying at Lilybank, her and Mike's B&B in Cairns

AndrewDavid
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 04:11 PM
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Yes, there is a net on the beach at Port Douglas. When we were there the tide was out, so there wasn't much swimming space.
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Old Jan 26th, 2007, 05:20 PM
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Hello Andrew back there - thought of you the other day when driving through the momentarily unflooded Tully River crossing.

Einah - Even netted beach swimming areas can be closed for swimming at times. Earlier this month was due to crocodile sightings on at least one northern beach. Stinger nets do not keep out crocs. Lifesavers are constantly checking beaches for marine stingers and should they be found, the whole beach, netted area included,will be closed. Sometimes lifesavers bring the nets in and sometimes they don't but if unswimmable there'll be signs to tell you. The man-made lagoon in Cairns city is lifesaver patrolled and free of stingers or crocs.

Amazed more aren't stung, on way from Cairns to Port Douglas last week saw people swimming at every unpatrolled beach accessible from road even though each one was well-signposted with warnings in various languages.

You can check Sugarland Car Rentals rates at www.sugarland.com.au - prices of course are in Australian $$.
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Old Jan 27th, 2007, 05:37 AM
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I agree with Andrew David that Pat is a great source of information. Fantastic and I have learned so much from her making my travels all the better. She is truly a great asset to this forum.

But she needs a break sometimes and after spending 3 months straight travelling FNQ in paid accommodation every night, on every road (including suicidal Lake Morris Road)plus many previous sort trips maybe some of us are also becoming qualified enough to make some suggestions, Andrew David.

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Old Jan 27th, 2007, 06:12 AM
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Tassietwister gives top info here, always unbiased with intelligent advice - I forget about some of the places she mentions, often. FNQ is a vast area, just the Mareeba shire alone is as big as the state of Tasmania,and if I was planning a trip to area would be more than happy to take tassietwister's advice.
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Old Jan 28th, 2007, 05:16 AM
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Thank you Pat,

By now you will know I love your part of the world with a great passion.

But this forum does seem clicky (wrong spelling, I know) and that it isn't the fault of a few great contributors.

But it does get very quiet and maybe it wouldn't be if everyone felt included.

Probably extreme to take it out on Andrew David as he has been so witty and wrote so much amusing reports but after years of posting to be still considered not qualified makes me feel like asking for a pay raise ! lol

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Old Jan 28th, 2007, 08:34 AM
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thanks for the further information. the thought of swimming in australia sounds fairly terrifying between the stingers and crocs... i'll look for that cairns lagoon, thankyou, and the swimming places tassietwister mentioned.
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Old Jan 28th, 2007, 06:13 PM
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As far as I'm concerned, tassietwister, TTNQ should put you on their payroll! Am sure others feel the same.

einah - crocs and potentially deadly jellyfish or marine stingers are only found in northern tropical Australia; beaches elsewhere in country aren't affected. Stinger season in north is between about Nov-May. Very slight chance of stingers out on reef, be guided by crew and rent a stinger suit if they think necessary.
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Old Jan 29th, 2007, 06:48 PM
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Einah please do take Pat's tip and go to Crystal Cascades and the Atherton tablelands and Yungaburra ( hope I spelt it right ). We did last June and they are lovely. The cascades is a short drive from Cairns and is peaceful and free. Subject to safety issues pop your toes in that lovely clear water . Youngaburra and the other small towns are lovely and very historic. Good farmers market there as well .The crater lakes worth looking at and boating around on a little tour as are any detours to the well marked waterfalls ( Emerald?? - seniors moment I think with memory )on the way to the tablelands . Kuranda tour was wonderful and that cable car trip up stopping at the different levels of forest with commentary was just excellent .And you can buy a change purse made from a Cane Toad at the Kuranda market !!!ughOh and Outrigger at Palm Cove , north of Cairns ,is very smart .
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Old Jan 29th, 2007, 09:29 PM
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TassieTwister

I only think Pat and Mike and the girls deserve all the B&B business I can throw their way ( I also am speaking as a former guest)

Pat I've thought of you all winter regarding high water we broke the rainfall record for the month of January on the 10th! I'm not sure how bad it got I fled to Hawai'i on the 12th

best to you and Mike

Andrewdavid
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Old Jan 30th, 2007, 03:03 AM
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Einah, i've done a bit of travel in TNQ (tropical north queensland), in fact it is a major destination for my clients.

I've seen some great photos of the new Outrigger Beach Club in Port Douglas and it looks amazing and I've had a good friend who's just come back from her stay and raved about it. Try and get a pool access room if you can.

I'm an Aussie and I'm not keen on swimming in the ocean up North but if you're travelling a long way you've got to try it and then head back to the hotel pool and order a cocktail.

One of my favourite trips to Cairns was based in a city hotel, if you like 5 star the Shangri La is spectacular. I personally would only go with a car for my trips, so handy and so much to do.

Most recently I've been up to Coconut Beach Resort in Cape Trib and although I wouldn't be racing back for an extended stay it's worth the trip for a day so if you've got the car it's a great touring option.

But after all my travelling there my most favourite spot was Paronella Park just out of Innisfal which is south of Cairns. It's such a special place with a great story and it should be up and running after damage during last years cyclone.

You can then drive through the Tablelands, back to Cairns. There is so much to stop and see.

Have a great holiday!
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Old Feb 1st, 2007, 04:33 AM
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Andrew, I spoke too soon. Road north at Ingham and Tully is now under water. Ingham's just had the highest rainfall in 10 years and much of the north is deluged. Last week, outback Qld was flooded - drought-stricken towns which had almost forgotten about rain. Thanks for your good wishes, sadly we're down to two dogs now,and they're geriatrics, we lost the two little ones last year.







under water.
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