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kerikeri Jun 19th, 2004 07:24 PM

queensland toss-up which do you think??
hi everybody!
the timeframe: july
the question: fly to airlie beach? or
drive to townsville?
see magnetic island? or
hinchbrook? or blow the budget on some whitsunday resort, and if so, which one?

the obstacle: tacking on two days after a work trip to port douglas. have already "done" the cape trib/daintree drive and also mila-mila (sp? sorry!) drives, gorgeous.
the desire: not to scr*w it up!
the question: do you think any car companies will allow a one way rental to townsville, or is it a better idea to just aim for, say, mission beach and use the time to enjoy that?
the start place: port douglas on a saturday. the return time any airport that can eventually get to sydney midday monday.
which would you say is the "best" of those options, and please do suggest another one that i may have missed.
wanting to keep costs down, but not if it's really something spectacular. will already have been to sydney and darwin earlier in the trip for the "city" and "nature" experiences. here seeking a beachy town.
my favorite places: manly, manly and, oh, manly.

kerikeri Jun 19th, 2004 08:25 PM

sorry, still me.

i wanted to add that i have now read a little about dunk island - the part about the snorkeling being not great.

should have mention that i would really love a place where there was some nice snorkeling, if possible.

i have also since read about the one way rental option.

are there other islands you'd suggest? (i prefer the ones that are easy to get to).

would heron be out of the question weather wise at this time of year?

thanks. and by the way, am i crazy or do those p&o prices seem really really high?

KayF Jun 19th, 2004 11:17 PM

Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays are heaps better than Townsville and Magnetic Island - have been to Magnetic once and wouldn't bother again, we found Townsville very dull. Airlie has lots of backpackers and other tourists, lots of cafes, the lagoon to swim in plus all the islands to see. If you flew to Proserpine you can catch a bus/taxi to Airlie or Shute Harbour and stay on an island or do daytrips to the islands. We stayed on South Molle and liked it but didn't snorkel.

pat_woolford Jun 20th, 2004 12:43 AM

KERIKERI - Dunk Island is not on the Great Barrier Reef - that is why the snorkelling isn't so great, however the reef is easily accessible beyond Dunk. Mission Beach is close by and its a lovely place.

July is winter as you know and it will become colder or cooler the farther you head south. My guests who left this morning had come straight from Sweden - they were cold even in Cairns except for a few hours in the middle of the day.

Magnetic Island is virtually a suburb of Townsville and has some lovely beaches, hiking, koalas in wild, rock wallabies on beach but it isn't on the reef. The nearest resort island to Townsville is Orpheus and it's nearly as expensive as Lizard or Bedarra.

Hinchinbrook is by far the best for nature lovers, but again, its not on GBR, it has wonderful beaches and very little tourist development.

kerikeri Jun 20th, 2004 10:41 AM

ok. thanks heaps!

may i have a follow up, then? thanks.

temperature wise: the higher the better.

what is the range for airlie at that time? is it even worth it, or shall i just stay put at palm cove for sun and sand? (i'm getting lazier and lazier as the date approaches!)

am i nuts to think i'll be swimming in pd?

thanks very much pat and kay for clarifying the very confusing array of beach choices on the coast.

pat_woolford Jun 20th, 2004 04:55 PM

hi kerikeri - today's weather forecast for Airlie (I've taken nearby Mackay as the closest point with a Bureau forecast) is 10C-20C - Cairns (which would include Port Douglas and Palm Cove) is 14C-25C and there's a strong wind warning for small craft from 20-30knots along the entire east coast of Queensland. Temps for both areas are a little under average for this time of year - July is usually a bit cooler than June. So, if I were you I'd stay as far north as possible, unless you're used to warm waters, swimming will be fine in either PD or PC (no box jelly fish in July) - find a protected area if it's windy.

kerikeri Jun 20th, 2004 06:37 PM

thank so much...greatly appreciate it.

tropo Jun 22nd, 2004 11:42 AM

Kerikeri, everyone has given excellent advice. I live in Hervey Bay, (near Fraser Island) and we are experiencing unusual cool weather at the moment. However, we are getting some nice days,some days around (air temps 23-24 degrees. I am still swimming (water temp around 21 degrees), but the locals will only swim when the water temp is around 26 degrees.
Dunk Island is very close to the mainland, and the water around the island is influenced by water runoff from coastal rivers after heavy rain. Personally, I would stick to the Cairns region at this time of the year. Depending on your budget, there is always Green Island or Fitzroy Island(Green Island being a coral cay). Fitzroy Island is a continental island, with fringing reefs. If you could go north in October/November, I would have suggested Heron Island (coral cay)for 5 days, then over to Wilson Island for 2 days...Wilson is also a coral cay, and Heron Island management has tent type accommodation, spread out to ensure privacy, and also a chef to cook for you. Otherwise, to really rough it up, why not make your way to Bundaberg, catch the boat out to Lady Musgrave Island (another coral cay...true island experience), take camping gear/food/water (camping gear can be hired) and camp on the island, of course, the boat will pick you up when your ready.

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