Visit to Cairns

Aug 31st, 2004, 10:48 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 151

There would be marine stingers at Green Island in December I would think. The snorkelling there is not too bad, I saw a ton of fish mainly under the jetty so was fun. Not like the reef though,no coral.

Still there is no way anyone would get me to swim there in December, NO WAY!


I would be real angry if there was any suggestion by the tour company that water sports would be part of the activity for the half day. If they have I would ask in a very very nice manner that they schedule another excursion in place of it.
Jane_47 is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 01:06 AM
  #22  
 
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loves to travel - Passions of Paradise is good value and caters mainly to younger, backpacker travellers. Very friendly crew and Upolo is a clean white sand cay with very easy snorkelling from the sand. On a sunny day the water around the cay is a brilliant turquoise/aqua. Another which takes less people (20 max) and is the same price is the yacht Ecstasea - I'm not sure if its running on Christmas Day and snorkelling is off the boat from Upolo Reef, not the sand cay.

Jane, Green Island is far enough from coast to considered quite safe from box jelly fish and many local families take their kids there in summer to avoid any possibility of their kids getting stung on mainland beaches. At least there's some shade from the trees. As you say, there's plenty of fish under the jetty, waiting for a feed from the boats, but not the colours and variety of fishes you'll see where coral and giant clams are alive and well. Even the Japanese who can afford the expensive resort there take the Great Adventures boat further out to Norman Reef where coral is healthy.
pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 01:47 AM
  #23  
 
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Pat

Just call me paranoid lol. But if they go to the outer reef on Ocean Spirit or Passions of Paradise I think they will have best of both worlds. Better reef and miles and miles and miles away from stingers

Jane_47 is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 06:36 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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loves_to_travel,

We're from Colorado; we live just north of the Air Force Academy.

I'm not entirely surprised that the Green Island excursion is more "touristy" than we'd prefer. I agree with you that it's been included due to the bulk price they acquired. I'm going to check out both Passions of Paradise and Ocean Spirit to see what they offer.

You seem to have more detailed information about the tour, such as times we arrive, etc. How did you get it?

(By the way, we're also going to do the Bridge Climb - can't travel around the world and miss that!)

Sandy
MountainGal is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 06:47 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I liked the Aboriginal park. Wish I'd gone to the night show as well now. It looks like it would have been fun.

Kuranda is touristy, but it's worth a short stay. Spend more time on the Skyrail, and take the little guided walk they have at one of the stops. The guide points out some things you probably wouldn't notice on your own.

Yes, it's probably missing a half day on the reef to do these things.

Pat Woolford who posts here can point you to great things to see and do in the Cairns area. She and her husband also run a great B&B in the area (Lilybank), but you don't have to stay there to get great advice from her here. I would definately stay there again on my next trip to Cairns.
Kimbis is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 09:51 AM
  #26  
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Sandy, You would not believe how much time I have put in to doing research. We have actually been planning this trip for 5 years, but really been doing a lot of research the last 6 months. I bought both of the Fodors books and have spent lots of hours on the internet. I feel like I have bugged the gal at Globus to death, but I have a list of all of our flights, what time we leave and what time we get to each place. We want to do as much as we can. We really don't expect to get there again. It's just too expensive. In others words, this is a once in a lifetime trip. As far as the reef trips go, my brother loves to scuba. I am going to do the introductory scuba this time. My husband will probably snorkel and I don't even know if my sister-in-law will get in the water. It might work out that me and my brother go to the reef for 2 days and my husband and sister-in-law do Cape Tribulation.
loves_to_travel is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 10:51 AM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi LTT,
One tip for the introductory scuba.
You will probably have to complete a medical form of some kind before being allowed to dive.
If you have ever had asthma think twice about declaring it, they may stop you from diving.
I disclosed childhood asthma, 30yrs ago and I wasn't allowed to dive, despite the introduction being in about only 10ft of water.I really should have kept my gob shut.
Live and learn..
Muck
Mucky is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 11:46 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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loves_to_travel, I hope you get to scuba - it sounds like so much fun. We're snorkelers, and can hardly wait to get out over the GBR. I'm sure that's how we'll spend the full "free" day there.

This is also a family "trip of a lifetime" for us. In 2 years our daughter heads off to college and then 2 more years after that, our son will go. We figured we could always "do" Europe, but that this would be an amazing active vacation they could tell THEIR children about.

I hope this turns out to be a wonderful trip for you and your family (and for us, too!).

Did you ever figure out what you were doing for Christmas Dinner (if you don't mind my asking?)

Sandy
MountainGal is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 07:49 PM
  #29  
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I have no idea about dinner that day. We were more concerned with having something to do. According to the internet and the Fodors books, almost everything is closed. I found out that Passions of Paradise will be running on Christmas, so we went ahead and booked that. I'm sure we will find something good to eat that day. I would rather have some good seafood rather than a traditional Christmas dinner. As for the scuba, I have never had any kind of breathing problems or major illnesses. Last year on a cruise I tried snuba, which is very similar. You just don't have the tanks on your back, they float on a raft on top of the water. You still use the same breathing apparatus. I loved it, but there wasn't a whole lot to see on that trip. I am really looking forward to this. Both of our kids are already in college. They have known that we were going to go on this trip for 5 years, but now they are giving us fits about it. This is our 25 anniversary trip, so they were not invited. They both got trips when they graduated from high school and will also get a trip when they finish college, so I don't feel too bad for them. Hah!
Anita
loves_to_travel is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 08:51 PM
  #30  
 
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Will you have no other chance for an aboriginal experience? We've heard it's not great at Tjapukai, but can't testify from first hand experience. We did go out to two island and to a pontoon 1.5 hrs. out, though, and we'd go snorkeling again in a heartbeat if we went back vs Tjapukai. Now, if you go to Uluru or Kakadu, we'd definitely recommend some particular aboriginal stuff, but how many times are you going to get to see the GBR?
SnRSeattle is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 09:29 PM
  #31  
 
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Hi loves to travel - instead of using up a half day going to daytime Tjakupai why not go to their night show with dinner included. The Tjakupai and Irukandji people actually own the land the park is on and their elders have overseen and approved the materials presented in the park. They have a substantial equity interest in this venture which has given so many Aboriginal people employment opportunities and a chance to regain pride in themselves. Its also a constant winner of national tourism awards.
pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 02:19 AM
  #32  
 
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<As for the scuba, I have never had any kind of breathing problems or major illnesses>

Correct answer !!

;-)

Muck
Mucky is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 05:46 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Regardless of what you do on your trip - DO NOT GO TO GREEN ISLAND (as every other poster has said). A few years ago I spent the worst Christmas Day ever there. The trip out was horrendous (as it can be that time of year - but it can also be fantastic) and the entire boat was sick. Before we even left Cairns, we were given an option of either snorkeling or visiting the crocodile enclosure thingie... Obviously due to the typhoon blowing, those of us who opted for snorkelling (which was most of the boat) were SOL and were not allowed into the crocodile enclosure because we didn't have the proper ticket. The captain/crew of the boat refused to leave until the day was up, so the 50 or so passengers huddled under 4 umbrellas near the only food stand on the island for day trippers. I think a coke was something like $5.00, and food was upwards of $20.00. After a couple of hours some hungry, wet & extremely unhappy customers marched back to the dock & threatened to take control of the boat if we weren't taken back to Cairns immediately. Obviously no one can control the weather, but if Mother Nature decides not to cooperate - then basically you are screwed on Green Island. Don't get me wrong, the GBR is not to be missed (I just returned from 1 week in Pt Douglas & visited the reef 2x)but my advice would be to get to Cairns, check out the weather forecast & even if it costs a bit more, go to a better part of the reef and RUN AWAY if anyone suggests Green Island.
mrsfletcher is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 06:36 AM
  #34  
 
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Sorry, I've given you the wrong name when I mentioned the Reef Rocket - its actually now called Thunderbolt 1- as oppossed to Thunderbolt which sank. Make of that what you will.
pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 09:36 AM
  #35  
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Pat, I think we pretty much decided to do the Tjapukia at night. If we don't go to Green Island that will free up an entire day to either go on another reef snorkel/dive outing or go to Cape Tribulation/Daintree. I am afraid that this will be our only time to visit something Aboriginal. We also go to Sydney and Melbourne, but I couldn't find anything there that sounded very interesting on that note. Hopefully we can do the Skyrail and Kuranda the first afternoon we are there and then decide about which route to take for the 24th. Thanks for all of your information. I have really enjoyed reading all of the information on the boards.
loves_to_travel is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 02:41 PM
  #36  
 
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If we are to do the Kuranda Park on our own..how can we do the skyrail there and the train back??...don't they depart from different places? We have a rental car but wondered how we do this? And how can we include a dinner show as well at the Tjakupai? Not sure of the logistics? Please help! Denise
deniseterry is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 04:17 PM
  #37  
 
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Hi Deniseterry, Yes, Kuranda Train and Skyrail depart from different places. Book your trip through Skyrail - any tour desk will do it for you - Skyrail has a shuttle to take you back to your car whether its at Freshwater Station for steam train or at Skyrail. Tip: they will charge per person for the shuttle - Freshwater and Skyrail bottom station are only about 7 driving mins from each other - book shuttle for only one person who can drive back to pick up the other. Tjakupai at Night can also be booked separately - there's a pick-up service or you can self-drive. Tjakupai is next to the bottom Skyrail station and the day trip can easily be combined with train and Skyrail on daytime trip.
pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 09:56 PM
  #38  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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We traveled to Cairns in early August. We took a "KRST" package starting with a shuttle to Freshwater Station, followed by a Kuranda Scenic Railway trip to Kuranda, 1 3/4 hours in Kuranda, followed by a Skyrail trip towards Cairns, lunch and performances at Tjapukai Cultural Center, and a shuttle back to Cairns. Traveling with two girls aged 11 and 14, we had not enough time in Kuranda -- our girls could not easily leave the Koala Sanctuary and Birdland, leaving no time for anything else in Kuranda. My advice would be to skip the train, drive early in the day to the Skyrail base, take Skyrail to Kuranda, enjoy 4 or 5 hours there, take the Skyrail back, stopping at Barron Falls and the Rainforest walks on the way. Combine dinner at Tjapukai Centre with the Tjapukai evening performance (which, in my eyes, was authentic and worthwhile). This would be a full and worthwhile day.
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