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Cairns-Brisbane or other way around in October/November?

Frankfurt, Germany
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Cairns-Brisbane or other way around in October/November?

Hi, my partner and I plan to travel 3.5 weeks between Cairns and Brisband from 27 October (last long vacation as a couple cause we're expecting a baby in April :)

Among other things, we want to go snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef and do one whale-watching trip somewhere. Our question is whether we should go from North to South (maybe less stingers in late October?) or from South to North (cause whale-watching at Hervey Bay apparently ends end-October?).

What's your experience?

Do 2-3 weeks (late Oct vs. mid-November) make a big difference with regard to stingers in the GBR?

Are there other good whale-watching spots in North Queensland if Hervey Bay doesnt offer tours anymore in November?

Many thanks!!!!!!

Best,

Julia

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Cairns
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Cairns Region, Australia
Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef
Queensland, Australia
Hervey Bay
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Fraser Coast, Australia
Queensland
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8 replies to this topic
Brisbane, Australia
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for Brisbane, Queensland
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1. Re: Cairns-Brisbane or other way around in October/November?

Congrats on the baby.

Definitely do North to South - you have less chance of bad weather up north if you start early. Stinger season starts in October up north so you can't swim there anyway. The stingers do move further south as it gets warmer, but it is marginal - just take the advice of locals re is swimming safe.

According to this website, some places are ok until December but I'm not sure I'd be taking the risk.

http://www.qldbeaches.com/stingers.html

You can try Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast, but the whales are pretty much gone by November.

cheers.

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Mooloolaba
Mooloolaba
Sunshine Coast, Australia
Sunshine Coast
Sunshine Coast
Queensland, Australia
Darwin, Australia
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2. Re: Cairns-Brisbane or other way around in October/November?

Yes north - south is the way to go.

Frankfurt, Germany
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3. Re: Cairns-Brisbane or other way around in October/November?

Thank you!! Yes, weather has probably more influence on the whole vacation than one whale watching excursion ;-) so we'll probably start in Cairns. But I still dont want to give up the idea of whale-watching....are there no options around Cairns? Maybe there we'd have better chances than at Hervey Bay/Sunshine Coast mid-November?

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Cairns
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Cairns Region, Australia
Hervey Bay
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Fraser Coast, Australia
Sunshine Coast
Sunshine Coast
Queensland, Australia
Brisbane, Australia
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for Brisbane, Queensland
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4. Re: Cairns-Brisbane or other way around in October/November?

The whales live in the southern ocean in our summer and head north to warmer waters in our winter. By November, they are mostly back down south. You might spot a straggler off Brisbane, but the Hervey Bay season finishes on 31 October and Brisbane Whale Watching (from Redcliffe) close on 5 November which means the chances of seeing one after that are slim indeed.

Are you arriving on an international flight in to Brisbane? Perhaps stay a couple of nights in Bris, do your whale watching and then foy to Cairns to make your way down.

Cheers

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Brisbane
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Brisbane Region, Australia
Hervey Bay
Hervey Bay
Fraser Coast, Australia
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Whale Beach, Australia
Redcliffe
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Moreton Bay Region, Australia
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Cairns Region, Australia
Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Cairns-Brisbane or other way around in October/November?

As mentioned you are best to head North to South for better weather conditions, as SB stated u could consider doing a few days prior to Cairns at Hervey Bay for whales but unfortunately u are arriving too late as most are heading down south at the moment... this month is actually the best time to see them..

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Cairns
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Cairns Region, Australia
Hervey Bay
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Fraser Coast, Australia
Frankfurt, Germany
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6. Re: Cairns-Brisbane or other way around in October/November?

Thank you so much! We decided to fly to Gold Coast and indeed stay 2-3 nights there to do whale-watching (any experience with good tour companies?). Then fly to Cairns and make our way down probably until Whitsundays or Mackay and fly back home from there (via Singapore).

Would you recommend to do the trip Cairns-Whitsundays/Mackay by a rental car or a camper/mobile home? We like the rather quiet and pittoresque areas, not the larger towns, and if we go by rental car we would probably try to rent a cabin on a campground where possible. As for campers, I am a bit worried that it's not so easy to find spots where we can stay, as "camping forbidden" signs seem to be rather common? Plus they seem to be rather expensive (guess we're a bit late for that).

Best,

Julia

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Gold Coast
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Cairns Region, Australia
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Queensland, Australia
Brisbane, Australia
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7. Re: Cairns-Brisbane or other way around in October/November?

There is ZERO free camping on the coast - you need to stay in caravan parks/camp grounds.

Read the reviews on campers in this country - they are not good.

Also, when you take in to account the increased petrol cost, higher rental fees, slower travel times etc, caravan park cabins and a small sedan are a fab option.

Concentrating on that part of the world is a good idea - at Mackay, have a look at driving inland to Eungella NP for a night too - you should be lucky enough to see Platypus in the wild.

You will need to fly back to Brisbane to get to Singapore, but that is the tyranny of Australia - huge country, small population.

cheers.

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Mackay
Mackay
Queensland, Australia
Brisbane
Brisbane
Brisbane Region, Australia
Australia
Australia
South Pacific
Frankfurt, Germany
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8. Re: Cairns-Brisbane or other way around in October/November?

Thank you SB your advice is really helpful!!! :-)

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