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OnThePoint

united kingdom
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253 posts
12 reviews
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OnThePoint

was it you who visted Palm Cove area recently with your son and his friend?

I thought you were going to post your review of GBR/snorkelling trips?

thanks

sorry if it wasn't you!

Sydney
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361 posts
40 reviews
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1. Re: OnThePoint

Ah yes.... oops. Had a great time that week. My son's friend hadn't been up there before so we did a number of the tourist things again. Skyrail, Hartleys Croc Farm, Habitat, long walk/swim on 4 Mile Beach, quite a number of restaurants (including GREAT tapas at Sassi's in PD again) etc.

However, the snorkelling trip was a dismal failure. Couldn't get onto Wavelength at short notice so took recommendation to use Ocean Spirit going to Oyster Reef and Upolu Cay. It was very sunny when we headed out but forecast to be gusty up to 20 knots. I know from previous experience that heavy winds don't necessarily make for a bad day (except for perhaps the getting there and back).

However, at Upolu Cay the sea was so choppy that over half the people couldn't snorkel. I took the boys, who are both really strong swimmers, out but they kept having problems with their snorkels with the metre-high waves (not surprising really).

The coral around Upolu Cay was also pretty plain and although I spent longer looking around it and saw some nice turltles, it wasn't that pleasant.

What was unforgivable was that they landed about 50 people on the windswept sand cay with nothing at all on it except a sandstorm and just left them for an hour (despite being told that they would go back and forth every 5 mins). After the first snorkelling session they decided that it would be too challenging to go to Oyster Reef so despite the fact that most of us would rather have just gone back to Cairns, they did another 2 hours around the cay. Worthless.

When I got back, I spoke to the family next door who went out at the same time as us on Reef Magic to their nice new pontoon. They had had a great time and had kids who were much less experienced with snorkelling than mine.

I won't be recommending Ocean Spirit, of course. I'll be trying Wavelength and Reef Magic when I go up for 10 days in September.

The kids had an absolute hoot at the Cane Toad Races held at the Iron Bar in Port Douglas. The guy who runs them, Clancy, is very entertaining. We laughed until we cried - he works the crowd very well.

The really big hit with the boys was, predictably, the go cart racing track just near the airport. Too much testosterone beginning to course through their bodies I think.... by my age that wears off and you are happy driving Toyotas.

If there is anything else you want to know about what is fun then I'm more than happy to elaborate.

united kingdom
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253 posts
12 reviews
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2. Re: OnThePoint

OTP

thanks for replying so promptly!

would you recommend booking in advance for Wavelength or Reef Magic or does it depend on the weather or is it difficult to say? from what you said I don't like the idea of choppy, rough seas but it is difficult to know what to do for the best when we are so far away and have this vision as portrayed by nature/travel programmes on TV.

thanks

Sydney
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361 posts
40 reviews
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3. Re: OnThePoint

I've typed two replies so far and my darned Norton security keeps on blocking my posts for some reason....

I left my booking far too late - 4.30pm the evening before. Probably 24 hrs before would have been better.

From what I gather, the Reef Magic pontoon is very well protected from the wind and sea chop, so even if the trip there/back is a bit rock-n-roll then you'll still have a great snorkel.

If you get motion sick then definitely take a seasick tab if the seas are choppy, since by afternoon they'll be much worse !! There were some very green people on our way back.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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4. Re: OnThePoint

OTP,

Sorry to intrude. We're in palm Cove 2 nights end of Sept... knowing you have similar food tastes...any suggestions?

Sydney
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361 posts
40 reviews
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5. Re: OnThePoint

Hi GW... never an intrusion, especially from you. We'll be up there at the same time... we have a huge gaggle (two families - 11 of us) staying up at Lahania on Clifton Beach from 19th - 30th November.

I rather like NuNu out the front of the Outrigger, and the rather lovely Reef House restaurant at the Sebel.

The food is pretty nice at Angsana, but the service can be snooty if you're a blow-in as we were.

The Sea Temple poolside bar has trendy snacks and a very friendly barman (back a few months at least) but the restaurant isn't memorable.

I haven't tried Blue yet (southern end of Williams Esp.) but the menu looks my kind of thing.

I'm looking forward to yet another excellent feed at Nautilus when I'm there. Yet to have an ordinary meal there. And I intend to visit Sassi's and not have to drive home (we'll have a willing designated driver) so that I can sample their tapas with a full complement of sherries and wines !!

This evening I'm in for a real treat (I think). Brian Lizotte (Diesel's brother) who runs a couple of restaurants near us is having a West Australian truffle based degustation feast tonight, with wines selected to complement each course. Now, I've only ever tried truffle oil so this will be a new experience.

The quality of truffles from WA is meant to be superb, it has taken years to get the growing conditions just right in Margaret River but they're there now. I'm sure the French will claim "terroir" again, but who will care if the taste is as good, just like wine !!

Sydney
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361 posts
40 reviews
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6. Re: OnThePoint

errr, that would be September. Brain not in gear, too much truffle anticipation.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands
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18,868 posts
182 reviews
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7. Re: OnThePoint

We love Nautilus too..as you can see it's a flying visit just doing Kuranda as we haven't done it for years between the rock and the Whitsundays...

We're staying at Sea Temple so I figure it'll be at least poolside snacks there...

Will have a look at Blue. have heard other good reports about NuNu and Sebel so it'll have to be which ever menu tickles our fancy....

Now that you've left me salivating it's time I went to think about our own meal!!!