Is it okay to book tours once I arrive in Aus?

Old Apr 14th, 2006, 11:01 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 56
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is it okay to book tours once I arrive in Aus?

Is it okay to book tours once we arrive in Sydney and Port douglas rather than before? Specifically the Blue Mountain tour, GBR tour, and the rain forest tour. The reason being is, that we'd like flexibility on when we go depending on how we feel and the weather. With GBR, I get easily sea sick and want to make sure the winds are calm before we commit to booking. We are going in 1 week, at the end of April.

Also, any suggestions to tours you've enjoyed would be appreciated.
swiggle75 is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 11:18 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 795
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes.
adeben is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2006, 04:39 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,077
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes - fine to book tours once you get there. The small centre of Cairns is brimming with tourist offices wanting you to go with them. Not so familiar with PD but got a sense on my last visit that it was the same but on a smaller scale.
Re Blue Mts - same applies - the tourist office at West Circular Quay is a good source of info. The range of tours is extensive. Can't recommend any in particular as my trips up there have been either by train or car. And you can do it that way too. But I can go anytime and you, perhaps, may never visit again.

I think if I were a visitor, and had the time, I'd go for one that took in an overnight and maybe went out to the Jenolan Caves.

Hope you have a great holiday.
fuzzylogic is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2006, 05:02 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Depends on passenger no's on trip - if you're taking Pete Baxendell's trip to Daintree would certainly book in advance as he takes such small numbers. Not likely for a reef trip out of PD to be booked out at end of April, but sometimes the smaller ones take charters, so it would be as well to have a booking with these. Weather is the most important element in a reef trip, everyone realises this and will all do their best to put you on a better day with no penalty. Good luck with the weather!
pat_woolford is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2006, 05:04 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,346
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here's a suggestion for the Blue Mountains! You can gain even more flexibility and save money by going on your own without a tour.

Simply go to the CountryLink window <http://www.countrylink.info/home> at Circular Quay and buy a CityRail Blue Mountains ExplorerLink ticket. This ticket provides return train transportation from Central Station to Katoomba and an all day 'get-on-get-off’
Explorer Bus tour to 30 locations through the mountains. Stops include the Three Sisters at Echo Point, Leura village, the Scenic Railway plus many others.

You can leave when you want, see what you want, stay as long as you want and then return when it is convenient for you. Trust me, it is not complicated and very easy to do.
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2006, 05:20 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Forgot to mention that for the last 2 days Kuranda Scenic Train has been completely booked out even for those trying to book on previous afternoon. So one cannot always expect to be able to book on the very day it suits.
pat_woolford is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2006, 03:48 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 56
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you everyone for all your helpful replies!
swiggle75 is offline  
Old Apr 15th, 2006, 06:12 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,430
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A word of warning about the Explorer Ticket available from railway stations. Firstly, however, let me say that I enthusiastically agree that the best way to do a day-trip to the Mountains is to take the train then the bus or trolley, as suggested above. I have seen, first-hand, the bad side of the tour buses from Sydney -- no allowance made for lousy weather, no time to walk down any of the trails into the best areas, LOTS of time in second-rate restaurants and at souvenir shops, and, worst of all, tour drivers who thought it was a great joke that the unfortunate passengers who had booked ahead wasted a whole day because of foggy/drizzly conditions -- so I certainly wouldn't recommend ANY of those!

So, the train-plus-trolley (or double-decker-bus, which is slightly more expensive but allows you multi-day rides) option is definitely the best.... but, according to the station master at Katoomba Station, NOT by buying the all-in-one ticket in Sydney. He wishes that tourists would buy the train ticket at the train station and the trolley ticket on the trolley. Here's why.....

The railway ticket is issued by the government railway provider, Cityrail. The bus and trolley are from private providers who have no connection with Cityrail, except that, apparently, someone once got the perfectly reasonable idea that if you could buy both at your point of departure, that might save time. But NOT money, apparently.... there is, according to him, no saving to be made that way.

But the real disadvantage is that some of the railway staff, especially at minor stations, don't know what the buyer is talking about, and just issue the railway portion of the multi-ticket (and charge for that only.... but, often, the tourist doesn't know that he has paid only for the rail). The bus portion has probably been stuffed into a cupboard somewhere and long-since forgotten. So the hapless tourist arrives at Katomba Station, goes straight to the bus opposite, climbs on and shows the ticket they have been issued.... and is promptly told that they must buy a second ticket! So, of course, thinking they have been "had", they march straight over to the Station Master's Office at Katoomba and start abusing him, since it was one of his colleagues who sold them the "incomplete" ticket in the first place. But, of course, there's nothing he can do about it, as the bus company doesn't take orders from him. So the tourist has his day spoiled, and the Station Master (a really nice guy who wants everyone to enjoy the Mountains) goes home with a sick stomach.

So his advice (unless the situation has changed since I spoke to him a couple of years ago) is to buy your train ticket at the railway station and your bus ticket on the bus. No extra cost, no chances of a foul-up, and everybody has a nice day!

By the way, after 9 a.m. the train ticket goes down to off-peak prices, which represents a saving of around 40% on that leg.
Alan is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
sallyjane3
Australia & the Pacific
6
Oct 10th, 2009 05:59 AM
caligirl56
Australia & the Pacific
11
Jun 19th, 2008 02:45 PM
nanabee
Australia & the Pacific
4
Jun 3rd, 2007 03:48 PM
okkuriwin
Australia & the Pacific
5
May 6th, 2006 03:22 AM
toothmom
Australia & the Pacific
9
Jun 26th, 2005 03:13 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:27 PM.