Port Douglas and Red Centre day tours

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Apr 30th, 2003, 01:25 PM
  #1
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Port Douglas and Red Centre day tours

Our Australia trip is definite and flights are booked! So now it's time to plan what we'll actually do at each place (hopefully without overscheduling and taking away all the spontaneity either....) We have two adults and four kids ages 15, 12, 9, and 9 in our family. We'll be travelling in August.

Are there any day tours people especially recommend? And should I book them ahead of time or wait until we arrive? In general we are more the "independent traveler" type than the "tour" type, but I do know that tours can really enhance the experience in some places.

We'll be going to:

Sydney
Ayres Rock
Alice Springs
Port Douglas

Any advice on tours we should book now would be most appreciated!
Miranda is offline  
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Apr 30th, 2003, 10:02 PM
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Just back from Port Douglas 1week ago don't miss the tours to the barrier reef magnificent we also went horseriding along the beach at Wonga park(ps.they keep you away from the crocs)at one part the estuarine crocs come onto the beach,and a great trek back through the rainforest,we had only one really bad experience and that was staying at the breakfree(remember this chain)Portsea at Port Douglas we had two bags of presents stolen from our room the manager's attitude was bad,and we had to get them to call in the police,I've called their head office and e-mailed them without any response,and we never even got an apology from them,so be warned,but you'll have a great time. And you don't have to book any tours in advance you'll be right when you get there.
nemessis is offline  
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May 1st, 2003, 09:02 PM
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In Sydney, your children would enjoy the aquarium, Powerhouse Museum and Taronga Park Zoo. All are within walking or ferry distance of the CBD. Another good trip is to take the ferry to Manly, great beach and lots of good places to eat. You can do a private tour of Taronga - I think you need to book ahead for this. Incidentally for Taronga, take the bus to the top of the hill and then walk down through the zoo back to the ferry.
I'd hire a car in Alice Springs and do your own trip to Ayers Rock. You don't mention how much time you will have there but be aware that Ayers Rock is about 450 km from Alice so definitely not a day trip unless you fly. If you drive to Ayers Rock, you should also take the time to see the Olgas and Kings Canyon. Admission to Ayers Rock and the Olgas national park is about $20 per person so you'll get better value if you can spend a few days in the area. Yulara is the township there - good range of accommodation etc. It's about 20 km from the rock itself.
You haven't mentioned when you will be in Alice - the Camel Cup is good fun as is the Henley on Todd regatta. The Todd River is bone dry nearly all the time so the 'boats' are driven by people carrying them. Ted Egan has a show in Alice Springs during the winter season - he tells stories about Northern Territory and sings accompanied by an empty carton. Really good entertainment.
I'd also hire a car in Port Douglas - traffic is light and the roads well signposted. A good day trip is to take the ferry across the Daintree River and drive north to Cape Tribulation. Lots of beaches and beautiful scenery. Not a lot of places to eat along the way but sufficient. You could have a day driving into Cairns and stop off at Palm Cove for coffee or lunch. You can take the train to Kuranda and return by skytrain. There is a bus linking the two departure points. Make sure the market is on at Kuranda on the day you go - lots more to see on market days.
If you want to explore a bit further south, go to Paronella Park (really interesting place), Josephine Falls (good swimming hole) and The Boulders (nice picnic spot and swimming hole).
Hope this helps.

marg is offline  
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May 14th, 2003, 09:15 PM
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Miranda, I'm so jealous. Want to go back, but just got home a week ago, silly me. When you are at the airport in Cairnes, you can take a flight over to Lizard Island for the day. Look up www.daintreeair.com.au and check it out. Greg, our guide for our trip, was wonderful. Can't say enough about him and him professionalism. The highlight of our vacation, and I mean that. A guide that has been on that part of the reef hundreds of times, what more do you need to see it all. Have fun and tell me all about it. Deb
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May 18th, 2003, 05:31 AM
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In Ayers Rock take the Discovery Ecotours to the Olgas & Ayers Rock. It's a small group and the guides were very informative about the native history.

In Port Douglas we took BTS tours to the Daintree & Cape Tribulation. That was well worth the money because the guide told you so much about the land/local way of life on the ride up to the Daintree etc. Wonderful tour, ask for George the tour guide!

Have Fun!
alliegator is offline  
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May 19th, 2003, 05:07 PM
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Miranda,
I conduct tours throughout Queensland and beyond,that includes Daintree,Cape Trib.Cooktown etc.See our website at <www4.tpg.com.au/users/ausavsup> click on Goin' Bush Tours.
Regards, Lyle
email: [email protected]
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