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Suggestions: campervan from Cairns to Cape Tribulation with kids

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Feb 14th, 2012, 10:54 AM
  #1
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Join Date: May 2007
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Suggestions: campervan from Cairns to Cape Tribulation with kids

Miyo
Posts: 1
First: 2/9/2012
Last: 2/9/2012
My family is considering a week in a campervan (not a huge motorhome, but a big van) with the following itinerary. Please give me any feedback. Specifically, are there places we should stop and check out? Where should I reserve camp sites for our campervan? We'll have a 2 and 4 year old in tow, so trains and animals are a plus. Is it crazy to drive a campervan to Cape Tribulation, is the road too windy or sketchy?
July 3 arrive in Cairns and stay in a hotel
July 4 drive to Cape Tribulation camp at Noah Beach (or Cape Tribulation campground, recommendations?)
July 5 spend day at Cape Trib (do what, hike?, beach?)
July 6 Drive to Port Douglas visit Mossman Gorge on the way, (recommendations on where to campervan near Port Douglas?)
July 7 Agincourt reef trip from Port Douglas (perhaps camp at Palm Cove)
July 8 return to Cairns and spend the week at a hotel for conference on corals

How does it sound? Suggestions?
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Feb 14th, 2012, 08:33 PM
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Miyo,
You do not say when you are coming and why you think a campervan is your best option. There are a number of hikes between the Daintree river and Cape Tribulation http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/parks/dai...ion/index.html which you can do with young children. Beach activities are related to the season. Until there is plenty of rain it is unsafe to go in the water. There are creeks where one can swim but take local advice and always take notice of the signs about crocodiles.

Have you considered staying in a place like http://www.crocodyluscapetrib.com/ ?

There is the Habitat in Port Douglas http://www.wildlifehabitat.com.au/ and http://www.daintreewild.com.au/ not only has animals but accommodation as well.

However if you really want to see the endemic wildlife your should visit the Atherton Tablelands. www.yungaburra.com
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Feb 15th, 2012, 09:26 AM
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We're visiting in early July. Thanks for the advice on hikes. I'm not sure that campervan would be the best option, but for some reason that's how I always imagined traveling in Oz. (Albeit, before kids I also imagined that the van would have surfboards on top.) We'll be in an apartment/hotel for a week afterwards so I thought it might also mix things up. But I'll check out your links.

Other thoughts out there? Has anyone done this by campervan and would recommend or not?
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Feb 15th, 2012, 04:33 PM
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I'd be a bit cautious about taking a big motorhome into Mossman Gorge. The road is fairly narrow and there are usually cars parked along one side. Check with some one locally before you do it.
Another alternative to a motorhome would be to stay in cabins in caravan parks. There are usually facilities for children (pools, play equipment, etc) plus the possibility of other children to play with.
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Feb 26th, 2012, 04:11 PM
  #5
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Most people seem concerned that I'm planning to rent a campervan, so I'll take that into consideration. Any thoughts on the itinerary?
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Feb 26th, 2012, 04:57 PM
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The itinerary looks good.

The issue with a campervan over cabins is space to carry things and not totally repack, over space to live in but having to repack with each move.

During the conference what will the other adult and kids be up to?
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Feb 27th, 2012, 06:58 AM
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I never been to the places you are proposing so can't comment on your itinerary or specific locations. However, I have travelled by "caravan" ( a small rented motorhome) in WA. There were five us us with our grandson being the youngest at 18 months. We had a fabulous time, with only one very bad afternoon that I recall when we drove too long and he had the screaming meamies. That could also happen in a car, of course, on any long road trip. We were intrigued by the huge variety of conveyances at the caravan parks , as well as the number of families who were taking a year to circle Australia, 'home' schooling their children as they went. That being said, the cabins in parks did look quite nice.

You don't mention where you are from. Are you accustomed to driving on the left? If not I suggest you rent the type of vehicle you will be most comfortable driving. I think the trip will be great, no matter what you decide.
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Feb 27th, 2012, 11:07 AM
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Good question about what the kids will do while I'm at the conference. I'd love suggestions. I've heard there's a train nearby, but are there things in Cairns to keep kiddos and their dad entertained without having a car?

No, we're not accustomed to driving on the left, but we picked a smaller campervan--Blitz Voyager (more like a VW bus than a motor home). The whole trip is about 2.5 hours, so if we do it at nap-time we can avoid some of the "are we there yet" plus it sounds like there are beaches along the way that we could visit.
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Feb 29th, 2012, 02:05 AM
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Palm Cove is a really pretty seaside village so well worth visiting even if only for a coffee and a walk. There is a small caravan park right on the beach - fairly basic if I remember rightly.

I think your visit will be during school holidays so it may be worth thinking about booking ahead. This website is very helpful in giving information

www. home.vicnet.net.au/~badger04/

It's not a commercial site but contributions are made by people who have stayed at the camping grounds listed. If you have trouble connecting, try www.caravanersforum.com and use the link.

The road from Cairns to Cape Trib is two lane and reasonably good. You need to take the ferry across the Daintree River but's that easy. Once you are over the river, watch out for serious road humps - they really mean 'slow down'.
There is a supermarket at Mossman and also Port Douglas, plus a shopping mall at Smithfield just north of Cairns, so you can stock up before taking the ferry.
Hope you have a great time.
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