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Off to Australia in December 2013- First Time for 11 nights

Off to Australia in December 2013- First Time for 11 nights

Old May 28th, 2013, 06:43 PM
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Off to Australia in December 2013- First Time for 11 nights

Thanks in advance for your help. My husband and I are traveling with our 2 children, 25 and 23, to Australia in December. We are flying from NY landing in Cairns on December 11th at 3 PM and staying at the Cairns Hilton for 4 nights (using hotel points). I figure we will be jet lagged the first day so I was considering the 1/2 day trip to Green Island. Is there anything else we could do?

Day 2 is diving. 2 of us dive ( Tusa looks good), but we have one who will not even snorkle. I think they will be bored on the Tusa Dive Boat all day. Any recommendations for a place where you can dive (already certified and experienced so we would like something great) and have someone go on a glass bottom boat?

Day 3 up to Daintree (can't fly for 24 hours). How bad are the Mosquitos , or Mozzies as they say, in December. I have a very bad reaction to bug bites.

I want to go north for the day, Daintree, Mossman, river cruise to see crocodiles, but I am not sure if it is feasible for me. If we go, I want to take a 4 wheel trip with as few other people as possible. We're not unfriendly, but I hate the big group trips. The private ones I have seen are about $1,500. Any suggestions, please?

The train and skyway seem nice, but very touristy with nothing to do in Kuranda but shop.

We are then flying to Port Lincoln for 2 nights so my son can cage dive with the sharks, then to Kangaroo Island for 1 night. We have already arranged for a guide there for the day and night.

Then off to Sydney for 4 nights at the Marriott, again with points. We will climb the bridge, go to the zoo, all the city fun and are considering a day in the Blue Mountains. Are we pushing ourselves with this? If not, any suggestions of who we should go with?

I know it will be hot and humid in Cairns, but I cannot miss the Great Barrier Reef. It is high on my bucket list. December is the only time my husband can get off from work. I always wanted to go to the Outback, but cannot even consider it due to the heat (and lack of time).

Any tips, suggestions, etc. are GREATLY APPRECIATED!

Thanks again! Susan
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Old May 28th, 2013, 07:26 PM
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Just rent a car and drive to the daintree area. Its a very easy drive, curvy, and so beautiful. You don't need a tour at all. We just returned yesterday so have terrible jet lag. I'll write more later. There are lots and lots of wallabies at the lawn bowling site next to the smithfield mall just outside of cairns. Stop in for great photos! You'll see a field with horses. The items that look like hay bales in the field are actually wallabies!
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Old May 29th, 2013, 12:01 AM
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In Sydney, definitely go to the beach, Bronte or Coogee are less crowded than Bondi. The snorkelling is good at Clovelly. There's also a nice walk from Bondi to Bronte along the cliffs.

The Aquarium is also worth a visit with a chance to see dugongs, seals and fairy penguins as well as all the other sea creatures. There are also a range of museums: Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art.

For Convict history, I'd recommend Hyde Park Barracks, Cockatoo Island is also well worth a visit for convict and maritime history and it's a lovely ferry ride to get there from Circular Quay.

An Opera House tour is another favourite for tourists, there are also cheaper tickets to the experimental space called the Studio.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 12:32 AM
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joining in to get tips for our trip in Nov.

thanks for all the info so far!
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Old May 29th, 2013, 01:09 AM
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I adored Fitzroy island which was gorgeous, and The Low Isles had great snorkeling, even saw some large turtles just off shore too. Was good to be there before the large boatloads of tourists arrived, and ideal for non divers. They also have glass bottom boats there. Not sure about diving though, it might well have it there.
I never found mozzies too bad in Queensland but just use insect repellant and you will be fine.
Ouch with the price to Daintree, definitely would drive myself, the roads are pretty easy, light traffic at worse.
An alternative to the bridge climb is a pylon climb, really cheap, just enter one pay the price and get an awesome view without the cost or hassle of the climb. Of course it is not as high, but won't take up so much of your day or money.
Be aware it is the wet season in the far north, you might just miss it being early Dec, but due to stingers there's no swimming in the sea from shore in the far north, Sydney fine though.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 04:44 AM
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I definitely recommend the Bridge Climb. Fantastic experience, brilliant tour and so much fun. Ive done it and loved it. It doesnt have to eat into your day too much if you pick an early morning climb... you are then finished mid morning and have most of the day in front of you.
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Old May 29th, 2013, 07:44 AM
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Thank you all! We don't want to drive because I have always enjoyed someone taking us around. They know the sights and if one is closed they know the alternatives. Any suggestions on which tours you have taken?

The tips for Sydney are great!
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Old May 29th, 2013, 08:46 AM
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Tony's Tropical tours.
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Old May 30th, 2013, 04:45 AM
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Thanks! Does anyone know of a tour that leaves from Cairns?

A recommendation for a Blue Mountains tour?
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Old May 30th, 2013, 11:32 AM
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Lots of tours go from Cairns, google and you will see. The Quicksilver boats are big, not sure if you want that. For Green Island and Fitzroy Island just buy a ticket there at the counter at the pier in Cairns. Cairns is not very big, not like a big city. The ferry that takes you to these places goes back and forth all the time. There are other tours too, so many of them. It's pretty much the hub for tourists. Cairns itself does not have a beach, it is mud flats there, they do have a large community type pool, well lots of them, good for children. About 10 minutes north of Cairns is my favourite beach Trinity!! But then I like lots up that way.

Friends of ours went on the Blue Mountains Day Tours tour and loved it.
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