Queensland Trip Planning Help Please

Old Jan 31st, 2010, 05:15 PM
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Queensland Trip Planning Help Please

After the great help from the forum when planning a week away in Hong Kong with my daughter last August (which was fantastic), I am looking for help in finalising my next holiday. My o/h and I have booked our flights to Oz and concentrating on Queensland and Darwin. This is our plan for Queensland, will it work or is there better alternatives? Help please. (We arrive in Brisbane on 26th July and leave Cairns for Darwin on 23rd August):

Night 1 and 2 - arrive from UK and pick up hire car at airport, stay with family in Brisbane and hoping to do a day trip to Australia Zoo.
Night 3 - Hervey Bay (for morning whale watching before travelling to Fraser Island)
Night 4 and 5 - Kingfisher Bay Resort plus 4 wheel drive tour
Night 6 and 7 - Town of 1770 - stopping for Bundies tour on way, and including full day trip to Lady Musgrave Island
Night 8 - Rockhampton (visit Mt Morgan on way and Capricorn Caves on way out)
Night 9 - Mackay, to visit the Eungella NP for the platypus
Night 10 - Airlie Beach (return hire car)
Nights 11 - 17 - Ferry to Hamilton Island and pick up yacht, yachting in Whitsundays (this is fixed as the yacht is already arranged). Pick up another hire car.
Night 18 - Townsville (1/2 day visit and coach trip of Magnetic Island the next morning)
Night 19 and 20 - Mission Beach (either day trip to Dunk Island or outer reef trip with Calypso Dives for snorkelling)
Night 21 - Undarra for lava tubes (stop in rail carriage rooms), via MaMu walkway on the way there and back via the Milla Milla falls and waterfalls route on way back
Night 22 and 23 - Port Douglas (Kuranda Train and Skyrail trip and Atherton Tablelands)
Night 24 - Cape Tribulation (with Adventure Norh Tours - Cape Tribulation and Cooktown Wanderer)
Night 25 - Cooktown (with Rock Art tour next day)
Night 26 , 27 and 28 - Port Douglas (Wavelength Outer Reef Tour on one of the days, Port Douglas Market, and drive around beaches and Cairns)
Day 29 - fly to Darwin (return car to Cairns airport)

Are we trying to pack in too much? Are the Undarra Lava tubes worth a visit or would be we better staying an extra night at Mission Beach? Should we try to do a Low Isles trip from Port Douglas? Has anybody tried the 2 night Cape Tibulation and Cooktown Wanderer with Adventure North - would you recommend it? Should we stop in Cairns the last night as we have a 12.00 noon flight to Darwin? Can you let us know of any tours of the Eungella NP?

Any tips and suggestions welcome.

We have not started to plan the Darwin part of the trip yet, or the Singapore stopover on the way home!
Kasyorks is offline  
Old Feb 1st, 2010, 04:53 PM
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I think your itinerary has been well planned, Undarra really worth a visit especially the Lava Tubes Tour which I have done many times. I live in Cairns and go there at least once a year for a Country Music Festival. Adventure North is a small tour company and is also very good. The Rock Art Tour is a Must Do with Willie Gordon and is well known in our region. Wavelength is great for snorkellers. Enjoy your holiday. In Darwin Litchfield National Park is also worth seeing, my sister lives there and I visit all the time
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Old Feb 1st, 2010, 09:44 PM
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Sorry, I've seen far crazier plans, but your itinerary seems quite rushed to me. Without going into details, I strongly suggest looking up driving distances/times for the various sectors, allowing additional time cushion for occassional stops. For example Mission Beach to Port Douglas with a single overnight at Undara, while not impossible, hardly allows you much time at all to enjoy Undara and the places you'd like to see en route. Also Cooktown: unless you rent a 4WD to take the Bloomfield Track, the trip from Cape Trib to Cooktown will mean backtracking to Port Douglas and taking the inland road - not a quick trip.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2010, 07:38 PM
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Agree that Undara shouldn't be missed, assume you're aware that you can't just wander around the tubes without one of their Gulf Savannah guides, the shortest tour is 2 hours, and they run at appointed times.

Not quite sure about your timing, especially days 21-23. If you take the very scenic Palmerston Hwy out of Innisfail you'll be very close to Paronella Park, also considered a "must do" and you'd need to allow 2-3hours - www.paronellapark.com.au The MaMu boardwalk nearby needs about 90mins. Then you have the waterfall circuit which can take as long as you want it to, lots of scenic walking trails. Then you have the long drive to Undara. Maybe you could spend one night at the many B&B's in the area around Millaa Millaa, Malanda, Yungaburra before heading out to Undara the next morning. www.bnbnq.com.au under the heading "Tablelands and Outback".

Also wondering why you're spending nights 22 and 23 at Port Douglas, when you intend to take Kuranda Train/Skyrail and return again to Atherton Tablelands. This will add about another hour's drive each way to Kuranda Train/Skyrail, both stations for these are just a little north of Cairns city and convenient to its northern beaches, such as Palm Cove and Trinity Beach, both well set up for accommodation. Adventure North will pick up in these areas as well as Port Douglas, do you intend keeping your rental car whilst on the Adventure North trip to Cooktown?

Yes, you'll have time to drive from Port Douglas on your last day for noon flight to Darwin.
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Old Feb 7th, 2010, 03:49 PM
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Hi many thanks for you comments, we have now changed the back end of the trip in FNQ to try and take account of your comments (more logical travelling, booking a 4WD we can take on the Bloomfield Track, and spending a bit more time at most places).

Instead of driving from Airlie Beach via Magnetic Island and Mission Beach we have booked the morning flight direct from Hamilton Island to Cairns. We have also organised a group W 4WD from Budget (and confirmed that we can take it on the Bloomfield Track). The FNQ part of our trip is now:

Night 18 - Cooktown (pick up c4WD at 10.30 and take inland road)
Night 19 - Cookton
Night 20 - Cape Tribulation (via Bloomfield Track, after taking on board the driving advice of the Cooktown Tourist Office) (we are returning the 4WD and downsizing to a smaller car on return from Cape Trib, as much cheaper)
Night 21 - 23 Port Douglas
Night 24 - 25 Mission Beach
Night 26 - Undara
Night 27 - Yungaburra/Atherton
Night 28 - Palm Cove or Cairns (still deciding on this as we have a noon flight to Darwin)
Day 29 fly to Darwin.

On UK tv early evening tonight was a fantastic programme of a motorcyclist who travelled from Sydney to Cape York and beyond, we saw him travelling the Bloomfield Track and we cannot wait. We have a 4WD here in the UK (and do take it off road) so have some experience of what we are letting ourselves in for. We decided not to do the Cooktown tour with Adventure North (although they look excellent), as we have given a bit more time to going there as it links in with home, as James Cook was born and grew up near where we live.

Now we just have to sort out accommodation and our Darwin and Singapore itinerary!

Any suggestions for accommodation - we are in our 50's but still stay in YHA's, but also like motels and cabins at Big 4 (Top 10 in NZ) holiday parks.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 07:43 PM
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Consider doing Australia Zoo on the way to Hervey Bay rather than a separate day trip.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 08:10 PM
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If you like the outdoors, walking, wildlife and exploring, I'd highly recommend 2 nights at Undara. That way, you'll have time to do the excellent full day lava tube tour (assuming they still do those) as well as enjoy some of the walks and wildlife. When we went there, we had intended on staying just one night but loved it so much, we extended our stay for a second night. Would love to go back - last time was 1994.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 08:12 PM
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I think your plan looks great, and agree with the others ... go to Australia Zoo on your way to Hervey Bay. You're just going back over your tracks to go up there, back to Brisbane & then head off North again. There are lots of good places to stay on & around the Sunshine Coast if you spend longer than you anticipate at Australia Zoo.

One of my favourite spots up that way is Boreen Point.

"c'n I come?, c'n I come? c'n I come, pretty pleeeezzzeee?"
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Old Feb 15th, 2010, 07:06 AM
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Kasyorks...you should to check out my trip report from our July 2008 visit to North Qld. Includes Cape Tribulation, Cooktown, Bloomfield Track and a link to photos (scroll way down)

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