Brief outline - my sister and her family moved to Australia six years ago, we promptly started saving for the trip from Canada and now we're doing it! Leaving Toronto mid Sept returning mid Oct.
We plan to take our Advanced OW out of Port Douglas and have the course arranged. We'll be in the Cairns/Port Douglas area for about a week and we've been looking into a house, as most of the family plans to join us for at least a long weekend. We have a couple of options but we're pretty much stuck to make a decision.
We're 'doers' not 'beachers' ; though we like the beach well enough it's somewhere to leave stuff while we snorkel or shore dive. Sitting on the beach in the morning with a cup of coffee is about the extent of our need. Thus, absolute beachfront isn't essential. There are some nice places away from the beach at Kewarra and Clifton. But on the other hand, if we stay in Port Douglas we don't have the drive after diving (we're renting a car). And there are a couple of nice places there as well. The biggest problem is, they're all more or less in our price range! We can't even eliminate based on $$.
So - questions.
- What's the drive from Clifton or Kewarra to Port Douglas? (and is there a short form for Port Douglas? That's a lotta letters to keep typing! :) )
- What are the amenities in Port Douglas - how big a town is it? Renting a house, we plan to do a lot of barbecues, are there decent groceries around?
- Would you do a transfer to Port Douglas to hire the car, or just hire it at Cairns for the drive?
- For the divers reading, we have 3mm wetsuits - should we bring them, as we have a fairly generous luggage allowance?
Any advice would be very handy!