Which tour should I choose?

Oct 28th, 2004, 10:41 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 9
Which tour should I choose?

I've booked the Sea Temple Resort and Spa in Palm Cove as our honeymoon hotel for mid-April and I'm looking for a day tour to Cape Tribulation, Daintree River, etc.

I'm considering the following:
1) Tropical Tours Day Tour A
2) Trek North Cape Tribulation Day Tour
3) Heritage and Interpretive Day Tour (Cape Trib and Daintree)

I want a tour that will preferably pick us up at our resort (do they do that?) and that is small in size (# of people) but shows me everything I should see.

Any recommendations or advice is welcome. Thank you!
cpprpenny is offline  
Oct 28th, 2004, 11:18 AM
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Although we aren't going until November, we have booked a trip with Pete from Heritage to take us to the Daintree Rainforest and Cape Trib. He has been so helpful emailing me with great suggestions and ideas to accommodate our interests. Pete has gotten back to me immediately every time I emailed him with a question. We have booked him exclusively for the entire day and it actually comes out pretty reasonable due to the fact 4 of us are going and he is going to pick us up at our hotel in Cairns. Plus, Pete seems to have a great sense of humor! I can let you know how it all works after our trip.
Jayneann is offline  
Oct 28th, 2004, 11:57 AM
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Hello Cpprpenny,

All 3 of these companies have received good reviews here at Fodors. I don't believe you would go wrong in choosing any of them.

I went with Trek North, and was very satisfied. However, Trek North takes a few more passengers (10 or 12 -- I can't remember exactly). I understand Tony's Tropical Tours and Heritage each take only 6 passengers.

I think the passenger to guide ratio may make Trek North cheaper. If budget is a concern, you could consider going with them, and I feel you would still get an excellent tour. If you can afford to pay for an even smaller group, there may be some merit in doing that.

It is standard for these tours to pick up at lodgings in Cairns, Palm Cove and Port Douglas. Trek North certainly picked us up at our hotel, and I'm sure the other 2 would do the same.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Oct 28th, 2004, 12:04 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Cpprpenny, not to hijack this thread or anything, but ......

If you're asking about rainforest tours, you undoubtedly are researching outings to the GBR as well. If you haven't already found the two companies that most consistently are recommended here at Fodors, let me save you some time and introduce you to them. They are Ocean Spirit and Wavelength. Do a word search on either of them, and you will find numerous threads, such as this one:


Okay, back to the rainforest.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Oct 28th, 2004, 12:58 PM
Original Poster
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Judy, I am indeed currently researching the GBR tours - so thanks for the info! I will check them out!
cpprpenny is offline  
Oct 29th, 2004, 05:08 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Hi cpprpenny, We recently conducted two different tours to the reef off of queensland.

Unfortunately we had just three days so could not make it on an actual rainforest tour as well as two days on the reef, however we took the daintree air tour up to Lizard for the day which passed over the rainforest at a very low altitude on the way home.

On thev way back in to Cairns we were really low over the rainforest and some of the Islands which was amazing.

The reef we were on for the day at Lizard was the best any of us had ever seen.

As I said we also went out on a boat which was very nice, but the day with daintree air was one of the best things we ever did.

If you want the best , you must do daintree air services tour up to Lizard.

Tell Greg you were told about him by the Mayers family. By the way we found them from a post in here which was posted about four years ago.

While in Cairns we stayed at the outrigger hotel on the Esplanade which was just great. Great views and close to the town central area.

Enjoy !!!!!!
mrsmayers is offline  
Oct 29th, 2004, 07:59 AM
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Hi Cpprpenny,

Here's another recommendation for Daintree Air's trip to Lizard Island! We went with Greg this past September and it was "THE" highlight of a great trip. I also booked based on a suggestion here and couldn't have been more pleased. It combines the snorkeling of a reef boat trip with the views of a reef viewing air trip. Pricey, but well worth it!!

dkw is offline  
Nov 1st, 2004, 04:54 PM
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hi copperpenny - Trek North definitely picks up at your Palm Cove accommodation and runs to Cape Trib daily, Pete Baxendell picks up in Cairns so he must pick up in Palm Cove but doesn't run that trip every day, and would need more info on name to tell you about Tropical Tours - many tours in tropical Queensland use the word "tropical" in their description - Tropical Horizons is one of them which also picks up at Palm Cove.
pat_woolford is offline  
Nov 6th, 2004, 05:03 PM
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I just took the Trek North Cape Tribulation & Daintree tour and was very satisfied. I was picked up at my b&b, there were 7 adults and 1 child. The guide was very knowledgable and pleasant. We had a lovely lunch at a private residence (outside). I had sea bass that was to die for and lots of fresh fruit and home made salads. The tour lasted more than 12 hours and I felt I really got my money's worth. I would definitely recommend Trek North. It cost $139 AU
ozziebound is offline  
Nov 7th, 2004, 05:28 PM
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We just returned from a Trek North tour that was TERRIBLE! The guide was unfriendly, rude, and "burnt out" and the bus was an old bouncy 4-wheel drive 18 passenger bus that gave us all headaches from the jostling! While at the rainforest, I noticed a beautiful van with comfy seats that belonged to "Wait-a-While" tours -- we were wishing we had booked with them. I think you should check them out.
Cee is offline  
Nov 7th, 2004, 06:51 PM
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Cee that's terrible - do you remember the name of the guide or the date? I'll be sure to let the owner know about the guide. He'd want to. Generally I hear nothing but praise about Trek North's guides and I've been on that trip with Craig who was great. Wait a While is a different type of trip in that it specialises in nocturnal wildlife spotting - the one you saw would either be the one which leaves PD at 1.30pm (lunch not included) and returns at 9.30pm or leaves PD at 3.00pm and returns at 11.00pm. And this is subject to them getting enough passengers to warrant them offering the trip . They'd be the first to tell anyone that their most popular trip is not Daintree/Cape Trib for wildlife - its their Atherton Tableland trip which runs daily. Am surprised about Trek North's 18 seater 4WD - the ones I see nearly every day have capacity for 13 - two rows of 5 double seats and 3 seater at back.
pat_woolford is offline  
Nov 8th, 2004, 08:45 AM
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The guide's name was Andrew. We contacted the company as soon as we returned, and I am sending an Email to the owner. The bus was older, but I was incorrect -- it DID have 13 passengers plus the driver. Four of my family members sat in the long seat in the rear, which is in back of the rear wheels. They were literally flying up and down the whole trip!

As for the trip itself, we felt way too much time was spent at the "lunch in the private setting" and the "refreshments at Cape Tribulation beach". It was a long day, and we seemed to spend quite a bit of time waiting to move on to the next spot. We spent over $600 for five family members, and did not feel it was worth it. We could have driven ourselves and taken in all the same sights.

I just read the previous reply -- they loved Trek North. Maybe we just got a guide on an off day. I don't know if it is customary to tip the guide, but I noticed NO one tipped our guide!!

P.S. We loved everything else we saw and did in Australia -- what a great, friendly country!
Cee is offline  
Nov 8th, 2004, 12:01 PM
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Cee, I know that US tour guides can be less than subtle in touting for tips, and I may stand corrected by someone closer to the action (like Pat), but I doubt very much that it's customary to tip tour guides in Australia. As a rule, staff in the Australian travel and hospitality industries are paid a living wage and so don't have to rely on tips to pay the rent (just as well). It's not uncommon to tip up to 10% for exceptional service, but you won't be turned into a pariah if you don't.

I go on about this a bit, but I'd hate to see the custom introduced to Australia to the point where employers felt free to escape their obligations to pay their people properly.

I understand that Americans may feel uncomfortable and "cheap" in not tipping, but it's really not necessary and, in my experience, not expected in Australia and New Zealand, nor for that matter in many other countries.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Nov 8th, 2004, 06:02 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Hi Neil, no,tour guides certainly don't expect to be tipped here either. I remember an occasion where an American mother and daughter were so pleased with a Trek North trip that they did attempt to tip the young driver/guide (not the aforementioned Andrew) and this guide very politely refused to accept it. So they then offered to take him out for dinner, this he did accept, but I think that had something to do with the extremely attractive 20-something daughter.
pat_woolford is offline  

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