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Private Tour Guides for Brisbane, Cairns, and Sydney?

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Mar 30th, 2012, 05:21 AM
  #1
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Private Tour Guides for Brisbane, Cairns, and Sydney?

My spouse and I are planning a trip to Australia in late August 2012. We plan to spend 14 days split between Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns. Because we will fly between cities and we don’t plan to rent car, we aren’t sure how we’ll travel around for sightseeing. We’re most concerned with getting around in Brisbane and Cairns, and less concerned with getting around in Sydney.

We generally avoid group tours, preferring to hire a private tour guide instead. However, we haven’t been able to find many (if any!) names of private tour guides and/or drivers in Brisbane or Cairns. We can probably make do with just a private driver, since we are from the US and won’t have a language barrier. Does anyone have recommendations? Or alternatively, how difficult is it to reach some better-know sights via public transportation? We are still in the preliminary planning stages, but our wish list of sights follows.

• Brisbane Area Wish List: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo, Fraser Island for whale watching
• Cairns Area Wish List: Kuranda scenic railway, Cape Tribulation, Great Barrier Reef helicopter, Quicksilver cruise or Subsea Explorer, Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park
• Sydney Wish List: Opera House, Harbour cruise, Harbour Bridge Climb, Taronga Zoo, Bondi Beach Coast Walk, Blue Mountains (Katoomba Skyway and train), Hunter Valley wineries, Jervis Bay for whale watching
fluffnfold is offline  
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Mar 30th, 2012, 06:13 PM
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For the Blue Mountains and surrounds a wonderful guide is Carol Probets if you are interested in natural history at all. She is also a lovely person. She would pick you up in Sydney. [email protected]

You might try Clayton Smith [email protected] for Cairns but all the things you mention are easily accessible via their courtesy buses. If you have time it and have an interest in nature I highly recommend the Atherton Tablelands. Lovely scenery and at that time of year it is great for nocturnal animal spotting too. If Clayton does not work out get back to me on this forum or try Small World Journeys.
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Mar 31st, 2012, 12:52 AM
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For wildlife tours outside Cairns:
http://www.alanswildlifetours.com.au/
margo_oz is offline  
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Mar 31st, 2012, 04:54 AM
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second that, margo!
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Mar 31st, 2012, 05:04 AM
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forgot to mention fluffnfold, there is absolutely no way you'd need a private guide for Kuranda Scenic Railway or Tjapukai, or indeed any reef trip. However, if you attend Reef Teach in Cairns, you may find you'll have a better appreciation of what you will see on reef - www.reefteach.com.au
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Mar 31st, 2012, 04:12 PM
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Thanks ladies. Shall we form a mutual admiration society?
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Apr 17th, 2012, 05:22 PM
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Hi there please let me know if you need any further assistance in Cairns like eg trip to Tablelands or Port Douglas Mossam Gorge. Cape Tribulation in one day is going to be a long trip.
tnx Bill
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Apr 18th, 2012, 08:13 PM
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Jervis Bay is not an easy day trip from Sydney, it's roughly 2-2.5 hours south. Also for whale watching, I'm wondering if August is a bit too early, usually from September there are whale watching boats leaving from Sydney, if this activity is a priority.

Lone Pine is accessible by ferry from the centre of Brisbane, so there's no need for a guide for that activity.
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Apr 22nd, 2012, 04:29 AM
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I am just back from Cairns. Although public transport was not easily available, it was easy to book day trips with a guide included where needed for most activities. For the Kuranda skyrail, you basically just need transport to the skyrail, not a tour. Cape Tribulation has many day trip tours. A car would be easy to rent as well and there are many boating companies to take you to the reef.
In Sydney you could be fine with public transport.
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