Stay in Cairns or Port Douglas or Palm Cove?

Oct 21st, 2010, 03:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 146
Stay in Cairns or Port Douglas or Palm Cove?

Would like your advice on whether to stay in Port Douglas or Cairns during our November visit. We plan at least one day trip to the Great Barrier Reef, a trip to Kuranda, and a trip to Daintree. We don't plan to rent a car since we will be taking day trips, so would like someplace convenient.

If we add more time to our northern Queensland visit, what else would you recommend we see in the PD or Cairns areas?

Our travel agent has recommended the Mercure Port Douglas Treetops in Port Douglas or the Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort in Cairns - any feedback you can share on those hotels?

What about staying in Palm Cove?

Thanks for your help.
B_and_B is offline  
Oct 21st, 2010, 05:57 PM
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Be aware that Treetops at Port Douglas is quite a way out of town restaurants, a considerable walk in any weather, let alone November and tours pick up at Tree Tops. There is a public bus service but if its timetable doesn't suit.........

Novotel in Palm Cove is set back from beachfront and majority of restaurants, but still a far shorter walk than from Treetops to PD.

Palm Cove is closer to Skyrail/Kuranda Scenic train than Port Douglas, Port Douglas is closer to Daintree. Transfers are available for both areas, costs are commensurate with distance travelled for this trip.

Daintree trips from Cairns pick up at Palm Cove at no extra charge.

If you let us know your interests other than mentioned above will get back to you - there's a myriad of nature based trips available in FNQ.
pat_woolford is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2010, 06:52 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 134
I can't comment on those hotels, but I did stay in Palm Cove at the Sebel Reef House. I was very happy that I decided to stay there rather than in Cairns. It is a small, sleepy town but just what I was looking for after a few weeks in the city in Melbourne and Sydney. I did not have a car and it was not a problem. I took the bus into Cairns (quite easy to figure out). I took trips to Karunda and the Great Barrier Reef from there as well. In both cases, I took day tours which picked me up at the hotel. I usually do not like day tours (I just go out on my own) but in both cases it worked out really well.
Lizzie_17 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2010, 12:22 PM
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Again, adding my tuppence-worth. I like Cairns as a place to stay, but then I like the laid-back lifestyle, and being able to stroll along the boardwalk day and night, as well as relaxing and people-watching while dining or having a coffee.

In our 2 visits to Cairns we did several tours to different parts of the Tablelands, the Undarra Lava Tubes, the Daintree, a trip to Green Island, and another trip snorkelling, all of which picked us up from and returned us to our hotel. We also hired a car and did lots of little trips ourselves.

We stayed in a tower room at the Hotel Cairns cnr of Florence and Abbott Streets which was a few minutes walk into town, and fine for us.
dotty is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2010, 07:08 PM
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Palm Cove isn't a town, its a beach suburb of Cairns, a regional city, as Palm Beach is a beach suburb of Sydney, although both of the former are, of course, are lot smaller.

Right now, on wotif, Sebel Reef House at Palm Cove is showing $149 a night, Novotel at Palm Cove is $169 and Treetops at Port Douglas an amazingly low $99. Given the location of the three resorts, at these low prices, I'd go for Sebel in a flash, its perfectly located on Palm Cove esplanade.

Only swimming at Palm Cove beach in November (Port Douglas as well) will be in netted areas, this is the beginning of marine stinger season. All resorts have their own swimming pools.

Dotty, glad to hear you enjoyed Cairns, did you go to Flecker Botanical Gardens a little north of the city, at Edge Hill? Over the last few years council has established the most magnificent tropical street scaping to the approach to the gardens, there's nothing like this at either Palm Cove or Port Douglas - and there's some lovely B&B accommodation at Edge Hill, in traditional, restored Queenslander homes.
pat_woolford is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2010, 11:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 424
Pat, I'm still hoping to get back to Cairns for another week or 10 days. Still need to see a platypus in the wild although AlanJG can hopefully fix that for me while we are on tour with him, go to the Mareeba Wetlands, revisit that great restaurant near your place, go to Michaelmas Cay for snorkelling - would love to do a tour around the island too as I take after my ornithological nephew but know that is not allowed. but that is also good too -, and just generally relax around the boardwalk / cafe area of Cairns. Night Market also beckons, especially one shop where I bought some fabulous colourful glass platters and coasters.

And yes, we did visit Fleckers, and it sounds as if a return visit there would be an excellent idea.

Now, when can I fit this in . . .
dotty is offline  
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