Kangaroo Island/port Douglas

Apr 7th, 2014, 06:03 AM
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Kangaroo Island/port Douglas

My spouse and I are traveling with 14 and 10 boys ....trying to decide whether to travel to kangaroo island or spend a few days in Port Douglas. Thinking that we would go from Sydney to kangaroo island to Ayers Rock then Great Barrier Reef. Or should we skip kangaroo island and go Sydney to Ayer rock to port Douglas to Great Barrier Reef. We are spending two weeks in Australia. Any suggestions or advise is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
110tucker is offline  
Apr 7th, 2014, 01:06 PM
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I don't have kids, so I can't necessarily tell you which would be better for them (both would have lots they'd like, I think), but I've been to each of these places, albeit on two separate trips (Port Douglas on one and Ayers Rock/Kangaroo Island on another). I can tell you that Kangaroo Island is potentially more of a logistical challenge, as you have to connect through Adelaide (either by air or ferry). We flew, but found the need to overnight in Adelaide on both ends (we could have stayed one more night on KI and taken the morning flight out I suppose). We had two nights on the island. On the other hand, Ayers Rock does not have very many flights on any given day. So, I'd figure out which connections work best with the Port Douglas and Sydney part of the trip and make that the basis of the decision. Also, might matter what time of year you are going (when it's nice in Kangaroo Island, it is very hot in Ayers Rock). Typically, I think the seasons for Ayers Rock and Port Douglas are more compatible, but I'm not a local expert.
traveler318 is offline  
Apr 7th, 2014, 04:26 PM
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What time of year are you proposing ?
That will make a big difference in which location to choose.
sartoric is offline  
Apr 7th, 2014, 05:04 PM
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As traveler suggests, time of year is huge. Avoid Ayers Rock in the warmer months (June-Aug are best) and avoid KI in the cooler ones (Dec-Mar are best).

My wife is Australian. We've taken our kids to various parts of Australia at different ages and stages. Think they'd all agree their favorite trips were to Kakadu and Litchfield national parks (near Darwin) and to Heron Island on the southern end of the GBR. Kids love water - both places offered lots of opportunities for playing in the water or snorkeling.

Port Douglas is lovely, but unfortunately is now very touristy , lacking the character it once had. There is a great swimming hole nearby - Mossman Gorge. But alas, it too has been "discovered". The reef is a 2 hour ride off shore.
RalphR is offline  
Apr 7th, 2014, 09:25 PM
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I think that Port Douglas has many things to offer a visitor. It has the rain forest,Mossman gorge with the aboriginal aspects and many chances to enjoy the Great Barrier Reef.The 4 mile beach offered alot of beach coming and a ride on the river boat to see the salt water crocs was amazing! I found Cairns to be ridiculously touristy but not Port Douglas.
If you go to Port Douglas, I would highly recommend a reasonable and wonderful meal at THE TIN SHED.If you are not from the area, you sign in and then check in with the host. You have unbelievable choices overlooking the water for a super meal!
dutyfree is offline  
Apr 7th, 2014, 09:26 PM
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That should have been beach combing!
dutyfree is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 08:35 AM
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Thank you so much! Your response are very helpful. We are taking this trip in June so maybe we are better off to go to Port Douglas... Do you have recommendations of where to stay? We are staying at lizard island when we go to the Great Barrier Reef.
110tucker is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 12:58 PM
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June is the beginning of winter, perfect time for Uluru (Ayers Rock). KI will be quite cold and windy, and given the logistics of getting there, perhaps best to skip it for this trip.

There are direct flights Sydney - Uluru, then you could fly Uluru - Cairns where you need to be for the short flight to Lizard Island.

If you can fit it in, PD is one hour north of Cairns, best with a hire car to explore the area. At least there won't be stingers in June, however the crocs lurk all year round.....
sartoric is offline  
Apr 20th, 2014, 04:13 AM
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110tucker - in Port douglas, we stayed in an apartment near the beach but within walking distance of the town :


great location, lovely clean apartments, reasonable prices and run by very friendly people. An apartment will give you [and the kids!] more room, and you'll be able to self-cater which is a good thing in OZ as restaurants are pretty expensive.
annhig is offline  
Apr 21st, 2014, 02:20 PM
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I would check your Lizard Island booking.

It was quite badly damaged during cyclone Ita.
margo_oz is offline  
Apr 26th, 2014, 03:25 AM
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Just so happens that flicking through Ellie Neilsen's


the other day I landed on the very page where her French friends were talking about their plans to honeymoon in Australia at - you guessed it - the GBR and Kangaroo Island.

Just so happens that the well travelled Ellie hasn't been to KI and neither have I (but then again we did have a mob of about 60 kangaroos just up the street from where we lived in suburban Canberra). Masterstroke by Matthew Flinders naming the island KI when it could have been Island of the Dead -

farrermog is offline  
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