Kangaroo Island and Cairns

Jan 14th, 2008, 10:25 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 70
Kangaroo Island and Cairns

Any update on KI after the fires??
Am heading to Australia in June with husband and 8 and 6 year olds and really want to go to KI.
Ideas on 1 night 2 day touring groups, accomodation for 4, and tour to keep kids happy??
Also will have time in Adelaide, how is Glenelg, Hahndorf, worth renting a car and heading north a bit?? Any idea for accom for 4/apt style with laundry in Adelaide??
Cairns--small group snorkel trip??
Day trips with the kids?? Thanks
desertchick is offline  
Jan 14th, 2008, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,039
When we were last in Adelaide, we actually stayed in Glenelg (although it summer there). We enjoyed it very much, but it might not be as appealing in June. We've been to Hahndorf twice and we enjoyed it as well, but I don't know there would be much for the kids to see or do there. The Cleland Wildlife Park is outside of Adelaide. I haven't been there, but it might appeal to your kids.
Instead of taking a tour on KI, you might want to rent a car and do it on your own. It's not hard to drive around the island (just watch out for wildlife on the road if you are driving after dark.) You can go to see all the attractions--Seal Bay, Kelly Hill Caves, the sand dunes, Remarkable Rocks, Flinders Chase N.P., penguin parade, etc. on your own and spend as much time as you want. (For example, my kids wanted to wander over the sand dunes for a long time and we would not have been able to do this if we'd been on a tour. We also did a longish hike in Flinders Chase NP and saw a little fairy penguin and we couldn't have done this on a tour either.)
Now for snorkeling--I'd recommend staying in Port Douglas rather than Cairns for two main reasons--1) PD has a great beach (Four Mile Beach) and Cairns doesn't and 2) PD is the home to Wavelength, the best snorkel-only tour boat in the area. They take a maximum of 30 passengers and are especially good with first-time snorkelers. There are also a couple boats that take small groups out to the Low Isles for beach snorkeling. This is a good trip, too, but it's not the Outer Reef.
For fun day trips with kids, I'd recommend going to Mossman Gorge. There's an easy hike through the rainforest there which is, if I recall, about 3km RT. If that's too far for your kids to walk, then take the shorter route to the hanging bridge--that's always popular with kids.
You can also go up to Daintree National Park and take the little car ferry over the river to the park. (Get there early to avoid the lines for the ferry.) You can take a boat ride on the Daintree River and look for crocs. You can hike through the rainforest on boardwalks and look for wildlife. (We saw a cassowary on our last visit.) Take a picnic lunch and eat it at one of the picnic grounds. Stop for ice cream on the way home at the Daintree Ice Cream Company--but be aware of their closing time and that the ice cream is of the wattle, passion fruit, etc. variety and not chocolate and vanilla.
Finally, your kids will love going to Breakfast with the Birds at the Rainforest Habitat in PD. Wild birds fly around as you enjoy a hot and cold breakfast buffet. Then you can explore the habitat on your own and/or join in on a guided tour. My kids are older teens now, but they still love Breakfast with the Birds.
longhorn55 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2008, 11:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 911
If your kids like wildlife go to the Atherton Tablelands, hire a step aboard guide and your kids will love it. Not expensive and personalised.
Saltuarius is offline  
Jan 15th, 2008, 03:06 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 697
June is winter in Australia. Adelaide and KI are likely to be cold and wet. Having said that, the winter daytime temperature in Adelaide is not likely to get under about 10 C. Glenelg would be a nice area to stay in summer (has a tram direct to the city), but not sure what it would be like at that time of year. You could equally have a week of rain or a week of blue skys with daytime temps between about 10 C and 20 C. KI will be cooler than Adelaide.

The kids would enjoy Cleland Wildlife Park as longhorn suggests, but you would likely need a car to get there and the road is quite windy.

The Barossa Valley is nice to visit. It is about 1.5 hours north of Adelaide. However, it is best known for its wines, which may not be the type of tour you're looking for with young kids.
speckles is offline  
Jan 15th, 2008, 04:06 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
Cairns - small group snorkel trip with optional diving - www.seastarcruises.com.au - goes to Michaelmas Cay with easy snorkelling off sand cay (beach) which is easy for kids, and on to Hastings Reef where snorkelling is from side of boat. This is NOT the old Sea Star which took forever to get to reef, boat does 24knots and gets to Michaelmas Cay in a little over an hour from Cairns.

For wildlife in FNQ, listen to Saltuarius; Alan Gillanders is based in Yungaburra on Atherton Tableland - a bit over an hour's drive from Cairns www.alanswildlifetours.com.au - an excellent guide with reasonable prices.
pat_woolford is offline  

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